Tourism Kamloops/Dylan Sherrard

Rivers, Ranches, Ranges—and Reunions:
Memorable Family Experiences near Kamloops

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Summer’s here, and it’s time start planning this year’s family getaway. The challenge? Finding a destination that offers something to entice each member of the family. The solution? Kamloops. Well known for its outdoor adventure opportunities—think hiking, mountain biking, fishing, golf…the list goes on—Kamloops is home to some exciting surprises, too.

Things to Do For Families in Kamloops

A giant lake where you can enjoy family time on the water? Check. A place to soak up some local culture and get a history lesson? Check. Somewhere for mom and dad to relax over a glass of local craft beer or vino? Check. A way to get (safely) up close and personal with some of BC’s native wildlife? Kamloops has that, too.

Whether you decide to make your family vacation all about together time, or to divide and conquer along lines of  common interests, there’s plenty to see and do.

Heffley Lake | Tourism Kamloops/Justin Moore

Hit the lake

Summers in Kamloops can get pretty hot, and Kamloops Lake is the perfect place to cool off. Bruker Marina has an impressive rental fleet that includes everything from paddleboards and peddle boats to an 18-person double-decker with a slide.

Northeast of Kamloops, you can drop some floaties into Paul Lake, or if you need rentals, Heffley Lake, where Paddle Surfit offers stand-up paddleboards, including a family-sized board that will hold up to eight people.

BC Wildlife Park | Tourism Kamloops/Mary Putnam

Bond with BC Wildlife

The animal lovers in your group won’t want to miss the BC Wildlife Park, a rehabilitation and rescue centre. Residents of this expansive park include the four-legged (think: bears, bison, wolves, porcupines, lizards, even a camel), the eight-legged (who doesn’t love a tarantula?), the no-legged (read: things that slither) and several winged creatures, from swans and geese to birds of prey. Travelling with kids? Ask about the family rate.

Battle Bluff in Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park | Tourism Kamloops/Field & Forest

Discover Kamloops' trails

Active members of the fam will want to check out Kamloops’ scenic hiking trails—the view from Battle Bluff is a stunner. Or take to two wheels along mountain bike trails ranging from cross-country rides through Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands to adrenaline-filled descents at the Kamloops Bike Ranch, Canada’s largest municipal bike park.

Kids and grownups alike will love the sights—cowboy style—at Erin Valley Riding Stables on a wrangler-led trail ride on horseback.

Kamloops Art Gallery | Tourism Kamloops/Dylan Sherrard

Learn about the area's history

To add an educational component to your stay, check out the Kamloops Museum and Archives. The museum documents the city’s history with more than 20,000 artifacts, and admission is by donation. The Kamloops Art Gallery is the largest of its kind in BC’s Interior, and it boasts a dozen exhibitions each year in addition to its permanent collection. Take a tour for added context and insight; visit on a Thursday for free admission.

Need a little sustenance to keep you going? Wednesdays and Saturdays, visit the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market for fresh, local treats, or plan your next move over a cone at Scoopz Ice Cream Parlour.

Sun Peaks Resort | @justingeraldmoore

Get above it all at Sun Peaks

Get above it all and enjoy the refreshing temperatures and 360-degree views from Sun Peaks, about 45 minutes northeast from Kamloops by car. Here you’ll find three mountains that surround a European-style, pedestrian-only village, making it easy to get around with young ones.

With loads to do here, plan for a day trip or spend the night so you can take your time enjoying your visit and outdoor activities like lift-accessed hiking and alpine sightseeing. You can even try to fit in a round of family golf at Canada’s highest-elevation 18-hole golf course.

Harper's Trail Winery / Andrew Strain

Enjoy the local food scene

When it’s time for a proper meal, you have plenty of options. If the opportunity presents itself, Mom and Dad can sit in the sun and enjoy a glass of wine from one of four local wineriesHarper’s Trail is where it all began—or a craft beer or cider at one of several local hot spots.

For a family-friendly spread, consider starting your day with a hearty breakfast at Cora Breakfast & Lunch or Amsterdam Restaurant. Other mealtime options include Scott’s Family Restaurant, Harold’s Family Dining, or get a pie to go from BOLD Pizzeria (who doesn’t love pizza?) and head to a park to dine al fresco.

Where to Stay

An important part of every family vacation is choosing the right accommodation. Some great options in the city include Hampton Inn by HiltonComfort Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn & Suites, and Scott’s Inn Kamloops.

Want to sleep under the stars? Kamloops has a range of private and provincial campgrounds to choose from, too.

Have a look at this list of Kamloops accommodation properties for more options. The list can be filtered to meet your family’s particular needs.

For information about getting here, visit Tourism Kamloops and see a directory of what’s currently open.

To plan an adult-oriented trip packed with outdoor adventures, see our Guide to Kamloops.



Feature Image: Kenna Cartwright Park. Photo: Tourism Kamloops/Dylan Sherrard

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