family activities

dice games

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!

Halloween events Kelowna

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.

pumpkin baking

Going away for the weekend doesn’t have to mean living off crusty gas station cookies when you get the inevitable sweet tooth. We believe that home baking can travel with you anywhere, which is why we’ve compiled this list of 4 pumpkin-themed baking recipes that are uber easy to make. Bake and pack them beforehand…or, stay in one of our luxury vacation homes with a full kitchen suite.

  1. Pumpkin Granola

Oats, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin puree are the star of this granola dish. Plus, coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, and brown sugar add all the sweetness you could possibly desire. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then another hour to bake, so consider making it the night before if you want a get-up-and-go treat first thing in the morning.

Full recipe on Tasty Kitchen.

  1. Baked Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin can be used in the main course, too. If you have some picky eaters in the family, try this pumpkin mac and cheese dish. No one can say no to mac and cheese! Other than the usual mac and cheese ingredients that you would expect, you will also want to pick up some pumpkin puree and ground nutmeg. This easy lunchtime treat takes just under an hour to make.

Full recipe on The Bossy Kitchen.

  1. Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This recipe takes only 45 minutes to complete with minor prep time of about 10 minutes. A perfect afternoon craft! You also get about 18 muffins out of it, making it perfect to share with friends or family. All you need is pumpkin spice cake mix (or similar cake mix of your choosing), pumpkin puree, cinnamon chips, and chopped pecans. Makes a perfect dessert!

Full recipe on AllRecipes.

  1. Pumpkin Smoothie

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, you might want to try this pumpkin smoothie. Pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, apple cider, milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Pumpkin smoothies are great for a midday snack or even a quick breakfast. Don’t forget to pack your personal (1 serving) blender so that you can make smoothies on the go, no matter where you are. We highly recommend it.

Full recipe on Express Life.

Need somewhere to stay for a quick week/end getaway this Fall season? Contact us to learn about one of our many vacation rental properties, from cottages to larger group facilities.

Skiing & Snowshoeing

Where to Do the Best Skiing and Snowshoeing in the Okanagan

Everyone loves a good summer vacation. But what are we supposed to do for the other 10 months of the year? The winter season actually has plenty to offer adventurers looking to get away for a long weekend or more.

Sporty travelers heading to the Okanagan have plenty of trails and skill hills to choose from – and we’ve compiled some of the best!

Tip: Many of these locations offer both skiing and snowshoeing, so be sure to read their website or call ahead to see what’s available!

Okanagan Ski Resorts

If skiing or snowboarding is your thing, these hills are the best in the west:

  1. SilverStar Mountain Resort

SilverStar Mountain Resort boasts 132 runs, a ski-in ski-out village, and seasonal festivals that bring live music, food and drink, and other activities to the hill. You’ll find it in the Shuswap Highland of the Monashee Mountains, just northeast of Vernon, B.C.

  1. Big White Ski Resort

Big White Ski Resort is so infamous that some students attend Kelowna’s UBC university campus just to have access to their legendary runs. With 118 designated Alpine trails and over 25 km of Nordic trails, you have plenty of mountain to explore.

  1. Apex Mountain Resort

Located near Penticton, Apex Mountain Resort has 4 lifts, 79 marked runs, over 40 unmarked runs, 4 terrain parks, and over 5000 ha of backcountry terrain. The village resort has everything you need between runs, like a bistro and saloon.

Okanagan Snowshoeing

There are plenty of places to snowshoes, here are some local favorites:

  1. Kettle Valley Railway

Accessible via Myra forestry service road, June Springs road, or Chute Lake road, the Kettle Valley Railway is a trail that runs through Myra Canyon near Kelowna. The total trekking distance is 12 km out and back with a 150m elevation gain.

  1. Kelowna Nordic

20 min east of Kelowna, just off Hwy 33 on McCulloch FSR, Kelowna Nordic is a dog-friendly park with 75 km of snowshoeing trails, a toboggan hill, a day lodge, special events from time-to-time, and warming huts along the routes.

  1. Telemark Nordic Club,

Find the Telemark Nordic Club west of Okanagan Lake near the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort. The area has 5 snowshoe trails ranging from 2 km to 15 km, depending on what you’re looking for. In total, they have over 50 km of trails to enjoy.

Skiing, snowshoeing, or all of the above! There’s plenty to do in the Okanagan during the wintertime. Stop by and enjoy everything that our landscapes and trails have to offer, even during “off” season.

Want to plan a skiing or snowshoeing getaway? La Casa Mirador is open to book all year round and can accommodate up to 28 people! We’ve also got a private roof top hot tub to warm up in after a long day in the snow! Contact us to start planning your next winter vacation!

Family Day Activities

Family Day Activities in the Kelowna Greater Area

Family Day lands on Monday, February 17th, 2020 this year – a perfect time to enjoy some long weekend activities together with friends and family. Or, take a mini vacation to recharge yourself in the Okanagan Valley this winter season.

Whether you are traveling with children, with a S.O., or on your own, you will be able to find the perfect event this Family Day:

Families with Kids

  1. Skating at Stuart Park Outdoor Rink
    Open daily from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM
    Free to skate; rental equipment can be purchased

With skates available from Bladez Skate Truck for $4 – $5 apiece ($2 for helmet), Stuart Park Outdoor Rink is the perfect whole family activity for Family Day weekend. Check the live camera updates on their site to ensure the rink is open before stopping by, as weather conditions and maintenance cause temporary closures at time.

  1. Vernon Winter Carnival: Family Day in the Park
    Saturday, Feb 15 starting at 11:00 AM
    Free to enter.

Located at Paddle Wheel Park in Vernon, B.C., this family-friendly afternoon event features games, a bouncy castle, the Annual Polar Bear Swim (1:00 PM), balloon creations, carnival pals, s’mores and hot chocolate, a bonfire, and so much more. There will also be BBQed Johnsonville sausages available by donation.

  1. Spread the Love event at East Kelowna Market
    Sunday, Feb 16 starting at 10:00
    Free to enter, items for purchase available inside

Join the East Kelowna Market for a selection of art, craft, and food vendors; wine tastings from local wineries; live music; an arty DIY corner for painting wooden hearts; and more. The first 50 guests will receive a sweet baked treat and be entered to win a prize basket. Homemade soup is available by donation with proceeds going to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Couples or Solo Adults

  1. Wine and Yoga at Volcanic Hills Estate Winery
    Saturday, Feb 15 at 10:00 AM
    $20 fee

Located in beautiful West Kelowna, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery offers an early afternoon Wine and Yoga event for anyone 19+. The 15,000-square-foot property is located on Boucherie Mountain, a 60-million-year-old dormant volcano, which inspired the winery’s name. Their wine names follow the theme with items like “Magma” and “Eruption.”

  1. DeTox + ReTox Yoga at Rustic Reel Brewing Company
    Sunday, Feb 16 at 8:30 AM
    $20 fee

The Kelowna Greater Area is renowned for its home-grown wine selection. But they have started to break into the craft beer market in line with the growing trend across B.C.! Enjoy 75 minutes on the mat with Rustic Reel Brewing plus a 10oz cider, kombucha, or beer. This event is BYOM (“Bring Your Own Mat”).

  1. The Science of Whiskey at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery
    Monday, Feb 17 at 6:30 PM
    $60 fee

Hosted at Western Canada’s oldest craft distillery, this blind whiskey tasting night is the perfect Family Day event for those looking to mix-and-mingle over drinks. For this event, Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery will guide you through sampling a few of their products and explain the process of their creation.

While not every province observes Family Day, British Columbia sure does! So join the friendly Okanagan residents for a relaxing and fun-filled Family Day this 2020.