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First skate

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It's cold outside. Like really, really cold. But it's important that you don't let that stop you from staying cooped up in your home or office all week. The Forks has opened up its skating rink under the canopy -- a great place to get active and spend the afternoon with family and friends. This smaller skating rink can also be your practice area for the river trail, which opens shortly. While you're already at The Forks, you can checkout the unique holiday-themed artifacts and specialty food items that its vendors carry during this time of year.

History lesson

Given the recent success of Olympica-bound Jennifer Jones and her curling teammates, it may be worth brushing up on your curling knowledge. Until January 12, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, at 145 Pacific Ave., is displaying The Roaring Game Exhibit: 125 Years of Manitoba Curling History. Learn all about the rich history of curling in Manitoba so that you can be better informed when our women's team represents Canada at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It's open10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is only $5 for adults, $4 for youth, and $3 for children and seniors.

Commercials rock

Commercials are usually nothing more than an interruption during the rare moments we have to relax and unwind. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is anything but an interruption. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is the perfect venue for this culturally-enriching event where you are sure to be fascinated by the variety of ways that advertisers from every end of the globe choose to entice consumers. It runs Dec. 18-20 at 7 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for non-member and $12 for members and students. You can go online and purchase yours at wag.ca or stop by the WAG.

It's alive

Well she's not exactly alive but she was thousands of years ago. Right now in Winnipeg, for the first time in 45 years, a real mummy is visiting the Manitoba Museum along with more than 60 ancient Egyptian artifacts, CT scans and forensic facial reconstructions of Egyptian mummies. Pesed, the feature mummy of this exhibit, is believed to have lived 2,300 years ago. You can learn more about Pesed and ancient Egyptian culture from now until Jan. 10. Visit manitobamuseum.ca for museum hours and admission prices.

Snowsicles

You don't have to have a bad relationship with snow. There are many ways that you and your family can enjoy the winter season and the blanket of white that comes along with it. One great idea is to turn the snow on your property into your own personal candy maker. Heres what to do: Take a cookie sheet, head into your yard and cover the sheet in a fresh layer of snow (avoid the yellow areas). Head inside and bring to boil two cups of maple syrup. Pour the maple syrup in lines on your snow pan. Wait 30 seconds and then role the maple syrup around a popsicle stick and voila, snowsicles.

Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is a staple of the holiday season for many families. Every year, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet puts on this spectacular Christmas story that features ballerinas of all ages and music by The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet offers special ticket prices for kids so they can be entertained by this captivating story, too. Opening night is Dec. 19, but there will be several performances until Dec. 29. Visit the website: http://www.rwb.org/nutcracker

Sing-a-long

Want to prove to your neighbors that you are the next Christina Aguilera or Justin Timberlake? Gather up some friends and spread the holiday cheer by caroling. And who says you have to sing the traditional, Christmas-themed tunes? Try being original by belting out some Beyonce or even some Drake. No matter what you celebrate over the holidays, singing is a great way to bring people together and if you're lucky, maybe you have a particularly musical friend or family member who can join in the fun with a guitar or another instrument. Search for the lyrics to your favorite songs on the internet and away you go.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2013 A2

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