Fall is one of our favourite times of the year to go for a stroll, as the weather is often pleasant without ever being too hot or too cold.
With average afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper teens at this time of year, there are so many scenic places to go and get a breath of fresh air around Kelowna without the need of extra layers.
If you’re like us and have kids in tow, here are some of our favourite places that we consider the most family-friendly. All of our suggestions include flat terrain, ample parking and nearby playgrounds!
City Park in Downtown Kelowna was made for kids! Perfect for any stroller, the paved pathway runs along the lake where kids can watch boats and ducks for hours. The playground is also great for all ages - there are climbers for older kids, and slides for toddlers. Bring the strider bike and extend your visit by riding along the boardwalk to the Rotary Marshes wildlife park for heron and beaver spotting. Our kids have fun looking for the turtles sunbathing on the logs or spotting for eagles flying overhead.
West Kelowna’s most popular waterfront area is Gellatly Bay. This 2km stretch connects Gellatly Nut Farm on the south end to Rotary Park at the north end. If you need to take a playground break - Marina Park near the south end of the bay has a climber with a couple of slides and monkey bars! If you have toddlers, this playground is fully fenced so you can let them run around safely.
Bring your dog! There is a dog beach with picnic tables and benches where your four-legged best friend can enjoy playing fetch by the lake with the kids. There is ample parallel and stall parking spots along the entire bay on Gellatly Road so all you have to do is pick a place to start and get walking!
Located on the south end of the Peachland waterfront, we love Heritage Park, where we can walk north along the lake towards the public marina. The playground at the park has several swings, including baby swings, and the climber here is good for both toddlers and preschoolers.
Right across the street is the Peachland Museum, which is a great option if you find yourself ever needing a break from being outside. The museum is located in a former church that was built back in 1910, making it easy to incorporate a history lesson! Our kids like to explore the second floor of the museum, where they can watch the tiny trains chug along the a miniature scale model of the Kettle Valley Railway.
You could spend endless hours walking around at Mission Creek Regional Park! My kids always have a blast going to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO) located near the Springfield Road entrance to the park (near Durnin Road). Come to the centre to discover the valley’s local ecosystems, as well as the various animals that live in the Kelowna area. The centre often hosts events that are run by the Regional District of the Okanagan, and you can see what’s happening on their website here.
Another attraction of this park is its long greenway, Mission Creek Regional Park Greenway. Currently, phase three is under construction, but the first two phases include 16km of trails that run along the creek. If you are planning to take a stroller, make sure you have one that is able to be pushed along gravel trails. We’ve also seen people use a bike trailer for their kids.
If the kids still have more energy to burn after their stroll, a large playground is located just east of the EECO. This playground also has separate play areas made for preschoolers and school-age children.