Winter Activities Archives

Family Winter Fun at Harper Mountain

Family Winter Fun at Harper Mountain

Imagine your family finishing a day of fun in the snow, in prime conditions, at Harper Mountain just twenty minutes from Kamloops. You've all just come off the mountain, a leg warmer on the T-Bar followed by some fresh powder runs on the Doppelmayr chairlift. The fire crackles in the wood frame lodge and you are warming your bellies with a hot chocolate and laughing about the day's events. The perfect family memory in beautiful British Columbia.

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Snowshoeing in Kamloops

 

Snowshoeing in Kamloops

The high country above the Thompson River Valley offers many opportunities to snowshoe in the winter months. From mid-December to the end of March snow blankets the hills and we can drive up to dozens of trailheads to snowshoe  the uplands forests and open spaces. 

Written by: Doug Smith

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Building Family Traditions in Kamloops

 

Building Family Traditions in Kamloops | Woodward Christmas Tree Farm

When traveling to Kamloops we encourage you to experience our city like a local. Christmas time is rich with traditions and opportunities for families from near and far to make long-lasting memories. The Woodward’s Christmas Tree Farm is a must-experience destination in Kamloops and this is their story.

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Fat Biking. Here to Stay?

Fat Biking. Here to stay?


This past weekend I had the privilege of joining a local community group in town, Fat Fockers to try my hand at Fat Biking. Since I don’t have a fat bike I looked into renting a bike. Where in Kamloops can you rent a fat bike? After a little detective work, I found District Bicycle Company. They are a new shop in town located in Valleyview. As soon as you walk in the door staff welcome you and offer a friendly, helpful attitude. The owners are Jeff and Jess Blanken, local “Kamloopsians” who want everyone, young and old to experience biking. Whether it’s climbing hills, with a smooth ride down, or sending big objectives, they are open and willing to assist you in getting set up with the right gear for the task. Jeff and Jess were more them happy to lend me a fat bike to take out on the trails. At first glance, I was unsure if I would find riding a bike with super fat tires challenging, but I quickly found out that if you know how to ride a regular bike,you would feel even more stable and secure on a fat bike. District Bicycle Company offers rentals for both fat bikes and mountain bikes. As of now, they are the only shop in Kamloops who offer a winter rental fleet. Phone the shop or check out their website for more information. Please click here for information on all of the bikes shops in Kamloops and what they offer.

 

So what is Fat Biking? Wide rims, extra-large tires, and weirdly-dimensioned frames make it all fit together to define a fat bike, a cycling subcategory that’s garnered a serious following. What is the appeal? From improved traction on dirt to flotation when riding through snow, the obese tires let a bike roll where it has not rolled before. The wide rubber, fatty tires are 4+ inches across, or twice as wide as most mountain-bike tire tread adds notable grip on the ground, and the extra surface area does not allow the wheel to sink as much into soft surfaces like snow or sand.

Photo cred: Brad Heyman

 

Fat Biking allows people in Kamloops to ride almost year round. Dana Heyman said “Fat biking allows people from all walks of life to mountain bike, as the stability and comfort of a wider ride lends itself to more of a comfortable, confident ride.”

Kamloops has several amazing fat bike trails to ride, Isobel Lake, the premiere location, is the Focker groups’ playground consisting of an amazing trail system built from willing volunteers, who sweat out the trails using manpower, snowshoes, and a weighted sled converted from old skis. It is then dragged behind to help smooth out the trails. New for the Focker group, with recent grant assistance, they have been able to purchase a grooming tool which will allow trails to expand to double the existing trail network, Needless to say, the majority of grooming consists of lots of hard work and volunteers heading out on snowshoes.

Photo cred: Brad Heyman

 

On a cool, crisp, Saturday I went out riding alongside the Focker group, a local community group with membership consisting of younger children and more a mature age range. I’m careful here, not to put an age label on anyone as all of the “mature” members could outride any strong downhill expert. Our ride started at the upper parking lot of Kenna Cartwright trail system. Since I am new to Kamloops, I had yet to experience Kenna, but all I can is wow! What an awesome trail network. Despite having to pedal a few hills in the snow, I was able to keep up with the Focker group and had a fabulous time. It is easy to see how one can get hooked! With membership swelling to over 90 members it is easy to see that fat biking is indeed here to stay. Thanks to everyone in the Focker group for having me along, and big thanks to District Bicycle Company shop for hooking me up with a bike to ride!

Check off your Christmas Shopping List Early this Year.

Christmas Shopping Ideas

Tis’ that time of the year and the hardest part might be thinking of something to share with your family, friends and loved ones.  There’s no shortage in Kamloops - a city that offers experiences, attractions and activities all year round.  You’ll have no problem filling that stocking or fulfilling your Secret Santa surprise.  Some ideas you ask?  Start with these:

Tickets for one of our many festivals and events in town make great stocking stuffers and office gifts:

Kamloops Festival of Performing Arts

This festival runs from February 28th - March 20th, 2016 and is a perfect something special for that cultural, artistic and has a love for live music.  Click here for more info.

Kamloops Film Festival – 20th Anniversary

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of this popular Festival held in the downtown core at the Paramount Theatre. We’ve had a sneak peak of some of the videos which we are so excited about.  The lineup will be released shortly and will run from March 5th – 14th, 2016.  Click here for more info.

Cowboy Festival

The ever popular Kamloops Cowboy Festival is the largest of its kind in Canada.  Full of jam sessions, western music, dinner theatre and heritage, this festival will deliver! This Festival will be from March 17th – 20th, 2016. For more info, click here.

Women’s World Cup

Kamloops is proud to be the host for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship next year from March 28th – April 4th, 2016.  This will mark the first time in the events 26-year history that it will be held in British Columbia.  Tickets are available now and you can check one more thing of your list.

Team Canada Ticket Packages  

If you are looking for some fun family gifts this season you should try these:

Get a family pass at Harper Mountain and ski, board or tube!
Head out for a snowshoe day at one of our may trails in and around the city.
Have you ever tried cross country skiing? Pop over to Stake Lake and enjoy a day together - don't forget to pack the hot cocoa!

 

There’s plenty of time and copious holiday gift ideas for this magical time year. Get started, avoid the lines and settle in for a merry, stress-free and fun holiday season!

Top 5 Family Friendly things to Explore in Kamloops, BC

1. BC Wildlife Park

This is one of my favourite places to take the family.  There’s always something new and exciting and the seasonal events are spectacular!  The BC Wildlife Park is a place for all ages to explore over 65 species of our local wildlife.  Every member of the family will enjoy seeing cougars, moose, birds of prey, snakes, grizzly bears, mountain goats, and timber wolves. The parks’ newest member is ‘Clover’ a white Kermode known as a Spirit Bear who will be in his new enclosure this year.  I love the fact that The BC Wildlife Park aims to create a unique educational experience in which visitors can see and learn about one of Canada's most endangered and cultural significant animals and BC's official animal. 

2. Cliffside Climbing Gym

Over the winter year we took the nieces and nephews to the Indoor Cliffside Climbing Gym and it was a blast! There were easy rock walls to learn on (where we mostly stayed) and also some more challenging for the experienced.  Walk through the door and you can be climbing within minutes; that's how easy it is to climb!

 

3. Harper Mountain Tube Park

Harper Mountain is just outside of Kamloops and has a Tube Park! We went a few times this season (never gets old) and each time it was full of thrill and laughs.  We also brought with us a some snacks and they had a bon fire going every time.  I love that feeling you get when you’re in the outdoors sitting by a fire after a long hard afternoon or evening of fresh air!

4. The Big Little Science Centre

This has to be one of the most fun places!  The Big Little Science Centre teaches science in an interactive environment with over 120 hands on stations, you can experiment on your own and also watch a demonstration.  It doesn’t even feel like science, and a must do if you visit with the family.

5. Hiking and Family Photo Opportunities

Hiking in Kamloops is endless and there is so much ground to cover – no pun intended.  From easy walking trails along the Thompson River to longer hikes in the mountains, every family young and old can experience our landscape within minutes of your front door.  Recently we hiked Kenna Cartwright Park and Lac du Bois Battle Bluffs, both of which have amazing viewpoints for those seeking a great family picture.  Click here for more hiking a viewpoints in Kamloops.

 

Snowshoeing in Kamloops: Inspiration from the Outdoors!

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Holiday Events in Kamloops

Holiday Events in Kamloops

 
Posted by Amber Harding on 28 Nov 2014 / 0 Comment
 

It’s never too early to start getting in the holiday spirit in Kamloops—especially when local festivities are kicking off as early as mid-November. Here are some of my favourite holiday events (that are also family-friendly!) happening in Kamloops that you won’t want to miss.

Lights in the Night 
Lights in the Night is the kick-off to a 28 day shopping promotion in downtown Kamloops and is also described as the ultimate shopping party, with tons of great sales and special promotions offered. There’s also prizes to be won, plus crafts and games available for kids, making it a great family-friendly event. Downtown Kamloops, which is considered the area between 1st and 10th avenue, has some of the most unique stores and shopping in the city. My personal favourite isCastles & Cottages, which has everything from kitchenware to clothing to unique cards. It’s my go-to place when looking for a unique gift; it’s also a fun store to just look around in!

WHEN: Thursday, November 27
COST: FREE (except for any shopping you do of course)
WEBSITE: www.kcbia.com/lights-in-the-night

Santa Claus Parade 
What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to attend the annual Santa Claus Parade? Taking place in downtown Kamloops, the parade begins at 2nd Street and St. Paul at 11:00am and travels down into the 600 block of Victoria Street. This 30 year-old event is the perfect one to attend as a family and get everyone in the Christmas spirit!

WHEN: Saturday, November 29
COST: FREE
WEBSITE: www.kcbia.com/events/santa-claus-parade

Wild lights at the BC Wildlife Park 
This is my go-to event when we have family visiting from out of town around the holidays. The BC Wildlife Park, which is one of Kamloops most popular attractions, puts up amazing animal light displays every year and people can walk around the park or ride the miniature train to see them all. With fire pits to warm up by and hot chocolate and apple cider available for purchase, it is a truly festive event that will get you and your visitors in the holiday spirit. You can also time your visit for when they are feeding the animals—two years ago we got to watch them feed the wolves!

My friend, Katie, and I at the 2013 Wild Lights!

My friend, Katie, and I at the 2013 Wild Lights!

WHEN: December 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015
COST: Regular admission to the Wildlife Park (Adult: $12, Children: $8)
WEBSITE: www.bczoo.org

Homes for the Holidays Tour 
Note: This event is already over for 2014 – but add it to your calendar for 2015!

This unique annual event is a fundraiser for United Way and has been happening in Kamloops for 13 years. The tour features homes volunteered by local Kamloops residents and decorated by Kamloops designers. Your ticket includes a self-guided tour of five fully decked out home as well as a holiday reception at the Old Courthouse in Kamloops. It’s a fun night out and a great way to get some Christmas decorating ideas. I have taken my mom on this tour with me for the past two years and it’s the perfect mother-daughter outing. I also recommend checking out the Saturday evening tour so you can see the lights as you drive around between houses. And make sure to save some time for shopping—you will feel so inspired to decorate after this tour you’ll want to go buy some new Christmas decorations!

 A sneak peek of one of the beautifully decorated homes during Homes for the Holidays. Photo: Amber Harding.

A sneak peek of one of the beautifully decorated homes during Homes for the Holidays. Photo: Amber Harding.

WHEN: Third weekend in November
COST: $40 per ticket
WEBSITE: www.homesfortheholidayskamloops.ca 

For more holiday ideas check out Tourism Kamloops Winter Events page!

Related Blogs

Winter hiking in Kenna Cartwright Park, Kamloops
Best spots to catch the sunrise and sunset in Kamloops

Written by Amber Harding

Even after traveling throughout Europe and North America, Amber Harding still considers British Columbia the most beautiful place on earth. Originally from Northern BC, she moved to Kamloops in 2008 and fell in love with the area. An avid trail runner, she feels very fortunate to live in a place where she never has to drive (or even run!) more than 10 minutes before she can access an expansive network of trails and run for hours. By day, Amber works in the non-profit sector as a fundraiser and communications professional. She loves anything movement related and can often be found running, in a yoga class, strength training, hiking, biking, snowboarding, kayaking or swimming – depending on the day and the season! Her perfect Saturday would include a long trail run with her dog followed by a visit to the local Farmer’s Market to stock up on local fruits and veggies. In the afternoon she would catch a hot yoga class and then head out to one of the many lakes surrounding Kamloops and spend the afternoon kayaking and fishing with her husband. The evening would be spent at home on the couch with some sushi, a glass of wine and a good book or movie! Amber loves coffee, good food and wine, travelling and animals. She feels grateful every day to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Official post on Hello BC - click here

December 2014 Desktop Calendar

It's December 1st, 2014 and we have the Tourism Kamloops Desktop Calendar available for the download.  

Get it HERE

November 2014 Tourism Kamloops Desktop Calendar

Click here to download your Tourism Kamloops November Desktop Calendar!