Besides the aforementioned symphony treat, we managed to squeeze a few other nice experiences into our Winnipeg stop. First there was Noah's birthday, which we celebrated by going out for dinner with my sister and then enjoying cake back at her wonderful apartment. It was quite a cake, too!
We really liked the Manitoba Museum. My favourite museum ever is the top floor of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, but this smaller set of galleries rates pretty highly too.
The Science Gallery in Winnipeg was the smallest science centre we've ever been to but the exhibits were well chosen and more than enough to keep the kids occupied until closing time. The K'nex slot-car track was especially fun. Noah had the physics down, quickly and intuitively figuring out how he could modify the suggested basic design to gain mechanical advantage, but Sophie and I had the treachery advantage when we modified our car with outriggers designed to swipe other cars out of their tracks:
The next day we went to the Royal Canadian Mint where coinage is produced for Canada as well as many other nations. This gold bar weighed 28 pounds, not including the chain that secures it to the display. Notice that Noah is sporting a lovely fleece jacket labelled "Jasper Canada." Remember how my kids packed for themselves and forgot a few things? Noah was lucky that he needed a new fleece jacket this year anyway, so he was rescued from the cold by this purchase in Jasper.
We had to return the van and then wait for the train, but the weather was beautiful and it was absolutely no hardship to spend a few hours wandering around The Forks area. We tried looking for three geocaches and only found one, but blue skies and interesting bridges, historic architecture and fresh air were more than enough to keep us happy.
We were extremely impressed by the richness of the arts and culture scene in Winnipeg. A professional opera, ballet and symphony, all with big busy seasons, as well as countless theatres and galleries, a beautiful museum and a strong sense of history, all in a city of just over half a million. If it weren't so flat ... and cold ... and mosquito-ridden ...
It seems you can't have it all.