1. PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park This newly renovated play area (a facelift on the old, but totally awesome former playground) at Kinsmen Park, Saskatoon reopened last year, and it's awesome! Part of a $9-million project, the spread includes major attractions: a ferris wheel, a refurbished carousel, a water park, natural play elements (tree trunks for climbing, mud for mucking) and—wait for it—a nearly-to-scale replica of a miniature Canpotex train with seating, so visitors can tour around the park. Toot toot!
Go play: 945 Spadina Crescent East, 306-975-3330 saskatoon.ca>
2. McDonald’s Natural Place to Play Playground at Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo Part of the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo, this woodland-themed playground boasts a foxhole tunnel, a bear statue guarding a climbing rock, netted ladders designed to look like a spider’s web, several slides of varying heights and a moose-track climbing wall (complete with rubber-covered chains to prevent chafing and blisters on little hands). Kids can pretend to be pirates at sea on the swaying boat. Barbecue pits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ice cream, hot dogs, popcorn, slushies and soft drinks are available for purchase. Washrooms equipped with change tables are located on either side of the playground with drinking fountains close by. Park access with zoo admission. General admission, $11; kids ages six to 18, $6.50; children younger than six get in free. Admission by donation during the off-season (November 1 to March 31). Open daily.
Go play: 1903 Forestry Farm Park Dr., Saskatoon. 306-975-3382 saskatoonzoosociety.ca>
3. River Landing Spray Park Nestled alongside the Saskatchewan River, this nature-themed splash pad is a ball for kids of all ages. Various jets spritz cool streams of water for little ones to gleefully run through. There's a playful map painted on the base of the play area, a scaly stone alligator for climbing and plenty of places to sit and unwind. A farmers' market is nearby and open year-round, providing a fun treat for adults, too.
Go play: 414 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon
4. Prince Philip School Playground This sprawling spread is packed with activities for kids of all ages and capabilities, including a special emphasis on children with autism. The playground has multiple slides, an array of monkey bars, rock-climbing walls, stepping stones, a suspension bridge, musical instruments like an xylophone and tube-shaped drums, a saucer for spinning round and round, a large disc-swing and a manufactured log and boulder for climbing. Phew, we're getting tired just listing all the cool equipment to explore in this school yard.
Go play: 1715 Drinkle Street, Saskatoon playworks.ca>
5. St. Bernard School Playground The play area at St. Bernard School is a myriad of climbing gear, bars to swing on and a steep metal slide for those feeling brave enough to conquer it. There's a collection of six big-kid swings, including a tire swing (our favourite!) and two toddler swings. Benches surround the sandy base and nearby trees will protect little adventurers from the sun. Make sure you stop by during after-school hours or on the weekend.
Go play: 203 Whiteshore Crescent, Saskatoon
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