Travel

Family routes: Winnipeg

Author: Canadian Living

Travel

Family routes: Winnipeg

Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, boasts more than 130 days of festivals every year, from the largest winter festival in Western Canada (Le Festival du Voyageur in February) to the largest and longest-running multicultural event in the world (Folklorama in August).

Home to 685,000 Canadians, Winnipeg is the geographic centre of Canada. Tourists will find much to do inside Winnipeg, from a guided historical tour of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers aboard the Splash Dash Water Bus to a day of shopping at the Forks Market. And when you feel it's time to shake the city in favour of this province's rural charm, you won't have to travel far.

A Maze in Corn
Ten minutes south of Winnipeg you'll find A Maze in Corn, an elaborately designed corn maze that can easily provide an afternoon of fun for the entire family. The maze theme changes every year and within the maze itself are scavenger hunts related to the theme. Once you've gone through the maze, check out the farm-related events attached to the maze: a hayride, a pumpkin barn (open in early October), a bale pyramid and a petting zoo. Because the maze is dependent on the corn crop, opening and closing dates are seasonal and variable, but the maze usually opens in mid-August and runs until some time in October.

TIP: Corn mazes are fun at any time, but ratchet up the fun factor by running the maze at night, using flashlights to navigate.

Steinbach Mennonite Heritage Village
Heading east out of Winnipeg on Highway 1, just 45 minutes from downtown Winnipeg, you'll find the Steinbach Mennonite Heritage Village. This 16-hectare museum complex is two-and-a-half kilometres from the actual city of Steinbach and is comprised of 37 buildings that tell the story and history of a Mennonite community in the prairies. Travel back in time to watch a windmill grinding grain or see a blacksmith at work.

Must try: Mennonite food
Come to the Steinbach Mennonite Heritage Village for the cultural experience, but don't leave before you try hearty Mennonite food: old-fashioned candy, borscht, homemade bread, vereniki and Mennonite sausage.

Where are you going this summer? Discuss your travel plans with other readers in our forums!

Image courtesy of A Maze in Corn

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Next stop: Dugald
Less than a 30-minute drive from downtown Winnipeg is the community of Dugald, Manitoba, better known as home to the Costume Museum of Canada. Spend an afternoon looking through 400 years' worth of fashion, including garments worn by everyday Canadians through history -- a must-see for the family fashionistas.

Lower Fort Garry
A half-hour north of downtown Winnipeg, visit Lower Fort Garry, a National Historic Site of Canada. This is the oldest stone fur-trading post still intact in North America; costumed guides take visitors back the 1850s and the early days of the fur trade.

Folklorama
Running from August 6 to 19, 2006, Folklorama spreads out through Winnipeg in permanent venues that represent cultures across the globe. Taste the food and experience the culture of Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland and many other countries over this two-week multicultural event. Admission is free for kids 12 and under.

Winnipeg International Mural Festival
In addition to Winnipeg's usual summer fare, this year the city will host the Winnipeg International Mural Festival from July 7 to August 27. Featuring the artwork of five local, three national and two international mural artists, this event is free to the public on the donation of a nonperishable food item. The festival murals will be displayed throughout Winnipeg and will join the more than 400 murals already adorning Winnipeg buildings. Workshops and forums on public art will be available to the public.

For more information on what to see and do in and around Winnipeg, take a virtual trip to the following sites:

Destination Winnipeg
City of Steinbach
Steinbach Mennonite Heritage Village
Costume Museum of Canada
Lower Fort Garry
A Maze in Corn
The Murals of Winnipeg
Folklorama

Where are you going this summer? Discuss your travel plans with other readers in our forums!

Image courtesy of A Maze in Corn

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Family routes: Winnipeg

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