Castlegar is a wondrous place that boasts some of the most beautiful views in the province: the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, the mountains, the valley. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to see all these things. When the clouds are low and the rain is falling, for example, it’s a good time to do something fun indoors. Or, as has been the case the past few Augusts, if the skies are smokey and views are obscured then below are some excellent ideas for inside activities.

Before you set off to these locations though, be sure to download the Castlegar Explorers App. It’s not only a way-finding tool but also a game that rewards people for visiting local points of interest, shops and cultural sites. The app’s “Explore” button takes users to a map of Castlegar and District, which has pins indicating unique points of interest from cultural sites to places for outdoor recreation. Clicking on each pin on the map gives more information about that place. Locations are assigned a point value. Pushing the “Collect Points” button while physically visiting a location will add the location’s points to a user’s point total.

Points accumulated with the Castlegar Explorers app can be redeemed for goods or services at any of the Rewards locations listed in the app. Rewards locations include such places as Central City Shoes, Mothers Natures, Mallards Source for sports and Crumbs Bakery, just to name a few. Download the free app today from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Once you have the app, here are 10 fun indoor to visit in Castlegar when it’s raining or smokey.

Train Station Museum

The CPR Station Museum, or Railway Museum as it’s come to be called, is housed in a century-old station, and visitors can easily envision what the hustle and bustle must’ve been like when passengers boarded the trains during the 1900s. There is a station agent’s residence on the upper floor and one of the most popular onsite attractions is the perfectly-preserved caboose – a relic of a time when crew members lounged in the last car of the train awaiting their next duties.

Doukhobor Discovery Centre

Castlegar is one of only a few cities in the world where the unique Doukhobor culture has been meticulously documented and where it still thrives today. A religious group of Russian origin, the Doukhobors fled the Czarist government in the late 1800s and, with the help of the Canadian government, settled in Western Canada. The Doukhobor Discovery Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about the culture that has so profoundly shaped what the city is today. Home to ten historical buildings on ten acres of land, the Doukhobor Discovery Museum has successfully recreated the sights and sounds of Doukhobor life in south-central British Columbia from 1908 to 1938.

Hydroelectric Dams

The Columbia River is the second largest North American river to drain into the Pacific (the Yukon River is the largest). It collects runoff from a basin slightly larger than the country of France and there are over 60 dams in its watershed, making it one of the most dammed rivers on earth. Eleven of those dams, including the Hugh Keenleyside dam, are within easy driving distance of Castlegar and it makes a fascinating day trip to visit some, or all of them and learn about how the dams of the Columbia provide nearly half of British Columbia’s electricity.

Kootenay Gallery Of Art

The Kootenay Gallery of Art History and Science is located on the grounds of the Doukhobor Discovery Museum just outside of downtown Castlegar. It is a public art gallery that offers a variety of programming and displays for all ages, from rotating art exhibitions and movie nights to the only Butterfly Gardens in the region.

Castlegar & District Recreation And Aquatic Centre

The Castlegar & District Community Complex is a multi-purpose facility that houses an Arena, a 6 lane, 25 meter pool and leisure pool, whirlpool, weight room, fitness studio, meeting rooms, banquet facility, kitchen and senior centre. Adjacent to the facility are four tennis courts, soccer/football field, ball diamond and skate boarding park.

The Kootenay Escape Room

The Kootenay Escape Room is a physical adventure game in which players are given clues and hints to solve a series of puzzles to achieve and objective and “escape” the room. (You’re not really “locked” in the room.) The Castlegar experience is the only one of its kind in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia and it is a pirate-themed adventure in which players have exactly one hour upon entry into the room to solve all the riddles and find the prize.

Movie Theatres

How can you go wrong with a movie on a rainy day? The Kootenay Centre Cinemas are comfortable and modern with just a touch of down-home hospitality. Grab some popcorn and watch the latest Blockbuster with your friends or family.


Just like the old days, the Castlebowl bowling alley is a fun place where family and friends can go and enjoy good times. But there are some new twists here such as bumper bowling for the little ones that keeps the ball out of the gutter. There’s also music and lights to rock the night away, and a great licensed lounge. And the price is always right!


Viva Hot Yoga offers a healthy and calming space with a variety of classes suitable for all levels. The clean and healing environment offers infrared heating panels, cork flooring, all eco-friendly products, change rooms, filtered water, a gallery of yoga fashions and mats ad well as expertly trained instructors.

Rest Assured Kootenay Floats

At Rest Assured Kootenay Floats you can immerse yourself in a ‘Float Cabin’ filled with only 10 inches of super saturated pharmaceutical grade (1,100 pounds) Epsom salt water that allows a person to float effortlessly on the surface. The water and air are maintained at 93.5˚ F which is the same as skin temperature making it imperceptible. Talk about relaxing!