Explore the sprawling Mennonite Heritage Village to get a hands-on feel for how Russian Mennonites who settled Steinbach in the 19th century lived and worked - and if you're curious about their personal life stories, just ask. Descendants of early blacksmiths, millers and shopkeepers have logged many hours as volunteers at the 40-acre site, and colourful family histories are as well preserved as the pioneer buildings, artifacts and exhibits. One of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Steinbach still attracts enterprising immigrants - most have hailed from Germany and the Philippines in recent years, but more than a dozen countries are represented at the annual Newcomers Potluck Picnic. The growing population of more than 13,500 is on the young side, with a median age of about 35, and residents enjoy a wide range of cultural and recreational options including an arts centre, a junior Olympic swimming pool and waterslides, several walking and biking trails, a skateboard park in summer and outdoor skating rinks in winter.
Local cuisine is increasingly eclectic - foodies appreciate authentic British pasties, fresh German spaetzle and gourmet olive oils and vinegars in city shops, as well as locally smoked sausage and award-winning cheeses from nearby New Bothwell. But tried, true and delicious traditional Mennonite fare is still a favourite. Drop by the Livery Barn Restaurant at the heritage village to sample borscht, vereniki and fresh bread made from wheat ground at the working windmill.Just 50 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, it's worth the trip.