The wind in your hair, catchy tunes, and great snacks — good road trips are the stuff of legend! Road-tripping now that you have kids might not be quite the same as road-tripping with friends, but travelling with kids opens the world to us in new ways. The time away from everyday distractions nourishes family bonds and travel shapes young, inquisitive minds. Albertans love to hit the road, so this summer, take the road less travelled and discover something new with Tourism Saskatchewan. Check out these ten terrific attractions and hidden gems for families to explore, all waiting for you next door!
You can stop by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum while in Regina, but on your way in from Alberta, your little dinosaur lovers will enjoy a detour to the T. Rex Discovery Centre in Eastend. Here you can meet Scotty, the largest T. Rex ever found and enjoy hands-on workshops and prehistoric galleries.
Why study Canadian history when you can see it first-hand? The Tunnels of Moose Jaw will take you under the city to an extensive tunnel system built in the early 1900s. Choose from three guided theatrical tours. You can relive the prohibition in the Chicago Connection and encounter the hardships of early Chinese immigrants and learn how they contributed to Canada’s growth in Passage to Fortune. Bunker 24 takes you to the 1950s and the Cold War. While in Moose Jaw, check out the geothermal pool at Temple Gardens and Spa and sometimes you might even catch a glimpse of the military aerobatics flight demonstration team, the Snowbirds, as they are based at 15 Wing Moose Jaw.
If you’re heading off the beaten path, be sure to find your way to Great Sand Hills, a 1,900 square kilometre area of desert-like sand dunes in southwestern Saskatchewan. The strong winds create an everchanging landscape with the tallest dunes standing 15 – 20 metres. You can stop by the museum and interpretive centre on your way in to learn more about the area.
These aren’t the only sand dunes in Saskatchewan, either. Head to Douglas Provincial Park, an hour and a half south of Saskatoon on the southeast end of Lake Diefenbaker, for sand and other outdoor fun. Saskatchewan is also home to the largest active sand surface in Canada at Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park but it’s only accessible by float plane and recommended for experienced wilderness users.
The Saskatchewan Science Centre, in Regina, is dedicated to igniting those curious young minds with dynamic and hands-on activities. With experiments, stage shows, and new things to discover, kids will reveal their inner scientists. Plus, the Centre boasts the Kramer IMAX Theatre, bringing you the world through laser 3-D on the giant screen. (And here’s a bonus: if you have a membership at TELUS Spark, you will get free admission to the Saskatchewan Science Centre, through the Canadian Science Centres Reciprocal Agreement. Free admission is limited to general exhibit areas and does not include travelling exhibitions or theatre shows.)
While in Regina, stop by the RCMP Heritage Centre and explore over a century of RCMP history, from the beginning of the North-West Mounted Police in 1873 to the modern-day Mountie. You’ll find traditional and state-of-the-art exhibits, virtual reality experiences, and live events. The RCMP Heritage Centre is working towards becoming Canada’s newest national museum, exploring the past with authenticity and telling difficult stories with dignity and compassion.
Let’s head north to the Nutrien Wonderhub Children’s Museum. Located in Saskatoon, the Nutrien Wonderhub is Saskatchewan’s only Children’s Museum. Here, children and their families have a place that sparks creativity and curiosity with interactive exhibits and programs. Nurture your child’s natural wonder with unique opportunities to play and explore.
Just across the road from the Wonderhub, kids are thrilled to find the Nutrien Playland at Kinsmen Park. It’s the perfect place to run and play, burning off all that road trip energy, and cool off with water play. Of course, kids also love the rides, so go for a spin on the Ferris Wheel, the Carousel, and the Canpotex Train.
Fort Battleford National Historic Site is an easy day trip from Saskatoon where you can discover a piece of history. Fort Battleford played a role in the 1885 Northwest Resistance and the site is an immersive historical experience showing how the Métis, settlers, Indigenous peoples, and RCMP lived through difficult times.
Give your little adrenaline junkies a thrill with Treeosix Adventure Parks. The company has two locations. One is in the far south in the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (a favourite camping location for many Calgary families) and one is in the north at Elk Ridge Resort, just outside of Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert National Park.
Both locations offer thousands of feet of zip lines through two spectacular forest systems, the boreal forest of northern Saskatchewan and the lodgepole pine forest of the Cypress Hills. Combined with amazing ship ladders, rope ladders, sky bridges, parachute simulators (Cypress Hills), and a giant swing (Waskesiu), your day will be filled with adventure in a beautiful natural setting.
Speaking of a beautiful natural setting, Prince Albert National Park has something for every outdoor lover. From tenting and backcountry camping to luxury cabins and lodges, you can revel in the beauty of nature. Of course, there’s a lot to do, as well. With fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and golfing (and don’t forget mini golfing), families can be as busy or relaxed as they wish. The area has wonderful ecological diversity, as you travel from the prairie grasslands to the boreal forests and wetlands.
No matter where your travels take you, you’ll find memorable family experiences in Saskatchewan. Discover something new, take the road less travelled, and enjoy life together. See you on the road!
All images from Tourism Saskatchewan.