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5 Overnight or Weekend trips from Regina

5 Overnight or Weekend trips from Regina (Within @2.5 – 5.5 hours)

Looking for a getaway that is more than a day and less than a week, yet not too far from home?

Early in July I provided five options for simple day trips starting out from Regina. If you have more time to spend, a long weekend or more, I have some fun trip suggestions to share with you.

There are several options to choose from with some suggested activities that vary in driving time (2.5 – 5 hours).

  1. Yorkton – 2 hours, 2 minutes away – I like Yorkton. It seems to have one of everything including a super duper water park at Gallagher Centre that my kids absolutely love. With a lazy river, wave pool and two-story waterslide, you could have trouble pulling your kids out of the water – I am speaking from experience.For active boys like mine, I recently learned there is also a BMX and skateboard park. Though we haven’t been we sure plan to check both out next time we visit. Also be sure to add Yorkton’s Western Development Museum, which chronicles the stories of immigrants to Saskatchewan.
    Wanuskewin entrance

    Entrance to Wanuskewin Heritage Park

  2. Saskatoon – 2 hours, 39 minutes away – The tough part with Saskatoon is narrowing down just what to do because there is so much!Here are my top picks: Hike the trails of Wanuskewin Heritage Park – learn all about the area’s rich First Nation’s history (I’ve written more about Wanuskewin here); visit the Saskatoon Zoo; definitely check out Valley Road – it has farmer’s markets, you-pick hotspots (Tierra del Sol and Berry Barn); and not to be missed, Crickle Creek which features ice cream, mini golf and bouncy castles!
    Wanuskewin tipis

    Tipi campouts are available at Wanuskewin.

    Wanuskewin Heritage Park inside

    Along with interesting exhibits and live performances, visitors can take in exhibitions in the gallery space and kids can learn traditional First Nations games.

    Also downtown, across from the new Remai Modern Art Gallery (still under construction) is a fantastic play area on the banks of the Saskatchewan River.

    kids play area saskatoon

    Kids play area down at River’s Landing.

    IMG_1102

    Adjacent to the kids play area is the Remai Gallery which is slated to open in September 2016.

    Another fun activity is to cruise along the river on a Prairie Lily Riverboat Cruise.

    The Prairie Lily cruise Saskatoon

    Hop aboard The Prairie Lily for a different perspective of the city.

  3. Grasslands National Park – 3 hours, 48 minutes away – Grasslands National Park is a vast park broken up into east and west blocks, found in Southern Saskatchewan. (See this link for detailed instructions on how to access both blocks). Each block has different but great offerings for families.
    Grasslands National Park tipi

    Home for the night. Grasslands National Park offers tipi camping in both blocks.

    northern lights tipi grasslands

    Grasslands National Park is Canada’s darkest Dark Sky Preserve and the perfect place to stargaze and if you are lucky, catch the Northern Lights.

    Did you know that Grasslands National Park is the darkest Dark Sky Preserve in Canada? So it’s the perfect place to spend the night looking up at the stars. In fact, the Astronomical Society is on hand with telescopes for visitors to use as they walk you through the constellations during a night tour (available in both blocks).

    Our recent trip to the west block of Grasslands included a hike up to 70 Mile Butte to catch the sunset (2.5 km). It’s a very doable hike for the kids but plan to spend about an hour trekking up.

    kids hiking at Grasslands National Park.

    Hiking with the kids is a great way to take in the vast open spaces (and views) of Grasslands National Park.

    Atop 70Mile Butte Grasslands

    For an incredible sunset view, make your way up to the top of 70 Mile Butte in the west block.

    Parks Canada programming at Grasslands National Park

    I highly recommend taking advantage of the great Parks Canada programming available. My boys became Junior Naturalists for an afternoon. Equipped with digital cameras, they had interpretive staff teaching them all about local flora, animals of the park and more.

    Zevin with a prairie dog skull

    Zevin with a prairie dog skull.

    Parks Canada junior naturalists

    Reviewing images before printing them and making a booklet, these junior naturalists loved the mix of technology, creativity and outside exploration.

    We also did a guided Eco Tour with Parks Canada stopping at five very cool stops in the west block. This included a visit to two black tailed prairie dog colonies, a marsh where the boys were armed with nets and caught frogs, a lassoing lesson at Larson Homestead, and a lesson in local flora.

    Marsh at Grasslands National Park

    The boys loved looking for endangered northern leopard frogs.

    Lassoing at Larson Homestead.

    Lassoing at Larson Homestead.

    black tailed prairie dog's burrow at Grasslands

    Getting a closer look inside a black tailed prairie dog’s burrow.

    grandma's eyelashes plant

    I learned this flora found in Grasslands National Park is called ‘grandma’s eyelashes.’

    Wildlife Alert! And over the course of three days we say hundreds of bison, a burrowing owl, a fox, a badger and scads of deer!

    Grasslands National Park

    Bison as far as the eye can see. Hundreds of plains bison roam Grasslands National Park.

    Kids can become official Parks Canada Xplorers!

    Offered at any national park or national historic sites, be sure to pick up a Parks Canada Xplorers booklet (usually found at the information centres). The booklet will help keep kids busy and they are full of on site activities for kids. Also upon completion of requested activities, kids will be recognized as an ‘official Xplorer’ and receive a certificate and special souvenir.

    Camping at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

    Camp out under the lodge pole pines found in Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

  1. Cypress Hills (Maple Creek) – 3 hours, 49 minutes away – Great camping, boating, some of the Saskatchewan’s best trout fishing and other activities await in Cypress.
    Young moose at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

    This young moose was a resident in our camping area at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

A ton of fun will be had by the whole family with a visit to Cypress Hills Eco-Adventures, which features a high ropes adventure course, zip lines, treetop drop, mini-zips, slack lines and a great rock-climbing wall (my boy’s personal fave – see my youngest scale the wall!)

Aside: I never get out of Cypress without playing a round of mini golf or stopping for ice cream.

Mini zips at Cypress Hills Eco Adventure

For the littles, mini zips.

Rock climbing at Cypress Hills Eco Adventure Ltd.

My boys first tried scaling this wall when they were 4 & 6. Now at 6 & 8, they were able to zip up quickly.

Also nearby and worth a stop is National historic site, Fort Walsh. Take a step back in time circa 1880s, to learn how the Northwest Mounted Police brought law to the West.

  1. Waskesiu, Prince Albert National Park – 5 hours, 31 minutes away – Another great spot to try camping out is Prince Albert National Park.By day soak up the sun on the beaches of Waskesiu Lake, then plan to hike on one of the many trails (my fave is Boundary Bog in Waskesiu). Or take a drive down the Narrows road in search of rich wildlife; fish the Heart lakes or canoe/portage to Grey Owls Cabin. By night cozy up to the fire and can howl with the wolves. Don’t be surprised if they howl back!
    Hearts Lakes Waskesiu

    Cruise the Hearts Lakes for a dreamy day on the water.

If you can’t make it to Cypress to zip, don’t worry as Eco-Adventures recently opened a new zip line course up at Elk Ridge Resort (also a great spot to stay!)

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