Top 5 things to do in Winnipeg this weekend

It’s the perfect time to dust off the Sorels and actually venture outside. From coffee and people watching in the Exchange to a day of free winter sports at Fort Whyte, there’s a lot to do.

Check out JD Edwards at Times Change(d), Jane Eyre at RMTC or pizza in St. Vital

The JD Edwards Band is playing Times Change(d) on Main Street this weekend. (JD Edwards Band)

Finally, a little warmth! This weekend should be a lot toastier than the past few, with temperatures expected to rise to between -3 to -5 C on Friday and Saturday.

That means it’s the perfect time to dust off the Sorels and actually venture outside. From coffee and people watching in the Exchange to a day of free winter sports at Fort Whyte, there’s a lot to do.

WHAT: MUSIC – JD Edwards at Times Change(d)

When: Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Where: Times Change(d) at 234 Main St.

Cost: $10

Oh geez. This is going to be a nice weekend at Times Change(d). The lovely boys in The JD Edwards Band are taking over the intimate venue for two nights this weekend, with their special brand of soulful folk music.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what genre these guys fit into, but it’s really easy to enjoy them. They’re basically a slightly country version of Mumford and Sons, with some exceptional vocals from JD Edwards.

If you’re down with Van Morrison or Martin Sexton, you’ll have a great time seeing six-piece outfit do a few sets on Friday or Saturday night.

Bring a friend who’s not afraid to dance because after a beer or two, you’ll definitely want to.


When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre at 174 Market Ave.

Cost: $25 and up

So here’s a thing that’s happening. The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is opening its stage rendition of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre on Friday.

If you’re totally uninitiated, Jane Eyre is a book written by a lady in the 1840s that looks at a bunch of important themes like classism, sexism, racism and sexuality but is mainly just about a young woman falling in love with her much older male boss.

The ballet and the symphony have been a little quiet in recent weeks, so this could be a good option if you’re looking for something semi-fancy to do with someone who is into romancy stuff.

WHAT: COFFEE – Parlour Coffee

When: Saturday, Jan. 11

Where: Parlour Coffee at 468 Main St.

Cost: $5-$10

It’s going to warm up to a balmy -5 C on Saturday, so it’s time to ditch the giant onesie and your stuffy apartment and go to the Exchange District.

The area is teeming with local businesses that sell art, jewelery, vintage duds, records and perhaps best of all, warm meals and cold pints. (If you’re new to the city, McDermot Avenue has a good mix of shops.)
Check out Parlour Coffee and the rest of the Exchange District this weekend as Winnipeg warms up. (Jason & Emilie)

If you’re going to do the Exchange circuit though, the first place on your list should be Parlour Coffee for a latte and some people watching.

The locally-owned café is stocked with great beans, friendly staff and a bunch of baked goods from Tall Grass bakery and Jonnies Sticky Buns.

It doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so it’s not a place to park your Mac all day and catch up on emails. It does, however, have a giant window with outward facing seating so you can people-watch to your heart’s content.

And, because it’s a bit warmer this weekend, there may actually be a few people to watch.

WHAT: FOOD – Pizza at Santa Ana

When: Friday or Saturday night until 9 p.m.

Where: Santa Ana Pizzeria at 1631 St Mary's Rd.  

Cost: About $15-$25 per dish

Since there isn’t a lot going on in the city in terms of events, this would be a good weekend to head down to St. Vital for some wood-fired pizza at Santa Ana.

The bad news is the tiny pizzeria has extremely limited hours. They’re only open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weeknights and Saturdays, and you can typically only get a table with a reservation a few days in advance.

But the good news is the pizza is delicious, and the tiny Italian restaurant has a ton of options for toppings including everything from eggplant to artichoke hearts to fontina cheese. Not to mention their impressive wine menu.

It’s the kind of dark, candle-lit place that makes you hungry as soon as you walk in, and it’s worth the drive out to the ‘burbs to check it out.

It’s also very affordable – you could conceivably share a $13 pizza between two people, but I’d order an appetizer to start if you’re going that route.

WHAT: ACTIVITY – Snowtrek at Fort Whyte Alive

When: Sunday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Fort Whyte Alive at 1961 McCreary Rd.

Cost: FREE

Decent temperatures are expected to hold through Sunday, so it’ll be a nice day to go check out Fort Whyte Alive.
Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing for free at Fort Whyte Alive this weekend. (Troy Wayrynen/The Associated Press)

The wildlife preserve is having a free admission day, and offering free cross-country ski rentals as well as guided snow-shoe hikes. If that’s not your thing, you can go skating on one of their frozen lakes.

Once you’re done, you can buy some hot chocolate and warm up in the discovery centre.

They even have buffalo you can gawk at for a while before you head home.

Dress warm, bring someone who won’t complain about cold fingers or toes and plan to enjoy bragging rights for most-Manitoban person in your office for at least a week.


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