October, 2012 Archives

A Fall Day with the Family in Kamloops

After having been lucky enough to spend two beautiful autumns in Kamloops, we’ve picked up some firsthand knowledge about how to spend a great family fall day.

With that in mind, we set out one gorgeous fall Saturday to see how much local fun and adventure a family of four could have in one day.

Since every day of adventure starts with an empty stomach, the first place we stopped was at Scott’s Inn for a down home style breakfast. A Kamloops staple, Scotts was the first place we ate breakfast when we first arrived in Kamloops and as such, it’s near and dear to our hearts. They have a great breakfast menu at decent prices. If you love traditional home style cooking, you’ll love this place. Their French toast and hotcakes are a delicious way to start a fall day of adventure, and the pies are a local secret!

Being so close to downtown, we checked out the Kamloops Farmers Market on St. Paul Street. The kids perused the craft tables while Micki and I enjoyed checking out the local fruits and vegetables. They looked so good that we picked up a few fresh snacks for later.

After walking the length of the market, the kids started to get restless. Luckily, Kamloops has its own waterfall, in the middle of town, at Petersen Creek Park. Nothing soothes the soul like hiking up to a waterfall. It’s also a great way to burn off those breakfast calories.

The easiest entrance to the park is just off Columbia Street on Glenfair Drive and is a short, two minute drive from the Farmers Market. There’s a nice, broad, gravel pathway leading up the majority of the way to Bridal Veil Falls, but the last few hundred meters can be a little tricky if you’re not willing to get a little wet. That being said it’s quite doable if you take your time and help the little ones cross the steeper paths.

After taking a few pictures of the falls and looking around, we headed back to the car. Our kids love water and it was a really warm day so they rolled up their pants and splashed through the creek around the falls on the way back to our car. This led us to Riverside park, one of Kamloops’ many local parks, for some play time and a lunchtime picnic.

On the way there, we stopped off at Erwins Fine Baking and Delicatessen on St. Paul Street and grabbed a few sandwiches and some delicious pastries for an impromptu picnic in the park. Like Scott’s, Erwins is a Kamloops staple with tons of sandwiches, pastries, breads and snacks.

Besides for its huge spray park, Riverside Park also has a large playground that the kids love to run and play on. After pulling into the parking lot, the kids were soon running to the play structures with all the energy they could muster. We were right behind them and took some seats on the park benches as we watched them play. The kids are always quick to make friends and were soon chasing their new buddies with wild abandon.

Once the kids had their fill of the playground and each had a turn on the swings, we grabbed a blanket and had lunch on the grass instead of using one of the many picnic tables scattered around the park.

After all this outdoor fun, everyone was feeling a little worn out, so we decided to go for a drive west of town.

As we drove past the Airport on Tranquille, we noticed parachutists slowly coming down. We pulled over to watch as all four jumpers slowly descended, and the kids were transfixed as the bright parachutes rippled in the wind. We’ve been lucky to see the parachutists several times, but the kids eyes light up anew every time we watch them.

When all four parachutists landed safely on the ground, we jumped back in the car and continued making our way towards Tranquille. Before we got there, we stopped at the pumpkin patch at Tranquille Farms for a tractor ride and to pick out our own pumpkin. The kids had a blast running through the fields, but unfortunately I was the one tasked with carrying the pumpkins back to the car. Picking out our own pumpkin has become a family tradition in our household and there were lots to choose from at Tranquille Farms.

Since we had just recently toured the old community of Tranquille, we had decided to skip it and headed towards the bridge going across Criss Creek. The kids love jumping across the rocks there that line the shore and looking for minnows. It’s easy to imagine a line of prospectors mining for gold in this stream over a hundred years ago.

As the late afternoon sun slowly settled in the West, a cool breeze began to pick up, a reminder that summer is over and fall was truly here.

With that we slowly headed towards home and our final stop for the day. For us, nothing ends the day better than Mexican for supper. We stopped off at Senor Froggy‘s in the North Shore, our favorite family restaurant, with its Mexican style interior that always reminds us of our extended stays in Mexico.

For us it was the perfect end to a perfect fall day in beautiful Kamloops, BC.


This is an article from Charles of The Barefoot Nomad, Charles, his wife Micki, and their two little ones have made a home base in Kamloops, and are loving the city.


5 Blooms Awarded to Kamloops

2012 National Edition

City of Kamloops, BC

5 Blooms

Special Mention: Turf Management and Extreme Quality of Sports Accommodation

The City of Kamloops, a finalist in the International Challenge (Large) category of the 2012 National Edition of Communities in Bloom, received a 5 Bloom rating and a special mention ­for Turf Management and Extreme Quality of Sports Accommodation during the National Awards Ceremonies at the Edmonton Capital Region on October 12th and 13th.

Following their evaluation of the community, volunteer judges Bob Ivison and Alain Capelle wrote: “The City of Kamloops is Canada’s Tournament Capital and to support this title and facilitate the sporting achievements the city has ensured that its sports fields are maintained to the highest standards.The facilities at McDonald Park and the new centre at Tournament Capital Ranch are exemplary and are a credit to the City.  Other facilities in the city and at the Tournament Capital Centre are superb with state of the art equipment and technological innovation. The City considers itself to be leaders in turf maintenance and this claim is hard to argue with. The wealth of turf management expertise supports the health of the community.”

Communities in Bloom is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of green spaces in community settings.

Within the actual context of climate changes and environmental concerns, communities involved in the program can be proud of their efforts, which provide real and meaningful environmental solutions and benefit all of society.


For further information, please contact:
City of Kamloops, BC:

Gay Pooler - Tel: 250-372-3242 / E-mail: gpooler@kcbia.com; scook@kamloops.ca
Website: www.kamloops.ca

Communities in Bloom National Office:

Vivian Shum - Tel: 514-694-8871 / E-mail: communication@cib-cef.com

Website: www.communitiesinbloom.ca


Thank you to our National Sponsors & partners
Home Hardware - Scotts
National Capital Commission - Zaunscherb Roberts Blair - CN
Beauti-Tone - Teck - Ball Horticultural Company
Miracle-Gro - Turf Builder - Scotts EcoSense - RoundUp
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA)
Nutrients for Life - Municipal World - VIA Rail Canada

Composting Council of Canada - LIN

Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA)


Please visit our website at www.communitiesinbloom.ca for a complete list of the results along with an online copy of our latest magazine.



Kamloops Halloween Attractions - “So Much Fun, It’s Scary”

Kamloops, BC: Local attractions are pulling out all the stops to offer Halloween fun for all ages. In fact, the festivities start early October to entice locals and visitors to take part in the Halloween magic featuring everything from a ghost train and corn maze to haunted cemetery tours and zipline adventures.

“This Halloween season in Kamloops has something for everyone,” says Tourism Kamloops’ CEO Ms. Lee Morris. “The younger kids are invited to bring their parents to a Spooky Skate at Memorial Arena, a Spooky Swim at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Boo at the Zoo at the BC Wildlife Park and a giant corn maze at the Tranquille Farms.”

The giant corn maze is in fact the Tranquille Farm’s first in 147 years where visitors are challenged with the task of finding their way through the 9 foot tall corn stalk maze using provided clues.

“Older kids and adults will enjoy the Ghost Train, hosted annually by the Kamloops Heritage Railway,” says Morris. “A headless horseman, ghost bride and other characters ensure those travelling on the rail tour get a good fright! Plus, the Kamloops Museum & Archives is taking guests exploring ancient burial grounds and historically spooky spots throughout the city.”

Older kids and parents will also enjoy the Agri-Adventure Tourism X-perience combining a Zipline tour with Tree Top Flyers and pumpkin picking. And those who are 19+, can cap off a Halloween weekend in Kamloops with a self-guided walking Brew Tour downtown stopping for a pint of the Noble Pig’s festive ‘Pumpkin Ale’.

“We have a ton of information on all things Halloween at www.tourismkamloops.com/boo and invite our locals and visitors to come let loose and just play in Kamloops this Halloween.”


For More Information:

Ms. Lee Morris CEO, Tourism Kamloops

P: 250.372.8000   C: 250.319.4247

E: lee@tourismkamloops.com

All Aboard the Ghost Train

If you’ve never taken a rail tour with the Kamloops Heritage Railway, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. In the summer, climb aboard and travel in open air cars pulled by the beautifully restored 2141 'Spirit of Kamloops' locomotive with a reenactment of the 1906 Bill Miner train robbery. And in winter, the train is decked out in holiday lights for the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ trips and heads to pick up Santa at the North Pole. But in the Halloween season, I hear things get darn right spooky.

My family and I are getting ready to come to Kamloops this year to experience the Ghost Train running Oct 13th to the 28th. From what I understand, it’s a pretty spooky trip and best suited for kids over 6 years of age. Story has it that back in 1915, a train carrying 44 passengers and crew left the Kamloops junction destined for Blue River. The train disappeared into a thick fog while passing through Wolfenden and never reappeared. Ever since the restoration of the 2141 steam train, strange events have taken place around Halloween. Have the spirits been resurrected? I guess we’re going to find out.

If this trip is anything like the summer or winter trips, get to the station about an hour before departure. This will only add to your experience where you’ll meet the characters and watch as the engineer builds the train for the trip right out in front of the parking area. Lots of steam action and photo ops! I even got to blow the whistle on the train and I swear they could hear it half way up the North Thompson! All aboard!!

Check out more information about the ghost train here.

- Mark Madryga

Tourism Kamloops Ambassador