A day at Vernon's Polson Park can be such a pleasant experience for all members of the family. A skateboard park is sure to keep daredevils busy for hours while others engage in a friendly game of tennis on the park’s two courts. Younger members of the family will have no trouble keeping cool in Polson’s water park after working up a sweat in the playground area. Less energetic individuals may instead wish to stroll along Vernon Creek and enjoy the many scents oozing from the park’s rose and Japanese gardens. Picnic tables and park benches also make the park a great place for having a picnic or watching soccer, football and other games being played on large grassy playing fields. It’s easy to lose track of time while lazing on a Sunny Okanagan day in Polson Park, but there’s no chance of forgetting the date: it is changed on the park’s floral clock every day.
Ellison Provincial Park
Dancing with the bees at Ellison Provincial Park near Vernon may be out of the question, but hiking on trails with porcupines, deer and squirrels isn’t. The 200-hectare park has three coarse, pink and sandy beaches on which to play volleyball, suntan and socialize by Lake Okanagan. Ellison’s numerous campsites are equipped with campfire pits so that outdoor lovers may sing the night away under the open sky. Underwater discovery is an adventure at Otter Bay in western Canada’s only freshwater dive park where sunken artifacts and plant life may be explored. There’s also lots of great fishing for those who would prefer to watch, rather than swim with, Lake Okanagan’s plant and animal life. Picnic tables and lots of green space make for great areas on which to enjoy an afternoon meal that was packed or purchased from one of Vernon's many fast food outlets and restaurants.
Kalamalka Provincial Park
Sometimes life requires a day at the park to be more of an active adventure than a quiet outing, and that’s what Kalamalka Provincial Park in Vernon is. Hiking, biking and walking trails are surrounded by 978-hectares of desert grasslands, wetlands, canyons, and forest. Sounds of swimmers splashing and the site of canoes gliding across the green-blue waters of Kalamalka Lake are sure signs that Summer in Vernon has arrived. Cross-country skiers take over the park’s network of paved and gravel trails once Winter arrives and the snow falls. The signs of nature are everywhere in Kalamalka, thanks to interpretive stops throughout the park explaining its wildlife, flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for the western painted turtle, northern alligator lizard and other permanent residents of Kalamalka Provincial Park while hiking, skiing and enjoying its natural environment.
Silver Star Provincial Park
There’s more to do in Vernon during the Winter than attend the Annual Winter Carnival. Silver Star Provincial Park has 50-kilometres of both world-class Nordic skiing and snowmobile trails. The over 6,000-hectare park is located Northeast of Vernon and is on the way to another major Vernon winter recreation attraction, Silver Star Ski Resort. Skiing Silver Star’s snow-covered trails is a great way to work up an appetite for a restaurant meal in the Winter; hiking them in the Summer may require a visit to the beach after to cool-off. In either case, a visit to the hot tub back at the hotel may be necessary in order to soothe sore muscles. One can learn about nature at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, but wildlife is all around hikers and skiers at Silver Star Provincial Park: bear, moose, owls, and other animals.