With only about one month until Christmas, Manitoba is already a’glow with festivities and fun. The Grey Cup will shine as the CFL draws its season to a close, all while Santa Claus takes the spotlight for the annual Santa Claus Parade. Altona will light up the town with twinkling fairy lights as the Manitoba Electrical Museum shows off its glitzy displays. In the grand finale, Darcy Oake will bedazzle his audiences with mystifying illusions. Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba…

Join into the festivities at the 103rd Grey Cup

Cheer Extravaganza at 103rd Grey Cup Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Photo via Grey Cup Festival

November 25 to 29
Various Venues

Before the big game’s kickoff, the party will already be in full swing! Winnipeg is the host the 103rd Grey Cup, which comes with five days of events and activities. The Grey Cup Festival HQ is at the RBC Convention Centre, where visitors can roam the aisles of the CFL Hall of Fame exhibit, stock up on merchandise, and catch one of the three concerts that are part of the Manitoba Craft Beer Concert Series. Find our complete guide to the Grey Cup Festival here!

Catch a glimpse of Santa Claus


November 28, 4:30 to 8:00 pm
Downtown Winnipeg

This may come as a surprise, but Santa Claus is a huge fan of the CFL. That’s right, this year’s Santa Claus Parade is happening in conjunction with the Grey Cup Festival and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Santa Claus and company will wind their way through the streets of downtown Winnipeg, bringing all the action and an abundance of Christmas spirit. And just in case you still haven’t filled your Santa quote, check out these 10 Manitoba Santa Sightings that will certainly keep you on the nice list.

Come closer to the cosmos

Planetarium at the Manitoba Museum

Open Tuesday to Sunday
Manitoba Museum

Did you know that the Planetarium at the Manitoba Museum is one of the most advanced in the world? It was the first planetarium to use Digistar® 5, an all-dome digital projection technology that will transport you to places you’ve never been before – in 3D! Leave Earth and fly to the edge of the unknown universe in one seamless motion and take in the true perspective of our skies. Yeah, science! Current shows are Astronaut, narrated by Ewan McGregor, Live with the Stars and the zany Zula Patrol: Down to Earth.

Get festive in Gimli

Gimli Santa Claus Parade

November 27 to 28

Christmas has come early to the Icelandic town of Gimli, and Santa Claus is leading the way! Friday’s festivities kick off with a community bonfire and caroling, followed by a parade, sleigh rides, tree lighting and a Christmas market. The fun continues on Saturday with a pancake breakfast, a skate with Santa and a scavenger hunt for the kids. Happy early Holidays!

Catch Mozart’s comic tour de force

Figaro by Manitoba Opera

November 24, 27
Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg

From the famous overture to the final glorious ensemble, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music in Figaro sparkles with intelligence and wit. Figaro, the former barber and now valet to the Count, is just hours away from wedding the lovely Susanna, a maid in the household. But alas, Susanna has caught the attention of the Count’s wandering eye. The day is soon turned upside down as clever twists and turns, disguises and comic intrigue ensue.

Get the (craft) show on the road

Craft Show Manitoba

Remember last year when you were running through the mall on December 24th, desperately seeking that perfect (but inevitably sold out) gift? That’s not going to happen this year.  That’s right, craft season has arrived and there are tons of shows and markets to browse.

Nov 1 – Nov 30 | Beausejour: Christmas Craft Show and Sale, Brokenhead River Community Hall

Nov 1 – Nov 30 | WhitemouthChristmas Craft Sale, Whitemouth Community Club

Nov 1 – Nov 30 | Seven Sisters Falls: Christmas Craft Sale, Seven Sisters Falls Community Club

Nov 25 | Winnipeg: 6th Annual Festive Artisans Market 2014, Manitoba Hydro Place

Nov 27 | Ashern: Country Christmas Craft Sale, Ashern Centennial Hall

Nov 27-28 | Winnipeg: THIRD + BIRD, Winnipeg Centre Vineyard Church

Nov 28-29 | Winnipeg: 30th Annual Christkindlmarkt, Holy Cross Hall on 290 Dubuc Street

Nov 28 | Neepawa: Glorious Christmas Wish Sale, Yellowhead Centre

Nov 28 | Birtle Christmas Craft Show, Birtle Community Hall

Nov 28 |Ste Rose du Lac: Christmas Craft Sale, Community Centre

Nov 28 | Rossburn: Candy Cane Lane Market, Rossburn Town Hall

Nov 28 | Dugald: Christmas Craft Sale, Dugald Community Centre

Nov 28Hazelridge: Christmas Craft Sale, Hazelridge School

Nov 28 | Anola: Christmas Craft Sale, Anola Community Club

Nov 28 | Gimli:  Christmas Market, New Iceland Heritage Museum featuring

Nov 28 | Lundar: Christmas Craft & Bake Sale, Lundar Community Hall

Nov 28 | Oakville: Christmas Craft & Vendor Sale, Oakville Community Hall

Nov 27-29 | Brandon: Gala of Gifts, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba

Get your glow on

Manitoba Electrical Museum

November 23 to December 27
Manitoba Electrical Museum

Light em’ up. The Manitoba Electrical Museum is the go-to place for all things that glow and glimmer. Get inspired by a variety of Christmas light displays and revisit holiday memories of the past. Learn about the history of electrical development in our province, from a replica of a 1940’s kitchen during farm electrification to climbing aboard a streetcar – one of the city’s first uses of electricity.

See Alice through the looking glass


November 25 to December 19
John Hirsch Mainstage

You’ve never seen Alice quite like this. Draw out your inner child for an imaginative tale in this coming-of-age sequel to Alice in Wonderland. After travelling through the looking-glass, Alice meets with characters like Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty and the White Knight for a spectacular adventure of ridiculous, topsy-turvy fun.

Sing along with a chipmunk trio


November 24
Burton Cummings Theatre

What, you mean you’ve never been to a concert of chipmunks? Well, now is your chance. Alvin and the Chipmunks along with the Chipettes are hitting the Burton Cummings’ stage for a squeaky live rock concert, covering hits by One Direction, Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elvis Presley and more! Encore, encore, encore!

Browse unique nativity scenes

Festival des Créches

November 25 to January 8
St. Georges

The first nativity scene goes back to 1223 in Italy, but you don’t have to travel that far to see over 100 different versions at the 3rd Annual Crèche Festival at the Allard Regional Library in St. Georges, 1.5 hours north east of Winnipeg. The festival features nativity scenes (or crèche in French) created by artists from at home and abroad, including many provided by Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade store that sells goods from artisans in developing countries. From stained glass to intricate woodworking, these works of art are beautiful reminders of the hope and joy that fill the holiday season.

Sit on the edge of reality

November 23

This isn’t your typical rabbit out of a hat magic show. Britain’s Got Talent’s Simon Cowell said, “We are witnessing the birth of a star”, and now you can too. Master illusionist Darcy Oake will entrance and amaze in Winkler on November 23 as part of his Edge of Reality World Tour. After all the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and ‘how did he do that’s are through, you will be left with a sense of awe and a new curiosity into the mysterious world of illusion.

Rev it up for those feisty Jets

Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 23, 25, 27, 28
MTS Centre

The good old hockey game brings the roar to the crowd when the Winnipeg Jets take on the Colorado Avalanche on November 23 and 28, the Washington Capitals on November 25, the Minnesota Wild on the 27th. As always, tickets are limited, so grab what you can before they’re all gobbled up. And there’s plenty of pre- and post-game action at surrounding pubs, clubs and eateries like The PintShark Club,The Met, and Tavern United.

Take a scary, unsettling thrill ride at Butcher

Butcher at PTE

Nov 19 to Dec 6
Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg

Who is the Butcher? On Christmas Eve, at a police station, a mysterious old man is found wearing a foreign military uniform and a Santa hat, with a meat hook dangling around his neck and a note saying “Arrest me.” As a lawyer, a police officer, and a translator struggle to unravel the truth, they uncover a past that won’t stay buried, and a decades-old quest for justice that must be served. Haunted by events a world away, no one is who they seem to be.

Start the season with a night of lights

Night of Lights Parade & Tree Lighting

November 27

The holiday season hasn’t officially started in Altona until the lights have been lit and the town has gathered for their annual Night of Lights Parade. After the parade, join in for all the festivities including caroling, roasting wieners over a roaring bonfire, and savouring a cup of hot chocolate with neighbours and friends.

Celebrate 100 years of the vote

November 5, 2015 to April 10, 2016
Manitoba Museum

On January 28, 1916, the Manitoba Legislature amended the Manitoba Election Act and for the first time in Manitoba’s history, some (but not all) women could vote in provincial elections. With the 100th anniversary of this event, the Manitoba Museum’s brand new exhibit, “Nice Women Don’t Want the Vote,” outlines the causes, contradictions and people involved. Don’t miss this unique glimpse into the suffragist movement!

Reconnect with an old fairytale favourite

Eaton's Fairytale Vignettes

November 14, 2015 to January 3, 2016
Children’s Museum

What was your favourite childhood fairy tale? If you enjoyed classics like Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice, you will be delighted and charmed by the Children’s Museum’s favourite holiday exhibit. The last original Eaton’s Fairytale Vignette Display from the ninth floor annex of Eaton’s downtown store is now fully restored and open to the public, for a limited time only!

Find universal resonance in one man’s story

Wiesenthal at MTC

Nov 18 to Dec 5
Tom Hendry Warehouse, Winnipeg

Told with wit, wisdom and an open heart, Wiesenthal is the compelling true story of an ordinary man who devoted his life to one extraordinary mission. After surviving the Holocaust with his family destroyed but his humanity intact, Simon Wiesenthal spent 58 years tracking Nazi war criminals, bringing more than 1,100 to justice. His mission came at a personal cost but as a survivor, he was committed to planting the seeds of a better future in honour of those left behind.