{ potashcorp playland at kinsmen park }

The kids and I were thrilled to visit the newly renovated PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park on opening day. This was an outing we have been looking forward to for a couple of years and, boy, was it worth the wait!

The new star attractions are simply beautiful: the revamped carousel, a bright yellow ferris wheel and the brand new Canpotex train.

{There is also a new play area with a tall tunnel slide, big saucer swings, a zip-line cable ride, climbing structures, a water spray area and more. This we will wait to share another day.}


While the new play area is free, $2 tickets are required per person, per ride. The exception is for kids 2 and under and for adults who must accompany children on the carousel. So, my 2-year-old, 6-year-old, and I rode the carousel for one ticket, the ferris wheel for two tickets and the train for two tickets. At $2 a ticket, that is $10.

I ended up purchasing a 12-pack of tickets for $20, which gave us two free tickets that are good through the end of the 2017 season.



Both of my kids said riding the brightly painted carousel animals was their favourite part of the morning. These are the original animals that have been beautifully refurbished for this first phase of the Kinsmen Park rejuvenation project.

All three Kinsmen rides require children 2 years of age and younger to be "held in the arms of an adult 16 and older" and kids ages 5 or younger must be "accompanied and supervised" by someone 16 or older. {Truth be told, my cautious 6-year-old asked me to put my hand on his back for reassurance as the carousel started up.}

Some carousels I have been on seem to go around so quickly that a standing adult might get dizzy. Others seem too slow to thrill an older child. I thought this ride was just right, as I was able to comfortably stand in between them with one arm around my daughter and one hand on my son for moral support. {I quickly snapped my pictures while the carousel was stopped and as others filed on and off the ride.}

Most of the animals go up and down while the carousel goes round and round. There are still some stationary shorter animals and benches available for the youngest kids and their parents. {One mom I was standing in line with was told she would have to have a ticket if she sat on a bench. Since this was opening day, some of these details were still being worked out, so don't hold me to this.}

Both kids were full of smiles and giggles on this beautiful vintage merry-go-round.



Next, we stood in line for the 63-feet-high, lemon-yellow ferris wheel. This beauty gets my vote as a favourite of the three rides. My kids noticed that it was "lit up like Christmas" and the swirly center reminded them of a lollipop.

This was quite a thrilling ride, as we rose above the trees for spectacular open-air views of the rest of Kinsmen Park, University Bridge, the river and downtown Saskatoon.


The passenger cars sway a bit, and my son kept saying, "I'm so creeped out!" But, his smile never wavered throughout the entire ride.

I forgot to count, but it seemed as though we went full circle five or six times. Of course, we made a few stops at the top for others to get on and off at the bottom.

The only challenge was keeping my 2-year-old seated. There are no lap belts, and she is fearless. She wanted to get up on her knees to peer over the back and switch places with her brother. It took a bit of coaxing, but we were able to adhere to the bums-in-seats rule.




The cherry on top was a ride on the shiny new Kinsmen Park train, which was made possible thanks to more than $1 million from Canpotex and Canadian Pacific. The train track has doubled in size, and more seating is available in the custom-designed potash rail cars and the cute, red CP caboose.

Once landscaping and remaining phases of the PotashCorp Playland are complete, the train ride should become even more special. And, in case you are wondering, the train no longer makes its way through the tunnel of stuffed animals.

The train station is beautiful, in itself, with colourful abstract murals that suggest potash rail movement from mine sites in the province, across western Canada and to the Pacific coast, where Saskatchewan potash is loaded on ocean vessels for export around the world.

Appropriate, as Kinsmen Park has become the park that potash built, with major sponsor PotashCorp providing $7.5 million of the $9.6 million refurbishment.  For more than 100 years, Kinsmen Park has been a family attraction in Saskatoon. With this beautiful revitalization, it will most certainly attract local families for decades to come.

Click here for hours of operation and more info. 




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