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Moose Jaw is a great little city located in southern Saskatchewan. It has a lot of unique history and things to do that you won’t find anywhere else. From amazing restaurants to the underground tunnels to skydiving, there are plenty of fun things to do in Moose Jaw!
So if you’re nearby on your travels or live in Moose Jaw, it’s worth exploring the many fun activities to do. Below, I’ve included important details about all of the best activities in Moose Jaw as well as other essential info for visiting including where to stay!
About Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Moose Jaw is the fourth largest city in the province, and its name comes from the Cree name “moscâstani-sîpiy” which means “a warm place by the river.” The Moose Jaw River winds around the edge of the city where there are also beautiful green spaces in the Wakamow Valley.
The city was founded when the Canadian Pacific Railway picked the site in 1882 to establish a town. The rail connections grew when the Soo Line from Chicago added a link in 1893. These railway connections, especially to the United States, became important when Moose Jaw became a hub for bootleggers during Prohibition. This is why Moose Jaw is now known as “Canada’s Most Notorious City” due to the real possibility that Al Capone spent time hiding out in the network of tunnels beneath downtown.
17 Fun Things to do in Moose Jaw
1. Go underneath the city in the Moose Jaw Tunnels
The Moose Jaw Tunnels are one of the most unique and fun things to do in Moose Jaw – explore the famous Tunnels of Moose Jaw beneath downtown. The tunnels were built along Main Street when the buildings were first constructed.
Chinese immigrants working on the CP railroads fled underground and used these tunnels to escape the pricy head tax imposed on Chinese workers and to avoid persecution. Then, in the 1920s, when prohibition was law throughout the U.S. and Canada, the tunnels became a center for bootleggers with illegal alcohol.
The tunnels are open all year round. There are various tours to choose from led by actors in character to really give you a feel of the history of the time. For example, in the “Chicago Connection” tour, you’ll become a bootlegger who is tasked with buying alcohol from Al Capone’s gang. Learn about Capone’s time hiding out in Moose Jaw, where he’s rumored to have come when things would get too hot in Chicago.
In “Passage to Fortune,” you’ll follow in the footsteps of early Chinese immigrants to Canada and learn about the hardships they experienced and what life was like for them in the early 1900s. The “Bunker 24” tour will put you back in 1958 inside a 1950s Cold War bunker. Learn about the Cold War and Canada’s growth as a country following World War II.
Admission is $21 CAD per adult or $32 CAD for two tours on the same day. Each tour is about 50 minutes and an exciting way to immerse yourself in the city’s history.
2. Relax at the Geothermal Spa
The Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa is the largest therapeutic geothermal mineral pool in Canada. The water is naturally warm and full of minerals to ease aching muscles and is excellent for relaxing. The makeup of the mineral water is very similar to the water from the famous pools in Bath, England. It contains things like Epsom and Glauber’s Salts.
The source of this geothermal water was accidentally discovered back in 1910 when drilling for natural gas. Instead, this source of water from what was once an ancient seabed was discovered. Now, the water travels inside an insulated pipeline from the well site about a quarter-mile away to the Spa. The temperature only drops about a degree as it travels and stays around a balmy 45°C (113°F).
While you’re here, enjoy the indoor pool and the outdoor rooftop pool that is connected to it. The outdoor pool is open all year and is lovely on a winter day – it’s like the ultimate hot tub! But, be prepared for frosty hair and eyelashes from the steam coming off the pool in the cold.
Admission to the mineral pool is $14-17 CAD for kids and adults. If you want to visit more than once during your stay, I recommend booking a room at the Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa as admission to the pool is free for hotel guests. There’s so much to see in Moose Jaw – make a weekend getaway out of it!
3. Say “Hi” to Mac the Moose
No visit to Moose Jaw would be complete without stopping by to see Mac. You may spot the 32-foot-tall moose as you come into the city on the corner of Thatcher Drive E and Highway #1.
Mac was created back in 1984 to bring visitors into the city, and he does that job well. He’s one of the most photographed roadside attractions in the country! Mac was built by Saskatoon artist, Don Foulds, with a frame made of steel, covered with metal mesh and then four coats of cement.
Mac came very close to losing his title of World’s Largest Moose when a town in Norway built a slightly taller moose. The city rallied together with the help of a local comedian duo, Justin and Greg, to give Mac new antlers in 2019 to regain his title. Now when you stop by to take a photo with Mac and his new antlers, you can congratulate him on being the World’s Largest Moose once again.
Right near Mac, check out the CT-114 Tutor Jet – the same plane the Snowbirds use to train. It’s honoring the city’s connection to the famous flying team as the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Demonstration Team is based in Moose Jaw.
4. Make friends with Burrowing Owls
If you want to visit some seriously cute little owls, the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre is a must-see. The burrowing owls are an endangered species and very rare to spot in the wild. These owls are only nine inches tall and weigh 150 grams – about the same amount as half a can of pop. The owls live on the ground and nest in abandoned burrows dug by other animals like prairie dogs or badgers.
While at the Interpretive Centre, there are exhibits to learn more about the owls, a native prairie garden, and of course, the main attraction – burrowing owls. You can view several owls in captivity here and may even get to see one up close.
The building is located on the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds. The location was picked because several pairs of wild burrowing owls like to nest nearby inside the race track. It is open daily from the Victoria Day Weekend in May until the Labor Day Weekend in September. All winter/fall visits are booked by appointment.
5. Take a Trolley Tour
The Trolley Tour is a fantastic way to see Moose Jaw and find out some of its history. Board a trolley from the Moose Jaw Trolley Company and take a one-hour trip around town. There are a variety of tours offered, so you can pick whatever theme you like.
The first tour is a historical overview of the city where visitors hear about the famous people and places within Moose Jaw. There’s also a Ghost Tour which features tales of the supernatural, spirits, and spooky happenings around the city. Finally, the True Crime Tour focuses on the dark side of Moose Jaw’s past with its most notorious residents.
This is an open-air trolley, so make sure to dress for the weather. Tickets range from $14-17 CAD depending on the tour and can be purchased online. A note that the ghost and crime tours aren’t recommended for kids, so if you’re traveling as a family, take the historic tour. Trolleys run throughout the summer and fall, but check the website for current days and times.
6. Try the delicious food from Wildflowers Bistro
Wildflowers Bistro and Boutique is a new business in an old house and is quickly becoming a favorite little spot in the city. The bistro opened inside the Slade House on Langdon Crescent, which is more than a century old.
Wildflowers is known for their fantastic artisan boxes – they are like the ultimate charcuterie board. So delicious! Get one of the special picnic box options full of meats, cheeses, and fruits and walk across the street to the beautiful Crescent Park. Or grab one of their take-home boxes full of licorice, pretzels, chocolate, and popcorn to elevate movie night.
Order lunch here (they have the best sandwiches!) or pick up something sweet like a chocolate-covered, jam-filled croissant and eat outside on their beautiful deck in the backyard. Browse the boutique before you leave for a few unique treasures to take home.
Wildflowers is open every day except Mondays. All artisan boxes must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.
7. Explore Wakamow Valley
Wakamow Valley is a huge natural park in the city with more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) of trails and 500 acres of parkland. It’s only a few minutes from downtown and very easy to get to. The trails are open all year and this is a beautiful spot to see flowers, plants, and more than 190 types of birds.
This is a really peaceful place to walk along the river or bring a bike and cycle the trails. A great way to explore the valley is right from the river with a canoe or kayak. The river is gentle here, so it’s suitable for beginners or experts. Canoes and kayaks can be rented from Boh’s Canoe Rental.
If you’re here in winter, the cross-country ski trails are kept groomed. Alternatively, rent snowshoes for free from the Wakamow Valley Authority office (call 306-692-2717 for info). In the winter months, bring your skates for the oval rink here at Kiwanis River Park. It’s free and there’s a skate changing room as well.
For bird-watching, pick up a free kit with binoculars, a bird book, and birdseed from the office and see how many you can spot! For the kids, try out one of four different playgrounds in the park to burn off some energy. There’s a campground here if you want to spend more time in the valley. It’s open from May until September.
8. Drink Honey Wine
Try out Prairie Bee – Saskatchewan’s first craft meadery that makes mead or honey wine locally in small batches. The meads are award-winning too, with multiple medals from competitions in Canada, the U.K., the U.S., and China.
Prairie Bee makes their mead from light, sweet honey mostly from clover, alfalfa, and wildflowers. They have a wide range of meads from sweet to bold that include fruits. Try the “Traditional Bee,” which is a delicate, subtle, off-dry wine. Or the “Strawberry Splash” for a taste of the sweet fruit in a rosé-style mead.
Take a tour of the property to see how the honey goes from hive to wine, and enjoy some samples along the way. Tours are $20 CAD per person and available from May until snowfall and can be booked online.
9. Walk through Crescent Park
The park is located downtown and stretches for more than six blocks or about 28 acres. Crescent Park has nice paths to walk, a stream running through it, bridges, fountains, and lots of flowers including the Queen Elizabeth Rose Garden. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife and you might see songbirds, ducks, squirrels, and if you’re lucky, a few deer!
In the summer, enjoy live music at the large amphitheater for Concerts in the Park. The concerts are free and have been running for more than 25 years. Another great summer activity is going to the outdoor pool, spray park, and paddling pool to beat the heat in the park.
The park is also home to the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery and the Moose Jaw Library.
10. Visit the Yvette Moore Gallery (and the great café inside!)
Inside the restored 1910 Land Titles Building is the Yvette Moore Gallery. It’s a beautiful setting for displaying the many stunning artworks of Yvette Moore as well as a large collection of jewelry, pottery, sculptures, and more from Western Canada artists. The gallery’s motto is “Every day is an art show,” and it’s true here!
The building was originally constructed to hold important land titles documents, so it was built with fireproof materials like brick, stone, and concrete. It has 18-foot ceilings and the inside of the windows and doors are copper. It’s a stunning setting to showcase all the beautiful creations within.
Take a break from admiring the art with lunch at The Gallery Café located inside. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists because of the fresh, homemade dishes. In a nod to the building’s history, you’ll eat at tables made from oak and steel that are over 100 years old and original to the building. Make sure to get some of the homemade soup and the legendary saskatoon berry iced tea.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The café is only open for lunch on the same days until 3 p.m.
11. Watch a Hockey Game
The city is home to the Moose Jaw Warriors – a Western Hockey League team. They play at Mosaic Place, which has more than 4,000 seats! The team has had greats like Theoren Fleury, Kelly Buchberger, Mike Keane, and Mark MacKay wear a Warriors uniform. See if you can spot the next NHL star among the talented players of today.
It’s a fun night out to catch a game at the rink and cheer for the home team here. Tickets range from $23-35 CAD per adult for a game and can be purchased online.
Related Read: You can also take a road trip north to see the Saskatoon Blades! Hockey is a Canadian favorite, and one of the best things to do in Saskatoon.
12. Find Colorful Murals
Moose Jaw has 47 murals making it the mural capital of North America! The paintings are on the walls of various buildings throughout the city.
Look behind the Mae Wilson Theatre for the large mural showing what Main Street looked like back in the 1920s. On the side of the Moose Jaw Tourism building on Diefenbaker Drive, there’s a newer mural composed of 828 tiles painted by Moose Jaw residents. All the tiles together create an image of an airplane in honor of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds that are based in Moose Jaw.
Other murals show scenes from the province’s history, like a winter carnival, a portrait of Métis leader Louis Riel, Moose Jaw’s first streetcar, farmers harvesting crops in a threshing bee, and the change to the city when electric lights first arrived.
Many of the murals are located close together, so it’s easy to spot quite a few while walking around Main Street. See how many of these murals you can spot during your time in Moose Jaw!
13. Get your adrenaline pumping!
There are some activities in the Moose Jaw area that are not for the faint of heart, but offer plenty of excitement for any adrenaline junkie!
I’ve been skydiving before, and Dan skydives as a hobby, so this had to be on the list. Skydive South Sask offers solo, tandem jumps. They welcome beginners right through to experts and provide training programs depending on what type of skydiving you’re interested in. You’ll find the drop zone at the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport.
If staying closer to the ground is more your speed, try out the Battle Creek Adventure Park. They have huge paintball playing fields including a 20-acre paintball map that hosts a drop-in Royale paintball game every Saturday at 1 p.m. Basic paintball packages start at $30 CAD for 200 paintballs and you play until you run out.
Try out Canada’s only dune buggy racing track at the Battle Creek Thunderdome. The dirt track has seven turns, a pit lane, and a viewing area. They provide all the gear you need and there are kids’ buggies as well as larger ones for adults. You have to sign up online ahead of time and complete an orientation and practice laps before racing competitively.
If this is too intense for you, you can always check out SkyPark Regina! It’s an indoor obstacle course that includes ziplines, a rock-climbing wall. This is one of the best things to do in Regina, and the best part is you can do it rain or shine!
14. Eat at a local restaurant
There are some excellent choices in Moose Jaw when your tummy starts rumbling! Bobby’s Place Olde World Tavern is a favorite among locals for pub-style food and drinks. They are famous for their homemade meals including fish and chips, roast beef, and the giant Lochness burger. Or try one of the over 50 varieties of Scotch. There’s a great atmosphere here; come on Saturdays for live Celtic music.
Try out the only Japanese-inspired café in Saskatchewan with a visit to Mitsu Sweet Café. They have traditional sushi as well as more creative dishes like sushi pizza. For a snack, the pastries are great paired with a hot drink complete with amazing latte art (try the Tokyo Fog with vanilla and matcha flavors) or a bubble tea.
For the best chicken strips, head to the Déjà vu Café. They have a classic diner atmosphere and serve the best homemade chicken strips and chicken wings with over 100 sauces to choose from. The milkshakes here are made with soft-serve ice cream and there are more than 80 flavors to choose from!
15. See the Bison at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park
Only 20 minutes away from Moose Jaw is Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. Indigenous people once used it to corral and hunt bison. Today, you can still see a captive herd of bison roaming around the scenic hills in the area.
While you’re in the park, take advantage of the excellent trails and the stunning views of the Qu’Appelle Valley – when all the leaves change in fall, it’s spectacular to see. The trails are great for hiking and mountain biking in the summer (there are 30 kilometers/19 miles of biking trails!), and they are groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter.
Buffalo Pound Provincial Park is great for a day trip or to spend the night. If you want to camp here, but don’t have all the gear, try a “Camp Easy” site. There are two of these special campsites available and they have to be reserved ahead of time. Each includes a huge tent (that is already set up), cots, camp chairs, a stove, and more – just bring sleeping bags and food!
16. Check out the museum
The Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw has a theme of transportation on the prairies. You can see cars, trains, boats, planes, and more. There’s even an exclusive exhibit dedicated to the Snowbirds aerobatic team – the only one in the world.
A real highlight, especially for kids (or kids-at-heart,) is getting to ride a real train. In the summer, climb aboard the K+S Potash Canada Short Line 101 and ride the only running steam locomotive in the province. Make sure to call ahead to check when the rides are.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 CAD for adults and $4 CAD for kids.
Tip: If you love museums, be sure to visit Saskatoon. Of the many things to do in Saskatoon, most attractions are actually museums!
17. Stay the night in traditional or unique accommodations
There are so many activities in Moose Jaw, it’s easy to stay a night or two to pack it all in.
Within the city, check out the Grant Hall Hotel, which has been restored to the splendor of when it was first built in 1927. It was designed by an architect from England who is responsible for many of Moose Jaw’s first buildings. Stay a night here and join famous past guests including King George VI, the Von Trapp family, and John G. Diefenbaker.
For more unique accommodations, spend the night in a metal grain bin converted into a cute cabin at the Bin There Campground. It’s 15 minutes from Moose Jaw and the “luxury” grain bins have queen-size beds, air conditioning, and internet – glamping at its finest! You can also enjoy a campfire at the sheltered firepit, go for a hike nearby, or fish at the pond stocked with Rainbow trout.
Where to Stay in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Of course I couldn’t send you off without giving you some great accommodation options in Moose Jaw! Here are some options for each budget.
If you prefer to save on accommodations so you can splurge a little when it comes to activities in Moose Jaw, Thriftlodge Moose Jaw is a great option! It’s rated very highly, and includes breakfast, as well as kitchenettes in most rooms. It’s also just 10 minutes away from the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. The rooms are a little dated, but they are still comfy! Rates here start at $72 CAD per night.
Quality Inn & Suites is a little bit closer to the town center, and has more recently renovated rooms if you don’t mind spending a little bit more. They also offer a free breakfast, kitchenette, and fitness center. Rooms here start at $118 CAD per night.
Another option that’s only slightly more expensive that I mentioned previously is the Grant Hall Hotel. I think this hotel is not just a stay, but an experience. Little Chicago Steakhouse & Grill is their on-site restaurant, and the hotel itself has hosted known names in previous years. Their suites offer relaxing deep tubs, and they offer a grab-and-go breakfast too!
Renting a Car in Saskatchewan
If you’re arriving in Saskatchewan via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to the best attractions within them requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental Cars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and using crown land and campsites you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Canada Travel Essentials
Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.
Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!
Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!
Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.
Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.
Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.
Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $28 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!
Thanks for reading!
Moose Jaw is a fun place for a day trip, or to spend an entire weekend exploring. It has some truly unique activities and hidden gems throughout the city and surrounding area sure to make your time here memorable. So enjoy discovering all this prairie city has to offer!
Make sure you check out some of our other Canada posts! Here are a few suggestions: