It’s hard to imagine such a thing exists, but not every date has to involve alcohol. It's easy to panic and immediately default to the stale, overused "lets-grab-a-drink-date"— but in a place as diverse and vibrant as Winnipeg, that's not your only option.
The best dates I've been on in the city have strayed far from simply grabbing a beer. From walking around and exploring a park, getting competitive over board games and pizza, or exploring some of the city's incredibly historic architecture— those are the dates I remember best.
Whether you're on a health kick, not quite legal, or just want to impress your date without slurring your words, I've gathered a few fun places to make sober small talk in Winnipeg.
Thermea // 775 Crescent Dr
What better way to get comfortable with someone than by hanging out in your bathrobes all day? Spend as little or as long as you want at this relaxing Scandinavian-inspired spa (guess it depends on how well the date’s going).
Trampolines are always fun, no matter how old you are. Plus, bouncing will leave you both too out of breath to worry about making awkward conversation. Just be wary of school field trips or kids' birthday parties.
Focus those jittery first-date nerves on something else at this outdoor adventure park. In the summer, you can zip line and wakeboard. In winter, you can go snow tubing.
There’s a reason it’s been coined Winnipeg’s urban playground. Stroll through the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, check out the polar bears at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, catch an outdoor show at the outdoor Lyric Theatre, ride around on the bike paths, or bring a frisbee and picnic lunch to the park—whatever you choose, it’ll feel more creative than the usual Earls-dinner date.
With so many food kiosks (and new ones opening like Nuburger, Fusion Grill, and Simons) you won't have to worry about disagreeing on a restaurant choice. Plus, the dining hall was recently renovated and looks very Hogwarts-esque. After dinner, there’s always an event or concert happening somewhere on site (and everyone knows The Forks is the best spot in the city to catch Pokemon).
Even if you just go for the day, getting out of the city and into the relaxing atmosphere of folk fest feels wonderful. Bring a blanket, split a whale’s tail, and pretend like you know which bearded indie band is headlining the show. Happening July 6th- 9th, 2017.
Nowhere else will you find goats, chickens, a Sunday brunch, a weekly farmer’s market, and the cutest little gift shop all in one place. Plus, it’s outside of the city so it’ll feel like a mini road trip.
If you’re thinking of doing the ever-adorable ice cream date, BDI is the perfect spot. Grab a goog special and go for a walk over the Elm Park Bridge. Bonus: this is a dog-friendly date.
It’s the highest rated escape room in the city with more than five different rooms to choose from. Here’s the deal: you have 60 minutes to use logic, skill, speed, and teamwork to complete the given tasks and escape from the room before the time is up. Perfect for a double date (or to make sure your bf/gf isn’t completely useless when it comes to solving problems).
Choose from hundreds of board games while you munch on electric pickle flavoured popcorn (just try not to get too competitive when it comes to Guess Who).
Go around Christmastime and the charming, old-fashioned toy store feels like actual magic—you’ll both be running around like excited little kids (and probably leave with a few goodies, too).
Not every city has a nature oasis in the middle of it. Explore 7 km of trails, kayak one of the 5 lakes, go ice skating or participate in cabin yoga in the winter, and admire the 30-head Bison Prairie herd all located within the park.
Winnipeg has a huge art scene, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery is constantly changing exhibits and showcasing new artists, including housing the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Check out the website to see which exhibits are currently on.
If your date loves the theatre, make sure to check out Celebrations Dinner Theatre. With musical performances spoofing TV and movies like Modern Family, School of Rock, and Friends, what could go wrong? Oh yeah—they might call one of you up on stage to embarrass you, which they do regularly.