May 5, 2017

Okanagan Family Fun Activity Guide

Okanagan Family Activities and Events

Being a Kelowna photographer definitely has its perks! They don’t call it Kelownafornia for no reason! As an Okanagan family photographer I am blessed to have such a beautiful and diverse backdrop for my photo sessions. Not only do I do documentary family photography in Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan but I also offer on-location vacation sessions for visiting families! While I prefer to do my sessions at places that aren’t crowded and can give me the opportunity to capture a family engaging with one another, I’ve decided to compile a list of ALL my family friendly Kelowna activities. Not all of these locations are ideal for photography but I decided to keep an extensive list to give a great array of family friendly activities for locals and visitors to the Okanagan.

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Let’s start with my favorite place in Kelowna to photograph. I’m sure this one goes without saying – the beach! There is nothing like the beaches in Kelowna and the Okanagan. There are many popular ones like Hot Sands Beach and Gyro Beach Park and Bertram Creek, but there are lots of little beaches that are much quieter where I take my family clients! Some others include Kinsmen Park, West Avenue beach access, Francis Avenue beach access, Strathcona Park, Royal Avenue beach access, Cadder Avenue beach access, Beach Avenue beach access and several other gems along Abbot Street. Waterfront Park is beautiful with the walkways surrounding the Delta Grand Hotel.

Click here for Kelowna Tourism list of beaches.

Orchards

Fruit picking is always fun with the family and can make for some great portraits. In the spring and summer months you can head out and pick cherries, apples, apricots, plums, pears and more at orchards such as Paynter’s Fruit Market, Kempf Orchards, Gatzke’s Farm Market.

Hillcrest Farm Market
Hillcrest Farm is an outdoor market as well as a cafe. Stop by for some delicious treats!

Davison Orchards – Vernon
Davison Orchards is a long time favorite in the North Okanagan and a personal favorite of mine. They have you-pick fruit like apples, apricots and more, but also an indoor store where they sell their world famous apple juice, treats and some cool farmy knick-nacks. I bring my kids for a bite at the cafe, and afterwards we play at the playground and then feed the goats!

Kelowna Farmer’s Market
The Kelowna Farmer’s market is a great place to take the kids for the day. (My kids LOVE the falafel and kettle corn!) There are many talented vendors selling all sorts of goods that are baked, made, or grown, AND they have a bouncy castle!

Kangaroo Creek Farm
Ever wanted to bottle feed a baby Kangaroo? Or perhaps have a flying squirrel land on your head? Kangaroo Creek Farm is the place! Check out this image of a sugar glider I captured mid flight (also known as a flying squirrel! This place is loads of fun for families.

Hoof Prints Barnyard
Hoofprints Barnyard is a petting zoo with a bonfire for marshmallow roasting, play area, concession and more.

Gambell Farms
Gambell Farms is a you-pick farm selling fresh fruits and vegetables and also homemade goodies!

Arlo’s Honey Farm
Arlo’s Honey Farm has bee farm tours, sells award-winning honey, beeswax products, fresh fruits and veggies.

Planet Bee Honeyfarm – Vernon
Planet Bee Honey Farm is another honey farm in the North Okanagan offering honey tastings, daily presentations, and have a store selling great products.

FESTIVALS AND FAIRS

Rutland May Days
Rutland May Days is an annual fair hosted by Shooting Star Amusements. They have rides of course, carnival games and vendors selling some great goods!

Westside Daze
Westside Daze is held over Canada Day long weekend and has loads of fun activities for families to enjoy, topped off with fireworks!

IPE – Armstrong
Armstrong IPE or Interior Provincial Exhibition is an annual event typically held the last week of August to beginning of September. In addition to all of the animals, there are carnival rides, vendors, live shows and a rodeo. There is far more happening but this place is quite the place to go at the end of summer in the Okanagan!

Lumby Days – Lumby
Lumby Days is another annual fair held out in Lumby, about 20 minutes outside of Vernon. Lumby days has amusement fair rides, a parade, games, a market and more!

Organic Okanagan Festival
I love the Okanagan Organic Festival, which is another annual festival held in the Okanagan. It has crafters, live music, children’s entertainment and more all centred around an organic future!

Fat Cat Children’s Festival
Fat Cat Children’s Festival is held annually in Kelowna at the waterfront. There is so much happening down there, but it includes a parade, arts and crafts, live entertainment and MORE! Great for kids and families.

INDOOR FUN

Scandia
Scandia is a great place to bring the kids! They have outdoor Go-Karting, an indoor and outdoor mini golf and TONS of arcade games for your kids entertainment.

Bowling
Kelowna has several bowling alleys. There is one at Capri Lanes and Mccurdy Bowl, all great places to bring the family for a few games of bowling!

H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre
My daughter decided to write an article for school about why H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre is the best pool ever, and I’d have to agree! H2O is a pool and fitness centre operated by the YMCA. It has 3 waterslides, more pools than I can count, two hot tubs, a kids splash area and a wave rider.

Energyplex
Energyplex is a fantastic place for energetic children! Complete with Cube, Trampolines, Gym, Rock Climbing, Ballistix, Laser Tag, Bungy Trampolines, Craft & Movie Corner, Full Service Café and more! Our newest activity is Kelowna’s only indoor Aerial Park called SkyTrax.

Jump2it
Ever wanted to go somewhere where your kids can let loose on a whole bunch of bouncy castles in an enclosed space? Jump2it is the place!

Funbugs
Funbugs is the indoor play place for kids under 6. Unfortunately we are past that age, but I have heard lots of great things!

SUMMER OUTDOOR FUN

Wibit Sports
Wibit is essentially a floating park. The inflatables include slides, trampolies and more for awesome summer fun!

Myra Canyon Adventure Park
Myra Canyon is another great outdoor park with ziplines and games.

Wildplay Kelowna
Wildplay Kelowna is an awesome outdoor obstacle course. They also have ziplines, a swing and a jump!

Kettle Valley Train Robbery and BBQ
Kettle Valley Train Robbery is an interactive train ride meets live theater. Follow along on the train and afterwards enjoy a classic old west BBQ!

Atlantis Waterslides – Vernon
Atlantis Waterslides is one of the few waterslide parks left in BC! They’ve got tons of slides, a river run, hot tub and concession!

Oyama Ziplines
Oyama Ziplines is for the adventurer! Ziplines, play areas and a multi-level park.

Safari Ridge
Safari Ridge has paintball, archery, lazer tag! Woohoo! Great for older kids.

Loco Landing – Penticton
Loco Landing is in Penticton and it’s worth the drive for this place. They have bumper boats, Go-Karting, mini golf, some fun climbing structures and more!

O’Keefe Ranch – Vernon
If you love a little history, O’Keefe Ranch is a great way to spend the day. It’s a historical ranch which was one of the early Okanagan settlements. It has a real candy store, and more. But I really like candy.

Shushwap River – Enderby
Tube or float down the Shushwap river in Enderby. There are some sections that are nice and slow for families.

Penticton Channel
Float down the Penticton Channel in the summer!

WINTER OUTDOOR FUN

Winter Carnival – Vernon

Stuart Park Skating
In the winter months Stuart Park has outdoor skating for the whole family. Bring your skates or rent some there and head out for a fun afternoon on the ice.

Big White Ski Resort
A great ski resort in the Okanagan is up at Big White Ski Resort outside of Kelowna. Big White has outdoor skating, skiing, snowboarding, tubing as well as lots of great restaurants and the gondola.

Silverstar Ski Resort
Silverstar Mountain Resort is a gorgeous ski resort outside of Vernon. Their outdoor skating is on a magical fairy tale-like pond. They’ve got lots of other activities of course like Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing!

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