Kamloops is the perfect winter destination. This Okanagan city is home to Canada’s second-largest ski resort, British Columbia’s largest municipal park, and a thriving downtown, so there is no shortage of things to do on your next visit.
1. See a movie at the Kamloops Film Society
If you’re trying to avoid the brutal Canadian winter, head inside for a film screening at the Kamloops Film Society, located in the heart of downtown Kamloops. Start your night with Mediterranean-inspired fare at Forno on 5th. Indulge in Spiced Lamb Meatballs or Harissa Grilled Lamb Skewers served with chickpea and couscous salad. From there, it is just a hop, skip and a jump to the Paramount Theatre for a 7 p.m. screening of a selection of Canadian, independent and international films.
2. Tour Privato Vineyard & Winery
Winery tours may be paramount in the summertime, but wine tastes good any time of year. Luckily, Privato Vineyard & Winery is open until the end of December. Drop in for a tasting at Privato’s intimate tasting room and sample chardonnay, rosé and pinot noir before wandering over to Woodward Christmas Tree Farm. It’s located right on the property and you can browse through 20 acres of Douglas Firs, Scotch Pines and more.
3. Spend a day at Sun Peaks Ski Resort
With more than 4,000 kilometres of skiable terrain and 137 groomed trails, Canada’s second largest ski area is an ideal destination for those eager to hit the slopes this winter. Once that thigh burn starts to kick in, head to Bottoms Bar & Grill at the bottom of the hill, and recharge over a plate of nachos and an Okanagan Springs lager. For those less inclined to participate in downhill activities, Sun Peaks also offers dog sled tours, fat biking, guided ice fishing, snowmobile tours, a tube park and more.
4. Explore Kenna Cartwright Park
Kenna Cartwright Park has something for everyone anytime of year, and winter is no exception. There are more than 40 kilometres of trails, making it the perfect place to go for a Sunday stroll, or strap on snowshoes and tackle trails with views of the Thompson Valley, Kamloops Lake, or the North and South Thompson Rivers. There are several outfitters in Kamloops that rent out snowshoes, but Spoke Bike & Ski rents both snowshoes and cross-country skis.
5. Go holiday shopping downtown
Whether you are looking for books, comics, secondhand clothing, specialty gifts, or art, downtown Kamloops has something for you. At Barnacle Records, you can find both new and used vinyl from today’s artists and artists from decades past. If you’re looking for a holiday outfit, Jardines Domaine has an assortment of dresses, rompers and jackets to choose from, as well as a selection of jewellery, accessories and handbags. And if you’re looking for a bit of everything, head to Aberdeen Mall where you’ll find big-box retailers such as Sephora, Lululemon and Hudson’s Bay.
6. See a Kamloops Blazers game
Kamloops may not have an NHL team, but it does have the semi-professional Kamloops Blazers. The season runs from mid-September to mid-March (pending playoffs), so there is plenty of time to cheer them on. After late night games, head over to Pizza Pi (which is open until 3:30 a.m. Thursday through Sunday) for the sweet and spicy pepperoni pizza. If you’re looking to extend your night even further, go across the street to The Blue Grotto for live music every weekend.