It's easy to love the long, hot summers of the Okanagan, and the spring and fall are filled with lots to do and see as well. But what happens when the winter months come and the cloud cover lowers and you aren't heading south for a few weeks? What are some things to do in these dreary months that still make you feel like you live in paradise?
You are in luck! There is still lots to do - one of the great things about small, social communities - and I have put together a short list to get you started. Here are 5 things to keep the winter months fun and full of warmth:
1. Get above the clouds for a ski or snowshoe
If the cloud cover in Vernon gets a bit much for you, there is a good chance that the 20 minute drive up Silver Star Mountain will get you above the clouds to soak in some rays - just don't forget your shades and sunscreen! Visit either the famous Silver Star Mountain for a great day of downhill, or if that's not your thing, cross-country skiing is a great way for a workout and to to enjoy the fresh air, or try out snoeshoes! Sovereign Lakes Nordic Center has great trails, rentals are inexpensive, and if you want to be up there even more, why not try volunteering?
2. Take in an Event at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre
If the snow is not your thing, you could check out one of the many events at the Performing Arts Centre. They have all sorts of local and touring performers and events and it's a great way to bring some warmth and laughter to your winter days.
3. Indoor Venron Farmers Market
If you have been missing your weekly trip to the farmers market, I have good news! For each Sunday in January and Febuary, you can visit the Indoor Vernon Farmers Market 12 - 4. Less fresh produce perhaps, but a great spot to pick up local offerings.
4. Get excited for the Vernon Winter Carnival in February!
February 5th is the first day of the Vernon Winter Carnival and you won't be bored after that! They have events happening almost daily, comencing with the Hot Air Balloon event (make sure to keep your eye open for the RE/MAX balloon!), including the parade on the 6th of Feb, and ending with a Community Skate on Valentine's Day. It's a historical community event for Vernon and you don't want to miss out!
5. Vernon Community Events
The Morning Star always has a wide variety of community events advertised in the Community Events section, so if you are looking to start a new hobby, join a club or attend an information event, there is always a lot going on. They will also announce events happening at some of the top spots in Vernon including the Vernon Jazz Club, Powerhouse Theatre, The Venron Art Gallery and many more.
This time of year inspires many of us to think about our neighbours and community.
I recently participated in the Realtor's Food Drive for the Salvation Army Food Bank and we are getting ready to give our annual contribution to the Vernon Family Resource Centre. These opportunities are always enjoyable for me, and it made me wonder what other initiatives are taking place in our community this season. What I found filled me with great cheer!
The Vernon Morning Star website currently has many articles that offer ideas on different organizations in Vernon and surrounding areas that cover all areas and communities. If you are looking for ways to give this holiday, (or any time of the year!) why not check out some of these local initiatives:
This project is here to help with the current needs of refugees arriving from Syria.
Venture Training is an organization that provides services and programs for people with developmental disabilities.
One of the more established organizations in our community, the Teen Junction supports at risk youth.
This whole fair is an excellent idea! Give a "gift certificate" to a charity of your choice.
This is something you can act on right away! They are collecting donations tomorrow afternoon.
If you don't have a chance to bring food donations to Fulton, the business on Anderson Way are collecting for the same cause.
The Upper Room Mission is a corner stone in our community and is always a great place to offer your support.
All of these projects are worthy causes where even a little can go a long way. Also, giving a donation in the name of someone else is a great way to include others in these amazing community initiatives.
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