Castlegar is the perfect place for families. What with all the festivals, parks, excellent schools and heaps of outdoor recreation opportunities from swimming in lakes and paddling to skiing and snowmobiling, the little city in the valley is great for kids and their adults. We’ve listed fun things to do in the winter time in Castlegar in our “Top 5 Things to do With Your Family in Castlegar in the Winter” article but what about the summer?

This video done by locally-based Stacked Films captures many of the highlights of family fun in during the summer months in Castlegar. In it we see the swimming ponds at Millenium Park where families can float, paddleboard, and cool off in the safety of the shallow ponds that are naturally fed by the Columbia river waters. We also catch a glimpse of some of the festivals in the city such as the Castlegar Sunfest in Kinsmen Park, only a few blocks from the downtown core, and the annual Kootenay Climbing Festival, which takes place every September at the only pub in Canada with a natural rock climbing wall in its backyard. There’s also the July 1st Canada Day festivities in Millennium Park which are always a family favourite.

Now that we’re getting into the “endless summer” months in Castlegar, which include late August and September, here are a few more ideas for family fun in the city:

  • Pass Creek Fall Fair – The Pass Creek Fall Fair always kicks into high gear when the leaves burst into colour the third weekend of September. There’s a children’s play area including bouncy castle, local food vendors, petting zoos, artisans, lawnmower races and much more.

  • Kootenay Climbing Festival – Every year Kootenay climbers return to the natural rock wall in the parking lot behind Lion’s Head Pub in Robson the third weekend of September. There they set up ziplines and rock climbing walls for kids, as well as the popular milk crate stacking competition from 2-7pm.
  • Millennium Park – This is a great location any season but most especially in the late summer months when the temperatures are cooling and you can stay out all day and night swimming in the ponds, paddling, playing volleyball, mountain biking and so much more.

  • Scottie’s Marina Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals – Scotties is located just past Robson on your way to Syringa Park and offers rentals of various paddling craft from kayaks to paddleboards. Plan a lazy sojourn around the lake or enjoy playing on a paddleboard with the kids.

  • Syringa Provincial Park – Located on the shores of Lower Arrow Lake, Syringa Park is a great spot for an afternoon picnic or an easy overnight camping trip. And because many of the tourists have gone home by September, your family can have it all to themselves! Enjoy swimming, paddling, hiking, bouldering and much more at this great spot located a 20-minute drive from downtown.

  • Endless Adventures Rafting – Take a fun rafting trip down the Slocan River or rent a paddleboard or kayak and float the waterway with your family. Endless Adventures is located about 20 minutes north of Castlegar near the Slocan Junction.

  • Kinsman Water Park – As mentioned above, Kinsman Park is located only a few blocks from the downtown core and offers a number of playground equipment as well as a fun water park that your kids are sure to love on those warm, endless summer days in Castlegar.