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.

third and bird pop up


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,

DT-Peggy-Signature-2017

Peggy’s Picks – The Biggest Gift Guide Ever!

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December is here! The most wonderful time of the year! And this year, something extra-special happened. Downtown Winnipeg Magazine asked me – yes, ME! – to curate their BIGGEST GIFT GUIDE EVER!

I humbly agreed, and here’s a little taste of what I came up with. Be sure to grab a copy for yourself – you can find them in magazine racks around downtown, being handed out at Jets games, at the airport, the Liquor Mart, and maybe even in your very own mailbox!

sandwich
Luxury Lunch – SANA Souphouse $13.50
rubber boots
Splish Splash – Designer rubber cowboy boots, Bella BALAS $94
perfume
Scentual – Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, Perfume Paradise $146
pajar boots
Boot It – Men’s Pajar Guardo winter boots (rated -30C), Canadian Footwear $199.90
noodles
Spice of Life – Clay Oven Express at MB Hydro, Clay Oven at Shaw Park
nailpolish
Spec-tacular – Pure Anada Cosmetics eco-friendly nail polish (Made in Manitoba), Generation Green at The Forks $14
kitty purse
Change Purrrrrse – Mr. Cat pouch, Best of Friends at the Library
hook mug
Hooked! – Fly fishing enamel mug, Gallery Shop at The WAG $14.50
hat
Cap it Off – 103rd Grey Cup hat, Uptown Sports $31.99
cookies
Christmas Cookie – George Box 13 cookies, Cookies by George $26.95
cook book
Dish it Out – Winnipeg Cooks cookbook, The Merchant Kitchen, Prairie 360, Sydney’s at The Forks $30
coffee
Coffee Kick – Pilot Coffee, Fools & Horses Coffee Co.
bracelet
Crystal Clear – bracelet, Neeta Gupta Jewellery $185
boot
Snow Big Deal – Mukluks, Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique $139
books
Literary Library – classic tales, Bison Books
bird vase
For the Birds – festive arrangement, starting at $20
wings
Wings ‘n’ Things – downtown dining at Tavern United MTS Centre, 12 Resto Bar, The Met, Garbonzo’s Pizza Pub
wag bowl
Stick to It – bowl and plate, Gallery Shop at the WAG $190
turkey
Happy Host – turkey takeaway with fixings for 15, The Fairmont Winnipeg $390
soup
Full of Beans – soup mix and wooden spoon, The Forks Trading Company $10.99, $22.99-$24.99
scarf
Warm & Wooly – Shupaca alpaca wool circle scarf, Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights $79.95

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for your chances to win some of these items – in the magazine and through CTV Morning Live.

Happy shopping! And don’t forget to share when you #finditdowntown with me on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @downtownpeggy!

And that’s a #downtownwishlist wrap!

The holidays may be over and the “New Year” is getting older by the moment, but I must say one way to keep the merry and bright going is to grant a whole bunch of people’s wishes. I had no idea how fun this would be!

In case you missed it, (and I’m sorry if you did!) I spent the month of December asking people to take photos of items or experiences they found downtown, for themselves or on behalf of someone special, and get them to me via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #downtownwishlist.

I got to sit here, watch the (over 200!!!) entries roll in, and then grant some wishes!

Thank you so much for participating! I loved seeing what you were wishing for and hearing your stories – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one on social media who came away with a bunch of great Christmas gifting ideas!

In the end, and thanks largely to the generosity of the businesses in the downtown, I was able to grant 30 wishes in total!

Here are a handful of highlights:

WHO 1
We got her a new winter coat, and Warehouse One generously threw in a bonus pair of jeans! What a great BFF!
HBC mitts
Thanks for sharing this cute photo!
shoppers makeover
Shopper’s Drug Mart makeovers are actually free! But we got her a GC so she could get a few new fave products.
Lennard Taylor
I also kickstarted my modelling career over the holidays! Not. But this was fun!
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We got her some tickets. 🙂
WAG
As if she could choose JUST ONE thing from the WAG gift shop. Everything is SO NICE. It was a good choice though, I must say!
upbeat
A Christmas wish come true – gifts for mom! 🙂
mushroom platter
Love all the artwork at Upbeat Artworks in Portage Place, and love to support an initiative that supports mental health recovery and awareness.
Era
Dinner at Era it is! Hope you don’t mind a third wheel! 😉
belly dance fabric
She promised photos of the new dress she sews!!!
HBC watch perfume
Spotted this gal in the skywalks all the time! She has great taste and loves downtown. We might be soul sisters.
Moccasins
Loved meeting this thoughtful gal!
GlobalStellas
Thanks for bringing us the news and weather everyday! Sure, let’s do brunch!
parking pass
Huge thanks to cityplace for the parking pass! That ought to make these frigid months a little more bearable!

 

Special thanks to Carbone Coal Fired Pizza, True North, The Fort Garry Hotel/Ten Spa, Era Bistro, The Fairmont Winnipeg/The Velvet Glove, cityplace, Prairie 360 and the Winnipeg Art Gallery for your generous wish-granting contributions!

Next year I want to grant even more wishes – so keep your eyes peeled and send them my way!

 

 

Five actually good last-minute gift ideas

Ready or not, Santa’s coming down the chimney in just over a week. There’s cookies to bake, things to wrap, a turkey to stuff, and only a few hours in between all that to finish your Christmas shopping. Some (I) call this fun. But I understand it can be a stressful time of year so here, let me offer some expert advice.

Before you decide to phone it in completely and just raid that endless selection of gift cards at the checkout stand on your next grocery run, consider these ideas that are a bit more thoughtful, but just as simple (and as always, #finditdowntown!):

For the person on your list who deserves a little down-time:

We all know someone who fits this criteria. Heck, we all fit the bill. Call up Riverstone Spa at the Inn at the Forks or Ten Spa at Fort Garry Hotel and get this person a little me-time treat. And while you can, and I would highly recommend it, don’t feel obligated to go all out – even someone who goes in for a basic manicure or pedicure treatment is entitled to use the steam showers, sauna, and lounge around in a fluffy robe for as long as their hearts desire. But if you can splurge on the mud wrap, massage and/or facial, by all means do.

For the person on your list who is either a kid, Disney fanatic, or kid at heart:

Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy is coming to the MTS Centre in March and there are a whole bunch of kiddos who want to see it. An afternoon out with a miniature Disney fan, mesmerized as their favourite characters and heroes glide and fly across the ice? Priceless (tickets start at 29.99). Also, this is a fantastic cotton candy opp – messy, I know, but worth it.

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For the person on your list who’d love a delicious treat:

And again, who wouldn’t? Why not make it an experience with a gift certificate to Prairie 360? As I’m sure you’ve seen on Instagram, the view is stunning and the meal is guaranteed to be tasty. It can be budget friendly too – brunch goes for $20 per person. For a higher-end option, go for a few courses and wine pairings overlooking the twinkly lights of the city below. How romantic!

For the holiday season lover on your list:

If I was on your list, this would be my number one wish (hint hint!!!). The holiday season is absolutely not complete without catching the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker performance (at least once). That’s all there is to it. If there’s someone on your list who hasn’t experienced the Sugar Plumb Fairy in real life, no matter how old or young they are, this is the gift for them.

For the person on your list who enjoys a beer every now and then:

This idea probably has the potential to cover off a bunch of people on your list: Carbone Coal Fired Pizza beer buttons. You might have heard, but there’s this new, delicious pizza place on St. Mary Ave. where you get to pour your own pints. You can purchase the buttons that activate the taps and load ’em up with as many dollars as you like. Want to try before you buy? Help your neighbours out and post your go-to, last-minute gift ideas and you could win a $25 Carbone beer button. Contest closes Friday, Dec. 19 at 3PM – just in time for you to pick up and re-gift your prize if you’re in that much of a pickle! 😉  

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Top 5 must-haves for your next holiday party

It’s my favourite time of year, I think we’ve established that already. But just to remind everyone, I LOVE the holidays. I love getting creative with gift-giving (aka shopping!), indulging in all the delicious treats that seem to come with the season, and I especially love throwing a good holiday party for all my friends.

I know you’ll make great use of these five tips for your next holiday party!

1. Music to set the tone.

To get yourself in the mood, you have to put on some holiday tunes while you get ready. Personally, I like to check out the seasonal collection of CDs at the Millennium Library (2nd floor) for an eclectic mix.

Library music

2. A signature scent.

I love working a delectable signature scent into my ensemble – it’s an important accessory! Which is why I could only narrow it down to two favourites. Hermes Rouge ($134) and Des Merveilles Elixir ($145), both from Perfume Paradise. I suggest putting a little dab right behind each ear once you get out of the shower, and let the compliments about your subtle yet sophisticated choice wash over you all night.

Perfume

For your man, spritz him with Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce ($114) and thank me later.

Abercrombie

3. Chic table setting.

It’s coming together. It’s sounding good, you’re smelling fabulous, now it’s time to set the table. This one takes some thought. Will you have a theme? What’s the nature of the event? Classic and classy? Casual and friendly? Upscale cabin in the woods? Whatever you’re looking for, Glucksteinhome at Hudson’s Bay downtown has some beautiful tables set up for inspiration, and some even more beautiful sales. I’m a fan of the Alpine Cabin series – plaid tablecloth (regular 69.99) and napkins (19.99), now 40% off – you can dress them up or down.

Table

4. Make your own floral arrangement

Not a DIY-er, you say? Nonsense. I love leaving it to the experts too, but it feels good to make something beautiful for yourself (or someone special). Plus in this case, the experts at Freshcut Downtown will be guiding you along every step of the way.

What: Create a beautiful centrepiece to take home for the holidays!

When: December 16, 5:30 PM

Where: Freshcut Downtown (Portage Place)

Cost: $25 plus tax, portion of proceeds go to Change for the Better

Space is limited! Call 204-943-6514 to reserve your spot!

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5. Wine.

Need I say more? Fenton’s Wine Merchants at The Forks has you covered – even if the MLCC strikes this holiday season. I suggest anything red or white, sparkly or pink, frequent re-fills and a plan for a safe ride home.

Wine

Wish you had something special for your next holiday party? Snap a photo and put it on your #downtownwishlist by tweeting or Instagramming me (@downtownpeggy) or posting on my Facebook wall! Remember to use the hashtag #downtownwishlist. You have to #finditdowntown!

Happy holidays!

Granting wishes is fun!

Thanks so much for sharing your #downtownwishlist wishes with me! I love seeing the products you spot and love downtown!

What do I love more than that? Giving this stuff away! Here’s a roundup of #downtownwishlist winners so far! And remember, if you’ve shared photo of your wish, I’ll contact you if you’ve won, so keep your eyes peeled!

Keep the #downtownwishlist wishes for yourself or someone special coming my way! Get at me on Twitter @downtownpeggy, Instagram @downtownpeggy or post on my Facebook wall, and your wish just might be granted. Remember, you have to find it downtown!

 

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From The Urban Bakery, to keep her bros lookin’ good and reppin’ the 204!
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A nice, warm winter coat for her husband!

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Holiday Gift Guide Countdown!

It’s the first day of December – the holidays are officially around the corner! That means it’s time to start putting together those shopping lists – I’m kind of a year-round shopper, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite downtown goodies. I’m going to have stuff for my fellow ladies, for the guys, for kids, maybe even a thing or two you’ll have to snag for yourself!

From December 1 until December 25, I’m going to be counting down with a new idea every day! I’ve even set up a whole page for it – so click on over to my Holiday Gift Guide to check out the gift below – and watch for more every day!

Gift idea #1! For the campers, an adorable travel coffee pot - and for the city crowd, a set of espresso cups from the Bay!
Gift idea #1! For the campers who can’t go without their caffeine, an adorable travel coffee pot – and for the city coffee crowd, a set of espresso cups from the Bay!

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!

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!