1. Meewasin Interpretive Canoe Tours
Take kids of all ages on a guided canoe tour of the South Saskatchewan River and Beaver Creek in a voyageur canoe. You’ll set off from Beaver Creek Conservation Area—located 13 kilometres south of Saskatoon—in a 10-passenger canoe to explore what life was like for voyageurs. Tours last two to three hours and include a stop on a sandbar to play interpretive games. The cost is $200 and includes the use of a life jacket, paddle and canoe, as well as safety training and an interpreter who has been certified by Paddle Canada. That price remains the same no matter how many people are on the tour, though there’s a maximum of nine, so families and friends are encouraged to book together to take full advantage of the fun. Kids under 10 must be accompanied by two adults and sit between them on the trip.
When: All summer, through late September
More info: meewasin.com
2. Wyant Group Raceway
There’s so much going on this summer at Wyant Group Raceway, but young racing fans might be particularly excited by the Monsters & Mayhem monster truck and motocross show on July 15 and 16 and the NASCAR race on July 27 (which is only one of two NASCAR races in western Canada). Wyant is also the site of Bandolero Division racing, which features eight- to 14-year-olds driving cars that hit speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour (113 kilometres per hour)!
When: All summer, through late September
More info: wyantgroupraceway.ca
3. SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival
Jazz things up with your family at the 30th annual SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, which features all kinds of music, including blues, rock and world, and takes place throughout the day and night at venues around the city. When accompanied by a paying adult, kids ages seven and under get free admission to music at the main venue, the TD Mainstage at Bessborough Gardens (which features artists like Lauryn Hill and City and Colour this year), while kids ages eight to 12 get tickets for 50 percent off. There’s much more than music, though. On June 25 at 10:30 a.m., there will be a free Yoga Jam on the TD Mainstage, where people of all ages can learn how to do sun salutations to a soundtrack of hip hop, funk and soul. Older kids may enjoy taking in free film screenings of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night on June 28 at 9 p.m. and The Wizard of Oz on June 29 at 9 p.m. No tickets required.
When: June 24 to July 3
More info: saskjazz.com
4. Sum Theatre’s Theatre in the Park
Parks across Saskatoon will play host to performances of the play Little Badger and the Fire Spirit, which tells the story of a boy who goes on an adventure to bring fire back to his people. Kids of all ages will be entertained by this free event, which is being performed by Sum Theatre, a professional theatre company. Most of the performances begin at 7 p.m., but there are a couple of dates that feature 2 p.m. starts. Make sure to arrive an hour before the show so that your little ones can make a free craft with educators from the Children’s Discovery Museum.
When: July 4 to 29 (no shows on July 9, 16, 18 and 23)
More info: sumtheatre.com
5. Batoche National Historic Site
Parks Canada’s Batoche National Historic Site is located an hour north of Saskatoon and is designed to allow people to experience what life was like as a Metis settler in this historic village in 1885 (the year that Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont and the Metis resistance battled the federal government). There are plenty of fun activities on this 2,000-acre site, including geocaching, a shuttle tour and the Journey Through Time experience, where interpreters dressed in period costume recreate life in the 1800s for visitors. Don’t miss Kidfest at Batoche (July 9), which celebrates everything Metis with live music, games, a petting zoo, bouncy castles, bannock to eat, a chance for kids to try archery and much more! The admission cost for Kidfest is $7.80 for kids ages three and up (little ones ages two and under get in free).
When: July 9
More info: pc.gc.ca
6. Western Development Museum’s Pion-Era
Get in touch with Saskatchewan’s past at Pion-Era. This two-day event is jam-packed with family fun, including a pancake breakfast on Saturday and a children’s area with old-fashioned games like potato sack races and activities like milking a (fake) cow. Families can also take wagon rides, and little ones can hop on the mini-train for a ride. There will be butter-making demonstrations (and butter tasting, too!), and the museum’s galleries will be open, which include popular model railway displays. Most activities are included in the gate price, which is free for kids ages 12 and under when accompanied by an adult.
When: July 9 to 10
More info: wdm.ca
7. PotashCorp Fireworks Festival
This family-friendly event, which features fireworks choreographed to music each night at 9:30 p.m., also offers tons of options for fun before the sun sets. From 5 p.m. to sundown, your kids can hang out at the festival’s Family Fun Zone and enjoy the Ferris wheel, face painting, children’s entertainers and inflatables. The SaskTel Remai Modern Art Caravan will also be on-site to provide a bit of creative fun, as facilitators from the museum will help people of all ages make something special with provided materials. Plus, you can check out the Cultural Showcase, which features dancing and music performances (you’ll find a number of food trucks there, too), from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
When: September 2 to 3
More info: potashcorpfireworksfestival.ca
8. PotashCorp Playland
This revamped playground at Kinsmen Park reopened last summer and has tons of great features, including a water play area, a cool slide built into a hill and saucer swings. But if you want to amp things up a bit, take your kids on the Ferris wheel, the carousel or the wheelchair-accessible Canpotex train, which tours on tracks laid out around the park. While it’s free to play at the playground, single-ride tickets for these carnival-style attractions cost $2.
When: All summer, through September 5
More info: saskatoon.ca
What did we miss? Tell us about the can’t-miss summer events in your city by emailing us at [email protected]