With temperatures about to drop to -40 with the windchill, it can be hard not to want to hibernate inside. Let’s face it though, winter is still around for a while so instead of fighting it, why not find ways to embrace it?
Here are a few things you could do in and around Saskatoon to keep preoccupied and you might even learn to love our winter wonderland in the process.
Hooked on fishin’
The colder it gets outside this time of year, the busier business is at The Fishin’ Hole in Saskatoon.
“When you get cold weather like -20, -25 – guys wanna go ice fishing,” Fishin’ Hole manager Brian Dygdala said.
“We’ve got a lot of different species of fish but a lot of lakes. So if you want to go to a small little lake and catch some perch, walleye and pike then the next lake and catch some rainbow trout, tiger trout – there’s lots of variety,” Dygdala said.
If you keep it simple, you could have a whole new hobby for less than $100. You’ll want to see where people are setting up their ice shacks in the hopes of catching a fish and remember to bundle up in good gear.
“Wear good clothing, you’re going to be out in the cold. It might feel warm in the city but when you’re out on the lake it can be cold.”
Ways to warm up: from making mittens to drinking wine
Looking for ways to strip down instead of layering up? Why not try hot yoga at a studio near you to keep Jack Frost from chilling you to the bone.
You can also warm up with a glass of icewine or at Saskatchewan’s Wolf Willow Winery – they offer a sweet mead along the same style. It’s 14.9 per cent alcohol so it is similar to icewine. We’re told it’s enjoyed best as an apéritif or digestif.
There’s also mitten making and mini mukluk workshops at Wanusekwin Heritage Park. The classes range in cost from $40 to $120, all the materials are provided and it’s for ages 16 years old or older.
Settle in for some stargazing
Check out these cold photos taken during the winter months of what the Land of the Living Skies has to offer. Now’s the perfect time to spot the Orion Constellation even from your backyard or take an adventure out of the city with the kids.
“Although the summers nice and pleasant, we don’t have really dark, dark skies,” said Tim Yaworski, member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
“So the beauty of taking a look at the night sky in the winter is – if you got kids, you can do with the kids way before bedtime.”
Northern Lights can be tricky to see this time of year because it’s an occurrence based on the sun. Yaworski spotted a few in the last couple of weeks but said the big thing to circle on your calendar is a ‘Super Blood Wolf Moon.’
“This Sunday on the 20th, starting at 9:30 there’s a total eclipse of the moon,” Yaworski explained.
“You won’t even need to go to the country to see it, it’s going to start in the eastern sky and progress until about just before one o’clock in the morning.”
A rockin’ good time
Some fun findings revealed during a survey by Intercontinental Hotels Group show one third of millennials preferred to travel within Canada during the winter months and more than 60 per cent consider our country a go-to destination during winter.
In Saskatoon, if you have a staycation planned – fun is just a stone’s throw away. Crokicurl is back on Broadway, with crews readying the rink over the weekend.
“We were so impressed last year we had hundreds of people come out,” said DeeAnn Mercier, executive director of the Broadway Business Improvement District.
“We had school groups, seniors citizens groups, differently-abled people come out and give it a try – it was so fun.”
What made it so popular is because it’s so different and if you didn’t get a chance to curl in school, here’s your chance!
“This is no pressure, you can just give it a try and see how it goes!” Mercier said.
Crokicurl is set to make it’s debut at Winterruption taking place Jan. 23 to 26 and will stay there until Family Day in February.
“January and February can be quite a slow period for local businesses and it’s a great time of year to be active so we really wanted to do something that encouraged people to get out see what it was all about then maybe go for a hot chocolate or an adult beverage in the area.”
Have some ideas on ways to celebrate the cold?
Residents are invited to share their ideas on other ways to celebrate Saskatoon during the coldest months of the year!
Events will be held starting Jan. 25 in order to help the city and stakeholders develop a ‘WinterCityYXE’ strategy aimed an revealing what makes Saskatoon unique as a four-season community.
If you’ve got some cool concepts up your sleeve, you’re encouraged to attend one of the following sessions:
Winter City Café – Prairieland Park
- Friday, Jan. 25 (9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.)
- Saturday, Jan. 26 (9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.)
Wintershines – Saskatoon Farmers’ Market
- Saturday, Jan. 26 (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.)