Whether you're in the mood to embrace the weather or simply escape it briefly, start a new holiday tradition or give back to the community, there's plenty happening around the city this weekend to keep you busy.

Give some time

What: Many people (myself included) quickly tire of the endless rushing and spending that often comes with the holiday season. So why not break the cycle and try to give back in a different way this weekend? While by no means exhaustive, here are some organizations that could use a helping hand this month:

Can Man Dan

Dan Johnstone, AKA "Can Man Dan", camped out for three days earlier this week to collect donations for the Edmonton Food Bank. (Gary Moore/CBC)

And don’t forget about the annual CBC Turkey Drive!

Escape from winter

What: Oh the weather outside is weather … but Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory is offering up considerably friendlier climates… now, with poinsettias! If you’re really wanting a reprieve from the cold, grab a meal at Culina and take a book with you to make a day of your pyramid adventure. Tours of all four pyramids (currently: arid, tropical, temperate and Jack Frost) are offered every Saturday and Sunday Hours. More information on tickets and tours is available here.

Winspear celebrates Christmas

What: The Strathcona String Quartet and Edmonton Youth Choir will join the Pro Coro Canada choir Sunday afternoon for a special Christmas concert featuring the music of Cesar Franck, Antonio Vivaldi and Camille Saint-Saens. Voted one of Canada’s top 13 classical christmas concerts, the event is an annual favourite.  Tickets are now available at the Winspear Box Office.

When? December 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Christmas round up

What: With only 10 days until Christmas, there are plenty of festive-themed activities happening around the city. Here are my top three picks for this weekend:

Edmonton Nutcracker Ballet

A viewing of Alberta Ballet's The Nutcracker is a holiday staple for many families. (Trudie Lee/Alberta Ballet)

Go for a skate

What: The city will open its new rink at Hawrelak Park Friday, temporarily replacing the usual lake rink which is under construction in preparation for the Grand Final triathlon in 2014. The new skating rink, complete with a heated trailer and washroom facilities, is in the southeast corner of the park. Rinks are also open at Victoria Park and the Legislature grounds. More information on skating rinks operated by the city is available here.