The Prairies isn’t often at the top of travellers’ lists when it comes to family getaways. But maybe it should be! Regina in particular features a number of attractions designed to appeal to young and old (or, well, less young) alike—all wrapped up in a welcoming, green space–strewn, and easy-to-navigate package. So take the kids to Saskatchewan’s capital city and discover the meaning of true western hospitality. We partnered with Expedia.ca to bring you the best of Regina for a truly unforgettable family weekend!
The heart of Regina is a nearly 10-square-kilometre park, fittingly dubbed Wascana Centre, on the north shore of Wascana Lake. Set out for a simple stroll on a waterside trails, stopping to admire the local wildlife or visit one of the many playgrounds along your way. There’s indoor fun in the area, too: Check out detailed prairie dioramas and much more at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum; see Joe Fafard’s famous bronze cows at the MacKenzie Art Gallery; and swing on over to the Saskatchewan Science Centre to watch an IMAX documentary and discover upwards of 180 hands-on exhibits.
Ever since the days of Sam Steele, who famously brought order to the Klondike Gold Rush, the North-West Mounted Police (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has been a fixture of life in Western Canada. Regina’s RCMP Heritage Centre illuminates the past, present and future of the red-jacketed regiment with varied displays and events. Don’t miss the Sergeant Major’s Parade (weekdays at 12:45 p.m.) or the virtual reality exhibit that lets participants join in the Mounties’ famous Musical Ride. Kids can even don the Red Serge for themselves!
Even if there aren’t any sports fans in your family, it’s hard not to get caught up in the fervor that Saskatchewanians show for their Canadian Football League squad, the Roughriders. If the team’s in town during your visit, try to score some tickets to a game at Regina’s brand-new Mosaic Stadium and see what dedicated fandom really looks like. Don’t forget to wear green!
Planning a picnic at Wascana Centre? Pick up provisions at the Italian Star Deli. The family-owned favourite, in operation since 1966, boasts an abundance of fresh-baked breads plus specialty meats and cheeses. Or you can just load up on the deli’s legendary cold-cut sandwiches!
For an easy-going eat-in meal, head to Nicky’s Café, another family-run joint that does a brisk trade in breakfast faves like pancakes and omelettes, but also serves up hearty fare throughout the day. The lentil soup is counted among Saskatchewan’s best—no small feat in a province where growing and cooking pulses is big business.
Cap a hot summer’s day in Regina with a trip to Milky Way Ice Cream, a throwback parlour with 40-plus scoopable flavours and half a dozen delicious soft-serve options—not to mention milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, slushies and more. Or for non-frozen family treats, pick up the rightfully renowned cinnamon buns at the vegetarian Greenspot Café. The sweet rolls are only available on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, but that just makes them all the more covetable.
Give the kids a true taste of Prairies produce—and baked goods, and artisanal crafts, and more—at the Regina Farmers’ Market, which sets up shop at City Square Plaza from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays to mid-October (it moves indoors for the winter). Encourage your young ones to make the most of their time and taste buds by talking to the farmers about their goods and how they journey from field to market.
As soon as you pull into the parking lot of the Travelodge Hotel & Conference Centre Regina, you’ll know exactly why it’s a top spot for families visiting the city. After all, it’s hard to miss the word “Waterpark” emblazoned across the hotel’s façade. Open daily, Soaked! Waterpark boasts a pair of three-storey–high, 60-plus-metre-long waterslides, spray pad, toddler zone, regular swimming pool and more. A selection of poolside guestrooms even offers direct access to all the wet-and-wild fun.
Likewise, the Best Western Seven Oaks Hotel, just north of Regina’s downtown, also features a sizable space for your little mermaids to splash around: a 73-metre-long slide empties into a big pool, while parents observe from the comfort of a nearby hot tub. There’s much to savour at Ricky’s All-Day Grill—from omelettes and pancakes to thin-crust pizzas and diner-style classics. And because it’s a Best Western, kids 16 and under stay for free (when accompanied by an adult).
Want to treat your family to accommodations that are a little more refined? The Hotel Saskatchewan, Autograph Collection has sophistication in spades. (Perhaps a bit will rub off on your children, eh?). No matter your age, guests here get to ogle the ornate historical architecture and other luxurious touches, and have easy walking-distance access to many of Regina’s top downtown attractions.