Getting in the spirit

Everyone loves to visit during the holiday season, and many people have friends and family who come from far away.

It’s lovely to hang around the house in one’s jammies and be lazy but at some point, it’s a good idea to get a bit of fresh air and stretch those legs.

This week, I’ve made a list for you of festive events around the Okanagan. Some of them will require a drive, but there’s nothing wrong with packing everyone in the car for an outing, right?

(If you decide to send them all out and stay home for a nap, that’s up to you.)

Unfortunately, the Kettle Valley Christmas Train in Summerland is already sold out. If you’re up for a longer car ride, the CP holiday train is crossing the country.

It was something we enjoyed when hubby and I lived in Banff, quite the sight with the Rockies as the backdrop.

In case you will be up toward Salmon Arm or Kamloops though, Dec. 15-16 are the days the train pulls through.

There is live music to enjoy, and the beauty of the train itself. It’s a free event; they ask you bring a donation of healthy food for local food banks.

Another outdoor event that is fun for the whole family is a sleigh ride. The folks at Horse Drawn Okanagan have teamed up with Silver Sage Stables near Vernon to offer rides throughout the Christmas holiday break (Dec 21-24, and 27-31). 

They suggest you dress warmly, and you are welcome to bring a cushion or blanket to sit on. If we do get some snow before Christmas, this will be magical; however, the fields at Silver Sage are beautiful any day of the year.

And since the Caravan Farm Theatre is now fully sold out for their holiday run, you will want to get tickers sooner than later.

Closer to the Kelowna area, there are family activities running daily throughout the holiday school break at Arion Therapeutic Farm. This vegan farm has animals for petting, baking, crafts, face painting and more. There is a $5 entry fee at the farm that helps keep them stocked with hay for the four-legged staff.

For the grown ups who might want to get out without the little ones, I have a few suggestions for adult fun. One event I can personally recommend is the Communal Table Dinner series on Tuesdays at Miradoro, at Tinhorn Creek in Oliver.

This is a great deal, and fun if you like to sample food of different places and themes. Dec. 11-18 are still open.

Quails Gate Winery is having happy hour on weekdays through Dec. 31 at their Old Vines Restaurant. In January, they start their Sunday Night Suppers.

There are other holiday Happy Hour and special dinner events – I have found Facebook is a great place to see what is happening in the area, with event information and links for tickets all easily visible.

There are also open houses and special events at wineries and breweries in the region. This weekend, (Dec 8-9) the party is on at Meadow Vista Honey Wines, Sandhill Wines, and Summerhill Winery.

Next weekend (Dec. 14-16) check out Okanagan Crush Pad, The View Winery, Vibrant Vines, BC Tree Fruits Cider Co., Cannery Brewing, and Dirty Laundry.

Can’t decide on a day? Mission Hill Family Estate has their Festival of Trees on through Dec. 24 if you want some holiday ambience while you taste your wine.

There are more classic forms of entertainment over the holidays as well. Okanagan Symphony has a family-friendly concert of holiday favourites.

If you can’t organize going in person to these events, there are streaming concerts and performances available online. I know watching The Nutcracker when I was five years old has always been a cherished Christmas memory for me, and I didn’t take any ballet lessons until I was in university.

If you’d like an event that focuses more on the religious story of Christmas and includes some carols, then check out Christmas at Trinity Church Dec 22-24.

Everyone is welcome at this free service, but you must reserve tickets in advance.

Maybe you are happy sitting on the couch eating Christmas treats. You certainly don’t need to spend money to enjoy some holiday spirit. Sharing a good time is the important part.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope it includes time to relax, to take in the best parts of your life, to smile and remember the moment.

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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