Wow, the Christmas season is coming in fast and furiously full of twinkling, sparkling lights. We might not have the usual amount of snow on the ground, or chill in the air, 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…

Be moved by a musical masterpiece

Handel’s Glorious Messiah

Dec 4 to 5
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.

Let the lights put you in the holiday spirit

Manitoba Agricultural Museum: Winter Wonderland

Dec 5 to 6
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

Canad Inns Winter Wonderland

Dec 4 to Jan 2
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

A Dickens Christmas at Fort la Reine

Dec 5
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

Santa in the Forest at FortWhyte Alive

Dec 6
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.

See how bright the Christmas lights shine

Island of Lights

Dec 4 to Jan 7
Portage la Prairie

The brightest spot in Portage la Prairie is Island Park during the Hydro Power Smart Island of Lights. Make your way through Manitoba’s longest running drive through light show – or make the evening more memorable with a hayride.

Party at the WAG

Winnipeg Art Gallery Holiday Party

Dec 5
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Get festive with your family at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Holiday Party! With a host of games, music, hot chocolate, and cookies, the WAG elves will be on hand to help you create your own artful decorations. The RWB’s lovable mascot, Filbert the Bear, will be there and you will also have a chance to see Filbert in action by winning free tickets to this year’s production of Nutcracker. Don’t forget your camera to take a picture with Santa! This FREE event runs from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. 

Discover exceptional art

First Fridays in the Exchange: Tiny Feast.

Photo via tiny feast, a lovely little stationery and gift store.

Dec 4
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 Ranch

Open daily
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

Stonewall Festival of Lights Parade in Manitoba

Dec 4

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.

See Alice through the looking glass


Nov 25 to Dec 19
John Hirsch Mainstage, Winnipeg

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.

Go on a musical journey with the kids

Dec 3 to 27
Manitoba Theatre for Young People, The Forks

Don’t miss this heartwarming musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic, James and the Giant Peach, featuring larger than life characters in a wonderful adventure for the whole family!

Rev it up for those feisty Jets

Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 2, 5
MTS Centre

The good old hockey game brings the roar to the crowd when the Winnipeg Jets take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 2 and the Washington Capitals on December 5. 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.

Rejuvenate and relax at the spa

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature

Wouldn’t a day spent at a luxurious spa be just the ticket? Experience relaxation in a whole new way at the outdoor Scandinavian style oasis, Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature or escape to Ten Spa at Hotel Fort Garry for a self-detox Hamam. The Riverstone Spa is an ideal (and very serene) option after a day of exploring The Forks. If you’d like to relax outside of the city limits, head north to Elkhorn Resort on the edge of Riding Mountain National Park.

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.

Tap your toes to Amero’s holiday odes

Don Amero's Amero Little Christmas

Dec 5
West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

“We all know there’s something magical about Christmas and my hope is to capture some of that and put it into a show.” For the love of holiday music and good community vibes, join Winnipeg’s own Don Amero for his annual Christmas concert. No grinches allowed!

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.

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.

Bust a Wheat Kings move in Brandon

Brandon Wheat Kings

Dec 4, 5
Keystone Centre, Brandon

Hit the road and go west to catch the Brandon Wheat Kings take on the Regina Pats on December 4 and the Saskatoon Blades on December 5.

Be enveloped in human stories at CMHR

The Forks and Canadian Museum for Human Rights with with Max Muench (@muenchmax)

Open Tue to Sun
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Forks

Contemplate inspring stories of struggle and triumph at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This new national museum strives to create inspiring encounters with human rights, by engaging you in an immersive, interactive experience that offers both the inspiration and tools to make a difference in the lives of others.

While there, check out the exhibit Peace. Discover how we can obtain and protect peace; how we organize and demonstrate to demand it; and, sometimes, how we fight to achieve it.

Reconnect with an old fairytale favourite

Eaton's Fairytale Vignettes

Nov 14 to Jan 3
Children’s Museum, Winnipeg

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!

Get your glow on

Manitoba Electrical Museum

Nov 23 to Dec 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.

Got a tip for a future Hot this week? Send us your suggestion and it might just make the list! Comment below or tweet us @travelmanitoba.