It’s officially spring – and that means it’s time to plan your family vacation.

But last year, yours was a hassle. You had to board a plane for two lengthy flights from Vancouver. You didn’t get to experience the endorphins you get from playing in the beauty of mother nature. But most of all, you felt crowded everywhere you went.

This time, you want to try something that works for the whole family: Kelowna, everyone’s favourite (and beautiful) Okanagan gem.

Downtown Aerial 7
Photo by: Nic Collar Film

For starters, it’s easy to get there. All you have to do is hop in the car with your kids for a quick four-hour road trip straight out of Vancouver—or you can opt for a 45-minute flight. You don’t even have to spend much time planning since Kelowna is so close, making it easy for any family to visit on a whim.

Given the city’s reputation as an idyllic vacation destination, Daily Hive decided to team up with Tourism Kelowna to search for the best family activities you can easily enjoy this summer.

Go on an adventure

Myra Canyon Adventure Park
Photo by: BC Ale Trail

You’ve arrived, and you’re ready to experience your first adventure. Luckily, you find one that’s pretty much designed for families: Myra Canyon Adventure Park. We were pumped to hit the park with the kids, and that was especially easy given that it doesn’t require a reservation and is located right above Kelowna and below the famous Myra Canyon trestles. The park is designed for kids three and up, so everyone in your family will be a happy camper. Simple, but fun.

Visit an animal farm

Kangaroo and child
Photo by: Matt Ferguson

Daily Hive was surprised to learn that there’s an animal farm in Kelowna—and we’re not the only ones. Each visitor, young and old, is glowing with excitement as they get ready to pet kangaroos.

This is the perfect spot for any family because all ages are easily entertained. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kangaroo Creek Farm features other animals, too – like wallabies, capybaras, sugar gliders, peacocks, pigs, and more. And get this – there aren’t any fences, and tours are self-guided, so you’re able to enjoy everything this fun place has to offer at your own pace.

Taste amazing food

Eldorado Resort Breakfast at Lakeside Dining Restaurant
Photo by: Eldorado Resort

When you’re on vacation with the family, it’s important that you have plenty of dining options. Daily Hive was overwhelmed by the long list of eateries that Kelowna has available, and that’s because you can dine on any type of food, from a Mexican breakfast to family-friendly brunch.

No shuteye because the kids woke you up? No problem. You can visit several different coffee shops to sip on your favourite hot beverage.

Here’s a list of just a handful of options you can enjoy:

  • Marmalade Cat Café: This is a super fun coffee shop that offers grab-and-go breakfasts, pastries, and sit-down breakfasts. Located at 2903 Pandosy Street.
  • Bean Scene Coffee House: This is a bright and quirky coffee shop. You can get grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches/pastries. Located at 2942 Pandosy Street.
  • Hector's Casa: A delicious Mexican sit-down breakfast. Located at 2911 Pandosy Street
  • Lakeside Dining at Hotel Eldorado: Known around Kelowna for its great food and stunning views, this restaurant offers a classic Sunday brunch buffet weekly from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with plenty of options to satisfy everyone. It is located at 500 Cook Road.
  • Bohemian Café: This one’s definitely a must if you’re looking to have a filling breakfast with your family. Located at 524 Bernard Avenue, the Bohemian Café is known for a number of things – most notably, its farm-to-table breakfast.

Explore the outdoors

Knox Mountain Arrowleaf Balsamroot Flowers 1
Photo by: Matt Ferguson Photography

Sometimes, you just need to connect with nature, and that’s easy to do in Kelowna. But what’s especially convenient is that the kids need to stretch their legs, and you don’t mind because you’ve been dying to hit the hills.

If you visit Knox Mountain, you’ll be blown away by its accessibility and the short drive it takes to get there. When you get there, you can begin a self-guided walk – on your way to the beautiful first and second lookouts that are positively perfect for taking photos of the kids, city, lake, and Valley.

Watch the bright orange sunset play in the colourful sky and start planning your adventures for the next day. If the kids are begging to come back, it’s worth testing out the trails by hiking to Paul’s Tomb. It takes just 90 minutes, so both you and the little ones can get lots of exercise and still feel energetic when you reach the end.

Family on Waterfront Boardwalk Downtown 1
Photo by: Darren Hull Studios

Making time to walk along the Waterfront Boardwalk is worthwhile when you visit Kelowna, as you’ll get to see epic views of Okanagan Lake. But first, you and the kids need to make a decision as to where you visit: perhaps grab some delicious coffee drinks from Deville Coffee, cones from Moolix or Parlour, or pizza from Antico Pizza Napoletana – all located in the walkable downtown core. From Bernard Avenue, you can take a 15-minute walk to the bird sanctuary at Rotary Marsh Park to watch for Blue Herons, beavers, Osprey, ducks, and more along the sanctuary’s pathways. You and the kids need to see this place as it serves as a fun form of entertainment that gets you outdoors. Check it out at the downtown end of Ellis Street.

Stay somewhere family-friendly

Manteo at Eldorado Resort
Photo by: Okanagraphy

When you visit Kelowna, you’ll want to stay somewhere central—but at a place where you know the kids will be entertained. Manteo at Eldorado Resort is a perfect example. The resort has indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a splash pad, private beach access, water sports rentals, and more. Plus, it's only steps away from Rotary Beach Park. It’s a family wonderland.

The guest rooms, suites, and multi-room villas offer epic lake and mountain views—plus, with two or three bedrooms, you can invite your friends to come along, too! The resort has onsite dining options that serve delicious eats made with locally sourced ingredients and the largest lakeside patio in Kelowna. 

Article originally published on Daily Hive Vancouver, edited for accuracy 

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