We can all agree winter will be not-so-typical in Regina this year, but that doesn't mean the fun has to be taken out of it!
Thankfully there are more things to enjoy with family and friends than you might realize! Here is a list of all the wonderful outdoor winter events and activities around Wascana Lake:
Grab a pair of binoculars, a camera and head out into the park to see what all you might spot. As the lake doesn’t usually freeze over completely, there will be open pond patches that attract a variety of different bird species. (Please be safe when around the lake and don’t walk out onto the ice). But if you’re not quite a bird expert yet and looking for additional guidance, consider joining up with Nature Regina. They often hold birds and wildlife field trips to Wascana Park during the winter.
On Pine Island, bring a bag of seed and provide lunch for the birds. (Please don’t bring bread – it’s bad for them.) Feed the geese and mallard ducks and see if you can spot the lone wood duck that’s been sticking around this winter.
Use the Geocaching app on your cell phone and its GPS to go on a modern-day treasure hunt around the park in search of hide and seek containers. There are dozens of geocaches hidden throughout Wascana Park and along the lake. One easy-to-find-cache container has even been printed using the 3D printer available at the Regina Public Library – all in the name of science to see how well the material can withstand the winter weather in the city.
- Track a Variety of Animals
It’s easier than you expect to find an animal crime scene right in the middle of the city. Paw and claw prints, tail tracks and even wing prints are left behind in the snow when a bird swoops down to catch food. There are several coyotes that also hang out in the park. They are not a danger to humans and are a natural part of the prairie landscape, but please don’t approach or feed one if you see them in the park. There are also good chances of spotting great-horned or snowy owls, rabbits, squirrels and maybe a deer or fox if you’re really lucky!
- Become a Junior Naturalist
If you have children between the ages of 9 and 13, sign them up to become a Wascana Junior Naturalist. The program runs on select Tuesday evenings from March until May for a fee of $65. Kids will learn about tracking and trapping, the basics of astronomy on an observatory tour and will get the opportunity to bake in a solar oven and plant seeds in the arboretum.
- Skate at the Marina
There may not be a lot of snow, but the skating rink at the marina below The Willow restaurant is perfectly flooded to enjoy a skate with a pretty view of Wascana. Open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, there is a heated change facility, washrooms and lighting during the evening to shoot the puck around with family and friends. Enjoy a bowl of chowder or the campfire cheesecake at The Willow afterwards to celebrate a day out.
- Toboggan down Douglas Park Hill
One of the cities best toboggan hills, Douglas Park Hill, is located off a small backroad on MacDonald street and west of the Douglas Park baseball diamonds. Although there isn’t enough snow at the moment, take advantage of a fresh snow day (only a few inches are needed) and pull out the GT’s, crazy carpets and discs to slide down the little mountain.
- Cross-country Ski the Trails
Even with low-snow conditions, there are Nordic trails located at Douglas Park (2.6 kilometres) and the Science Centre (1.4 kilometres) for cross-country skiing. Both trails are maintained by the Regina Ski Club and they offer updates on trail conditions online. Try classic skiing in either park or rent a pair of skate skis to try in the skate lane at the Science Centre. If you’re new to both types of skiing, consider taking a lesson with the ski club.
Interested in learning more about Wascana Park? Check out these five features, facts and world record-breaking accomplishments of the park.