The last few summers we’ve spent a fair amount of time in Kelowna with the kids. We love to be anywhere that is close to a lake! This year we decided to take a road trip to Vernon to do some exploring as a family. My husband is home with us this summer so we’ve had some extra time to travel and explore with the kids. This was our first time staying overnight in Vernon and exploring the city!
We set out to spend a couple of days in Vernon to explore what this city has to offer. Our list was long of things to see and do so we were busy! Vernon has a retro vibe to it which we loved, especially in the downtown area! Some parts of the city felt like we were transported to the past, with cute vintage shops and old world charm. Vernon also has 4 lakes close by that you can enjoy in the summer months!
Things To Do With Kids
Davison Orchards – If you are headed to Vernon a visit to Davison Orchards should be at the top of your list! This quaint country village has plenty of things to see and do that will keep your family busy for hours. Here you will find fresh local produce grown right in Vernon that they use in their bakery and cafe to make delicious farm fresh food.
The Orchard Tour takes you on a tractor train through the orchards to see the various fruits and vegetables grown on the farm including apples, peaches, tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins to name a few! For over 80 years the Davison family has been running the farm with 3 generations of family members working there today. We loved the history behind the working farm, a lot of which we learned on the Orchard Tour. We also learned about how many different types of apples there are and how to prune an apple tree to grow fruit for the season.
The barn was a highlight for our kids, they loved having the opportunity to feed the farm animals! The barn is home to goats, sheep, chickens, pot bellied pigs, guinea fowl and a pony. You may also spot one of the barn cats hanging out in the sun. Bring some quarters with you as they have feed available to purchase to feed the animals.
Crazy Cow Kids Corral is 1 acre of of fun for kids! The kids can race ducks (bring a loonie to purchase a duck) with old fashioned water pumps, dig in the sandbox and play on the tractors. They also have a playground area for the kids to run and play. You can sit and relax in the shade while they have fun exploring.
Later, stop by the shops to cool off and pick up some farm fresh produce or delicious baking. Products made in house are available and made with their own produce. These include jellies, salad dressing, chutneys, salsa and more!
Atlantis Waterslides – I can’t even remember the last time I was at an outdoor waterslide park. We were all so excited to check it out this trip! It was a hot day in Vernon, the temps hit +36 so it was the perfect way for us to cool off. The park is about 5 minutes outside of Vernon and it took us around 45 minutes to get there from Kelowna. There is plenty of parking available once you arrive and the admission line goes quickly to get everyone in.
We arrived about 15 minutes before opening to get in line. We wanted to make sure we got a picnic table close to the pools so we had a good view of the kids. There are plenty of tables available as well as cabanas for rent if you are looking for something more private. We’ve finally hit an age that the kids can go off together on the slides which was perfect for us to sit and relax! They offer 10 different waterslides, a hot tub, concession stand, ice cream parlour, and gift shop with a candy store. We stayed for lunch and the kids enjoyed a burger, chicken fingers and fries and slurpees which were great for cooling off in the heat!
Kalavida Surf Shop – We headed to Kalamalka lake across the street from the surf shop for some stand up paddle board lessons as a family. Our daughter has never been out on a board alone so it was great to have a lesson for her to learn how to paddle and stand up all by herself. We were so impressed with how quick she picked it up thanks to Adrienne our instructor!
It was a hot sunny day and hit +35, so it was the perfect day to be out on the lake to cool off from the sun. Our whole family enjoyed this activity, if you have smaller children it is also a lot of fun because they can sit on the front of the paddle board with you. Kalamalka lake is filled with families enjoying the beaches. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour which i’ve never seen in a lake before!
After some time at the beach you can stop by the shops for some coffee and snacks, ice cream or a little shopping at the surf shop. They even have a mini grocery store right there for your convenience.
Vernon Farmers Market– We love going to the farmers market with the kids and seeing all the amazing local foods and products for sale. Every Monday + Thursday the Vernon Farmers Market is open from 8-1 and it runs April through October. The market was a fair size and offered lots of variety throughout. It was great to see so many locals supporting locals!
You can find them at Kal Tire Place, located at 3445 – 43rd ave.
Toy Stores – There’s something about “small town” toy stores that are so nostalgic. They always seem to carry old school and different toys then you see in the big box stores which is part of their overall charm. The kids were so excited to find not one but TWO toy stores in the city of Vernon!
Vernon Teach and Learn is a one stop shop that offers aisles of toys plus an ice cream and candy store inside! We had to pick up some of the retro candy they had for the kids, the pop rockets were a huge hit! Find it at 3015 – 30th ave in downtown Vernon.
Teeter Totter Toys was a short drive from Davison Orchards and was filled with laughter and giggles from the children shopping inside. We picked up some cool toys we hadn’t seen before for the kids to play with on the drive home. Find it at 3416 Coldstream Ave.
Where to Eat With Kids
We set out to find some great local places to eat with the kids while visiting Vernon. There were lots of great options to choose from! We like to hit local restaurants while travelling, not only to support them but because they often have something on the menu that the locals rave about!
Naked Pig – We HAD to check this place out after it was recommended to us by so many people and it did not disappoint! They offer happy hour from 3-6 pm and daily specials including the Wings + Pizza combo for $30 which Denny and I shared. The Black + White pizza was delicious and came with smoked chicken, house alfredo sauce, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, sweet balsamic reduction.
They have a great kids menu with lots of kid friendly options for fussy kids like mine (pizza, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, etc). Our kiddos enjoyed the cheese pizza that also came with a side of fries.
The atmosphere was modern rustic and the location was great for taking a stroll after having a big meal. We loved the whole experience!
You can find them at 2933 -30th ave in downtown Vernon.
The Garden Parlour – We set out to find a local ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream in Vernon. The Garden Parlour offered a huge variety of flavours in store with most of them being homemade. There were so many flavours we had a hard time choosing! After sampling a few, we settled on coconut pineapple, watermelon skittles, black forest and chocolate peanut butter. All of them were delicious!
You can find them at 4202 – 32nd street, unfortunately they don’t have a website or social media.
Davison Farm House Cafe – Located at Davison Orchards, the cafe menu offers farm fresh food made with the freshest ingredients, many of which are grown right on their land. The cafe is great for kids as well, they offer classic favourites like hot dogs and grilled cheese for those picky eaters. I can never find an egg salad sandwich anymore so I was excited to see it on the menu! It did not disappoint! Denny tried the seasonal tomato sandwich with borscht which he loved and we all had the apple juice slush which was delish and perfect for a hot summer day.
We finished off lunch with some fresh pie that is baked in house daily. We tried both the cherry and apple pie served with ice cream! Even though I am a huge cherry fan, this was my first time having cherry pie and let me tell you it was amazing!
Where to Stay With Kids
Prestige Vernon Lodge – Our time in Vernon was short but while we were there we stayed in a signature suite at the Prestige Vernon Lodge. The location was perfect for our family to get out and explore, it was a short 5-10 minute drive to everything we went to! The suite was perfect for our family and offered a separate family room space from the bedroom which had 2 queen beds.
The kids enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool and hot tub after a long day out in the sun. It is located inside the atrium and is surrounded by more than 1,000 tropical plants which we’d never seen before! They offer towels right at the pool for your convenience as well.
The hotel also has 2 restaurants on site for your convenience as well as board games and activity books for the kids. The hotel incorporates the nearby creek as a key element of its design, offering a natural flow of streaming water from the outside. The creek can be found in the garden atrium area.
Thank you to Tourism Vernon for inviting our family to explore the region and take part in activities while visiting. Views expressed are my own based on our personal experiences.