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Feeling isolated? Here's some fun things you can still do in Kamloops, Okanagan

Looking out over Okanagan Lake from the top of Knox Mountain.
March 14, 2020 - 8:00 AM

It seems like everything is getting cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the sports leagues are cancelled and the Centre for Disease Control and Canadian healthy officials are encouraging everyone to practice 'social distancing' to slow the spread of infection.

And just in time for spring break. 

It's a bit of a bummer. Kids are bored, trips are cancelled and people are self-isolating. The big question is: what can we do for fun?

Here's a list of things to do that aren't cancelled due to COVID-19. This story was reported on March 13 and things are changing fast, so be sure to check latest information directly from sources before you go.


Virtual Online Tours

Explore the world from the comfort of your quarantine with a virtual online tour.

If you're craving a little culture, check out any of these 2500 museums and galleries around the world through Google Arts and Culture.

Or, watch some live animal cams from the San Diego Zoo.

Take a virtual tour of the various natural attractions at Yellow Stone National Park, or explore the surface of Mars.

Have a look around at The Great Wall of China, or tour the Boston Children's Museum.

Take online classes for free

If you're looking to do a little learning and you've got some time on your hands, you can take courses online for free from respected universities like Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale. Explore the subject of your choice, from Computer Science to Marketing, English to Visual Arts, and many more.

Discover podcasts

Podcast genres vary widely from educational, humorous, news focused or simply entertaining. Shows are accessible on multiple platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Sound Cloud, or the podcast app that comes pre-downloaded on most smartphones. 

If you're looking for humorous podcasts, check out How Did This Get Made?, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus, Why Won't You Date Me? With Nicole Byer or Sooo Many White Guys.

If you're interested in True Crime podcasts, try Serial, My Favourite Murder, Criminal, or The Last Podcast on the Left.

If you want an educational show, try Freakonomics Radio, Pod Save America, The New Yorker Radio Hour or American History Tellers. 

Hit the hiking trails

Now is a great time to reconnect with nature.

Spring is in the air, and these hiking trails are open for adventures.

In Kelowna, hike these top six trails.

In West Kelowna, check out the Mount Boucherie trails, or hit the the Trans Canada Trail in Penticton.

Don't let the snow at higher elevations intimidate you, just follow our guide to winter hikes in Kamloops.

You can also make your hike more interesting by doing some geocaching around KelownaKamloops, Vernon or Penticton.

Bike the Okanagan Rail Trail

If there isn't construction in the way, it's biking season on the Okanagan Rail trail. 

Get outside and hit the rail trail in your area, and if you're in need of a drink after all this COVID-19 stress, try our Okanagan Rail Trail Brewery Tour.

Take your fur babies to the dog park

Although there has been one possible case of a dog in Hong Kong infected by COVID-19, there is not enough information available to cause dog owners any concern.

Check out this new park in Kamloops, or the Lake Avenue beach access in Kelowna, or these dog parks in Vernon.

Go to the mall

Although your instinct may not be to hit a busy shopping mall, the appropriate precautions are being taken at Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna.

Their March 11 press release states that "Orchard Park has increased focus on its intensity and frequency of its cleaning program."

This includes hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the mall, and the increased frequency of cleaning all touch points within the common areas, plus washroom stall doors, hand railings, garbage cans, mall entrance doors and furniture. 

The use of food trays, strollers and kids rides has been suspended. 

It has also adjusted its hours of operation. From Monday to Friday the mall is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

See a movie in theatres

While Cineplex announced that it will be temporarily closing their entertainment venues beginning March 16, Landmark Cinemas remains open. They will be reducing the number of maximum patrons allowed in theatres by roughly half the usual number, according to a press release.

Its reserved seating system has blocked every other love seat recliner or conventional chair to dramatically increase personal space.

Further, Landmark has implemented new cleaning policies that include frequent disinfecting of common areas including theatre lobbies, door handles, counters and self-serve areas, auditoriums, restroom facilities and other high touch areas.

Hit the arcade

Scandia Golf and Games in Kelowna is open as usual. The only change in light of COVID-19 is the increased cleaning and sanitizing of high touch areas, including all games. 


Capri Bowling in Kelowna is taking precautions.

"Staff are washing their hands and sanitizing more often to cut down on the spread of germs," Marissa Stevens, seniors league coordinator, with the bowling alley said.

Staff members are also leaving the front door open so customers don’t have to touch handles. The only thing customers may be concerned about is the balls are mechanically scrubbed so it is use at your own risk, she said.

McCurdy Bowling in Kelowna and Falcon Bowling in Kamloops are taking preventative measures against the virus by increasing the frequency of disinfecting bowling balls, washrooms and all high touch areas. 

Did we miss a fun, non-cancelled event where you live? Provide the details in the comment section below.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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