When we contemplate making a big move, we consider things like career, housing, cost of living, daycare, schools and lifestyle. But what about the little things that make a city special? Its nuances and hidden gems; things that make a place great but aren’t necessarily commercial, ‘bucketlist’ or found on Yelp. Here are 17 totally unique things about Prince George life you’re going to love – that you don’t even know about. (Yet!)
1. You may not realize it, but the ice cube tray is always full in winter. Just snap an icicle from your roof’s gutter and you’ve got an ultra-cool stir stick. Impressive, practical and undeniably Canadian.
2. Winos rejoice! Prince George is home to Northern Lights Estate Winery, British Columbia’s northernmost winery. Cheers to that!
3. Prince George’s dark skies offer ample opportunity to admire aurora borealis, ortherwise known as the Northern Lights. Watch the night sky dance in shimmering shades of green.
4. Question: what do Kiss, Elton John, and Snoop Dogg all have in common? Answer: they’ve headlined at Prince George’s CN Centre. When big time acts play an intimate 5,967-seat arena, there literally isn’t a bad seat in the house.
5. Prince George is home to one of B.C.’s three surviving drive-in theatres. Park Drive-In Theatre is perfect for the kids, date night or a dose of nostalgia.
6. Daylight stretches well past 10 p.m. in the warmer months, meaning evenings literally last longer in the north. High fives for long summer days and twilight barbecues.
7. How about teeing off with professional hockey players, and all for a good cause? The Annual Prince George Cougars Alumni Hospital Charity Golf Tournament sees live auction style bidding to play a round of golf with the likes of Dan Hamhuis, Eric Brewer and other Cougars alumni. The evening wraps with a gala dinner and silent auction. Register early because this event sells out.
8. There’s nothing like slinging a pair of ice skates over your shoulders and walking around the block for a neighbourhood game of pond hockey. You heard me right: there are outdoor ice rinks in Prince George neighbourhoods. Now, how cool is that?! Click here to find an ice rink near you.
9. Speaking of outdoor ice rinks, this happens in winter:
10. Just in case skating loops outdoors shivers you to the core, you can always stretch your legs indoors. The Pine Centre Mall Walking Program runs year-round, inviting people to walk loops in the mall before the shops open. Click here for Pine Centre Mall hours and free registration.
11. Winter means you can make these jellybean-inspired ice orbs for your yard. Fill water balloons with a few drops of food colouring and once they’re fully frozen just peel off the balloon.
12. Walk and seek at Cottonwood Island Park. This park has a special location on the traditional territory of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, right where Fraser and Nechako Rivers meet. Not only is it a pleasant place for a stroll, but there’s an added bit of whimsy: look high and low to spy Elmer Gunderson’s artfully crafted Tree Spirit Carvings. Can you spot all seven faces?
13. Prince George is home to one of the best book shops I’ve ever been to. Books and Company is the type of bookstore that fuels your appetite for reading. First, lose yourself in its charming maze of bookshelves and then tuck into an armchair with a steaming cup of chai. It’s a lovely way to pass away the afternoon.
14. Stay with me on this one – after years of searching the province for Van Gogh pineapple vodka, I resigned myself to the fact that you just couldn’t buy it in Canada. So who would have thought I’d find it at Prince George’s 10th Avenue Liquor? And for those moving up to Prince George from the south, you’ll be relieved to hear they also carry a respectable selection of Vancouver craft beer.
15. Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh…well actually, it’s a pair of draft horses. There’s nothing more quintessentially Christmas than a sleigh ride through a winter wonderland. You’re going to love this new family tradition.
16. City people are going wild for locavore diets and farm-to-table dining. Kind of funny because in the north, hunters never lost touch with their food source. If you haven’t ever tasted lean, organic moose meat, take it from me, it is delicious. Thing is, you won’t necessarily find it on local menus. So heed my advice: befriend a hunter.
17. What’s the best thing about life in the north? It’s my hope that YOU help grow this list by joining the conversation on Facebook. Click here to let us know what makes your Prince George special.