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