It’s summer in Prince George and Move Up PG along with Northern BC Moms have a family fun challenge for you to complete before the summer is up! We’ve compiled a list of our favourite spots for families, to take kids of all ages, in the heat, under smoky skies and every season. All you need to do is check off the PG family activities you’ve done before school starts!!
When it’s HOT
Head to L’heidli Tenneh Memorial Park! It’s the prime location and most inclusive park in town with a splash pad, playground, Little Prince steam engine, The Exploration Place, and the ice cream shoppe (when they’re open). It’s our favourite place for the whole family to spend the day and where most of the big events in town take place. There’s something for everyone at the park including: walking trails, volleyball nets, gardens, giant cottonwoods, memorial burial grounds, bandshell, and a walking path that borders the mighty Fraser River with CN Rail trains passing by in the distance across the river.
The scenic views of the cut banks while shaded under the giant cottonwoods throughout this longstanding park not only make this park special, but its history does as well! Did you know, this site was formerly Lheidli T’enneh Village? Next time you visit, take a moment of gratefulness to enjoy such a beautiful park on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, remember the lost children, and feel the power behind the exhibit, on display at The Exploration Place.
On busy weekends and during peak times, we love to find more space at the lake! Did you know we are blessed with over 25 lakes in Prince George and area?! Check out our PG Lake City post for our local lake bucket list and printable checklist! But…if we had to choose our top 10 spots on hot day are:
- Bear Lake
- Purden Lake
- West Lake
- Summit Lake
- Shane Lake
- Mud River
- Ness Lake
- Chief Lake
- Salmon Valley
Or escape the heat altogether at one of Prince George’s bowling, billiards and mini golf:
If we had to choose a favourite, it would be Strike Zone because the Ice Cream Express is right next door!
Wood House Cottages and Ranch is such a hidden gem in PG. It’s just west in the lower Mud River area and a sweet spot for a wedding or a weekend getaway! There are 5 cottages including a bubble room, a pond pool, and horses on this active ranch. Oh, and the host Marlene is just lovely. She really goes above and beyond! When we visited, she loaded all the kids up on the quad to go and see the horses up close.
El Shaddai Ranch trail and pony rides are another one to add to your list! With 94 acres of forest and meadows, the ranch is fully enveloped by nature. And it’s only 15 minutes south of Prince George. We have yet to try this out yet but it’s on our radar and summer bucket list. If you’ve visited El Shaddai Ranch, leave us a review below.
In the winter months, don’t miss out on your annual horse drawn sleigh ride at Crazy M Ranch, which is located about 15 minutes West of Prince George. Book ahead and leave yourself enough travel time to get there. After a scenic tour of the farm, finish off your visit fireside or in the beautiful farm cabin complete with cookies and hot cocoa.
A day trip to Barkerville Historic Town & Park never disappoints in any season. It’s open year round, but the shamrock tube run and ice skating rink are only open in winter. We love to grab yummy pizza from Red Tomato Pies and play at the big park in Quesnel after visiting Barkerville or explore Hixon Falls and hit up the Hixon Take Out on the way home.
Find waterfalls in any direction on BC Parks’ website. If you’re East of town, don’t miss the Ancient Forest! It’s a short hike with an accessible boardwalk to see the only inland temperate rainforest in the world. Plus, you can cool off at the waterfall located at the peak of the hike. The park has seen huge upgrades in the last few years, is very well maintained, and even has new facilities, picnic tables, and tonnes of parking.
Our favourite waterfall is found near Powder King and Azouzetta Lake Lodge, the epic Bijoux Falls. Visit in the spring to see the full power of this cascade! We’ve witnessed the parking lot covered in water before. While you’re up there, make sure to stop in for the most amazing doughnuts at Azouzetta Lake Lodge Café. For more waterfalls in the area, check out Northern BC Mom’s Waterfalls Around PG post.
When it’s smoky
When the smoke from summer wildfires is too much to handle, stay inside! We like to head to the pool or enjoy a night at one of the local hotels with waterslides:
Blow off some steam climbing at Overhang, or visiting the YMCA rec room or the skate park across the street after getting in a workout or running at Masich Place Stadium track! Childminding is available at the Y for a small fee.
Chill out at the Prince George Public Library, grab some new reads, music and/or games, and watch the fish for a bit before skipping across to the Civic Centre pavilion to view the latest exhibits at Two Rivers Gallery. Entrance is by donation and exhibitions change monthly.
Drop in to Stickies Candy (they have ice cream!) and see what’s playing at Famous Players or head out to Park Drive In Theatre (open weekends). If you head out early on the weekend, you can make a whole day of it with their raceway go karts and mini golf too! Grab dinner at the concession and let the kids run wild on the playground. Two thumbs up for this longstanding PG staple!
For the big kids
Get your parkour on at Olympus Freerunning or try open gym or battle bows! Ages 8 and up.
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Do your kids like puzzles? Then they’ll love and EXIT PG escape room. Make a reservation today to try out their chamber of serpents, lab rats, upside down, mummy, or virtual reality rooms as a whole family.
Or if you have a gamer in the family. Classic McDonalds and Gamescape (Lyon St. by the college) or Gamechangerz VR (Massey) are a safe bet.
Have you ever tried roller skating? Like real classic 70s style roller skating? Well you still can at the Roll-a-Dome! Public roller skating is open weekends, holidays, and non instructional days from 2-4 pm. Scooters and skateboards are Wednesdays from 5-9 pm.
And last but not least, we love visiting the Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum at any time of year. But in the summer months we like to follow up our train ride with a picnic at Cottonwood Island Nature Park and search for new rocks to post in PG Rocks as well as looking for the all the face carvings by Elmer Gunderson, and we always make sure to bring stale bread to feed the ducks. A great way to spend an entire day mostly outside!
And that’s it. Our legendary locations in PG for family fun bucket list! If you’re able to check all of our favourite family fun ideas off your list before school starts, you can sure call yourself a proud PGer and all of us at Move Up PG and Northern BC Moms would be highly impressed! Email your completed checklist with photos to email@example.com to receive a special prize, while supplies last.
From all of us at Northern BC Moms
~Bailey, Kate and V