Winter in Kelowna: What to Do During Winter & Christmas in Kelowna BC

Winter in Kelowna: What to Do During Winter & Christmas in Kelowna BC

Winter in Kelowna is absolutely spectacular. That is, as long as you’re a snow lover. Usually, it starts snowing in November and the snow stays around until March or sometimes even April. My favorite seasons in Kelowna are summer and winter because there’s just so much to do! While the snow is amazing I will say that during winter clouds often get trapped in the valley making for a lot of grey skies. If you’re willing to put up with that though or hike above the cloud line, it really is a winter wonderland.

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Getting There: FLIGHTS & BUSES
Accommodation: HOTELS & HOSTELS
Getting Around: RENTAL CARS


Skiing at Big White in Kelowna
Misty mornings at Big White.

I started skiing in Kelowna when I was four years old. There are tons of gorgeous mountains to choose from but the two most popular are Silver Star and Big White. Let me break down the differences between the two mountains for you as they both have pros and cons when it comes to choosing one to ski at.

Silver Star is slightly smaller than Big White and often a little less busy. It also tends to have much more sunny skies and bluebird days than Biggie. Big White, on the other hand, often gets more snow than Silver Star, is bigger, and has more difficult runs. Another thing to consider is that Big White is quite a bit closer to the main area of Kelowna than Silver Star is. They’re both great mountains and both very family-friendly as well. If you’re planning on staying at either mountain you can find a list of accommodations for Big White here, or for Silver Star here.

For more ski resorts near Kelowna you can read this article I wrote for Snow Pak magazine!


Ice Skating in Downtown Kelowna
This is a photo from one of the very first dates Arturo and I ever went on, at Stuart Park Ice Rink.

I don’t know about you but I grew up figure skating and absolutely love the sport. Whether you want to race, play hockey, or just learn, you can do it all in Kelowna. My favorite place to go ice skating is at Stuart Park in downtown Kelowna. This outdoor rink overlooks Okanagan Lake and at night is filled with twinkling lights and a campfire. You can bring your own skates or rent them at the rink. Alternatively, there is also a huge outdoor skating rink at Big White and one at Silver Star Mountain as well.

Sledding, Tubing, and Ice Climbing

If you’re just looking to go sledding with your own toboggan or magic carpet there’s a pretty good hill at Summerside Park in South East Kelowna. It’s not super steep and really great for kids as there is a playground there as well. Another good spot to visit is Curlew Park.

My favorite way to hit the slopes without skis, however, is to go tubing. Both Big White and Silver Star have tube parks. If you’ve never been tubing then you should really try it. The hills are up in the mountains so they’re really steep and you go much faster. It’s just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. Plus you don’t have to hike up the mountain every time you’ve gone down either. A rope attaches to your tube and pulls it all the way back up for you.

There is one spot in Kelowna to go ice climbing and that is at Big White. Once you get all geared up with ice picks and a harness, you essentially get strapped to a huge rock climbing wall made of ice. Did I mention it’s 60 feet tall? I haven’t personally done it yet but I have friends who have and they’ve all had a great time.

Winter Festivals and Events

what to do in kelowna | okanagan lake in winter
I still go to the beach in winter because look at that view!

Kelowna really is a winter wonderland. There are craft markets you can visit, the Bottega Charity Christmas Market and so much more. Aside from shopping, there is also the annual Downtown Winter Light Up, New Year Celebrations, the Okanagan Bridal Expo, and the Canadian Culinary Championships.

One thing that I absolutely love doing during the winter is attending the Nutcracker Ballet. If you’ve never been to a Nutcracker Ballet showing then you should really go. The one in Kelowna is put on by Ballet Kelowna and the Canadian School of Ballet. I was actually in the Nutcracker one year in Kelowna as a soldier and had so much fun. It’s definitely a must-see and fun for all ages.

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