Experts say that introducing your children to the outdoors at an early age can lead to a lifetime of nature appreciation. Plan a relaxing family getaway to Silver Star Village, where you can stay in the mountains and spend time in nature together without the crowds. There’s plenty in the area to keep everyone entertained: mountain biking, hiking, lakes, exhibits, farms, and more.
Make Silver Star Village your homebase for a memorable family trip as you discover these must-do family-friendly activities and attractions that the North Okanagan has to offer.
Silver Star Village
Children love wandering through the colourful mid-mountain village—a fairytale setting, with brightly-painted storefronts that match the palette of the summer wildflowers. Opportunities for play abound when the mountain is literally at your door.
SilverStar Bike Park
Canada’s second largest bike park boasts 139+ kms (86 miles) of downhill, enduro, and cross-country trails for the whole family to explore. What’s more, SilverStar’s Bike School offers lessons and camps to build confidence and performance. Beginner groms will find their groove on the green trail, Challenger, while young rippers can level up their skills on blues and blacks. Let’s face it: They’ll likely be passing you in no time! No need to shuttle the kids (and their gear) from the hotel to the mountain. Mountainside accommodations mean you can ride in and out of the bike park easily.
Gondola Rides and Trails
Take the gondola up SilverStar Mountain for a casual ride (Kids 12 and under ride free). Wander the 16km (10 miles) of hiking trails, foraging for wild berries and spotting mountain critters along the way. The resort is also adding a new stroller and wheelchair accessible trail atop the Des Scheumann Summit Express Gondola, set to open by late-summer. Add a touch of intrigue and try the Gnome Roam, a self-guided stroll through the mountain village’s mystical gnome world.
Silver Star Museum
Kids love exploring. Keep them on their toes on a walking tour of the Silver Star Museum, where they’ll take a journey back through time and learn about the fascinating history of the mountain. New this year, the museum is installing an exhibit atop the Des Scheumann Summit Express Gondola in the old fire lookout.
Many Silver Star vacation properties and suites offer full kitchens for easy group meal preparation. But, you can also take a break and let someone else do the cooking—many restaurants have a kids menu. The Bulldog Grand Cafe is a casual dining experience where you’ll find house-made baked goods and Indonesian-inspired cuisine. Frank at Bugaboos Bakery Cafe serves up decadent pastries (try the only-in-summer berry baked goods), as well as soups, salads, and fresh-ground coffee for the big kids.
This summer’s dance card is full of family friendly events all season long, from an opening weekend community event and concert on June 25, to the Canada/BC Cup July 8-10, which hosts the next generation of competitive cyclists. The marquis bike event of the season, Crankworx Summer Series: SilverStar (July 28-31), will showcase multi-discipline bike events for all levels and ages—inspiration for the young and young at heart. Look out for the Movie in the Mountains on August 27, where you can watch an outdoor flick under the stars.
Vernon and Surrounding Area
After getting your fix of playtime in the mountains, head to the valley for the afternoon to enjoy more outdoor play and interactive learning experiences that everyone can appreciate. Vernon is just a 20-minute drive down the mountain and opens the door to a raft of activities, including swimming and biking along Kalamalka Lake, and riding the community trails. There are a number of kid-friendly attractions to experience at your own pace.
Explore the Arts
You can learn a lot about an area by viewing art made by locals and Vernon has a vibrant creative community. Check out the North Okanagan Arts Council to stay up to date on workshops, events, festivals, and exhibits that might be happening while you’re in the area.
Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Visit the Nature Centre to learn more about the unique ecology of the Okanagan region and the importance of habitat conservation. Stroll through the Grasslands Trail where you might come across a resident marmot or songbird. The Interpretive Centre has a wealth of information and interactive activities to explore.
Make friends with a bleating baby goat, visit the antique tractors, and tuck into farmhouse baking at this lively orchard. This is a prime spot for soups and sandwiches served alfresco. You can also pick up local and seasonal farm-grown food for home-cooked meals back at your Silver Star accommodation.
Get a glimpse at the fascinating world of honey bees (and sample their product) at this local farm that harvests 100% raw honey. Not only can you wander through the Learning Garden to see these hard working insects at their day job, you can also taste Western Canada’s largest selection of raw, pure honey. Parents can also sample the mead, an alcoholic beverage dubbed by the ancient Greeks as the “nectar of the Gods.”
The Okanagan Science Centre is a treasure trove of intriguing displays and exhibits where children of all ages can learn about all sorts of interesting topics in a fun and playful environment. Kiddos can also meet Leo the Shellarious Turtle—who has made quite a name for himself on TikTok.
Splashdown Vernon Family Waterpark
Cool off from the summer heat at the local waterslides. There are 10 slides to choose from, including the ever-popular River Riot. Space is limited so book ahead.
As you make your way back to Silver Star for the night, the kids will be regaling the day’s adventures (and tuckered out too). More quality time spent as a family—and new memories to last a lifetime.
Photo Credits: Destination BC/Andrew Strain, SilverStar Mountain Resort, Robb Thompson, Nicole Adair, Amber Turnau/Substrate Studios, Tourism Vernon, Destination BC/Nic CollarPx, Destination BC/Andrew Strain