For most of the year, we Saskatonians are waiting for warm weather, so when it finally hits, our pact is that we make the most of it. This summer in YXE, I encourage you to do just that with your whole family in tow and to help you hit the outdoor hot spots, I’ve got your bucket list hookup. Here’s the 411 on where to go and what to do with your little ones this summer.
Hit the beach. Whether you stay in town and laze on sandy beaches like Spadina and the Off-Leash Recreation Park or you take a short drive to Fred Heal, Paradise Beach, Pike Lake, or Cranberry Flats (warning: that one’s a hike from the parking lot—don’t take a stroller), pack a picnic, load up the sand toys, and enjoy the sun. Few things beat a day of R&R along our beautiful South Saskatchewan River.
Hike the Meewasin Trails. Lace up your sneakers and get the whole family moving along our stunning riverside Meewasin Trails whether you start downtown, at the University, by the weir, or head out toward the classic paths of Beaver Creek where you can (and should!) feed the chickadees. And have you been to Wanuskewin lately? It offers both majestic hiking and an opportunity to learn about the sacred bond between this land and the First Nations people.
Get festive. Saskatoon and area hosts a multitude of family-friendly festivals, and though we’re past the Nutrien Children’s Festival of Saskatchewan, Word on the Street Festival, and SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, still to come is the, Nutrien Fringe Theatre Festival (Aug 1-10), Folk Fest (Aug 15-17), and Rock 102’s Show & Shine (Aug 16-19). And don’t forget Canada Day in Optimist Park with its all-day entertainment that ends in an impressive fireworks display.
Make a splash. Lathey, George Ward, Riversdale, and Mayfair pools are all sure-fire winners with kids and as for spray parks, my family’s favourite is River Landing because it’s hard to beat the scenery, ice cream shack, and downtown vibe. Why not find the full list of paddling pools and spray parks on saskatoon.ca and hit them up as you’re able, blackout bingo style?
Active amusements. All within walking distance, you can get your golf on at Putt ‘n’ Bounce, take a few swings at the Grand Slam Batting Cages, and scale a giant climbing wall called The Rock. Want a five minute road trip? Head to Crickle Creek for their mini golf and then let the kids climb the coolest inflatables north of the 49th. For ride lovers, our awesome Saskatoon Exhibition is Aug 6-11, but for an anytime treat, check out the classic trio at Nutrien Playland. And don’t overlook the humble playground! Make it a treat by biking or driving to one you don’t normally frequent (we love the big bear park at Brighton). Many playgrounds also have drop-in programming for kids 2-12, check out the interactive “Where to Play” map on the city site or click here for listings.
Be entertained. SUM Theatre brings professional productions to a park near you all summer long and if you arrive early, you can even do a craft with the Nutrien Wonderhub crew (consult the SUM site for dates and locations). Other spectacles your kids will enjoy are Fairy Door Tours at Kinsmen Park (fairydoortours.com), horse races at Marquis Downs, car racing at Wyant Group Raceway, and the Exhibition Parade on August 6.
Learn. Step back in time via a wagon ride at the Western Development Museum (weekends only), look at stars at the University of Saskatchewan observatory (Saturday nights are free and open to the public), or foster their love of animals with a visit to the Saskatoon Zoo.
There’s so much to do in this city, you may not hear the whine of “I’m bored” all summer long. Well, you probably will, but that can be your cue to whip out this list! See you on the playground.