The start of the new year often brings wellness top of mind. After the excitement of the holidays, January can be a bit blah, even though it’s the beginning of another year-long adventure. Paying attention to our physical and mental wellness has become increasingly important, particularly as we navigate the ongoing pandemic. Here are 5 ways to help boost your physical and mental health and beat the winter blues while you #exploreKelowna.

Appreciate the Outdoors

Big White Ski Resort

Photo by: Big White Ski Resort

There is nothing quite like the crisp, outdoor air, and some sunshine to boost your spirits. On a clear, winter day in Kelowna, you can enjoy both while you explore. Hit up Big White Ski Resort or SilverStar Mountain Resort on a bluebird day, or to get up above the clouds, and choose from a variety of activities like skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, skating, tubing, and more.

If you’re prefer to stay in Kelowna, why not head to The View Winery to take in their Slip & Sip Winter Winery Tour? You can snowshoe or hike through the orchards and vines and then indulge in a cheese and chocolate fondue, complete with wine pairing.

For those seeking a low-cost or no cost option, set out to explore the trails in and around Kelowna, rent skates for a spin at the rink at Stuart Park, or meet up with a friend at one of the area’s many beaches or parks to reconnect and admire the views.

The team at the Kelowna Visitor Centre is also available in-person and online from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily to provide more suggestions for outdoor winter fun!

Express Your Creativity


Photo by: Nathaniel Atakora Martin (@nathanielatakora)

Did you know that being creative can help with both mental and physical health? Learn something new and tap into your creative side with the Introduction to Photography workshop hosted at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA). The six-week series, which kicks off on February 24, will teach participants more about using a camera, whether that's on your smartphone or a digital camera. You'll be able to take what you learn and apply it as you explore Kelowna!

If dance or music are your preferred creative outlets and you have intermediate to advanced experience, the Living Things International Arts Festival invites you to join in an Improvisational Dance & Music Workshop, which will take place at the RCA on Tuesday, January 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. You’ll get to create art with others from the community and have fun doing it!

To get creative at home, head to the Okanagan Regional Library or Mosaic Books to pick up a book or two on art or any of your favourite creative pursuits.

Level up Your Cooking

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Taking time to connect with your food and appreciating the process of preparing and savouring your meal can be calming and create a lot of joy. If you’re looking for new ideas or want to build on your skills, The Okanagan Table, which is the newest endeavour for the RauDZ Creative Concepts group, has a number of cooking classes you can choose from—Italian classics, essentials of vegetarian cooking, and meat cutting and cookery are a few of the upcoming offerings. The 3-hour demonstration classes will offer opportunities for guest interaction and include beverages. The classes kick off on February 18. 

For an online option, check out the Indian Cooking With Jas classes, which will be offered once a month until June, starting on February 6. Jas and her family, the Dosanjs, owned and operated Poppadoms, a popular Indian restaurant in Kelowna, for six years prior to its closure in 2016—you can still enjoy their sauces and frozen meals, which are available at the Kelowna Farmers' & Crafters' Market and other local retailers. Aman Dosanj—the creative foodie/chef behind award-winning The Paisley Notebook, who also recently launched spice blends that are available at the Kelowna Visitor Centre and through our Love for Kelowna online store—will be teaching alongside her mom for the February and March classes. 

Prefer to test out your skills at home? You can find several cookbooks that showcase local fare at the Kelowna Visitor Centre or through the Love for Kelowna online store. There are also numerous markets you can visit for the freshest ingredients including BC Tree Fruits Market, Codfathers Seafood Market, The Market at Quails’ Gate, The Okanagan Table, and many others.

Capture Your Stories

Paddle Board on Beach During Winter

Photo by: Matt Ferguson Photography

As you explore Kelowna, why not keep a record of your adventures? Wayne Wilson, a local artist and the former Director of the Kelowna Museum Society, suggests capturing the landscape, soundscape, and smellscape of your surroundings in a travel journal. Whether you’re local or visiting, paying close attention to your senses, and then describing what you experienced in an online or hardcopy journal will allow you to relive your adventures for years to come. Wayne’s blog post will help guide your writing.

Photos will also share a captivating story that can enhance your writing—plus, you can share them on social media with your words so your family and friends can get to know more about Kelowna and your adventures. Be sure to tag Tourism Kelowna and use #exploreKelowna when you’re posting online!

Get Centred

Tracy Steen-Yoga

Photo by: Tracy Steen

Taking time to slow down, breathe, and experience gratitude can do a lot to improve our wellbeing. Yoga is one way to get centred and Kelowna has several studios you can choose from. Pranify Yoga offers a one-hour, $10 Community Modo hot yoga class that is suitable for all levels, along with a variety of other classes like vinyasa and yin yoga. Kelowna Yoga House offers both in-studio and online classes, so you can choose whichever option you’re most comfortable with. If you’re curious about meditation, the Kelowna Buddhist Temple is offering a Japanese Zen-Style Meditation on Sunday, February 13, that is open to members and non-members alike (pre-registration is required).

These 5 options may help you on your wellness journey, whether you’re able to enjoy them right here in Kelowna or closer to home if you’re not able to travel now.

For those who are local, what else would you do in and around Kelowna to help beat the winter blues? Let us know in the comments!