Children

dice games
Dec26

Whether you are traveling in December for holiday festivities or just some pre-New Years relaxation, you might be looking for things to do indoors when the temperature drops. Here are 3 easy dice games that you can do with minimal prep (super easy to pack, too).

1. Knock Out

This dice game only requires 2 dice and involves adding up to the number 10, making it great for younger kids to play, too. Each player first chooses their “knockout number” between either 6, 7, 8, or 9. Two players CAN pick the same number.

Decide who goes first by each rolling a die with the person who rolls the highest taking their turn first, second highest goes second, and so on. On their turn, a player must roll two dice. If they land on their chosen “knock out” number, then they are disqualified from rolling until everyone has been knocked out and the next round starts.

Every roll (EXCEPT the knock out number) contributes to the player’s overall score. Players race to a score of 100, or whatever goal your group decides on.

2. Catch Up

This dice game is great for a larger group, as it requires between 4-8 players. You will need 2 dice as well as an assortment of counters, which can be anything from bits of paper to coins, etc. The first player to obtain 3 tokens wins.

Give the dice to the oldest and youngest players (or however else you want to divide it up). Both will roll their dice at the same time and anyone who lands on a 6 must pass their dice to the right. The goal is to be the one person holding both dice. Then, you earn a counter and the process starts again.

Between each dice roll, there is a chant (mainly to give those without the dice something to do), which you can customize to your group. Use an assortment of clapping or knee-slapping to emphasize every other word to make it more exciting. We like to use the “We Will Rock You” chant, changing up the second repetition to announce the dice roll, as such: We will, we will, rock you. We will, we will, ROLL NOW!

3. Run For It

You will need 6 dice to play this and any amount of players is fine, though it tends to work best with 4-5 for time’s sake. Players will take turns rolling all 6 dice and trying to make “straight”, that is: a series of numbers that progress in counting order. For example: 1, 2, 3, and 4 OR 5, 6, and 7.

A “straight” can encompass anywhere from 2 to 6 numbers and each dice in the sequence gives the player 10 points. So 1, 2, 3, 4 would be worth 40 points in total. You can only make ONE straight per roll, so players should pick the one that gives them the most points.

Whoever reaches 500 points wins. You can raise or lower that number depending on how long you want to play.

Bonus: Want something even simpler? Check out these dice games that require only a single die!

Have Fun and Roll Away

Whatever dice games you decide to play, be sure to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones this holiday season. Play games, enjoy the snow, and celebrate the holidays together.

If you need some help booking your next great vacation rental, be sure to reach out to us using our phone number or contact page!

Christmas Crafts
Dec11

Winter holiday travel will be filled with Christmas markets, building snowmen, and ice skating…but sometimes you just want to stay warm indoors! Whatever the reason for staying in, your family night together needn’t be uneventful. Here are some family-friendly Christmas crafts to keep everyone entertained.

  1. Paper Plate Santa Clause

This craft is great because minimal supplies are needed. Also, the resulting product is flat and easy to pack in a bag or suitcase to take home after your holiday trip. The main supplies are a paper plate, construction paper, googly eyes, and paint or markers. However, you can modify the list to customize the experience: try pipe cleaners, pom poms, stickers, or glitter (if you dare!).

How to make it.

  1. Pinecone Christmas Tree

Turn a simple pinecone from your walks and hikes in the area into seasonal souvenirs! Use a bit of paint and whatever supplies you want to use for a star (construction paper, wood cut-outs, etc.). Kids will love exploring outdoors to find their “perfect pinecone.” Plus, the craft is minimalist if you need to buy supplies: just a few paint colours and brushes will do! You can leave them as stand-alone decorations or attach a hook or thread loop to them and turn them into tree hangings.

How to make it.

  1. Paper Snowflake Cut-Outs

Ah, a classic! The best part of this craft is that you can print out patterns at home and easily pack them along to have an easy, on-the-go craft ready for any occasion. Patterns range from ridiculously simple to quite challenging and precise. That means there is a design out there for any age range to enjoy. You can also fold the paper and “freestyle” a design to see what you can come up with from scratch.

How to make it.

  1. Popsicle Stick Ornaments

A simple pack of popsicle sticks and a few odds-and-ends to decorate with can go a long way. This can also be a multi-night craft, as there are plenty of patterns to make: reindeer, gingerbread, penguin, holiday tree, snowman, and anything else you can dare to imagine! Use buttons, markers, pipe cleaner, pom poms, felt, construction paper, and ribbon to decorate to your hearts’ content.

How to make it.

The best part about the above Christmas crafts is that many of them use similar materials so you can buy bulk supplies and mix and match projects on different nights of your winter vacation. Plus, you can have fun exploring the local shops to find supplies!

Need somewhere for your holiday parties or weekend ski trips? Check out our high capacity vacation guest house, La Casa Mirador.

Snow activities
Nov27

Don’t have a ski hill in your backyard? No problem! There are plenty of things to do when your yard gets a fresh layer of snow. Your neighborhood is probably rich with parks and nature areas, too, which can work if you don’t have your own yard. Coming up with some fun snow activities can keep the wintertime blues at bay.

  1. Build a Snowman

If you have enough snow on the ground, this is an obvious go-to winter activity. Instead of a regular old snowman, add ears or a tail or a beak and build a snow animal of your choice. See what odds and ends you can collect up off the ground—sticks and twigs, small rocks, pinecones and pine needles, whatever is around!

  1. Build an Igloo

This activity is perfect for families with small children, as yard-build igloos will be a perfect wintertime fort for them. There are also plenty of jobs to do, so everyone can participate: gather snow, shape bricks, stack bricks, and pack together the snow. Make the first “brick” slanted on one side in order to get a proper dome shape as you pile them up.

  1. Make Snow Angels

Everyone in the family can make an angel from eldest to youngest lined up in the snow. You can use twigs and rocks to draw on faces and even make crowns or halos using pine needles. Don’t forget to take pictures once you’re done!

  1. Go Sledding

Find a safe hill nearby and bring along a plastic sled or sled alternative (some people even just use plastic garbage bags, etc.). You’ll get some exercise carrying the sleds back up the hill each time, too. This is a great way to generate some body-warmth on chilly days.

  1. Paint with (non-toxic) Food Coloring

Add food coloring to cold water in spray bottles jars and use them to decorate the snow in the yard. Snow activities don’t get any easier than this (best done when there is freshly fallen powder). You can build models of flowers or animals and then use the “paint” to color them in.

Decide you need a ski hill “in your backyard” after all? Come stay at La Casa Mirador with your friends and family…it’s just a short drive from Big White Ski Resort

Halloween events Kelowna
Oct23

Are you visiting the Kelowna in October? Luckily, there are Halloween events all month long. Visitors can enjoy a spooky date night or a family-friendly event. Read on, here are just a few yearly events you can look forward to.

  1. Halloween Nightwings

Don’t miss this all-ages adventure! Learn and discover who is flying around the Okanagan at night. This is a not-very-scary event, so bring the whole family. The Okanagan Heritage Museum staff introduces guests to local nocturnal fauna.

Location: Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Avenue.

  1. When Death Comes Calling: A Cemetery Tour

Take a spooky tour through a cemetery. Learn true stories about Kelowna’s “dead.” Lovers of history and true crime will enjoy this unique event. This is quite a popular tour. As a result, registration is required for this event.

Location: Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, 1991 Bernard Avenue.

  1. Field of Screams

This cornfield maze is filled with ghoulish play-actors and chilling backdrops. Also, every year is based on a theme! For instance, they have done Alice in Wonderland in the past. Check out sprawling set pieces, horror movie clichés, and everything else we love about the season. Note, this event is not suitable for young children.

Location: O’Keefe Ranch, Vernon.

  1. Kettle Valley Halloween Terror Train

All aboard the Halloween train for 2020! The Kettle Valley Steam Railway showcases a unique part of the Okanagan’s history. They do plenty of holiday-themed events throughout the year. The Halloween train trip tours the preserved section of this historic railway! The duration is 60 minutes. Lastly, reservations are a MUST.

Location: Kettle Valley Steam Railway, 18404 Bathville Road.

Contact us if you need somewhere to stay in the Kelowna area in order to attend any of these events. We have multi-bedroom cottages, lakeside views, full kitchen suites, and more.  Plus, we often offer last minutes deals. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep an eye out for them.

Roadtrip tips
Sep18

Taking road trips with kids can be tough, particularly if you have younger children who aren’t used to long car trips. You are probably dreading the inevitable “Are we there yet?” chorus every time you take an exit or pass through a hamlet. Travel goodie bags can be a way to occupy kids with fun, portable activities that will keep them entertained until arrival.

Here are some ideas for travel-savvy goodie bags to make your road trips with kids more manageable.

  • Snacks for the Road

    There will most likely be stops along the way where you grab lunch or pick up picnic ingredients for quick sandwiches. But between that, you’ll want something for the kids to munch on. Buy snacks like candy, trail mix, and crackers in bulk to save money. Then, you can separate them into little baggies tied with a ribbon so each child gets their own goodies.

  • Bite-Sized Coloring Book

    You can find small, travel-sized coloring books and mini portable crayons or pencil crayons to match at any dollar store. You can also browse online on Amazon if you can wait a day or so for shipping. It’s almost impossible to fill a whole coloring book in one trip so you can guarantee they have something to do the whole way.

  • Road Trip Bingo Card

    Make a bingo card filled with common things to see on a road trip, be it wild animals, farmhouses, flowers, or whatever you can think of! Keep a few additional toys in the front seat with you to use as prizes when the kids complete the whole bingo sheet! For older children, you can make it more challenging by making less common block items, like specific types of birds or specific colors of signs/buildings. You can also make it easier by requiring that they only complete one row. Don’t forget the “Free!” center square so they feel like the game can start right away!

  • A new toy

    Whether they like Minecraft or dinosaurs, there are plenty of small toys you can buy for them to play with. These will last the whole trip and give them something to do in the vacation rental in the evenings or at a park or beach. Pick something durable so that it can join them in the pool or lake if they want. Wrap it individually so that they can have fun opening a “present” once they get their goodie bag.

  • A Puzzle or Brain Teaser

    There are plenty of small, time-consuming puzzles that you can add to the bag to occupy your child. Think about Rubix Cubes, metal brain teaser links, wooden block puzzles, or ball-to-goal obstacle courses. You will want to find something small enough to pack along but without any easy-to-lose pieces.

Need some help planning where to go for your family trip? Ask us about our vacation rentals in beautiful British Columbia and we’ll find something perfect for you.