I love how the downtown lights signal to the whole city that it’s time to get jolly.
And, as the epicentre of the city, downtown brings some major holiday cheer, with the whole neighbourhood coming together to offer the best shopping, holiday movie-watching, and live entertainment the city has to offer.
In case you haven’t mapped out your holiday schedule yet, anchored in the downtown, here’s a rundown of where I’ll be over the month of December (the countdown is on!).
Breakfast and a movie (Hudson’s Bay Downtown, 4th floor, 450 Portage Ave.)
I’m not sure there’s a better deal out there for a family-friendly viewing party. For just $10, enjoy breakfast served by the Best Western Plus Downtown before a screening of two of my personal favourite holiday classics.
On December 1, find out how Kevin gets left behind and fends off the bad guys in Home Alone 2.
On December 8, watch Will Ferrell’s Elf eat way too much pre-chewed gum in downtown New York (I guess any, really, is too much).
Remember to get tickets in advance if you want to take part in breakfast (available at the Best Western Plus Downtown or Hudson’s Bay downtown). Movie admission is free!
Breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., with holiday activities to follow!
Local artisan pop-ups at The Forks (1 Forks Market Rd.)
My holiday shopping hack has always been to do it at The Forks (I mean, breaking for wine on tap is never a bad thing for morale!).
This year, plan your purchasing around one of the Third + Bird market pop-ups, so you have even more local goodies to choose from.
For three weekends leading up to the big day, The Forks will be host to over a dozen local makers filling the second-floor bridges and balconies with unique finds for your whole list.
Visit the pop-ups at The Forks Market on Dec. 8 and 9, 15 and 16, and 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Plus, The Forks’ Holiday Bazaar kicks things off this Friday, Nov. 30, with in-store specials, mimosas and mulled wine served up by The Common, and festive shopping beats from DJ Mama Cutsworth to help you shop ‘til you drop from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Looking for something that truly says it all? Order a custom script from Kal Barteski, who’s popping up at the Market Nov. 30 (until Dec. 2).
Another pop-up not-to-miss is happening at Manitoba Hydro Place Dec. 16, where indigenous artists will come together to showcase their wares in the main floor gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show (Burton Cummings Theatre, 364 Smith St.)
Favourite local crooner JP Hoe plays holiday classics in a campy, collaborative way that will make you a lifelong fan! Get tickets quickly as this show always sell out! A part of the proceeds from the show go to the Christmas Cheer Board. Join JP Hoe on Dec. 14 at Burton Cummings Theatre!
Cirque Musica Presents Wonderland (Bell MTS Place, 300 Portage Ave.)
A spell-binding performance of the world’s most popular Christmas music played by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), paired with the best circus performers in the world – does it get any better?
Bell MTS Place will host this holiday spectacular for one night only on Dec. 6.
Then, join the WSO in my favourite holiday tradition, accompanying the Nutcracker ballet from Dec. 19 to 29. The sounds will be even fuller with the WSO joined by a full choir in this year’s rendition.
For even more downtown events over the merry month, visit www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com/event/all-together-downtown-for-the-holidays/.