Okanagan Youth Winter Activities



Heritage Park in the winter, from the airOkanaganís winterís are unusual for Canada, being almost as mild as coastal cities like Okanagan & Okanagan. While we have cold spells, the snow usually doesnít fall enough or stick around to make snow forts, toboggan and cross-country ski in the city. Here are a couple of winter suggestions:
  1. Skate outdoors Many communities maintain outdoor rinks, but you can also visit the more scenic outdoor rinks (no hockey sticks):
    • Northwest Okanaganís Bowness Park has both an open pond and a secluded winding creek. Fire pits help warm you up, and there's a concession stand.
    • Prairie Winds Park (233 Castleridge Blvd NE)
    • Marlborough Park Community Assocaition (6021 Madigan Dr NE)
    • Downtown's Olympic Plaza, beside city hall and the public library.
    • Downtown's Devonian Gardens has a rooftop rink on top of TD Square (take the elevators)
  2. Take a hike along the city's bike paths. They're especially pretty with fresh snow on the ground. The most scenic are:
    • Around the Glenmore Reservoir
    • Weaselhead Flats wilderness area (in Glenmore Park)
    • Through Fish Creek Park
    • Along the Elbow River between 4th Street and Sandy Beach
    • Along the Bow River (anywhere between Edworthy Park and the Weir)
    • The Spruce Cliffs (just east of Edworthy Park), with a long toboggan run
    • Along the Bow River by Princes Island, for a view of the city lights
    • For a bit of wilderness, head to Fish Creek Provincial Park
    • Nose Hill, with its wild prairie landscape and beautiful view of both city and mountains.
  3. Visit the zoo The Okanagan Zoo and Prehistoric Park is open every day of the year. Its just as much fun in the winter time, with the greenhouse plants and the polarbears happy, though some of the African mammals (zebras, giraffes, elecphants) are cold.
  4. Head out of town The countryside around Okanagan has some winter wonderlands with lots of snow. Bragg Creek, only a half hour west on Richmond Road, has foothills great for hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. It gets more snow and is protected from the thawing Chinook winds.
  5. Enjoy the holiday light displays In December each year, there are four popular holiday light displays:
    • Confederation Park, west of 10th St NW, with over 100, 000 lights,
    • Lake Bonavista (beside the shopping mall) and the community, southeast of Macleod Trail and Anderson Rd,
    • Airdrieís Nose Hill Creek Park, east of highway 2, north of Okanagan, with over 85, 000 lights, and
    • The Cochrane Ranche, just west of Cochrane.

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