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Holiday Traditions in Winnipeg: Festive Celebrations and Events

As winter descends upon Winnipeg, the city comes alive with the warm and festive spirit of the holiday season. With a rich cultural tapestry and a strong sense of community, Winnipeg boasts a variety of unique holiday traditions and events that bring joy and merriment to residents and visitors alike. Let’s explore some of the enchanting holiday traditions that make Winnipeg a special place during the winter season.

Zoo Lights at Assiniboine Park:  

Zoo Lights is making a comeback at Assiniboine Park Zoo, dazzling visitors with stunning light exhibits, delicious hearty food to keep you cozy, and the delightful presence of Santa and his festive companions wandering around to spread joy. This year, tickets will remain date and time-specific to maintain smaller crowds, giving everyone the chance for a photo with Santa. Exciting additions include giant illuminated dominos, a sprawling light maze, and a unique Sensory Night scheduled for December 6, ensuring an inclusive and magical experience for all attendees.

Canad Inns Winter Wonderland

Get ready for the Canad Inns Winter Wonderland at Red River Exhibition Park, running from December 1 to January 6. This drive-through experience, requiring tickets, offers a mesmerizing 2.5 km route adorned with millions of lights. With over 30 fresh displays and unexpected delights, it’s a spectacle not to be missed. Bring your skates for a twirl on the radiant rink, and don’t miss out on the array of food and photo spots available throughout the event.

Santa in the Forest

If you miss the Santa Claus Parade, you can still experience Santa in the Forest at FortWhyte Alive on December 3 (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Take professional photos with Santa and share your holiday wishes in FortWhyte’s wintery forest!


The annual Nutcracker by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will grace the stage, showcasing over 100 dancers. Catch the shows on December 21, 22, 23 (two performances), 26, 28, 29, and 30. As part of the storytelling magic, the RWB invited special guests to share the stage in Manitoba’s favourite holiday tradition, Nutcracker!

Holiday Season with the WSO

This season, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) presents two delightful film score-accompaniment events. On November 25 and 26, join in as your kids sing along to “Let It Go” while the WSO accompanies Olaf and friends in Disney’s Academy Award-winning Frozen. Then, mark your calendar for December 8 and 9 when James Cann returns in the star-studded film Buddy – Elf! – with the WSO performing John Debney’s score.

These are just a few of the many holiday traditions and events that make Winnipeg a special place to be during the winter season. Whether you’re exploring the dazzling lights of The Canad Inns Winter Wonderland, enjoying the beauty of Nutcracker, or experiencing the magic of the Zoo Lights, Winnipeg’s holiday celebrations are sure to fill your heart with festive joy and a sense of community that embodies the true spirit of the season.