Holiday Events in the Okanagan: A List Designed to Excite Even the Biggest Scrooge
By Lesley Buxton
The weeks leading up to the holidays can be frantic—there are office parties, school concerts, dance recitals, holiday baking and of course, shopping. It can be so overwhelming one begins to feel like Scrooge. These upcoming events are guaranteed to banish those bah-humbug feelings and allow you time to focus on what really makes this season special.
For the Family
There’s nothing better during the holidays than watching the kids enjoy themselves. Here are some ideas guaranteed to make them smile.
Enjoy the festival of lights on December 5th at the Vernon Museum and Archives with Rabbi Shmuly Hecht. This family friendly celebration will include the opportunity to try traditional Hanukkah latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyah (doughnuts). There will be live music, a raffle, and traditional Hanukkah gifts for the kids. The event kicks-off the eighth Okanagan’s Annual Chanukah Tour across the Valley.
On Saturday December 8th take the kids on an adventure in an enchanted forest at Kelowna’s Camp Dunlop. Enjoy a bonfire with hot cocoa and marshmallows, Christmas crafts, and a scavenger hunt. This fabulous event supports Thrive Kids, a nature-based, out-of-school care program.
Enjoy a Victorian Christmas at Vernon’s historic O’Keefe Ranch on Sunday December 9th. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, try roasted chestnuts, freshly baked cookies and listen to the carolers.
Avoid the cold and play Lego with Santa on Saturday December 15th at Vernon’s Teach and Learn Centre, the Okanagan’s oldest educational toy store. This fun filled morning includes a movie, a hot dog lunch, and a secret surprise from Santa.
Santa will be making a guest appearance at Penticton’s popular Lakeside Resort on Friday December 21st. Bring the kids and enjoy a festive holiday-style buffet with him. The afternoon features live entertainment, including all your favorite carols.
A Christmas show is a great way to celebrate the season. Back by popular demand, on December 1st at Kelowna Community Theatre, is Oh What A night—The Christmas Show. This tribute style show, honouring Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, features Christmas musical classics by the late great Andy Williams such as: “Jingle Bells”, “White Christmas”, and everyone’s favorite “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.
Another exciting Kelowna theatrical event is A Charlie Brown Christmas playing at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on December 8th. This family-friendly show is a timeless classic that, for many, epitomizes Christmas.
In Vernon the Charles Dicken’s favourite A Christmas Carol gets a western twist as Vancouver actor Dave Longworth plays Jeb, the Scrooge-like old cowboy. This retelling of the classic is in town for one-night-only on Saturday, Dec. 15th so hurry, seating is limited.
In Penticton, theatregoers will love what’s on offer. On December 11th at the Cleland Community Theatre it’s A Louisiana Hayride Christmas, a night of country Christmas standards with appearances by Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison. If you love old-time country, you won’t want to miss this. Also at this venue, O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy on December 19th. This hilarious show is guaranteed to be a hit with fans of British Comedy.
For the Adults
Sparkling wine and holiday celebrations go hand-in-hand. Join the folks at Kelowna’s QB Gelato for Sparkle on December 5th for an evening of Summer Hill Pyramid Winery’s sparkling wines and delicious hand-crafted gelatos made for the occasion and expertly paired by wine maker Eric Von Krosigk.
There’s nothing more grown-up than the blues. On December 8th join Uncle Wiggly and the Hot Shoes Blues Band at the Vernon Jazz Club for a special Christmas show. You’ll love these fabulous vintage holiday blues and R&B songs.
Ring in 2019 by dancing to the Okanagan’s favourite band the Yard Katz at Penticton’s Orchard House. For this event they’ll be joined by Laura Close and Chloe Shea, fresh BC Talent Award Winning performers. The special evening will feature a buffet, door prizes and a champagne toast at midnight.
The Okanagan is the perfect place to celebrate the holidays. There’s no place like it so go out and enjoy yourself. You’re bound to have a sensational time.