Let's have fun this summer

It’s time to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. School is out, summer has started… you no longer have a valid excuse.

To make it easier for you, I have a list of my favourite summer activities and a few things I’ve been meaning to get out and do.

Once you look up whatever fancies you, switch your phone to camera mode and just enjoy the experience.

My Summer Favourites

Penticton Farmer’s Market 

I’m sorry, Kelowna, but the ambience on Penticton’s Main Street beats the limited space near the Mission Greenway. This farmer’s market features many growers from the Similkameen too, so you’ll have a chance to try some goodies you might not otherwise see. Saturday mornings all summer long.

Paddle boarding on Kalamalka Lake 

You can get out on the water in a boat, but there is something ever so peaceful about being on a stand-up paddle board, kayak or canoe. Rentals abound throughout the Okanagan, and I recommend the smaller lakes with less traffic for a smoother and quieter ride. Earlier in the day tends to be less windy, and less hot, as well.

Picnic at Gellatly Beach (dog friendly) 

Being a dog lover, I like to find a picnic spot where I can bring my four-legged pal. Ella is a big fan of swimming in the lake, and Gellatly Bay is just a hop, skip and a jump from our place so this is the perfect spontaneous spot on a hot day.

When you don’t feel like cooking, gather up some cheese, meat, veggies and maybe a dip with your favourite bread, crackers or chips. All that in a cooler with a blanket and some beverages to stay hydrated and you’re set for the perfect end to any summer day.

Oh, and don’t forget your swimsuit and the sunscreen.

Outdoor concerts in the park  

I’ve listed the link for the Kelowna Parks Alive program, but most of the Okanagan communities have organized entertainment programs running. If you’re not sure, check with your local visitor centre, or take a walk in a city park and listen carefully. You’re sure to find something worth stopping to enjoy.

Drive in movie at Enderby  

Okay, so this activity pulls at my heartstrings as I am old enough to remember when the drive-in was a normal thing to do… If you have never made the scenic trip to the Starlight for a night out under the stars, you have truly missed a vintage experience. Put this on your summer bucket list and gather some friends to make it a group memory.

Ice cream at Paynter’s Fruit Market 

Living on the Westside, we are proud of neighbourhood places that offer a great experience. Paynter’s Market is well known for their produce, and they are also the only stop for a hard ice cream cone in this neck of the woods.

You can even stroll through the orchards as you enjoy your treat.

Drinks with friends 

There are plenty of wonderful patios in the Okanagan, some of them even at lakeside. But my new twist for a visit with friends over a cold drink is to try some of the many craft breweries that have popped up.

The B.C. Ale Trails is a new concept linking breweries in different areas of the province – there is one for Kelowna, one for Penticton and another in Kamloops, Vernon and the Shuswap.


New Things for me

Caravan Farm Theatre 

I’ve made it to a winter show, but never managed to see the Caravan Theatre’s summer productions.

This is a unique entertainment experience, one that will have any visiting friends blown away by the all the elements brought together. It’s a very affordable night out. My one piece of advice: Don’t wait to book this – the shows sell out early every season.

Floating down the channel in Penticton 

The summer is our busy season for work and we’ve never managed to organize this trip, but I’m hoping we can put the ducks – or tubes – in a row this year. Who wouldn’t want to be one of those happy-looking folk drifting down the current, enjoying the chirping birds and the sunshine?

Summer winery event  

It seems only fitting to end with something that is quintessentially Okanagan in spirit. We have lived here 15 years and seen some of the many offerings that have been developed by the growing number of wineries here.

Do make an effort to get out and enjoy a concert or show or special tour or tasting. There is something for every budget, and in all corners of the valley.

You will be proud to be a local when you see just how much we have to offer – and summer is only one season out of four.

After doing all of this, you might need to book some holiday time to recover, but you won’t regret soaking up the essence of our region. It’s a good thing to experience what visitors keep raving about, don’t you think?

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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