Saskatoon Halloween Tour: Your guide to a spooky night of lights 2020

My husband and I are one of few neighbours on our block who like to decorate for spooky season. So we set out to find a few more displays to get into the Halloween spirit.

Now that we’ve got a new home, we’re looking forward to building a better display year after year.

From what I’ve found, there aren’t as many light displays on the east side of Saskatoon as there are on the west side of the city. I created both west side and east side google map tours of must-see houses and neighbourhoods you need to see this Halloween, from the comfort of your vehicle.

West Side:

555 Sebestyen Crescent
114 Adilman Drive
427 A.E. Adams Way
902 33rd Street East
1905 Richardson Road
300 Korol Crescent
503 Coad Crescent
100 Block Kirkpatrick Crescent
78 McDougal Crescent
Hughes Drive
Lisgar Avenue
505 Avenue S North
710 Matheson Drive
500 Appleby Drive

East Side:

800 Block of Heritage Crescent
Weyakwin Drive
Brookhurst Crescent
106 Simon Fraser Crescent
95 Lindsay Drive
80 Sparling Crescent
2201 Lorne Avenue
Senick Crescent

We’re looking to add more stops to our Halloween tour next year. Email your submissions, with a photo or two, to info@dosask.com. If you would like to be removed from this list, or you notice an address that isn’t participating, let me know and I will update it.

Photos of Saskatchewan That Help You Escape for a While

This post captures photos of my spring and summer in Saskatchewan during quarantine. It’s intended to help you add to your own bucket list of places to explore and things to do in your immediate community. Uncover the beauty that’s right under your nose.

I haven’t left Saskatchewan since February, so all of my bucket list remains within provincial borders.

Related posts you’ll love:

Before I get to the good stuff, here’s a personal note on the how quarantine has affected my life.

Like many folks in the world, this year isn’t going exactly as I had planned.

2020 started strong with great attendance at my early events. I had been working on creating a new program for members looking to build real connections in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. Then, it all disappeared overnight.

After March 12, I chose to cancel live events as attendee safety is my top priority. I was telling folks that I hoped to be back in April! In hindsight, I was naïve about how long this would last. Last week, my heart broke when I heard that physical distancing could last two or three more years. Our culture is forever changed to pre- and post-coronavirus. Anything that happened before that day in March now feels like ancient history.

Losing the opportunity to meet people and help them connect in person feels strange. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy writing about our prairie city, nerdy things, alternative activities, local travel, love, and lifestyle. But you, the community, fuel my energy, passion, and commitment to keep moving forward. It gives me such a rush to see your smiling faces in person – I don’t need corona to affirm that.

While exploring different styles of events, I discovered hosting and organizing live events where you can have a space to meet new, like-minded people is something I want to do on a professional level. I don’t regret one minute of it and I hope that someday I’ll be able to do it again, safely.

Fortunately, I have a supportive husband, friends, and family who’ve made the past five months easier. I haven’t been able to attend and host events like I normally would, but I’ve set personal and professional goals that give me renewed purpose.

Saskatchewan Photo Bucket List

I took all of these photos on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S8).

Hunt for Saskatchewan’s wild flora

Wild Crocus at the old Langham Golf Course.
Wild Prairie Lily in the forest of Meadow Lake Provincial Park.

Walk along a prairie landscape where the sky takes your breath away

Silhouette of the Northeast Swale.
Looking out at a private dock as seagulls fly at Grieg Lake.
Taking a moment to breathe at our lakefront campsite at Grieg Lake.
Cow spotting on an acreage in Borden.

Watch coy fish peacefully swimming at Boffins Garden

Explore abandoned places of yesterday

The overgrown trees of Borden Bridge.
Eerie and historical American-style architecture at Glenside United Church.

Take a day trip to a place you’ve never been before

Sand dunes at Douglas Provincial Park.

Soak in the sun at a nearby beach

Furdale Beach a.k.a. Chief Whitecap Dog Park.

Camp with an adventurous friend in Grieg Lake

Pick fresh Saskatoon berries in your very own physically distanced row

Make frozen Saskatoon berry custard with those fresh berries

Ride with a local slow roll cycle group

Joanne Cliff is the Saskatoon cyclist who completed her personal challenge to ride every street, crescent, and avenue in Saskatoon.

Complete a corn maze

The Rosthern Corn Maze is open from August through October 25, 2020.

There are many beautiful places across this province that didn’t make it onto the photo bucket list because I was too busy enjoying the moment without my phone in hand.

This year has reinforced the fact that nothing is ever certain. You never know when life as you know it will take a detour, but your mindset will always impact how you move forward.

As Saskatchewan re-opens, you should expect to find more regular posts from me. I will continue sharing content that supports the tourism, events, and hospitality industry. You can check the Do Sask Facebook Group for daily updates on local events.

I will also publish content and work hard to offer alternative events related to making the best of this time at home. We aren’t out of the woods yet.

Someday I’ll look back on 2020 with a teary-eyed smile. I miss you so much and I want to see you (standing 6 feet away) again.

Amy

What are your favourite bucket list activities in Saskatchewan during quarantine? Share yours in the Saskatoon Events & Date Night Ideas group.

20+ Creative Ways to Unwind During Physical Distancing (It’s not Puzzles)

Since completing the first month of lockdown, I’ve had several weeks to try out a tonne of unique and entertaining activities that are keeping me busy doing things I enjoy. By now, you know that tuning in to ‘living room’ concerts is an opportunity to get your fix of musical entertainment. And streaming the latest from Netflix has its place, too. The following ideas are different because they move you from an audience member to an active performer in your own entertainment.

In my last post, I mentioned that it’s important to schedule a routine that includes fun activities, giving yourself breaks from the constant media stream and work from home tasks that dominate your day. Make an appointment with yourself to unwind creatively. Some of the links go to support independent businesses in Saskatoon. Here are some options that you may not have tried yet:

20+ CREATIVE WAYS TO UNWIND DURING PHYSICAL DISTANCING

  • Design a neighbourhood full of your dream homes in the Sims 4.
  • Order a themed takeout meal from your favourite restaurant to match your movie choice.
  • Play Jackbox with friends remotely.
  • Sing a karaoke duet with a friend on Smule.
  • Have a make your own pizza night.
  • Take a country drive and sing along to your favourite road trip songs. I like driving down to Whitecap Dakota First Nation for a short break. Blackstrap and Diefenbaker/Outlook would make a nice longer drive. It’s the cheapest time to get out on the open road.
  • Start your own plant seedlings. Start an apartment herb garden, or a small backyard container garden.
  • Watch the sunset and try to describe all the colours.
  • Play a Just Dance game. In my opinion, this is the most efficient way to bust stress.
  • Whistle a tune to your pet.
  • Choose a theme and host a family or friend dinner online. Selecting a theme makes it feel like you’re together.
  • Take friends on a “hyper-local wine tour” of your place. Visit the bathroom, the living room, etc.
  • Take a photo walk around your neighbourhood. Notice the things that you may not have seen before.
  • Create a self-portrait sugar cookie. Recreate your face on a simple round sugar cookie shape.
  • Rent a board game. If you like it enough, you can share another round with friends in the future.
  • Order a new book for curbside pickup. Browse books online and support a local author.
  • Play card games with friends. Psst… “Remote Sensitivity” is essentially Cards Against Humanity.
  • Browse renowned museums and galleries from your home.
  • Decorate your fence or front window.
  • Download, print, and colour drawings from artists around the world. Many artists are uploading their designs for free, or a small donation to charity.
  • Bird watch and try to name a few of the flocks that are coming back to town.

What have you been doing to unwind? Please don’t say puzzles.

Go-to friend dates in Saskatoon that make adult hangouts easier

In my opinion, adult friendships contribute to the magic of being alive. But the challenge of organizing different, fun hangouts together while respecting both friends’ schedules can be enough hassle to let the relationship go for months without seeing each other face-to-face.

I’m an extrovert which means I get energized in the company of people. That’s why I started making regular commitments with friends who wanted to hangout more. Together, we’d commit to doing something every week or month.

I’ve been experimenting with different regular hangouts for over two years. Usually, I find something I’m interested in and then ask some of my friends if they want to join me. They take turns and ask me if I want to join them at something. I’ve tried a lot of things that are totally out of my comfort zone by accepting a friend’s invitation.

The secret to making it work is actually pretty simple: stick with it. Stick with the same day, stick with the same time, and stick with the same activity. If you switch it up from week to week or month to month, there’s an opportunity to flake out… and then you both lose.

Now, you could still leave room for spontaneous gatherings. However, I find that these types of events happen less often as I grow older.

Here are my favourite go-to friend dates in Saskatoon:

Climbing gym

There’s something about challenging friends who can climb to the top of the walls the fastest that makes this one of my favourite hangouts. That and I’m usually totally exhausted by the end.

As a beginner climber, I have only ever been to Clip ‘n Climb in Saskatoon (I’ve been bouldering in Calgary prior to moving here). It’s newb-friendly with auto-belay on every wall. They also have two timed walls which track your race to the top. Go later in the evening to avoid scads of children.

Dance class

So far, I’ve taken hip-hop, belly-dance, swing, and ballroom dancing with friends. There are social dancing groups if you want to meet other people. Sign up for a half session to see whether you want to go deeper.

You’ll find dance companies all over the city with options that will suit your individual tastes and location preference. I’m still waiting on someone to bring a twerk-out class to Saskatoon.

Crafting

Meet once a week to work on your projects for an hour or two. Making a commitment to craft means you’ll actually accomplish projects you start. Being part of a crafting group is always the most productive I’ll ever be with my hobby.

Join the Saskatoon Craft Guild, Saskatoon Potters Guild, drop in to any of the studio workshops in Saskatoon, or set up your own Stitch ‘n Bitch.

Board games

If you have a competitive streak, invite your buddies to a regular game night. My husband and I played Catan quite often with one of my cousins who kicked our butts regularly – he’s a Catan savant. We played regularly until he got bored of beating us.

Play at home, or hit up one of the city’s two board game cafes. Usually, game cafes have all sorts of options depending on the size of your group.

Swimming

Dive into a swimming date with your friend to escape from the cold of winter. You may feel good enough after the hot tub or sauna to save yourself a trip south of the border.

Plus, going to the pool is one of the most affordable dates around!

Volunteer

Asking a friend to volunteer with you can be a vulnerable moment. You tell them what you care about and why it matters, hoping that they’ll give a hoot.

Saskatoon has so much opportunity to give back. Many non-profit organizations need committed volunteers. Why not join one with a friend to socialize while giving back?

Bonus: volunteering is usually completely free.

Join a Club or League

I wanted to start a book club, but not many of my friends could commit to one. So I started one through Do Sask. Book club helps me read more for fun than I ever would on my own. My friends may have passed on joining the club. However, I’ve met people who have become friends.

This month, I saw an idea for a cookbook club and now I can’t stop thinking about how to make it happen.

There are other clubs in Saskatoon, such as the canoe club. One ex-local recommended I join the South Corman Park Judo Club. If you can’t find a club you like – start something new!

What do you and your friends typically do for a date in Saskatoon? Join the Do Sask Facebook Group to have your say in the discussion.

Saskatoon Speed Dating Success Story: Anthony and Sophie

bi-racial couple looks up at bright fair grounds, smiling

“I love meeting new people. So, I wanted to meet people and make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake. “

This week, I spoke with a pair who matched at Saskatoon Speed Dating. Anthony* and Sophie* have been in a supportive, long-term relationship since connecting at their Do Sask event in January 2019. I asked them if they would share their experience and they graciously agreed. I chatted with each of them individually and encouraged honest responses.

Read on if you’re curious to learn how this couple developed from an initial 4-minute speed dating conversation.

What did you think about speed dating before you came?

Anthony: “I didn’t really have any feelings about it at all. I’d seen speed dating in a few movies and things. I didn’t know that Saskatoon had such a thing.

When I heard about it, I thought, “What the heck!” I would give it a try. I was in the mountains on a snowboard trip scrolling on Facebook. Something popped up and it was Do Sask, so I read into it. I saw speed dating and read about it and went from there.”

What did you want out of speed dating?

Sophie: “To be honest, going into it I didn’t have any expectations. One of my friends worked at the Crazy Cactus. She and I were both part of a group of friends who were mostly coupled up since high school or a few years after. When she heard Do Sask Speed Dating was scheduled at the Crazy Cactus, she began a campaign to get me to join her. I wasn’t gung-ho in the very beginning. But I thought why not to see what would happen. I didn’t expect that it would be the way I met my future partner.”

Anthony: “I was going in to have a new experience and try something new. I didn’t necessarily want a relationship out of it, but I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. I love meeting new people. So, I wanted to make some friends and go from there. Obviously, having a girlfriend out of it was an absolute cherry on top of the cake.”

Tell me about what happened the night of speed dating.

A: “The night of I was running late. I rolled up a minute or two to 7 pm. I figured I was going to be a couple minutes late. I just remember thinking to myself “here we go”. There were some butterflies. I remember seeing all the people there. Once I registered, I knew I had a drink ticket and went to grab one. I started chatting with some of the guys there and my butterflies went away.”

S: “I told my friend I really needed a drink. I had no idea what I was walking into. There were a lot more people there than I thought there would be.

I liked the icebreaker game which introduced me to everyone who was there that night. We played people bingo and got to know other people. It was kind of nice to have a little conversation with everyone before the dating started.“

A: “We had an introductory bingo game. There was a bingo card and we were asked to find people that matched the description and write their name on the squares. There were no nerves, it was just excitement at that point.

Once the game started, I remember thinking, “Okay, you’re supposed to mingle”. A few of the girls had huddled up together asking questions and some of the guys were asking questions to each other. My initial thought was, “I’m here to go on dates, so I’m going to talk to the girls”.

I remember seeing Sophie walk in at the beginning of the night. With the game on, I went right over to her. She was happy and had this beautiful smile. I remembered her immediately. Once the dates started, I was looking forward to having that 4-minute date with her.

S: “As soon as you said go for the ice breaker game, Anthony was the first person who came up and talked to me. I kind of liked being approached first. He was nice to talk to. He said it was nice meeting you and I’ll talk to you soon.”

A: “During our date, we were talking about football. She was very open and didn’t seem shy. She plays fantasy football and I like football. My go-to question for that night was, “here’s a plane ticket you can go anywhere you want, where are you going?” And I had a lot of good conversations from that. Sophie was very easy to talk to. The 4 minutes flew by. We chatted through the intermission.”

S: “When it came time for Anthony’s 4-minute date to end, he asked, “Do you want to keep talking?” Intermission had started, so we decided to chat right through the short break. We talked about fantasy football. And we’re both big travellers, so we discussed all the places we’ve been and wanted to go. That probably took up most of the conversation.”

Describe your first date after speed dating.

S: “On our first date, we met at D’Lish by Tish Cafe and got a drink. We took it to go and walked along the river. We walked to Rotary Park, by River Landing, and up the Broadway Bridge. It was the end of January, so the night turned cold. We went to the Yard and Flagon to warm up a bit. Anthony walked me back to my car at D’Lish before we said goodnight.”

A: “We met up at a coffee shop about a week later, grabbed a cup of joe, and went for a stroll by the river. Tried to get to know each other. There was a wind – it was winter – so we just kept moving. I walked her back to her car gave her a kiss goodnight.”

How has your life been better since attending?

S: “I’ve never really had a serious relationship and it’s really nice having someone to share a life with. Anthony adds to my life.”

A: “I’ve had a girlfriend since then, so it’s been a change for the better. It was a pretty good bonus. I’m happy and the months have flown by since meeting her. It’s a great relationship. We support each other. It’s very easy to get along.”

Do you feel like four minutes in person is enough to decide?

A: “Yeah, it is enough to make a decision about someone. Pretty quickly you get a vibe if you want to chat with that person any further. Whether it’s friendly or more. You’ll know if want to talk with them again.”

How do you know if speed dating was successful?

A: “It was a win for me because I gained a girlfriend out of it. For me it was going to be a success because I went. I didn’t back out! I booked it back from the mountains. And the next day I thought I was going to cancel. The act of trying something different that not everyone would do made it a success. It put me out of my comfort zone. Not everyone would do this. It’s different way to go about meeting people.”

S: “I’d never been to speed dating before. I’d even mark it as successful if I hadn’t found someone because I’d have made some new connections.”

How do you feel about online dating or apps?

S: “I was visiting a friend in Calgary. She took my phone and made a Tinder account. I didn’t want to activate it in Saskatoon because I found it very superficial. But I did go on some dates from the app. I saw one guy for a couple months and it didn’t work out with him long-term.”

A: “Nothing against the dating apps. They have their good and bad. I think they’re fine. I’ve had dates from those too. They’re just another page in the dating book.

Nowadays there’s Tinder, bumble, POF, and speed dating is just another way. For me, you meet people face-to-face and have a good chat. You get to know a lot about a person by chatting. ”

What is the most frustrating thing about dating before meeting your speed dating match?

S: “The most frustrating thing is meeting new people. I have a great group of friends, but there aren’t too many new people coming into the group.

Lots of my friends have been dating since around high school or shortly afterwards. They met through mutual friends in high school. A couple years after high school they would come around. That’s how most of the relationships happened.”

A: “For me, dating was just getting to meet new people and hopefully something goes well from there. Nothing seemed to work out for a bit there. But that’s just me and the other person weren’t meant to be. I probably wouldn’t have met Sophie if I didn’t go to speed dating.

I have a certain group of friends from high school. There was a bit of a disconnect. They were with someone since high school. I could never relate to that. I have other friends through hockey. I always seem to meet new people here and there.”

Would you recommend Do Sask speed dating to others?

A: Yeah, absolutely. I would recommend speed dating to others. If someone asked me, I would tell ’em it’s a lot of fun and it turned out better than I would have expected.

Do you have a speed dating match success story? Share yours now. 

*Names have been changed to protect the couple’s privacy. Testimonials have been lightly edited for clarity.

Speed dating match testimonials are honest and genuine. However, they don’t guarantee similar match results.

My Saskatoon Spring Bucket List

It’s feeling like spring in Saskatoon! After a brutally cold winter, I can’t wait to pack away my winter coat, toque, and scarf. In celebration of this amazing warm streak, I’ve put together a spring bucket list that I’ll be crossing off over the next few months. Join me!

Saskatoon Spring Bucket List

Start a vegetable garden from seeds and plant them

Make a mosaic concrete garden stone

Take a spontaneous day trip

Book sites at Saskatchewan campgrounds for summer RVing

Spring clean closet and donate the rest to YWCA Opportunity Shop

Make a Moss Bag at Wanuskewin

Call dibs on fresh produce at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market or Community Farms Market of Saskatoon

Learn how to cook new Mexican cuisine for Cinco de Mayo

Drop-in jam in the park with the acroyogis of Saskatoon

Tour a part of Saskatoon that’s unfamiliar

Work up the nerve to go for a horseback ride

Tune up bike and hit the Meewasin Trail

Sign up for the Saskatoon Canoe Club

Practice suspension circuit training at Shaw Centre

Get the official pickleball introduction at Saskatoon Field House

Have a board game night with friends at King Me Boardgamery

Create a signature spring cocktail using local spirits

Catch the first prairie crocus bloom on camera

Take an entire weekend off

Make office furniture more cat-friendly

Go for a hike and toast halfway with a champagne picnic

Take a chocolate truffle workshop at Purdy’s

Sign up for a 5K to get into running again

Christen the backyard patio with a crisp brew

What’s on your spring bucket list?