Pumpkin spice lattes, and harvest can only mean one thing … fall in Kamloops has arrived! Kamloops is the perfect escape for families looking to get away for a weekend – our weather is still warm, our markets are loaded with fall flavours, and there are plenty of fun seasonal activities for your kids to enjoy.
The perfect October Weekend Getaway in Kamloops starts with our picks for the top 5 attractions:
1. Flavours Trail
Did you know it’s harvest time at our farms and wineries – we love the fall colours that fill these destinations and so will your family!
Sip along Kamloops’ 4 award winning wineries to enjoy the flavours produced by our unique terroir. Then visit our Wednesday and Saturday Farmers Markets in Downtown Kamloops to grab products grown locally at our surrounding farms. Finally, indulge in a craft beer brew tour ensuring to stop at the Noble Pig to enjoy their limited edition Pumpkin Beer!
Left: Monte Creek Ranch Winery Right: Downtown Farmer's Market
2. Boo at the Zoo
It’s going to be another spooktacular Halloween at the BC Wildlife Park! Did you know the Park is home to over 40 wildlife species? The whole family will enjoy exciting animal encounters, the haunted maze, the spider scavenger hunt, Uncle Chris’ magic show, and story time at the witches’ corner. If you’ve been to the Wildlife Park before don’t pass up the opportunity to visit again during October. You can even put on your best costume for some trick or treating right at the Park from October 28th to 30th from 5:00 to 9:00pm.
Boo at the Zoo by Kelly Funk Photography
3. Ghost Train
How many trips have you been on where you can say that you time-travelled? That’s why Kamloops Heritage Railway’s Ghost Train is a must-see on our top October attractions list. Your family will be taken back in time to Halloween night 1915; the fog is rolling in thick and the train has embarked on its journey to Blue River. Your family’s adventure begins when you hear that the train has entered a thick cloud and disappears...
Will you dare to ride? Tours are offered on October 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29 all starting at 7PM.
Ghost Train by Peter Olsen Photography
4. Tranquille Farm Fresh
This October, it’s all about the mysteries of our mind at Tranquille Farm Fresh! Kicking off October 10th, this year’s corn maze is designed in the shape of a human brain and challenges the family to navigate its corridors by unlocking “brainy” clues. October 28, 29 & 30thcelebrates the Corn Maze Extravanganza…an amped up version of the corn maze with pyrotechnics, spooky encounters and haunted house finale….if you dare!
Tranquille’s history is deep. Take in this year’s tunnel tour theatre performance “The Disordered Mind” and uncover the story of a young patient whose mental situation is in the hands of Tranquille’s medical team during the 1960’s.
Tickets can be purchased through the Kamloops Live Box Office, running Friday-Sunday evenings.
Left: Corn Maze by Jan Nademlejnsky Right: Disordered Mind
Finally, it is still golf season in Kamloops in October! The sun is still shining and it isn’t too cold for a morning tee-time. The family can enjoy 13 courses in the area. You have the option to golf among big horn sheep, play a round at BC’s #1 golf course, or play on rolling terrain and strategic doglegs. Talking Rock Golf Course, Rivershore Golf Links, Tobiano Golf Course, Sun Rivers Golf Resort, Kamloops Golf & Country Club, The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Club, and Eaglepoint Golf Course are offering fantastic fall rates and packages so ensure you ask when you’re booking your fall getaway!
Sun Rivers Golf Resort
Written by: Bill Bilton, Head Pro, The Dunes and Sun Peaks
Equipment at the highest level is a very complex topic and the pros are using the best gear based on the science. The most practical advice is to "Start with your clubs and stick with science. Over the years, club makers have gone back to the books to study a physics concept called 'moment of inertia' to improve the performance of clubs from putters to drivers", Forbes, Golf Goes High Tech. Taylor Made leads the way on the PGA tour, with Callaway, Nike, Cobra, Ping, Titleist and a few others following suit - all high end brands with specs suited for world class players. The lie and loft angles are set perfectly for posture and ball flight preference; the shaft stiffness is set for swing speed. Most specs are obtained from a tour player, or any player hitting balls with a “Trackman”. The Trackman records the results – head speed, ball spin ratio, launch angle, etc. A professional fitter can then suggest the best shaft and club head for that player. Professionals usually have equipment with the weight of the club centered directly behind the “sweet spot” of the club head, whereas a weekend golfer may use a club with the weight distributed around the perimeter of the club head paving the way for good results on shots slightly amiss. A professional will have a golf shaft typically quite stiff for more control versus a novice player with a golf shaft with more flex. Hence, the importance of getting fitted!
The Tourism Kamloops April 2015 Desktop Calendar is downloadable for your desktop - get it here!
I was lucky enough to have been invited by Sun Rivers Golf Course to go try out the brand new sport of Foot Golf. As a former soccer player and a non-golfer I was really excited to see how this would work. Some logistics for those of you who have yet to try it out:
- Footwear: I used runners but you are also able to wear indoor soccer shoes or golf shoes but NO outdoor soccer cleats
- Dress code is the same as it would be for regular golf
- You will play 18 holes of foot golf on 9 holes of golf (2 holes per golf green)
- The foot golf holes are not on the same green as the golf holes and are much bigger in size
- The distance you have to kick the ball is much shorter than the distance you would have to hit the golf ball
- You can either bring your own ball or rent a ball for $5
- You can use the same score card as golf and follow the same PAR rating for each hole
- A round of 18 holes will take approximately 2 hours
- Any and all levels can play
Overall, I would do it again in a heartbeat! I loved how you can play the hills and kick it in what seemed like the wrong direction and have it roll down and end up within putting distance of the hole. I found the putting the most difficult part but heard from some people afterwards that it was easier if you used the front of your foot instead of the side so that will be what I work on next time. We were lucky enough to get carts as it was all part of the experience but I would definitely be willing to do it without a cart as all you really have is yourself and your ball which you are most likely chasing anyways.
I am guessing we will see much more growth in this sport as golf courses are starting to diversify in order to attract new golfers, some of whom may have never stepped on a golf course before. Of all of the people who were out on the course the same day as me, I heard only positive comments. Everyone enjoyed it. Now go give it a try!!!
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.
Treetop Flyers Zipline - NOW OPEN!
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Begin with a ride on the 100 metre Flying Fox zipline in the village to learn the basics and then continue your adventure with two ziplines above the amazing Chase Falls. Two adventure guides will accompany each group to interpret the area's culture, history and geography.
Heli - Off Road Segway Tour
Climb aboard a Lakehead Helicopter for an exhilarating ten to fifteen minute ride over the Shuswap to a wilderness location in the mountains. Meanwhile the Segway PTs are trucked up a steep, rough 4X4 road to meet you. Upon arrival climb aboard your Segway PT for a truly unique wilderness adventure! Lunch and snacks are provided. You will be returned via a second splendid helicopter ride. Total tour length: Allow 5 hours.
Paddle/Hike Copper Island Tour
An invigorating early morning wake up call! You will launch on on inflatable boats at Shuswap Provincial Park and paddle the 2 km across to Copper Island Provincial Park (approximately 1/2 hour paddling). Then you will hike about an hour around the loop trail with exquisite panoramic views on Copper Island. You will return to Shuswap Park with a satisfying paddle across the lake. Snack and drinks provided.
1st Annual Kamloops Marathon
This year Kamloops will host the inaugural Kamloops Marathon, adding to the various first-class sport events the city currently facilitates.
Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge Centre
The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge Society is an 80 acre facility located near Chase, BC. We are dedicated to rehabilitating and caring for unwanted, abused and neglected donkeys. When donkeys are abused they require years of special care, costly vet and farrier work and years of love and devotion to heal the scars made by man. Stop in and meet the donkeys Wed, Sat & Sun 11-3pm.
Faction Indoor Skate Park
This indoor skatepark, skateboard and bmx retail store is open year round. Try your skills with the mini halfpipe, mini ¼, flat banked ramp, massive platform, manny box, launch ramp & flat round rail.
Tranquille Farm Fresh
The historic calf barn has been restored and now houses the TranquilleFarmFresh market! It is a charming piece of a bygone era with its unique design. We have tried to maintain as much of the past as possible during the renovation process. The barn contains our post harvesting station where your TranquilleFarmFresh produce is cleaned, packaged, and cooled. It also contains our retail market. With the morning sun bouncing off of its freshly whitewashed walls you will experience a taste of history while you are being embued with the vitality of today’s life and pulse on an urban farm.
1st Annual RibFest
This summer, Ribfest will take over Riverside Park from Friday, August 10th to Sunday, August 12th for Kamloops' first full weekend of fantastic, free, family fun. In conjunction with Hot Nite in the City, the highly successful Ribfest offers a rib cook-off between five champion barbeque teams; music and entertainment throughout the entire event; entertainment and activities for children and youth, as well as a Refreshment Center and a whole whack of great vendors.
Friday Night Rock N' Range at Sun Rivers
Every Friday evening from May – August, head up to Sun Rivers for unlimited range balls, a beer, CPGA instruction & live DJ for only $15.
Home Sweet Cafe
Sweet Home is a cafe that offers a supervised children's play area where kids are in safe hands while parents can relax in the comfortable eating area or lounge. What a great concept! There is a kids play area, a lounge area, and two public bathrooms (kids bathroom available). Sweet Home Cafe offers hot water for formula, a play pen and diapers as well as wipes! Don't miss their great menu of fantastic healthy foods and wonderful desserts.
Locally Owned & Operated with over 100 parties worth of experience! If you are looking to step into a Fairy-tale you’ve come to the right place. Enchanted Teacup specializes in creating childhood memories that will last a life time, with their very special Character Hosted Theme Parties and Events. Experience a Magical World where all of your child's dreams can come true!
Tournament Capital Ranch
Located just north of Rayleigh, this new recreational facility is not just for ball players! The site is 3x larger than McArthur Island Park and offers miles of river views, walking and tournament opportunities.
Guided Freshwater Kayak Tours with Desert North Adventures
1/2 day and full day tours including kayak rentals, PFD and instruction.
Legends Indoor Golf
Legends Indoor Golf is a premier indoor golf entertainment and game improvement facility. Legends gives golfers of all levels the opportunity to experience world class play on 21 golf courses. The state of the art facility includes 6 simulators, licensed snack bar, retail and reception area; making it the perfect place for playing 18 holes, practicing your game or taking a lesson!