British Columbia

Halloween in the Okanagan
Oct16

Okanagan Events: Get ready for Halloween!

It doesn’t matter whether you love or hate Halloween, you can’t avoid this crazy festival of everything spooky.  The hoards of youngsters dressed up as witches, wizards, vampires and zombies can’t really be missed – especially if they come trick or treating at your door!  If there are Halloween-lovers in your family, be sure to check out these local events happening across the Okanagan.  The fall is a beautiful time of year in the region, with copper and golden leaves lining the lake and mountainside.  Here are the best events to get you in the scary spirit:

 

  • Bumbershoot Theatre’s production of The Nightmare before Christmas is showing from October 12th – 22nd. Bumbershoot is a non-profit children’s theatre company that wants to appeal to “the child in all of us”.  Enjoy their adaptation of Tim Burton’s classic animation, The Nightmare before Christmas, and follow Jack Skellington on his journey to Christmas Town.

 

  • If you’re looking at visiting Kelowna Art Gallery during October, why not check out the Jane Kidd: Curious exhibition. Kidd’s works explore themes of genetic modification, living things, creating new entities and the consequences.  If you’ve ever read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, then these themes are no stranger to you!  Looks like a real interesting treat.

 

 

  • Take a trip out to O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon between October 7th and October 28th and take advantage of their Family Daze in the Corn Maze event. This family-friendly event includes a brand-new corn maze with eerie scenes.  The kids can also enjoy a pony ride, tractor ride or a spider-web climb! You can eat lunch at the event as many food trucks will be available, making this the perfect way to get ready for all hallows eve. If you’re into something a little scarier, then you could also attend the Ranch’s Field of Screams: Dante’s Inferno event (Oct 13th – 28th).  There are two haunted mazes to explore so be prepared for zombies, ghosts and all kinds of terrifying creatures!  Please note that the event is not suitable for young children.

 

  • Why not take the family to The 14th Annual Walk of Terror at the Caravan Farm Theatre on October 28th between 4pm – 6pm. Contact the Caravan Farm Theatre for more details on this festive celebration. There will be treats, bonfires, performances and possibly best costume competitions. Past events have been a huge success so definitely check their website for up to date event details.

 

  • For all those music enthusiasts out there, we urge you not to miss the Okanagan Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre on October 29th. Featuring music from popular magical movies such as Harry Potter, Dracula and Pyscho, as well as other classical favorites.  Set to be a fabulous evening!

 

  • Head to Davidson Orchards throughout October and embark on a Johnny Popper Farm Tour. The whole family will love discovering the farming processes and stories behind your local food.  Explore apple trees, peach trees, vegetable fields and more.  Head there between the 21st and 29th October and you can take part in their Pumpkin Festival! Delve into the pumpkin patch and pick out your pumpkin, ready for carving when you get home! During the festival, there will be a Saturday BBQ as well as harvest festival treats including apple cider donuts, apple pie and caramel apples.  For the little ones, there is a whole Pumpkin medieval land to enjoy.  Let them have fun sitting on the pumpkin throne whilst being entertaining by juggling jesters and a friendly Pumpkin Princess!

 

So what are you most looking forward to? We are confident that any of these events will guarantee you have a spell-binding Halloween. Let us know what you get up to…. watch out for those pesky werewolves!

Written by Hannah Poaros

 

 

Hope Othello Tunnels
Oct02

Road trip stop-off: Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park (Othello Tunnels)

If you’re driving to Kelowna from Vancouver and have a car full of excited passengers, why not break up the journey?

There are lots of activities around Hope, BC which makes it a great location to stop for a few hours or a couple of days! However, if you’re short on time then we recommend visiting the Othello Tunnels at Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park

The Othello Tunnels are open April 1st – October 31st so are the perfect stopping point for your summer road trip.  These tunnels are a series of old train tunnels and bridges.  Due to the striking way they have been cut into the granite walls, this walk is one of Hope’s major attractions. You will be excited to see the rushing river below and the kids will love imagining the trains that used to filter through these walls. It is hard to describe just what an amazing display of engineering these tunnels are – the only way to understand is to see it yourself!

Trails, Picnics, Tunnels & Flashlights!

This 3.5km trail is also suitable for bicycles, if that’s more your thing.  Just remember to take a flashlight so you can see where you are going as some of the tunnels are long and dark.  The route is suitable for pets but they must remain on a leash at all times.

Within Coquihala Canyon Provincial Park there is also a picnic area, making this an ideal resting place for lunch even if you haven’t got time for the walk! Pack some sandwiches, fruit, leftovers and cookies to make the most of this beautiful  picnic spot.  While you’re relaxing and taking in the views of the river, watch for salmon!  In the summer, it is quite common to see salmon swimming in the Coquihalla River.  Perhaps you can make this into a game – who can spot the most salmon?!

Hope Coquihalla River

For more information on the park, please visit the official website.

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

chocolate nanaimo bars
Sep25

British Columbia’s Nanaimo Bars

Why not celebrate this fall by cooking up some tasty treats?  The Nanaimo bar is a Canadian delicacy and everyone’s favourite!  Originating in Nanaimo, this British Columbian dessert is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Being pretty easy to make due to is ‘no bake’ method, we are pretty confident that anybody can whip these up!  Enjoy the soft custard filling and the biscuit base, paired with the melted chocolate topping – sound yummy?  You bet!

We’ve found this awesome, simple recipe for Classic Nanaimo Bars from Canadian Living and thought we would share:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • egg lightly beaten

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (approx)

Topping:

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter

METHOD

In bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Drizzle with butter and egg, stirring until combined.

Press into parchment paper–lined 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350F (180C) oven until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.

Filling: In bowl, beat together butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of milk and adding up to 1 tsp more milk if too thick to spread. Spread over cooled base. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Topping: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter; spread over filling. Refrigerate until chocolate is almost set, about 30 minutes. 

With tip of knife, score into bars; refrigerate until chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or overwrap in foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Cut into bars. 

 

This recipe was taken from Canadian Living, all credit goes to them.  Please see their website for more delicious recipes.

 

september events okanagan wine
Aug28

Events in the Okanagan – September

Feeling blue about the end of summer?  Don’t worry, the Okanagan is still lively throughout autumn. There’s plenty of events to get you excited this September, perfect for an end-of-summer holiday.

Wine Festivals

Most of the vineyards and wineries are participating in Wine Festivals this month, so why not add an evening of fine dining to your calendar?

  • For starters, we have Mission Hill Family Estate who have the last night of their Long Table Dinner  event on September 2nd.  This event starts at 6 pm  and provides you with a three course dinner, a selection of wines and a stroll through the rolling hills of the estate.  For $129 a person, this evening is sure to be an elegant affair – don’t miss out on tickets, purchase them now!
  • If that doesn’t take your fancy, then how about attending Under the Half Barrel Dinner series at Cedar Creek Winery on September 8th.   From $95 you can treat yourself to a wonderful meal paired with some beautiful wines whilst looking over at Lake Okanagan.  What’s more picturesque than that?
  • The end of September brings about another couple of vineyard events such as St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery Lunch.  This long table lunch aims to celebrate the start of the harvest and is set to be a lovely afternoon on September 30th.  Also on this date, is the Starry Plates Winemakers Dinner  – another Okanagan Wine Festival! Do you see a trend here?  This one is also at Cedar Creek Winery and they welcome you to a starlight sky and delicious canapes.  We recommend checking out these events to get the most out of your Okanagan stay – these are one-off occasions that you can’t experience on a wine tour!

Get Active

  • Besides the wine, the Okanagan has a range of other activities happening during this month.  Celebrate the beginning of the fall by participating or attending the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon on September 3rd. There’s nothing like team spirit, and a pair of running shoes!
  • Maybe you’re not a fan of running, in which case why not look into the Okanagan Grape Escape – MS Bike event.  This is a two-day bike riding event on the 9th and 10th of September.  This event is one of the biggest fundraising biking events in North America and has been happening since 1989! Join other cyclists and participate in this exciting opportunity to explore the Okanagan region.  If it’s too late for you to sign up, then follow the route (which takes you around a LOT of vineyards) and wave to the riders as they pass you.

The Quirky ones 

We’ve rounded up the random, the weird and the one-off’s in the below list of events.  Whatever you choose to do in September, we’re sure you’ll have a blast!

  • Ever wanted to try out five different types of ribs?  Attend Ribfest Kelowna between September 15th & 17th for your chance to taste some mouth-watering meats.
  • On the subject of meat, why not pop along to the Great Canadian Bacon Chase on September 24th. Somewhat contradictory, this event is all about eating unlimited bacon but also participating in a 5km run! There’s also a way to get out of the running, if you’re more interested in the bacon… Check out their website for more details!
  • For those of you into reading tarot cards and natural health care, then we suggest you check out the Holistic Market and Psychic Fair on September 17th at the Laurel Packinghouse.  With over 50 exhibitors, this is sure to be a wonderful day and you’ll likely come home with some new knowledge of naturopath techniques.
  • And lastly for the art wizards, take a look at the Art in the Park – Vineyard Trails series.  On September 24th, Quail’s Gate Winery is hosting this presentation of local artwork.  This will be the closing day of this travelling art series, so we hope you’ll make an effort to attend.  Let us know your favourite artist or art piece!

september events okanagan wine

That’s all for now.  We hope you enjoy the beginning of Autumn – let’s hope it’s a bright and colourful one.

Written by Hannah Poaros

Okanagan Vineyard
Aug21

The Okanagan’s Top 10 Most Instagrammed Sites

The Okanagan region has some wonderful views and gorgeous vineyards.  We’ve done some research and created this list of the area’s most instagrammed sites (not including Kelowna or Vernon). If you’re a regular to La Casa Cottage Resort, you might just want to try something different this year! Take a look at our round-up – which one sparks your interest?

  1. Mt. Boucherie

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery has 4 vineyard locations in the Okanagan.  Take a trip to the winery in West Kelowna where you can sign up for a vineyard tour or pop into their shop to purchase bottles of their signature collection.  This vineyard has a stunning mountain backdrop – perhaps this is what makes it so Instagram worthy.  That, and the glasses of wine you will be consuming!

  1. Osooyos

We’ve already mentioned in our 5 things to do article just how great Osooyos is.  It makes an interesting day trip – you’ll hardly feel like you’re in Canada once you step foot in this desert space.  Go grab some fresh cherries and Instagram those beautiful colours.

  1. Christie Falls

Why not take a trip to Christie Falls? This excellent waterfall is well worth the hike to and is just outside Kelowna.  It’s practically in fashion  to take a selfie under the waterfall, so what’s your reason not to?  There is even talk of there being a rope swing available – time to be adventurous!

  1. Tinhorn Creek

It’s not a surprise that Tinhorn Creek is on our list – this vineyard is another favourite with locals and tourists alike.  There Miradoro Restaurant has panoramic views of the valley below with a Mediterranean style menu, using locally sourced produce.  What makes Tinhorn Creek so brilliant is that the winery is neighbours to an access point for the Golden Mile Trail! Set off on a hike, enjoy breaking a sweat then return to the vineyard for a tour and wine tasting.  Perfection.

  1. Gray Monk

Head down to the 3rd winery on our list – Gray Monk Estate Winery! Try their Odyssey Tasting sessions – these give you the opportunity to taste their top tier wines.   Their restaurant, The Grapevine, offers wine and cheese sittings as well as lunch and dinner.

  1. Monashee

Monashee Provinical Park is located in the Monashee Mountain Ranges in North Okanagan.  Visitors can hike, fish, climb and horseback ride on these beautiful wild trails. You will discover lakes, waterfalls, rocky outcrops and plenty of wildlife! We would love to hear what trail you decide to hit up.

  1. Quail’s Gate

Quail’s Gate is a gorgeous winery where you can dine and stay overnight as well as taste their wines! This is the perfect place for a wedding or family reunion – check out their website and you’re sure to see why this rates high on Instagram!

  1. Lake Okanagan

Lake Okanagan is the reason many people venture out to Kelowna and Vernon.    The lake is spreads across 135km so no wonder it is so popular! Grab your kayak, paddleboard, boat or swimmers and get out on the water!  We know that one of the reasons many of you choose to stay with us at La Casa Cottage Resort is for this reason since we have lake access at the bottom of the resort.  Contact us now if you would like to hear more about our rentals services which are available as an add-on to your cottage rental.

  1. Knox Mountain

Situated in downtown Kelowna is Knox Mountain Park. Perfect for a walk or a hike, this trail leads you uphill to wonderful views of the city.   Since you don’t have to go far away from town, this is an extremely popular place to hangout!  Grab a picnic, your hiking boots, and your swimmers and enjoy a day in Kelowna’s large 766-acre park.

  1. Mission Hill

Mission Hill Winery, in West Kelowna, has superb architecture, an award-winning restaurant, a wine boutique and an Amphitheatre.  This picturesque estate is perfect for spending an afternoon in the sun or an evening under the stars.  They hold summer concerts, offer wine tastings and tours, and outdoor dining.  No wonder this is the top of the Instagram list for the Okanagan region – we can’t wait to check it out! Just have a look at that gorgeous courtyard and the 12-storey bell tower…

 

 

Written by Hannah Poaros