Wildlights Festival, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops

From the Kootenays to the Okanagan: Get into the Spirit of the Season with 4 Fun Things To Do

By Sheliza Mitha

Ready or not, the holiday season is on its way.  This, of course, means there are lists to make, gifts to get and some (hopefully) much-needed downtime to spend with family and friends.

Here are a few activities and events happening in BC’s Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies regions to help you get into the spirit of this joyful season.

Wildlights Festival, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops

Enjoy festive lights and bright animals at this years Wildlights Festival in Kamloops

Thompson Okanagan

Wildlights Festival

Wildlights Festival at the BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops – From Dec. 9 through Jan. 2, spend the holidays with some wildlife at this brilliant and bustling annual event.

For the holiday season, the park will be decorated and glowing… festively lighting the way through the maze of wild creatures who make this park their home.

Say hello to the big cats such as cougars and bobcats, make your way to the numerous birds of prey (think majestic bald eagles, owls, hawks and more), then stroll around to check out the array of reptiles and amphibians such as frogs and different species of snakes, turtles and many other wild creatures.  The younger kids will especially enjoy a visit from the park’s special guest, Uncle Chris the Clown.

Wildlights Festival, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops

Kamloop’s BC Wildlife Park captures the spirit of the season with its annual Wildlights Festival

Craft Culture Holiday Market

Craft Culture Holiday Market at Prospera Place, Kelowna – This two day-only event on Dec. 10 and 11 promises to feature skilled artisans and crafters from throughout Western Canada.  From handmade soaps and pottery to clothing, woodwork and goodies – you’ll find it all and more here.

Formerly known as the Kelowna Christmas Show, this annual event presents a perfect opportunity to pick up some presents and check off some of those people on your “nice list” this Christmas season… all while supporting local entrepreneurs and talent.  This annual event has something for everyone.  Bring the kids to the special childrens’ area with a bouncy castle and other activities including face painting, craft projects and colouring.  Or grab some friends and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) while strolling the colourful aisles and stalls, and taking in the live entertainment.

As a bonus, the first 50 people through the door each day will receive a fun bag full of swag filled with samples and coupons from the vendors at this impressive event.

Still haven’t done your holiday card?  Fret not.  Take some time with the holiday-themed photo booth at this event. A mere $10 gets you a digital image of your picture – great for sharing.  (Don’t worry – silly props are included!)

Kootenay Rockies

Ski with Santa

Santa hits the slopes at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Santa hits the slopes at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Ski with Santa, Golden – Ho Ho Ho… Calling all skiers and snowboarders!  This is your chance to hit the slopes with Santa and his crew at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.   Spend some time with the man in red before he ventures into the night to do his most important job of the year.

Visit with Santa, get your picture taken and make your way down the mountain with him as he skis down to his famous sleigh (near the skating rink at the Learning & Adventure Center).

Ski with Santa happens on Dec. 17 and 18.  From 10:30am to 1:30pm, find Santa as he twists and turns down the hill.  From 1:30 to 3:00pm, grab your wish list and chat with Santa in his castle near the Learning & Adventure Center.

Rossland becomes a winter wonderland during this annual event. Photo by Ryan Flett/Tourism Rossland

Rossland becomes a winter wonderland during this annual event. Photo by Ryan Flett/Tourism Rossland

Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas Event

Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas Event, Rossland – On Dec. 3rd, revel in the spirit of Christmas during this festive, yuletide city-wide party that includes a Santa parade down Columbia Avenue… as well as numerous activities for the young and young-at-heart.  Stroll through the streets and visit the many lively boutiques (with fantastic holiday deals, of course) – perfect for finding just the right gift this Christmas season.

As part of this merry event, you’re sure to enjoy the bright outdoor market and the lighting of the Christmas tree in the heart of downtown Rossland… just some of the many highlights of this delightful event considered “The Brightest Little Town in the Kootenays!”

Published: November 24, 2016

Sheliza Mitha

About the Author

Sheliza is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys blogging about her family’s adventures throughout British Columbia. For the latest on food and travel, connect with her on Twitter via @shelizawrites or visit her at www.copyprose.com.

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