Although I may have briefly mislead some Instagram followers with my up close photo of a polar bear the other day, we did not in fact take the long trip up north to Churchill, Manitoba. Those not familiar with Canadian cities and provinces may be interested to know that although Winnipeg is in the same province as the world famous polar bear capitol of the world, Churchill, it's no short commute. To travel between destinations your options are to travel by plane, car or bus to Thompson and then a train the rest of the way, or on a train right from Winnipeg. That train ride will last up to 40 hours (depending on unexpected stops, which are common) and will cost quite a bit. Even for us, it is a trip that needs to be carefully planned and saved for.
Churchill is on our Canadian travel wish list, without a doubt! I feel it's my duty as a Manitoban to explore our diverse province as much as possible. My ultimate goal is to visit Churchill during the beluga whale migration in the summer. Visitors can even have the chance to swim with the whales in the arctic waters! What do you think, could the kids handle that kind of vacation too?
Until we can enjoy the real deal, let me offer a preview with a visit to the Journey to Churchill northern species exhibit and conservation centre in Winnipeg. There you'll find Polar bears (and cubs!), arctic foxes, muskoxen, caribou, wolves, seals and owls. With large open enclosures bordered by natural landscaping and glass observation windows, it's not difficult to imagine you are in a northern habit. We have a family membership to the Assiniboine Park Zoo and have enjoyed this exhibit during the summer, but it's on a mild winter day that the experience really shines. If you're in the city - you really have to pull on some warm clothes and spend the day getting a preview of Northern Manitoba right here in Winnipeg!