Top 8 Things To Do in Kelowna in Winter | 2023 Guide
Top 8 Things To Do in Kelowna in Winter 2023 - 2024
Looking for things to do in Kelowna in Winter? Need Kelowna date ideas in winter?
There’s no reason to let the cold weather keep you stuck inside. Kelowna, BC, Canada is a winter wonderland with no shortage of fun activities and adventures. Whether you’re planning a trip to Kelowna or you’re already living here, check out our list of things to do in Kelowna, what to see in Kelowna during winter, and winter activities to keep you entertained, fit, and jolly throughout winter 2023 - 2024.
Don't let the cold weather keep you cooped up indoors. Kelowna, BC, Canada is a winter wonderland with plenty of fun activities and adventures to enjoy. Whether you're planning a trip to Kelowna or are already living here, be sure to check out our list of things to do in Kelowna in Winter, what to see in Kelowna in January, and winter activities to keep you entertained, fit, and jolly throughout 2023 and into the 2024 winter season.
1. Go Outdoor Ice Skating at Stuart Park | Kelowna Outdoor Rink
Stuart Park ice skating might be the most quintessentially Canadian activity in a Kelowna winter.
The Stuart Ice Rink, built in 2015, is open for free public ice skating from December to March every year. If you don’t own skates, an ice-skate rental truck is usually parked on Ellis Street at Stuart Park Kelowna around the holiday season. There’s even a cozy bonfire at this outdoor Kelowna skating rink so you can warm up between laps when the Kelowna winter weather gets cold.
2. Head Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding
It’s no secret that the Okanagan Valley has great ski hills. There are two excellent ski and snowboard resorts within one hour’s drive from Kelowna: Big White to the east via Highway 33, and Silver Star to the north via the town of Vernon. Big White and Silver Start have downhill ski tracks, cross country tracks, tubing, and ice skating.
Big White has the highest elevation, the most runs, and definitely has more terrain, but a lot of folks prefer Silver Star’s terrain - especially the challenging back side. Both hills have terrain for beginners and experts alike, and the truth is they’re both worth skiing if you’re in Kelowna during the winter. If you only have time for one, compare the daily snow reports.
Local Tip: In the Okanagan, we get weather inversions frequently in winter months. During weather inversion, Kelowna gets shrouded in clouds and fog - but it’s sunny with blue skies at the ski hills like Big White Ski Resort. It pays to be a mountain person during the winter!
3. Kelowna Cross Country Skiing and Skate Skiing
There are 3 great cross country ski clubs in the Okanagan with groomed skate skiing lanes, classic tracks, and nordic snowshoeing tracks. Keep in mind these are ski clubs and not ski resorts, which means you’ll want to pack a lunch.
Sovereign Lake Nordic Club is Canada’s largest nordic ski club with over 50km of wooded trails for beginners and experts alike, a lodge, and a resting cabin at the halfway point.Ski rentals and lessons are available through the club, but phone first to make arrangements. To get there, take Silver Star Rd out of Vernon then turn left on Sovereign Lake Rd.
Telemark Nordic Club offers the most challenging cross country terrain in the Okanagan and some spectacular views from Crystal Rim trail on a clear day. It’s also the Okanagan’s top biathlon track and regularly hosts competitions and family oriented events. Ski rentals and lessons are also offered through the club. elemark Nordic Club is located 15 minutes away from Westbank Centre via Glenrosa Rd.Phone: (250) 707-5925
Kelowna Nordic Ski - Take Highway 33 east from Kelowna for approximately 40 mins, then turn right on McCulloch Rd until you reach the parking lot. Be advised that thieves regularly patrol this parking lot, so do not leave any valuables unattended in your vehicle. Kelowna Nordic does not offer ski or snowshoe rentals, but you can rent from an outlet in town like Fresh Air Experience or Mountain Equipment Coop.
4. Get Cultured at a Kelowna Christmas Show or Holiday Event
Hear the beauty of the Okanagan Symphony, BC’s 3rd largest orchestra who is celebrating 60 years of music this season. Laugh, cry, or just enjoy a show at the Kelowna Community Theatre, which hosts plays, concerts, and special events through the winter. Be amazed by Ballet Kelowna, where athletic prowess meets grace through music and motion.
5. Play Indoors at the H20 Center!
The indoor H20 recreation centre is a great place to stay active while escaping from Kelowna’s winter cold. With hot tubs, pools, a gym, fitness classes, kids programs, and a daycare centre, there’s something for the whole family. The H20 Fitness + Adventure Centre is located south on Gordon Rd next to the Capital News Centre.
6. Go Christmas Light Touring in Kelowna, BC
If you’re Dreaming of a bright Christmas, make it a reality by touring Kelowna's gorgeous Christmas light displays with your friends and family. Some Kelowna neighborhoods that take great pride in their Christmas displays and put on quite the show.
These are some of the best places to go on a Kelowna Christmas light tour or Christmas tree tour:
- Kettle Valley
- Candy Cane Lane - Rutland
- Stuart Park Ice Rink - Downtown Kelowna
- Festival of Trees - Delta Grand Resort Hotel, Downtown Kelowna
- Festival of Trees - Mission Hill Winery, West Kelowna
- Gellatly Nut Farm - West Kelowna
- Black Mountain
- Lower Mission
Check out Castanet’s Parade of Lights for details on homes with this year’s best holiday light displays in Kelowna.
7. Horseback Riding, Snowshoing, and Great Views
For a true Canadian winter adventure, strap on a pair of snowshoes or get on horseback, then head into nature to enjoy the picturesque Okanagan scenery at a slower pace.
Myra Canyon Ranch is a horseback riding, bike rental, and vacation rental outfit that's located 20mins outside of Kelowna via June Springs Rd - next to the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Take a ride through a snowy forest on horseback or hike across the KVR trestles - all while enjoying stunning views of the Okanagan Valley.
Broken Rail Ranch is a Kelowna horseback riding tour company located 15 minutes from downtown via Bear Creek Rd in West Kelowna, British Columbia. Broken Rail Ranch offers guided horseback rides to stunning viewpoints overlooking the City of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.
Pegasus Riding School is located on Turnbull Rd. in Glenrosa, a West Kelowna neighborhood located 25 minutes drive from downtown Kelowna. Pegasus provides horseback riding lessons and guided trail rides that take you high into the mountains for stunning lake views.
Okanagan Stables is a horse riding service located outside of Oyama - 40 minutes drive from downtown Kelowna, BC. This family-oriented stable prides themselves on helping beginners learn to ride, but also caters to expert riders. Their stable uniquely lies on the frontier between dry grasslands and dense mountain forests overlooking Wood Lake and Winfield, British Columbia.
Bear Creek Provincial Park is open for adventurous hikers with sure footing and ample winter gear.
8. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Eating and drinking your way through Kelowna’s restaurants, breweries, cafes, and wineries is a winter adventure in and of itself – all while staying cozy, warm, and full of holiday cheer. Get a warm hot chocolate or mocha at the Bean Scene on Bernard, a longstanding Kelowna coffee institution then stroll through city park or relax inside. For winter wine tasting, check out The Westside Wine Trail in our daytrips guide.
Our favorite fine dining spots in Kelowna are Waterfront Wines, Bouchon’s French Bistro, and Krafty Kitchen + Bar. For casual, check out Earls on Top overlooking Kelowna CIty Park, or Cactus Club Cafe next to the Stuart Ice Rink.
Places to Go Out in Kelowna 2023
For festive drinks, head to Kelowna’s best cocktail bar at Raudz, grab a brew at neighboring Micro Bites, or have a margarita at Earl's. Some of Kelowna’s liveliest nightlife establishments over the holiday season are BNA Brewing Co., O’Flannigan’s Irish Pub, and Leopolds Tavern.