Things to Do in Saskatoon last updated: October 12th, 2022
As the South Saskatchewan River winds through the city, Saskatoon is buzzing with an infusion of new restaurants, bars, breweries, and attractions. Locals who had once left to attend school or experience big cities like Vancouver and Toronto have moved back, bringing with them a new sense of pride.
It’s really quite beautiful, with some calling Saskatoon the “Paris of the Prairies”. Multiple bridges cross the wide river, while an 80-km trail provides a scenic way to take it all in while walking, jogging, or biking. Those into watersports can grab their paddleboard, kayak, or canoe, and go down the river for a scenic soft adventure. Even in the winter, people can be seen on bikes or kick-sleds – a new activity to the area.
Saskatoon surprised us in many ways. Not only is there so much to do and see, but the uniqueness of the new restaurants, shops, breweries, and pubs is truly awesome. The Hollows, for example, converted a historic Chinese restaurant into a modern-day contemporary restaurant focused on natural and seasonal products. Stepping inside is like stepping into the 1970s. Almost all of it has been kept intact. Then there’s Ayden Kitchen and Bar, which is owned by the winner of Canada’s top chef, serving up an incredible array of food and drink. One of the newest trendy spots for satisfying the sweet tooth is Darkside Donuts, which names its donuts after local neighbourhoods and even provides an online live feed of what’s in stock. This is just a taste, figuratively and literally speaking, of what’s happening in Saskatoon. It’s alive, it’s bold, and the love for the city can be seen on almost every corner.
So, to learn more about what to do, enjoy this guide to the best things to do in Saskatoon.
1. Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Now on its way to UNESCO World Heritage status, Wanuskewin Heritage Park is one of the coolest indigenous sites we’ve ever seen and one of the top Saskatoon attractions. Not only is it a great museum and cultural centre, but it’s also Canada’s longest-running archaeological dig site. This site dates back more than 6,000 years, which is more than double the age of the Egyptian pyramids. There are tons of events in the summer months and in the winter, you can go snowshoeing and enjoy outdoor bannock bakes.
2. Remai Modern Museum
Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon, offering a unique perspective on art and culture in the 21st century, with an eye on the future. There are many galleries, as well as a ping-pong room, but one of the most exciting is the world’s largest Picasso linocut collection. Even the architecture itself received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Architect magazine.
3. Riverside District and Meewasin
If you’re looking to take a stroll, there’s no place more scenic than the beautiful river valley. Snaking its way through Saskatoon, the South Saskatchewan River provides a beautiful backdrop and a great place to go walking around while enjoying a hot summer day. This is one of the most popular outdoor Saskatoon activities and a good place to start is the area around the revitalized Riversdale neighbourhood, such as right in front of Remai Modern. You can walk, bike, jog, or rollerblade, but you could also rent an electric moped from AB Rentals. You could also explore the Meewasin Trail, which lives in and outside of Saskatoon, on both sides of the river, and includes several sites and services to help you make the most of your adventures. Explore the natural habitat along the riverbank, discover culture at museums and interpretive sites, and take advantage of enhancements such as parks and canoe launches. While you don’t have to do the entire trail, it does run approximately 105 kilometres in length and features many great views.
4. The Stoked Centre
This might be the most “random” place we visited in Saskatoon. What started out as a garden center has now become an almost all-you-you-need stop. There are garden supplies, household items, dog grooming, a restaurant, and even an awesome Go-Kart track, arcade, and zip-line. Parents can go shopping while their kids play or the whole family can have some fun. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Saskatoon that are indoors, this is a really cool place to visit.
5. Skydive Saskatoon
If you’re looking for a really thrilling adventure, try jumping out of a plane at 11,000 feet with Skydive Saskatoon. This team is fun and welcoming, making you feel comfortable and safe. They’re located just 15 minutes from the city and offer a great way to not only see the prairie landscapes from the sky but then to fall towards them at 200 km/h. This is truly something you’ll never forget!
6. The Prairie Lily
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to see Saskatoon from the river, check out the Prairie Lily, an iconic river cruise that takes people down the South Saskatchewan River. They offer a variety of tours, including general 1-hour scenic tours, sunset tours, dinner tours, and more.
7. Go Paddle-Boarding
With the beautiful South Saskatchewan River meandering through the city, getting out on the water is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer months. Whether you choose to go paddle-boarding, kayaking, or canoeing, this is the best way to enjoy a day on the water while you admire the many views of this Northern city. There are many places to rent one of these, such as Escape Sports, or you can even join tours if you’d rather have a guide with you.
8. Western Development Museum
Ranked as the #1 thing to do in Saskatoon via TripAdvisor, you don’t want to miss a visit to the Western Development Museum. Take a journey back in time with exhibits like Boomtown, which focused on the booming economic activity of Saskatchewan at the turn of the century, and the Transportation Gallery, which includes a wide range of modes of transportation such as a 1938 Minneapolis Moline UDLX Comfortractor, a 1960 Plymouth Fury, a 1948 Chrysler Coupe, and an Ornithopter made by Ralph Vallevand of Elbow. There are also galleries on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, Precious Metals, 100 Years of Saskatchewan History, the Cancer Bomb, and more.
9. Beaver Creek Conservation Area
If you’re looking to check out some wildlife, go for an easy hike, or feed some birds, consider going to Beaver Creek Conservation Area. This is a unique habitat for grassland birds and wildflowers. It is located where a prairie creek meets a prairie river. The active wildlife and scenery make it a great place to go for a stroll and there’s also an opportunity to feed cute little chickadees.
10. Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo
From meeting a cute little mob of meerkats to enjoying the antics of the cheeky Goeldi’s Monkeys, a trip to the Saskatoon Forestry Farm & Zoo is always a joy. Saskatchewan’s only CAZA-accredited zoo is home to many beautiful animals, including grizzly bears, pronghorn, red-tailed hawks, snowy owls, bald eagles, snow leopards, and more. There’s also the Orano Fun Zone playground, which is great for kids wanting to play like monkeys.
11. Black Fox Farm & Distillery
If you’re looking for a scenic place to visit just outside the city, where you can do everything from picking your own bouquet of flowers to sampling award-winning whiskey and gin, put Black Fox Farm & Distillery at the top of your bucket list. Even if you’re looking for a tasty lunch, they offer one of the best charcuterie boards we’ve ever had, with a delicious concoction of meats, cheeses, fruit and nuts.
However, the real draw here is the distillery. Black Fox is one of the few farm-to-still distilleries in North America and these grain farmers-turned-distillers grow 90% of what is in their products, from honey to haskap berries to pumpkin flowers, and more. This passion and combination of skills have earned them the Master award in World Whisky Masters and Gold in the Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition in 2021. It’s also a scenic location where you can enjoy a tour of the farm and pick your own flowers.
12. Saskatchewan Rush Lacrosse
Nobody rallies behind their sports teams more than Saskatchewan. While Regina is home to the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, Saskatoon is home to the Rush. Witness the energy at Sasktel Centre as up to 15,000 fans cheer on the three-time national lacrosse league champions. Lacrosse is Canada’s national summer sport and is a great way to spend an evening in Saskatchewan’s biggest city.
13. Saskatoon Farmers’ Market
Since 1975, the member-owned, non-profit cooperative Saskatoon Farmers’ Market has been connecting Saskatoon residents and visitors with the producers of high-quality and local agricultural products, baking, prepared food, crafts, and diverse goods. Open year-round on the weekends, make sure you check their website for updates as the vendor list changes seasonally.
14. Optimist Hill in the Winter
Optimist Hill is a new community-funded winter park that opened earlier this month. It offers tubing, skiing, a terrain park, free tobogganing, and snowboarding, all within the city.
15. Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink in the Winter
According to Flare magazine, the Meewasin Skating Rink is one of the most scenic skating rinks in Canada. It’s a great thing to do in the winter and the free skate rentals make this available to anyone.
16. Hard Pressed Clothing
Falling in love with Saskatoon or Saskatchewan? Get yourself over to Hard Pressed and grab a locally-designed and pressed t-shirt, sweater, or other garments to show your love for the province. We love our Saskatchewan t-shirt!
17. Enjoy the Many Saskatoon Restaurants
If you’re looking for great places to eat in Saskatoon, you’re in luck. Saskatoon is home to one of the largest concentrations of restaurants in Canada per capita. We can’t list them all here but you can go deeper in our extensive guide to the best restaurants in Saskatoon.
Drift Sidewalk Cafe (breakfast)
Drift exemplifies the laid-back nature of the Riversdale district – fusing together a California/Portland vibe with the collaborative spirit of the neighbourhood. Drift Sidewalk Cafe and the Vista Lounge above is the perfect hot spot for grabbing your morning coffee and a breakfast crepe. It’s really one of the coolest buildings we’ve seen. There are hammocks to chill in. There’s a store for buying and renting outdoor gear. There’s an outdoor patio and there’s even a cool little outdoor patio if you feel like eating in a hot air balloon. You’ll see what we mean when you visit.
Park Cafe (breakfast)
Park Cafe is a quirky throwback diner located in the heart of the trendy Riversdale neighbourhood. This place is full of history and specializes in locally-sourced comfort food. They even smoke their own salmon and bacon in-house. This place is often packed so arrive early.
Baba’s Perogies (lunch)
With around 12-15% of Saskatoon’s population being of Ukrainian descent, Baba’s perogies, home to the only perogies drive-thru in the world, is a popular stop in the city. Perogies are made by hand, in-house, with up anywhere from 6,000 – 15,000 being made each day. Get the opportunity to see the perogy assembly line and taste an authentic Ukrainian meal.
Hearth brings to the table fresh and foraged food that is local to the Saskatoon area. After operating as a catering business for a number of years, the owners now bring unpretentious, thoughtful, ingredient-forward prairie cooking to a tucked-away neighbourhood spot. Not only is this one of Saskatoon’s best restaurants, but it’s also ranked as one of the best restaurants in Canada. The food is truly delicious and comes at a fair price considering the large portions. Plus, their new location is inside the Remai Modern art gallery!
Odd Couple (Supper)
This trendy father-son-owned restaurant serves high-quality classic Chinese/Vietnamese dishes and delicious cocktails. We especially loved the Ginger Beef, the Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Maple Thai Basil Pork Ribs, and the Thai Basil Gin Sour cocktail.
Ayden Kitchen and Bar (Supper)
Canada’s original top chef winner Dale Mackay creates homegrown and globally inspired comfort food paired with properly hand-crafted cocktails at their award-winning restaurant in downtown Saskatoon. As a cocktail lover, I was impressed with the drink menu. With sophisticated drink concoctions that would make even a connoisseur squeal in delight, this is a great place for a night out on the town.
Darkside Donuts (Sweets)
Saskatchewan’s newest sweet tooth is Darkside Donuts, which makes delicious donuts named after various Saskatoon neighbourhoods. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is the place to go.
Fable Ice Cream (Sweets)
Freshly made ice cream with organic milk and cane sugar, all created mostly by local farmers, makers, and producers. Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Sweet Cream, Venn Coffee, Earl Grey Tea, Cereal Milk, Cookies & Cream, and more!
18. Visit a Brewery, Cidery, or Distillery
With more than 10 breweries, cideries, and distilleries, there’s no shortage of places to find deliciously crafted drinks. Whether you’re looking for a crisp pint of beer, a tasty glass of cider, or something a little stronger, you can find a wide range of options, all of which use locally-grown ingredients.
19. Take a Road Trip to Prince Albert National Park
Just two hours north of Saskatoon lies one of the crown jewels of Saskatchewan. Prince Albert National Park is a stunning slice of nature, featuring a boreal forest, beautiful Waskesiu Lake, the charming town of Waskesiu, and much more. It’s a great place to go camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking and boating, but you could also spend a weekend staying in one of the many accommodations, whisking away the nights under a stunning starlit sky. Waskesiu in the winter is also a great time to visit, as you can go dogsledding, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and more!
20. Spend a Weekend at Dakota Dunes Resort
Located just 30 minutes south of Saskatoon, Dakota Dunes Resort is packed with things to do, including a casino, a beautiful golf course, restaurants, and of course, the resort itself.
Located on traditional Whitecap Dakota Unceded Territory, nestled within a beautiful river setting and surrounded by gently rolling natural sand dunes, Dakota Dunes Resort is Saskatoon’s first full-service resort experience. This newly built 155-room resort is a tribute in design to its indigenous heritage with its angular window trims and exterior wood panels echoing the traditional tipi.
Spend a night or two, enjoy a delicious farm-to-table dinner at Moose Woods Home Fire Grill, or even rent an eBike to go for a ride around the trails.
21. Spend the Night
Saskatoon is full of hotels, ranging from budget to luxury. Some of the ones we’ve stayed at are the Park Town Hotel, which has a wonderful weekend breakfast buffet, and the new Alt Hotel, which is right across the street from the Remai Modern museum. Both hotels are next to the river and provide excellent views of the city, depending on your room. However, we also love the Best Western Plus East Side. It’s a little further from the core, but it has a wonderful free breakfast, a business centre, a pool with a waterslide, and a gym. It also offers free parking and modern-style rooms with beautiful old photos of Saskatoon.
What’s Next After Saskatoon?
Saskatoon is the biggest city in Saskatchewan and has really become one of our favourite cities in the country. It has this cool vibe that’s hard to explain. With so much young energy and entrepreneurship feeding into this small Northern city, there are so many cool things going on. From deliciously trendy restaurants to modern museums and outdoor adventure, Saskatoon is a great urban area to explore.
If you’re exploring more of the province and country, here are more articles for you to enjoy:
- Exploring Saskatchewan’s Big Muddy Badlands
- Exploring Grasslands National Park
- Four Ways to Enjoy the Great Sandhills of Saskatchewan
- Things to Do in Alberta
- Things to Do in Calgary
- Things to Do in Manitoba
- Things to Do in Winnipeg
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Definitely a city to see.
Kathleen Alexander says
Music in the park during Jazz Festival, or Taste of Saskatchewan or Rock the River hold so many fun memories for me after all, Saskatoon is known as “Toon” (tune) “Town”!
My favorite thing to do is to run the riverside trails