Do Sask Special Agents Went on a City-Wide Chase to Capture a Fugitive

We had 2 hours, a city full of secrets, and no detective experience.

On Good Friday, a special group of Do Sask agents assembled to escape a Russian Spy-themed scavenger hunt in Saskatoon.

BreakOut Escape Rooms is a popular activity in Saskatoon where groups of people have to find their way out of a locked room. They’re given clues and a limited amount of time to find the code to escape.

I’ve talked about how much I love to do geeky things like Escape Rooms before. So when BreakOut invited Do Sask members to take part in “Russian Around”, a special one-day city-wide scavenger hunt, we couldn’t say no. The contest was simple: our private Facebook group members told me the name of their favourite spy to win their way in.

Last week, after the winners were notified we received the following mission orders:

“Agents,

You have been recruited for a top secret time sensitive assignment. As you are aware there was recently a breach at Ft.  Wallaby Army Base. Top secret documents were stolen and an attempt was made to launch a nuclear strike on our own country.  We were able to thwart that attempt and recover the documents.  All but one member of the team that infiltrated Ft. Wallaby have been located and detained. However, one fugitive remains at large. Intelligence reports suggests this remaining fugitive was the team leader and therefore the acquisition of this fugitive is our top priority. We have managed to track the fugitive to Saskatoon, Sk. This is where you will begin your hunt!

Your mission: Follow the trail the fugitive has left. We have sent support agents into the field who will make contact and provide you with updated information as it becomes available.  Our best agents have tried and failed to locate and capture the fugitive. It is up to you and your team to locate and capture the suspect before they are able to leave the area. This is our last chance. Everything is riding on your success.

Col. Johnston”

Our team of five recruits faced the complicated task of finding the Russian Spy on a city-wide chase.

BreakOut Escape Rooms Contest
Receiving our Black Storm Mission documents at BreakOut Escape Rooms.

We arrived at the starting point greeted by two special agents with neutral faces and dark sunglasses. They handed us a special envelope and said, “Team Black Storm: this is your mission, should you choose to accept it.”

The envelope contained a map, rules, and a set of laminated paper keys. We tried to use the keys on the map until we noticed a strip mall across the street from Prairie Sun Brewery had a small spy symbol. It could only be… Create Café 3D Printing.

We gathered our intel, packed into the tiny car like a bunch of clowns, and sped off to the next location.

Meet the agents:

Agent Kowalchuk made sure everyone was on task and kept a close eye on the time. Favourite spy: Harriet the Spy.

Agent Davis used his competitive spirit to ensure that the team was solving puzzles faster than the other teams (even though we were told it was not a race). Favourite spy: Carrie Mathison.

Agent Adams wasn’t afraid to dive right in to the assignment with a stellar ability to translate symbols into words. Favourite spy: Susan Cooper.

Agent Schwabe was in the pilot’s seat and drove the team across the city with an unwavering demeanor. Favourite spy: Austin Powers.

Agent Rederburg expertly decoded maps, hustled at pinball, and recorded the day’s events. Favourite spy: Harry Tasker.

Create Cafe 3d Printing

Once we arrived at Create Café we searched high and low for the symbol. (And we got totally distracted by all of the cool stuff they had made with their printers.) After about 5 minutes we found clues right in front of our noses. They were a coffee cup, a poster with symbols from the old country, and a poster in the same style with different types of coffee.

BreakOut Escape Rooms Contest Create Cafe
Agent Adams putting the clues together at Create Cafe.

Using both posters to translate, Agent Adams took the lead to determine the secret message was “Pinball”. The barista handed us a hot drink and our next clue which was the address to Pokey’s Pinball.

Pokey’s Pinball Cafe

At Pokey’s Pinball we were told to look for 3 digits. Since there are numbers everywhere in a pinball shop we had a hard time narrowing down our selection until we started looking at the bigger picture.

BreakOut Escape Rooms Contest Pokey's Pinball
Agent Davis puts on his game face at Pokey’s Pinball.

Agent Davis successfully spotted the numbers “3-4-7” which unlocked two credits each for pinball and a clue that led the agents to our next location: Crave Cupcakes. We spent 30 minutes distracted by the fun pinball selection, but all of the agents admitted they had CUPCAKES on their minds.

Crave Cupcakes

At Crave Cupcakes we got to make use of our paper keys from the beginning of the mission. There was a poster full of letters and outlines where the paper keys would fit. All we could smell was fresh cupcakes, so deciphering the code proved to be a challenging task. We worked together to find the phrase “Shaken Not Stirred”.

BreakOut Escape Rooms Contest Crave Cupcakes
Unlocking the secret phrase using our paper keys at Crave Cupcakes.

We stopped to eat about a million cupcakes. Literally. And since we were the last team they gave us a pack of the ones the other teams left behind. Then we got our next clue which pointed us to…

Mastermind Live Escape

We walked in Mastermind to find a floor puzzle that linked letters together spelling the name of our fugitive: Nastasha Ivanahumpski. It didn’t take us too long to solve, so we took our clue and went on our way to the food court at Midtown.

Midtown Plaza

Since parking at Midtown is pricey, Agent Adams and Agent Schwabe dropped the rest of us off and drove around the mall taking selfies.

Agent Kowalski, Agent Davis and I walked around the food court until we found another agent with a briefcase and ball cap. The agent said she would only give us our next clue if we could uncover her name, so she gave us a riddle that led us past the bitten fruit, beyond the forbidden box and up the stairs to a sweet surprise: it could only be…

Laura Secord

Hung all over the walls there were posters that gave clues about the agent’s name through the process of elimination. We were definitely stumped at this point, but we made a guess at Agent Black and it turned out to be correct. They gave us a handful of chocolates and we made our way back to Agent Black.

When we arrived at Agent Black’s station we were given another clue which used numbers corresponding with letters in the alphabet. The letters spelled out Bartari, a video game bar on 20th Avenue. Agent Schwabe and Agent Adams were ready and waiting, so we wasted no time in getting to our last location of the day.

Bartari 

At Bartari we were finally face-to-face with the elusive fugitive Natasha Ivanahumpski. By the time we arrived she bared a striking resemblance to one of the agents from our starting point. (The fugitive in the picture below had to leave before 5 pm due to licensing, so we all had a good laugh.)

Catch me if you can….. #russianaroundbreakoutsask #breakoutsask #1team1room1hour

A post shared by BreakOut Escape Rooms (@breakoutsask) on

Ivanahumpski gave us two options: 1) take a bribe and let her go, or 2) do what we came there to do and arrest her.

We chose the latter option, but sadly it was the wrong choice. (Bad behaviour is rewarded in this game!)

BreakOut Escape Rooms Contest Bartari
From left: Agent Kowalski, Agent Davis, Agent Adams, Agent Schwabe, and Agent Rederburg relaxing after a hard day of spy hunting at Bartari.

Even though Ivanahumpski got away we felt good about valuing justice over greed. Plus, BreakOut covered a bar tab and free gaming. So we ordered a platta, popped a few drinks, and played a Yoshi’s Island.

Here are our final thoughts on the mission:

Agent Davis: “In the end as in life the heroes get shot. Next time I’ll be sure to take the bribery route so that I can actually feel like I earned something for all my hard work. The chase itself was really fun and got me into some new businesses that I had never been to before. I’d like to try one of BreakOut’s rooms next, as this was my first experience with an escape-type game.”

Agent Adams: “I really loved getting to try out so many new Saskatoon activities, and realized how many neat places and neighborhoods the city has to offer. Especially since I am new to town! Getting to actually talk, taste and try new things was the highlight. The puzzles were just the right difficulty for the event. Tip: leave yourself lots of time to chat with other teams, business owners and take photos with your team! Make a day of it.”

Agent Schwabe: “Since I was the driver, I had some fun and… some frustration. Finding new places was an “adventure”- good thing I’m cool-headed. Put your team’s road-ragers in the backseat! My favourite stop was the Pinball Bar – the free tokens were a nice touch.  Also nom nom nom’ed the Crave Cupcakes. My only advice to the organizers would be to avoid areas where parking is hard to find/expensive, or organize one that can be done on-foot in Downtown/Riversdale.  We waited in the car while the rest of the team played at Midtown to avoid dealing with pay lots.”

Agent Rederburg: “We had a great time figuring out the puzzles and putting clues together. It was good to see local businesses collaborating to make this event happen across the city. And the escape rooms partnered to create something better than they could do on their own. All of our Do Sask agents naturally fell into different roles and helped each other get to the next step. There were so many irresistible treats that I definitely felt like I had a food baby at the end of the day. I can’t wait to do it again!”

Check out all of our “Russian Around” highlights in the slideshow below.

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Find out more information about where you can play the next scavenger hunt at BreakOut Escape Rooms.

Do Sask: Mini-Maker Alcohol Ink Ceramic Tile Workshop

Making alcohol ink coasters is one of the most relaxing projects you’ll do! Each tile comes out unique, so you can watch the creation unfold before your eyes.
Learn how to create with alcohol ink on ceramic tile as part of UpCycle Day at the ReStore. Tickets are just $10 for this mini-maker Do Sask Does YXE workshop. Half of all proceeds support Habitat for Humanity.
Includes step-by-step instruction and all materials: (one ceramic tile, alcohol ink, rubbing alcohol, paint brush)
Note: This craft is definitely not safe for kids, so leave the wee ones at home to get your hands on this ages 12+ project. Alcohol inks are toxic and stain. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and your painting apron.

This WKND in YXE: March 24 to 27, 2017

Your WKND in YXE March 24 - 27, 2017

Do Sask is all about plugging in to fun things to do in Saskatoon. According to a report released this week by Media Technology Monitor, young Canadians like us are spending and average of 5 hours per day online. It’s time to be intentional about getting out of the house and into making better connections with people who matter the most.

So in the spirit of creating deeper relationships offline, I’m giving you a run down on all the device-free events that you can do together this weekend in Saskatoon.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Saskatoon, Sask., Dragons’ Den Auditions

9:00 AM – Wilson Centre, 129-116 Research Dr

The Dragons’ Den audition tour is opening to Saskatoon’s hardest working business owners. If you run a business at any stage of development you can give a 5 minute pitch to the Dragons’ Den producers. You could be invited to Toronto to face the Dragons.

Details here: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/auditions

Beats & Eats: Youth Electronic Music Showcase

7:00 PM – PAVED Arts, 424 20 St W

These kids are alright! Beats & Eats is a free, all ages, substance-free concert that gives kids from an after school electronic music workshop a chance to show off their freshly honed skills. The featured bands are IVy eNVy, Helianthus, No-Name, Safe Space, and local electronic trio 3 Ninjasks!

Supported by Saskatoon Open Door Society and Girls Rock Saskatoon.

Remnants Remnants Art Reception

7:00 PM – Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, U of S Campus

Art receptions are some of the best parties you’ll ever attend! William says he used a casting processes to replicate “remnants” that appear to have survived catastrophe, and have been left behind or discarded. This show features two artist exhibits (Stephanie Turtle) and a collaborative project.

Wine, cupcakes, and hors d’oeuvres by donation.

Saturday, March 25

Universal Love Sacred Sound Healing With Pamela Jane Gerrand

2:30 PM – Sanctuary in the City, 219A 21st St E

Sound therapy this weekend in Saskatoon March 25
Source: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/health/exploring-sound-therapy-at-helix-healthcare/

Take some time away from the noise of everyday life with the sacred sounds of poetry and music. Pamela walks you through a new method of self-care that involves breath work, chanting, and restorative sound. This healing event is meant to give you time to rest, release, and rejuvenate.

Registration is $40 by email ekam@thesanctuaryyxe.ca, or call 306-716-9996.

Carbonless Concert Series V

6:30 PM – D’Lish by Tish, 702 14th St E

Live local music with an unbeatable energy. Carbonless Concert is running a series of shows powered by zero-emissions equipment. See some of Saskatchewan’s best indie artists strike a chord with sustainable power. This week features Jay Maillet, Lyzanne Foth, and Aryn El Hefe.

Tickets just $10.

8 O’Clock Jump with Stone Frigate Big Band

8:00 PM – Salle Seguin, 414 1st Ave N

WKND in YXE swing dance
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjZpbw8IZMs

Partner or not, you’re invited to swing with live music and dancing. Bring a water bottle and non-marking shoes because this is a work out! Take a beginner lesson at 8, social dancing starts at 9. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Tickets are $15 each.

Sunday, March 26

Introduction to Permaculture

9:00 AM – Saskatoon Food Bank, 202 Ave C S

WKND in YXE
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/plantsmap/growing-millennials/

Plants on plants on plants. Permaculture is the method of harnessing the patterns and features of natural ecosystems in your own backyard. As part of the training, you’ll have an opportunity to design your own permaculture garden.

Registration is $80 by email info@permasask.ca.

Saskatoon Police Pipes & Drums 1st Irish Breakfast

10:00 AM – O’Shea’s Irish Pub, 222 2nd Ave S

Support the Saskatoon Police Pipes & Drums by eating brunch at their first annual Irish Breakfast fundraiser. The band will perform some new music while you enjoy an authentic Irish Breakfast including Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Mushrooms, Beans, Hash browns, an English (whaaaat?!) Muffin and a bevvie (Coffee/Tea, Pop, Bottled Domestic Beer or Highball.)

Tickets are $20. DM the band’s Facebook page.

Pancakes. And. Jam!

11:00 AM – Saskatoon Academy of Music, 629 1st Ave N

WKND in YXE jam session
Source: http://percussionplay.com/blog/pancake-day-musical-fun-and-activities-and-songs-to-sing/

If you own a Ukulele that’s been collecting dust and have an incurable craving for maple syrup, this one’s for you! Explore music with pancakes. The monthly jam is for musicians and non-musicians to gather, play, eat and just have a good ol’ lazy Sunday.

Spectators welcome!

Despised Icon w/ Carnifex, Fallujah, ROS & Guests – Saskatoon

7:00 PM – O’Brians Event Centre, 241 2 Ave S

Saskatoon’s metal scene is all the rage right now (seriously, some of my metal head friends in Calgary are jealous). So, come check out a show for yourself – it’s all ages! Featuring Despised Icon, Carnifex, Fallujah, Rings Of Saturn, and Lorna Shore.
Tickets $25 at the Box Office and http://bit.ly/2h9RVq2

Monday, March 27th (Who says the weekend’s over?)

Nuit Blanche YXE 2017 – Artists & Enthusiasts Night

7:45 PM – The Storefront, 325 21st St W

WKND in YXE Nuit Blanche YXE
Source: https://www.picatic.com/NBYXE17

Get a taste of what this year’s Nuit Blanche curator is cooking up for the next free night festival on September 30th. Artists will showcase what’s to come and invite you to show off your creative skills at an open call for spectacular art.

Tickets $15 (includes a bevvie and appetizers) at https://www.picatic.com/NBYXE17

I hope you have fun dropping your smartphone to spend time with a friend at one of these local events.

If you have an event you’d like to share with the Do Sask community please join our Facebook group.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook.

Pick 10: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth on a tour of these Saskatoon Candy Stores

ten Saskatoon candy stores to satisfy your sweet tooth

Whether you have a sweet tooth, or you’re really trying to make a great first impression – you can’t go wrong with a trip to these Saskatoon candy stores.

This week I met up with a friend for a tasty froyo date because the weather started to feel like spring! While enjoying my key-lime-lemon-meringue mix topped with toasted coconut I got a flash of inspiration to write about Saskatoon’s best sweet tooth satisfying stores.

If you’re planning a first date remember that candy brings out the kid in everyone. So you’ll know right away if your date is just as sweet on you as they are on sugar. Even if you don’t purchase a kilogram or two of bagged penny candy you’ll find bright colors and fun in every square inch of these stores.

Give your date a sugar rush! Here are a few of the sweetest places to satisfy your candy craving. These are this week’s pick ten for Saskatoon candy stores.

Pine & Fancy Sweet Memories 2 locations Centre Mall & Lawson Heights


Have you ever had a craving for something so obscure that you didn’t think any store would stock in on their shelves? Pine & Fancy probably has it. Half of the store is dedicated to nostalgic, imported goodies that you would have never thought you’d find in Saskatoon. The other half is full of toys and games for the kid in everyone.

Those Girls at the Market Saskatoon Farmer’s Market


The girls, Ying and Julianna, hold a special place in my heart because I used to work for their family restaurant when I was an angst-ridden teenager growing up in Biggar, Saskatchewan. They’ve come a long way since then with many different ventures, but the girls are best known in Saskatoon as makers of kick-ass raw chocolate. Sure Those Girls is not technically a candy shop, but you won’t regret making a special trip to the Market to pick up your own batch of their locally-made, melt-in-your-mouth delicacies.

SaskMade Marketplace 1621 8 St E

Had I not stopped by the SaskMade Market for a Saskatchewan-infused gift bag I would never have known that they carry such a large collection of chocolates and sweets from local producers in store. You can sample all sorts of specialty bites from chocolate-covered Saskatoon berries to moose mud fudge, but please eventually purchase some of the deliciousness to support local artisan candy-makers.

The Museum Store at Western Development Museum 2610 Lorne Ave

Because…duh! #gilliam #candysticks #crackerbarrell #fun #yum #powderdip #dipbabydip

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If you’re looking for a really old-timey candy store, then this place has the treats you crave. WDM stocks a decent selection of old-fashioned candy which includes candy sticks and barley pops (no, not that kind).

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company Centre Mall

#rockymountainchocolatecompany #carmelapples

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Is it just me, or is it impossibly difficult to make a quick trip to the Centre without stopping by this shop? Rocky Mountain is one of those rare Saskatoon gems where you can watch fancy fudge being made by hand like you’re on vacation. Choose your own pleasure adventure every time you drop in with fresh samples of the good stuff, or pre-packed choices to go. Plus, candy apples.

Laura Secord Midtown Plaza

Not only is Laura one of Canada’s renowned war heroines, it’s also the place where darn good chocolate gets made. My husband Chris will only visit Laura Secord if he’s in the mood for Super Kid ice cream, but there are plenty of other treats you can choose from to sweeten up your date.

Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut 1526 8 St E

You can take the girl out of Calgary, but you can’t take the Calgary out of the girl. Bernard Callebaut is one of Cowtown’s most renowned chocolatiers, so it’s great to see that they’re making their way into Saskatoon’s candy circuit. Check their interactive chocolate map to plan your date with over 48 flavours to choose from! They’re always adding seasonal treats for your most special memories.

Bulk Barn 2 locations Betts Avenue and McOrmond Drive


For a first date? Maybe it’s not the fanciest place in town. But get creative with a five dollar bill to see how much candy you can get within that budget. No matter if you like sweet or salty Bulk Barn has the selection and inventory that smaller stores can’t match. Bring your own container to cut down on waste. Win-win!

Okay, these aren’t Saskatoon candy stores, but you can mix your favourite into the creamy goodness!

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt 2 locations 8th Street and Nelson Road

Want to try a twenty different flavours of frozen yogurt? Well you may not reach that amount in one trip, but you’ll come close! Menchie’s lets you sample different flavours before you buy so you can choose your favourite before going all in… (just like dating!) Take your bae here for a glimpse into their preferences – flavours, candy, toppings.

Marble Slab Creamery McOrmond Drive


Never before had I tasted a dessert so close to PB & J without actually being PB & J than with my PB & J mash-up creation. There are all sorts of desserts you can create with mixins, or you can grab a traditional banana split to share between the two of you.

I hope this compilation makes your weekend date planning a bit easier. No matter where you go, there is no chance of having a bad time at one of these Saskatoon candy stores.

Do you agree with these ten picks, or did I miss your favourite? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite Saskatoon candy stores.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

 

 

Pick 10: The Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon

best geeky things to do in saskatoon)

There are all different types of words people use to describe those who are incredibly passionate about learning. The negative meaning behind dork, geek, and nerd has been thrown on its head by modern society. That’s why there was no shortage in choosing the best geeky things to do in Saskatoon.

Over the past ten years there’s been a transformation that’s turned some of the bullied into billionaires. People who have a knack for coding or comics have reached a new level of cool. And Saskatoon knows it.

For many years people have proclaimed that I fit into the geek category. I’ve never identified with the fangirls of Star Wars and LOTR, or played a MMORPG. I was in a bit of self-denial at first, but now I’ve learned to embrace that geeky things I love to do are actually really fun. It’s like you get to be a kid again and the only thing people can say is, “What a geek!”

To the fellow geeks that stumbled here, there is no shame in embracing your interests. From arcades to comic book stores, read on to journey into the best of Saskatoon’s geekdom.

*This list has been edited to reflect business closures on November 6, 2017.

If you’re in Riversdale, you can’t miss the trifecta of the best geeky things to do in Saskatoon: Mana Bar, Bartari, and King Me Boardgamery.

Mana Bar 523 20 St W

Owner Chris calls it “a nerdtopia for those into every geeky subculture”. And he’s working very hard to satisfy every niche of nerd across the city. Whether you’re into Magic or live streamed e-games, this is a bar with a pixelated heartbeat. Check their calendar for specialty nights like trivia to meet and compete with other bespectacled people of the prairies.

Pro Tip: Make sure you visit the gender-neutral Star Wars and Zelda-themed washrooms that play music from their respective titles while you pee.

Update: Chris makes specialty waffles on Wednesdays (Jalapeno Popper, Mac N Cheese, and Gingerbread to name a few). He also has a selection of bourbon and scotch for tasting (November 18, 2017).

Bartari 511 20th Street West


Walk a few doors down from Mana Bar to grab a table for you and a few friends to play unlimited games all night for $5. You can choose from a vast collection of retro and new console games, or arcade style pinball. Start a battle with your friends and the servers will fuel your evening with treats like milk and cookies between rounds.

King Me Boardgamery and Cafe 527 20th Street West

Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon King Me Boardgamery and Cafe interior

A few steps away from Bartari you’ll find King Me where your fiver goes just as far with All You Can Play board games. They’re open seven days a week, so you can plan your regular board game night here.

The thing I like about King Me is that you can try out the latest board games at a fraction of the cost of buying to avoid overspending on games that you may not want to play again. Check out the board game library to see if they have the one you want.

Update: According to their Facebook Page, King Me has started offering solo player promotions on Tuesdays.  (November 19, 2017)

Ruckers 2 locations: 2910 8th St E and  2301 22 St W

So maybe Ruckers isn’t the geekiest place Saskatoon, but you’ll have fun reliving your nostalgic arcade days. Spend around $30 to get over 100 tokens to play. Take your younger friends, or plan your next date here. The east location is part of a fun centre that includes: Putt ‘n Bounce mini golf, The Rock climbing wall, Grand Slam batting cages, and one of the only Fuddruckers locations in Canada.

Pro Tip: pack your hand sanitizer.

Aspect Virtual Reality Gaming Studio 2218 Millar Ave *Edit permanently closed

I first heard about ASPECT VR after reading an article in the StarPhoenix, so naturally we had to check it out for our next date night. The owners say this is the only Virtual Reality Studio of this quality anywhere in Saskatchewan. They also do large parties (a.k.a. the quietest birthday you’ll ever have).

When my date (my husband, Chris) and I walked into the space we could tell it was a very expensive room. We opted for the immersive experience of the Zombie story, but there are other options for folks who want ease their way into VR.  See what it feels like to be completely inside of a video game.

Pro Tip: We played for an hour, but we recommend limiting yourself to a half hour your first time.

Your nearest Saskatoon Public Library location.

Conversations already happening by the fireplace in the new Round Prairie branch #yxe #saskatoon #roundprairiemetis

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I’ve always found the library to be a comforting space. It’s somewhere I can explore the world without leaving my city. The library is the perfect spot for geeky dates because they have so much going on to satisfy all different types of people. Membership is free and gives you access to a world of knowledge. If you’re a member of Do Sask’s Facebook group, you’ll notice the amount of interesting events SPL puts on every month is impressive – and not just for kids.

Check out a location near you, or visit the new Round Prairie branch location in Stonebridge.

U of S Observatory Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon U of S Observatory

I remember going to the U of S a lot as a kid. The observatory was always one of the highlights. It’s open every Saturday year round, but typically you can get the best view in the summer months. For a romantic take on the best geeky thing to do in Saskatoon, pack a midnight snack and take a peek at the universe through a 6 inch diameter lens to see planets, clusters, galaxies, and even comets. There’s a small Astronomy museum with a tour of our solar system!

Pro Tip: Check out their hours to see how long they’re open for this Saturday.

Escape Rooms

I experienced my first escape room a few years ago in Calgary at a place called The Locked Room. Essentially we gathered a group of five to play a live action puzzle in which we had to take steps to find and unlock ourselves from the room to successfully save humanity from a zombie apocalypse. (FYI We made it to the last piece when the buzzer rang… Fail.)

We didn’t make it out in time… hence this horrified look. #escapecity #ladiesnightout #yxefashion #yxedatenight

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Saskatoon has a handful of escape rooms to choose from. I’ve only tried Keller’s Magic Emporium at Escape City, so tell me which one is the best! Here’s where you can find them:

Canadian Light Source 44 Innovation Blvd

Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon Canadian Light Source Synchrotron Canada’s hub for STEM research is right here in Saskatoon at the internationally renowned multidisciplinary synchrotron. Take a free tour of the spot that has grabbed the science world’s attention. The Canadian Light Source gives free tours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2 p.m. You can drop in at that time, or request another time (for groups of 5 or more).

Amazing Stories  2508 8th St E

Can you connect the dots?? #dottodot #connectthedots #spiderman #amazingstoriescomics

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If you’re going to check out a comic book store, why not head to one of the world’s best? Amazing Stories has more than comics – check them out for everything geek culture from collectibles to clothes. They’ve got a lot of community events, so check here to see what’s going on this week.

Honorable mention: Create Cafe 510 Cir Dr E

3D Printed Brain Lamp from a MRI Scan #MadeForSinterit @MyMiniFactory @Sinterit #3dprinting #yxe #yxeart #brainstorming #3ddesign

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Learn how to use a 3D printer and grab a coffee with your friends at the same time. Create Cafe has three Makerbot printers that you can rent by the hour for a very low cost. Two stations are set up for you to design and prep your project. You can send your design to be printed, or work on it at the cafe. According to their website, workshops are coming soon!

Whether you play esports, read manga, create epic Magic character-lines, enjoy a simple social board game, or have all of the game shops on speed dial to get the NES Classic Edition – you name it, there’s a spot in Saskatoon that satisfies your specific geeky needs.

Do you agree with these ten picks, or did I miss your favourite? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite geeky things to do in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

Pick 10: Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops for a Casual Date

Top 10 Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops

Some people prefer slow conversations that encourage comfortable silence and embrace the simplicity of being around someone special to you. My cousin is one of those people. She would rather have a meaningful conversation than an adventurous outing on the town. When I asked what her ultimate favourite thing to do was, she said she loved spending time with friends in the best Saskatoon coffee shops.

The thing my cousin enjoys doing the most is not an extravagant outing to the latest event, but having a simple chat with a good friend over a nice local mug of comfort. Sometimes everyone needs to take a break over a coffee or tea, so she inspired me to write this top 10.

The Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops

Going for coffee is perfect for casual meetups with new acquaintances and catch-ups with old friends. If you’re not ready for the full night on the town with your new mate hit up a great local coffee shop and break the ice. Do Sask likes our coffee and tea local, and these are a few of the best according to my cousin.

1. Collective Coffee

It’s a beautiful day and we’re having fun. Come join the party!

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Folks who co-work from The Two Twenty are in and out of Collective Coffee on 20th Street more times than they’d like to admit it on any given day. But did you know that they’ve just opened a new location across from St. Paul’s Hospital on Avenue P? Check it out today, so your addiction isn’t so obvious.

P.S. My cousin says their latte is the best in the city. Order it to taste for yourself!

2. Drift Sidewalk Cafe

Drift has an amazing local feel with a great view close to River Landing. It’s got one of the best hot chocolates by far, but their baristas and local focus on events keep us coming back. Plus, the interior decor makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical – even in the middle of winter.

3. Citizen Cafe

From the look of this cookie, the Americano is almost a secondary reason why you’d want to go to Citizen! Make sure you plan your coffee date during the day because they aren’t open late.

4. City Perks

According to Saskatoon sub reddit user nlddancer, “City Perks on 7th Ave is incredible. They have drip coffee, french press, pour over and aeropress, as well as espresso based drinks. Their cappuccinos are the traditional six ounce size too, so it tastes great and not too milky.” City Perks also has a location in Stonebridge.

5. Calories

So it may seem unfair to add Calories to the Top 10 two times in a row, but you can’t deny that they’ve got a good thing going. Yes, their hot cuppa’s may be a few bucks more than average, but their creativity with flavour will take your taste buds to a whole new level that’s worth an extra loonie or two. That’s why they’re one the best Saskatoon coffee shops for a casual date.

6. Mystic Java

First pic of the year, hope your a good one 2017 ?

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You can skip coffee and order a milkshake to share with your date. That’ll take a casual coffee to a cute connection in an instant. Or, keep it cool with a quick black coffee. Your choice!

7. Museo Broadway

@brockfehr wants shorter cup, we make shorter cup.

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Locally roasted beans with one of the best pour-overs in town set this cafe ahead of the pack. No need to say more.

8. The Underground Cafe

Go to the Underground for the coffee, stay for the karaoke. This joint is one of the few places I’ve been to that makes a seamless connection between fun and frappe.

9. d’Lish by Tish Cafe 

One of the few local cafes with a patio for the nice, hot days we get here in the summertime.

10. Little Bird Patisserie

Again, the coffee is secondary to the French pastry chef’s amazing gastronomical achievements. Little Bird is the place to go to impress your date with a lavish slice of heaven while relaxing in a bright vintage setting.

Do you agree with these top picks, or did we miss your favourite cafe? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite coffee shops in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

Pick 10: Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon (including the veggie burger)

Top 10 Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon

Pick 10 is a new series that’s asking local Saskatchewanians about the best our province has to offer. Members of Do Sask contribute their favourite things to do in Saskatchewan, so they can share the fun with everyone. Before we get started on the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon according to Maygen Kardash, let’s talk about where this series fits in with Do Sask.

Why ask locals for their recommendations?

Sometimes we have a bad habit of choosing the most popular activities again and again.

Rather than getting adventurous about the path less traveled, we look for things everyone else is doing. Case in point: Trip Advisor’s number 1 thing to do in Saskatchewan is the Western Development Museum. Now, I’m not knocking the treasure that is Boomtown, but there’s more to explore in this province than its history.

You’ll get to places that are off the beaten path.

Locals help you get to places that are less known, but often more rewarding. If you are a Saskatchewanian then you’re more likely to explore places close to home recommended by people like you!

Now, without further ado…

Top 10 Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon

In the last few years, Saskatoon’s culinary scene has seen a boom, landing us on must-visit lists in blogs, papers, and magazines. With so many options, it can be hard to choose when you finally get a night out! Here are my current favourite (ovo-lacto vegetarian) bites in town:

1. NOSH Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos

These soft tacos are technically shareable, but you’ll want to order a plate for yourself. Spicy, tangy, and a little bit sweet, these guys top my list.

2. Calories Organic Buckwheat Crepes

As I typed “organic buckwheat”, I realized how boring this main sounds, but trust that it is a winner in the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon. The crepes are filled with kale, garden dill labneh, and wild BC ginger (reminiscent of an elevated nalysnyky, if you’re a Ukrainian food fan) and are served with honey glazed carrots. P.s. The pinot gris pairing balances with perfect lightness—order it.

3. Leyda’s Ayurvedic Soup and bread

I’m not even a soup lover per se, but Leyda’s Ayurvedic is pretty unreal. Kale, quinoa, sweet potato, coconut milk, and a fantastic blend of spices have kept loyalists ordering this since the opening of this gluten-free, nut-free restaurant (which otherwise has a bit of a rotating menu). Oh, and Leyda’s bread is one of my favourite loaves in Saskatoon, gluten-free or otherwise.

4. Brown’s Socialhouse Blackened Chicken Cowboy Salad (with tofu sub)

When Brown’s opened in my neighborhood, I was thrilled to find so many vegetarian substitutes available on their menu but it was trying the tofu in place of blackened chicken that really made me fall in love. This salad is hearty with dates, feta, nuts, black beans, lots of greens, and a soft breadstick that I hate sharing with my two-year-old.

5. Odd Couple Tomato Curry with Tofu

I ate this every Monday for a year when I worked downtown and still order it often. A thick, flavourful sauce coats the just-crunchy tofu that when combined with sticky rice is a satisfying addition to the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon.

6. Little Grouse on the Prairie Ravioli

Nothing compares to fresh, handmade pasta. Have you tried ours?

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Sometimes it’s the simplest dishes that make me the happiest. Little Grouse’s ravioli is fresh-made in house with ricotta di campagna and sage butter. Every bite is decadent.

7. Kabab King Mushroom Caju Mutter

When I order Indian food, I’m suddenly in a sharing mood so it was hard to pick just one item from Kabab King’s delicious menu. However, that’s the theme, so my pick is Mushroom Caju Mutter. It’s so rich, two spoon fulls on my plate is enough to love but alongside their fresh naan, those two spoon fulls are a necessity.

8. Congress and/or Ayden TIE Veggie Burger

Get your burger and veggie fix all at once this week with our colourful veggie burger!

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Go eat them both and then you try to pick! Both feature house-made veggie patties that would satisfy a carnivorous appetite. Ayden’s features a fried farm egg whose runny yolk serves up saucy goodness and Congress’ is loaded and served with their double-fried French fries. Both have my vote.

9. Konga Café Not-on-the-menu Veggie Meal

The tastes of the Caribbean are alluring, but not so fun is being vegetarian at a beachfront cookout. Luckily, right here in Saskatoon, the Konga Café makes a wicked veggie plate with all the sauce I want and none of the meat I don’t!

10. Una 4-Maggi Pizza

The 4-Maggi looks like a plain cheese pizza with no sauce but it ain’t a photo that captures taste. This wood-fired pizza features provolone picante, friulano, fior di latte mozza, and pecorino romano and is topped with truffle oil and local urban honey. I could eat this with greens every day of my life.

Note this!

Due to rotating menus, I’ve yet to try the latest veggie offerings at the Hollows and Prairie Harvest, but I’m willing to bet they’ll make my list when I next visit those tried and true haunts.

This Pick 10 for the Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon was generously contributed by blogger, Maygen Kardash of Our Collective Muse.

Do you agree with these top vegetarian picks? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite vegetarian food in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

6 Reasons You Should Go to Table Mountain Regional Park This Weekend

Table Mountain Regional Park this weekend

Yeah, we all know it ain’t the Rockies.

Before I get started on why you should hit the road to Table Mountain Regional Park this weekend I have to tell you that wasn’t always my favourite place in the world. In fact, my first memory of learning to ski there included a too-tight pair of boots, followed by extreme pain in my feet and crying like a baby to switch into a larger pair. I was young enough that the older kids pitied my tears, but old enough to remember that blubbering in public probably wasn’t cool anymore.

Sadly that experience turned me off from skiing for a very long time. Every year following that experience I traded in my ski boots for an inner tube. I finally got over the trauma in my adulthood and am actually enjoying the skis.

Table Mountain is the spot that many Sask kids learn to ski and snowboard. Here are six reasons you’ll love it as an adult:

1. It’s close. If you call Central Saskatchewan home, Table Mountain Regional Park isn’t too far of a drive for a day trip.


You can hit the road there and back in the same day with enough hours on the hill that you’ll feel like the time spent in the car is well worth every minute. That beats 16+ hours in a car to and from the Rockies any day!

2. It’s dirt cheap.

Post xmas situation ?. Ready for 2016 to be over #emptywallet

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I don’t know many places you can get a full day of fun for $50 (that includes ski and boot rental along with your lift ticket). It’s definitely accessible to most folks… even if you spent most of your cash on pizza.

3. It has patio beers.

When it’s nice outside you should take a break from the hill for a cold one on the patio.
 Table Mountain Regional Park Patio Drink
Table Mountain’s chalet offers a variety of bottled bevvies, plus your standard hi-balls. There’s nothing as refreshing as sipping on a refreshing drink as you look out onto the snow-covered hills.

4. It’s not crowded.

I used to think waiting in line for the lift at Table Mountain Regional Park was a drag.

cutting’ some sick pow today?? #justkidding #tablemountainsask #?

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After experiencing how long you will wait at some of the larger Canadian ski resorts I’ve changed my tune. If you time your trip right and show up early for the day you’ll beat the rental and lift ticket lineups. Then when you’re on the hill it takes about 10 minutes to get up to the top. You won’t wait long to scoop a seat on the lift.

5. It has onion rings.

#onionrings #theseweresogood #onion #likethisshit #nofilter #noedit #ring #rings

A photo posted by @_payetience_ on


You won’t be able to resist a snack at the chalet when the whole hill smells like crispy onion rings. It’s just smart marketing.

6. It has a run for you.

Beautiful day at #tablemountainregionalpark #explorebattlefords #skiing #snowboarding #saskatchewan

A photo posted by Kyle Green (@green_machine87) on


Whether you’re a skilled skier, or a novice boarder  – Table Mountain Regional Park has 11 hills that will be perfect for you from the bunny hill all the way up to black diamond moguls. If you’re a fan of trying trick boarding or skiing, there’s a terrain park to hone your skills. Not into either? They have tubing passes for $10.

Whether you’re into relaxing at the chalet with a few bevvies, or non-stop action at the terrain park you’ll definitely have a good time making new memories at your childhood resort.

Give Table Mountain Regional Park another shot this weekend.

Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite things to do in Saskatchewan.

My recommendations are voluntarily written. I have not accepted any payment from Table Mountain Regional Park.