June 29, 2011
Being a mother of an almost 2 year old, it's a given that my holidays and weekends are mostly going to be associated with being family-friendly.
Before the wee one came, my husband and I mainly spent our free time downhill mountain biking, going on long road trips with random spontaneous stops, trying out new and exciting restaurants & bars, staying at luxury BC hotels and basically just doing what we wanted to do and whenever we wanted to do it.
Now it takes a little more planning, preparation and patience!
We can still go biking (just not at high speeds down the side of a mountain), we can still go on road trips (just not ones that require us to be somewhere at a certain time), we can still check out dining establishments (just not ones that feature more cocktails than food on the menu), and we still can do what we enjoy doing (most of the time, if there's no tantrums). And choosing to stay at a family-friendly hotel in BC, just like the Best Western PLUS Kelowna Hotel, is a key part of the prep when planning a weekend getaway or vacation. Space for kids to play, a swimming pool and being centrally located to activities are important features to look for....not to mention comfy beds to collapse on after a fun-filled day!
My husband and I will still plan a couple of kid-less trips for ourselves (and our sanity), but we decided this is the summer where we live vicariously through our daughter's experiences. Whether in the Okanagan Valley or the Lower Mainland, we're going to be kids again in our beautiful province of British Columbia!
Here are just a couple places that are perfect for some family fun this summer:
City Park in Kelowna
City Park has always been one of my favorite local places to hang out, particularly on those weekends when we just stay in town. Not only is the beach great, but there is also the kids' playground, waterpark, and lots of beautiful areas for a picnic. The boardwalk is ideal for walking or biking along the lake, and there's always some talented local vendors set up along there to entice you with their hand crafted goodies. Plus, in the summer you get to hear a variety of live music during Parks Alive! Bonus. Our hotel in Kelowna is just a 10 min drive to the park, making it a popular destination for our guests as well!
O'Keefe Ranch in Vernon
Great for the whole family! They have lots of space to let the kids run around and check everything out. There's also farm animals, and if your kids are old enough to appreciate it, a lot of history. The Ranch schedules several event days, which add a lot more fun stuff to do, like games, crafts, and hay rides. Plus they have an old fashioned General Store with yummy candy. Bonus. O'Keefe Ranch is about 45min north of the Best Western PLUS Kelowna Hotel - it makes a super day trip with the kids!
The PNE & Playland in Vancouver
Vancouver has all sorts of great attractions, but I love the PNE and Playland amusement park because it's a place for all day fun. Playland has a ton of rides appropriate for all different ages, face painting, and carnival games. The PNE fairgrounds showcases exhibits, kids shows, music, animals and much more. Plus they have mini donuts! Bonus.
In addition to many trips to the beach and doing some camping, we've put these fun places/activities on our list to check out:
• Croc Talk in Kelowna, BC
• Biking the Myra Canyon portion of the KVR in Kelowna, BC
• The BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops, BC
• The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove, BC
• The Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC
Summer is here, so let the good times commence....with fingers crossed for limited melt downs and an abundance of crazy/fun memories!
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