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!
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!
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!
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.
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.