This week our family got to take a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My husband had visited the mint with his family when he was a child, and I had visited the mint with a class of students about a decade ago, so we both knew that we wanted to go back and bring our daughters. The Royal Canadian Mint offers family-oriented tours, they have interpretive displays and they have a boutique with unique merchandise available for purchase.
The first experience we had when we arrived was one worth half a million dollars! Our family got to hold a brick of gold valued at about half a million dollars. Just imagine what you could buy with that heavy brick! We just had to get a family photo, it’s not everyday that we get half a million dollar experiences after all.
My daughters absolutely loved the interpretive displays. There was a big penny with a cut-out to take pictures. I can’t believe that it was in 2012 when they discontinued making the 1 cent coin – the photos we took are such an awesome keepsake.
The girls loved putting money into this machine and in exchange getting a token of the Royal Canadian Mint. You put in 3 loonies and then you get a stamped Royal Canadian Mint token. The girls held onto those special tokens and I know they will treasure them. It is a fun little keepsake for sure.
Another display that the girls loved was the one where they could lift bricks of the same size, but different weights. The girls kept taking turns pulling the bars and trying to see who was stronger. They were quite surprised at how light the concrete and wood bricks were in comparison to the heavy gold.
Weighing the possibilities – a scale that tells you how much you are worth in weight. You select English or French on the screen and then choose a coin and it will show you how much you are worth in that currency. I am not sure what my girls were more excited about, the fact that they could choose French or their huge value. Of course we assured them that they were far more valuable than any number the screen would show.
Both of our daughters were pretty excited that they got a chance to see the medals from the 2010 Olympics that were in Vancouver. They had the medals from both the Olympics and the Paralympics.
We could not take pictures during the tour but we learned a bunch of fun facts.
5 Fun Facts about the Royal Canadian Mint
- The mint makes coins for almost half of the countries in the world.
- The mint makes from 80-500 stamps per day. The stamps for the bigger coins such as the loonies only last for about 8 hours.
- There are half a million blank coins cut every hour.
- About 20 million coins are made per day.
- There are about 350 employees at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg.
If you are looking for some unique gift ideas, you should pop by the mint. They have a boutique full of gifts and collectible coins that are sure to please even the toughest person on your gift giving list. If you have not had a visit to the mint, be sure to plan tour sometime with your family. The tour guide was telling me that they run a fun event on Canada Day with tours, activities for the kids, bouncers, food trucks and more, so if you are wanting to make a day of it that sounds like a fun way to celebrate Canada Day. Of course tours are available throughout the week, so check out their website for times and prices.
A special thank-you to Travel Manitoba for inviting us to take a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, It is one of many awesome places for families to explore in Manitoba. All opinions expressed are my own.