My favourite part of Christmas isn’t Christmas Day – it’s the lead up to it.
I hadn’t experienced a December in Canada since 2012 until last year and I really missed the festive build-up to the holidays. (I just can’t get enough heart-warming Christmas commercials!) This year I won’t be home for Christmas again as I’ll be somewhere yet-to-be-determined in Chile or Argentina.
So to make up for it, I’m living the traditional Saskatchewan and Canadian Christmas from a distance and through memories of white holidays. If you live in or near Saskatoon, here are 5 fun things to do before Christmas Day.
1. The Enchanted Forest Holiday Light Tour
It’s the Enchanted Forest‘s 18th season twinkling over at the Forestry Farm. There’s no excuse not to go to the impressive light show as it’s open every evening until January 7th and is only $33 for a vehicle of up to 7 individuals ($28 if you purchase in advance). They’ve even added a new Nutcracker Ballet display!
2. River walks with a shot of Bailey’s in your coffee
Because the season has been unusually warm, an evening walk by the river is still appropriate and honestly quite refreshing. Add a shot of Bailey’s to your coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy watching the ice float down the river and the twinkling lights of the bridges reflect in the water.
3. Go cross-country skiing
Saskatoon has more than 30 kilometres of cross-country ski trails in the city and many outside the city as well (Blackstrap and Eb’s Trails). They are all groomed by the City of Saskatoon or by the Saskatoon Nordic Ski club. You can find the condition of the trails online here.
4. Skate at the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink near the Bessborough
A classic scene right out of a Christmas movie: the skating rink is set along the river’s edge next to the Delta Bessborough Hotel and is open daily. The best part is you don’t need personal skates as it’s all provided for you. When you get cold, you can step inside the warm-up shelter or cozy up to that special someone at the outdoor fire pit. (As an indoor alternative if the mercury is a little low and it’s too cold to be outside, consider taking the kids indoors and checking out Saskatoon’s children’s museum, the Wonderhub.)
5. Self-drive Christmas light viewing
Thanks to The Star Phoenix, they’ve created a Google Maps listing of the best decorated houses around the city. If it’s too cold for outdoor activities, this is the perfect reason to get out of the house and enjoy the lights. Or check out the Sparkle Tour map here.