Wow, the Christmas season is coming in fast and furiously full of twinkling, sparkling lights. We are still working on getting the right amount of snow on the ground, but as we all know, nothing stops Santa — he’s a right jolly old elf on a mission. This week’s hot list is chock-full of Santa sightings and cheerful holiday events…
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Be moved by a musical masterpiece
December 2 to 3
Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg
Nothing transmits the urge to sing more than Handel’s Messiah. The Winnipeg Sypmony Orchestra’s holiday tradition continues, as the special glow of the season comes alive with Handel’s matchless sense of timing and drama, where the music’s memorable path from darkness to light never fails to inspire.
Sing along to a Prairie Christmas concert
Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg
For many families, music is so intricately entwined with Christmas celebrations that carols and gathering around the piano have become tradition during the holidays. Make music your holiday tradition at the WSO’s Prairie Christmas Celebration. See Manitoban talent perform favourite seasonal music, comedic acts, storytelling and sing-alongs. There will be plenty of good cheer to go around!
Climb aboard the Nonsuch for a holiday celebration
December 3 to 4
Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg
History and Christmastime meet at the Nonsuch this holiday season for a rare tour of one of Manitoba’s most loved ships. Hop aboard to see what it was like at Christmas time in 1668 England and stroll through the authentically-decorated Nonsuch Gallery. The tour includes music from days gone by and stories of Christmas past.
Get festive at the Fort
Fort Dauphin Museum, Dauphin
Want to get in the mood for Christmas? Take the trip to Dauphin for the annual Christmas at the Fort from 1-4pm. Sip hot chocolate in the trading post, try bannock at the tipi or settle in for a story in the Robertson Room. There will be old time music, games, wagon rides and yes, even a visit from Santa himself. Admission is free!
Marvel at monarchy at the Royal MTC
November 24, 2016 to December 17, 2017
John Hirsch Mainstage, Winnipeg
If you’re glued to The Crown on Netflix, add to your growing addiction with The Audience. The theatrical performance follows the legendary House of Windsor as Fiona Reid dons the crown of Queen Elizabeth II and meets with each of her Prime Ministers for every week for more than 60 years.
Experience theatre in Winnipeg’s French Quarter
November 17 to December 3
Théâtre Cercle Molière, Winnipeg
In the music-filled tale of Le long voyage de Pierre-Guy B, Pierre-Guy, a passionate percussionist who finally returns home after touring the world. Upon arriving, he is forced to reflect on his hectic life and the events that led him to run away to a nomadic life of solitude. Not a french speaker? Tablets with subtitles are available so that all can enjoy the show.
Indulge in a high tension drama
November 17 to December 3
Tom Hendry Warehouse
23.5 Hours tells the story of Tom, a happily married drama teacher who has everything going for him until an accusation threatens his job, his family life and his friends. This drama explores the grey areas between law and our conscience, the the limits that our own loyalties to each other can be pushed.
Go on a musical adventure to Madagascar
December 1 to 3
Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, Brandon
How do you make DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar, even more addicting and fun? By making it a musical, of course! Bring your kids to this exciting extravaganza in Brandon, Manitoba and say hello to character favourites such as Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the hip hip Hippo, and of course those plotting penguins.
Let the lights put you in the holiday spirit
December 3 to 4
Manitoba Agricultural Museum, Austin
Come celebrate the holidays at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum! Travel through the Homesteader’s Village glistening with holiday color. There will be hot dog roasts over the bonfire, hot chocolate, jam-pail curling and horse-drawn sleigh rides (weather permitting).
Drive through a winter wonderland
December 2 to January 7
Red River Exhibition Park
Grab your friends and family, pack into the car, and celebrate the season of lights – all three million watts of them at a Canad Inns Winter Wonderland! From the comfort of your car, drive around the 2.5 km park to see a brilliant presentation of over one million lights in 26 different theme areas.
Experience the charm of an old-time holiday
Fort la Reine Museum, Portage la Prairie
Honour “Christmas in your heart” at A Dickens Christmas. The museum’s decorated village will be filled with holiday memories, costumed story spinners, sweets, song collectibles, sleigh rides and good cheer! Bring the little ones and your holiday good cheer.
Frolic in the forest with Santa
FortWhyte Alive, Winnipeg
Forget the mall, see Santa in his natural environment – the winter wonderland that is FortWhyte Alive. Get a family photo of with the big guy in red after you tell him what’s on your wish list.
Discover exceptional art
Exchange District, Winnipeg
Wander the Exchange District in search of incredible art at First Fridays. First Fridays is dedicated to bringing together artists, artist run centres, galleries, businesses and the public for a greater understanding, appreciation and promotion of the arts in the Exchange area.
Trot around Birds Hill
Birds Hill Park
Mosey on over to Birds Hill Park Ranch to enjoy a trail ride or sleigh ride in and around the park while breathing in the crisp air and viewing the spectacular scenery. Don’t forget to bring your camera! You may see deer, owls and various other wildlife.
Wave to Santa in Stonewall
The Festival of Lights Santa Claus Parade is an annual tradition on Stonewall’s Main Street, which features over 40 brightly lit floats and bundled up crowds joyfully awaiting Santa’s appearance.
Relish the handmade at a craft show
Boy, Manitobans are a crafty bunch! Just check out all the craft, bake and art sales coming up this holiday season. It’s time to go out and find that unique, locally-made gift to give to someone special.
Shop, wander and say hi to the goats at Pineridge Hollow
Fairy lights? Check. Campfire? Check. Holiday shopping? Check. GOATS? Check. Located close to Birds Hill Park, Pineridge Hollow is a magical stop where you can sit by the fire to enjoy a s’more, meet and pet the goats, or simply do some shopping in their gorgeous boutique. If you’re planning on dining in the restaurant, be sure to make your reservation ahead of time!
Take a weekend in the Whiteshell
Start your staycation in the gorgeous Falcon Trails Resort before hitting the great outdoors. In a paradise for nature-lovers, you can head down the trails on horseback, on snowmobile (weather permitting, of course), and on foot before cozying up by the fire, all while keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. And if you want to WIN a spot on our Winter in the Whiteshell trip, keep an eye on our weekly themes and hashtag your winter shots from anywhere in the province with #igwhiteshell and #exploremb.
Savour a festive day in the city
When the lights on Portage Avenue are aglow, and the stores bring out their sparkling decor, the spirit of the holidays follows close behind. If you’re with me, don your coziest scarf and check your list twice. Here’s how to spend a day savouring the season in Winnipeg!
Go shopping on the “main streets” of Manitoba
Shopping at the mall at this time of year is frazzled, frenzied, and let’s face it – frustrating. So forget those jam-packed parking lots and those overcrowded big box stores, and do your shopping on Main Street. Whatever city or town you find yourself in, you’ll find cute shops and cozy stores offering a pleasant shopping experience to get something for everyone on your nice list.
Visit an indoor farmers market
Manitoba Hydro Place
Long after the Farmers’ Markets of summer have packed up their goods and left for the season, the Downtown Farmers’ Market heads indoors for once a month shopping! The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s popular farmers’ market offers fresh baking, vinegar, jams, spices, meat, sauces, fruits, vegetables and preserves.