Contributed by Amy Rauscher, Hannah Day and Julie McCoppen of Moga Moms
Being a parent of toddlers in the Okanagan is fun, it’s a great place to raise kiddos and take a family vacation. We are three passionate moms that founded MOGA (validating motherhood through courses, community and retreats). We are a global company, but started right here in the Okanagan and it’s our home base, where we are raising our families. Let us share our favourite places to take our toddlers in the Okanagan with you.
xox Amy, Hannah & Julie
BEST PARKS FOR TODDLERS IN THE OKANAGAN
The beautiful thing about living in the Okanagan is the outdoors! I grew up in Kelowna, in fact my family (the Days) have been around for more than 100 years! Here are my favourite parks to visit with kids in tow:
Mission Creek Regional Park, Kelowna
A favourite of mine as a kid, and I love taking my three-year-old here (while baby carrying my newborn). It is busy in the summer, but has LOTS of green space. Great for picnics and hiking, with a turtle pond to hike to for older kids (just follow the signs). There is also an educational centre. The main playground is great for little ones just learning to walk and tots, and if you come at the end of August/ beginning of September, you might catch the Kokanee spawning!
Quilchena Park, Kettle Valley, Kelowna
It’s important to know where the good water parks are when you are visiting in the summer, as it gets HOT in the Okanagan Valley. Slather your kiddos in some sunscreen and head up to Kettle Valley for this great waterpark! There is also a fantastic playground with an epic slide down a hill that your toddlers will love.
Ben Lee Park, Kelowna
Another fantastic waterpark (with a mini waterslide!) and playground. The playground is fantastic for toddlers with rubber playground surfacing. There are lots of trees (shade) to have picnics under.
Riverside Park, Kamloops
An absolute gem in Kamloops, with gorgeous old growth trees, lots of benches and places for a picnic. The playground is new and fantastic. If you live here or stopping through, definitely take your toddlers to this park, they (and you) will love it!
BEST ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS IN THE OKANAGAN
Let’s face it, sometimes you need a great activity to get your toddlers to wear themselves out on (hello early bedtime!). Here is a list of things to do:
Kangaroo Farm, Lake Country
The Kangaroo Creek Farm is a wonderful place for children of all ages. This natural farm setting has so many unique animals that you will not see anywhere else. Wallaroos, Kangaroos, Wallabys, Sugar Gliders, Emu (who loves popcorn!), Capybara (world’s largest rodent) and Patagonian Cavies. I am proud to say the animals are extremely well treated and given space when they need it from the kids. This is a must do in the Okanagan, where else can you hand feed a Kangaroo?
The Log Barn, Armstrong
My son is obsessed with dinosaurs, making the Log Barn an amazing hidden gem. The Mennonite family business has a large property with life size dinosaur statues, sand box diggers, and the best part – you can feed the 17 goats who spend the day on the famous goat walk (which stands 30 ft high). The food is seriously delicious. Pretty sure I love going as much as my son! Energy Plex, Kelowna
Energy Plex, Kelowna
If you are looking for indoor fun, the Energy Plex is perfect for kids of all ages (attention moms who want a place where all siblings will have fun!). They have a baby area, toddler section, all the way up to a rock climbing wall for the older kids. The best part of the Energy Plex I that it can be fun for the parents too. I know for me, climbing through the energy cube, or jumping on the trampoline, I sure get my work out in too.
Air House, Kelowna
Air House is honestly amazing! This place is sure to impress a chid of any age with a building full of trampolines! (Moms, you might want to make sure your pelvic floor is strong for this one). They have drop in times for toddlers, weekdays 11am – 1pm, to ensure it is quiet and safer for the little guys. I can personally promise you, after some time at Air House, you are guaranteed a quality nap time!
TODDLER-FRIENDLY PLACES TO EAT IN THE OKANAGAN
There is nothing worse than going somewhere where you do not feel welcome with kids. And h-angry kids are the worst. The three of us live for good coffee and eats, so you can trust us that these places are toddler friendly AND delicious.
Hello Toast, Kamloops
Literally THE BEST most family friendly place I have EVER eaten. It was so delicious that when we went to Kamloops this April, this is the first place Julie took Amy and I to eat at. It was so good, I ate there two more times in the two days I was there! Hello Toast serves ALL DAY BREAKFAST (the best) and when you show up with kids, they make sure you feel welcome and comfortable right away (including a toddler cup with a no-spill lid, an amazing selection of crayons and lots of paper to draw on). It is super funky, very busy (but you get in quite quickly for how popular it is). Seriously, you have to stop here to eat, you will not regret it!
The Art We Are, Kamloops
Let’s face it, once you discover a place where you can get good food, baked goods, AND COFFEE (mama fuel) that is kid friendly – you have found your place. The Art We Are is THE place to meet new mom friends and stop in when you need a hot cup of Kicking Horse Organic Coffee.
Momo Sushi, Kelowna
The Pandosy Street location is better with kids as you can get a booth.
Our three year old daughter’s absolute favourite! There is something about salty sushi that some kids love (anyone else?) If your littles like sushi and you do too, Momos is delicious and super kid-friendly. They also bring tots/kids a small plastic cup with a straw and special chopsticks.
QG Gelato, Kelowna
I am a sucker for amazing gelato. When I was pregnant in Italy I think I had 5 gelatos a day! We are so lucky to have this quality of Italian gelato right here in the Okanagan. Every flavour is simply divine! Our daughter likes the pistachio best (but you can try them all and they have lots of locally inspired flavours).
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations! If you want to follow our motherhood adventures, you can follow us here on Instagram and on Facebook.
Yours in Motherhood,
xox Amy, Hannah & Julie