Things to do in Regina
Regina may not have a huge downtown but there’s plenty to explore downtown. Victoria Park has a beautiful war memorial and a superb view of the downtown skyline. The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame is located across the street from the park, or enjoy a coffee at Atlantis Coffee. Looking for something stronger? Head over to O’hanlon’s, Victoria’s, or Beer Brothers. If you work up an appetite don’t forget about the restaurant in Hotel Saskatchewan. One of the best steaks in town, and significantly cheaper than the Keg, with a way better view!
RCMP Heritage Centre
Regina is the home of the RCMP. If you’re looking for a good spot to catch the famous red & black suit, your best bet is going to be either at a format event such as the Sunset-Retreat Ceremony, or with any luck at the RCMP Heritage Centre. This massive museum is filled historical artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It’s a great place to take the kids for a day trip, or for anyone interested in the history of one of the pillars of Canadian culture and society.
The Sunset-Retreat Ceremony
If you’re after a more traditional encounter with the RCMP, consider visiting the Sunset Ceremony. The Sunset-Retreat Ceremony is a 45 minute spectacle thing includes military music, the lowering of the Canadian flag, the March Past, as well as a troop drill display performed by cadets sporting the famous scarlet tunic. This ceremony is open to the public every Tuesday from July 1st all the way through to mid August. The ceremonies kick off at 6:45pm, though you’re encouraged to get there by 6:30pm. Park at the Heritage Centre and cadets will direct guests to the viewing areas to enjoy the show.
Royal Saskatchewan Museum
The Royal Saskatchewan museum has a ton of great exhibits for young and old. Whether you’re into historical artifacts, Scotty the T.rex, First Nations exhibits, life sciences, earth sciences, or whatever the latest traveling exhibit they have on display. The RSM is a great places to spend a morning. Wascana Park is a short walk and could easily be included in an outing.
Saskatchewan Science Centre
Another very kid friendly thing to do in Regina. Or for any fellow fans of the sciences. The Saskatchewan Science Centre has a ton of cool exhibits for kids. If the idea of exploring the mystery of science with screaming kids sounds like your nightmare, consider checking out one of their adult science nights. Visit their website and look for their calendar for dates, but normally they’re on the last Thursdays of the month. Adult science nights are for 19+ as they serve alcohol. Nothing wrong with getting a little boozy and learning about the mysteries of the universe.
Wascana Park is one of the most popular places to visit for visitors. With a massive man made lake, a few islands to explore by canoe, and the awe inspiring Legislative Building. It’s a superb place to spend the day snapping photos and enjoying the sun. The Legislative Building also just received a new roof, restoring it to its former glory. Make sure you grab photos of it while you can, the shiny gold will eventually oxidize to green. The trails are great for walking or jogging and you can refuel in the summer months in front of the Ledge where there’s normally one or two food trucks. Biking around Wascana can be a great way to see the entire park, though I’d encourage you to avoid the rush hour (6pm-8pm). That whole “Ants go marching two by two” song never made it big here and you’ll just hurt yourself or run over someone. Stick to the mornings or afternoons and you’ll be fine!
Canoe or Kayak in Wascana Park
If you want to take in the beauty of Wascana Park the best way is by getting out on the water. If you’ve never operated a canoe or kayak before, don’t worry, it’s pretty simple and as long as you’ve got a calm day and wearing a life jacket you’ll be fine. Head to the Marina on Wascana Park during the summer months and talk to the staff, they’ll get you set up and show you the ropes.
Visit Big Muddy Badlands
Just a few hours south of Regina is one of my favourite parts of Saskatchewan. It’s a dry, arid dust bowl with patches of green, ancient hills and valleys. It’s a great place to drive through and explore.During the summer months there’s horseback riding available in the area. This area was made for cowboys.
Visit Castle Butte
If you’re keen on a road trip and already planning on checking out the Big Muddy, make the extra drive over to Castle Butte. It’s an ancient megalith from eons past. Saskatchewan’s very own Uluru (or Ayers Rock). It’s a quick climb to the top and provides a great view of the valley and some pasture land. Castle Butte is a bit tricky to find, but follow the signs and you should be fine.
Explore Qu’Appelle Valley
Qu’Appelle Valley is much closer of a drive than the Bug Muddy, but still has a bunch of great things to see and do. Make sure you stop at Indian Head, they have a small farmers market on Saturday’s during the summer. Their little main street will take you maybe 15-20 minutes to explore, but it’s a great example of a thriving small town in Saskatchewan. Continue through to Qu’Appelle and check out the stunning valley views.
Drive out to Lumsden Valley & Craven
While Country Thunder (aka Craven Country Jamboree) may only take place for a few days each July, during the summer months through to the fall there are a bunch of fresh veggie stands just off the highway along the way to Craven. Nothing beats a gift like fresh produce.
Check out a Rider Game
A list of things to do in Regina wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that you should check out a Roughrider game. The CFL is pretty big in Regina, and the fans behind the Saskatchewan Roughriders take this game serious. With the new Stadium opening up there’s no time like the present to check out what the hype is all about. Whether you like football or not, it’s a spectable and something you shouldn’t miss.
Warehouse District – Dewdney Ave
The Warehouse District, particularly along Dewdney Avenue is one of Regina’s entertainment districts. This street is lined with Clubs, Restaurants, and Pubs. If you’re looking for a night out of dancing and far too many drinks, head this way. Make sure you check out the famous Bushwakkers or Bobby’s for some local beer and food.
Scarth Street & Downtown
Another little entertainment district, Scarth Street and the surrounding downtown have a bunch of restaurants and clubs. Grab some world class pizza from Famosas, or get rowdy on the weekend at O’hanlons. Beer brother’s is another common drinking hole with countless beers on tap from all over the world. The Fat Badger has comedy and live music and is also a good choice. If drinking isn’t your cup of tea, Cornwall Centre is right across the street, or check out Tramps, one of Regina’s nerdiest buildings filled with anime and all things fan related.
13th Avenue / The Cathedral
13th Ave, or what the locals call “The Cathedral” is this quirky old street that’s kept it’s small town charm despite Regina’s growth. If you’re a foodie you can spend several days hopping from place to place enjoying some local eats. Check out the Red Mercury for all day breakfast on Sunday, or head to Shannon’s for a proper irish pint and a decent plate of fish and chips. Viet Thai has some superb vietnamese spring rolls. Orange Izakaya does a nice korean-japanese fusion. 13th Ave Coffee House is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and take in the unique churches across the street. They also serve a great falafel wrap as well as a few other vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you’re going to be cooking a meal visit Butcher Boy meats or Pacific Fresh fish, and don’t forget to pick up fresh bread and sweets from Sinfully Sweet. Or catch up with an old friend over fancy dinner at the Cathedral Bistro or the slightly more affordable Cathedral Social Hall. If you have a chance try to catch some live music at the Artisian, it’s a great little venue.
Places to eat in Regina
Having grown up in Regina, I’m proud to share some of my favourite places to chow down as well as my usual go-to’s.
- Viet Thai – Order #43, broiled beef rice noodle bowl. Grab an extra order of vietnamese spring rolls and order a Tsing Tao. Heavenly!
- Bushwakkers – Grab the reuben, or their monster plate of nachos. Or try some pierogies and sausage. Chico IPA goes with everything.
- Brewed Awekenings – Good coffee. Simple and easy. Nice space too!
- 13th Ave Coffee Shop – Green Tea Jug and a Falafel Wrap, tastay!
- Shannons – Fish & Chips or Chicken Curry. They also do a decent pizza. Pint of Guinness and you’re set.
- Orange Izakaya – Gyoza and a couple of rolls with a side of Sake or Sapporo
- Victorias – Grilled Cheese, always. Get your ears lowered upstairs at Ragged Ass Barbers
- Leopolds – Buffalo Fried Chicken Burger with a Nokomis Brown or Lagunitas IPA
- Lancasters – Northern Pike Fish & Chips with a Paddockwood 606
- Famosa’s – Super good pizza.
- O’hanolons – Spinach feta pizza, all day
- Rooftop – Sangria and appetizers
- Fireside Bistro – More good pizza. Fancy food upstairs, high quality pub fair on the main level.
- Lancasters – Gotta try their Northern Pike Fish & Chips. Goes down great with a 606.
Festivals In Victoria Park
During the summer months there are several festivals and pop-up events in Victoria Park. During august Regina gets some amazing bands in town for the Regina Folk Fest. Check the Downtown Regina website for festivals. During the winter months you can find a nice little skating rink where you can rent skates and practice your moves.
Festivals in Wascana Park
Wascana Park also has several festivals throughout the year. Check out Tourism Regina’s website for upcoming events. But the main ones to watch for are Sasktel Summer Invasion, which includes live music, beer gardens, along with skateboarding and wakeboarding. Canada Day is also held each year in Wascana Park, making it the best place to celebrate. Don’t forget to check out the yearly Dragon Boat Festival. Those things cruise!
In Regina’s very small chinatown, located down 11th Avenue is the Artful Dodger. A hip little joint with live music, comedy, and a nice mix of drinks and beer. They also do a mean Sunday brunch.
The Cultural Exchange
If you’re under the legal drinking age, the Cultural Exchange (aka The Exchange) is open for all ages. They have regular live music events, as well as host comedy once a month at Pass the Hat. It’s located in Warehouse District right along the tracks. Make sure you have a safe ride home!
Hiking Wascana Trails
You’ll need wheels to get to these trails out of town, but it’s a short ride. The Wascana Trails are one of the most popular things to do in the summer and fall months. Make sure you bring water and snacks as there isn’t much out there besides trails and scenic views.
Hiking White Butte
Another trail system that you’re going to need wheels to. This one has far fewer hills, and is much easier. Though be warned White Butte trails tend to flood after heavy rain and in the spring. So dress smart. Again, bring water and snacks, nothing much out here besides the trails.
Take a class at Neil Balkwill Centre
One of the best things I did last summer was take a woodworking class at Neil Balkwill. Classes are fairly inexpensive, some are just a weekend, others are 6 week classes. Visit the City of Regina website or call the city line to book a class. They have classes for painting, photography, drawing, woodworking, jewelry making and more.
The Devonian Pathway is a huge length of paved trails that stretch from Wascana Park all the way out to the Airport past Lewvan. They’re great for biking or jogging, and tend to be much more quiet than Wascana Trails. These trails also lead to the next thing to do in Regina.
The dog park out near the airport is connected to the Devonian Pathway. It’s a very large park and fenced in so you’re free to let your dog off leash. Just be sure you clean up after your furry friend.
Get Out of Town
Visit Buffalo Pound
Buffalo Pound is a quick 45 minute drive out of Regina. Tie in a visit to Moose Jaw with a trip to Buffalo Pound and you’ve got a half day filled in. Bring along a camera and grab photos of the bison that roam Buffalo Pound. There’s a few trails out here for hiking, or make it a quick stop on your way to explore Moose Jaw.
Explore Regina Beach
Visiting Regina Beach is one of the most popular things to do in the summer. There’s a handful of bars and restaurants, as well as a decent little beach. If you’re into golf, they’ve got a nice sized golf course out there. When it gets to be +30 degrees Celsius the cold lake will save your skin. Don’t forget to walk up to the Bird Bird Cafe for some amazing Fish & Chips. Those home-made chips are heavenly. There’s a few nearby pubs with patios out which are always a great place to hang out during the summer.