Loco Landing Bumper Boats
By Vancouver Camping Mom
Just a four-hour drive from Vancouver, Penticton is a lake city with small town charm, yet lots to do. We explored Penticton with our two kids, ages 7 (Fraser) and 3 (Douglas), for a week. It’s hard to choose our favourite activities so we left it up to them! Here goes.
An amusement centre at the end of Lakeshore Drive (on Riverside), this family-run spot is clean fun for all ages. The mini golf is our go-to activity but this summer we discovered their high-level ropes course and the go-karts. Budget $10 per adult per activity and about half that for the kids. Or better yet, buy an activity pass, which is good for multiple days with no expiry date. We wish we’d done this! Even after bumper boats, mini golf and go-karting, the kids begged to go back the very next day and try the Monkey Motion.
Fraser says: “The monkey swing is great, but also so are the go-karts”.
Douglas says: “My favourite is monkey business.”
It’s a boat, and a museum, with a model railway and beautifully curated exhibits of life on the steamship at the height of the CP Rail era (early 1900s). At $18 for a family of four, it’s affordable and your money goes towards preserving the site. Fun fact: SS stands for Steam Ship!
The Sicamous is about a two-minute walk from Loco Landing, so if you’re not staying nearby you could do Loco first and save this for some ‘quiet time’ afterwards.
Fraser says: “I love the real typewriter, I got to spell out my name!”
Douglas says: “The (model) trains really move and they go round and round.”
An award-winning beach with more than a kilometre of lovely sand, slides, and free parking. We recommend bringing a shade tent and some sand toys if you want to hunker down for a while. And if you’re driving (we walked) the parking tends to fill up fast. Big kids will enjoy playing on the Wibit inflatable playground on the lake ($25 for the day and an accompanying adult is free). There are many restaurants across the street, or visit the giant peach for legendary ice cream treats.
Fraser says: “You really should get here early for a good spot.”
Douglas says: “I like to throw rocks in the lake. Be careful to not hit people or fall in.”
It may not sound trendy but the local A&W serves real breakfast on plates with cutlery (and coffee in mugs). It’s affordable and it gets served up fast. They also have the usual breakfast sandwiches and fast food fare, but it sure is nice to have hot pancakes (or eggs and toast) in a sit-down setting when you’re getting ready for a day of adventure.
Fraser says: “Pancakes are really good, especially with syrup.”
Douglas says: “We can all sit at the same table.”
Another freebie, Penticton’s playgrounds are a great place to burn off steam (especially of the ice-cream induced variety). A favourite of ours is the Lakawana playground with adjoining train-themed waterpark, just across the street from Okanagan Lake Beach.
We wanted to visit Discovery Park at Skaha Lake but ran out of time – this ‘nature-based’ playground has boulders, balancing logs, a playhouse, swings, and water features. We’ll save this for our next visit.
Fraser says: “This playground has lots of trees and fun things and also swings.”
Douglas says: “It has a ship and it’s good for being a pirate.”
Honourable mentions go to: big kids tubing down the 7km Penticton River Channel with Coyote Cruises (they bus you back), and a drive out to Tickleberry’s ice cream in Okanagan Falls. Creating a top five was almost impossible!
Penticton is a safe, fun, and friendly place – but best of all it’s a virtual playground for the little people in your family. Even with a whole week in town we still have some things left to do. Have another spot to add? Comment below!
Published: September 6, 2017
Morgan was raised on camping by her father and maternal grandparents. A life-long Vancouverite, she is a tourism instructor at BCIT and Royal Roads University and a customer service trainer. Morgan lives in East Vancouver with her family and puts a heavy emphasis on family travel as a way to learn, grow, and reconnect.