Top Ten Family Winter Fun 2019/20
Fernie is such an attractive location for families for a variety of reason, but above all else because of the opportunities and amenities available for this younger cohort (and also those young at heart). As the number of families continues to grow, so does the programming, facilities and events geared to this market… and really, it’s to the benefit of us all, providing a great resource not just for those residing here, but those visiting. Educational programming, outdoor pursuits, arts and culture opportunities, and a whole lot of fun! Here are our top ten for you to explore this winter!
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. They also have weekly events, classes and more. Visit fernie.ca for more information.
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 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. 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, and the Elk Valley Nordic Centre offers numerous trails and loops including a beginner loop. The Fernie Nordic Society hosts many events great for wee ones throughout the winter season, including monthly family ski evenings. 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 excitement. 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 at the base, where you can set up your tailgate snacks and hot chocolate, and kids can walk as high as they like on this fast slope! There is also a slope at Fernie Alpine Resort, to the left of the Mighty Moose, and tailgating is also an option as you watch your kids slide or ski in the evening!
5. Events. Throughout the season, there are many events hosted with kids in mind! The Festival of Lights kicks things off November 10 at 6pm. Try to hit one of the workshops leading up to the festival to build your own lantern! In December, don’t miss the Christmas Play by Heart and Soul Dance Collective, Do They Know It’s Christmas: Back to the 80s at the Arts Station. Also watch for Fernie Alpine Resort’s family friendly New Year’s celebration, and their Griz Kids’ Carnival in the New Year! Another not to miss event is Shred Kelly’s Stoke Fest. This popular local band goes out of their way to include a kid-specific concert earlier in the evening and it is a big hit. There is so much more, so make sure to keep checking FernieFix.com to see what is happening during your stay!
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 with the opportunity to book a specific date and time. 1-866-423-4691 The Rock Garden at Evolution is also available for you and your kids, and is a great opportunity to expose them to this sport. evolutionhealth.ca
7. Community Programming. We are so lucky to have an abundance of family programs available in Fernie, including Kindergym 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. ekkids.ca.
8. Skating. There is nothing quite like skating outdoors. In town, skating on the Annex Pond, Maiden Lake or at the rink at the Fernie Court House (weather dependent) is a popular pastime. Recently, a full-sized outdoor rink was built adjacent to the Aquatic Centre! If it’s more of an indoor day, the Memorial Arena hosts public skating regularly. 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. Fernie’s Junior B Hockey Team the Ghostriders play 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 hosts new exhibits each month, and has an array of events and programs throughout the winter months, including those catered to younger audiences. fheartsstation.com
The Fernie Museum 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, along with special events. Ferniemuseum.com.
Last but not least, the Fernie Heritage Library. 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,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 and 3D matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. The Vogue regularly hosts film festivals, special screenings and the monthly Indie Films Fernie organised by The Arts Station. The theatre is home to Fernie’s only arcade with more than 50 games available for party rentals. ferniemovies.com
Alongside the popular events that take place each year, new and exciting ones continue to pop up filling the calendar and adding to an already exciting time in Fernie. We’ll be keeping our events calendar up to date at ferniefix.com, to ensure you don’t miss out while here!
Photo Credit: Vince Mo