Get fired up
Food just tastes better when you're eating it off a plate you designed and painted yourself. OK, maybe it doesn't actually taste better, but it's a pretty cool idea. At Brush Fire Contemporary Ceramic Studio (20-1700 Corydon Avenue) you can pick from a variety of bowls, plates, cups, and more, and paint them yourself. Just choose a design, or pick a stencil, and get to work. Brush Fire will then fire and glaze the piece for you and you'll have your very own ceramic masterpiece in about a week. Studio time is $8 per hour, but design time is free.
The Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is taking a cue from Guy Maddin with its new exhibition, the My Winnipeg Project. Taking the title from the 2007 Maddin film of the same name, the exhibition runs until March 17, showcasing different artists' take on our city. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, the My Winnipeg Project features Jeff Funnell, KC Adams, Daphne Odjig, and many more artists. Admission is free. Find Plug In at 1-460 Portage Avenue.
It's just after the holidays and, like many, I'm back on the healthy-eating bandwagon trying to get rid of the ham hocks that seem to have attached themselves to my legs. It can be hard, though. Temptation is everywhere and let's face it: burgers are tempting for a reason. They're delicious. This is why Unburger (472 Stradbrook Avenue) is one of my favourite guilt-free spots to grab a bite to eat. The restaurant is small, but the premise is sheer diet genius: burgers made with local, healthy ingredients so you can indulge your tastebuds, not your waistline.
Indulge your sweet tooth
Mercato Gelato, located at 3-230 Osborne Street, is about as close as you can get to full sweet treat overload. Mercato offers 72 flavours of gelato and sorbetto, plus specialty desserts that include things like amaretto ice cream balls with cherry centres and hazelnut ice cream shaped into a pear and dipped in chocolate. Once you find a flavour you like, and believe me, you will, they offer two different sized tubs for you to take the indulgence home.
Get jiggy with it
Once you've satisfied your sweet tooth at Mercato, head through the door to 9's Karaoke. For $39 per hour, or $129 for three hours with free food and drinks, you can book a room for up to 13 people and sing your heart out with your friends -- and no one else. Bubble tea, chicken wings, popcorn, pizza, and other party foods are available. 9's also offers a larger room for a more hearty party. Just make sure to book in advance as they fill up quickly on weekends.
Get some (Os)born(e)-again treasures
There's a goldmine here in Winnipeg, and you could drive right by it without knowing it. The Mulvey Flea Market is 12,000 square feet of vendors selling everything. Toys, furniture, clothes, collectibles, knick-knacks, and more are all available weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If eBay and an antique store had a beautiful child, Mulvey would be it. It's located at 421 Mulvey Avenue, just off Osborne Street, in a plain, red brick building. The entrance is at the back of the building with very little signage, so it can be a bit of an adventure in itself finding it, but it's well worth it.
Every Tuesday, put on some sparkly pants, break out the headbands, and pick out those afros for Soul Night! at The Cavern. Located in Toad in the Hole Pub at 112 Osborne Street, Soul Night! offers live funk and soul bands starting at 9 p.m. This Tuesday, Dr. Hotbottom & The Soul Rx will be pumping out the tunes. Bring some friends, have a drink, and let Soul Night! take you down to funky town.