Hi Saskatoon, so seems like winter’s still happening, huh? If you’ve got little ones who just want to MOVE like my friend and fellow mama Jacqueline Woods and I do, this deep freeze is making it tough to grant their wishes lately but, she and I did some brainstorming and as it turns out, our fair town has more to offer than was top-of-mind. Just in time for this week’s school break, here’s our list of things to do and places to go for active toddlers, preschoolers, and kids to burn off some steam in Saskatoon:
- Fun centres
Designed for kids to crawl, slide, bounce, and climb, fun centres are a no-brainer destination and we’re fortunate to have a few to choose from in Saskatoon and area. Check out Flynn’s Forest, The Fun Factory, and CJ’s Climb and Play in Warman.
- The Mall
With underground parking, ZooBarn animals (as seen in the title pic—Petra and Gavin were overjoyed to be riding 'em and so were we!), a mini golf course with the major attraction of giant goldfish, an indoor playground, and the Childrens’ Museum, Market Mall is a major attraction for families. Petra and I also go there for Move N Soar’s music and movement classes so if you’ve never been to one, heads up that your first class is free! The other child-centric destination in town is Lawson Heights which features a rad play area in the food court, multiple coin-op rides, and a shop ‘n’ stroll mommy-and-me fitness group.
Toddler Time at Apex provides an opportunity for a calmer jump experience for your little one who still needs reassurance or help thanks to the reduced capacity during the time slots. Important to note that your hands-on supervision is required and although there’s no age minimum as ability varies so much, they recommend your child be three.
Located at the Louise St. Community Church, Stay and Play occurs Tuesdays and Wednesdays with semi-structured crafts, snacks, story time, toys and activities for newborns to five years old.
- Indoor pools
Get a taste of summertime at any of the City’s indoor pools (click here for public, family, and parent and tot times). Just remember to bring your toques for that chilly run to the car afterward!
- Leisure Centres
There’s more to Saskatoon’s Leisure Centres than swimming— the Lawson and Lakewood gyms and indoor playgrounds are a good time, too! Check out the drop-in schedule for details.
- University of Saskatchewan
The Geology/Biology building is home to a mini dinosaur museum your kids will love and the skywalks provide the perfect race track.
One year for your whole family at the WDM is $70 and SO worth it. Boomtown (where there’s often a blacksmith working away), the car and train bits, the sod house, the fun house... there’s lots to see and plenty of room to run. Plus, there are always travelling exhibits popping up. This is a real win.
Bright, warm, open, and engaging, Saskatoon’s newest attraction is meant for everyone. If your babe is 18 months or under, join their Stroller Tour. And if you’ve got a little mover, just go at their pace.
- Grocery stores
It’s a two-birds situation: you get the food you need, your little ones get to stretch their legs. It’s also a great chance to talk about colour, texture, learn about how to pick out product, and get them helping out. Aaaand there are toy sections. It’s the place for which the timer on your phone was invented. My pick is Superstore on 8th since it's got underground parking with a big ramp to run up.
- Drop-in gymnastics centres
You might think of a quiet space when I say the word but there are lots of opportunities for kids to get active in Saskatoon libraries be it in toy areas or through programming like Wiggle Time. Check out the schedule for more info.
- Restaurants with play spaces
Fast food joints don’t just lure kids with fries, their ball pits and slides also have that siren call. Rumor has it that the Centre and Confed Burger Kings and the McDonald’s on Kenderdine are the top of the heap. Both Jerry’s locations also have play areas.
Every morning, the SSCI offers two fully enclosed fields of toys & cars for pre-schoolers & babies at Saskatoon Kinsmen/Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in Lawson Heights. With a five-dollar drop in rate ($1 for every additional child), can you go wrong?
Although Sportball doesn't techically have a drop-in option, this multi-sport, non-competitive program offers the first class free and prorates registration fees. Plus, there's classes for ages 1-12! Check out their local facebook page for details. Thanks to reader Ryan Michaels for the great suggestion!
This suggestion and the next two are care of reader Tracy Smith who says she especially loves Wilson's because you can take your own coffee (a total bonus for parents). Reader Kenzie points out that Wilson's also offers free skating. Score!
- Indoor Skating
When the weather makes braving the Bes rink daunting, Tracy reccomends the Lion's Arena who even has free skating for 5 and under. Pretty unbeatable deal! Check out the rink schedules here.
- Bus Tour
It may not seem like a big deal to us now, but remember how cool it was to take the bus when you were a kid? Tracy says taking her kids around the city via public transportation just for fun has been a hit. Why not give it a go?
Jacqueline and I are looking forward to a couple of other indoor attractions coming soon: the bigger-and-better Children's Museum due to open late this year and the Learn & Play Cafe which seems interesting. And in the meantime, your path will probably cross ours as playing in the backyard in minus forty just ain't happening. See you inside!
xo M and Jacqueline