What are you in the mood to do in Penticton today? Want to watch an international performer in a state-of-the-art South Okanagan Events Centre, or how about a 3D movie? How about live short oval car races, a family game of pool or bowling or a night on the town for the grownups? Locals have an abundant of choices for playtime in Penticton.

Food and drink

With over 30 award-winning wineries, several craft breweries and many highly reviewed restaurants all within 15 kilometres, Penticton is the place for fine dining and the best wine B.C. has to offer. If simple is your style and you are looking for great fish and chips or a family friendly restaurant with a menu the kids already know, we've got those too – with some right on the beach as well.

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On the water

Boating, wakeboarding, wake surfing and water skiing are second nature to locals and there are quiet bays with boat camping sites and small estuaries for a canoe or kayak. When the wind is up join the kite boarding and parasailing at Skaha Lake.

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Markets, fairs and festivals

In Penticton, we like to take it to the streets – even in the winter when we host the Santa Parade, one of the largest winter holiday festivals in western Canada. In the other three seasons you'll find a festival for everyone, whether its classic cars during Peach City Beach Cruise, an Elvis festival, week-long wine-tasting events twice a year, children's festival, Challenge Penticton, the famous Peach Festival with all the entertainment and activity you can handle or the renowned Meadowlark Nature Festival.

And make sure to add this to your must-do list: the Downtown Penticton Saturday Market, featuring the Penticton Farmers Market, runs from May to October, offering residents fresh local farm produce, local artisans and artists, activities for all ages, live music and much, much more.

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Whether you like rock, country, pop, jazz, techno, easy listening or the best of the '80s, Penticton brings the best to town – and you can listen live in casual settings, dance clubs or concert arenas. Penticton's South Okanagan Event Centre features state-of-the-art acoustics and concert-arena capacity that has attracted major touring music acts. At the other end of town is The Dream Café, which draws international touring acts in an intimate 200-seat dinner theatre venue.

There are many different flavours of nightclubs as well, from sports bars for a beer, wings and the hockey game to live music and dancing the night away until 3 a.m. If a little roulette, poker or slots is a part of your evening agenda, the Penticton Lakeside Resort's Casino offers an escape for the evening in addition to a nightclub and two fine dining restaurants.

Looking for the latest Hollywood blockbuster? Check out what's playing at Landmark Cinemas Penticton, which has seven cinema screens and 3D capability.

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Arts and culture

With three resident theatre companies in town you have your pick of comedy, drama or musical. The Penticton Art Gallery and the array of local private galleries are known for their accessible exhibitions and youth programs. Touring and local dance, music and performing groups are a regular feature at cultural venues such as the Shatford Centre, The Dream Café, the Cleland Theatre and Gyro Park bandshell, which is especially popular on warm summer nights.

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Hockey: With the South Okanagan Events Centre, it's no wonder we spend time at the rink year round. From mini Vees to Penticton Vees junior A hockey team, you can catch the good ol' hockey game in bowl seats or private suites. In the summer, our hockey school attracts the best talent to train and perfect their sport. The world-renowned Okanagan Hockey Academy based locally also means we produce hockey's best and brightest right from Penticton.

Soccer: The Adidas Sportsplex is a state-of-the-art indoor soccer training facility complemented by an array of outdoor fields. With both a local house league and a full professional soccer training academy with teams from ages 13 to 21, we have the choice of playing or watching tournaments and great soccer at our leisure.

Swimming: From novice to international competitor, year-round competitive KISU swim club features high-quality professional coaches at the new Penticton Community Centre.

Baseball and softball: The choice is yours between slo-pitch, minor league fast pitch, and minor league baseball for ages 5 to 12.

Curling: Six sheets of indoor ice and licensed lounge mean you should hurry hard to check out the Penticton Curling Club.

Rodeo: There's something for everyone, be it professional level or Little Britches Rodeo. There is the Keremeos Rodeo with bulls, barrels and chicken catchin' for the kids, or the Canadian Pro Rodeo circuit in nearby Princeton, Vernon or Merritt.

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The scenic full-length Penticton Golf and Country Club offers a course nestled against the River Channel with mountain views all around. Putting and a strong wedge game are the key to low scores. There is league play and tournaments scheduled in the peak months, but Penticton golfers are out year round.

For a nine-hole course right on the outskirts of Penticton, Skaha Meadows offers a range of league play at different times to different groups young and old.

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Off-road activities

Get off the pavement and onto the dirt roads, trails and tracks through the local hills and open pine forests that lead to hidden lakes and streams hours in the back-country. This is prime 4x4, ATV and dirt bike country with touring forest roads and challenging trails to suit every taste.

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On the road

The roads and trails around Penticton are a driver's paradise. Winding highways and side roads with spectacular views and great points of interest make this area a destination for road trips by vehicle or motorcycle.

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Hiking, biking, climbing

The famed Kettle Valley Railway was originally built to haul fruit, ore and lumber from the Okanagan to the ports on the coast. But it has truly come alive after being decommissioned, transforming into a vital link on the Trans Canada Trail system. Penticton is a critical gateway for the trail, with three directions arriving in the local community to make Penticton the South Okanagan hub for hikers, mountain bikers and cyclists. If you are looking for something off the beaten path, Penticton and the South Okanagan have more than 100 trails to choose from.

Road cyclists have their choice of hundreds of kilometers of urban paths and bike lanes, to winding country roads running through orchards and vineyards. This area has attracted professionals who have world credentials, intense iron distance competitors like those for Challenge Penticton, and everyday people who enjoy our trails by bike year round.

Skaha Bluffs provides a variety of recreation opportunities, but is best known for world-class rock climbing. Hiking, climbing and wildlife viewing opportunities abound in this provincial park at the edge of town.

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The forests and rolling mountains around Penticton also include many public and private camping areas accessible by car and truck. Many of these feature small lakes and streams with days of wilderness adventure, in many cases just an hour out of town.

The lakes, streams and ponds of the surrounding Okanagan hills are relatively easy access on forestry and access roads, in many cases with just a two-wheel pickup.

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Fishing and hunting

Local freshwater lakes are an anglers' dream, and fishing day trips can yield trout, perch, lake bass and kokanee. It's easy to get a fishing licence online. The Okanagan is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. With large tracts of Crown land accessible by standard vehicles, the opportunities to find great hunting are close at hand. Region 8 Okanagan is known for black-tailed deer, white tail, black bear, moose, pheasant, turkey and waterfowl.To find out more about the hunting and trapping news, check out the provincial Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations.

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Winter sports

Winter is playtime too in Penticton. The surrounding wilderness and mountains get dry interior snow from December to April every year. Downhill skiing is available at Apex Mountain Resort just 30 minutes from Downtown Penticton, or cross-country ski along the 65 kilometres of groomed trails at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre nearby. The local terrain lends itself to scenic snowshoeing and backcountry skiing for all levels of ability.

Snowmobile trails are plentiful and ice fishing can be found minutes from downtown on Yellow Lake or deep in the back-country.

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Working out

Don't sweat it: we have traditional fitness centres, women's only fitness, aqua fit, yoga studios, Pilates, tai chi classes, personal trainers, dietitians and physiotherapists to guide your fitness pursuits. Those looking for more creative ways of working out can also visit three different belly dance schools in the city.

Group activities are also available through dragon boat, cycling and running clubs.

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And so much more

Looking for more about what there is to do in and around Penticton? Check out what these groups have on:

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