Last updated on April 18, 2023 by Wandering our World
Nestled in a peaceful valley in British Columbia, Kelowna is a town best known for its world class vineyards and wineries, as well as mild weather that is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities throughout the majority of the year.
You don’t need to break the bank when visiting though, as luckily there are many free things to do in Kelowna, as well as an array of cheap activities to enjoy as well.
With everything from outdoor water parks and entertainment centers to historical sites and local spirits, Kelowna has something for everyone no matter the budget.
As we know this city well, we’ve decided to share our knowledge of all the free and cheap things to do in Kelowna. You’ll find some great ideas, surprising discounts, and many family friendly ways to spend a day. Enjoy!
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Kelowna: Outdoor Activities
Although this city is located in Canada, Kelowna typically experiences fairly mild winters and visitors can expect warm weather throughout the summer months.
That makes this a great location for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, fly fishing, swimming, and more.
Check out some of these top outdoor activities in Kelowna for a fun filled summer vacation that is sure to keep the whole family happy!
1. Spend a Night Under the Stars
British Columbia is home to some of the most gorgeous, world renowned landscapes and what better way to enjoy nature than to spend a few nights sleeping under the stars?
For visitors heading to Kelowna, Bear Creek Provincial Park is an absolute must for camping enthusiasts. With rental prices for campsites starting at just $5 per night, camping is the ideal budget-friendly option for enjoying the great outdoors.
Some campsites are available on a first come, first served basis while others require advance reservations that can be made online through the park’s website.
Activities at Bear Creek Provincial Park include hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, water sports, cycling, and more. So there’s many free activities you can do while camping as well.
Get there early to snag one of their waterfront campsites for easy access to the area’s best lake views and water activities.
2. Test Your Skills With Hiking For All Levels
For visitors looking to experience the breathtaking scenery of this Canadian province, Kelowna offers a plethora of hiking trails for all different experience levels.
Visitors looking to spend the afternoon with a leisurely lakeside stroll can check out the Kalamoir Regional Park Loop, an easy approximately one mile loop located within the park. Hikers making their way along this loop will pass by plenty of open fields featuring a variety of colorful wildflowers lining the shores of Okanagan Lake.
For more experienced hikers, Blue Grouse Mountain Loop offers an approximately 8 mile moderately trafficked route with a steep incline and breathtaking mountain views. In addition to hiking, this trail is a popular spot for ATV users, so hikers should stay alert and watch for traffic along the trail.
Bouldering and climbing enthusiasts can head to John’s Family Regional Conservancy Park to visit the popular climbing destination known as The Crags.
Aside from the gas or transportation to each of these locations, all of these hiking spots as well as plenty of others are completely free for visitors to enjoy! With such a magical landscape, without a doubt hiking is one the best free things to do in Kelowna.
3. Make A Splash At The Beach
For visitors heading to Kelowna during the summer months, the warm weather is ideal for indulging in some of the many water activities available on Okanagan Lake.
With over 30 sandy beaches, this lake is the perfect place for spending the day building sand castles, splashing in the water, and sunbathing with friends and family. Many of the beaches are outfitted with playgrounds and concession stands for even more family friendly fun.
Access to many of the beaches is absolutely free for visitors, aside from some parks that require parking or paid entrance fees.
So pack a picnic lunch to avoid paying for snacks at the concession stand and get ready to enjoy a day of fun in the sun!
You can also check out Okanagan Beach Rentals for kayak, paddleboard, pedal boat, water trike, and canoe rentals starting at just $10 an hour for kid rentals, and $20 per hour for adults.
4. Enjoy The Thrill of Splash BC At A Discounted Rate
For visitors looking for exciting, nonstop fun, get wet and wild at Splash BC, an inflatable floating obstacle course!
This water attraction offers visitors of all ages a thrilling experience like no other where participants can dive into the refreshing natural waters of Okanagan Lake and spend the day racing across the floating obstacle course, sliding into the water, or bouncing their friends high into the sky before plummeting back down into the lake.
Tickets for Splash BC can be a bit pricey, but if you visit after 5:30pm you will get substantially discounted rates!
5. Pick Your Own Fresh Fruits & Veggies
For a fun and healthy family friendly activity, visitors can check out some of the many farms and orchards where fresh fruits and veggies grow in abundance.
In fact Kelowna is known for its fresh fruits like cherries and peaches and summertime is the perfect opportunity for families to spend the afternoon outdoors picking their own fruit!
Entry to Kempf Orchards is just $2 per person and pick your own cherries start at just $3.25 per pound. Enjoy making family memories while having a picnic with your freshly picked fruits or cooking a warm cherry pie with the kids after returning home.
6. Visit The Colorful Botanical Gardens
During the spring and summer months, colors come to life at Kasugai Gardens, a botanical garden located in the bustling Cultural District of Kelowna.
The garden is home to intricate Japanese inspired landscapes covered with bonsai trees, cherry blossoms, and dozens of other colorful flowers.
Guests can enjoy a leisurely stroll around tranquil koi fish ponds and the pristine landscape free of charge. It is the perfect spot to read a book, enjoy a family picnic, or just enjoy getting back in touch with nature.
7. Cuddle With Kangaroos
Although Kelowna is most well known for its award winning wineries and vast mountain landscapes, you may be surprised to find that this laidback city is home to a real life kangaroo farm!
At Kangaroo Creek Farm, visitors can spend the day cuddling kangaroos and a variety of other wild animals including parrots, capybara, sugar gliders, and peacocks.
Tickets are all under $20 per person, with adult tickets ringing in at $16 at the time of writing, and $8 for children and youth tickets.
Children under 4 years of age get in for free and the farm is open seven days a week from 10am-3pm, so there is plenty of time to get to know these cuddly creatures.
All of the animals on the farm are considered as pets and many have been rescued, so visitors can rest easy knowing that they are supporting a reputable, family owned and operated farm.
8. Catch The Latest Blockbuster
For an inexpensive, family friendly activity, check out Starlight Drive-In Theater located about an hour outside of Kelowna.
On select nights, movie goers can enjoy catching a box office double feature of the latest family favorites like Jurassic Park, Minions, and more.
Tickets are just $30 per car for 3-4 passengers and dogs are welcome to join in on the fun! Although no outside food and drink are permitted, the concession stand offers a variety of popcorn, snacks, and drinks at reasonable prices. Make sure to keep an eye on their website for upcoming movies, special features, and more.
9. Get Up Close & Personal With Farm Animals
Visitors looking to get up close and personal with some loveable farm animals can head over to Don-O-Ray Farm Adventure to spend time snuggling with goats, lambs, bunnies, chickens, and more at this family friendly petting zoo.
Adults and children are allowed to pet and play with the animals, feed them snacks, and take photos before getting out some energy at the playground or grabbing a snack at the onsite market.
Day passes to the zoo cost around $7 and children aged two years and under can get in for free, making it the perfect family friendly daytime activity. They also have other fun activities like archery!
10. Tour The Okanangan Lake By Boat
For a unique and exciting way to get out on the water on the Okanagan Lake, Maegs BBQ Boats offers 45 minute guided boat tours for just $25 per person.
Each boat is designed with a unique circular shape so passengers can easily chat with each other during the tour. The boats seat up to 9 passengers and has bluetooth speaker connections, a licensed boat captain, and all safety equipment for the ride.
Guests are welcome to bring their own drinks and snacks. For visitors looking to splurge on their vacation, private boats with barbeque grill access are available for up to 10 passengers for as low as $29.50 per person.
11. Bring Your Binoculars For Birdwatching
Situated in the Rutland Community, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy getting in touch with nature at Chichester Wetland Park.
As one of the few wetlands found in the arid Kelowna area, this hidden gem offers visitors a well marked walking path encircling a small pond that’s home to a variety of wildlife species including painted turtles!
Avian enthusiasts should be sure to bring their binoculars along as this small wetland area is home to multiple migratory bird species as well as native birds during mating season. Visiting this gorgeous little known wetlands is easily one of our favorite free things to do in Kelowna.
12. Stroll Through The Stalls At The Local Market
If you are looking for a leisurely early afternoon activity, check out the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market that’s open year round!
Each morning, local vendors set up shop in this outdoor market featuring items like local produce, fresh fruits, handmade items, desserts, artwork, crafts, and more.
Entry to the market is free and visitors on a tight budget can enjoy some window shopping or splurge on a few of their favorite treats like homemade fudge from For Fudge Sakes or fresh eggs from 4 Bears Farm.
13. Enjoy A Family Friendly Picnic In The Park
For some free, family-friendly fun, Ben Lee Park offers a variety of activities for everyone.
Situated among a grassy knoll, this park offers parents a relaxing spot to spread out for a picnic lunch while the kids enjoy the outdoor skate park, water slides, water features, playgrounds, walking trails, basketball courts, and more.
The park is free and open from morning until dusk every day from mid-May to early September. As free things to do in Kelowna do, this is a great one with plenty of activities.
14. Marvel At One Of A Kind Sculptures
For visitors looking for something a little more unique, you won’t want to miss the Geert Maas.
Geert Maas Sculpture Garden & Gallery, is a collection of quirky, one of a kind art pieces by famed Dutch artist, Geert Maas.
Situated on top of a grassy knoll overlooking the rolling hills of Kelowna, visitors can enjoy a self guided tour of the gardens while taking plenty of photographs of the two and three dimensional sculptures throughout the property grounds.
Admission to the gallery is free, but they suggest a donation. The opening hours are 10am to 5pm every day of the year.
15. Hit The Ski Trails
Although traditionally thought of as a more expensive hobby, visitors may be surprised to find that skiing in Kelowna is actually quite an affordable activity that’s fun for the whole family!
Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club offers all types of winter activities for visitors of all skill levels including cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sled racing, and more.
This ski club isn’t like any of the fancy resorts most people are familiar with, but their budget-friendly pricing and rustic facilities make these snow sports accessible for all visitors. Cross country skiing passes start at just $7 per ticket while snowshoeing is equally affordable with $10 daily tickets. This is definitely one of the funnest cheap things to do in Kelowna.
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Kelowna: Indoor Activities
While Kelowna offers plenty of outdoor activities for visitors, those looking for things to do indoors will have no shortage of options when visiting this city too.
Whether you are looking to escape the summer heat or need to find an indoor activity for those rainy days, there are plenty of ways to have fun indoors for cheap and free in Kelowna.
1. Browse The Shelves At Kelowna’s Largest Independent Bookstore
Bibliophiles can get their fix at Kelowna’s largest independent bookstore, Mosaic Books, which has been a fixture in the community since 1968.
This locally owned and operated bookstore carries everything from the latest bestsellers and romance novels to greeting cards and party games.
Customers looking for an affordable way to enjoy a good read can check out their bargain book section to score some books for up to 80% off retail value.
After grabbing a book, head over to nearby Pulp Fiction Coffee House to grab a fresh espresso and enjoy reading your new book in a cozy, eclectic cafe. Discounted books and great coffee, can you imagine a better afternoon? That’s why Mosaic is one of our favorite cheap things to do in Kelowna.
2. Indulge In Homemade Goat Milk Gelato
One of the best things about visiting a new place is checking out all of the unique local foods that cannot be found anywhere else.
Although eating is typically not a free activity by any means, there are plenty of exciting and delicious snack options available in Kelowna for relatively low cost. First up is the goat milk gelato at Carmelis Farm featuring a mix of 24 different gelato flavors available on a rotating basis.
Their gelato is made using traditional methods with fresh ingredients sourced directly from Italy, as well as their own special ingredient – fresh goat milk!
3. Get Wet And Wild At The Indoor Waterpark
For families looking for the perfect rainy day activity, the H20 Adventure & Fitness Center is sure to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours!
Located inside the Kelowna YMCA, this indoor waterpark features a lazy river float, wave pool, water slides, an indoor surfing wave, swimming pools, and multiple other water features.
Day passes for adults 25 years of age and over are $11.75, and there’s discounted tickets for young adult, youth and children.
4. Kelowna Art Gallery
Located in Kelowna’s Cultural District, the Kelowna Art Gallery offers visitors a look at historical and contemporary art pieces in their permanent and rotating exhibits.
Their permanent art collection consists of over 800 works of art and visitors can check their online calendar for featured rotating exhibits.
Entry to the art gallery is just $5 for adults, but as a registered non-profit, visitors are always welcome to make a donation towards the gallery’s preservation. In addition to art displays and exhibits, this gallery also offers art classes, special events, family days, summer camps, and more.
5. Play A Game Of Laser Tag
For families looking for an activity to keep the kids entertained for hours, check out Kelowna’s biggest indoor laser tag park and entertainment center, Planet Lazer.
This indoor entertainment center offers multiple laser tag areas, a large arcade area with games for all ages, and a concession stand offering simple snacks like pizza, fries, and other finger foods.
The regular price for each laser tag game is just $8.50 per player, but the center offers package specials like their Summer Special that includes two laser tag games, arcade credits, snacks and drinks, and more for just over $20 per person.
6. Devour Delicious Cheeses
Although Kelowna isn’t necessarily known as a top foodie destination, there are plenty of unique and exciting culinary experiences to be had in this British Columbia town.
Head over to Kelowna’s first specialty cheese shop, Perseval & Younger Cheesemongers, to sample some of their fresh, delicious cheese made in house.
7. Go Thrifting In A Sea Of Clothing
Shopping for secondhand clothes may have been taboo in previous years, but now thrift store shopping is all the rage among fashion fanatics and eco-friendly shoppers.
Whether you are looking for a one of a kind vintage piece from a certain decade, a functional everyday item, or just doing some window shopping, Stone Fox Clothing is sure to have everything you need.
Spend the afternoon browsing racks of unique, one of a kind items or make shopping even more fun by challenging friends and family to find the most unique item for each other to wear to dinner for under $20.
8. Try Your Hand At A New Craft
Looking to try out something new during your visit to Kelowna? The Kelowna Candle Factory offers one on one workshops where customers can learn the ins and outs of the candle making process and try their hand at making their very own beeswax candle glow bowls.
For just $25 per person, this makes a great girl’s trip activity or family bonding experience with a beautiful keepsake to remember for years to come.
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Kelowna: Wineries & More
Known for its vibrant rolling hills and expansive wineries, Kelowna is the perfect location for wine lovers looking to expand their pallette with free and low cost winery tours and tastings.
Although spending the afternoon at a winery can easily end up costing visitors an arm and a leg when purchasing bottles of wine, tours and tastings are generally less expensive. That makes them a great way to learn more about the wine making process or spend an afternoon with your significant other without burning a hole in your wallet.
1. Enjoy Wine Tasting Without The Huge Price Tag
Mentioned as one of the top wineries in Kelowna. The View Winery offers a tasting flight of five different types of wine for just $7 per person! It’s definitely one of the best cheap things to do in Kelowna if you’re an adult.
Although there is no obligation to purchase wine after the tasting, you may just find your new favorite vino that keeps you coming back for more!
2. Become A Wine Connoisseur
For an inexpensive wine tour, head to Summerhill Pyramid WInery where friendly and knowledgeable staff are on site to provide two hour guided winery tours that are offered seven days a week for just $20 per person – and that includes a complimentary wine tasting.
Reservations for tours and tastings are highly recommended, but the staff will make every attempt to accommodate walk in visitors.
3. Go Cider Tasting
If wine isn’t your thing, there are plenty of distilleries, cideries, breweries, and more with unlimited options for spirited beverages. Why not head over to BC Tree Fruits Cider Company to enjoy a $5 tasting of their locally made hard ciders on tap.
Each cider is made with fresh apples, fruit blends, hops, and other top quality ingredients. For cider lovers looking to indulge in even more cider drinks, the $5 tasting fee is even waived for all customers that purchase a pint, growler, or other purchase. So the tasting itself can become free!
4. Enjoy Beer & Good Times
For visitors who are more into beer, Kelowna is a beer lovers’ paradise too! Throughout the city, there are dozens of options for beer enthusiasts to try out something new and Kettle River Brewing is one of the most hoppin’ (get it?) spots to try out a new brew.
With beers on tap starting at just $6 a pint, it is the perfect spot to grab some friends and knock back a few brewskies while enjoying their open mic night each Thursday. All summer long, customers can enjoy live music with $5 sleeves of beer offered all day long. That’s a cheap Kelowna night out! (Recommended: A Local’s Guide to Kelowna Nightlife).
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Kelowna: Museums & Historical Exhibits
Kelowna is a Canadian city rich in history and visitors looking to learn more about all things Kelowna should head over and check out some of the city’s best museums and historical exhibits.
Whether you are looking to learn more about the native Okanagan tribe or Kelowna’s world famous wineries and orchards, there are plenty of options when it comes to museums and historical exhibits in this Canadian city.
1. Learn About The Military Past In Kelowna
History buffs looking to learn more about the military involvement of Okanagan men and women should head over to the Okanagan Military Museum to tour their comprehensive collection of military memorabilia and history exhibits. T
he museum is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 10am-5pm and entrance is donation based with a small $5 suggested donation per person. As free things to do in Kelowna go, this is educational and good fun!
2. Find Out The Science Behind Kelowna’s World Famous Vineyards
At the Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum, visitors can learn more about the bustling wine industry that brings in wine connoisseurs from all over the world each year.
This museum features a variety of exhibits that highlight the winemaking process that’s been ongoing in the region since the 1920s. The museum is open each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday and admission is free with a suggested $5 donation at the door.
3. Be Inspired By The Stories Of Kelowna’s Star Athletes
For sports fans visiting Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Hall of Fame is a must see museum featuring exhibits that celebrate some of the region’s most notable athletes, coaches, and sports pioneers.
Items on display that pay homage to these great athletes include sports memorabilia such as jerseys, hockey sticks, medals, and more. The museum is open every day except Tuesday and Wednesday and admission is free with a suggested $5 donation per person.
4. Visit Kelowna’s First Non-Indigenous Settlement
While the majority of Kelowna’s historic sites are centered around the rich history of this city’s native Okanagan people, one non-indigenous site stands out above the others.
As one of the oldest buildings in the city, the Father Pandosy Mission is the first permanent non-indigenous settlement in the interior of BC.
Open seven days a week from March through October, this historical site is a great place to enjoy a quick afternoon visit for a $2 donation and self guided tour of the Immaculate Conception Mission built in 1859.
Cheap & Free Things To Do In Kelowna: Our Final Thoughts
Whether you are visiting this British Columbia city for the first time or returning to embrace the beauty of this city each year, there’s always something going on – luckily that includes many cheap and free things to do in Kelowna too.
So grab the whole family and get ready to experience a summer holiday or winter wonderland that’s sure to help you create memories that will last a lifetime, and ones that won’t hurt your pocket!