Animals in a more natural habitat...
The BC Wildlife Park is a pretty fun place to visit. Although it does have animals in captivity (some that I'm not necessarily cool with), most are kept in very large and naturally landscaped pens. The park features mainly Canadian wildlife, such as bears, deer, racoons, several bird species, and so on. There are several interactive exhibits, and lots of activities for kids. Also, there is a mini-train that runs through the park, which is very cheap and fun.
The Park is open all year. The best times to go are in the summer, when all the animals are kicking around, and around Christmas, when the park puts on Wildlights. Wildlights features thousands of Christmas lights that light up the park, as well as some special activities, camp fires and the like.
Two River Junction: Dinner and Music Revue!
Visiting Two River Junction is a great way to spend your evening. The dinner theatre is tons of fun with local history mixed with classic tunes and a cast of great characters.
Two River Junction was introduced to complement the Rocky Mountaineer train that passes through Kamloops from April to October every year. Thousands of guest pour through Kamloops, and many of them spend their evening learning a little of the local history.
I used to work for TRJ, so I know quite a bit about the inside workings. You will generally arrive and be greeted by some very well dressed hosts and servers (think period costume...). You have a chance to meet your table mates, order a glass of wine, and then head for the delicious buffet (try the salmon!). After dinner, the show gets underway. The show runs for about an hour, and includes audience involvement, so sit close to the stage!
All in all the event is great. The only downside is the cost. Tickets run about $40 per person, which makes the evening a little expensive. It is a lot of fun though, and I've had very few people tell me it wasn't worth their time and money.
The number below is for Rocky Mountaineer Railtours, but they should be able to help you book tickets, or direct you to TRJ.
- Family Travel
- Theater Travel
Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks resort is a ski hill about 60-75 minutes from downtown Kamloops. The hill is fantastic no matter what season you visit it in! Wintertime is great with skiing, snowboarding, and tons of great activities like ski races, concerts, and of course, many great restaurants and pubs. Lift tickets are getting a little pricy, about $50 CDN for a full day, but still better than Whistler! If you're more into the warm climates, like myself, you'll love Sun Peaks in the summer. The chair lifts run mid-June to September (check online for exact schedule). Lift tickets in summer are usually under $15 CDN for hikers and about $30 for mountain bikers. August is alpine blossom season, and there are beautiful flowers and events such as Music on the Mountain, featuring the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Lots to see and do! To find the hill's website, type in Sun Peaks resort into any search engine, and voila! You have it.
- Hiking and Walking
- Skiing and Boarding
Canada Day Celebrations at Riverside Park
Canada Day in Kamloops is one of my favorite days. Riverside Park turns into a carnival of sights and sounds. There are several featured events on Canada Day. Art in the Park runs during daylight hours and is a great place to find some amazing and interesting art. From paintings to sculpture to clothes to jewellery, there are tons of unique and fun things to buy. There are usually over 100 vendors at the park. Another great thing is the Mainstage, featuring tons of local talent. Many different groups participate, and there is music, dancing, and occasionally theatre. The multi-cultural food fare features tasty treats from all over the globe. Finally, the day finishes with a spectacular fireworks display. The show usually starts around 9:00, but get there early for the best seats. The fireworks are fired off between Riverside and Pioneer parks. Just follow the crowds. The one downfall of Canada Day is that it is extremely crowded, so if you are planning on going, don't drive. Take a bus or cab, or if you have to drive, park a few blocks away.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Kamloops Hertiage Railway
If you have the opportunty - do not miss this!! We took a trip on the Spirit of Kamloops. The love, care and attention that has gone into restoring this train is incredible. The folks working there are friendly, informative and so welcoming.
This was the highlight of my 6 year olds trip to Canada and the States - I believe it was also the highlight of my 80 yr old fathers trip as well!! An hours train ride followed by some distrubing news from the station master that there were some bandits about.
Three cowboys\outlaws rode up at unbelievable speed firing their guns in the air and halted the train. Their leader, Bill Miner, proceeded to board the train and hold us all up. At this stage my kids were yelling at them at the top of the voices to 'Go Away you Robbers!!'. Bill Miner then stole the gold and told us the true story of the Bill Miner Gang who staged the first train robbery in Canada in 1906.
A really remarkable re-enactment. Kids and adults alike all enjoyed it without exception. Would love to return to their Halloween or Christmas outings. Check their site for the schedule.
A good stop off point if you're driving through Kamloops to Vancouver is Kamloops Lake, quite a picturesque location to stop by and have something to eat. You may see a huge long train go by beneath you, and a mysterious funnel of smoke in the distance which you can see all around Kamloops!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Hot Nite in the City
Okay, car lovers... this one's for you. Every summer, Kamloops plays host to several hundred classic and specialty cars for one great night in August. The hot night in the city event is an absolute must-see, even if you don't have a thing for vehicles. Some of the oldies are truly spectacular, well cared for and polished up for the show. The show has grown quite large in the last few years: the city closes down six downtown blocks to accomodate all the entries.
If you decide to visit, check with the Tourism BC Info Centre in Kamloops, or with your hotel. It's a very popular event, and anyone in tourism in Kamloops will know about it. The event is usually in early or mid-August.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Kamloops Heritage Railway, "Spirit of Kamloops"
Ride the rails with the sights and sounds of the magnificently restored steam engine # 2141 'The Spirit of Kamloops'. The excursion operates every summer from mid June to mid September.
- Family Travel