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Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan  - Family Bonding with a Teen, Hot Water and Spa Time. Traveling with a teen, one-on-one, can be both rewarding and challenging. Add a spa stay and the outcome is anyone’s guess. Temple Gardens Mineral Spa is a retreat that works for all generations.

We arrived feeling exhausted from our travels. For sure I did not need to make decisions. The pleasant, efficient receptionist knew, before I asked, just what to say. After inquiring about our day and explaining the basics of the facility she encouraged us to get settled and then experience “The Waters” before beginning our evening. It was excellent advice.

When traveling with a teen the key is to stay in motion and take advantage of positive vibes. Following her lead we took the back way upstairs to the pool. Easy. The pool has two parts, one under glass and the other under the sky. There is a channel between the two. We had been advised that to really experience "taking of the waters" it is best to start slowly. True in this case. The mineral pool water temperature is hot and the moisture rich interior air is filled with the aroma is of minerals. The water for the pool originates from the porous rock of ancient seabeds located more than 1350 meters (4500 ft.) below the spa.

We entered the pool gradually letting our bodies grow accustom to the heat. There was even a slight prickling sensation as my skin encountered the mineral rich water. It was very easy to float in this water and the feeling was quite relaxing. I felt my neck tension release and my tired leg muscles disappear, all this without a massage. So this is what the Egyptians loved to do …soak.

Temple Gardens is also a day spa so local residents may also enjoy the waters. Once we ventured through the water passage to the outside pool we met others also doing the water thing. It was then that we got our insider tips. On the list of not-to-be missed Yvette Moore’s place and The Tunnels. J.Kirstan met two teens from Toronto that were traveling with their grandparents to the Calgary Stampede. She heard firsthand that The Tunnels were awesome and that pizza can be delivered to the room.

As we hung motionless floating as the water massaged our bodies. The cloudless sky and the amiable conversation provided the perfect introduction to The Waters of Temple Gardens. The pool is bliss. The most logical thing to do after the mineral pool is nap but we were on a schedule. Taking advantage of the nature of a relaxed teen I negotiated diner at the Oasis Café in lieu of pizza.

Later in the evening I spoke with one of the staff members at the spa. Why are people attracted to the idea of soaking with others in these mineral waters? The reasons are many and unique to each individual but basically soaking and floating in the pool, or “Taking the Waters” a more glamorous phrase, makes one feel better, no matter the age. It increases metabolism while it also relaxes and refreshes muscles. The warmth of the water improves blood circulation and has a detoxifying effect on the body’s lymphatic system.

Too serious for me, “Taking the Waters” felt wonderful and it was easy to do at this spa. That alone is reason stay at Temple Gardens Spa but the bonus for families; the staff was not stuffy or intimidating instead they are both friendly and welcoming. There is no question too dumb to ask. However I found they gave answers before I knew that I had a question, a nice touch for the spa-dumb.

When introducing a teen to a spa regime it is essential that the atmosphere be non threatening. Some spas do not welcome teens. Temple Gardens is a comfortable spa with a family friendly attitude. The front desk at the spa seemed like a central command post yet their comforting stress free tone made all that entered feel at ease. Everything was explained softly and with care.

For J.Kirstan’s first spa encounter we chose the Temple Gardens’ “Signature” facial. Teen comments: I was worried about lots of things before we went. As it turned out the people at the spa knew what questions to answer before I asked them. Getting a facial was really very nice. It was not embarrassing to have another person inspecting my face. My skin felt really smooth and soft but never really saw the glow. Brenda explained about skin care and gave me tips on ways to avoid blemishes. I did not learn anything new but coming from Brenda, an expert, it seemed more important. It was relaxing, not creepy to have my neck and scalp massaged. My mom called it pampering but whatever…I can’t wait to do it again with my sister or one of my friends.

Temple Gardens Mineral Spa. The room rates are based on 1or 2 adults in a room with each additional adult charged $10.00. Children 16 years of age or less may stay free in same room with parents. The property does not have connecting rooms. Staying at the resort includes access to spa mineral pool, fitness centre and steam room. Special Note: The "Oasis" Spa Treatment Centre is very popular. Services are often booked three months in advance so it is essential to make appointments at the same time as reserving the room. For the Spa (306) 694-5055, (306) 694-5055, ext. 615, toll-free 1-800-718-SPAS, 1-800-718-SPAS(7727), or

The Tunnels of Moose Jaw. Worth the drive, The Tunnels of Moose Jaw is an A+ activity for families with school aged children. Each tour provides a living history lesson. The result will be conversations with the kids about real topics that still impact our lives today. The Passage of Fortune tour is based on events that occurred in that time period in Canada, some in Moose Jaw but much of it is representative of Canadian history on a whole. The Chicago Connection tour is based on fact and fiction or at least rumors about the gangster era in North America.

So just how good is the interactive experience at Tunnels of Moose Jaw? J.Kirstan and I agree it is as good as Kingslanding even though it is shorter in time. It is certainly as well done as the programs in Historic Williamsburg, Virginia and on a par with the interactive programs at Hampton Court just outside London, England. On a rating scale of ten this is ten plus ten because it is both fun and educational. Located at 18 Main Street, (306) 693-5261, (306) 693-5261, log on to their clever interactive website complete with a time travel video -

Teen’s note: There is a time travel fiction book for young adults that uses the tunnels of Moose Jaw and Al Capone’s time. I highly recommend this book. It was really cool especially because I have been in those tunnels. The book is called Tunnels of Time, A Moose Jaw Adventure, by Mary Harelkin Bishop. For younger children Yvette Moore has two beautiful children’s books. When I was very young I loved books like this. Look for A Prairie Year and A Prairie Alphabet. She received a Canadian Children’s Book Award for the later. Books are available from or by calling 1(306) 693-9071.

Make it happen: Visit Saskatchewan at or toll-free 1-877-237-2273. 

Story and images by Nancy Nelson-Duac and her daughter Jule. Updated Copyright 2013.