25 Things to Do this Winter in Kelowna

Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region is one of Canada’s tourism hot spots – and it’s easy to see why. From award-winning ski resorts to year round wine country, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Start planning now for an incredible winter getaway.

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Hit the slopes this winter

1. Big White Ski Resort

This award-winning ski resort has so many reasons to visit! Downhill skiing and snowboarding on 119 designated runs, cross country skiing, ice climbing, dog sledding, snowshoeing… the list goes on and on. But one of their biggest draws is Western Canada’s largest night skiing area. Details

Where: Big White Road, Kelowna; 250-765-3101

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Photo Credit: Big White Ski Resort

2. Silver Star Mountain Resort

A little further away than Big White, but still within an hour’s drive of Kelowna, Silver Star is the home to champagne powder, over 130 runs, and family-friendly activities all season long. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, sleigh rides, tubing, snowmobiling, and so much more – what are you waiting for?Details

Where: 125 Main Street, Silver Star Mountain; 1-800-663-4431

3. Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiing, also known as cross country skiing, has been a popular sport for generations, and when you’re in the mountains, it’s a great activity to get out and explore the snowy landscape. In the Kelowna area alone, there are over 250 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing. New to the sport? Many local companies offer rentals and lessons. Details

More Outdoor Winter Activities

1. Snowshoeing

There’s nothing like getting out on snowshoes to really experience winter. While there are many areas where snowshoeing is acceptable, head out to one of the designated snowshoe trails to really get the full package. For example, try the groomed trail at Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club. Details

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Photo Credit: Kettle Valley

2. Myra Canyon Trestles

Hike or snowshoe the Myra Canyon Trestles for incredible mountain views. The 18 trestle bridges were originally built by hand and are now breathtaking destinations for getting out in the mountain air. Note that the pathways and roads can be slippery, so make sure you have good grips and appropriate clothing. But, it’s worth it. Details

3. Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a popular pastime in the Central Okanagan region, and it’s to see why. Lakes such as Darke Lake in Darke Lake Provincial Park is big enough that it doesn’t freeze completely, so it’s the place to go to drop a line. Try to catch rainbow or eastern trout. Details

4. Birdwatching

No matter the time of year, the Central Okanagan Region and Kelowna is home to an impressive number of species of birds. Dress warm and head out to such bird hotspots as Chichester Bird Sanctuary or Carney Pond to see how many you can spot. Don’t forget the camera – and make sure it has a good zoom. Details

5. Hiking

No matter the time of year, hiking is a popular activity in Kelowna and area. There are so many trails to explore, and in the winter, many of them are groomed, so it’s easy to get out there. Cedar Mountain and Rose Valley in particular have excellent winter hiking that allow you to get close to nature with a good pair of boots. Details

Out of the snow

1. Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market

Every Saturday from January 4-March 28, you’re invited to shop local and support the farmers and crafters of the area. Over 30 booths offer unique finds such as ethnic foods, locally-grown produce, paintings and sculpture, jewelry, and much more. What treasures will you find? Details

Where: 1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna; 250-878-5029

2. Planet Lazer

Don on a different type of gear for this activity. Over 6,000 feet across two levels provide the space for Kelowna’s premier laser tag facility. Go head to head to see who can defeat the others and come out on top in this family-favourite activity that doesn’t depend on the outdoor temperature. Details

Where: 3-1960 Springfield Rd, Kelowna; 250-717-8260

3. Okanagan Heritage Museum

Step into the past at the Okanagan Heritage Museum. Learn how the area was developed, what continues to sustain it, and why they put such emphasis on biodiversity. Permanent exhibits such as the one featuring the Syilx/Okanagan people help share and preserve their history, while feature exhibits such as the Canadian Hockey one (running until the end of February) tell stories from across Canada. Details

Where: 470 Kingsway Avenue, Kelowna; 250-763-2417

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Photo Credit: Okanagan Heritage Museum

4. Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum

When you’re in wine country, what other history comes to mind than that of wineries? Located in BC’s oldest fruit packinghouse, this museum gives a glimpse into the highs and lows of the history of winemaking in the Okanagan, as well as some of the tools of the trade that got it established. Details

Where: 1304 Ellis Street Laurel Packinghouse Kelowna; 250-478-0325

5. Kelowna Art Gallery

There are four different exhibition spaces to explore at the Kelowna Art Gallery, located in the heart of Kelowna’s cultural district. The Gallery puts a focus on Canadian artists, especially local BC and Okanagan talent. The upcoming Sovereign Acts exhibit is sure to draw the crowds. Details

Where: 1315 Water Street, Kelowna; 250-762-2226

6. Beyond the Crux Climbing Gym

Staying inside to get out of the cold doesn’t mean sitting around. Keep things active at Kelowna’s premier rock climbing gym. Providing challenging and exciting climb for all ages and experience levels, Beyond the Crux will keep you moving, while still keeping you out of the snow. Details

Where: 5-865 Finns Rd, Kelowna; 250-860-7325

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Photo Credit: Beyond the Crux Climbing Gym

7. Kelowna Rockets

Want to fit in with the locals? Head to a Kelowna Rockets game and cheer on the home team! The regular season for this WHL runs into March, so there are lots of opportunities to catch a game. Who will make it into the finals? Details

Treat your taste buds

1. Walkable Tasting Trail

Take your taste buds on a tour that is sure to delight. Explore Downtown Kelowna at your own pace as you travel the 5 km tasting trail that takes you to breweries, cideries, wineries, and more. Find the map online and become your own tour guide. Details

2. Kelowna’s Ale Trail

Think Central Okanagan is just about wine? Think again. It’s so much more. Travel the Ale Trail and discover unique craft brews. From Kelowna’s first microbrew pub, Freddy’s Brewpub, to Tree Brewing Beer Institute, who started the craft brewing craze in the region, you’ll find all kinds to taste. Details

3. Wine Country

There are more than 40 wineries around Kelowna – so what are you waiting for? Take a guided tour or explore on your own to wineries such as Summerhill and Gray Monk Estate to see the snow-covered orchards and taste their specialties. Did you know Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wine? Check out what all the fuss is about! Details

Pamper yourselves this winter

1. Beyond Wrapture

Beyond Wrapture is a mind and body care day spa and retreat located within the Coast Hotel. This award-winning spa has been serving the Kelowna area for over 20 years, so they know all the best ways to get you relaxed and ready to go. Details

Where: 1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna; 250-448-8899

2. Spa at the Grand

This full service spa is a favourite for locals and tourists alike and is easily found within the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre. Look into packages such as Head-to-Toe, Okanagan Serenity, Just the Two of Us, and even Beer and Blokes – a package specially designed with guys in mind. Visit the website for all the details. Details

Where: 1310 Water Street, Kelowna; 250-868-5629

Winter Events for your Calendar

1. The Village – Walk, Dine, and Wine

Running February 2-6, this event sees restaurants in Big White Ski Resort’s Village pairing their signature dishes with local BC wine. Give your taste buds a treat and experience each one at your own pace and in your own order. Book your tickets well in advance, as it tends to sell out. Details

Where: Big White Ski Resort, 5315 Big White Road, Kelowna; 250-765-3101

2. Okanagan Bridal Expo

Get a head start on wedding planning at the Okanagan’s largest bridal expo. Now in its ninth year, 2020’s expo will take place January 19 and feature vendors, tips, and ideas to help plan your big day. The region is big for destination weddings, so what better place to start planning? Details

Where: The Delta Grand, Kelowna

3. North Face Dirty Feet Snowshoe Night Run/Walk

Sure you can snowshoe, but can you do it in the dark? The Dirty Feet Snowshoe Night Run/Walk has 5 km and 10 km routes to race with your headlamp guiding your way. The race is held on February 8, starting in the evening to get a unique ambiance for snowshoeing. Make sure to register in advance. Details

Where: Happy Valley Day Lodge Big White Ski Resort, 5315 Big White Road, Kelowna; 250-765-3101

4. Family Sundays at the Art Gallery

Come by the Kelowna Art Gallery every Sunday for an event the whole family will enjoy. Sunday afternoons are dedicated to making art accessible and fun for all ages. Kids can make their own art as they learn more about the gallery and the works of Canadian artists. Details

Where: Kelowna Art Gallery, 1315 Water Street, Kelowna; 250-762-2226

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Photo Credit: Kelowna Art Gallery

5. Ski Resort Scavenger Hunt

Search Big White Ski Resort to find and answer the clues! Teams of four (kids welcome!) will be lead from one area to the next on green and blue runs in order to get the completed hunt and the chance to win prizes. Takes place January 22. Details

Where: White Ski Resort, 5315 Big White Road, Kelowna; 250-765-3101;
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