These fun and exciting things to do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, will help you plan an exciting visit to the capital of Saskatchewan.
When the legendary Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip sang “sundown in the Paris of the prairies” in their iconic song “Wheat Kings,” they were speaking about the beautiful city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
This often overlooked Canadian city in the heart of Canada’s vast prairie region is perched on the gently-flowing banks of the massive South Saskatchewan River, and although it’s not the capital of the province (that honour lies with the southern Saskatchewan city of Regina), Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan.
Saskatoon rarely ranks among the most sought-after destinations in Canada. However, the city offers a wealth of incredible dining, cultural, outdoor, and entertainment attractions to compete with many of Canada’s most exciting cities. In fact, for those seeking a destination that will greet them with a warm smile and that naturally Canadian wit and humour, Saskatoon might be the perfect place.
There are more than enough things to do in Saskatoon to draw in discerning visitors from across the country and around the globe. And if you dig deep, you might just find that Saskatoon is one of the most underrated destinations in Canada.
A Little Bit About Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon is the commercial heart of the Canadian prairies. The city, which sits on the traditional territory of the Métis, has been an important hub for First Nations communities dating back over 8,000 years. In fact, the name Saskatoon comes from the Cree word “misaskwatomina” the name of a sweet, purple berry that still grows in the region.
European settlers began to arrive in Saskatoon in the 1880s, and by the early 1900s, three villages on the south banks of the South Saskatchewan River combined to form what is now the city of Saskatoon.
The city of Saskatoon sits right at the heart of the Canadian Prairies. The wide, flat landscapes ooze prairie charm, and you don’t have to travel far to uncover those mesmerizing rural Saskatchewan landscapes filled with wheat farms and brightly-coloured grain silos.
Saskatoon is a fun, vibrant city. It’s packed with great attractions and fun things to do for all ages. While it might not rock the 24-hour-a-day action of cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, Saskatoon oozes charm, warmth, and excitement year-round.
The Best Things To Do In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
If you’re looking for great attractions, Saskatoon has you covered. This vibrant city offers culinary, cultural, and urban entertainment that will help keep any visitors occupied, no matter how long a visit they have. These fun and exciting things to do in Saskatoon are just the tip of the iceberg.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Wanuskewin Heritage Park has long been on the list of the top things to do in Saskatoon, but in recent years this rural park, just outside of the city, has garnered huge excitement, not just in Saskatchewan but around the world as well.
The park was added to the list for tentative Canadian UNESCO World Heritage designations and is expected to be inducted by 2025, hosts the longest-running archaeological dig in Canada. Massive excitement built up with an unexpected discovery in 2020 of Indigenous geoglyphs dug up by the park’s bison herd.
The park contains important archaeological sites that date back more than 6,000 years that show evidence of pre-contact settlements. You’ll also find fantastic cultural programs perfect for the whole family that include Tipi sleepovers, archaeologist talks, and children’s storytime.
Winter at Wanuskewin Heritage Park is also a delight. Walking and hiking trails are converted to snowshoeing trails, and the park offers delicious outdoor bannock bakes. You can find out more about Wanuskewin Heritage Centre here.
Experience Glow Standup Paddleboarding with Back2Nature Wellness
If you’re looking for a truly unique nature experience in Saskatoon, Kyla, the owner of Back2Nature Wellness, has you covered. Among the range of incredible wellness experiences that she has put together are snowshoeing, sauna, retreats and glow standup paddleboarding.
The glow SUP experience takes place at Blackstrap Provincial Park and uses paddleboards equipped with submersible lights that offer a surreal lighting experience for the paddlers. All of your equipment is provided, so show up and enjoy your time with a Paddle Canada instructor.
Sip Your Way Through the Saskatoon Brewery Scene
Saskatoon is packed with some extremely capable breweries crafting unique, delicious, and fun-to-drink craft beer. People come out in droves to support these small businesses, meaning Saskatoon craft breweries are dotted across the city. It’s not just beer, either. You’ll find award-winning spirits and ciders throughout Saskatoon as well.
9 Mile Brewery on 20th St W launched in 2015 and has become a staple in the city, often collaborating with other local brewers to craft spectacular English and Belgian-inspired brews. The brewery was launched by two founders whose farms were 9 miles apart, and their work shows their dedication to their craft and legacy.
Offering an astounding 25 seasonal rotations, Prairie Sun Brewery on Broadway Ave. offers an eclectic range of great beers and is the perfect place for those who are always looking for something new. It’s situated in a bright, comfortable space where folks can enjoy a casual draft with friends or even their dog on their pet-friendly patio.
Shelter Brewing Company is located right in the core of downtown Saskatoon. The brewery features small-batch beers with a focus on quality. You won’t find their brews in stores, so if you want to enjoy some, you’ll need to visit their tap room.
Visit The Ghost of the Bessborough Hotel
Saskatoon may not have made our list of the most haunted places in Canada, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its fair share of ghosts and ghouls.
One of the most intriguing places in the city is the historic Delta Bessborough Hotel, a grand railway hotel located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The hotel, which is among the most popular hotels in Saskatoon, also houses a spectre.
Visitors and staff alike have often reported glimpses of an older man in a grey suit and a fedora wandering aimlessly through the hallways and ballrooms of the hotel.
If you see him, tell him we said hi!
Feed the Chickadees at Beaver Creek Conservation Area
The Meewasin Valley, which winds in and around the city is packed with amazing places to get outdoors. It’s no surprise that hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are among the favourite activities in Saskatoon. One of the best places to enjoy nature in Saskatoon is Beaver Creek Conservation Area.
The conservation area offers access to sprawling grasslands which, during the summer, are dotted with colourful wildflowers. Among the hiking trails and creek-side parks are a huge population of friendly chickadees. These tiny birds love to dine on seeds, and if you stand nice and still, they’ll take their meal right from the palm of your hand.
Take a Cruise on the Prairie Lily
One of the best ways to see Saskatoon is aboard the relaxing one-hour cruises offered by the Prairie Lily. This popular Saskatoon riverboat cruise lets visitors take in the beauty of the South Saskatchewan River, backed by the vast prairie skies.
The Prairie Lily hosts sightseeing cruises, sunset cruises, and even dinner cruises. It makes for one of the most relaxing things to do in Saskatoon and is a great way to take in the city’s skyline.
Shop the Saskatoon Farmers Market
Operating since 1975, the Saskatoon Farmers Market has been the go-to destination for farm-to table ingredients, local handicrafts, and scrumptious baked goods. The market operates year-round on Koyl Ave. Their vendor list changes seasonally, so make sure to check their website to see what’s currently on offer.
Enjoy A Tour of the Lucky Bastards Distillery
If you love spirits, you’ll want to add LB Distillery to your Saskatoon itinerary. The distillery began over holiday drinks back in 2010 and has been serving the Saskatoon community and spirit lovers across Canada ever since. Drop in and enjoy a tour of the LB Distillery. See how the spirits are made on-site and enjoy a tasting of some of their most popular flavours.
Catch A Show At The Red Barn
The Red Barn is the heart of community theatre in Saskatoon. The Barn Playhouse has been hosting live theatre for over 25-years and guests can add to their fun with wagon rides and dining experiences offering a taste of the prairies.
The Red Barn keeps the warmth running all season long as well, hosting a plethora of both summer and winter festivals.
Meet The Animals at the Saskatoon Forest Park and Zoo
It’s incredible to see just how many fascinating animals live at the Saskatoon Forest Park and Zoo. With diversity that includes Red Pandas and Madagascar Ruffed Lemurs, wandering the educational exhibits of this prairie zoo is definitely one of the best things to do in Saskatoon.
The zoo had an unconventional start, beginning as a simple tree nursery. But over the past century, it has grown to become one of Saskatchewans premier ecological sanctuaries as well as Saskatchewan’s only accredited zoo. Over the years, this site has shipped over 147 million trees to countries around the world.
Bike The Trails at Blackstrap Provincial Park
Located just 35 minutes from central Saskatoon, Blackstrap Provincial Park is the go-to destination for mountain bike enthusiasts in the city.
While Blackstrap doesn’t offer the epic verticals of the mountains, there are more than enough challenging courses mixed with fun ups and downs to make this an exciting cycling destination for all skill levels. You won’t find crazy technical challenges, but the courses are varied, fun, and exciting to ride.
Relax with Bannock and Bonfires at Dakota Dunes
Dakota Dunes sits within the Cree Nation Territory just 25-minutes from central Saskatoon. It is Saskatoon’s only full-service resort, offering golf, beautiful nature, dining, and cultural activities for visitors and locals alike.
Relax into the evening with traditional bannock and storytelling around the outdoor bonfire. A local storyteller will take you through the history of the Dakota people and share personal stories of the history of the land.
Now It’s Time to Experience These Things To Do In Saskatoon For Yourself
There are more things to do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan than meets the eye. From river-side walks and fabulous theatres to the great craft breweries and restaurants, you can find something for everyone in this beautiful region of Saskatchewan.
Many of these businesses and restaurants are anxious for visitors after a tough year. So let’s support local and make the most of your Saskatoon adventure.
Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of We Explore Canada. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home country and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.