25 Exciting Things to do in Saskatoon, Canada (other than museums)
“There are 25 exciting things to do in Saskatoon?!”
This is what a friend of mine said to me when I told him I was writing this blog. And the surprising part? This friend is a Saskatoon local!
That’s right, a Saskatoon local didn’t even think there were so many things to do in Saskatoon.
The truth is when I was researching what Dan and I were going to do when we went to Saskatoon all I could find were blogs about museums. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against going to the odd museum when I visit a new city – I just don’t want to go to several. I started to think, ‘surely there are some exciting “non-museum” things to do in Saskatoon.’
After lots of research, exploring, and chatting to my friends and family who call Saskatoon home, I have been able to write this blog about 25 interesting and exciting things to do in Saskatoon, Canada!
1. Tour a Local Distillery
I’ve made this first on my list because it is my personal favorite! When I was in Saskatoon we went to LB’s Distillers (aka Lucky Bastard Distillers) for a tour of the distillery.
There are a few reasons I enjoyed this distillery tour so much. The first was that the tour was actually really fun and interesting! It went for about 40 minutes and our guide showed us around the distillery. We learned about how they make vodka, gin, and whiskey as well as the history of the company.
Oh, and did I say FREE samples?!
That’s right, not only is the tour free but the samples they give you during and after the tour is also free! As your guide is showing you around a server will bring out samples of the spirits they make! After the tour, you’ll be able to sample other spirits as well as enjoy a cocktail at their beautiful onsite bar.
I recommend trying their Ceasar. They make it with Dill Pickle Vodka and bacon bitters. It is delicious!
You should book your tour on Lucky Bastard’s website online in advance. It is free but be prepared, you will love their spirits so much you will likely buy something. For a bottle of 7-times distilled vodka expect to pay around $34 CAD, not a bad deal if I do say so myself.
2. Go for a swim at Manitou Lake
Manitou is a gorgeous little town just over an hour drive from Saskatoon. It makes for a great day trip, or if you have more time, you could also spend a night!
The town is on the edge of a lake which is known as “the Dead Sea of Canada.”
Well, the lake has such high salt content that you can actually float in it similar to the Dead Sea! Just jump in and you’ll see for yourself, you’ll float. It is really a neat experience to just be floating around in the lake.
At the lake’s edge, there are some picnic tables and a beach area. There are bathrooms with hot showers as well as some little shops and restaurants.
If you walk along the road next to the lake (to the right if you’re facing the lake) you’ll find some really unique antique shops. Across the road from the antique shops, there is a store the sells the biggest ice cream cones ever! For only $3.50 you’ll get a scoop of ice cream so big you likely won’t be able to finish it (take that as a challenge.)
I only visited Manitou on a day trip from Saskatoon, but to be honest, I would’ve spent a night or two if I had known beforehand how nice it is! There are a few hotels in town that are walking distance to the lake including the Manitou Executive Suites.
The Manitou Springs Resort & Mineral Spa actually takes water from the lake for their indoor pool. The water is heated so you can float in it any time of year (the lake is very cold even in the summer.)
You can visit the pools for $16 CAD per person, or if you spend the night at the hotel you’re entrance is free! The hotel is fairly affordable but isn’t the nicest in the area.
AirBnB is also a great option in Manitou Beach. If you’ve never used AirBnb before use think link and you’ll save $35 USD off your first booking!
3. Bet at the Horse Races
This is a Saskatoon local favorite! At Marquis Downs, there is a thoroughbred racetrack where you can watch (and bet if you’re the gambling type) on the horses.
Entry is $5 per person and the races are on every Friday and Saturday night from June to September.
Once you’re there you can go to one of the few onsite restaurants, get a drink, have a snack from the concession stands, or just sit back and relax!
4. Jump on a River Cruise
Saskatoon is a city built right on the South Saskatchewan River. Therefore, one of the best ways to explore the city is on a boat right on the river!
The Prarie Lilly is a large 118-passenger Riverboat that offers daily cruises on the river. You can go on a scenic cruise for as little as $25 CAD a person, or you can go on a dinner cruise for $62 including all of your food.
Cruises depart daily at 2, 4, and 6 pm and often book up on weekends. Be sure to view their schedule online and book in advance!
5. Go shopping on Broadway
Summer or winter, shopping is a great idea! But instead of the typical mall, hit the beautiful street of Broadway Avenue and check out all of the unique shops Saskatoon has to offer. Broadway Ave is lined with tiny privately-owned stores and restaurants. Go for a stroll and stop-off wherever your heart desires.
Some of my personal favorite stores on Broadway include the Handmade House, a tiny store full of handmade gifts and souvenirs; Prarie Proud, a local clothing company that donates a portion of their profits to local charities; and Hats & That, a small store with tons of hats for all occasions as well as some really neat accessories and jewelry.
Broadway is a beautiful area of Saskatoon with lots to explore. Booking a hotel near Broadway Ave would be great idea and a lovely place to stay. The Colonial Inn is only a couple of blocks away while the Marriott Bessborough and Marriott Saskatoon Downtown are in the center of the city but just across the river from Broadway!
6. Walk or Ski the Meewasin Trail
The Meewasin Trail is a trail that runs along both sides of the river in Saskatoon. There are over 60 kilometers of trail that connects parks, bridges, and various other tourist attractions.
In the summer months, this trail is a beautiful place to go for a stroll (especially at sunset!) And in the winter you can still enjoy the trail – on skis! Particular areas of the trail are made for cross country skiing during the winter months making it that much more interesting!
7. Visit a comedy club
Looking for something to do in the evening other than drink at a bar? Consider hitting up Yuk-Yuks, the local comedy club.
Every Friday night at the Park Town Hotel there is a stand-up comedy show by Yuk-Yuks. The comedians change from week to week featuring local favorites as well as internationally recognized comedians. Tickets should be bought in advance to avoid missing out!
Consider booking a room at the Park Town Hotel for your night of comedy so you are staying only a few steps away from the show!
8. Enjoy fresh produce at the Farmers Market
Let’s face it, Saskatoon is a city surround by a lot, of well, farms! So, it only makes sense that they have a really incredible farmers market.
And the best part?
The Saskatoon Farmers Market runs all year round! That’s right, it isn’t just a summer thing!
Every week on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm, Sundays 10 am- 3 pm, and Wednesdays from 10 am to 3 pm you can visit the farmers market and pick up fresh LOCAL produce.
But it isn’t just fresh fruit and veggies you’ll find at the markets. There are food trucks and tons of other goodies and handmade crafts to check out. It is a great place to go if you want something made (or grown) locally!
9. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
There is a company (Sundance Balloons) that offers Hot Air Balloon Rides in Saskatoon. Sure, the prairie landscape might not be the most picturesque place in the world to go up in a balloon, but it is the cheapest!
Hot Air Balloon rides go for as little as $190 CAD per person! Of course, balloons only go up in ideal weather conditions so be sure to give yourself a couple of days in Saskatoon in case you need to reschedule due to weather.
10. Eat Gelato at Beppi’s
This place came recommended to us by my cousin (a Saskatoon local!) She claims to have tried all of the gelato in Saskatoon and this place is the best! So we gave it a try for ourselves on our recent visit, and we have to agree – they have some good gelato!
There is one other thing that is special about Beppi’s – they are dog-friendly. This means that if you are visiting Saskatoon with your dog you can bring him or her in and they will even give your dog their own little ice cream cone! How cute!
Beppi’s is located just off Broadway Avenue and it costs about $4 for a decent-sized cone.
11. Explore Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a unique experience in Saskatoon. It is a national historic site with over 6000 years of history. In fact, some of the oldest artifacts found in all of North America were found in Wanuskewin.
Today, Wanuskewin it is a place for people too visit and learn about the country’s first people, their culture, and the land. There is a large building featuring many different exhibits. There are also many trails in the area to explore the land.
Wanuskewin is located only 5 kilometers from Saskatoon. It is open all year round Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission for an adult is $10 CAD where children are $7. Check their website for events or programs.
12. Attend an annual event or festival
Contrary to what many people think, there is actually a lot going on in Saskatoon. It is a vibrant city with plenty of events and festivals happening all year around. From concerts to cultural festivals to an annual Pride festival, there is a wide range of events for everyone!
You should check out if any special events are happening while you’re in Saskatoon. Check out the tourism Saskatoon website for the schedule and more info.
13. Go mountain biking (in Blackstrap Provincial Park)
You don’t need huge mountains to go mountain biking. In fact, you can go just outside of Saskatoon in Blackstrap Provincial Park. Here, there is a large man-made hill called Mount Blackstrap.
While there aren’t the steepest or most challenging trails here, they are great for beginners or anyone looking to try something a little different.
In the winter, this same area serves skiers and snowboarders.
The park is located 32 kilometers from Saskatoon.
14. Go to a Hockey Game
It’s no secret that Canadians love hockey, and well, the people of Saskatchewan love hockey just as much (if not more!) than most Canadians!
Although Saskatchewan does not have a professional hockey team, hockey is still alive and well in the province as it is a popular place for junior hockey stars.
The Saskatoon Blades are part of the WHL (Western Hockey League) and they play regular games in Saskatoon. The skill level is very good and the games are entertaining to watch. The best part about this league is that it isn’t as hard to score tickets to as an NHL game and the tickets are much more affordable.
In fact, you can actually score tickets for as little as $10 CAD! Buy tickets on the Saskatoon Blades website in advance.
15. Explore the Saskatoon Zoo
This is the place to go if you want to see some true Canadian animals. This zoo doesn’t have elephants, tigers, and gorillas. Instead, it’s main features include grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and cougars.
When I went to the Saskatoon Zoo I must admit, I didn’t have high expectations. But, after walking around and seeing the wide variety of animals I was actually impressed. They really showcased Canadian wildlife and even had some extras to check out such as Australian Dingos and monkeys.
It wasn’t busy and chaotic like most zoos are, it was actually a peaceful way to spend an hour or so outside walking around.
The zoo is open all year round but many animals aren’t out in the winter. For this reason, in the winter entrance is by donation only whereas the summer it costs $12 per adult with discounted rates for children and seniors.
16. Dog sledding
Dog sledding in Canada is really a once in a lifetime experience for many people. About 230 kilometers north of Saskatoon the company called Sundogs actually runs dog sledding excursions for visitors!
Now, this is a little ways from Saskatoon, so it is best done on a multi-day trip from the city (spend a night in Prince Albert.) But, from what I’ve heard, the journey is totally worth it!
You’ll meet the dogs and get familiar with everything before you head off with your guide on the snow and ice!
Sundogs offer half-day excursions and well as longer overnight experiences. No matter what you choose, one thing is for sure, it will be an adventure to remember!
17. Go on a food tour
Saskatoon is a city with some very special restaurants. There are tons of unique locally owned places that offer food you’ll never get anywhere else. Of course, there are also places serving up Canadian classics like Ceasars and Poutine!
I am a huge fan of food tours in any city. I find that they are generally a good way to get to know a city and eat at the best places (that typically only locals know about.) Plus, if you really want to get to know a culture trying their food is a great place to start.
In Saskatoon, there is only one company that offers food tour, Saskatours. You can book on their website here.
18. Canoe the river
For a bit of excitement on a nice day, rent a canoe and paddle along the South Saskatchewan River right through the heart of Saskatoon. A company called Canoe, Ski, Discovery rents canoes for visitors to use and also runs a shuttle service. This means no need to paddle upstream!
For those looking for a bit of adventure, consider going on a multi-day trip. Canoe, Ski, Discovery can help you plan your route and provide all required safety equipment.
19. Get lost in the Corn Maze
This is a highly seasonal activity, but if happen to be Saskatoon in the late summer to early winter (August to October) this could be the perfect thing to do!
Corn Mazes are life-sized mazes made from tall corn. It is a family-friendly activity and a fun way to spend a few hours. If you have never been to a corn maze before this is definitely a must-do!
The largest corn maze and closest to Saskatoon is at The Strawberry Ranch & Maze at 325 Valley Road. Hours vary on the season so be sure to check out their website before you go. Adult admission is $9.50 CAD per person.
20. Have the city’s best burger at Ace Burger
Like I said before, there is some good food in Saskatoon! This summer’s hottest burger joint is actually new! Ace Burger was once just a food truck, but it got so popular that it recently opened its very own restaurant on Broadway and it has been packed ever since.
The locals who already have to wait to get a table will hate me for telling visitors this, but Ace Burger is arguably the best burger in Saskatoon.
They have a large selection of burgers for a reasonable price as well as a large patio. If you don’t want to wait for a table (it is that popular that you generally do have to) you can actually order your burgers for takeaway.
21. Go Berry Picking
You can’t visit Saskatoon without trying Saskatoon Berries, right?! So, head over to the Strawberry Ranch to pick some fresh Saskatoon Berries, Strawberries, or whatever else they have in season for yourself.
If you aren’t visiting Saskatoon during the right season it is still worth a visit to the Strawberry Ranch. They have jams and other goods to buy in-store made from Saskatoon Berries as well as a restaurant on site that is known for serving some delicious waffles.
22. Watch a Car Race
Watching car races is another popular thing for Canadians to do. In Saskatoon, they have their own race track with regular events!
Head over to Wyant Group Raceway to watch a few races. They have their full schedule up online so you can see what’s going on while you’re in town.
23. Sample Craft beer and a local Brewery
Craft breweries are getting very popular all over the world today, and Saskatoon is no different. There are a few different breweries around the city where you can try their craft beer. 9 Mile is one of the most popular as with Prarie Sun.
You can visit the breweries directly to try the beer or even just go to a local pub, most bars feature a couple of local beers on tap.
24. Go ice skating
A true Canadian classic – ice skating! In the winter there are many places where you can go ice skating in Saskatoon. There are indoor rinks with public skate sessions, outdoor rinks scattered throughout the city, as well as the public outdoor oval open in the winter.
The oval is open from December to March and is free to skate on! You will need to bring your own skates though. Either rent them in town or by an old pair from a thrift store.
25. Go hiking at Cranberry Flats Conservation Area
The Cranberry Flats Conservation Area is a nice place to go for a stroll any time of the year. You’ll see prairie land, the South Saskatchewan River, and sandy banks, and some forest. There are some walking trails that can be completed in only an hour to two.
In the winter you can even go snowshoeing or cross country skiing here!
The area is dog-friendly and free to visit. It is located about 14 kilometers from the city.
Where to stay in Saskatoon
Thrift Lodge Saskatoon
This is a great budget option a little out of the city. Its one of the cheapest places but still has good reviews. We’d recommend this to those on a tight budget with their own car.
West Wing at Park Town
The West Wing is a good option if you’re after a very beautiful location. Its sits both on the river and Kiwanis Park and is still walking distance to downtown. It’s also not that far from Broadway which is the best avenue in the city!
Hilton Garden Inn
Hiltons are always a great choice and this one is no different. It’s in a beautiful location thats close to many attractions, has luxury rooms, and that classic Hilton Service!
Marriot Saskatoon Downtown
This is a beautiful hotel is arguably one of the best locations in the city. Its both close to Broadway, a range of parks, the river, and downtown. This place comes highly recommended by us and would make your stay in Saskatoon very comfortable!
So it is true, there really are 25 exciting things to do in Saskatoon, SK! If I forgot anything please be sure to let me know in the comments!
Enjoy your visit to Saskatoon and I hope you have a fun time!
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November 14, 2019