I’m a full-time mom who writes from home, so summer vacation isn’t ALWAYS a vacation. But we only had two months to live it up now that my son is in Kindergarten, so this is how I spent my summer vacation: trying to do it all! We had a true Saskatchewan vacation starting on the last day of Pre-K. We filled our summer with adventures – but we also made sure to relax at home. We did our best to fill the summer with laughter and excitement.
How I Spent my Summer Vacation – Saskatchewan Style
We started our summer vacation the very day Pre-K ended. As a surprise to my son, I booked us on an evening Prairie Lily Cruise. It was one of the first this season, and the first time either of us had gone on a full ride.
The Prairie Lily is a cruise ship along the Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon. I chose the sightseeing tour. From the second my son found out we were going on the cruise, he had a huge smile on his face. The only thing he didn’t love was having to stay on the bench we were sitting on. My little boy is full of energy and hates to sit still. He’d much rather be walking around the boat while trying to make others laugh. We were able to sit upstairs as well as down in the dining room to experience both settings.
This is our go-to every summer. (Also, every other season!)
We have been searching for our favourite park in Saskatoon. This one wins because it has everything! It has a fun playground, trails, spots to picnic, and a beautiful river. My son enjoys playing in the sand by the water the best. This year the water was shallow so we were able to go in and splash on hot days. This is always on our summer vacation list because it still feels like we are in a whole new world without leaving the city. We love it there.
We did this the week after school ended and it was by far the most exciting thing to try out. We were not disappointed.
I saw a friend’s post about visiting Aspen Ridge Llamas and I was immediately intrigued and booked a walk. It’s located about two hours from Saskatoon. We discovered our love for farms on this visit. The walk was amazing and we have plans to visit again! My son walked his own and had so much fun with her. We got to visit other animals on the way and we learned a lot about Llamas on the walk. This was one of my favourite adventures this summer.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Wanuskewin is located just outside Saskatoon and is the perfect day trip. We bought a membership for the year at the start of summer because we loved it so much.
It’s got a little bit of everything. Bison, hikes, an amazing park for the kids, cultural tours, and dance performances. My son LOVES the dance performances. Not only are they amazing to watch, but the performers always take time to speak to the audience and sometimes let them participate. He’s loved every dance we’ve seen. We try to time our visits so we can see the performance before we explore.
Another Saskatoon Staycation we chose is a walk over the Railway Bridge. We spend time discovering the water and rocks on either side of the Bridge. I make sure to bring a picnic lunch so we can make a day of it.
It’s another Saskatoon trip that makes us feel like we are in our very own new world. We get to try out new paths, stick our toes in the water, watch the trains going over the bridge, climb trees, and so much more. We feel like we are on an adventure while discovering new places in the city. Every trip there leads us to a different and new spot. We love our City of Bridges and we love discovering all that surrounds the bridges.
Just outside of Saskatoon, off Valley Road, is Rhodes’ Raspberries and Blackcurrants. You can visit to pick berries when they are in season. We made two different trips to pick Saskatoons and then Raspberries.
My five-year-old loves picking them and always tries to make it a competition to see who can pick the most berries. I usually win because he insists he needs to try them out as we go. We can spend hours picking berries and we usually end the day with an ice cream treat from the store (usually made with fresh berries!)
Visits to Small Towns
Small towns are the heart of Saskatchewan. Although I live in Saskatoon, I grew up in one of these small towns. This means part of my summer vacation will ALWAYS include a visit to my hometown.
We made a few trips to my hometown but planned one major trip to attend a car show. It was a great event held by the Plenty Hotel. They had a pancake breakfast, a car show, a bouncy castle, and a bike parade. My son took part in the bike parade and was so proud to be included in it (even though he was slow with the training wheels). Visits to my hometown give us time to slow down – something that seems true of many smaller towns in Saskatchewan.
If you’re looking for a place to spend some of your summer vacation time, look no further than Champetre County. You can go up for a day trip or enquire about the cabins and have an actual staycation there.
What’s not to love here? It’s about an hour from Saskatoon and worth the visit. They’ve got farm animals to visit, a corral maze to get lost in, a saloon to eat in, and a general store. My son fell in love with the animals and could have spent all day just in that area. Getting him to leave included ice cream bribes.
This is a tour that takes place every summer. It’s self-guided. They have signs to follow and a map online to visit different businesses and art galleries along highways 12 and 40. They’re located in and around Blaine Lake.
I took the tour with my sister and my son. We had a great time. We got to drive along roads we don’t usually visit. We stopped for a picnic lunch. We met new people and saw everything from photographs to woodworking to a blacksmith shop. Every spot we visited had something different to offer and it was such a blast visiting them all. We each had our favourites, and we are already planning another tour next year.
We made this trip a few different times this summer. It’s about 45 minutes from Saskatoon, and it’s the best road trip. Petrofka Orchard is an amazing place to visit.
Petrofka Orchard has everything you need for a family summer vacation day. They have fantastic walking trails that lead you to a beautiful spot by the river. They’ve also got a restaurant and store to visit. The food is amazing! We loved it all. Best of all, the area is also dog friendly, so you can bring your own dog for a walk or visit with the dogs there. It’s safe to say the pups are my son’s favourite part.
Summer vacation isn’t complete without a visit to the Saskatoon Fringe. Before my son was born, I visited every year and tried to see all of the shows. Of course, it’s a lot harder with a little one, but now I get to explore the amazing kid’s area as well.
He loved the fringe. From the street performers to the kid’s area, my son is now a Fringe lover, just like me. We can’t wait to see how much better it is next year when the pandemic is hopefully behind us. We spent most of our time making puppets, and then I got to watch him do a puppet show with my friend. He loved it so much. As we always do – we followed up our day with ice cream. We didn’t do the plays this year but plan to next year.
Our next stop was a fun one. We drove to the Battlefords and did some exploring there. I tried to fit as much in as I could during one visit, but we could spend a lot more time exploring.
We stopped for lunch at Finlayson Island. It was a gorgeous place to stop, and we enjoyed the scenery and trails. It was scorching so our next stop was going back in time at the Western Development Museum. We explored inside and out. We even got a ride on the firetruck!
You can’t have a Saskatchewan Summer Vacation without adding a camping trip.
We went on a camping trip to Martins Lake with the grandparents, my sister, and our family. We stayed for a week and chose the windiest week in Saskatchewan. The summer was hot every other day except our camping trip. We still found time to canoe, swim, eat, make sandcastles, and play.
We couldn’t end our summer without another visit to Nutrien Playland at Kinsmen Park.
We took a trip on the train. We picked our favourite animal to ride on the carousel. We soared over Saskatoon on the Ferris wheel. It was the perfect activity to end our summer.
What did we do on our Summer Vacation? Everything. I can’t wait until the day we travel to other places in Canada and beyond but for now, we will be happy enjoying adventures in our very own land of the living skies.