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Where is the world’s highest concentration of snakes?

In the city of Winnipeg, the capital of the province of Manitoba, stands the iconic and architecturally beautiful Human Rights Museum adding to Manitoba’s charm as a very family-friendly destination. In layman’s terms, this usually entails that your kids decide where you go. Nothing exciting happens in a human rights museum for children even if as parents we want to educate our children in these matters. So instead we will focus our attention on something Canada indeed excels at, and children will love – Aerospace. Manitoba has established itself as a major Aerospace hub in Western Canada. So, let’s embark on a virtual journey to an intriguing, yet underappreciated Aviation Museum. The tour video hosted from a child’s perspective is sure to make this visit both informative and engaging. 

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Aviation Museum, Human Rights Museum

AI enhanced John Morris curler

"The feeling of making a perfect shot in curling is indescribable.”

Curling is a uniquely intriguing sport, drawing a large number of viewers from largely northern countries like Canada, Scotland, and Scandinavia, even if most of these viewers will refuse to admit that they watch the sport when confronted. Comparably, it’s akin to shuffleboard on a cruise ship, but instead, it’s on ice. A team feverishly sweeps to manage the stone’s speed and direction, while the one who throws the stone repeatedly shouts ‘sweep’. The passion and rhythm of the game are nearly impossible to mimic in mundane house chores that use the same broom as curlers! Curling athletes, like John Morris, are known to consistently echo similar phrases, so even if we can’t directly credit him with the opening quote, chances are at some point in his career, he’s said something along those lines.

Originally hailing from Manitoba, Canada, John Morris is a storied curling champion who now resides in Canmore, British Columbia. In the realm of competitive sports in Canada, two disciplines reign supreme regardless of gender – curling and ice hockey. While Canadian sports coverage tends to embrace each athlete’s perseverance and personal bests, curling becomes an exceptional spectacle given its unparalleled national dominance. Consequently, many find themselves entranced by the sport, believing it’s a feat anyone can accomplish. That is until they’ve had to lift the weighty stones and fervently sweep the ice without losing balance – a realization that swiftly dispels the initial illusions around the sport’s simplicity.

When in Winnipeg visit the Granite Curling Club. This will allow you to accomplish 3 must-do’s on any vacation; visit a historical site and take a picture, go on a city tour, in this case, a scavenger hunt, and learn to do something unique to the local culture, in this case curl.  How efficient is that? If you just want to sit on your couch we’ve included a curling lesson here.

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Curling, John Morris, Granite Curling Club

A Big Fat Greek Wedding as imagined by AI

"What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I make lamb"

Canadian-born author, Nia Vardalos, portrays the joys and challenges of being children to immigrant parents through her 2002 movie created in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The film resonates deeply with children of immigrants who can identify with the comedic and heartbreaking aspects of balancing their parents’ cultural heritage with the new norms of the country they were born into. Such portrayal also acknowledges the strength of immigrant parents who, driven by a desire to provide better opportunities for their children, often struggle with the sorrow of feeling displaced between two worlds while belonging to neither. This feeling, experienced by many immigrants who were forced to leave their motherland due to unavoidable circumstances, is poignantly and humorously depicted in the movie.

The quote above draws from a time in Greece when many could only afford meat during Christmas and Easter, using lamb or pork. Immigrants leaving this life behind saw a meat-filled diet as a success symbol when they moved to North America. This quote might seem disrespectful but it brings a smile to this author. Humor often varies across cultures — what’s humorous to one person might fall flat for another. Watching this movie, you might feel awkward thinking about how your parents appear to others. Yet, you might also appreciate having such family-oriented parents, despite their beliefs feeling foreign. Such an upbringing encourages exceptional tolerance for other cultures, as the children have to be exceptionally tolerant of their seemingly out-of-place parents and vice-versa. Any immigrant in North America can laugh when watching this film, regardless of their origin, and it’s all thanks to Manitoba.

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Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding,  Immigrant in North America

Test your Scruples in the Hasbro game. Someone you don't like invites you to an expensive restaurant you want to try. Do you go for the free meal?

"Someone you don't really like invites you for an expensive restaurant you'd love to try. Do you go just for the meal?"

Life is full of moral dilemmas, and when most of us experience them we usually do so in silence to not let anyone else find out. Then Winnipeg native Henry Makow came along and devised a way to be held accountable in a fun way by converting moral dilemmas into a board game called Scruples. This was back in 1984 and the game still does well, as it throws you into scenarios where you’re left to decide with a yes, no, or ‘depends’. Faced with dilemmas such as “You’re a guest and you accidentally break an expensive vase. What next?” it can either make or break friendships, particularly in today’s age of firm values. The game promises to test your comfort zone, thanks to the creativity of Manitoba!

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Scruples, Hasbro, Henry Makow

We promised you snakes and here they are. Let’s embark on a journey to a serene region perched right in the heart of Canada. It’s often overlooked, but for those weary of city life, it’s a breath of fresh air – and a terrifically peaceful hideaway from the unending city chaos. 

Consider booking a flight to Winnipeg around late April or early May. Now, Winnipeg (or as the locals fondly call it, ‘Winterpeg’) might not be a sprawling metropolis, but it holds its own charm as a cozy petite city. It even boasts the title of hosting Canada’s chilliest and windiest intersection. Upon arrival, you can rent a car and embark on a leisurely 130km drive (that’s nearly a 2-hour ride) to the breathtaking Pioneer Interlake Trail and its main attraction, the Narcisse Snake Den. Sure, you could opt for buses or trains, but nothing truly matches the magic of cruising along the undisturbed paths, especially in a world that’s often far too crowded. At the park, you’ll discover an array of scenic trails. However, the prime attraction here is undoubtedly the world’s largest known assembly of snakes (don’t worry they’re not poisonous!).

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Narcisse Snake Den, Pioneer Interlake Trail

Manitoba offers yet another unique treat for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. It’s the world’s best spot for seeing Polar Bears in their natural environment up close. An around 1000km trek north of Winnipeg resides the historic town of Churchill, the world’s hotspot for polar bears in their natural environment. The journey can be quite an escapade. If you’re keen on stories, set off on a road trip. But learn from the town’s regulars; they stick to airborne travels, as the small charter planes are quicker despite their turbulent features. Else, hop on a summer train from Winnipeg. Just don’t dare the winter train trip unless you enjoy freezing in stalled carriages. But remember, the weather in Winnipeg and Churchill are chalk and cheese. Winnipeg typically basks in balmy warmth during summer while Churchill keeps it cool with highs teetering in the late teens. So, dress for the occasion!

A word of the wise: treating a polar bear’s home as a tourist spot may not sit well with them. Imagine sitting in your living room, with a bunch of strangers staring you down, outstaying their welcome. Not pretty, right? Remember, these adorable behemoths are the largest land carnivores, and despite their teddy-like exterior, they’re built for speed and power. Sure, their innocent facade might be inviting, but triggering their wrath is no child’s play. Being on their turf means playing by their rules, so ensure you heed your guide to a tee. Don’t poke the bear, pun intended.

Have you ever wondered why Canadians always look so young and crisp? Maybe it’s because they live in Canada, which is notoriously chilly. Who needs pricey cryo treatments when you live in nature’s freezer?

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Churchill, Polar Bears

Aurora Borealis in Manitoba as envisioned by AI

Up north in Churchill, the polar bears share the spotlight with another natural wonder, the Northern Lights also known as the Aurora Borealis. In January, February, and March the night skies light up in vibrant shades of green and pink as if the skies are found in some distant galaxy. Of course, any country whose territory covers the Arctic Circle can see them, but that’s such a small part of the world. For 99% of global travelers, this becomes a one-in-a-lifetime sight to see.

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Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis

Of course, Manitoba has fine cuisine, but when in search of an alternative to the common hamburger, why not try a bison burger? Bison are large beasts that roam the plains whose meat is lean. Given their limited geographic range, these ingredients embody Manitoba’s unique culinary landscape. This means our usual practice of sharing globally accessible comfort food recipes takes a slight detour to simply the United States and Canada as Bison are not found in nature on other continents. When in Winnipeg, consider visiting the Tipsy Cow. Its captivating name speaks for itself when yearning for that Bison burger, even if a Bison is not a cow.

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Bison Burger, Tipsy Cow

Canadian Geographic, Shaw TV, Olympics.com, IMDB, Scruples the game, MacLeans, World Wild Life fund, Trip Advisor, Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen

Couch Potato Travel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Efficient travel summary
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