Top Ten Family Winter Fun

With the growth of the younger population, Fernie has seen an influx of programming and events for kids and families over the last few years. This has not only been fantastic for those residing in our community, it has become a great resource for those visiting, whether regularly or for a winter adventure. Educational programming, outdoor pursuits, arts and culture opportunities, and a whole lot of fun await you and your family on your visit to Fernie. We hope you enjoy your time, and get to knock some of our Top Ten off your list during your stay!

1. Swimming
The Fernie Aquatic Centre is a multi-purpose indoor facility that is great for all ages, with four bodies of water including a pool for small children, rope swing and a slide, sauna and steam rooms, pool-viewing area, and fitness centre. Visit Fernie.ca for more information. Another great option is the pool at the Stanford Inn which is available for birthday parties and special events. Look for dining and pool specials for the family! Ferniestanfordresort.com 

2. Hit the Slopes
Fernie Alpine Resort has a myriad of opportunities for kids of all ages. Children under five can receive a Tiger Pass for just $20, which offers full mountain access. The Magic Carpet is a great place to start with the basics, with the Mighty Moose next in line. The Winter Sport School has lesson programs for all ages, and day care is available on mountain. A popular evening choice is night skiing Fridays and Saturdays 4-9pm. While this is fun for the kids, it’s also awesome for parents, as Slopeside has a patio campfire looking over the Mighty Moose with snacks and beverages available. Skifernie.com

3. Nordic Skiing
There are various options depending on the level and length of time you and your family would like to be out on the trails. The Fernie Golf and Country Club offers a shorter, flat route perfect for a quick escape or those just learning. Montane off Coal Creek Rd. offers groomed trails as well, with undulating terrain. There is also the option of skiing up towards or – for the very adventurous 
– to Island Lake Lodge, starting from the lower parking lot. And the Elk Valley Nordic Centre offers numerous trails and loops, with more vertical. Additionally, the Fernie Nordic Society is hosting many events great for wee ones this winter season. Visit our events section for more details, see the trails map at the back of this guide, or visit Fernienordic. com.

4. Tobogganing
Sitting at the base of a valley, Fernie has some hills and when they are covered with snow, they offer a whole lot of opportunity to those interested. One of the more popular areas for tobogganing in town is just behind the Dirt Jump Park, adjacent to the Aquatic Centre. There is a parking area located just below, where you can set up your tailgate snacks and hot chocolate, and kids can walk as high as they like on this fast slope! Alternatively, find a small hillside to your liking and have your own private tobogganing fun!

5. Snowshoeing
Kids and adults alike enjoy exploring the wilderness while walking through fluffy white powder, and Fernie has a large supply of wilderness waiting to be shared! There are fantastic options for kids, including the walk to Fairy Creek Falls from the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, or the Sherwoody Lookout loop at the Mount Fernie Provincial Park. There are also trails available right in town, including Old Stumpy, which takes you behind the Fernie Golf and Country club, or the many available in the Ridgemont or Montane trail networks. If at the hill, Fernie Alpine Resort has a frequented snowshoe trail just off the lower parking lot that is a lot of fun! For a guided tour, visit Wildnaturetours.ca, or consider picking up a local trail map or the Fernie Mountain Bike Guide for the big picture!

6. Indoor Climbing
A great indoor option to break up your time in the great outdoors! There are two climbing walls in Fernie, one located at the College of the Rockies and the other at Evolution Health and Fitness. Both walls are available for you and your family. The College has set times the wall is open, along with the opportunity for you to book the wall for a specific date and time. 1-866-423-4691 
The Rock Garden at Evolution has a schedule, which includes family climb time, preschool climbing, and No School Fridays Kid’s climbing. Evolutionhealth.ca 

7. Community Programming
We are so lucky to have an abundance of family programs available in Fernie, including Kindergym held three times a week at the Fernie Family Centre, Toddlertime and Storytime at the Fernie Heritage Library, and Parent and Tot Fun Time at the Knox United Church. All of these programs and others are either free or carry a small fee for you and your children. For more details and additional options, visit Ekkids.ca.

8. Skating
There is nothing quite like skating outdoors. In town, skating on the Annex Pond, Maiden Lake or the pond at the Golf Course is a popular pastime. For the more adventurous, consider skating at Silver Springs in Elko. If it’s more of an indoor day, the Memorial Arena hosts public skating regularly, along with free public skating Monday to Friday from 10:30-11:15am. There is also drop-in Adult Shinny, Skate and Shoot and Youth Shinny. Visit Fernie.ca for further details. Perhaps after skating, your kids are keen to take in a game. Well, you’re in luck. Fernie’s Junior B Hockey Team plays regularly throughout the season. Visit our events calendar to see when they hit the ice during your stay! 

9. Art and Culture
Fernie is home to some beautifully restored buildings housing some of our best assets.

  • The Fernie Arts Station, located on 1st Ave in downtown Fernie, hosts new exhibits each month, and has an array of events and programs throughout the winter, including those catered to younger audiences. Theartsstation.com 
  • The Fernie Museum, located on 2nd Ave in the Historic Downtown, has a permanent exhibit This Is Our Fernie on the main floor that is interactive and a great way to spend some time with the family learning about our rich and dramatic history. It also hosts rotating exhibits on the 2nd floor, and has special events throughout the year. Ferniemuseum.com. 
  • Last but not least, is the Fernie Heritage Library just a few doors down from the Museum. This is a gorgeous building, worth visiting to just explore and enjoy a moment reading a book with the family. There are also regular programs hosted weekly for all ages, events such as the popular Booked! Fernie Writers’ Series, and much more. Fernie.bc.libraries.coop

10. Movie Time
The Vogue Theatre is also a beautiful historic building in downtown Fernie, showing first-run movies at 7pm nightly, with 9pm screenings on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as feature $6.50 2D and $8.50 3D matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Also, the Vogue regularly hosts film festivals, special screenings and the monthly Indie Films Fernie organized by The Arts Station. The theatre is also home to Fernie’s only arcade, just upstairs with more than 50 games available for party rentals! Visit Ferniemovies.com to see what’s on.