It had been years since we had been up to Manning Park as teenagers. With our birthday recently passing, my sister and I decided that a twin weekend would be a nice getaway. Plus, it would get us in the Christmas spirit being surrounded by snow and such a pretty winter wonderland.
A cloudy early morning, we were disappointed, thinking we would’t be able to witness a sunrise. We were pleasantly surprised as we approached Manning Park (and before we hit snow) that we were greeted to this misty, dreamy view that seemed to reach on forever. It was absolutely mesmerizing. Pure magic.
With such a busy holiday season this year, it was especially nice to have a little disconnect before our four days of Christmas chaos.
We stayed at the Manning Park Resort hotel and it didn’t feel like it had changed much. It still had the same old-school vibe and their arcade and pool table room brought back so many fun memories from when we went in our youth. We loved the small resort feel of the place and though the rooms were not fancy, they were definitely cozy and we had a very comfortable sleep (especially me, not having to wake up in the middle of the night for my kids). There was also no cell service, so it was nice to be forced to disconnect. The resort did offer wi-fi, but the free wi-fi barely worked, and when we paid for their good wi-fi, we found that it didn’t work either. But, I suppose that was a good thing — we weren’t attached to our phones.
The food around the resort was delicious. Before we hit the hills, we had a breakfast wrap at the Day Lodge, and later had a night at the Bear’s Den Pub. The portions were generous and we discovered that we could have split everything because of the amount of food we received. The only disappointment was when we had breakfast the second morning at Pinewoods restaurant. We both ordered the fruit waffles that came with two regular sized waffles, a little whipping cream and next to no strawberries. The waffles tasted like they were pre-made and then not even reheated. The food the previous day though was mouth watering!
We love when we can go for a skate outside. The snow always makes everything that much more magical, and skating outside was no different. It was extra magical. It was fun watching those who brought their hockey equipment for a game as well. I mean, how Canadian is that? Such a picturesque spot, surrounded by snow covered trees, and with snow falling as you skate.
We were hoping to hit up the tube park, but it wasn’t open during our visit. We noticed an ad for guided night snowshoeing tour and signed up right away. We have always been snowshoeing during the daylight hours and were up for a new experience. Our guide wore a headlamp and only turned it on when necessary. At first the whole group was skeptical about how we were going to manage snowshoeing without any lighting, but we soon realized how much the snow illuminates in nature. No additional light was really needed! Our guide was also great going off of the beaten path. Her sense of direction was unreal. There is no way I would be able to navigate those woods the way she did, even after a few tours.
It had been years since I made it out to go snowboarding and my sister, Diana, had never been, so we figured it would be good to start with a lesson to get back into the swing of things. As it turned out, my body didn’t forget what I was doing and I was off in no time. Diana did great too for her first snowboarding experience. It made me remember why I loved it all those years ago. Our super friendly instructor, Beth, was fantastic as well.
Snow makes everything extra beautiful. It was breathtaking wether we were wandering around or driving around in the snow. Manning Park was a real winter wonderland and it successfully helped us to de-stress and get into the Christmas spirit. How could you not feel wonderful with surroundings like these?
We are so blessed to live just a couple hours away from so many great snow destinations. Even though we were not very far away, it sure felt like we were somewhere completely different. It was so nice to disconnect and to be able to spend some birthday time with my twin sister. And, it made me realize I really need so spend some more time snowboarding each winter!
Where is a cool snow destination you found some relaxation, fun and peace at?