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FAMILY

TRAVEL& ADVENTURE GUIDE

Tips and Resources for Local and International Travel

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FAMILY

TRAVEL& ADVENTURE GUIDE

Managing Editor Andrea Vance editor@westcoastfamilies.com

Advertising sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866

Assistant Editor Bianca Bujan bianca@westcoastfamilies.com

Contributors Andrea Vance Bianca Bujan Tara Jean Stevens Jen Mallia Michele Kambolis

Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson jodi@westcoastfamilies.com Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso studio@westcoastfamilies.com Administration Jennifer Bruyns admin@westcoastfamilies.com Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule finance@westcoastfamilies.com

For distribution inquiries, please email publisher@westcoastfamilies.com All contents copyrighted Š. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

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4 Kayanara Ranch With Kids 6 Top 5 Spring Getaway Destinations For Families and Where to Go Instead 8 Bellevue: A Beyond-The-Border Escape 10 Palm Springs: 5 Kid-Friendly Places To Play 11 Lessons Learned: Long-term Travel With Kids 12 Kamloops Adventures 14 Spring Break Fun

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FAMILY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

KAYANARA RANCH WITH KIDS Go Off the Beaten Path and Enjoy the Outdoors in Southwestern BC by Andrea Vance Since the opening of the Coquihalla Highway in the 1980s, many of the tourist areas in Southwestern BC became left in the dust, in favour of the more easily accessible areas. This summer, we decided to ditch the #5 and head along the roads now less travelled to see what we could find. What we discovered was was a historical treasure with breathtaking scenery. We did some research, looking for a destination where we could stay in our RV trailer and enjoy the outdoors, and still have the experience of a true guest ranch. We stumbled on Kayanara Ranch and knew we had found just the spot. It’s a fairly long drive at five and a half hours from Vancouver, but the landscape and history you pass along the way make the drive completely worthwhile. Historical Yale, Lytton, Spences Bridge, and Cache Creek are just some of the hidden gems to discover along the way. Anyone who grew up in Southwestern BC will remember these as places as summer stops, driving and exploring on your way up to Kamloops, Banff, or beyond. Driving this route means taking Highway 1 as it meanders along the Fraser Canyon, and the scenery is absolutely spectacular. We were smitten with the historical ranch houses and old churches perched on hills overlooking valleys and the mighty Fraser. The highway is not always for the faint of heart, as the roads are narrow and winding in many spots - but that’s part of the appeal. As we drive through 100 Mile House, we turn off to head towards Canim Lake and the Kayanara Guest Ranch. It’s a little further than we had anticipated along this dark road, and we’re happy the moon is bright to light our way. Already, we can tell we love this part of BC, known as the Cariboo Chilcotin region.

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We pull through the Kayanara gates at about 8pm - easy to find, even in the dark. We find our RV site with no problem, and right away, owners Daniel and Cornelia are walking out to greet us. They are lovely, having moved here from Switzerland, after buying the ranch that is 220 acres of forest, river and pasture. We choose a spot that is easy to pull into and are greeted by two beautiful horses in the pasture next to us. The kids are in heaven. The next day we explore - and there is so much (and so little) to do. There is no cell

service here, and the wifi is spotty, forcing us to unplug and relax. During our three nights at Kayanara, we found beautiful adventures. We rode mountain bikes around the trails and up the road to a viewpoint of Canim Lake. We took the kids on a guided horse ride through the forest trails. The kids played on the playground and made up games. They watched the horses and cows for hours every day. We even spotted a couple of red foxes that live in the cow pasture! We climbed hay bales, and played horseshoes. We fed chickens,


and watched the horse’s shoes get changed. There was no planned entertainment, yet there was no shortage of things to do. It was calm and exhilarating at the same time. A highlight was the day we decided to take a canoe trip down Eagle Creek. Daniel drove us in the “PapaMobile” (named by his granddaughters) and a side-by-side ATV with the canoe towing behind. We made our way along the bumpy main trail through the forest to a spot along the back of the property where we could put the canoe in the creek. It was just us - two kids and two adults, paddling and relaxing for more than an hour of a winding, peaceful river. Where the winding river passes the main resort, you can stop and end your paddling cruise, or you can continue on to Canim Lake and paddle a few kilometres up the shoreline to a resort where Daniel will meet you with the truck to take you back to the ranch. In warmer, nicer weather, we would have really enjoyed this extra portion. On this day the last hour was a challenge for all but we persevered the choppy waters and ended the day on a high note.

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Kayanara is set up for guests to bring their own food for preparation in the cabins or RVs - with one exception. Daniel and Cornelia prepare a gorgeous breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, cereals and fruit that is worth visiting at least one morning. Whether you bring your own RV, rent one of the beautiful cabins, or stay in one of the suites, this place will expose its magic to you one layer at a time. The Cariboo-Chilcotin area is filled with history and amazing landscapes, and Kayanara fits in perfectly. From the rolling hills to the 19th century Hudson Bay Company cabin, to the horse roaming the grounds, to the foxes in the fields, the ranch is full of surprises and beauty. Speaking to Daniel one day, he told us that most of his guests come from Europe and afar. We’re thinking now that you’ve seen a glimpse of this place; you’ll want to visit too.

What to do at Kayanara Ranch: • Horseback riding • Canoeing • Kayaking

• Fishing • Hiking

• Snowmobiling

• Biking

• Cross-country skiing

• Snowshoeing

What to know before you go: There are few facilities nearby, so bring everything you will need for meals and beverages. The clubhouse has lots of movies to watch if you’re looking for a little entertainment one evening. The river trip is well worth it, but only continue past the resort and onto Canim Lake if you are up for a bigger adventure. The wifi is very spotty, and there is no cell service. Be prepared to unplug. www.kayanara.ch

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FAMILY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

TOP FAMILY GETAWAYS And Where to Go Instead by Bianca Bujan Here in BC, we love our winter weather - skiing the slopes of our local hills, tossing snowballs and building snowmen in our front yards, and warming up with hot cocoa on chilly evenings. But as the snow melts and we head into March, most of us are ready to feel the sun on our faces once more. By the time the winter weather begins to warm, families are in a frenzy to find some fun in the sun, but figuring out where to go can be a challenge. While your friends are travelling to the top hot spots this spring, escape the crazy crowds and inflated prices and head to these warm-weather getaway destinations instead.

TOP BC GETAWAY: VICTORIA WHERE TO GO INSTEAD: PARKSVILLE Featuring harbour views, quaint shops, and a diverse range of dining options, BC’s capital city is a popular place for Lower Mainland locals looking for a close-to-home getaway. But just over a two hour’s drive from Victoria’s Swartz Bay ferry terminal (or only 30 minutes from Nanaimo), you’ll find the city of Parksville There’s so much family fun to enjoy in and around the Parksville area. Gaze at the “goats on a roof” at the Coombs Old Country Market, take a hike through Cathedral Grove (located in MacMillan Provincial Park), which boasts an accessible collection of the biggest and oldest Douglas firs in Canada, creep through the caves at Horne Lake Caves, or simply stroll along the endless sand beaches during low tide and enjoy the wonderful West Coast views.

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TOP US GETAWAY: LOS ANGELES WHERE TO GO INSTEAD: VENTURA Drawn by Disney, many families opt for LA when visiting the US, but there are so many beautiful beachfront getaways along the coast of California that provide fun for the whole family - and for a fraction of the price. Venture beyond LA and head to Ventura County Coast, where you can enjoy a beachy break without the big spend. Comprised of the charming towns of Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo and Port Hueneme, and only a one hour’s drive up the coast of California from LA, Ventura County Coast is a quiet oasis that is more than worth the trek. Spend a day at Ventura Harbour Village - the go-to spot for beachfront eats, where you can satisfy your sweet tooth and snap an Insta-worthy photo of the one-of-a-kind taiyaki cone from Coastal Cone Ice Cream. Take a spin on the indoor carousel, play some oldschool arcade games, and shop along the boardwalk. Then, catch a wildlife cruise that takes you from Ventura Harbour to Anacapa Island, where you can spot harbour seals, dolphins, sea lions and a wide variety of whales along the way.


TOP CARIBBEAN DESTINATION: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WHERE TO GO INSTEAD: BARBADOS The Dominican Republic is best known for its beautiful beaches and affordable all-inclusive resorts, but if you’re looking to venture beyond the beach and truly immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine of the Caribbean, head to Barbados instead. Barbados may be a much smaller Caribbean island, but the region has a big personality. Get a taste of the “culinary capital of the Caribbean” with a local food tour through Bridgetown with Lickrish Food Tours, where you can sample all of the Bajan dishes loved by locals, while learning about the history of the island. Explore the unique limestone caves at Harrison Caves, and then hop on a Barbados Fishing Charter tour and roam the ocean while watching locals reel in the catch of the day.

TOP MEXICO DESTINATION: CANCUN WHERE TO GO INSTEAD: XPU HA Avoid the spring break crowds of the popular Cancun resort strip and head an hour and a half out of town to the beautiful beaches of Xpu Há, located along the Mayan Riviera in southeastern Mexico. Sandwiched between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Xpu Há is home to the Barcelo Maya Grand Resort - a world-class, all-inclusive beachfront resort that has something for everyone, including an on-site amusement park and go-kart track, waterslides, and 2kms of fully-private pure sand beaches. Venture off the property and take a dip in Cenote Hubiku, one of the biggest and most beautiful sinkholes in the area. Take a tour of the pyramids in Chichen Itza, and marvel at the mayan ruins that sit on the site, a historical landmark that is over 1,500 years old.

TOP HAWAII DESTINATION: MAUI WHERE TO GO INSTEAD: KAUAI Many West Coasters make Maui an annual vacation spot, and it’s no wonder why with the laid-back lifestyle, miles of beaches, and palate-pleasing food options. But for those who are looking to leave the crowds behind and experience Hawaii in a more adventurous way, Kauai is the place to stay. Known as “The Garden Isle”, Kauai is rich with horticultural havens. Take an immersive tour through Allerton Garden, the filming location for such Hollywood hits as Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean. Sail past waterfalls, lush valleys, 3,500-foot-tall cliffs, gaping sea caves, and private beaches on a catamaran snorkelling tour along the Nāpali Coast, and then jet over the jaw-dropping, jagged cliffs that line the island on a helicopter tour, soaring over Waimea Canyon (known as “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), and counting waterfalls as you fly over acres upon acres of untouched landscape.

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FAMILY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

BELLEVUE A Beyond-The-Border Escape by Andrea Vance A fun-filled family getaway that isn’t a long drive, and won’t break the bank, Bellevue is a vibrant, modern city surrounded by rolling hills, lakes, and outdoor recreation. This is the gateway to Puget Sound, where you can wander through Woodinville Wine Country, shop and dine downtown, or explore the surrounding parks and beaches.

WHERE TO STAY The Hyatt Regency Bellevue is a fabulous, family-friendly hotel that will appeal to everyone. The rooms are gorgeous, and the lobby is impressive. The staff were great with the kids, and we felt welcome as soon as we walked in. We enjoyed a junior suite with an attached bedroom, which is a great setup for kids who have earlier bedtimes. This hotel even welcomes pets! There is a large indoor pool and fitness centre, but we didn’t even have a minute to check it out since we were so busy with our Bellevue adventures nearby. This hotel property was connected to the Bellevue Collection - Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, and Bellevue Place, providing lots of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment options without even stepping outside. Tip: Stay in a hotel near the downtown core to enjoy car-free adventures all weekend long. www.hyatt.com

WHAT TO DO Go Bowling at Lucky Strike Lanes This is no ordinary bowling alley. Lucky Strike Bellevue includes 16 lanes of luxury bowling with full food and cocktail service, WiFi,

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big screen TVs, and modern décor and seating. On the weekends, there’s dancing and DJs, and the arcade has more than 110 games to play, including motion simulators and fighting pods, alongside classic games like Pac Man and air hockey. This is a playground for all ages! Open til midnight, but it is 21+ after 8pm for the bowling, and after 10pm in the PowerPlay arcade. Tip: Save up your points from winning at the arcade to spend at the rewards counter www.luckystrikesocial.com

Visit Kelsey Creek Farm Home to ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, and waterfowl, this farm started back in the 1930s, and it’s just a few minutes from downtown Bellevue. This piece of paradise is a must-do if you’re visiting the area with kids (or even without), and want to spend some beautiful time outside. There are trails for walking, animals to visit, and lots to learn. We visited off-season in the late Fall, so things were a little quieter, yet we still managed to spend a couple of hours roaming the grounds, finding hidden treasures and fresh air. You can join tours, farm classes, or day camps during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. This truly is a treasure in Bellevue.


Tip: Bring your own water bottle and snacks. There are no food or drink offerings on site. www.farmerjayne.com

Check Out KidsQuest Children’s Museum This museum is just around the corner from downtown, with lots of parking in the nearby lot (if you get there early enough), and on the street. We could have walked here easily from our hotel. This attraction is full of exhibits and program fun for kids, especially for children aged 1-10 years old, and everything is hands-on. The adventure starts with the Atrium Climber, with ropes and webbing that take you three stories up until you reach the gorgeous Cloud Basket for playing and lounging. Parents, you’ll want to climb up too! We explored the water room, the city scape, and the transportation room, plus the outdoor space where you can stack and build with giant foam blocks. We had two hours here and the kids were still not ready to leave. Tip: Bring your own water bottle and arrive early to avoid the crowds. www.kidsquestmuseum.org

Reach for the Sky at iFLY Located about 20 minutes south of Bellevue, this spot was well worth the drive. One of the kids in our group was SO excited to go, and the other opted out before we even arrived, but by the end, both of them didn’t want to leave! The whole visit is about two hours long, starting with an orientation that takes you through the rules and safety information you’ll need. Unlike many orientations that often feel redundant, you will want to pay attention to this one to understand the hand signals, the instructor tips, and the steps involved to fly. The flying is only one minute long, and you get two flights with your introductory package. It sounds fast, but it really is enough time to get a feel for the flight, and it can tire you out quickly. The instructor is with you the entire time, helping to guide you to get the best out of the experience. Tip: Ask for the high flight, where the professional instructor takes you for a ride high up into the wind tunnel. Arrive early to watch the instructors put on a show. www.iflyworld.com

WHERE TO EAT Vivo53 With wood-fired pizza made from scratch, and signature pastas made in the theatre kitchen, the menu is sure to please. The setting is warm and authentic, making the whole evening feel like a fabulous night out. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. Tip: You have to try the INSANE SUNDAES. Words can’t do these justice, and one will satisfy the whole table. www.vivo53.com

Lunchbox Laboratory As a family full of burger fans, we were really looking forward to this dinner, and it did not disappoint. The milkshakes are hand spun with real ice cream, and you can even spike them with Kahlua, Irish Cream, or other liqueurs, or try one of the Boozie Shakes for fun - it’s a good thing you can walk back to the hotel! The burgers are served on organic buns, and feature Kobe beef, with options for veggie, fish or chicken eaters too. For average or smaller eaters, you can easily share a meal, or plan to share so that everyone can try a different burger to taste them all! Tip: Explore the Happy Hour menu, available from 3pm - 6pm each day, with many options just $5 (USD)! www.lunchboxlab.com For more information and resources on visiting Bellevue, head to www.visitbellevuewashington.com

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PALM SPRINGS 5 Kid-Friendly Places to Stay by Andrea Vance

1) Living Desert Visit this spectacular park just outside of Palm Springs and feed giraffes in this incredible space! The Living Desert was started in 1970 by local Palm Springs residents who were afraid that the local desert ecosystem would disappear because of over-development. There are 5 different deserts represented on the grounds, plus animals from hot spots all over the world. Check out the zebras and cheetahs, and feed the giraffes! There are wide walkways for strollers and kids, and a tram to shuttle you around. Be sure to bring lots of water, hats and sunscreen. www.livingdesert.org

2) Palm Springs Aerial Tram This mountain tram in the desert is worth the ride! The world’s largest rotating tram car, the Palm Springs Aerial Tram takes you twoand-a-half miles up the cliffs of Chino Canyon. Once you get to the top you can choose to take one of two paths - one that takes you to the lookout, the bar and restaurant, documentary theatre, and great views; or the one that takes you down the back to explore amazing hiking trails that range from easy to challenging in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, try both! Great for kids and adults of all ages. www.pstramway.com

3) Air Museum If your kids love planes, this is a great stop, and it’s rated as one of the top 14 air museums in the word! The collection of warplanes and modern planes is quite a sight, and some allow you to do some hands-on exploring inside too. The planes are spread out on a tarmac and in large hangars so you can escape the sun while you explore. There is a lot of history on display, and even as Canadians we found a lot of relevance to our own country and its aviation contributions.

5. Pioneertown

4) Joshua Tree National Park

For something totally different, try this western town, set in the desert hills. This isn’t just a movie set from the 1940s (although many films were made here). These buildings are real and lived in, with shops and services too. Free to walk around, the filming has dried up, but there are cute artsy shops to browse.

This is a must do for anyone in the area - it’s like no other park you’ve ever visited. Rock climbing and bouldering are popular activities to try, and they make great spectator sports, too. The photo opps are endless and you feel a real sense of calm and spirituality on these lands.

Pappy & Harriet’s is right next door, and definitely worth a stop for lunch. It’s a bar, a restaurant, a nightclub, and a barbecue pit all in one place. You’ll find people of all ages and interests here, from hardcore bikers, to families, and grandparents. It makes a spectacular peoplewatching spot, the kids love it, and the food is good too!

www.joshuatree.org

www.visitpalmsprings.com

www.palmspringsairmuseum.org

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FAMILY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

LESSONS LEARNED Long-Term Travel With Kids by Tara Jean Stevens Why did you bring us here?! That’s what my 6-year old son howled at me on Halloween night in 2018. We were on Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Ozzy was sobbing and begging to go home, but “home” was 12,000 KM away, and we had no plans on going back there anytime soon. 3 months earlier, I had left my job as a morning television host on Breakfast Television in Vancouver. My husband and I had hatched a plan to take our kids out of school and live in Sayulita, Mexico for a while. My parents had done that with me when I was a kid, and I wanted that same experience for Ozzy and my then 9-yearold daughter, Violet. However, the Mexico plan quickly morphed into a much bolder adventure that would take us around the world.

This impulsive, on-the-move style of travel worked for me when I backpacked through Europe in 1998. It had worked for my husband Derek when he backpacked through Southeast Asia in his twenties. However, different rules clearly apply when you’re travelling as a family with young children. Here are a few of the lessons that we learned along the way.

JET LAG IS REAL Most importantly, jet lag is painful and powerful, and it should be seriously accounted for when booking your first stop in a distant time zone. You wouldn’t want to sleep right through the day when you had pre-purchased tickets to visit The Louvre would you? We did. If I was to start this trip all over again, one thing I would NOT do is start the European leg of our journey in Paris. Sure, at the time that I had booked our inaugural flights, there was a droolworthy seat-sale that allowed us a cheeky, daylong stopover in Halifax. How can I ever say I regret taking the kids to Peggy’s Cove? But the decision to choose Paris - the most expensive city we were likely to visit - as the place for 4 people to collectively recover from a 9-hour time difference was overly ambitious.

TAXIS NOT TRANSIT

THE STEVENS FAMILY WORLD TOUR The Stevens Family World Tour began on September 1, 2018, with a flight from Vancouver to Halifax, and then on to Paris. Prior to leaving, the only accomodations I had pre-booked were our first 3 nights in France. During our entire trip, we rarely ever made definitive, non-refundable plans more than 10 days in advance. We were free birds, following our instincts, and hopping on trains on a whim.

By far, the most stressful times of our adventure were when we arrived in a new city by plane or train. Navigating some of the world’s most complicated transit networks with two kids, 4 backpacks, and 2 small suitcases was a real pressure cooker. It took us a couple of weeks to realize that, for a family of 4, there’s a better alternative. Hopping in a taxi, or booking a ride through our Airbnb host or hotel concierge, was ultimately cheaper - and even enjoyable.

LONG-TERM TRAVEL IS LONELY As our world tour progressed, we were surprised by the increasing sense of isolation we were all feeling. I thought we’d

be meeting so many new friends that we’d be beating them off with sticks! I thought we’d be accepting dinner invitations from grandmas in tiny towns with names that we couldn’t pronounce. Alas, this was not the case. By the time we made it to Thailand, we were officially lonely. We met one other travelling family, but it was a fleeting moment in a Bangkok food market. Although, in lieu of other kids to play with, Violet and Ozzy’s friendship and imagination flourished. I loved watching them explore the world together, usually hand in hand. It was this increasing loneliness that led to Ozzy’s tears on Halloween night. His previously valiant travel spirit was suddenly broken. Halloween was the first time since we left Canada that he was truly able to visualize what his friends were doing back home. We gave the kids Zombie makeup with my eyeliner and took them on a candy shopping spree, but that did little to console. Oz knew what he was missing: the trick-or-treating, the costumes, and even a sense of community and belonging. So, how did we ultimately deal with this problem of isolation? We. Came. Home. Yup - a trip that began with no end date lasted 3.5 months. Maybe it would have lasted longer if we’d stayed in one place for a month at a time. Maybe we should have just moved to Sayulita like we had originally planned. Maybe the kids would have enjoyed going to one of Bali’s International schools? In the end, the Stevens Family World Tour wrapped up after a total of 16 flights through 12 countries: Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. My kids are back in school now and they couldn’t be happier to be home. They are more confident, independent, and braver after having experienced this once-in-alifetime adventure. And what did they learn along the way? For Ozzy, one lesson is crystal clear: Never leave Canada during Halloween ever again!

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KAMLOOPS WITH KIDS 5 Adventures to Try During Your Stay by Jen Mallia

Located at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Coquihalla, lots of road tripping families are familiar with the pit stops and sights that can be found along the highway near Kamloops. If you haven’t stopped to explore beyond that (or for the requisite hockey tournaments held all season) you are missing out. Why not stop and discover why the Kamloops region is a great place for families to vacation? You might already be aware of the outdoor fun to be found in the Kamloops area, such as downhill mountain biking for the very adventurous, or exploring the 100+ lakes that can be found within an hour’s drive from town, but did you know about the only Kermode bear in human care, the surprise in store on the heritage train ride, or the best place to cool off with kids when the summer sun gets to be too much? Here are 5 adventures to try during your next visit to Kamloops with kids:

1) Get a little wild The BC Wildlife Park (9077 Dallas Drive, www.bcwildlife.org) is the perfect place to spend the day. Visit the host of animals that have been rescued (mostly due to injury or being orphaned at an age too young to care for themselves), and have found themselves in human care - including Clover, the only Kermode (Spirit) Bear to live in a sanctuary. Additionally, there is a fun playground with an aerie at the top where kids can get an eagle-eye view of the park, a funky industrial-style spray park with pipes shooting a cooling blast at every turn, and a maze to run through (roughly a zillion times if you are my kids). Take a tour of the 106 acres of the park on the little train to get the lay of the land, and if it’s not too busy and you ask very politely, they may even let you ring the bell!

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2) Join Bandits on the Rails

after the robbers escape. Learn from me: parents of children with sensitivity issues will want to prep them ahead of time.

Get your tickets ahead of time to reserve your spot on the Kamloops Heritage Railway (#3-510 Lorne Street, www.kamrail.com) which runs an 8km route in the summer on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

3) Opt for an air-conditioned escape

Look for a spot on the open-air cars as the enclosed cars can be very warm in the summer heat. The excursion kicks off with colourful can-can dancers and culminates with a surprise train robbery much like that of infamous Bill “The Gentleman Bandit” Miner. Note that it can be scary, and it is noisy; there is yelling, and blanks are shot

The desert climate of Kamloops can make for some heated afternoons, so you might want to find an air-conditioned spot to settle in for an hour or two. The Kamloops Children’s Museum is in the basement of the Kamloops Archives and Museum (207 Seymour Street www.kamloops.ca) and is the perfect spot to play and cool off.


For most of our visit, we were the only family in the thoughtfully laid out space. The exhibits upstairs are interesting too, but the real draw for my boys was the creative play centres in the Children’s Museum. They loved the wooden cabin and pioneer camp, the old-fashioned dress up clothes and puppets, and I think my eldest could have happily sat and built outlandish creations with the building toys for hours.

4) Do it for the ‘Gram Letting the kids go snap-happy with a camera phone in a particularly photogenic spot is a great way to engage their interest during a trip - I’ll leave whether or not the results are “insta-worthy” up to you. In Kamloops, you’ll want to wander the Back Alley Art Gallery. The outsized murals have been created by a handful of artists, with trompe-l’oeil scenes that make you feel like you could step from the alley into far-off lands, and vibrant colours splashed across the backs of downtown shops.

5) Get Outta Town Sun Peaks Resort is a massive ski resort about 60 kms from Kamloops, but the

pretty village holds summer season joy too. Hike one of the 18 trails (tip: alpine blossom season runs mid-July to mid-August) or take some time to explore in town. Strap into the bungee trampoline for a little adrenaline rush, pan for treasures at the mini Tod Mountain Mining Co., and take a ride on the pedal cars at the Go-Kart course. The gravity-fed mountain cross carts take the very brave for a rip down the hill - although you need to be at least 16 years old and hold

a valid driver’s license for that one. After the fun, you’ve earned a treat! There are several ice cream and candy shops for those inclined, or search out the freshlymade pastries and mini-doughnuts we were helpless to resist! Sun Peaks is close enough to Kamloops for a day trip, but there are lots of family friendly accommodation options like the Hearthstone Lodge (3170 Creekside Way, www.sunpeakscondos.com) if you want to extend your stay.

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FAMILY TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

SPRING BREAK Arts Umbrella Spring Break Camps

Canlan Ice Sports Spring Programs Head to one of the Canlan Ice Sports Centres for spring sports camps, including Extreme Ball Sports Camp (including kickball, flag football, volleyball, soccer, and touch rugby), and Olympic Spirit Week (which introduces participants to the sports played in the Olympics, including basketball, volleyball, and track and field). www.icesports.com

Carousel Theatre Camps Whether your child is a budding actor, or just curious about theatre, the Drama Camps offered through the Carousel Theatre For Young People encourages participants to tap into their imaginations, create their own stories, build up their self confidence, and make new friends. Choose from two camp themes: Grimm Fairy Tales, and Myths and Legends. www.carouseltheatre.ca

Through dance, theatre, and visual arts programs, kids can challenge their curiosities and stretch their artistic boundaries, while having fun in a creative and welcoming environment. Spring Break camps are offered in both the Granville Island and Surrey Arts Umbrella locations. www.artsumbrella.com

Britannia Mine Museum Bring the whole family to Britannia Mine Museum for a day of exploration. Participate in a family-friendly scavenger hunt, discover the social history of Britannia, enjoy hands-on experiences, and be sure to visit on March 16th for DIG Day. www.britanniaminemuseum.ca

Gulf of Georgia - Spring Break Mystery in the Museum Explore the historic cannery and find clues to solve the mystery of the missing fortune, ‘stolen’ from inside the safe of the Plant Manager’s Office, all set during the Great Depression in 1930. Best suited for children aged 7 - 10, this program will be available on a drop-in basis.

Burnaby Village Museum Spring Break Heritage Adventure Camp In a 1920s setting, children can play heritage games, try out toys from the past, decorate spring-themed cookies, listen to stories, and have fun with arts and crafts! For parents who need extended care during spring break, you can add the Spring Break After Camp Club, which runs until 4:30pm. www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.org

Daedalos Robotics Camps Kids learn and have fun in a hands-on, high-touch learning environment. Students use robotics platforms from LEGO Education (Mindstorms & WeDo) as well as VEX IQ with RobotC coding to create high-tech, robotic masterpieces. www.daedalosacademy.com

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FUN Richmond Olympic Oval Spring Break Sports Camp From badminton, to dance, to rowing, the Richmond Olympic Oval Spring Sports Camps offers a wide variety of camp options to get kids moving this Spring. No matter what their favourite sport may be, young sports enthusiasts will find what they love at the Oval. www.richmondoval.ca

Royal BC Museum Spring Break Camps Aspiring shutterbugs can develop their skills by participating in a photography-inspired camp. Campers will learn about photo composition and storytelling, venture to Beacon Hill Park to capture dynamic nature shots and explore the Royal BC Museum’s Natural History collection, as well as the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

Gym-Venture Days at TumbleTown Head to TumbleTown for Gym-Venture days this Spring. Provide children the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills in a positive and encouraging environment. Gymnastics, games, obstacle courses and more adventure will be packed into each day! www.tumbletown.ca

YMCA Spring Day Camps Head to the Y for Spring Break Day Camps that will keep your kids entertained for the whole week. Campers aged 5‐12 can participate in out‐trips, outdoor activities, sports, games, arts and crafts, and get the recommended 90 minutes of daily physical activity at their closest YWCA location. www.gv.ymca.ca

Check out www.westcoastfamilies.com for more Spring Break ideas!

Family Travel & Adventure 2019 15


BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Hosting a kid’s birthday has never been easier.

You make the guest list, we’ll take care of the rest. Packages include invitations, lunch, and access to more than 30 rides and attractions.

Book your Birthday Party today starting at $285 CONTACT PNE GROUP SALES 604.252.3663 •

THRILLS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY PNE _ PLAYLAND

Profile for WestCoast Families magazine

Family Travel & Adventure Guide 2019  

Family Travel & Adventure Guide 2019  

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