15 favourite Saskatchewan family summer activities

Saskatchewan is a best-kept secret for fun family activities

With May long weekend fast approaching, our staff at the Wyant Group thought it would be fitting to share some of our favourites locations to visit for you and your family. Sometimes as Saskatchewanians, we tend to take our province for granted and think that one has to leave Saskatchewan to find a beautiful and fun destination. Granted, we may not have mountains and we aren’t near the ocean… but Saskatchewan has a diverse landscape and rich history with plenty of attractions and unique destinations with great activities that many locals don’t even know about.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of 15 favourite destinations for you to get out together and make some memories right here in Saskatchewan. Some are close to home and some are a bit of a drive away —  perfect if you want to go on a little vacation but you don’t want to drive out of the province. Without waiting, here’s our top 15 (in no particular order).

  1. Forestry Farm Park and Zoo – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Facebook

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo located right in the heart of Saskatoon is an accredited zoo by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums that contains over 80 species of animals within the mammal, bird, reptile, fish, amphibian, and arthropod animal classes.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Activities for children & youth

Demonstration forest

Fishing pond (stocked with Rainbow Trout – daily permit required)

Forestry Farm House

Gazebo picnic site

Hall

Heritage rose garden

Kinsmen Express Zoo Train

Meditation garden

Parking

Paws Inn Concession and Gift Shop

Zoo

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is great as a family friendly spot:

The Saskatoon Forestry farm has wide paved walking paths (be prepared to cover a lot of ground) that are very child and stroller friendly and it is safe enough to let the kids walk around. There is also a playground inside the zoo grounds for the kids to let loose. The Saskatoon Zoo Society offers classes and zoo day camps where children can learn more about nature and the animals in the zoo (if you are coming from out of town, I would check their events calendar and plan ahead). If you need a wagon or a stroller, no problem, they are available for rent on site.

Activities your family can do at the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo:

There are many activities to do at the Forestry Farm aside from checking out the animals. Public fishing hole (daily fishing permit available for $2), cricket field, ball diamonds, numerous picnic/BBQ pits (wood is available for purchase), playground, meditation garden, perennial garden. If it is a particularly hot day or your family doesn’t want to walk the whole way, there is a train that can drive your family around to the main zoo highlights.

Related Links:

Saskatoon Zoo Society – Events

Tourism Saskatoon – Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

Tourism Saskatchewan – Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

2) Tunnels of Moose Jaw – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Google

The Tunnels of Moose Jaw offers two guided theatrical tours through a living museum where history really comes alive. Here you and your family can go underneath the streets of downtown Moose Jaw and get a glimpse into two diverse periods of Canadian history. The Chicago Connection tour lets your family relive Al Capone’s bootlegging days and the Passage to Fortune tour provides a first-hand encounter of the early Chinese immigrants and the hardships they faced.

Hot tip: Don’t expect to ask a lot of questions, this is more of a guided theatrical presentation and not a typical touristy tour.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Guided tunnel tours: Chicago Connection tour and Passage to Fortune tour.

Limited wheelchair access

Souvenir shop

Washroom

Family friendly score: 4/5

Why the Tunnels of Moose Jaw is great as a family friendly spot:

The Tunnels of Moose Jaw is a family friendly attraction that will entertain everyone from young children all the way to grandparents. The tours are fifty minutes each and feature animatronic characters, a multi-media presentation, character tour guides, and well-staged spaces for the period.

Families with young children should be aware that there are a few loud noises and surprises on the tours. Since the Passage to Fortune tour focuses on the hardships that Chinese immigrants faced, some children may find it a bit sad. The tour guide also changes character in the Passage to Fortune tour, which may seem intimidating to young kids.

Activities your family can do at the Tunnels of Moose Jaw:

At the tunnels specifically, you can experience two tours as well as the gift shop. If you are looking for some food and other activities after the tour, you are in the heart of downtown Moose Jaw which is close to plenty of places to eat and things to do.

Related Links:

Tunnels of Moose Jaw Hours

Moose Jaw tunnels – The Globe and Mail

Tunnels of Moose Jaw – Tourism Saskatchewan

3) Western Development Museum – Moose Jaw/Saskatoon/North Battleford/Yorkton, SK

Image Source: Google

The Western Development Museum, or WDM for short, is the largest human history museum in Saskatchewan. At the WDM, the whole family can learn the Saskatchewan story from the early settlement to present day with a collection of over 75,000 artifacts. There are four WDM locations, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Saskatchewan history: transportation in Moose Jaw, farm life in North Battleford, 1910 Boomtown in Saskatoon, and the stories of immigration stories in Yorkton.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Gift shop

Meeting rooms

Parking

Picnic area

Restaurant

Washrooms

Wheelchair access (some locations have full access and some locations are limited access)

Family friendly score:5/5

Why the Western Development Museum is great as a family friendly spot:

The WDM is a fantastic place with something for all ages to learn Saskatchewan’s history (and for a reasonable price). The facility is both stroller and child-friendly. There are some traveling exhibits, so coming back can be a different experience every time. There are also electronic displays with so much information that you can read something new about an exhibit every time!

Activities your family can do at the Western Development Museum:

The WDM is a fantastic family friendly place where you can easily spend the afternoon or morning. Spend a few hours touring the exhibits as well as activities and stop in for a snack at the restaurant to enjoy a home cooked meal. Alternatively, you can pack a picnic and grab a spot to eat in the picnic area. Check to see if any events are going on when you go, there are really fun events such as Pion-Era days that are worth the trip.

Related Links:

WDM – Moose Jaw

WDM – North Battleford

WDM – Saskatoon

WDM – Yorkton

4) Kinsmen Park/PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park – Saskatoon, SK

Image Source: Saskatoon.ca

PotashCorp Playland is an amusement park situated in Saskatoon’s Kinsmen Park. The amusement park reopened in 2015 with attractions that are a blast for children, without having to wait for the summer fair to come to town.

Hot tip: check the weather before you go, all rides will not be functioning if there is inclement weather. If the parking lot is full, there is more free parking right across Spadina or at the YWCA lots — just a short walk across from the park.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Concession

Limited wheelchair access

Parking

Playground/free play area including spray park, zip line, park, climbing area

Picnic area

Rides: Ferris wheel, carousel, train

Washrooms

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why Kinsmen Park is great as a family friendly spot:

PotashCorp Playland and Kinsmen park is a fun family destination whether you are from Saskatoon or out of town. The activities and rides are best for kids and tweens (not as much for wee ones and toddlers); however, there are great paths to roll a stroller around. The park is clean and spacious with very well maintained rides. The price of the rides alone offers a solid value.

Activities your family can do at Kinsmen Park:

Let your children ride the carousel and Canpotex Train, see the city and river from the Ferris wheel or run free in the water, sand, and natural play area. Pack your children’s swimwear and a change of clothes so they can play in the spray park after going on the rides. If you want a quick snack, grab some food at the concession stand or pack a picnic. Your kids will be tuckered right out after a solid day of playing at the park!

Related Links:

PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park – Tourism Saskatoon

PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park – Tourism Saskatchewan

5) Little Manitou Lake – Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan

Image Source: YouTube

Little Manitou Lake is one of 3 bodies of water on the planet of its kind — right here in Saskatchewan! The lake’s water has a salt concentration that is 5 times that of the ocean’s water which allows swimmers to enjoy a relaxing float on the water. Located just over an hour from Saskatoon and a few hours from Regina, it is a fantastic family destination with oodles of activities to do. Because of the lake’s high mineral properties, the lake water and mud are touted for their healing abilities.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Beaches (3)

Boat launch ramp

Bowling

Camp sites

Dance hall (horsehair padded!)

Drive-in theatre

Golf course

Mini golf

Playgrounds

Restaurants

Shower and washroom facilities

Walking/hiking trails

Family friendly score: 4/5

Why Little Manitou Lake is great as a family friendly spot:

Little Manitou Lake is only a few hours drive from Saskatoon and Regina, so it is perfect to get away without having to spend a good chunk of the day driving. It is free to float in the lake and park at the beach for the day. Near the lake, there are restaurants and playgrounds for the kids to run and play. With hotels, camping, and other lodging available, it is easy to stay the weekend or just the day.

Note: If your family wants to go in the mineral pool in the hotel, or in the lake for a while everyone may feel a bit zapped afterward. Fear not — this is from the minerals in the water.

Activities your family can do at Little Manitou Lake:

Since Little Manitou Lake is located near the town of Watrous, there are plenty of dining options, family activities, and lodging available. At Manitou you can go: shopping, swimming, walking, hiking, dancing, golfing, mini golfing, disc golfing, dancing, camping, spa-ing, and more. You can also enjoy the mineral spa, drive-in theatre, see the bird sanctuary, visit the flea market, or bring your own boat whether it is a sailboat, power boat, kayak, paddleboard, or canoe.

Related Links:

Welcome to Watrous & Manitou Beach – The Beach

Float in Canada’s Dead Sea

6) Saskatchewan Science Centre – Regina, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Facebook

The Saskatchewan Science Centre is an interactive science museum located in Regina’s Wascana Park. The Saskatchewan Science Centre features over 180 hands-on science exhibits as well as live stage shows and demonstrations across a variety of scientific disciplines, including energy, human anatomy, space, and the local Saskatchewan wildlife. They also have visiting exhibits so you can come back multiple times a year and see something new.

One hot tip from a TripAdvisor member: If you are a traveler, buy a membership. The Saskatchewan Science Centre is affiliated with many other science centres and museums where you to which you can get free admission.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Activities for children and youth

Concession

Gift shop

Full-service restaurant

Full wheelchair access

IMAX Theatre

Meeting rooms

Museum exhibits for children and youth

Observatory

Parking

Picnic area

Washrooms

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why the Saskatchewan Science Centre is great as a family friendly spot:

At the Saskatchewan Science Centre, you can bring your small children and even teens — there are activities for everyone in the family. A place away from the gadgets that will inspire learning, encourage innovation, spark discovery, and create an interest in science, math, and technology seems like a nice break from all of the technology stimulating children’s minds these days!

Activities your family can do at the Saskatchewan Science Centre:

The Saskatchewan Science Centre offers ever-changing interactive exhibits, daily programming, live demonstrations/stage shows, and Saskatchewan’s only giant screen 3D IMAX theatre. You can easily spend a half day at the Saskatchewan Science Centre or more, depending on if you catch an IMAX movie, break for lunch at the restaurant or have a picnic and take the kids to the nearby Wascana Centre Park.

Related Links:

Saskatchewan Science Centre – Featured Exhibits

Saskatchewan Science Centre – Events Calendar

About the Saskatchewan Science Centre – Regina, Saskatchewan

7) The Great Sandhills – Sceptre, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Facebook

Located near Sceptre, Saskatchewan, the Great Sandhills are the second largest sand dunes in Saskatchewan next to the Athabasca Sand Dunes (which are very hard to get to). When you enter the sand hills area, you will forget that you are in Saskatchewan! The Great Sandhills cover 1,900 square kilometres, standing 15 to 20 meters high in some areas. Since the sandhills are subject to such high winds, the landscape is ever changing.

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Birdwatching area

Museum (in Sceptre)

Parking

Sandhills

Family friendly score: 4/5

Why The Great Sandhills is great as a family friendly spot:

The beauty of the dunes aside from the beautiful vistas is taking the toboggans provided (or bring your own crazy carpets) and letting your kids slide down the hills. There is no admission for hiking on the dunes.

Bonus: dogs are allowed on the sandhills so you can make it a true family experience!

Activities your family can do at The Great Sandhills:

Visit the museum before you hit the sand dunes, slide down the sand hills with the kids, check out the views that stretch for miles, and watch the various bird species in the area. To round out the small town experience with your family, there are accommodations, camping, restaurants, shopping, and gas available in nearby Sceptre and Leader.

 Related Links:

Great Sandhills Museum and Interpretive Centre

Great Sandhills Trails – Tourism Saskatchewan

Sask Hiker – The Great Sandhills

The Great Sandhills

8) Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site – Abernethy, Saskatchewan.

Image Source: Facebook

Located northeast of Regina, the Motherwell Homestead is a working historic farm with horses, pigs, sheep, cows, goats, and chickens. William R. Motherwell’s original homestead offers an authentic view of what prairie farm life was like in the 1900s. With guides in authentic costume, your family will really feel like they were transported back in time!

Amenities, highlights, and activities:

Activities for children and youth

Cafe

Gift shop

Limited wheelchair access

Parking

Picnic area

Tourist information

Washroom

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site is great as a family friendly spot:

This historic site has educational activities as well as other interesting things to do and see for kids and adults alike. Motherwell Homestead offers day camps for children where they can dress in period clothing and partake in farm chores. The house offers much to see as well as the gardens, grounds, barn, and more.

Activities your family can do at the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site:

Spend the day in the life of a farm family in the 1900s with guides dressed in period costume by milking cows, pumping water, feeding pigs, grinding grain into flour, and baking biscuits. Explore the home and farm of William R. Motherwell and learn about the impact he had on the development of agriculture in western Canada. Your family can also enjoy a wagon ride, talk a walk on the wetland trail, and enjoy a delicious fresh meal at the cafe.

Related Links:

Friends of the Motherwell Homestead Inc.

Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site – Things To Do

Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site – Tourism Saskatchewan

9) Cypress Hills – Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Tourism Saskatchewan

The Cypress Hills are a region of hills in the southwestern part of Saskatchewan and the southeastern portion of Alberta within the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. The hills rise as high as 4,810 ft in Alberta and 4,567 ft in Saskatchewan. The Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park offers several campgrounds, resort, swimming pool, hiking trail, ziplining and Dark Sky Preserve.

Amenities/Highlights:

Beach (swimming lessons available)

Bird/wildlife viewing

Campground/RV park

Canoeing/boating/fishing

Canoe/paddle boat rental

Children’s activities

Dark Sky Preserve

Golfing

Mini golf

Museum

Nature trails (interpreted)

Outdoor pool

Picnic area

Playground

Trails (for cycling, hiking, horseback riding)

Ziplining

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why Cypress Hills is great as a family friendly spot:

There are many activities for the family to do at Cypress Hills whether the kids are small or older. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the vistas and wildlife while spending time with the family camping, or glamping if that’s more of your speed.

Activities your family can do at Cypress Hills:

You name it, you can do it at Cypress Hills! From camping to the trails and beach/lake activities and more, your family will never run out of activities to do together. The Dark Sky preserve and the hills themselves will offer the most memorable experiences at the park for your family to remember for years to come.

Related Links:

Cypress Hills

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park – Tourism Saskatchewan

Discover Saskatchewan’s Great Southwest

10) Beaver Creek Conservation Area – Beaver Creek, Saskatchewan.

Image Credit: spynovels.org

Located just outside of Saskatoon, the Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) is an accredited watchable wildlife site established in 1979 that offers nature trails and an interpretive centre. The beavers here have an important role in keeping the creek area full of wildlife as many plants and animals make their homes in the sheltered ponds that result from beaver dams.

Hot tip: since you will be out in nature, do watch out for ticks and take all necessary precautions.

Amenities/Highlights:

Bird/wildlife viewing

Children’s & youth activities

Hiking/walking trails

Limited wheelchair access

Parking

Picnic area

Tourist information/reception centre

Tours (self-guided or guided upon request)

Washroom

Family friendly score: 4.5/5

Why the Beaver Creek Conservation Area is great as a family friendly spot:

The Beaver Creek Conservation area has many beautifully maintained pathways of various lengths so you can take a walk or a hike according to what your family feels up to. There are four trails to choose from that can be as short as 17 minutes to over an hour, all of which are easy walks for kids and grandparents alike. The children will enjoy the views and the ability to see and interact with wildlife. It is free, but you can donate money to the park.

Activities your family can do at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area:

Soak in the views of the river, creek, and wildlife as you walk along the trails in a self-guided tour. The chickadees and chipmunks at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area are very tame and like to be fed (you can get seeds from the interpretive centre). Bring some lunch and have a picnic while enjoying your surroundings.

Related Links:

Beaver Creek Conservation Area – Hours

Beaver Creek Conservation Area – Tourism Saskatchewan

11) Drive-In Movie Theatre – Manitou Beach/Clearwater/Wolseley/Lumsden, Sk

Image Source: Facebook

While they used to be pretty popular, drive-in theatres are disappearing fast. We are happy to report that there are still four drive-in theatres in Saskatchewan. If you live near one or are camping near one, what better way to watch a movie together as a family away from the living room!

Amenities/Highlights (varies per location):

Concessions

Drive-In Theatre

Washrooms

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why the Drive-In Movie Theatre is great as a family friendly spot:

Many children of today won’t know the feeling of going to a drive-in theatre with their family. Now’s a chance to give your child that experience and enjoy a movie as a family in the luxury of your own vehicle, tailgate, or with your camping chairs and radio.

Activities your family can do at Drive-In Movie Theatre:

While you wait for the sun to come down, the kids can play in the playground. Once the show begins, good times, good movies and good snacks can be had by all.

Related Links:

Jubilee Drive-In, Manitou Beach

Clearwater Drive-In, Kyle

Twilite Drive-In, Wolseley

Moonlight Movies, Lumsden

12) Southern Prairie Railway – Ogema, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Facebook

The Southern Prairie Railway is Saskatchewan’s one and only full sized tourist train that offers several types of tours and specialty tours. Take a trip on a 1922 Pulllman passenger car that’s pulled by a General Electric 44-ton switcher locomotive.

Amenities/Highlights:

Gift shop

Limited wheelchair access

Picnic area

Meeting rooms

Washroom

Tourist information

Train tours (some tours feature meals)

Family friendly score: 4/5

Why the Southern Prairie Railway is great as a family friendly spot:

Here your family can have an authentic prairie pioneer experience together, taking you back to a time when the rail was the preferred method of transportation. Some of the train tours are geared specifically for children, while others are designed for the entire family.

Activities your family can do at the Southern Prairie Railway:

The Saskatchewan Prairie Railway is located in Ogema and travels east and west to the towns of Pangman and Horizon respectively. Ride the train, have a picnic or eat in the restaurant, and explore the gift shop. Depending on the tour you choose, you can explore the cities in which you visit while you are there.

Related Links:

Southern Prairie Railways – Tourism Saskatchewan

Southern Prairie Railway – Tours & Pricing

13) Grasslands National Park – Grasslands, Saskatchewan.

Image Source: Facebook

Grasslands National Park is a national park located on the southern border of Saskatchewan adjacent to Montana. Grasslands National Park represents the Prairie Grasslands region, protecting one of Canada’s few remaining undisturbed shortgrass prairie grassland area.

Amenities/Highlights:

Backpacking/hiking/biking trails

Camping

Canoeing

Dark Sky Preserve

Interpretive program

Kayaking

Limited wheelchair access

Museum

Parking

Picnic area

Nature trails

Stargazing

Tours and programs

Family friendly score: 4/5

Why the Grasslands National Park is great as a family friendly spot:

This is the perfect getaway from the city life, one that takes you back to a time where cowboys and buffalo roamed the prairies. See the landscape as it was before the land was settled. Adults and kids alike love seeing all that nature has to offer here. From camping, hiking, tours, and much more, it is difficult to imagine you’ll run out of things to see and activities to do.

Hot tip: Don’t expect a whole lot of amenities. However, the nearby town of Val Marie has a small grocery store and gas station.

Activities your family can do at the Grasslands National Park

See bison, birds, and prairie dogs in their natural habitat. Here your family can be one with nature together camping, hiking, taking tours, canoeing and more. Make it out on an astronomy night to see a night sky truly like no other, this is a true prairie experience you will not soon forget.

Related Links:

Grasslands National Park – Accommodations

Grasslands National Park – Parks Canada

Grasslands National Park – Tourism Saskatchewan

14) Crickle Creek – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Familyfuncanada.com

Crickle Creek is a one of a kind to Saskatoon amusement area located minutes outside of the southwest side of Saskatoon on Valley Road. Crickle Creek’s 50ft high inflatable waterslide is the highest of its kind in Canada!

Amenities/Highlights:

Bouncy castles

Concession stand

Inflatable water slides

Limited wheelchair access

Mini golf

Pitch & putt

Picnic area

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why Crickle Creek is great as a family friendly spot:

Crickle Creek is a great place for families with kids aged from 4 to 12. Here you can let the kids play as long as they like while you sit & relax with an ice cream or cold soft drink.

Bonus: There are lots of covered lounging swings for the adults to sit & watch their children in comfort.

Activities your family can do at Crickle Creek:

Your family can easily spend a good portion of the day at Crickle Creek on the 18-hole mini golf course, 18 hole par 3 golf course, and Fun Zone that has eight inflatable bouncers and waterslides. Enjoy some snacks or ice cream at their concession stand. The Strawberry Ranch, Berry Barn Eatery and Gift Shop are nearby, so there are more options for activities and eats really close!

Related Links:

Crickle Creek – Attractions

Crickle Creek Golf Course – Tourism Saskatchewan

15) Youth Farm Corn Maze – Rosthern, Saskatchewan

Image Source: Facebook

Located 40 minutes outside of Saskatoon near the town of Rosthern, the Youth Farm Corn Maze is much more than just a corn maze, it is a multi-activity family friendly facility. Click here for driving directions.

Note: The corn maze opens in mid-August.

Amenities/Highlights:

2 corn mazes (one for younger children and one for bigger kids)

Barrel train

Bouncy castle

Climbing wall

Concession stand

Corn pit

Hay/Wagon rides

Jumping pillow

Pedal carts

Petting zoo

Parking

Sumo suits

Washrooms

Family friendly score: 5/5

Why the Youth Farm Corn Maze is great as a family friendly spot:

From teens to small children alike, a good chunk of the day can easily be spent at the corn maze. Located relatively close to town, it isn’t a far stretch to go out and spend the day with the family.

Activities your family can do at the Youth Farm Corn Maze:

Head through the corn maze, let the kids play in the corn pit, watch the kids play on some rides, and grab a few snacks at the concession stand.

Related Links:

Youth Farm Corn Maze – Hours

Youth Farm Corn Maze – Admission Rates

What is the Wyant Group’s favourite Saskatchewan summer family activity?

Perhaps we are a bit more humble in here in Saskatchewan and we don’t like to brag, or maybe we don’t want everyone to know our secret: Saskatchewan is chock full of really fun attractions and activities that are fun for the whole family! At the Wyant Group, we aren’t afraid to let the secret out.

While our team is understandably divided on which one of these activities is hands down the best, it really depends on what activities your children enjoy and how old they are. So really, it is up to you to decide what is the best activity for your family and check it out! What we do know is that there is a lot of great family activities and attractions to check out and do right here in our own backyard. And of course, this list isn’t exhaustive: if you have any favourite destination in the province that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear about it!

From all of us at the Wyant Group: we wish you a safe and great drive to all these fantastic destinations – and we’re there to help if you’re ever looking for a safe, comfortable and dependable family-friendly vehicle (ahem)!

 

*This article was repurposed from a previous Wyant Group blog post that can be found on www.mercedes-benz-saskatoon.ca.