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The new Lego store in West Edmonton Mall on Nov. 18, 2020.JASON FRANSON/Lego

The Lego Store’s new location at West Edmonton Mall is its third largest in North America, 600 square metres stocked with the Danish brand’s complete portfolio of bricks and other bits. The expansive space features several jaw-dropping displays including a Lego Lamborghini and an extensive pick-a-brick wall staffed by brick specialists.

Ahead of the holidays, there are sets of all themes to add to your wish list, from popular Star Wars character The Child to the Colosseum in Rome (with 9,036 pieces, it’s Lego’s largest set to date). “Lego inspires creativity and imagination. There’s so much learning that is also involved with our Lego play,” says Miranda Maclean, the location’s manager. “Although you may get a set with instructions, that set will evolve over time with the little ones and they can really use those bricks to build whatever their imagination tells them to build. The possibilities are endless.”

Offering a nostalgic distraction during the long winter ahead, Lego may very well be reconnecting with some childhood fans who’ve entered their adult years. “We have many sets that are actually labelled 18 plus because they are expert sets. They have higher piece counts, they’re a little more technical,” says Maclean. What’s more, many of their sets come with multiple instruction booklets so several household members can work on building at the same time. “It really brings people together.”

Lego Store, West Edmonton Mall, 8882-170th St., Edmonton, 780-444-2490, lego.com.

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Lego Star Wars The Child Set, $80.

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Lego Creator Colosseum, $550.

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Lego Art Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, $120.

Style news

With in-person visits off the holiday menu this year, companies are offering ways to virtually connect with the spirit of the season. Sook is a Google Chrome browser extension that connects online shoppers with the e-commerce stores of local businesses. It’s recently launched in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Winnipeg with more than 100 businesses. Connecting with home decor lovers across the country is Livingspace. The Vancouver design destination has launched online shopping for its international brands, which include Flos, Knoll and Herman Miller. And Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga is offering virtual encounters with Saint Nick through its Story Time with Santa series. The hourlong experience includes a special package delivered from the North Pole filled with festive goodies including a a gingerbread house decorating kit.

Fitness community City Shred has teamed up with George Sully, founder of Black Designers of Canada, as well as six coaches and motivators from across the country, on the One Community Shoe, a new design in support of the Children’s Aid Foundation. All net proceeds from the One Community Shoe will be donated to the foundation’s work in addressing systemic issues and supporting over-represented BIPOC children in child welfare. The black canvas shoe is also available in a customized option featuring symbols of peace, love and BLM hand-painted by a local youth artist. For more information, visit city-shred.com.

Winnipeg outerwear label Tough Duck has recently released Tough Duck Black, a limited-edition collection of outerwear featuring reflective detailing to keep wearers safely seen after dark. The collection is designed and sewn in downtown Winnipeg’s garment district using European fabrics and PrimaLoft Black Insulation ThermoPlume, an animal-friendly, hydrophobic, specialty microfibre insulation that keeps its warmth even when it’s wet. For more information, visit toughduckblack.com.

Three local hospitality, fashion and visual arts companies have teamed up on a unique attraction for the holiday season. The Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto has partnered with The Fitzroy dress rentals and the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit on a staycation package. Scheduled to kick off Dec. 21, regulations permitting, the package includes a one-night stay in a Fairmont Gold room, two premium tickets to the exhibit and a dress rental experience from Fitzroy. Bookings are available to until the end of February. For more information, visit fairmont.com.

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