WINTER: Snowbird locations and overnight RVing. TRAVEL ALERTS: Know Before You Go

Wildlights Festival, Kamloops

From the Kootenays to the Okanagan: Holiday & Winter Fun to Put a Smile on Your Face

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. Then following the holidays, some of us get the ‘winter blues’! For some fun things to do both in December and January here are a few activities and events happening in BC’s Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies regions.

Wildlights Festival at BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops

Wildlights Festival at BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops

Thompson Okanagan

Wildlights Festival

Wildlights Festival at the BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops – From Dec. 16 through Jan. 6, 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.

Animal encounters include ‘feed an elk’ and ‘meet a reptile’. Children will be able to visit the goats and everyone will have fun at Scrooge’s Scavenger Hunt which includes fun and festive challenges. Wear you ugly Christmas sweater as there’s a daily contest for an annual pass to the Wildlife Park. The younger kids will especially enjoy a visit from the park’s special guest, Uncle Chris the Clown. There’s so much more so check it out.

Lights at Kamloops Wildlights Festival Held at BC Wildlife Park

Lights at Kamloops Wildlights Festival Held at BC Wildlife Park

Craft Culture Holiday Market

Craft Culture Holiday Market at Prospera Place, Kelowna – This 6th annual two day-only event on Dec. 8 and 9 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.

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.  The 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 coloring.  Or grab some friends and enjoy a glass of wine (or two) while strolling the colourful aisles and stalls, all while taking in the live entertainment.

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

Kootenay Rockies

Ski with Santa at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden

Ski with Santa at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden

Ski with Santa

Ski with Santa, in Golden, BC – 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 ski down the mountain with him as he makes his way down to his famous sleigh (near the skating rink at the Learning & Adventure Centre).

Ski with Santa happens on Dec. 22 and 23 all day long.

Rossland Winter Carnival | Photo Ryan Flett via Facebook

Rossland Winter Carnival | Photo Ryan Flett via Facebook

Rossland Winter Carnival

Rossland Winter Carnival – an annual event since 1898! From January 24 – 27 there is something for everyone.

Bobsledding, ice skating, a carnival parade and variety show are just a few of the activities that will get you in the spirit. A carved ice bar, the Blizzard Music Festival, lots of excellent food offered by Rossland eateries and restaurants. All this set amid a stunning winter landscape including snow statues carved by the world-famous Slocan Snow Sculptures. Make plans to come to Rossland this winter.

Published: November 22, 2018


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

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989