Catch The Spirit At Holiday Events Throughout The Thompson Okanagan
By Marc Smith.
Deck the halls, ring the sleigh bells and light the Menorah the holiday season is upon us. Cities across the region are celebrating with festive glee and we’ve put together a list of some of the events taking place that you won’t want to miss.
Don’t just stay in your own city either, brave the roads and explore the magic that is right in your own backyard. It’s a great opportunity to visit friends and build memories with your family.
I’ve made my list, what’s on yours? Here are just some of the festivities you may want to check out.
Holiday events in Kamloops and Sun Peaks Resort
Now till Dec 24th Gingerbread House Competition is ON! Check out the lobby of the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre and walk through all of the wonderful displays made by the contestants. Donations are accepted for the Kamloops Food Bank and you can vote for your favourite Gingerbread House.
Dec 7, 8, 14 and 15th head to Sun Peaks Resort and take in the Holiday Artisan Market. Local artisans offering fine and functional work including textiles, wood, ceramics, photography, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more will be on display. Leave crowded mall shopping and mass produced items behind and step into a world of creative wonder and delight this holiday season!
Dec 17th it’s a Choral Rhapsody when nine local choirs take the stage at the Sagebrush Theatre and serenade the audience with Christmas carols. Warm up your voice beforehand as sing-a-longs between performances are encourage. This is free to attend with donations accepted for the Kamloops Food Bank.
For a full listing of what’s happening in Kamloops and area check out the calendar of events here.
Holiday events in Kelowna and area
Now till Jan 4th experience the Festival of Trees at Mission Hill Family Estate. As in past years, Mission Hill’s beautiful estate will be transformed into a dazzling forest of brilliantly decorated trees that evoke the colours, fragrances, and wonder-inducing spirit of the season. You are invited to vote for your favourite tree in the form of a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Dec 6th and 12th at 7pm feel the spirit move you at St Paul’s United Church Christmas Concert. A musical Christmas celebration featuring Pepper Choplin’s Go Sing It On the Mountain, with Choirs directed by Sylvia Clerke. A beautiful evening of Christmas music, not to be missed! Admission by goodwill offering.
Dec 7th and 8th shop till you drop at the Craft Culture Holiday Market at Prospera Place. Entering their 7th year, the event features over 175 carefully selected artisans and crafters from BC and beyond, ranging from unique housewares to children’s toys. Admission is only $5 and children under 12 get in for free.
Dec 8th watch the Tree light up at Uptown Rutland Christmas Light Up it’s fun for the whole family and free to attend.
Dec 13th and 14th Tube with Santa and Skate with Santa. Take your pick or even better do both. From 5 to 7pm have fun on the slopes and the ice rink with Jolly Saint Nick himself. Both events take place at Big White Ski Resort and all you need to Tube with Santa is a tubing pass while the skating is 100% free, just bring your own skates or rent a pair on site.
Dec 18th till 22nd experience the Winter Magic at Gellatly Nut Farm. Celebrate the wonder of winter and enjoy lights in the nut orchard at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park. This event is free and you don’t have to register. Festivities on December 21 and 22 include carolers, hot chocolate (bring your own mug), and tours of the Farm House by Gellatly Nut Farm Society volunteers. Or, take a self-guided tour of the lights from December 18 to 20.
for a full listing of holiday events in the Kelowna are check out Tourism Kelowna’s event calendar here.
Holiday events in Penticton
Dec 7th line the streets for the annual Santa Claus Parade. Wear your favourite Christmas outfit and bring your chair to the downtown core to watch this great parade! It starts at 4:30pm and is free to watch.
Dec 17th A Christmas wish comes true with catastrophic repercussions in O Christmas Tea. For one night at the Cleland Theatre. An astonishing show that delights the hearts of thousands every holiday season.
For a full listing of what’s happening in Penticton check out the calendar of events here.
Holiday events in Osoyoos/Oliver
Dec 22nd experience a traditional European Christmas Market. Presented by Oliver Eats ltd it will include local makers/artisans at an outdoor market, music, Black Sage Butcher, BarBQ and deli service.
Holiday events in Vernon
Now til Dec 24th shop the Artsolutely Artisan’s Market at the Vernon Community Arts Centre open daily. Artsolutely is an annual shopping extravaganza and Vernon’s one-stop shop for fun and unique hand-made holiday gifts. Featuring over 25 of the North Okanagan’s best artisans. You’ll find pottery, paintings, glass art, fibre arts, jewellery, ornaments, wood products, metal work, natural products, and more!
Now till Dec 31st visit the Historic O’Keefe Ranch for Sleigh rides, Victorian Christmas, Mistletoe and Glow dancing lights, and lots more fun for the whole family. Make sure to check out the website for opening dates and hours plus you can purchase tickets in advance. Prices range depending on the activity but range from $8 to $21. Kids under 3 are free.
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Dec 8th and 15th at 2pm enjoy Mackie Lake House’s Merry Little Christmas Teas. Get in the holiday spirit with a traditional Tea (delicious finger sandwiches, tasty scones, and delightful pastries) all while listening to live music in this beautifully decorated historic home. Tours of the historic home are included and the cost is $45 per person.
Wishing everyone a happy holidays.
Featured image: Penticton Santa Claus Parade. Photo courtesy of Visit Penticton.