The Getaway
Moose Jaw: More Than the Center of Al Capone's Bootlegging Operation

Moose Jaw may have gained notoriety for its central role in the illegal alcohol trade of the 1920s, but there's so much more to discover in this delightful Saskatchewan hidden gem. The city combines modern amenities with a warm and welcoming small-town attitude and offers a unique blend of history, culture, and beautiful scenery that's just begging to be explored.

With its fascinating past, Moose Jaw is a city of discovery and intrigue, full of diverse attractions from geothermal spas to underground tunnels, all wrapped up in natural beauty and rich, vibrant culture. Here you can enjoy a vacation that perfectly blends adventure and relaxation in a location that's just bursting with charm.

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01 Explore the tunnels of Moose Jaw

Beneath Moose Jaw's streets lies a hidden labyrinth with a vivid history. Initially built by Chinese workers, the network of tunnels became infamous for their pivotal role in Al Capone's bootlegging operation in the 1920s before finding new life as an exciting attraction that you can visit year-round.

Today, you have a choice of three interactive tours that vividly bring to life the tunnels' colorful history. Step into the Chicago Connection to enter Moose Jaw's 1929 underbelly and the heart of Capone's organization. Passage to Fortune puts you in the shoes of the early Chinese immigrants who played a crucial part in the nation's creation as they persevered in the face of discrimination and hardship. And Bunker 24 drops you into a 1950s Cold War bunker, letting you discover firsthand how Canada grew after the traumas of the Great Depression and World War II, only to find itself facing annihilation as the nuclear arms race took hold.

02 Soak in Canada's largest geothermal spa

Canada is a land of adventure, but when you enter the soothing waters of the geothermal spa at Temple Gardens Hotel, you'll find yourself in a world of deep relaxation.

The naturally mineral-infused water is known for its therapeutic properties, soothing the body and mind by improving your circulation, relieving aching muscles and helping you float away into a state of deep relaxation. Year-round warmth means you can escape from your cares in the pool's healing embrace whatever the weather.

If you can tear yourself away from the soothing waters of the pool, the hotel also has a full spa offering a range of luxurious treatments, including facials, reflexology, massage, body treatments, and beauty care.

03 Meet Mac the Moose

World’s Tallest Moose figure in front of visitor center in Moose Jaw, located near the TransCanada Creative bee Maja / Shutterstock.com

No trip to Moose Jaw is complete without a visit to its premier roadside attraction and unofficial mascot, Mac. This towering 32-foot moose perfectly encapsulates the city's warm sense of humor, charm, and joyful whimsy. He stands guard outside the city's visitor center, giving a warm welcome to all who come by.

Not content with his title of world's largest moose, Mac grabbed the title of Moose Jaw's Best Celebrity in 2013. So make sure to snap a selfie with this Canadian icon and true influencer!

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04 Take a glimpse into the past at the Western Development Museum

The Western Development Museum (WDM) is Saskatchewan's largest museum dedicated to human history, and its transportation-focused location in Moose Jaw is full of big surprises.

Inside the museum you can track Moose Jaw's development through the ages, narrated by its fascinating artifact collections, and come face to face with authentic historical airplanes including some that flew during the Second World War in the Aircraft Gallery. Land and water travel are also covered, with exciting exhibitions of boats and cars ranging from the antique to the classic to the futuristic. You can even take to the stars at the Observatory.

Head outside the museum for the best surprise of all—a chance to ride on Saskatchewan's only surviving operational steam train. You don't have to be a railway enthusiast to relish the unforgettable trip on the charming and quaint Vulcan locomotive, but for those who are, it's an instant holiday highlight.

05 The thrill of skydiving in Moose Jaw

There's no better way to ensure a place remains fixed in your memory than to see it from the air as you soar down to meet it!

Experience a bucket list moment and the thrill of a lifetime at Skydive South Sask, Moose Jaw's dedicated skydiving club. The staff are all passionate jumpers themselves, and it really shows— that they put safety first and always go the extra mile to ensure beginners are comfortable, prepared, and have an amazing time. It's the perfect place to take the plunge and try your very first jump. But if you're an experienced skydiver, don't miss your chance to add this beautiful location, manned by the most welcoming staff, to your jump list.

06 Discover local flavors and crafts

The culinary scene in Moose Jaw is joyful and unpretentious, putting great food and drink over fussy presentation.

Bobby's Place Olde World Tavern is a local favorite that's just bursting with character. Come for the mouthwatering burgers and great selection of beers and ales—stay for the atmosphere that will have you feeling right at home as soon as you walk through the door. For a more upscale—but still pleasantly affordable—try dinner at the Grant Hall Hotel, where you can enjoy a mouthwatering steak followed by an exquisite cocktail in the Burrowing Owl Lounge just across the lobby. Don't forget to try the mead from the Prairie Bee Meadery, made on-site from locally produced honey.

For a taste of Saskatchewan's natural bounty, be sure to visit one of Moose Jaw's farmers' markets, which are bustling with fresh local produce and homemade goods and treats. The Homegrown Farmer's Market celebrates the proud agricultural heritage of the region, and it's just the place to find delicious baked goods, handmade crafts, and, of course, plenty of locally grown produce. With no restrictions on who can sell goods, Wakamow Farmer's Market is an amazing treasure trove where you can find all sorts of tasty and intriguing things.

07 Amble through Crescent Park

Waterfall in Crescent Park in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan

In downtown Moose Jaw, you'll find Crescent Park, the 'Jewel of the Prairies' and a peaceful retreat within the city with a rich history dating back over a century. Open year-round, it's a lovely place for a leisurely afternoon walk, with easy well-maintained trails and plenty to see. In the center of Crescent Park sits a large pond, making it a haven for birds and other wildlife.

As well as a lovely place for a scenic walk, Crescent Park is home to the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery and has its own amphitheater, where you can enjoy outdoor events and concerts if you visit during the warmer months.

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08 Embrace the Vibrant Cultural Tapestry of Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw is a vibrant melting pot of cultures with a strong artistic community. The city sits on Treaty 4 territory, the original land of indigenous peoples, including Saulteaux, Cree, Lakoda, Nakoda, and Dakota, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

This diverse tapestry has resulted in a city filled with cultural highlights. The Moose Jaw Cultural Centre includes a 420-seat theater that puts on plays, musicals, and concerts throughout the year and an art gallery that exhibits works by emerging local artists. At the Yvette Moore Fine Art Gallery, you can view paintings and pottery, with many pieces from local icon Yvette Moore—and the excellent café is a wonderful bonus!

There are also numerous events that bring Moose Jaw's unique culture to life, such as the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association Powwow, which gives guests the honor of participating in traditional indigenous heritage, showcased through dance, storytelling, food, music and arts and crafts.

09 Explore nature and Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Moose Jaw takes great pride in its natural beauty and wild ecosystems and runs a number of initiatives and programs to protect them.

If you love wildlife and the natural world, be sure to visit the Burrowing Owl Interpretative Centre, which works tirelessly to protect the endangered Burrowing Owl and its prairie habitat. Through education, ecotourism, and careful stewardship, the center promotes conservation, and it invites visitors to learn about these charming creatures and view them in their nests and enclosures. The center also includes the Evergreen Native Prairie Garden, a haven for native plants, and sits next to a field frequented by wild jackrabbits, hawks, gophers, coyotes, and other prairie animals.

10 Tee off at Moose Jaw's golf courses

With well-kept fairways and lush greens, Moose Jaw's courses have plenty to offer golf lovers.

With its tranquil atmosphere and backdrop of rolling hills and winding spring-fed creek, Hillcrest Golf Club is the perfect place to get away from it all. Locals love it for its friendly staff, picturesque setting and elevation changes that make for an exciting game.

The Lynnbrook Golf Club is one of Saskatchewan's oldest courses and offers unique prairie grass roughs, along with rolling fairways, mature trees, and the occasional pond dotted among the greens. It offers a fun challenge, but it's also welcoming and enjoyable for beginners to the sport. The Lynnbrook also has a full-size driving range to help you hone your skills and a lounge and grill to relax in and enjoy some well-earned refreshments.

11 Paddle the waters of Moose Jaw River

There's no better way to experience the mighty Moose Jaw River than from the seat of a canoe or kayak. It's a calm and slow-moving waterway, making it welcoming and fun for new paddlers, with so much to see that there's no risk of getting bored, even for white knuckle rafters.

If you want to make the most of the ample wildlife spotting opportunities, head out as early as possible in the day or in the evening if you're a night owl. Keep your eyes peeled, and you may be lucky enough to see beavers, turtles, muskrats, foxes, deer, raccoons, and up to 40 species of birds.

You can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, or join a boat or bike tour from Moose Jaw River and Adventure Tours, which can also provide lessons if you want to improve your confidence before hitting the water.

12 Brave the haunting appeal of ghost tours

Moose Jaw hums with legends and stories of fear and wonder, so don't miss the chance to take a spooky ride and uncover intriguing and creepy secrets on a ghost tour. These delightfully ghoulish tours take you past Moose Jaw's most notorious historical buildings, giving you a fascinating insight into its macabre myths and chilling true stories.

Tours take place on Moose Jaw's trolley buses, which are generally more cute than creepy, but they add an extra sense of character and charm and their historical interiors work perfectly to set the scene for a delightfully eerie journey.

13 Take a journey through Moose Jaw's murals

Did you know that Moose Jaw is North America's mural capital? With 47 grand outdoor murals, the city's thriving artistic heart shines through bright, and you can have an awesome day on your own mural tour. Or make a game of it and try to spot at least one each day of your trip.

As well as showcasing the city's artistic spirit, many of the murals illustrate and share insights into Moose Jaw's history and cultural heritage. For example, 'Cruising Main Street' behind the Mae Wilson Theatre shows Main Street as it looked in the 1920s; 'Living with the Land' on Ominica Street plays tribute to the Assiniboine, Lakota Sioux, Metis, Cree, and other First Nations peoples who made camp and sheltered at The Turn, a natural oasis in Moose Jaw Valley's prairie; and Canada Mosaic 150 is made up of 828 tiles, each painted by Moose Jaw residents to honor the Canadian Forces Snow Bird flying team.

14 Experience the excitement of Moose Jaw's festivals

Moose Jaw's joyful community spirit comes alive in its many festivals and celebrations. Highlights in the Moose Jaw calendar include events to celebrate everything from its excellent local food and produce to culture and music.

Sidewalk Days in downtown Moose Jaw is an open-air market-style festival that offers live music, family fun, and more than 100 vendors of great shopping. Keep your eyes open for the Snow Birds flying right down Main Street. Every May, the Moose Jaw Band & Choral Festival puts on free concerts featuring jazz, concert bands, and choirs. And if you want to put the 'festive' in your festival, then visit Moose Jaw in the fall for Christmas in October for a winter wonderland weekend of shopping, sales, decorations, and special events to get you into the holiday spirit and prepare for the festive season.

15 Indulge in deep relaxation and wellness

As you come to the end of a trip filled with adventure and excitement, why not treat yourself to a day of rejuvenation?

In addition to the geothermal waters and luxurious spa at Temple Gardens, Moose Jaw boasts several luxurious spas and wellness centers where you can relax and focus on self-care. Ensconced in the beautiful surroundings of Crescent Park, Sahara Spa offers a wealth of treatments, including body therapies, facials, massages, manicures, and pedicures, all delivered in a sumptuous atmosphere.

At Celtic Heart Day Spa, Irish esthetician Sandra Wilders will put you at ease with a choice of treatments designed to help you feel relaxed and confident.

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