Fernie Fix Family Top Ten this Winter

Full days of skiing followed by pints at the Griz Bar may be few and far between when travelling with your family, but there is still so much fun to be had! No matter your interests or the interests of your younger cohort, you will definitely find a plethora of options to explore while here in Fernie.

We’ve put together a list of our top ten things to do when exploring Fernie with your family this winter, but don’t let it limit you. As you peruse this guide, you’ll find so many additional opportunities that may interest you or your wee ones. Let your imaginatiosn guide you, and above all else, enjoy.

1. The Fernie Aquatic Centre. A multi-purpose indoor facility provides both leisure and educational aquatic options. With four bodies of water including a pool for small children, rope swing and a slide, sauna and steam rooms, pool-viewing area, meeting rooms, and fitness centre, you may be persuaded to visit more than just once! www.fernie.ca

2. Hit the Slopes. Fernie Alpine Resort has myriad opportunities for kids of all ages. Children under five can receive a Tiger Pass for just $20, which offers full mountain access. The Magic Carpet is a great place to start with the basics, with the Mighty Moose next in line. The Winter Sport School has lesson programs for all ages, and day care is available on mountain. A popular evening choice is night skiing Fridays and Saturdays 4-9pm. While this is fun for the kids, it’s also awesome for parents, as Slopeside has a patio campfire looking over the Mighty Moose with snacks and beverages available. www.skifernie.com

3. Nordic Skiing. There are various options depending on the level and length of time you and your family would like to be out on the trails. The Fernie Golf and Country Club offers a shorter, flat route perfect for a quick escape or those just learning. Montane off Coal Creek Rd. offers groomed trails as well, with undulating terrain. There is also the option of skiing up towards or – for the very adventurous – to Island Lake Lodge, starting from the lower parking lot. And the Elk Valley Nordic Centre offers numerous trails and loops, with more vertical. See the trails map at the back of this guide, and visit http://www.fernienordic.com for more details.

4. Snowmobiling. What a great way to take in some scenery with your family! While there is definitely the more advanced terrain for the adventurous, there is also gentle terrain on groomed trails, clinics to help you learn and improve your skills, and guiding in the area. Visit www.ferniesnowmobile.com for more information.  

5. Snowshoeing. Kids and adults alike enjoy exploring the wilderness while walking through fluffy white powder. From the more relaxed trails located at the Mount Fernie Provincial Park to the intermediate trails available in Ridgemont, your best option is to pick up a Fernie Mountain Bike Guide and choose a route perfect for your group. If you prefer hard-packed walking, Montane is multi-use and groomed regularly, and Fernie Alpine Resort has a frequented snowshoe trail that is a great extension to your time at the hill. For a guided tour, visit www.wildnaturetours.ca.

6. Indoor Climbing. There are two climbing walls in Fernie, one located at the College of the Rockies and the other at Evolution Health and Fitness. Both walls are available for you and your family. The College has set times the wall is open, along with the opportunity for you to book the wall for a specific date and time. 1-866-423-4691

The Rock Garden at Evolution has a schedule, which includes family climb time from 2-4pm the first Sunday of every month. They also have preschool climbing at 1pm Mondays and Thursdays, and No School Fridays Kid’s climbing. www.evolutionhealth.ca

7. Community Programming. Fernie has a host of family programs available, including Kindergym held three times a week at the Fernie Family Centre, Toddlertime and Storytime at the Fernie Heritage Library, and Parent and Tot Fun Time at the Knox United Church. All of these programs and others are either free or carry a small fee for you and your children. For more details and additional options, visit www.ekkids.ca.

8. Skating. There is nothing quite like skating outdoors. In town, skating on the Annex Pond, Maiden Lake or the pond at the Golf Course is a popular pastime. For the more adventurous, consider skating at Silver Springs in Elko. If it’s more of an indoor day, the Memorial Arena hosts public skating regularly, along with free public skating Monday to Friday from 10:30-11:15am. There is also drop-in Adult Shinny, Skate and Shoot and Youth Shinny. Visit www.fernie.ca for further details. And if you prefer to observe, you don’t want to leave town without checking out the Fernie Ghostriders! This Junior B Hockey Club takes the stage nearly every week throughout the winter to a full house at the arena, and it is exciting. They also serve Fernie Brewing Company products.

9. Island Lake Lodge. This winter, Island Lake is extending its schedule for the popular Winter Lunch and Spa, now running Thursday to Sunday the entire season. The bonus is that kids between four to 12 receive 50% off, and toddlers three and under are free! If the snowcat ride doesn’t get you in the good books, we’re guessing the views, amazing food, and perhaps first spa treatment ever might do the trick. www.islandlakecatskiing.com

10. Movie Time. The Vogue Theatre shows first-run movies at 7pm nightly, with 9pm screenings on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as feature $6.50 2D and $8.50 3D matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Also, the Vogue regularly hosts film festivals, special screenings and the monthly Indie Films Fernie organized by The Arts Station. The theatre is also home to Fernie’s only arcade, just upstairs with more than 50 games available for party rentals! Visit ferniemovies.com to see what’s on.