Top 8 Things to Do Downtown This Holiday Season

With tons of activities and fun things to do, downtown is the perfect place to celebrate this holiday season! Enjoy markets, festive music, live shows and cozy restaurants. You can also dance, skate on rivers, watch holiday movies and visit Santa. Find all this and more in downtown Winnipeg!

Here are the top 8 things to do downtown this holiday season:

Downtown Winnipeg Tours

Various dates and locations

You can now choose from three new tours that will get you outdoors during the holidays and  showcase the incredible selection of restaurants that downtown Winnipeg has to offer. In addition, you can now enjoy your favourite tours all year-round, including the Tap In (beer) Tour, Breakfast Club and Winnipeg Wine Tour.

New tours this year include:

Cocktail Crawl – This fun walking tour takes advantage of our Winnipeg walkways to take you and your friends from cocktail spot to cocktail spot without ever putting on a coat!  Participants visit four restaurants and receive a featured cocktail along with shareable appetizers at each stop along the way!

Cost: $40.00

2017 Dates: November 10

2018 Dates: January 12, February 2, March 9, April 6

Bikes and Brunch – Be a true Winnipegger and conquer the winter blues with this tour of downtown’s best brunch spots using a winterized or fat bike! Participants bike to three of downtown Winnipeg’s best brunch spots, receiving a breakfast sample at each stop.  There is an option to rent a fat bike, or you can use your own winterized/fat bike.

Cost: $40.00 plus option to rent a fat bike for an additional $20.00

2017 Dates: December 3

2018 Dates: February 11

Caesar Crawl – Grab your friends and sip on some of the best Caesar Cocktails downtown Winnipeg has to offer!  Participants will visit four restaurant stops where they will receive a signature Caesar and sharable appetizers at each stop, before voting on their favourite Caesar of the night!

Cost: $40.00

2018 Dates: January 26, May 11 (the Friday before International Caesar Day)

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything, we’ll also have Gift Certificates available in $40.00, $50.00 and $85.00 that recipients can use towards the tour of their choice.

Downtown Winnipeg BIZ will also be offering customized tours this year! You can now book your holiday party and/or private tour which can include a minimum of 10 people and up to a maximum of 50 people. For more information and to book a customized tour, contact Susan at tours@downtownwinnipegbiz.com.

For a complete listing of downtown tours including dates and featured restaurant stops, and to purchase tickets, click HERE.

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Santa Suite at the Fairmont Winnipeg

November 29 – December 17, Fairmont Winnipeg

In celebration of Santa’s favourite holiday tradition, Santa’s elves have decorated the suite with whimsical details including twinkling Christmas trees, an elegant dinner table set for Santa and his special guests, a letter-writing station for leaving holiday wish lists, and exciting giveaways to spread the good cheer.

Santa checks in on November 29 and checks out on December 17. Santa himself will take a break from his hectic holiday schedule to pose for photos with visitors in his Fairmont Winnipeg Santa Suite. At $10 per visiting group, receive a professional photo with Santa. All of the proceeds go to supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Guests who post or tweet a photo of their Santa Suite visit using the hashtag #WPGSantaSuite will be entered to win a one-night stay at Fairmont Winnipeg.

For more information, click HERE.

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Third + Bird Christmas Pop-Up

December 2 – 17, The Forks Market

Third + Bird will once again host a Christmas Popup at The Forks! This is a great final push for Christmas shoppers and product. The Forks is alive and thriving. The Common, Fools + Horses and amazing food vendors have made the Forks the place to be on weekends!

Third + Bird will host 3 weekends of Popups on the second floor balconies overlooking the Common this Holiday season.

Dec 2 + 3 – 11 am – 5 pm

Dec 9 + 10 – 11 am – 5 pm

Dec 16 + 17 – 11 am – 5 pm

For more information, click HERE.

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Investors Group Presents Home Alone at Hudson’s Bay

December 9, Hudson’s Bay Downtown

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and the Hudson’s Bay Downtown have partnered to host a fun holiday movie event the whole family will enjoy! Come early to take part in some pre-movie activities starting at 10 am, including face painting, arts and crafts, and games. The screening of Home Alone starts at 11 am.

Plus, take part in the Home Alone contest! Show us your best Kevin McCallister impression and you will be entered to win a prize pack with some of his favourite goodies, including a large cheese pizza courtesy of Garbonzo’s U of W ANX.

Please enter the event on the east side (Vaughan Street) entrance of the building.

For updates and more information, click HERE.

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Celebrate the Season: Dinner and Movie at the Met

December 17 and 19, The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre

December 17 – Celebrate the Season at The MET and bring the kids to brunch and a Sunday matinee movie as The MET presents Elf! Doors & Brunch Buffet opens at 11 am. Movie Starts at 1 pm.

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December 19 – Celebrate the Season by joining us for a dinner and a movie as The MET presents It’s a Wonderful Life! Doors & Dinner Buffet opens at 5 pm. Movie Starts at 7 pm.

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For more information, click HERE.


The Nutcracker

December 21 – 30, Centennial Concert Hall

When midnight strikes, young Clara’s enchanted Christmas gift leads her into a wondrous world… with the valiant Nutcracker at her side, Clara defeats the Mouse King and his army of mice, and journeys to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. This sparkling holiday tradition is a festive feast for the senses with enchanting costumes, timeless choreography and a brilliant score by Tchaikovsky.  A holiday classic for the whole family!

For more information, click HERE.

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New Year’s Eve at the RBC Convention Centre

December 31, RBC Convention Centre

This New Year’s Celebration will feature the beauty and elegance of a glistening winter’s evening in the warmth of the City View Room which will be transformed into a festive wonderland with a little winter carnival flare.

After enjoying a gourmet feast starting at 6:00 pm with complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres and a fabulous five course dining experience, it’ll be time to toast in the New Year as the party kicks off with the ever popular Ron Paley and his 21 Piece Band featuring some of Winnipeg’s most notable performers. Dance until 2 am as Ron and his band plays top 40 hits and classic dance tunes.

For more information, click HERE.

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Wawanesa Insurance Family New Year’s Eve

December 31, The Forks

Fun, family programming inside and out from 5 pm – 8 pm will include, art activities, horse drawn wagon rides and snow sculpting – capped off with a family dance party and
exciting pyrotechnics at 8 pm in Festival Field.

DJs and art inside The Forks Market from 9 pm – Midnight.

For updates and more information, click HERE.

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Visit http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/event/together-downtown-holidays/ for a complete listing of this year’s downtown holiday events.

Happy Holidays,

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Mother’s Day 2017: Meet You Downtown

This weekend is Mother’s Day and there are wonderful ways to celebrate the moms in your life at one of these events happening around downtown Winnipeg.

The Return of Evelyn Hart in Vespers

Internationally-acclaimed Canadian ballet icon Evelyn Hart joins the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in the world premiere of James Kudelka’s Vespers, a new ballet choreographed to Claudio Monteverdi’s ‘Vespers, 1610’.

Vespers means “evening prayer” and has stood the test of time for over four hundred years- a true testament to the music’s remarkable power. Vespers combines dramatic atmospheres with creative classical ballet technique, contemporary styles and perspectives on relationships, nature and the spiritual world.

Claudio Monteverdi’s stunning score is performed by a live choir accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Vespers is alive with vibrant character, colour and texture with all the richness of a renaissance painting. This emotionally powerful ballet features iconic ballerina Evelyn Hart in a role created especially for her.

I recently had the opportunity to see this wonderful show and was thrilled to see the iconic Evelyn Hart make her return to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for this world premiere. This show will leave you in awe and will even provide you with a little bit of laughter!

Vespers runs May 10-14. For show times and ticket information, please see the RWB box office and website.

 

Picasso in Canada

Opening this weekend–get ready for Manitoba’s first major showcase of work by Pablo Picasso in over 40 years. This summer, the WAG presents Picasso in Canada and Picasso: Man and Beast, two exhibitions highlighting the many sides of Picasso, who remains one of the greatest artists of all time.

As part of the WAG’s Canada 150 celebrations, Picasso in Canada brings together 35 artworks by the artist, including paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints, and ceramic works. Drawn from art museums across Canada and private collections, the exhibition spans five decades of Picasso’s artistic production, offering a range of well-known themes and images, including intimate portraits of five of Picasso’s lovers. Among these pieces is Seated Woman, arguably the most renowned painting by Picasso in a Canada.

For show details and tour information, please visit picasso.wag.ca.

Meet You At The Library For A Movie

On Sunday, May 14, at the Millennium Library treat yourself and mom to this much talked about film based on Rosalie Ham’s bestselling novel of the same name. The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small hometown in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture. 119 min. Rated PG. Showtime is 2:00PM – 4:00PM.

BONUS IDEAS:

If you and mom are working on your FitBit competitive levels, consider lacing up those walking shoes and taking in The Loop as presented by Tourism Winnipeg. This fantastic tour takes you through Winnipeg’s best and most iconic spots and at your own pace. Download the map here, plan your noshing spots, and get out and enjoy this beautiful city with mom on her special day.

Artisan Craft Sale at the Marlborough Hotel

Sure you’re invited to brunch but then stay and shop at one of Canada’s historic landmarks in the heart of city.

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Party with Peggy at the Parade!

The Santa Claus parade is this Saturday, Nov. 15! It’s a tradition and it’s become one of my favourite events of the year because so many families come downtown and it brings lights and joy and excitement for the holiday season!

Speaking of excitement, I heard this year fireworks and pyrotechnics with be happening along the parade route instead of afterwards at The Forks – so plan accordingly!

And I know it’s getting really chilly outside – I even saw a few flurries of snow over the weekend…so in order to make one family’s Santa Claus parade experience a little warmer and a little brighter, I thought I’d give away some VIP seats and all kinds of treats, with help from my friends at Portage Place!

I want to hear about your favourite downtown holiday activity – so comment below, and you and your family will be entered to win my VIP Santa Claus experience!

You have the next few days to let me know. The contest closes at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Pre-parade activities get underway at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. Parade begins at 5 p.m. For more info visit winnipegsantaparade.com

Be the hand in the Yule Log video!

Yule Log PicIt would be a massive understatement to say that I’m excited about the contest I’m starting today.

There are lots of things that say ‘holidays’ to me – turkey, trees, shopping for presents – and of course, the viewing of the beloved Yule Log on TV.  It’s practically a Winnipeg institution.

And now I’ve got a chance for you to be part of it! Your hand could be in next year’s MTS TV Fireplace, tending the yule log!

How do you get your shot? Starting today, I’ve got 5 fireplace displays set up in windows around the downtown. Each of them has a code word on it – go down and find them, and then submit the code words on the contest page here to enter. So the more fireplaces you go  find, the more chances you have to win! Really want to show off your fire-tending skills? Strike a pose of you with the fireplace and share with me on Facebook or Twitter, and for each fireplace photo you’ll get another chance to enter! So that means 10 chances total – up to 5 code word entries, and 5 photo entries!

The contest runs from now until December 24th – good luck!

Easiest. Pledge. Ever!

How can you say no to this face?
How can you say no to this face?

It may not be quite as much of a madhouse as Black Friday was in the US, but it’s definitely shopping season here!

Isn’t finding the perfect gift for someone a great feeling? When you see something and you just KNOW that person you love is going to love it. You can’t wait for Christmas morning to come so you can see their face when they unwrap it. I love that feeling (and I’m a bit of a shopaholic) so Christmas gives me the perfect excuse to go just a little over the top. And I don’t want to be the only shopaholic out there.

So I’m bringing back the Pledge to Shop Downtown for the Holidays this year!

It’s very simple, click on the link that will take you to the shop downtown Facebook page. Click on the “Like” button and you will be eligible for a host of great prizes over the next few weeks, as well as great ideas and deals for all your holidays shopping!

Basically, it’s an informal “pledge” to do as much of your holiday shopping in downtown as you can. When we support our downtown, it can only get better! And I think it’s the easiest pledge ever to take – when there’s cute stuff like the little penguin I bought for my niece out there, it’s hard for me to stop myself from shopping.

I’ve already given away a pair of tickets to the RWB’s Nutcracker…next up, two weeks with Yoga Public!

“Like” the Pledge to Shop Downtown Page and share what you’ve bought  and you’re entered to win! The higher the likes, the more prizes we’re giving, so tell your friends, family, well-wishers and acquaintances to take the pledge too!

Trees, Lights, and Everything Nice

I’m looking for some serious inspiration for my tree at home this year. I’ve got some beautiful ornaments that I’ve picked up over the years, but I’ve always hung them on the tree without any kind of theme. But this year, I’m taking it to the next level!

My inspiration source? I’m headed to the Festival of Trees and Lights for it. Right up till the end of next week, gallery of Manitoba Hydro Place is filled with beautiful trees all decorated by different groups – so lots of different styles to snag ideas from! One thing they have in common though – they’re all stunning. My fave right now:

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Pretty, right? But that’s not why it’s my favourite. Go visit the festival, and go up close to it. Check out some of the ornaments, and voila:

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Dirty Dancing & other ’80s inspired ornaments! (awesome instagram courtesy of Tourism Wpg)

If you want to see the trees, the festival is open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Manitoba Hydro Place until December 8, open to 4:00pm December 9. There’s also music, Santa, craft sales, and a whole bunch more – schedule’s here!

Santa Claus comes to town today!

And it’s in Parade form. 🙂

If you’ve noticed that a whole bunch of downtown streets are closed and are wondering why – well, it’s because the anual Santa Claus Parade comes through downtown tonight! I was reading up on it a bit to figure out the best places to watch from, and I came across the coolest video yesterday – the Parade in 1948! Can you believe it’s been going on for so long? I really think we should bring back the bunnies to the parade next year. (0:15 in, you’ll know them when you see them)

In case you haven’t been in a while, here’s what it looks like today – a bit of a difference:

The Santa float in 2011 – this pic is by the fab photographer Leif Norman, he’s got lots more on his blog here: http://www.leifnorman.net/santa-claus-parade-winnipeg-nov-12-2011/

 

Now you want to come down nice and early so you have a chance to get a good spot, but you don’t want to be bored – right? Don’t worry, you’re covered! I don’t know what they did in 1948, but there are a lot of other activities going on downtown for Santa Claus Parade day this year. There are activities, giveaways and other ‘block party’ activities on Portage – and a free concert too! Here’s the schedule for today:

Camerata Nova – Free Concert held at Manitoba Hydro Place from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Santa’s Block Parties begin at 4:00 pm

Santa Claus Parade starts at 5:00 pm

Entertainment at The Forks – DJ Frankie Hollywood –
spinning live with Energy 106 Crew at 7:00 pm

Fireworks at The Forks – 7:30 pm

Got other questions about parking, etc? www.winnipegsantaparade.com has you covered. Don’t forget your tuques – see you there!

Break out the champagne!

I love celebrating New Year’s Eve in the heart of downtown, because there’s always something to do!  With fancy galas, fireworks and late night dancing to look forward to, I definitely have my options open.  Here’s a peek at just a few of the fun festivities going on!

Scotiabank Family New Year’s Eve at The Forks
Glide on the world’s longest skating rink, get messy at the crafts table or listen to live entertainment on the Main Stage.  Bands start taking the stage at 6pm, fireworks begin at 10pm. All free!

Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at the MTS Centre
For all of you sports fans out there, Winnipeg will be hosting the highly anticipated Jets vs. Leafs game.  It’ll be a match to remember!  Game begins at 6:00 pm.

Saturday Night Fever Celebration at the Winnipeg Convention Centre
Enjoy a five-course gala dinner, premium champagnes and wines, and the musical stylings of the Ron Paley 21 Piece Band.  Dinner and Dance Packages are $117 per person, $45 for dance only. For tickets call 957-4545

New Year’s Eve White-Out at Whiskey Dix
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to dress to the nines in your all-white getup, here’s your chance.  Watch the $2,000 balloon drop at midnight!  Tickets are $30, call 944-7539.

Champagne Supernova at the Garrick Centre
One of the biggest New Year’s Eve events in town!  Featuring hip-hop, house, top 40 and electro music.  Tickets $40 in advance, or you can go VIP for $55 – it gets you priority entry and a glass of champagne. Buy at www.ticketweb.ca

Let me know in the comments how you plan on celebrating the New Year!

Gift Shoppers’ Paradise

Ever walked into a store and had your jaw drop? That’s how I felt the first time I set foot in my next Scavenger Hunt shopping stop. Perfume Paradise doesn’t have a huge storefront, but don’t be deceived – step in the door and you’ll see an amazing wall stretching out with every heavenly-smelling bottle you can imagine on the shelves! I’m not exaggerating, they have over 150 starting  with the letter ‘A’ alone. I counted.

What does this mean for you and me, the gift shoppers? It means no matter how particular their taste, we’ll be able to find the perfect match for our giftees here.

For those who like natural products they’ve got one of the best selections in the city, with lines like Pacifica that are 100% organic, vegan friendly, completely allergen free, and smell AMAZING (the lines include things like body washes and roll-on perfumes – ideal stocking stuffer or gal pal gift material!).

They’ve even got the Amber Ball, a fabulous-smelling orb that double as artwork for your home – find out more about it here and check out the picture – they’re so pretty!

There are only 2 more days left in my Holiday Scavenger Hunt, so see you there soon!

Perfume Paradise
253 Vaughan Street
@PerfumeParadise