Does your family live for skiing and snowboarding? Or do you prefer winter days by the fire, with quick forays outside to ice skate or shop? No matter your travel preferences, Kelowna is a good choice for a quick winter getaway with kids. It boasts a mild climate, easy access to outdoor adventure, and child-friendly restaurants and activities downtown. Here are some ideas for making it a memorable weekend.
Check in to your two-bedroom condo at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, switch on the gas fireplace, and gear up for an evening out on the town. It’s a five-minute walk along the waterfront boardwalk to Stuart Park, where you can ice skate a few laps while the sun sinks behind the mountains of the Thompson Plateau just across Okanagan Lake.
Photo by: Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort
After working up an appetite, walk two blocks to downtown Kelowna. There are ample dining options on Bernard Ave.—the main drag—but we especially like Antico Pizza Napoletana or DunnEnzies for pizza. Make it an early night to rest up for Saturday’s on-piste adventures.
Grab a quick breakfast at Sprout, a downtown bakery that makes all its own bread and tops them with everything from smashed avocado to strawberry balsamic jam.
Photo by: Scott Bakken Productions
From there, it’s just an hour’s drive to Big White Ski Resort. Get outfitted with gear at the rental shop inside the Village Centre Mall and caffeinate with a latte at the Clocktower Coffee Co. Then, ascend into a snow-globe world of groomed cruisers for beginners, rollicking tree runs for intermediate skiers, and steep, alpine bowls on the backside for advanced riders. Big White offers over 2,700 acres of diverse terrain that’s routinely covered in forgiving powder snow that makes it fun for all abilities.
Photo by: Big White Ski Resort
Refuel at The Woods for lunch, right in the heart of the resort’s pedestrian village. Pair stew with a glass of BC red while the kids order grilled cheese or a burger and fries from a kid’s menu that includes dessert. When your ski legs give out after a few more runs, ride the gondola down to the Happy Valley Adventure Centre for some afternoon fun.
Photo by: Big White Ski Resort
This is Big White’s base of operations for non-ski activities (unfortunately many of Big White's non-ski activities have been suspended for the 2020/21 season, please check their COVID-19 Winter Protocols for up to date information), it’s here you’ll find a 60-foot tall ice climbing tower for tweens and teens who want to drag themselves up its slick surface using crampons and ice axes to ring the bell at the top.
Photo by: BNA Brewing Co.
Point the car back to Kelowna and go for a soak in the hotel’s hot tub before heading out for dinner. It’s a quick walk to BNA Brewing, which serves up craft beer and an eclectic menu that features Asian-inspired dishes as well as favourites like burgers and fries. There’s even 10-pin bowling upstairs (if the kids haven’t fallen asleep at the table).
Start the day with a 4-km round-trip hike to Paul’s Tomb. This easy, flat path parallels the lake at the base of Knox Mountain and the trailhead can be reached on foot or by car. Back in town, hit the Bohemian Café for brunch and then browse the boutiques along Bernard Ave.
Photo by: Meghan Reading
If you still have time before you head back home, consider popping into the Okanagan Heritage Museum to learn about the valley’s natural and human history, and round out all that outdoor adventure with a touch of education.