Guest Blogger: Annika Mang @borntobeadventurous
Staycations are growing in popularity. Why? Stepping away from the regular routine is refreshing and a great way to support local businesses. Even a few days close to home trying out different outdoor activities, exploring new areas, and grabbing take out from different restaurants can help you unwind and reset.
Planning a winter staycation in the city of Regina is easy and a great way to connect as a family.
Here is a complete guide to exploring winter in and around Regina.
For a more novelty experience, try out a different outdoor activity and explore a new area in or around the city. Try wearing snowshoes to experience winter walks in a new way. Start snowshoeing at Les Sherman Park and enjoy a unique perspective of the city by walking along the frozen creek. Snowshoes can be rented in advance at Fresh Air Experience. The City of Regina is also offering free snowshoe rentals at different parks throughout the winter. Call the Playline 306-777-PLAY (7529) to learn more.
Outdoor skating is popular in and around Regina and there are rinks scattered throughout the city. However, this year Evraz Place made a new skating rink that is located on the field where the mighty Saskatchewan Roughriders play! Skating is free and new sign-up spots are available every Monday. Score a “touchdown”, dance to the music, and enjoy watching yourself on the big screen.
If you need a change of scenery, drive the 45 minutes to Echo Valley Provincial Park to skate the loop that winds through Aspen Campground. Saskatchewan Parks added another loop this year and skating through the frost-coated trees is truly a magical experience. To warm up, build a fire in one of the many firepits using the free firewood on site.
Before heading onto the ice in Echo Valley Provincial Park, make sure to pick up a day pass or year pass to enjoy the parks from the Visitor Information Centre. While you are at the visitor centre, pick up a free Park Activity Kit (PAK) and some crayons. The activities will provide entertainment for kids on the drive home.
Along with enjoying the outdoors, staycations are also the perfect excuse to enjoy one of the many amazing locally owned restaurants in Regina.
Donuts are always a hit and the City of Regina is home to some of the best. For a not so traditional yeast donut, hit up Hobo Donuts. The donuteer, Jimmy Schimmel, has created an outstanding base to the final dough recipe and ascents each donut with flavours that pop. For a unique Spanish variation, enjoy the Churro donut or try Hobo’s take on the Cookies ‘N’ Cream flavour. It is delicious.
For a new take on the more traditional donut, try one of the sourdough donuts from The Everyday Kitchen. Katie founded the business out of her home in 2017 but opened her first storefront in 2019 with a new store set to open in 2021. The Brown Butter Donut is a popular choice but monthly features like the Cinnamon Bun donut make it challenging to pick only one!
To keep up your energy during the day, visit Fresh and Sweet for one of their sandwiches or indulge in the white chocolate banana bread French toast for lunch. Kids will also enjoy warming up with a unicorn hot chocolate or enjoy having their thirst quenched with some fresh squeeze strawberry orange juice. The restaurant was featured on the T.V. series “You Gotta Eat Here” for its collection of mouth-watering dishes.
If you do not have time to stop for lunch, pre-order charcuteries from Style and Graze YQR. They have varying sizes of boxes, including kid specific boxes, with a beautiful mix of meats, cheeses, crackers, spreads, fruit and a little something for dessert. Items are locally sourced when possible which means that you might be supporting more than one local business with each box ordered!
Complete the staycation with a night or two to relax at the hotel Days Inn East away from all the pressures of home life. Upon arrival, choose a hot or cold breakfast to pick up in the morning at your time of choice. If you have a little more energy, book a time to safely use the pool, two hot tubs, splash pool, and waterslide.
Next, bring the Après to the hotel room and pick up take out from The Cathedral Social Hall YQR. The locally owned pub offers a variety of dishes that will elevate your palate. They work with local producers to find the freshest ingredients and make every effort to support other local businesses. Start with the prairie perogies and the kettle chips with a side of Sriracha aioli as an appetizer. For the main event, grab the kids a pepperoni mushroom pizza (hold the mushrooms if necessary), and enjoy the Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl or one of the tasty burgers. The Portobello Mushroom Burger is perfect if you are wanting to increase your veggie intake or choose the Bison and Swiss Burger to satisfy the meat lover.
For a unique dining experience, order dinner from the restaurant Ginger Garlic. If you have never heard about this highly rated restaurant then do not beat yourself up! The restaurant uses word of mouth to advertise the authentic Nepalese flavours that will take you on a culinary journey through Nepal. Not sure what to order? Try the Momos, Black Daahl, Coconut Chicken Curry, and an order of the Sekuwa with your choice of protein.