Explore BC: 5 Family Friendly Things to do in the Okanagan


When we had the opportunity to join Vancouver Mom  on a trip to Summerland a few weekends ago we couldn’t say no. We stayed at the ever gorgeous Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa, you can read my thoughts on our stay here. The Okanagan is one of our favourite places to visit and even more so now that we have a family. Located just over 4 hours away from the lower mainland, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway. 

SWR2Stay somewhere that has a pool or is in close proximity to water. During the warm summer months its guaranteed to be a great way to not only entertain the kids but allow the whole family to cool off. The Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa is perfect for this.  With an on site outdoor pool and beach area you can’t go wrong. You are also minutes away to Sun-Oka Beach Provincial Park,which is located just off the high way. Featuring sandy beaches and picnic areas its perfect for a beach day. 

tour1Visit a winery or even better wineries. A lot of people balk at the idea of visiting wineries with kids, but this is were you go wrong. There is so much more to do at wineries than drink. While I love myself a big glass or three of wine, I’m not a huge fan of spending hours tasting. I prefer to visit the wineries, take in maybe a quick sample or two and then take a bottle home with me to enjoy later. The wineries quite often will offer several other things to do. When we stopped by Okanaga Crush Pad on our tour through Summerland,  some of us went inside to sip and others wandered the vineyard and played with the chickens on site. Covert Farms ,located further south in Oliver, is another favourite, they have a large jumping pillow that’s guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

tour8We all know calories don’t count while your on vacation, so make sure you enjoy some treats. Summerland Sweets offers a wide variety of fruit jams and syrups, the perfect toppings for your morning waffles or toast. Also located here is Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery, I say winery but you won’t find any grapes here. With 13 tables wines available, you will find everything from Apricot wine, perfect with ham or turkey to blueberry wine, perfect for pastas or curries. If your sweet tooth has you craving something a little cooler, heading down to Tickleberries in OK Falls is a must. Featuring more ice cream flavours than I can count, sorbet, and home-made fudge your guaranteed to find something to satisfy your craving. It’s so good that on most days the lineup runs the length of the building, but trust me, its worth every second you have to wait!


tour4What better way to work off those extra calories we’ve just consumed than to go for a walk or a bike ride?The Kettle Valley Rail Road is no better place to do so. An abandoned rail bed that was donated to the province by CP Rail, it weaves through Southern BC, providing over 500 kms in trail. The Summerland portion of the KVR trail stretches from Penticton to 1.5km east of Osprey lake. The Trout Creek Trestle bridge, the third largest bridge of its kind at the time of construction, is found in the middle. Depending on when you go, you actually have the option of riding the Kettle Valley Steam Railway through Summerland. A 90 minute round trip that passes over the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge providing uninterrupted views of the valley below!

tour7 Check to see if there are any local events going on during your stay. I highly recommend doing so before you visit, as some of the events sell out months in advance. With so many different wineries, and restaurants in the Okanagan, you are bound to find something. From farm table dinners to out-door concert series there really is something for everyone. We were lucky during our visit to catch the 5th annual Pig Out festival put on by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association. With 38 wineries pouring some of the best wines from the region and 9 of the local restaurants serving a cornucopia of dishes, it was most definitely an afternoon of pigging out. There was also an array of non alcoholic beverages and fun activities to keep the kids entertained while we were there. Hazel was having so much fun she did not want to leave! Evan and I have already added this to our must do for next year list, except I think we will leave the kids at home next time ;).

A huge thank you to Karen of Authentically Okanagan  for our tour guide and treating us to some of the regions best places. We had such an amazing time and we can hardly wait to get back up to the Okanagan, we love it so much. I don’t think we will be able to wait until our trip in August, I think we might have to sneak in an other visit before hand!


{Photo credit: Jessica of North Shore Mama}

Xo. Andria

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