Note: Pictures and views are of the writer's opinion and experience.

I have always been a big advocate for exploring our hometown. As a local business owner, I share that passion through my staff by encouraging them to be knowledgeable about local attractions and experiences. So, when Tourism Kamloops asked if we would be interested in partnering to highlight a family staycation, we were all in! This past weekend, we packed our bags for a weekend of highlighting all the family friendly things to explore in Kamloops this season. We were stoked to see that so many other families were out doing the exact same thing! I highly recommend being a tourist in your own town.

We checked into the Thompson Hotel in downtown Kamloops for our two night stay. I had no idea all the amenities available at the hotel. We were blown away by how big our double king room was, and the mountain views were spectacular.

After getting comfortable in our room, we put our swimsuits on and made our way to the pool for our private swim time. It was fun to have the whole pool and hot tub to ourselves. After a few cannonballs into the pool and some relaxation in the hottub, we dried off, refreshed and made our way to the private in-house movie theatre. The Thompson Hotel had tasty snacks and refreshments set up for us, and a bin of movies we could choose from. The theatre room is by far one of the coolest things I’ve seen at a hotel. We felt like celebrities. I immediately thought of all the special occasions I want to plan at the hotel just for the private movie showing.

After a wonderful sleep, we rose ready for adventure. On Saturday we made our way up the 30 minute drive from downtown Kamloops to Harper Mountain for some winter fun. Our daughter absolutely LOVES the Snow Town Tube Park. After many trips down the thrilling tube hills, we wandered over to the cozy chalet for lunch by the fire. Did you know that they’re licensed? While we didn’t indulge, I’ll have to keep this mind for another time. We saw people up there enjoying skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. They definitely have something for everyone at Harper Mountain!

With our bellies full from lunch, we made our way to downtown Kamloops for some shopping. The 200 block of Victoria street was calling my name, as I’ve been eying up a pair of new boots from Redwing Shoes; what better time than on “vacation”? During our stroll back to the Thompson Hotel we stopped into a few of our fave stores including Crooked Crown of course, and the Modern Family Boutique, which was right across from our hotel. 

I took some time to get ready, while Keith and Amaya hit up the games room at the hotel. There’s a range of arcade games, board games, pool, and air hockey. I can see why this hotel is so popular for so many visiting sports teams.

After the shopping and arcade adventures we were ready for a delicious dinner at BOLD Pizzeria. Bold is our go-to spot for a family dinner on the town. We love their forno pizzas and their pina coladas, but even more, we love the atmosphere! It is the ultimate spot for family dining. Amaya loves colouring on her menu, watching chef DJ and the team throw the pizza dough in the air, and she always gets a special little treat after dinner. It’s no surprise they have so many regular customers!

With one last day of adventure, we were excited to visit the BC Wildlife Park. It is a perfect spot to let Amaya burn off some energy and play outside. We watched an Elk feeding, got lost in the maze, and spent a lot of time at the playground (Pro Tip: It is a waterpark in the summer months). We have an annual pass to the BC Wildlife Park, and everytime we go, we see or do something completely different, no visit is ever the same!

We were excited for an extra unique experience to wrap up the weekend. With hungry bellies, we were reading for a delicious lunch in an igloo at ROMEOs Kitchen + Spirits, and the city views… wow! The igloo was warm and cozy, and the food was delicious. It was great to have our own little space and we loved the view of Kamloops. 

The weekend was jam-packed with family activities. A few people had asked Amaya what her favourite part was and her answer changed every time. I don’t blame her, the whole weekend was nothing short of amazing. The best part is, it’s all totally accessible to do anytime, and there’s still so much more to see and do in Kamloops! Thank you so much to the team at Tourism Kamloops for giving us this amazing opportunity. I felt honoured to be able to showcase Kamloops and these businesses that make our community so special.

Explore locally and book your Kamloops staycation package. Learn more about Emily's weekend fun through the links in her bio below and on Crooked Crown's Facebook and Instagram.