Welcome to Kelowna, the ultimate summer paradise in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Also known as the “California of Canada”, this Canadian hotspot will not disappoint! From award-winning wines at local vineyards and water adventures on Okanagan Lake to exploring the nature trails and cultural scene, Kelowna promises a blend of relaxation and excitement for every member of your family. So, pack your bags and get ready to bask in the warm sunshine while discovering the best things to do in Kelowna for an unforgettable family holiday!
1. Myra Canyon
Myra Canyon Adventure Park is an outdoor playground at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, just outside Kelowna. Offering a variety of activities, this park has something for everyone. One of the main highlights is the treetop aerial park, where visitors can test their agility and courage on a series of bridges, zip lines, and obstacle courses high above the forest floor.
The challenges provide a blend of excitement and natural beauty, as the park’s location is surrounded by mountains and forests. With its unique combination of adventure and nature, Myra Canyon Adventure Park promises an unforgettable experience.
Myra Canyon has activities all year round, and is a great place to visit in the winter as well! If you are visiting the Okanagan in the winter, be sure to check out Snowshoeing the Myra Canyon Trestles by my friend Sam!
Anytime of year, your family will leave with lasting memories and a true appreciation for the great outdoors.
While in the neighbourhood of Myra Canyon, be sure to bring (or rent) a bike to participate in this two-wheeled adventure like no other. Following the historic route of the Kettle Valley Railway, this trail stretches over 600 kilometers. The trails are not for the faint of heart!
High above the canyon floor, you travel over multiple railway bridges with heart-stopping views! The trail’s well-maintained surface and gentle grades make it accessible to riders of varying skill levels.
As you pedal along the path, you get to pass over trestles, and through numerous tunnels, each revealing a piece of the region’s history. Your trip can be as short or as long as you like. At any point, you can turn around and head back to where you began. Little ones may get tired! For the brave in your family, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail promises an eventful experience filled with natural wonders!
Visiting Kangaroo Creek Farm is a unique experience that brings the charm of Australia’s wildlife right to the Okanagan Valley. Located in Lake Country, just outside of Kelowna, this family-friendly farm provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of adorable animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, and capybaras. As you wander the farm, you’ll get to pet and feed the animals, as there are minimal cages.
The farm’s staff are on hand to share facts about the animal’s behaviour, making the visit both fun and educational. Kangaroo Creek Farm is not just about kangaroos; visitors can also encounter emus, parrots, miniature ponies, and potbellied pigs. For the animal lovers in your family, a day at Kangaroo Creek Farm is an absolute delight that will leave you with a heart full of joy and cherished memories.
4. Okanagan Lake
Boating on Okanagan Lake is a summer activity that you will never forget! With its crystal-clear waters, mountain views, and scenic vineyards, the lake offers a breathtaking backdrop for water adventures. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker eager to try water sports like wakeboarding, wake surfing, or tubing, or you prefer a cruise to take in the surroundings, Okanagan Lake has it all.
Sailboats gently glide across the waters, while kayakers and paddleboarders explore hidden coves and peaceful inlets. Fishing enthusiasts find delight in casting their lines, as the lake holds a variety of fish species. The lake’s shoreline is covered with beaches and parks, providing perfect spots for picnics and sunbathing. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or excitement, boating on Okanagan Lake is an absolute must-do!
Hiking Knox Mountain is a nature lover’s dream, offering an escape into the wilderness right next to downtown Kelowna. Rising on the edge of the lake, this park has a network of trails, catering to hikers of all levels. As you climb the well-marked paths, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Okanagan Valley, including the sparkling waters of Okanagan Lake below.
The landscapes of Knox Mountain Park feature forests, rocky outcrops, and wildflowers that add a splash of colour to the scenery. The summit offers a peaceful spot to unwind and take in the beauty of nature. Whether you go on a group walk or a more challenging trek, hiking Knox Mountain promises an experience filled with natural beauty and a sense of connection with the great outdoors.
After a morning hike at Knox Mountain, be sure to grab good food at a good price at Mad Mango! Mad Mango in downtown Kelowna is a breakfast and lunch Cafe that offers a combination of American and Southeast Asia cuisine. Located on Bernard Avenue, this charming eatery offers a warm and inviting space, making diners feel right at home. It is a popular destination for locals that visitors might pass by!
The menu is a true fusion of Thai, Vietnamese, and Malaysian cuisine, committed to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. From Vietnamese Pho to Vermicelli Bowls to Laksa Soup coconut curries every bite is a burst of authentic Asian goodness. Vegetarian options are available, ensuring that every guest can savour the flavours. With staff ready to guide you through the menu and recommend specialties, dining at Mad Mango is a delicious adventure!
7. Westside Wine Trail (kid friendly)
The West Kelowna wine tour is a captivating journey through some of British Columbia’s most renowned wineries. This trail offers wine enthusiasts the chance to sample a selection of world-class wines while immersing themselves in the region’s beauty. Each winery along the trail has its own unique charm, ranging from boutique family-run vineyards like “Off the Grid” and “Rollingdale” to larger, well-established estates including “Mission Hill”, “Quails’ Gate”, and the “Indigenous World Winery”.
At each winery, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and the opportunity to meet winemakers eager to share their stories while you partake in some wine tasting. From crisp whites to robust reds, this wine tour showcases a variety of wines. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a curious novice, the wine tours in both West Kelowna and Kelowna have something for everyone. Sparkling apple juice is available at some wineries for the littles in your family!
8. Planet Lazer
Planet Lazer Kelowna is an action-packed adventure for those seeking thrilling entertainment! This laser tag facility offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure for players of all ages. Equipped with state-of-the-art laser tag gear, participants engage in heart-racing battles, strategizing with teammates and competing against opponents to achieve victory.
The interactive gameplay and futuristic setting make Planet Lazer Kelowna a fantastic destination for families. Planet Lazer also has a concession snack bar and arcade! Whether you’re a laser tag expert or a first-time player, Planet Lazer Kelowna promises a fun experience for every member of your family!
Scandia Golf and Games is a family entertainment center that promises a day filled with fun, laughter, and unforgettable experiences. Mini-golf enthusiasts can test their skills on beautifully landscaped courses with challenging obstacles and creative themes. The go-kart track provides an exciting opportunity for friendly racing competitions.
Scandia also features an arcade filled with classic and modern games, providing hours of entertainment for both kids and adults. You can also hit up the batting cages! The batting cages offer both baseball and softball pitches at varying speeds. Feeling hungry? Scandia has a snack bar with made-to-order pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, and more!
10. Oyama Ziplining
Ziplining is an adventure that allows thrill-seekers to soar through the sky and embrace the beauty of the Okanagan Valley. Located just outside of Kelowna, this zipline experience offers a bird’s-eye view of the landscapes below. As you strap into the harness and step off the platform, a rush of adrenaline takes over!
There are several options to meet the needs of everyone in your family. The guided “Zipcourse” has 7 different lines, covers 2 Km, and takes about 2.5 hours to complete. The “Aerial Park” contains a combination of climbing, zipping, and swinging and takes about 2 hours to complete. For the littles in your family, there is the “Little Monkey Play Park” for ages 3-11. Kids are allowed to run through the course as many times as they wish for a 2-hour period. Booking in advance is highly recommended as spaces do fill up in the summer months!
Kelowna’s H2O, is a facility that offers an indoor oasis for water lovers! This indoor water park, features 3 water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a play structure for kids of all ages. For the older kids in your family, they have the “FlowRider”, which allows you to surf on a simulated wave. As well, you will find a large swimming pool with diving boards of varying heights.
For those seeking a more relaxing experience, the center offers a large family-friendly hot tub. H2O also houses a fully-equipped fitness center, complete with cardio and strength-training equipment. With its emphasis on water-based fun, fitness, and wellness, Kelowna’s H2O is a popular destination for locals and visitors!
12. Boyce-Gyro Beach
Boyce-Gyro Beach is a popular destination that offers lots of activities for visiting families. With its sandy shoreline and crystal-clear waters, it’s a great spot to sunbathe, have a picnic, or build sandcastles. The beach’s gentle slopes make it a perfect swimming spot for all ages. Water sports enthusiasts can participate in kayaking, paddleboarding, or even jet skiing.
As the sun sets, Boyce-Gyro Beach transforms into a perfect spot to watch the sunset, making it a favorite spot for a relaxing evening stroll or beachside bonfire with friends. Whether you’re looking to unwind, engage in water activities, or simply soak in the beautiful scenery, visiting Boyce-Gyro Beach is a great thing to do in Kelowna!
13. Mission Creek
Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna is a natural gem that offers a fun and educational adventure. This creek begins at the Greystoke Mountain Range east of Kelowna and descends for approximately 43 kilometers before emptying into the Okanagan Lake. The Mission Creek Greenway, a well-maintained trail system that runs alongside the creek, can be used by walkers, joggers, and cyclists.
The most spectacular thing about Mission Creek is the salmon run! If your holiday is later in the summer, primarily in the month of September, going to see the salmon is an absolute must! These amazing little creatures swim upstream and you may even catch them jumping up mini waterfalls. Any time of year, the diverse vegetation and birdlife make it an ideal location for birdwatching and nature photography.
The EnergyPlex is an action-packed indoor entertainment center that will keep your kids busy for hours! The EnergyPlex offers a wide range of activities, making it a perfect destination for families. The facility includes trampolines, a foam pit, an indoor rock climbing wall, and the “Skytrax Aerial Park” (additional cost) on one side of the building. On the other side, you will find, a 4-level indoor playground, a “Ballistix” ball shooting area,, and arcade games. Upstairs features a laser tag area at an additional cost.
With its extensive selection of activities, the Energyplex is a must-do for indoor adventure during your family holiday in Canada!
The Airhouse is a playground that brings an exciting array of activities under one roof. This state-of-the-art facility is a hub of fun and adventure for people of all ages and skill levels. The main attraction at Airhouse is the trampoline park, offering an opportunity to bounce, flip, and soar to new heights. With a mix of interconnected trampolines, visitors can practice tricks, test their aerial skills, or simply enjoy a carefree jump.
In addition to trampolines, the facility offers other activities like parkour and skateboarding. Whether you’re looking to work on your acrobatic skills, burn off some energy, or simply have a blast with family, the Airhouse in Kelowna is the perfect place for a fun-filled day of indoor adventure and excitement.
In conclusion, Kelowna is a true paradise for those seeking the perfect family holiday in Canada. From exploring the vineyards to hiking through forests and up mountains, the city offers experiences that will meet the needs and interests of each member of your family.
Whether you’re boating, or enjoying activities at places like Myra Canyon, Scandia, or the Energyplex, Kelowna creates lifelong memories. With its warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and welcoming community, Kelowna is a destination that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor, making it a top choice for an unforgettable family vacation.
Looking for more outdoor activities? Have a look at some of my favourite hikes to do with my kids in British Columbia!
If you are traveling solo, Kelowna might be a very different experience! Have a look at How To Spend a Weekend in Kelowna by Joey!