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Still wondering how you’re going to keep your kids active during Spring Break? We’ve rounded up five special events happening in Prince George that are guaranteed to keep your children active and entertained while learning in a fun environment!
Spring Break Kids Camp at Otway (March 13-17): Your child (ages 6-12) can spend time outside snowshoeing, cross country skiing, learning about nature, playing games and more at Otway. Half Day Camps (9:30am-12:00pm) are $20 (plus rentals and trail passes) and Full Day Camps (9:30am–3:30pm) are $40 (plus rentals and trail passes). Call or email Otway to register (250-564-3809 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Spring Break at the Pool (March 11-26): Dive into the world of water while playing fun games at the Prince George Aquatic Centre and Four Seasons Leisure Pool. Games run daily from 1:30pm-4:00pm.
Spring Break Creativity Camps at Two Rivers Gallery (March 13-17, 20-24): Create with the Masters (March 13-17) and spend the week learning about artists and their masterpieces. Also spend time creating your own inspired works of art! The second week will have participants drawing, painting, sculpting and more as they play and experiment with colour in Colour Play (March 20-24).
Both camps are aimed at children in grades 1-7 and run from 9am-4:30pm. Register online at TwoRiversGallery.ca. Cost: $194.
Spring Break with Camp Kanannaq (March 15, 17, 20): Spend the day outside with your favourite Camp Kanannaq staff hiking, building a fire, roasting s’mores and much more. Activities will include a hike to Raven Lake (March 15, ages 13-15), exploring Forests for the World (March 17, ages 7-12), and a trip to the Ancient Forest (March 20, ages 7-12). Cost is $40. Learn more by calling 250-562-9341 or visit nbcy.org.
Spring Break Cultural Crafts at Prince George Native Friendship Centre (March 24): Join the Prince George Native Friendship Centre for free cultural crafts for the entire family between 10am-2pm. No registration required, call 250-564-3568.
Family Day 2017 is quickly approaching so we thought we'd put together a list of five special events that are being held throughout the City of Prince George!
Family Day at the Northern Sport Centre
10:00am - 4:00pm
Celebrate Family Day with the Northern Sport Centre with free activities and special guests including the Spruce Kings (2-3pm), our mascot, Fraser the Moose, Super Dog from the SPCA, A&W Root Bear, Chance from the PG Humane Society and Kingston from the Spruce Kings. Activities include: indoor playground (10am-3pm), pickleball (10am-4pm), basketball (10am-4pm), fencing (10am-11am), badminton (10am-1pm), Family Tae Kwon Do (12pm-1:30pm), rugby and wheelchair sports (1pm-3pm), and family yoga (3pm-4pm).
As an added bonus, parking at the NSC lot will be free on Family Day!
Learn more here.
Family Day at Ness Lake Bible Camp
9:00am - 4:30pm
Located on the shores of frozen Ness Lake, explore the camp's property with the whole family for no cost! Tackle the climbing wall, let loose inside the heated gym, play board games, shoot a game of pool, slide down the sledding hill and go ice skating (weather dependent). Enjoy a hot lunch and snack to replenish your energy for all the activities!
This event is free, but the organizers would appreciate an RSVP so they can adequately plan. If you don't RSVP, that's okay, feel free to show up anyways!
Learn more here.
Paint the Ice after a Prince George Cougars Game
The Prince George Cougars are hosting a special feature game on Family Day. The game starts at 2:00pm and after the game fans will have the unique opportunity to paint (decorate) the ice! The next day the Cougars and Chiefs will place on the freshly decorated ice.
While you're at the game, you can buy your tickets for the February 14th game for 50% off!
Learn more here.
Family Day at Otway
10:30am - 3:00pm
Otway is celebrating Family Day with a hot dog lunch (by donation), hot chocolate and marshmallows! They will also be leading a Family Snowshoe Nature Tour and Relay Games for $10 per family (rentals and trail pass not included).
Rentals, lessons, and family trail passes will all be half price! (Call to register for lessons before noon on Sunday, February 12).
Call 250-564-3809 to register for ski lessons and snowshoe games.
Learn more here.
Family Ice Fishing Event
11:00am - 3:00pm
Join the Spruce City Wildlife Association for a free family ice fishing event at Ferguson Lake! Limited rods and tackle will be available for participants (or borrow ice fishing equipment for free from Tourism Prince George - just pick it up before we close at 4:30pm on Friday!).
Please note, anyone over the age of 16 must carry a BC Freshwater Fishing License, available online or from the fishing counter at Northern Hardware.
Learn more here.
We're going to be out and about enjoying all the fantastic family fun and we hope you will participate in these community events!
Top 5 Winter Activities
Prince George is a family-friendly city in each of the four seasons. We invite you to pull on some mittens, don your toque and get outside! Once you embrace winter, Prince George-style, you too will love it when the water starts to freeze on the lakes and flakes start to fall from the beautifully crisp skies.
Here are our top 5 winter activities (in no particular order -it's just too hard to choose!)
Step into a pair of bindings and let gravity assist you as you glide down one of our four hills. Hart Highlands Ski Hill is located in city limits and is where many families bond over skiing or boarding for the first time. Tabor Mountain Ski Resort and Purden Ski Village are both located east of town and are excellent hills to spend the day on without spending hours in the vehicle. Serious powder hounds travel two hours north to Powder King Mountain Resort in the Rocky Mountains. Powder King is home to an annual snowfall of forty-feet each year!
Location: Powder King Mountain Resort
The Prince George Cougars (WHL) and Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL) are two remarkable teams based in Prince George and create excellent entertainment for the entire family. Cheering these two teams on at the CN Centre and Rolling Mix Concrete Arena has been a long-running Prince George tradition. To make the evening extra special buy your tickets for a feature game night!
Photo Credit: Simon Ratcliffe
Location: CN Centre (Prince George Cougars Hockey Game)
Lace up your skates and learn why sub-freezing temperatures are welcome in Prince George. When winter is in full swing we have an abundance of community rinks (two-dozen to be exact) and numerous frozen lakes so you can truly stretch your legs. Rinks are a great place to meet neighbours and new friends for a game of pick-up hockey.
Photo Credit: Colin Duff
Location: Ness Lake
When snow blankets your favourite trails and you can no longer go for a hike without sinking through the snow we recommend strapping on a pair of snowshoes and marvelling in the magical surroundings. Trails become more serene and peaceful when they’re covered in snow and it’s easier to see animal tracks. Some popular snowshoeing places are Otway Nordic Centre (requires a trail pass), Eskers Provincial Park (30 minutes north of town) and Crooked River Provincial Park (one hour north). The trail to Livingston Springs in Crooked River Provincial Park is rewarding because the springs never freeze over and the water is crystal clear.
Location: Goodsir Nature Park
Grab your sled of choice and slide down one of five sledding hills located in town. This is a great way to get together with friends and enjoy a wintery day or evening – just make sure to warm up with hot chocolate after!
Carney Hill (Massey Dr. and Carney St.)
College Heights Secondary School (6180 Domano Blvd.)
Harry Loder Park (baseball diamonds beside Rainbow Dr.)
Moore’s Meadow (1st Ave. and Zimmaro Ave.)
Rainbow Park (Rainbow Dr. and Liard Dr.)
Location: Rainbow Park
Where to ride is a tough decision these days in Prince George.
While trying to decide what trails to ride one day, my riding partner and I mutually commented that there were almost too many choices. Although not a bad thing, I will admit I have a difficult time riding all our local trails in a given season. Prince George has multiple areas to ride, with levels to suit all abilities and interests. Otway has added close to one new trail every year for the past 5 years and I am almost certain the Pidherny Recreation Area has exceeded that.
Along with the growth of our trails, is the growth of the riders. People ask me all the time why I think there has been such a huge growth. My answer is simple and always the same: because it’s fun! As a mountain bike instructor, I coached about 40 brand new riders this past season. When I say “brand new”, I mean people who have never ridden on dirt before. Some of these people literally bring their fresh new bike to the lesson and have not even ridden it yet. And the best part is seeing their smiles when we are finished!
For a beginner starting out, the best place to visit would be Otway. These trails are located in the midst the Otway Nordic Center ski trails on Otway Road and are all single-track trails. There are 2 full green trails, many blue rated options with a few black mixed in for a lot of variety. For a beginner, I recommended doing a loop of Home Run and Tin Can Alley. If you have a little more experience but questionable fitness, take Home Run-Inside Passage-Midway-Karma; and yes, there are maps posted at all the major junctions making navigation a breeze. If you are more experienced and like a good workout, get yourself up to the Doghouse via Curves-Espresso or Karma-Twister-ACDC, all great climbs. You can do a couple loops up top including Java, Cyclone and Cross Cut to easily fill an hour and a half. If you like “old school” technical riding, check out Tree Hugger and Adams! Otway has something for everyone, even some fun little air time opportunities on Cyclone and Tornado Alley.
Pidherny is generally considered a little more advanced than Otway, only because it has some steeper/ technical sections that are not as easily avoidable. If you are a beginner rider, I would suggest parking at the top parking lot on Foothills Blvd., which is directly across from Vellencher Road. A beginner option would be to take the green Foothill Access trail all the way to the Ten Dollar/Flow Job trailheads. Both Ten Dollar and Flow Job are blue rated, but do-able for a beginner; just ride slower your first time so you don’t accidently get air on some bumps or roots. Both these trails take you down to the mid-way point of Pidherny, where you can do repeated loops going back up Ten Dollar. Note that Ten Dollar is the only two-way trail to get you back to the access trail, so caution when going both directions. I would not recommend going much further down if you are a beginner, because you still need to get back to your vehicle at the top. Some people will park a vehicle at the bottom and shuttle up to avoid the climb back out.
If your skill level suits some steeper descents, start with the blue access trail from the top parking lot all the way to the start of Papa Woods. You can then take any of the trails from here including Papa Woods, Carcass and Dixie noting that all have Technical Trail Features (TTF’s), most with ride arounds. If it’s your first time down one of these, ride with caution and check out the features first before attempting them. You can also descend the more advanced Valve Job or New England Clam Chowder (NECC), which both come off the blue access trail before you reach the Papa Woods trail-head. These will pop you out on a quad trail; hang a right, then a left, bringing you down to the start of Ditch Pig, which will take you a little further down. If you need to get back to the top parking lot, you can head back up to the road and then up Ten Dollar and along either access trail. Or you can plan to shuttle and avoid the climb.
Pidherny also has some extremely challenging technical cross country loops that are better accessed from the lower parking lot, and are located on both sides of Pidherny Road. These include Climb It, Pulaski, Front Porch, McLeod on the east side of the road as well as Gus’ Grind, GXC, Peanut Butter, Big Ass Hill, Sidewinder and Ridge XC on the west side. Don’t say I didn’t warn you that most of these have advanced technical sections and some challenging climbs! Note that the east side trails are currently not on the Pidherny Recreation Site trail map, as they are out the previous boundary; this includes the bottom of Valve Job and NECC. The future map will have these east side trails as the boundary has been extended. I highly recommend you have a map on hand as there are currently no trail maps posted within the trail network, only in the parking lots. Even with a map; however, you may still get a little lost. If getting lost if not your thing, I recommend you try to ride with someone local who knows the trails.
Be sure to bring water with you and maybe even a small snack. Also, a spare tube or patch kit, tire levers and a pump may prevent a “less fun” walk out. You can access links to trail maps and other local cycling information at www.pgcyclingclub.ca. Stay safe and have fun!!
PMBI Level 1 Instructor
Fem Bike BC
Tourism Prince George is excited to announce a new event series for our sport stakeholders: the SportPG Speaker Series! These informal training and networking events will be a great opportunity to learn about a topic at the heart of sport hosting from a local expert, network with fellow sport stakeholders, and enjoy some tasty food and drink, all courtesy of Tourism Prince George. Mark your calendars and register today, you don't want to miss out!
Four evening sessions are planned to be held in the Kin 1 Lounge on Tuesday evenings throughout 2016. Click on the links below for additional information.
Each attendee will be entered into a draw to win a FREE registration at the 2017 CSTA's Sport Events Congress in Ottawa in Marcy 2017! The more SportPG Speaker Series events you attend, the more you'll be entered to win. Click here for more information on Sport Events Congress.
Whether you’ve visited Prince George once, twice, or a dozen times, chances are you’ve heard of the Otway Nordic Ski Centre- –and for good reason! Conveniently located on Otway road, only minutes from downtown, the ONSC facility has certainly become a hotspot for people looking to get active and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that Prince George has to offer.
Personally, I have grown to know this amazing facility quite well over the past few years. After moving to Prince George three years ago to pursue the sport of biathlon, the ONSC quickly became my primary training grounds and, ultimately, my second home. And how could it not have? There is no other outdoor facility in Prince George as diverse as Otway is; especially one that is open for use all year long! Thanks to the support of the facility’s dedicated volunteer and paid staff, Otway is able to keep over 55 kilometers of trails well maintained throughout the year. And these trails are not only for cross country skiing, aside from the 3-5 meter wide ski trails, the club has also designed a plethora of single track trails that are used for mountain biking, running, and even snowshoeing! And as an added bonus, due to recent upgrades, over 5 of these 55 kilometers are equipped with lights making after-work workouts & evening adventures safe and enjoyable for everyone.
So, were you thinking of trying something new this winter? Perfect! Whether you’re completely new to skiing or snowshoeing, or an experienced athlete looking to improve your skills, I can guarantee that the Otway Nordic Centre has something for you. With a focus on getting its users to stay active for life, the ski centre offers a wide range of drop in classes, private lessons, and long term programs that are tailored for every skill and age level! And if PG is just a stop along your journey and you don’t have your equipment with you while you’re on the road –don’t worry! Otway has an onsite rental shop that would be happy to outfit you with all of the equipment you will need for a snowshoeing or cross country skiing adventure!
Now, as a Prince George resident for three years I may sound biased as I speak about Otway so highly, but, let me explain to you why I’m doing so. After the announcement that the 2015 Canada Winter Games would be held in Prince George, and that the ONSC would be the venue for both the Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon events, the executive directors at ONSC wasted no time in beginning to prepare for the Games. These directors, as PG residents themselves, were passionate about showing the nation the beauty of the city, thus leading to the design of incredible upgrades for the facility that they believed were sure to leave visitors in awe. Over four years these designs became a reality as Otway underwent a major facelift. This began with the construction of a world class biathlon range, two new timing buildings, and some of the most technical and exciting race courses in all of Canada! When the games finally came around the hard work certainly did not go unnoticed. Athletes, coaches, and spectators from across the country left Otway spreading raving reviews and, quite often, vows to return to PG’s trails again in the future.
So, not convinced to go check it out yet? Ok, give me one more shot. Here’s one of the main reasons why I always enjoy my time spent on the trails out at Otway.
As remarkable as the facility is, one of my favourite things about Otway is the welcoming atmosphere that it’s users create. Whether it’s early Sunday morning, or late on a Friday night, you are never completely alone out at the centre; some days you may only have the silent stares of a herd of deer keeping you company, while other days you’ll be sharing the trails with over a hundred young skiers taking part in the ski school programs (but don’t let that scare you off, there’s plenty of room on the trails for everyone!), but each and every visit you will not have to look far to find joy in your adventure. The strong sense of community and friendship that is shared amongst the users on the trails has always been comforting to me, and it will surely keep you returning to Otway over and over again!
Some of my very best memories of Prince George were made at the Otway Nordic Ski Centre, and I am confident that some of yours could be too!
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