The Best Things to Do in Penticton With Kids: 30+ Great Ideas

Welcome to Penticton, where family fun awaits! This approachable small city situated between two lakes is an ideal destination for families with children.

From sun-soaked beaches and water activities to scenic trails and parks, Penticton offers a myriad of kid-friendly activities. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, there’s something for every family to enjoy.

Colourful ferris wheel at Penticton's travelling carnival, situated in a lakeside park during summer
Travelling carnival during Peachfest (August)

In this post, we will share the best things to do in Penticton with kids. Discover more than 30 ideas, with activities for all ages. Best of all, most of the suggestions are completely free!

While we don’t have children of our own, we have lived in Penticton for 7+ years. Over that time, we’ve taken notice of the best kid-orientated activities and child-friendly places and given recommendations to friends with children.

Last updated February 2024. For the most up-to-date information, contact individual businesses before visiting.

Best things to do in Penticton with kids

Use the below map to locate our recommended child-friendly activities in Penticton.

Explore Skaha Park and beach

Skaha Park is Penticton’s number one family attraction. The highlight of this 21 acre park is a gorgeous wide stretch of golden sand with a marked shallow swimming area.

The beach is backed by several playgrounds, volleyball courts, a waterpark and shaded grass areas. Washrooms and concession stands round out the facilities. With so much to do, families can easily spend the whole day here. Access to the park is completely free, as is the parking.

View of Skaha Lake Beach with hills in the distance and people walking on lake shore drive walking path.
Skaha Park Beach

Float the Penticton River Channel

A summer family trip to Penticton just isn’t complete without a float on the Channel! Penticton’s two lakes are connected by a man-made shallow river, the perfect destination for a lazy summer float.

Floating on the Channel is a great alternative to another day at the beach. It’s also completely free if you have your own tubes and two vehicles. There is a bus available as well as tube rentals.

Keep in mind that it gets just as hot on the Channel as the beach (30-35c in summer) and there is no shade at all. Be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Other safety tips and guidance can be found in our Penticton Channel Float guide.

People floating on inflatable tubes on the Penticton Channel, British Columbia
Floating the Penticton Channel

Swim at Okanagan Lake Beach

Okanagan Lake is located on the north side of Penticton, just a few blocks from downtown. The main beach is 1km long, backed by a paved walking promenade. There is a large marked swimming area (no lifeguards), with several slides and floating platforms.

Washrooms can be found in two places along the beach, with fire pits and picnic beaches around the middle section. The beach is perfect for swimming for families since the lake is quite shallow here. There isn’t a lot of shade but there are some trees along the western side.

View through the trees to sandy Okanagan Lake beach and inflatable Splash BC play structure
Okanagan Lake with Splash BC playground

Play at Loco Landing Adventure Park

Loco Landing is Penticton’s mini theme park, with go-karts, a ropes course, mini golf, bumper boats, an inflatable obstacle course and more. Entrance is free. Pay per attraction or purchase a pass for all. The pass is valid for a year so you can spread out activities over several days.

Since admission is based on height, not age, I would recommend checking possible activities on the website before visiting to avoid disappointment. Loco Landing is a quick walk from Okanagan Lake and the SS Sicamous as well as the River Channel. The park is open seasonally.

Explore the SS Sicamous and Model Railway

Over 100 years ago, the SS Sicamous sternwheeler transported residents, visitors and goods around Okanagan Lake. The historic vessel sits at the western side of the Okanagan Lake promenade, a sentinel of the city’s past.

Restored by volunteers, the Sicamous now hosts an interesting museum. Families can walk the decks and take in the lake views, all while imagining what travel would have been like all that time ago. Kids will love the working model railway on the first floor.

Boat view of large white SS Sicamous paddlewheeler on land, surrounded by rocks, with blue sky and fluffy clouds above
The SS Sicamous as seen from Okanagan Lake

Play on the floating Splash BC playground

Featuring inflatable slides, obstacles, climbing walls and more, the Splash BC floating playground is a very popular attraction on Okanagan Lake. Formerly known as the ‘Wibit,’ the structure is in place from late June to early September each year. All children wear life jackets while playing.

Children under 9 require chaperones, which has an additional cost for the main structure (beyond the limited ‘Kids Circuit’). To save money, consider the evening pass (5.30-7.30pm). It offers a 30% discount.

Check out Penticton’s giant peach

Penticton’s iconic giant peach structure is a must-see when visiting with children! Perched close to the edge of Okanagan Lake, the huge peach offers a great photo opportunity. During the summer months, there is a concession inside the peach (currently offering lemonade).

Penticton’s original name, snpintktn, is displayed on the side of the Peach. It is the nsyilxcən Interior Salish word commonly translated to ‘a place to live all year round.’

Giant peach kiosk with a painting of Munson mountain on its side.
Penticton’s giant peach

Enjoy a treat at Lickity Splitz or Cherry on Top Shake Shop

Families craving something cold and sweet on a summer’s day need to look no further than Lickity Splitz and the Cherry on Top Shake Shop. Located next to each other on Lakeshore Drive, these seasonal businesses are both playful and tasty!

Lickity Splitz serves up traditional ice creams while the Cherry on Top Shake Shop delivers crazy milkshakes (each with cake decorations) and decadent dipped cones. There are plenty of photo opportunities in the bright and funky interiors.

Go climbing at Skaha Bluffs or Hoodoo Adventures

Penticton is one of the best places to go climbing in all of British Columbia! Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park has more than 1000 different climbing routes, ranging from beginner-friendly to expert. The Day Care area of the park is very popular with young families as it is host to several easy climbs (rated 5.6-5.7).

Lessons and courses are available through Skaha Rock Adventures and Hoodoo Adventures. The latter also has an indoor climbing gym in the downtown area.

Back view of climbers ascending and belaying at rock climbing wall at Skaha Bluffs in Penticton
Climbing at Skaha Bluffs

Cool down at the Lakawanna Park Splash Pad

Hot day in Penticton? The Lakawanna Park Splash Pad is the place to go. Play with spray guns, water buckets and sprinklers at this fun free-entry park near Okanagan Lake. There is a fenced playground here as well. Please note that this park will be temporarily closed for upgrades in spring 2025.

There is another splash pad playground in Kenyon Park in Okanagan Falls.

Get thrilled at the Penticton Speedway

Located just above the city on Carmi Avenue, the Penticton Speedway is a long-standing Penticton tradition (50+ years!)

There are races most weekends from mid-May to late September, with a special Halloween ‘spooktacular’ event as well. The Monster Trucks are always a hit with kids.

Walk or cycle the Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Previously an important goods and passenger train route, the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail is an almost completely flat multi-use path for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

One of the most scenic and accessible sections of the KVR is located between Vancouver Place and the McCulloch Trestle (5km return). This stretch of the KVR offers spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, the city of Penticton and surrounding vineyards.

There are two short hills, with the rest being completely level. The surface is suitable for strollers. For some en-route refreshment, continue another 500m past the trestle to reach family-friendly Abandoned Rail Brewing.

A cyclist is riding away from the camera on the downhill dirt KVR path, with fencing on both sides and vineyards beyond. In the background, a calm lake is visible as well as mountainous terrain on the other side
Cycling the KVR Trail

Ride the Naramata Road pump track

The Naramata Road pump track is a great place for kids to burn off energy! A pump track is a purpose-built circuit cycling track that requires no pedalling or pushing.

This free pump track is around 10 minutes drive from Penticton. Alternatively, it is possible to cycle there via the KVR Trail (around 45 minutes from downtown). I would recommend visiting early or late in the day as the track doesn’t have any shade and can get very hot.

Visit the Ikeda Garden Koi

The Ikeda Garden was built in honour of Penticton’s twin city in Japan. Sitting just adjacent to Okanagan Lake, just northeast of downtown, this small Japanese-themed garden is an ideal destination for families.

The highlight of the garden is the deep pond with koi carp. There is a walkway over part of the pond, making it possible to spot the fish as they swim around. Enjoy looking at the fish but please don’t feed them. During early fall, it is usually possible to spot Kokanee salmon in the creek next to the garden.

Ikeda Garden, Penticton's Japanese Garden, with pond and platform stretching into middle, surrounded by fall scenery
Ikeda Garden koi pond

Paddle Skaha or Okanagan Lake

With two large lakes on either side of the city, Penticton is a great place to go paddling. If you don’t have your own kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, rentals are available on both Skaha and Okanagan lakes.

I’d recommend staying close to the beaches with young children, as there are a lot of power boats on the lakes during the summer months. Naramata can be a little quieter. Another option is to head out on the lake early (before 10am) or late (after 7pm).

For a one-of-a-kind Penticton experience, book a Glow SUP Night Tour. Each paddleboard is equipped with bright LED lighting to provide a literally glowing lake paddling experience!

Summit Munson Mountain

Have your family ever climbed to the top of a mountain together? Penticton offers an opportunity to do just that, with the easy-to-access Munson Mountain Viewpoint. Sweeping views of the city and Okanagan Lake await at the top of this extinct volcano. This is also the home of the iconic Penticton sign!

There is a lower and upper summit area, with the latter reached by a short but steep rocky path. Families with very young children may want to stick to the lower area, which is accessed by a paved flat path. Either way, the parking lot is less than 10 minutes drive from downtown Penticton.

Side view of bench on Munson Mountain hike, with expansive views of Okanagan Lake and city of Penticton below, with forested hills as backdrop
Munson Mountain Viewpoint

Check out the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market

The Penticton Farmers Market operates every Saturday from April to the end of October (8.30am to 1pm) and features more than 50 vendors who either ‘make it, bake it or grow it.’

This downtown market is a great place to buy locally grown fruit and vegetables, fresh flowers, artisan bread, handmade decorative items and more. It’s also just a fun place to be, with live music and other entertainers.

The Farmers Market is joined by the Downtown Community Market from May to September. An additional 60 or so vendors occupy two more nearby blocks, with food being a strong focus.

Explore the skate park

Penticton is host to one of the largest skate parks in the entire Okanagan Valley, which features a choice of bowls as well as obstacles. Situated in Riverside Park, the main skatepark is very close to the Penticton Channel, Loco Landing Adventure Park and the SS Sicamous.

There is a smaller skatepark on Warren Avenue, on the other side of the city as well.

Street view of Saturday Farmers' Market in Penticton, with small stalls on both sides of the road, pedestrians walking inbetween
Farmers’ Market in Penticton, British Columbia

Head indoors – movies, escape rooms and parkour

Looking for an indoor activity? Whether you’re looking to enjoy some air conditioning in the summer or warm up in winter, Penticton has families covered for indoor activities.

The downtown Landmark Theatre showcases all of the latest movie releases as well as occasional ‘oldies.’ Be sure to reserve in advance for Tuesday, which is a discounted day.

Located just behind the movie theatre is EXIT Penticton. This escape room venue hosts four different themed rooms, each with unique twists. Children must be at least 7 years old to participate.

For something a little more active, check out Ethos Parkour. This family-operated parkour gym offers kids the chance to run, climb, jump, play and explore an environment of obstacles. Check the schedule first for open gym time.

Visit a winery tasting room (yes really!)

With the majority of wineries close to Penticton being child-friendly, it is still possible to go wine tasting with children in tow. I would recommend making reservations so you don’t have to spend time waiting around.

Some wineries are better set up for kids than others, with Origin and D’Angelo on the Naramata Bench being two of the best. Origin and D’Angelo both have scenic lawn areas with picnic seating and toys.

Please note that Covert Farms in Oliver is no longer offering wine-tasting experiences and tours (as of 2024). Once the most child-friendly winery in the South Okanagan, it previously featured in many lists of the best things to do with children in Penticton.

Back view of wooden deck area with picnic table and Adirondack chairs, overlooking spectacular views of Okanagan Lake and the mountains beyond
Origin Winery

Meet the animals at Gottagoat Farm

This relatively new attraction has quickly become a local favourite. Gottagoat Farm is located on Green Mountain Road, closer to the Apex Ski Resort junction. The welcoming farm is home to a range of goats including some miniature varieties. There are also horses, chickens, cats and a farm dog to meet.

Gottagoat Farm is open all year round, with visits by appointment only in winter. There are goat yoga classes during the summer months.

Attend one of Penticton’s many family-friendly events

Penticton has a ton of family-friendly events, all year round. Peachfest, held in early August, is one of the most popular, with five full days of completely free live music and entertainment.

There is a dedicated ‘Kiddies Day’ with a parade, petting zoo, bouncy castle, play tables and more. The main festival includes a twice-daily diving show, motocross performances, a sandcastle competition and hours of live music. Shooting Star Amusements is usually in town at the same time as Peachfest as well.

Back view of people sitting in front of stage at Peach Festival in Penticton, backdrop of trees
Penticton Peachfest

Best child-friendly activities near Penticton

There are many more things to do with kids beyond the Penticton city limits. Here is a taster of the most popular child-friendly activities around Penticton:

  • Explore Naramata Creek Falls – A short trail to a beautiful waterfall, some rock-hopping/wading is required. Kids love the river and forest setting. Wonderfully shaded during the hot summer months
  • Cycle to the Little Tunnel on the KVR Trail – 9km return flat path to a historic railway tunnel and picnic area with sweeping views of Okanagan Lake below. Also possible as a hike but may be a little long for small legs (stroller friendly!)
  • Hang out on the beach in Naramata – Get a change of scenery and head to the beach in Naramata. Manitou Beach has a wonderful playground
  • Visit Sun-Oka Beach – One of the best family beaches in the South Okanagan region. Lots of shade, picnic tables, parking and more
  • Ride the heritage Kettle Valley Railway steam train – A 16km long journey on the only preserved section of the KVR
  • Explore the Summerland Ornamental Gardens – This entry-by-donation garden offers plenty of space and a chance to learn about local plants and trees
  • Walk across the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge – Enjoy the views from this 73m high bridge on the Kettle Valley Railway (note operating times!)
  • Browse Summerland Sweets – Find some gifts to take home and satisfy your kids’ sweet tooth with locally-made ice cream, honey, syrups and more
  • See the spawning salmon at Hardy Falls – Explore the short, flat riverside trail to Hardy Falls at any time of year, with salmon visible in the water in fall
  • Go ziplining in Peachland – Amp up the excitement with some ziplining! There are six different ziplines as well as a climbing wall
  • Check out the KVR trestle bridge in Okanagan Falls – This long wooden trestle bridge is popular as a jumping spot (at your own risk). Also a good place to start a walk on the KVR Trail
  • Visit Tickleberry’s – An Okanagan institution! This family-owned ice cream business has been serving up sweet treats for more than 30 years. The original location is in Okanagan Falls
  • Swim in Osoyoos Lake – Experience BC’s warmest lake in Osoyoos. There’s a floating play structure here as well
  • Explore the Osoyoos Desert – Learn about Osoyoos’ unique desert environment with a walk on an elevated boardwalk (paid attraction)
  • Enjoy the views of Spotted Lake (Kliluk) – Take in the views of this sacred medicine lake featuring colourful mineral pools 
  • Visit the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre – Discover the legends of Sen’klip (the Coyote) and more about desert ecology and wildlife via indoor and outdoor exhibits
Interior view of Little Tunnel with tall rocky walls and landscape visible beyond. A man stands at the entrance looking up to the ceiling
The Little Tunnel

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