Visitors may think of Penticton as a summer destination, but the secret is, we play outdoors all year round. When the weather cools, out come the skis and boards, groups trekking through forests in snowshoes or whizzing around on skates. If you're looking for something new to try, here are eight activities to try with friends or family this winter.
1. Free outdoor ice skating
The Activate Penticton outdoor ice rink (pictured below) offers free skating in the heart of downtown Penticton, at 107 Martin Street, behind City Hall. Be sure to bring your own skates (no on-site rentals) and check out their website for the daily schedule. And if you see them, be sure to tip your hat the volunteers who fund, operate and maintain this rink.
And let's not forget the outdoor rink at Penticton Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre, overlooking the beach and Okanagan Lake. This rink is open to the resort and the public, but be sure to call the front desk in advance to make sure the rink is open and not reserved for private skating. Again, you'll need to pack your own skates (no on-site rentals).
For some indoor skating, try McLaren Arena.
2. Hit the slopes
With a current base of 170 cm, powdery tree runs and minimal waits for the chairlifts, Apex Mountain Resort is one of the best-kept secrets throughout British Columbia – located right here on our doorstep. In fact, TheTravel.com just listed Apex as among the 10 Best Ski Spots in British Columbia.
3. Watch a hockey game
When the Penticton Vees take to the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC), thousands turn up to cheer them on. Join in the energy for a family-friendly night out – and show your support for the 2022 BCHL champions Penticton also hosts major sporting events that draw athletes from near and far.
4. Skate through the forest
You can glide through the forest on this 1km ice skating loop at Apex Resort. It’s maintained by a Zamboni and if you don't have your own skates, you can rent them from the Apex Rental Shop.
5. Go cross-country skiing
Nickel Plate Nordic Centre is known for its blue skies and endless mountain vistas, offering 56 km of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. Contact them to enquire about rentals or special programs.
6. Do some snowshoeing
If you're interested in showshoeing but don't have the gear, you can rent from Nickel Plate Nordic Centre before heading out on the 22.5 km of marked snowshoe trails. Or rent from Hoodoo Adventures if you plan to head up to the Carmi Recreation Trails.
7. Take the kids sledding
Break free from the devices and wrap up warm for some old-fashioned fun. Older kids will get their thrills at the Carmi Recreation Trail sledding hill.
8. Hit the trails on a fat bike
Snow on the trails? That won’t stop a fat bike, which has wider tires and better traction than a typical mountain bike. If you don’t have a fat bike of your own, you can rent one – and set off on your alpine adventure.
Do you have a fun idea to add to this list? Tell us about it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.