With the midterm break rapidly approaching, a good outdoor winter activity is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Sure, distraction and procrastination are only a doomscroll away, but a fulfilling and rejuvenating reprieve in the urban outdoors of Saskatoon will still leave you with a feeling of productivity.
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan’s light show
If you’ve spent any amount of time downtown after sunset over the past few months, you’ve likely noticed a colourful lighting display in the new amphitheatre of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan.
The LED lights for the Winter City Snow Glow are programmed to display nine different light shows, each varying in colours and timing, with three new light shows planned for the future. The shows are scheduled to run until March 31, giving you ample time for dreamy photoshoots in the stunning array of colours. Grab your phones and beg your photographer friend to meet you beside the University Bridge for a guaranteed winter spice on your feed.
Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink
Ever a winter hotspot, only a quick walk from the heart of Saskatoon, with a gorgeous frozen riverbank in sight, is the ice skating rink beside the Bessborough hotel.
This year, to ensure proper social distancing, skaters are asked to pre-register for a time slot on the ice, with a maximum of 30 participants allowed at a time. All it takes to join in the fun is a mask, a pair of skates and a friend. Each booking slot grants 45 minutes of skate time, as of Feb. 10. Check their website to see if they’re open before you leave and be sure to dress warm.
Sledding at Pest Hill
It’s no secret that Saskatchewan is more or less a pancake, with hills being quite the rare sight. Luckily, Saskatoon harbours the fabulous Pest Hill at the G.D. Archibald Park, found along Spadina Cr. south of the Circle Drive Bridge.
Bundle up with a friend and bring your fastest sleds to one of the most popular hills in the city. Since it’s so popular, an early trip means avoiding younger sledders who are still in school. With no admission rate or pre-booking, this sledding experience is one to keep on your winter bucket list.
Optimist Hill tubing, skiing and snowboarding
Any adrenaline junkies should look no further than Optimist Hill for all their high-octane needs.
Complete with dedicated tubing lanes, as well as a full terrain park and piste for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, this attraction offers a quality experience for anyone looking to shred the slopes. The rental shack can provide all the boots, skis, boards, poles, tubes and helmets that you need. Optimist Hill also offers lessons for those trying it out for the first time or wanting to improve on their skills.
Don’t forget an action camera to capture all that mega air time.
Walk through the Forestry Farm
Nothing calms the nerves like watching animals at play while you walk through a wintery forest wonderland.
Admission during winter is by donation at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm and Park, which means all your favourite animals in the same space for a very affordable price, all the way until March 31. The park has set up a one-way path to ensure social distancing is possible while still taking visitors to each of the enclosures. A hot drink with a friend will pair beautifully with a leisurely stroll to see the goats, cougars and many other animals enjoying the winter weather.
Gavin Robertson | Contributing Reporter
Photo: Nicholas Saretzky | Contributing Photojournalist