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In most parts of BC, May Long Weekend is eagerly anticipated and signals the beginning of camping season and days spent doing activities. Keep reading to learn about some great activities to do this weekend and what campgrounds are open in the Prince George area (hint: almost all of them!)
Top 8 Activities to do this Weekend (May 18-21):
1. Visit Huble Homestead for Spring on the Homestead (May 20 & 21): Kick off the 2018 season by learning about different tasks that pioneers completed to ensure the rest of the year was a success. Activities include planting the garden, making ice cream, and the May-Pole dance. There will also be a treasure hunt to complete and local music to enjoy.
2. Take a Ride on The Little Prince: Saturday, May 19 is The Little Prince’s first day on the tracks in 2018 (weather permitting)! Visit The Exploration Place in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park and enjoy this classic and affordable ride. Tickets range from $1 to $3.50 per person. The train will be operating from 12pm-8pm. Enjoy some Frozen Paddle Ice Cream from the Scoop Shop while you’re there.
Update: We just learned through The Exploration Place's Facebook Page that The Little Prince will be delayed from opening this weekend. Visit their Facebook post to learn more. The good news is that they will still be selling Frozen Paddle ice cream!
3. Visit a Park: Prince George has so many incredible and beautiful parks to enjoy. Some favourites include Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, Connaught Hill Park, Wilson Park, Rainbow Park, Wilkins Park, and Goodsir Nature Park. All of these places make for a great place to enjoy a picnic and the beautiful weather.
4. Shop at the Farmers’ Market(s): Pick up fresh, local food for your picnic in the above mentioned parks from either of the two Farmers’ Markets in Prince George on Saturday. Both Markets are in new, spacious, and welcoming locations: the Prince George Farmers’ Market is at 3rd Avenue and Quebec Street (inside and outside) and the WS Farmers’ Market is at Pine Centre, outside of the old Sears location.
5. Go Fishing: Gather family and friends and spend some time at the lake. The Prince George Visitor Centre loans out fishing rods and tackle for free, all you need to do is have your fishing license. Stop by, pick up your gear, and head out to the lake. Not sure where to go? We also have a handy pamphlet featuring ten fishing lakes in the Prince George area available at the Visitor Centre or online.
6. Enjoy Horseback Riding: Just thirty minutes south of downtown Prince George is El Shaddai Ranch. Call ahead and book a lovely two hour trail ride with a friendly herd of horses. Your ride will weave through meadows and forests and a viewpoint of the Baldy Hughes area (a perfect place to take pictures).
7. Join the Prince George Sikh community as they celebrate Vaisakhi: There will be a colourful parade starting at Guru Nanak Darbar (4298 Davis Road) at 10am and will stop at the CN Centre from 12-2pm. At the CN Centre there will be announcements, displays, and food booths (including samosas, pizza, and sweets). This parade celebrates the Sikh New Year and founding of Khalsa, Order of Sikhism.
8. Go Camping! Here are all the campgrounds that are currently open:
Since this weekend is such a popular camping weekend we strongly suggest calling ahead to make reservations to all private campgrounds.
Note: West Lake Campground opens on June 1. Salmon Valley Campground will also open in June.
Whatever you do this long weekend, we hope you have fun enjoying Prince George and stay safe. Need to brush up on your knowledge around having a safe campfire? Check out our recent post with information from the Government of BC regarding fire safety.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and there’s lots of unique things happening to show your mom how much you appreciate her. Brunch is a popular choice and a great way to spoil mom (and yourself). Not in the mood for brunch? Spend some time making pottery at Carlson Pottery or go for a picnic at your favourite city park (FYI: Connaught Hill is now open).
Keep reading to learn about five things happening this weekend for Mother's Day.
Dandy Lines: Celebrate your mom with Dandy Lines on Saturday, May 12. Emily Jane Photography will be taking images at the pop-up photobooth, florals will be on hand from Something Blue Floral, Fabulous Cakes by Jenn will be providing mini cupcakes and there will be giveaways.
Mother’s Day Mug Class: Spend quality time with your mom while making a mug or a vase during a two hour class at Carlson Pottery. Cost is $29 per person and you can register online at carlsonpottery.com/classes.
Mother’s Day Brunch at Cornerstone Kitchen and Lounge: Join the Ramada for their annual Mother’s Day Brunch. There will be lots of food options, including a custom crepe station, custom omelette station, and desserts. Three seatings are available and cost varies between $15.99 (for kids under 12) to $29.99 (for adults).
Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet at Fore Bistro: Fore Bistro is offering a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet with numerous food options including pastries, a seafood bar, a salad bar, crepe station (with flambéed fruit), carved baron of beef, and a variety of desserts. Reservations are required for the three seatings. Cost is $24.95 for adults, $12.50 for kids 12 and under, and free for children under 5.
Winston’s Mother’s Day Brunch: Treat your Mom to a fantastic spread including a Starter Breakfast Buffet (filled with parfaits and pastries) and a delicious entrée, and ending with a decadent dessert. Three seatings are available and cost is $29.95.
On Friday (May 4) we visited a few of Prince George’s most popular walking areas to learn if the trails still had snow, were muddy, or were dry. We visited Cottonwood Island Park, Forests for the World/Shane Lake, and LC Gunn Park. While we only walked to the first lookout at LC Gunn Park, that trail seemed to be in the best condition following winter.
Keep reading to learn a little more about the conditions at each location and to see some pictures.
A perennial favourite, Cottonwood Island Park is a great place to visit for a lovely stroll along the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. We parked in the parking lot beside the Railway and Forestry Museum and started off across the Cameron Street Bridge Replica to the Nechako River.
The trail varied between being slightly wet to muddy but in places where the trail is paved it seemed a little better. We did not walk the all of the trails but we anticipate that some detours may be in place due to the high level of water in the rivers. Keep your family and pets safe by not getting too close to the river bank as it may be unstable.
Overall, Cottonwood Island Park is always a lovely place to visit and the mud would not prevent us from going back (we’d just make sure to have good shoes on).
Note: During the spring melt, the rivers may surpass the riverbanks and flood the park. Visit the Parks, Trails, and Field Closures section of the City of Prince George's website to see if Cottonwood Island Park or any other of your favourite recreational areas are closed.
We took the quick walk from the parking lot on Kueng Road to Shane Lake and the trail still had some snow and puddles on it. There was one point where a large puddle covered the majority of the trail and we had to skirt along the path’s edge to keep our feet dry. However, Shane Lake is completely ice free and next time we’ll have fishing rods so we can cast into the lake from one of two docks.
Don't have your own fishing gear? We loan out rods and basic tackle for free, all you need is a fishing license!
Forests for the World can also be accessed from a parking lot near the University of Northern BC on University Way. We walked a short distance down this wide and well-maintained trail and the conditions that we experienced were surprisingly dry, better than the trail from Kueng Road to Shane Lake. However, we did not follow the trail all the way to Shane Lake, so we’re not sure on its condition as it weaves through Forests for the World.
Located just across the Yellowhead Bridge going east from Prince George, LC Gunn Park gives hikers wide views of Prince George, Connaught Hill, and the iconic Prince George cutbanks. Due to time we only walked to the first viewpoint and the trail was the driest we had seen all day. While we were there we saw some people out for a bike ride with their dogs and the dogs didn’t seem too muddy, so we’re thinking the rest of the trail is in a similar condition.
Do you know about the condition of other parks and trails in Prince George? We’re also eager to know which lakes are completely free of ice. Let us know by tagging your photos with #takeonPG on Instagram and Twitter or posting them to our Facebook Page.
Wondering where to go fishing in the Prince George area? Use this handy pamphlet that we created highlighting some great places to fish! This brochure has information on the species of fish in the area and lakes including Ferguson Lake, Purden Lake, Shane Lake, and more. We also mention which ones have docks, boat launches, camping, and other amenities.
Want a printed copy? Come by the Visitor Centre (1300 1st Avenue) to pick one up!
Recently students in CNC's Tourism and Hospitality Post-Diploma Program wrote about some of Prince George's attractions. Student Joshua Shin offered to share his blog post with us, read it below and enjoy his images:
Are you a newcomer to Prince George who loves Mother Nature so much?
If so, I would like to recommend some of the hidden gems in PG that have different attractions depending on the season.
1. Spring - Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park
In the middle of March, I took a walk in the park along the slushy path with melted snow.
The snow was already melting a lot, and I could feel full of spring energy in every corner of the park.
The most spectacular scene was the Fraser River, where floating ice was drifting away.
With such a gorgeous view, Prince George is clearly waking up from a long hibernation.
If you've been waiting for spring, just come and feel it! For more information, visit the website
2. Summer - Ancient Forest
If you are looking for somewhere to get away from the scorching heat, the Ancient Forest is definitely one of the best places to go in the summer.
When I visited the Ancient Forest, it was very hot outside (around 28°). However, I felt a bit cool.
It was filled with dense pristine rainforests and has wooden tracks installed in every trekking path to prevent damage to nature from numerous visitors.
What is more surprising is that those wooden tracks were installed by volunteers over many years.
It was my chance to realize the Canadian's love of nature once again.
The most amazing fact is that this Ancient Forest is the rainforest, which is the only inland rainforest in the world.
For more information, visit the website at http://tourismpg.com/activities/ancient-forest-east
3. Autumn - LC Gunn Park
The autumn sky in Prince George is truly beautiful and even beyond description.
If you are an autumn lover, LC Gunn Park could be the best choice.
In the autumn at LC Gunn Park, there were so many trees started to tinge with a variety of dazzling colors in the park around mid-October.
Whenever I step on the fallen leaves there, I enjoy the rustling sounds while I walk through the trails.
If you ever have a chance to stand on the highest point on the banks and look down at the Fraser River, these colorful leaves reflect in the river and create a fantastic view. It was simply awesome!
For more information, visit the website
4. Winter - Cottonwood Island Nature Park
The paths into Cottonwood Island Nature Park were very tough for me because of the heavy snow in the middle of January.
Through the fifteen-minute struggle, finally, I could reach to the Nechako River. Here is a tip: If you want to come to the park during the snowy winter, make sure to wear snowshoes.
I received a great reward for all my troubles to get there. It was fantastic to see that the strong sunlight shining on the white snowflakes and the snow powder flowing around me whenever the wind blows.
In my home country, I had never experienced such an unrealistic scenery; it was more like a scene from a fairy tale.
For more information visit the website at http://tourismpg.com/activities/cottonwood-island-nature-park
About Joshua: "My name is Joshua Shin from South Korea. I have lived in Prince George with my wife and two daughters since the end of July, 2017. Now I am taking the Tourism and Hotel Management Post-Diploma program at CNC since January, 2018. I love to travel all over the world and explore many hidden gems in Canada whenever I have the chance."
Mid March conditions were prime for a snowshoe trip to Livingston Springs recently. These warm springs are located in Crooked River Provincial Park, 75km north of Prince George on Highway 97. The park gates are closed in the winter, but a small parking area right off the highway is usually cleared. The trail to the springs is 5km of mostly level terrain.
The springs stay at approximately 7°C: definitely not hot springs, but they support plant life and birds year round. Finding your way to springs is easy as this is a popular trail that is well signed. If you are visiting on a weekend you will probably make some friends along the way.
This field trip was part of our Digital Ambassador program, and I was accompanied by Amandeep, a new CNC student. If you would like to join the Digital Ambassador program and get a heads-up on trips like this, subscribe to the Digital Ambassador newsletter here.
See a Google Map of Prince George area snowshoeing locations.
St Patrick’s Day 2018
St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and Prince George is ready to celebrate! Keep reading to learn about the 14 we’re most excited for, including a unique “brew-ski” at Caledonia Nordic Centre!
1. Brew-Ski: Caledonia Nordic and CrossRoads Brewing are hosting a “poker run” style Brew-Ski! Ski to five locations for beer tasters and a playing card in an effort to get the best poker hand and win the grand prize!
2. Kiss Me, I’m Irish – St Patrick’s Day Party with Rick Stavely: Dance the night away at Fore Bistro with live music from Rick Stavely and a variety of drink specials. Tickets are just $10.
3. Paddy’s Day: The Black Clover is ready to show off their Irish roots and welcomes everyone to join them. Get swag, win prizes, and enjoy live music from Dustin Keillor.
4. Shamrock Shaker 2018: Party in the Roll-A-Dome for an epic night of shenanigans, beer, and awesome music from DJ Darkness and Joe Latino.
5. Shamrock Shaker at Lambda Cabaret: Celebrate St Patty’s Day with Lambda Cabaret and enjoy some of the cheapest drinks in town and food available past midnight. Admission just $10 at the door.
6. St Patrick’s Day at Alibis: Party all night long (or at least from 7pm until 3am) at Alibis. They’re going green and you’re invited to join them!
7. St Patrick’s Day at Don Cherry’s: Join the party at Don Cherry’s! Enjoy Irish tunes, green beer, and good times all day long.
8. St Patrick’s Day at Nelly’s Pub: Everyone’s Irish on St Patrick’s Day and Nelly’s Pub invites you to join them. They’ll have green beer, Irish shots, Irish cocktails, and live music from Killbillies and DJ Dave. No cover.
9.St Patrick’s Day at The Westwood Pub: The Westwood Pub knows how to party and St Patrick’s Day is no different! They’ll be pouring green beer all day, featuring great food and drink specials, and giving away swag and prizes.
10. St Patrick’s Day Celebrations: The dance floor at Heartbreakers will be packed with Audio Union playing live all night long. There will be door prizes, costume prizes, and drink specials. Get your tickets at Alfredo’s Liquor Store.
11. St Patrick’s Day at Copper Pig BBQ: Come to the Copper Pig for a fun night filled with Irish inspired food, drink, and music. Live music will be performed by the Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band and The Statistics. No tickets. No cover. Just a great night of food and friends.
12. St Patrick’s Party at Sonar: Sonar will be serving up green beer, cheap drink specials, and delicious food. Dance to music from two different DJs on separate floors. Come dressed in your best green costume for your chance to win a prize. Tickets are $10 at the door.
13. St Patrick's Day at CrossRoads Brewing: Celebrate CrossRoads' first anniversary and St Patrick's Day all at once! Their enclosed heated patio will be open, live music starts at 3pm, new beers will be on tap, and there will be special St Patrick's Day Casks.
14. St Patrick's Day at Nancy O's: There will be plenty of Guinness flowing at Nancy O's, complimented by a special Irish Food Menu, including Fish n' Chips. No cover.
Visit tourismpg.com/events/st-patty's-day to learn more details (like times) about all these events.
No matter what you get up to this St Patty's day weekend, we hope you have lots of fun and stay safe!
On the tail end of February, on the heels of huge snowfalls, I took two local photographers from our Digital Ambassador program and broke trail at Goodsir Nature Park. The park is a favourite of mine because it is serene and unique. It is a privately owned all Canadian botanical park with a few miles of walking trails, a cabin and campgrounds, and two museums: one of Jim Good's Canadian travels and plant samples, and one dedicated to his second passion, music. Park access is by donation, and now that Jim is retired it is open year-round.
As I mentioned earlier, two Digital Ambassador joined me for this trip: Camille from Pop Media and Amandeep, a new CNC student. If you would like to join the Digital Ambassador program and get a heads-up on trips like this, subscribe to the Digital Ambassador newsletter here.
See Camille's short video about Goodsir Nature Park.
See the latest from #goodsirnaturepark on Instagram.
See a Google Map of Prince George area snowshoeing locations.
For the People: Kym Gouchie and Northern Sky
Live at the PG Playhouse
With Special Guests Marcel Gagnon and Saltwater Hank
Kym Gouchie and Northern Sky will be performing at the Prince George Playhouse on March 16th, 2018. In coordination with Mad Loon Entertainment, 6ix Sigma Productions, and Russell A/V, this performance will be filmed and made into a live concert documentary film featuring 30-45 minutes of original music and exclusive interview content. Intended to be recorded in the same style as the legendary Live at Massey Hall series of recordings, this concert film will be a one of a kind project, not yet completed by any artist in Prince George.
Kym Gouchie’s band, Northern Sky, is comprised of Naomi Kavka, Danny Bell, Jeremy Pahl, Amy Blanding, and Corbin Spensley. This all-star lineup has been developing a sound with Kym that is both large and graceful. Five-part harmonies, strings, and thumping drums provide a beautiful soundscape behind Kym’s powerful voice and message.
The concert will also have the musical support of Juno-nominated recording artist Marcel Gagnon and esteemed local folk artist Saltwater Hank, rounding out the evening to include a full three sets of incredible music. A celebration of three local indigenous artists with nation-wide reach, this event is sure to bring the community together for an evening that won't soon be forgotten.
Location: The Prince George Playhouse
Date: March 16, 2018
Time: 7:30 PM
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20.00 + tax/service fee through Central Interior Tickets either online at https://tickets.centralinteriortickets.com/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent207.html. Or In Person at Handsome Cabin Boy Tattoo (1616 20 Ave).
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and some celebrations are starting this weekend!
Keep reading to learn about four Valentine’s Day celebrations happening this weekend and three happening on Valentine’s Day.
Happening this weekend:
Happening on Valentine’s Day:
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The Institute for Canadian Citizens' Cultural Access Pass allows newly sworn-in citizens to visit participating attractions for free, for one year.
Find out how to register for free access to over 1,200 of Canada's best museums, art galleries, discovery centres, historic sites and nature parks - then pick yours up at our visitor centre!