A prairie exploration

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There are also some great stories behind the Manitoba Legislature Building < > , an impressive structure topped with the city's iconic "Golden Boy" statue (a little bit of random trivia: the figure is actually 17.2-feet tall, weighs 3,640 pounds and is covered in 24-carat gold).

Within the building, there are also two life-size bison statues guarding the grand staircase, each weighing two-and-a-half tonnes. Legend has it that in order to prevent the marble floors from being scratched during installation, the main floor was flooded with water and frozen, then both statues were slid in on slabs of ice cut from the Assiniboine River.

When you've had your fill of architecture and history, head south, towards Osborne Village and Corydon Avenue, two of the city's hippest 'hoods, for a bite to eat and shopping. These areas have happening restaurants, like Wasabi Sushi Bistro (their Prairie Fire roll, with spicy tuna, grilled red peppers, zucchini and tempura crumbs is fabulous) and some great boutiques like Silver Lotus < > .

If you'd rather get a breath of fresh air, pack a picnic and rent a bike from Bee2gether Bikes < > (they offer cruisers, tandems, buggies and other creative contraptions to get you from point A to point B) at the Assiniboine Park < , an 1,100 acre lush, urban oasis. The park features a forest, zoo, pavilion, English gardens, miniature railway and an outdoor theatre for the performing arts.

Catch a game

While the hottest tickets in town will clearly be those for the as-yet-unnamed NHL team (let's just call them The Jets, okay?), there are a few other games worth checking out. The Goldeyes < > baseball games always draw a crowd (beer + sun = fun, as long as you remember the bug spray!), and they play at the Shaw Stadium, which is just downtown. Football fans can also get their fill of their favourite sport and watch the CFL team, the Blue Bombers < >, toss the pigskin around.

While Winnipeg does have to deal with cold weather, flooding, and mosquitoes, there's much more to this prairie province than first meets the eye, and plenty of reasons to pull over the next time you're just passing through!

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