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School’s back in session, but it’s still playtime in Kamloops this fall! Kids and adults alike have space to play, express themselves, and have some fun in the late summer sun. Here are three ways to rediscover childlike joy and enjoy playtime in Kamloops this September…

Have a fabulous fall in downtown Kamloops

Christine Nicole Photography two individuals walking down a street amongst fall coloured trees
Frank Luca Blue Grotto

Downtown Kamloops is the place to be this season!  Head to the stores to stock up on school supplies and get a headstart on fabulous fall fashions before the season changes! Pick out some fabulous threads to update your wardrobe with pieces from local designers and international brands. Sports fans can also have an a-Blazing time downtown. Cheer on the Blazers to help you keep warm as temperatures cool and to give Kamloops’ junior hockey team some extra love. Look out for pre and post-game experiences downtown, with a chance to win a pair of tickets every week during the season and also the chance to win two tickets to the Memorial Cup thanks to Downtown Kamloops.

Celebrate the end of summer with another epic weekend from the team behind the Summer League Block Party

The Pink Lemonade Block Party, presented by Phillips Brewing, takes place on September 16th & 17th at the Sandman Centre Parking Lot. Head there on Friday evening (6-10pm) and Saturday (5-10pm) to experience live art and dancing, and chow down on snacks from delicious food trucks including Kings Kart. Share on the ‘gram via photobooths and activations by local artists and bop along to DJ sets by Afrobeach Vancouver (Vancouver) and Common Sound (Kamloops) on Friday, plus live music on Saturday night, and the first annual Cornhole Tournament (Saturday daytime). 

Days might be shorter, but longer nights mean more time to enjoy evening entertainment

Dance the night away at the new 19+ nightclub Nightshift on Fifth, which is at the old Cactus Jacks location and is run by Pup Johnston and Sherri Lynn King, owners of the famous Blue Grotto. Hungry after all that bopping? Scoff some vegan food from the new menu to keep fuelled up for more dancing to the Top 40 hits spun by the DJ and music from live bands.

Make the most of the season at Kweseltken market

Make a (very) early start on holiday shopping and pick up handmade gifts from vendors at the Kweseltken Farmers' and Artisans' Market (KFAM), which operates Sundays in September, from 8-2pm at the Kamloopa Powwow Arbour. The goal of Kweseltken (or "All My Relations") is to support local artists and entrepreneurs - both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous. The market is a member of the BC Farmers' Markets and a partner with their Nutrition Coupon Program.

You will find a wide array of vendors from traditional foods and medicines, authentic and hand-crafted artisanal products, informational tables, to your usual find of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, to meat and dairy. KFAM is open to all, offering a unique, lively atmosphere with singers, drum circles, and other live performances. Performers include the Margit Sky Project on September 4th and at the last market on September 25th, plus a DJ on September 18th and then a special appearance by Valley First Best of Kamloops Gold Winner Jeremey Kneeshaw and Kamloops Readers' Choice Loops performing on September 11th.

Add some Zaaz to playtime

Move over softplay, Zaaz Eatery and Play at 425 Mount Paul Way is a totally new interactive play village that focuses on nutrition, community, and connection, inspired by owner Samantha O’Callaghan’s background as a paramedic and her mission to combine education and fun. From the moment you enter the special space, it’s an imaginative wonderland for kids of all ages (from babies up to 12) that Is decorated with murals that replicate ones downtown and covers 10,000 square feet of fun. You’ll find dedicated baby and toddler zones, as well as themed rooms sponsored by local businesses; from a mini dental practice to a vet, grocery store, gym, construction zone, garage, art museum, record shop, and fashion outlet. Little ones can also cook up an imaginative storm in the replica eatery, tap away on interactive laptops in the police room, and explore the outdoors (indoors) in the campsite. With paramedic and fire stations, as well as a mini Royal Inland Hospital, there are plenty of places for kids to learn about health and safety in a fun and safe environment. Little adventure seekers aged 5-12 can get through the lasers and ropes to find the secret obstacle maze. There's even a room to experience the galaxy lights and other sensory delights.

Parents and carers can refuel at the coffee and smoothie station

If you’re hungrier, head to the eatery for gluten-free feasts like waffles, or nutritious takes on kiddie faves like chicken stripz. Got some fussy eaters in your gang? Children's meals are smaller (and cheaper) versions of adult meals so all of the family can enjoy nutritious food together. 

Whatever age you are, there are plenty of ways to keep the summer fun vibes going in Kamloops this September and enjoy playtime whether you want to move it, grove it, or relax while more energetic family members let off steam.

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