Exploring Vernon in the Winter

A Mix of Indoor & Outdoor Activities Makes Vernon a Great Place to Visit in the Snowy Season

While the Okanagan is beautiful in all seasons, the short days of winter, along with the occasional cloud inversion, can have a person searching for blue skies, or a fun indoor activity! Fortunately, if you are in the Vernon area, there are plenty of things to do to escape a grey, chilly day!

One of our favourite things to do in Vernon is head to the Okanagan Science Centre. The Science Centre is a great place to bring kids, allowing them to learn and blow off some steam. With multiple themed rooms, rotating exhibits and workshops, there are endless ways to enjoy the Centre. We love letting the kids loose in the activity room, whether it’s climbing the rock wall or seeing how far they can jump (in comparison to different animals) there’s lots for them to do! It’s also an affordable family activity.

Locals tip - If you purchase a season’s pass, you can use it at almost any Science Centre across North America, including Science World in Vancouver! Or, if you’re travelling from Vancouver or Edmonton and have passes to Science World, you can use them here!

 Another great indoor activity is a visit to one of the breweries, wineries or cideries. One of our favorite spots to stop is BX Press Cidery on East Vernon Rd. It’s a cozy tasting room with tons of local art and goodies to shop for. The staff are super accommodating and excited to give you a history lesson on the cidery and the region it lives in. BX Press does their best to keep all the ingredients local, seasonal and creative. I recommend the Hostler for a nice refreshing sip - but try them all!

 For the weekend warriors, looking to get some blue sky in their day, there is often a wonderful escape. Head up the hill, get above the clouds and enjoy the bluebird skies and snowy hills of Silverstar Mountain Resort. Only a 25-30 minute drive from downtown Vernon, this local gem is a great place to take a family. With affordable prices and plenty of non-skiing options, Silverstar a great choice. We love taking the kids for a skate or a zip on the tubes at Tube Town. There are great places to eat or to have a hot chocolate by a fire when you’re done flying down the hills. There is also a great shuttle service from lower parking lots, ensuring you will be able to get to the Village quickly, as well as Tube Town and Brewer’s Pond.

While you’re in the area, a stop at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre is a must. With 105km of beautifully groomed trails, it’s a paradise for anyone who likes to cross country ski, or snowshoe. You can rent gear right there, as well as take part in regularly scheduled lessons and workshops. Keep an eye out for wildlife and some stunning sunsets while you’re in the area. Yearly memberships are a great way to get your family out, but if you’re in town for a brief visit, a day pass is great way to go, and very affordable.

Be sure to catch at least one day of the Vernon Winter Carnival. This unique 10-day festival runs February 1 - 10 this year and has been serving the North Okanagan for over 50 years. This year’s theme is “A Pirate’s Carnival,” and will feature a large Chili Cookoff and the 10th annual Winter Carnival Blues Festival, as well as the ever-popular hot air balloons flying high above Vernon. There’s no question that regardless of your age, you’ll find something to enjoy. The energy is contagious, the joy is infectious and the community coming together is inspiring. Tickets for the big events are on sale here.

For more information and to plan your next trip to Vernon visit: TourismVernon.com.



Matt Ferguson is a BC born and raised photographer, currently living in Kelowna. When his camera isn't strapped to him, you can usually find him at the beach with his family, skipping rocks or if it's cold enough, strapping on some skates and hitting a frozen pond.

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