Your Guide to Manitoba Children’s Museum in Winnipeg

Play, Learn, Discover: Your Guide to Manitoba Children’s Museum in Winnipeg

Imagine a place where laughter echoes through whimsical exhibits, tiny hands eagerly explore, and young imaginations take flight. 

That’s the magic waiting for you at the Manitoba Children’s Museum, where the spirit of curiosity and the joy of discovery come together in a perfect symphony.

As a local, I’ve had the pleasure of diving into the wonders that this museum has to offer, and let me tell you, it’s not just a destination for kids — it’s an enchanting journey for the young and the young at heart. 

Join me as we embark on a virtual tour through the vibrant and captivating world of the Manitoba Children’s Museum, where each corner holds a treasure trove of excitement and learning.

About the Manitoba Children’s Museum 


Address: 45 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4T6, Canada

Contact number: 204 924 4000 

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:30 – 4:30 pm 

For over 35 years, the Manitoba Children’s Museum has been a cherished non-profit children’s charity dedicated to serving families. 

Nestled within the walls of the oldest surviving train repair facility in Manitoba, the museum stands as a testament to its rich history.

With a profound commitment to fostering the potential of every child, the Children’s Museum provides an engaging and interactive learning environment. 

Here, the power of imagination is nurtured, and the spirit of self-discovery is celebrated. It’s not just a place; it’s a haven where families come together to play, laugh, learn, and grow.

Within the museum’s historic walls, twelve captivating permanent galleries await, each designed to spark the creative learning journey of young minds. 

These galleries seamlessly weave together elements of history, play, and education, offering an immersive experience that transcends traditional museum visits.

Best Time to Visit the Manitoba Children’s Museum 

The best time to visit Manitoba’s Children’s Museum in Winnipeg is during the weekdays (Monday to Friday), early mornings (around 8 to 9 a.m.), or late afternoons (around 1 to 2 p.m.) to avoid crowds.

How many hours do you have to spend when you visit the Manitoba Children’s Museum? 

The amount of time you spend at the Manitoba Children’s Museum depends on your child’s age and interests. Some families spend 2-3 hours exploring all the exhibits, while others stay for a full day. 

There’s so much to see and do, from climbing the giant lasagna structure to playing pretend in the grocery store or doctor’s office. The museum also offers special events and programs throughout the year, which can add to your visit time.

Does the Manitoba Children’s Museum have free admission?

The Manitoba Children’s Museum does not generally offer free admission. The general admission fee is $12.25 per person, which applies to visitors ages 1–101. 

However, complimentary general admission is available to all Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.

Things to Do at the Manitoba Children’s Museum 

With its interactive exhibits and engaging displays, this museum provides a dynamic space for children to explore, play, and ignite their imagination. 

Here are some exciting things to do at the Manitoba Children’s Museum, ensuring an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.

1. Explore Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes.

Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes is a delightful temporary exhibit that brings classic favorites to life. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in fifteen fully restored fairytale vignettes, featuring beloved tales such as Cinderella, Humpty Dumpty, Three Blind Mice, and more.

For an enhanced experience, guided tours of the enchanting vignettes are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

These guided exhibition tours, priced at $5.00 per person, offer a deeper insight into the magic behind each display, making it an engaging and educational adventure for both children and adults alike.

2. Visit the Lasagna Lookout.

Nestled within the Manitoba Children’s Museum is the captivating Lasagna Lookout, a five-story tower that stands as a permanent exhibit, inviting visitors of all ages to embark on a delightful journey of sensory exploration. 

Open during the museum’s operating hours, this towering spectacle is not your average lookout — it’s a playful ode to lasagna, featuring layers that serve as a canvas for a fascinating array of textures.

As you ascend through the lookout tower, each level presents a unique experiment in tactile sensations. 

From the rough embrace of one layer to the smooth caress of another, the experience becomes a tactile adventure, introducing visitors to the contrasting worlds of softness and prickliness. 

The design ingeniously mimics the beloved layers of lasagna, creating a dynamic and engaging environment for exploration.

Climbing through the tower is an ever-changing adventure, with the freedom to choose a different path each time. Regardless of the route taken, the journey culminates atop the lookout, offering panoramic views of the museum’s vibrant surroundings. 

Beyond the tower itself, the Lasagna Lookout boasts additional attractions that add to the excitement. The Rigatoni Roller promises an exhilarating experience, while the Spaghetti Forest invites visitors to navigate through an imaginative landscape. 

For those in need of a moment’s respite, the Ravioli Pillows provide a cozy spot to relax and absorb the playful ambiance.

3. Experience the Illusion Tunnel.

This extraordinary tunnel is not just an ordinary passageway; it’s a journey through the realms of perception and imagination.

As you venture into the Illusion Tunnel, be prepared to have your senses challenged by the clever use of forced perspective. It’s a marvel that invites visitors to explore the intriguing interplay between what they see and what truly exists. 

The tunnel is a gateway to a realm of illusions, where reality takes on a fascinating new dimension.

One of the highlights of the Illusion Tunnel is its impressive platform situated at the top. 

This elevated vantage point offers a unique perspective, allowing you to observe and spy on all the delightful activities and excitement unfolding throughout the rest of the museum. 

From this elevated perch, you become a silent spectator, witnessing the joy and laughter of fellow visitors engaged in the various wonders the museum has to offer.

You can indulge yourself in the illusions, experience the captivating perspectives, and take full advantage of the platform’s bird’s-eye view to become part of the interactive magic that defines the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

4. Have fun in the Splash Lab.

You can explore the wonders of Splash Lab, a water-based exhibit housed within the Manitoba Children’s Museum. This exciting permanent display is accessible to visitors throughout the museum’s operating hours, offering an engaging experience for children.

Splash Lab provides an environment where kids can go on a journey of discovery through various interactive water activities. 

You can delve into the world of water experiments as you encounter a diverse range of features, including a water table, a water wall, and a mesmerizing water vortex.

Through hands-on exploration, children can gain insights into the fascinating properties of water, unraveling concepts like buoyancy and surface tension in a playful and enjoyable manner. 

The exhibit seamlessly blends education with fun, encouraging young minds to actively participate in the learning process.

5. Play at the Tot Spot.

Tot Spot is an exclusive haven tailored for the youngest visitors. This toddler-centric space, seamlessly integrated into the museum’s permanent exhibit, warmly welcomes families during regular operating hours.

It has been thoughtfully curated to meet the unique needs of its smallest guests, offering a delightful array of interactive activities that engage and captivate toddlers. 

Among the charming attractions, toddlers can engage themselves in the wooden activity center, where they’ll revel in the tactile joy of moving balls and beads. 

As they navigate the whimsical rigatoni tunnel, a sense of adventure unfolds, creating an environment that sparks curiosity and joy.

Adding to the enchantment, toddlers can craft their own pathways using the delicate petals, fostering creativity and fine motor skills. 

Tot Spot isn’t merely a space; it’s a world where toddlers can explore, play, and grow, surrounded by carefully curated experiences that cater to their developmental needs.

At Tot Spot, the focus is on creating a seamless blend of education and entertainment, ensuring that the museum’s youngest visitors not only have fun but also benefit from a rich and stimulating environment.

Where to Eat Near the Manitoba Children’s Museum 

After an adventure-packed visit, replenishing energy with a delicious meal is the perfect way to cap off the experience. Fortunately, the area surrounding the museum offers a variety of dining options to suit every palate. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a family-friendly restaurant, a quick bite, or a cozy café, there are several enticing choices just a stone’s throw away. 

Let’s dive into the culinary delights awaiting you near the Manitoba Children’s Museum, ensuring your day is complete with not just fun and learning but also a satisfying culinary journey.

1. SMITH Restaurant 

Address  75 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0A2, Canada
Contact number 204 944 2445 
Operating hours
  • Monday to Thursday: 6:30 - 10:30 pm
  • Friday: 6:30 - 12:30 am
  • Saturday: 8 - 12:30 am
  • Sunday: 8 - 9 pm
  • Must-order menu items: 
  • Bison Tartare
  • Lobster Poutine
  • Prairie Chicken
  • Price range  $$ - average

    SMITH Restaurant is a gem for those seeking fine dining experiences. Located within the elegant Inn at the Forks Hotel, this culinary haven boasts a warm and modern ambiance, setting the stage for an expertly prepared meal.

    The chefs at SMITH pride themselves on crafting simple yet luxurious dishes that burst with bold flavors. Among their must-try offerings are signature delights like Bison Tartare, an exquisite Lobster Poutine, and the savory Prairie Chicken.

    For those looking to elevate their dining experience, SMITH also hosts a Sunday Family Dinner, providing a perfect setting for shared moments and delicious cuisine. 

    Additionally, immerse yourself in the local culture by attending their live jazz nights every Wednesday, where the soulful melodies enhance the dining atmosphere.

    2. The Keg Steakhouse + Bar 

    Address  115 Garry St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1G5, Canada
    Contact number 204 942 7619
    Operating hours
  • Monday to Thursday: 4 - 11 pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 4 - 12 am
  • Sunday: 4 - 10 pm
  • Must-order menu items: 
  • Prime Rib
  • Sirloin & Lobster
  • Rib Steak
  • Price range  $$ - average

    When you’re near the Manitoba Children’s Museum and looking for a delightful dining experience, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar stands out as a popular choice. 

    The moment you step into The Keg, you will enjoy a warm and welcoming ambiance. 

    Whether you’re interested in a patio lunch, seeking free parking, in need of free Wi-Fi, or looking for a spot to unwind during happy hour, The Keg Steakhouse + Bar has you covered. 

    When it comes to its menu, The Keg is celebrated for its signature dishes, such as the mouthwatering prime rib and delectable seafood options. 

    However, their culinary offerings extend beyond these specialties to include an array of appetizers, salads, and tempting desserts. It’s an excellent opportunity to savor a diverse range of flavors, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

    3. Santa Lucia Pizza 

    Address  4 St Mary's Rd, Winnipeg, MB R2H 1H1, Canada
    Contact number 204 237 4134
    Operating hours
  • Monday to Saturday: 11 - 11 pm
  • Sunday: 12 - 11 pm
  • Must-order menu items: 
  • Hal & Joe Pizza
  • Santa Fe
  • Santa Lucia Special
  • Price range  $$ - average

    With its diverse menu featuring delectable options like pizza, pasta, salads, and a fusion of Greek and Italian dishes, Santa Lucia Pizza has become a go-to spot for both locals and visitors.

    Among the highlights of a visit to Santa Lucia Pizza is the opportunity to savor their award-winning pizza, celebrated for its quality and flavor. In addition to pizza, the menu boasts an enticing array of appetizers, salads, and desserts.

    4. Passero 

    Address  774 Corydon Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3M 0Y1, Canada
    Contact number 204 219 7300
    Operating hoursMonday to Sunday: 5 - 10 pm
    Must-order menu items: 
  • Gnocchi
  • Risotto
  • Dark Chocolate Tart
  • Price range  $ - $$ cheap - average

    Passero, a charming restaurant near the Manitoba Children’s Museum, welcomes diners with a diverse menu featuring a delightful array of dishes. 

    From mouthwatering pizzas and flavorful pasta to refreshing salads and a fusion of Greek and Italian specialties, Passero caters to a variety of tastes.

    At Passero, the dining experience revolves around the concept of sharing. The menu offers an array of small to medium plates designed for sharing, encouraging a communal and social dining atmosphere. 

    Whether you’re a party of two or a larger group of four or more, the restaurant accommodates different seating times: 2 hours for 2-3 guests and 2.5 hours for groups of 4 or more.

    This approach not only allows guests to savor a variety of flavors but also ensures that the dining pace is relaxed, fostering an enjoyable and unhurried experience.

    5. Simon’s Steaks 

    Address  1 Forks Market Rd #132, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4Y3, Canada
    Contact number 204 691 8939
    Operating hours
  • Sunday to Thursday: 11 - 9 pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 11 - 10 pm
  • Must-order menu items: 
  • The B.B.O.
  • Spicy Chorizo
  • Chicken Parm
  • Price range  $$ - average

    Simon’s Steaks is renowned for its exceptional steak sandwiches and delectable frites. 

    It’s commendable not just for its mouthwatering cuisine but also for the homey atmosphere that greets you upon entering.

    The moment you walk into its restaurant, there is a space where the ambiance is described as both great and open-concept, providing a welcoming setting for families and friends alike. 

    Simon’s Steaks is more than just a place to savor delicious food; it’s an experience that combines the joy of culinary delights with a comfortable and spacious environment.

    Tips When You Visit the Manitoba Children’s Museum With Kids 

    As you prepare for a day filled with laughter, exploration, and hands-on learning, it’s essential to keep a few tips in mind to ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit. 

    From maximizing the interactive exhibits to navigating the various play zones, these suggestions will help you make the most of your time at the Manitoba Children’s Museum with your kids.

    1. Wear comfortable shoes. 

    There’s a lot of exploring to be done, so make sure your kids are wearing shoes that they can run and play in.

    2. Bring snacks and drinks. 

    There’s a cafe on-site, but it can get crowded. You can save money and time by bringing your own snacks and drinks.

    3. Let the kids take the lead. 

    The museum is designed for kids to explore at their own pace. So let them wander around and choose the exhibits that they’re interested in.

    4. Take breaks. 

    There’s so much to see and do, but it’s important to take breaks to avoid meltdowns. There are plenty of benches and quiet spots throughout the museum where you can take a breather.

    5. Get involved. 

    Don’t just watch your kids play. Get involved in the exhibits with them. 

    There are plenty of opportunities for adults to learn and have fun with their kids.

    6. Have fun. 

    The Manitoba Children’s Museum is a place for kids to learn, play, and grow. So relax, have fun, and make some memories that will last a lifetime.