6 Fun Things To Do In The Mission

By KRISTEN THOMPSON


Looking to spend a lovely fall day in Kelowna? We spent a sunny, crisp Sunday in the Mission (part Lower, part Upper) with no plans whatsoever, seeing where the day took us. And man, did we have a great day! Follow along on our adventure, and check out these six great Mission-area spots:

 

1. Barn Owl Brewing

What: We started our Mission adventure by fuelling up at Kelowna’s newest (don’t quote me on that) brewery, Barn Owl Brewing. The kids were thrilled with the snack options (Munch Mix and pepperoni sticks?! YES!). The renovated heritage barn features an incredible, spacious upstairs with cozy seating, board games and even shuffle board. Plus there’s a patio!

FYI: Open 7 days a week. You can order in pizza from DunnEnzies across the street!

Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)


2. Don O Ray Farms

What: The kids have been begging us to get pumpkins, and since we’d never been to Don-O-Ray Farms before, this seemed like the perfect spot to stop. Right on Benvoulin, this family-run farm features a market with fresh produce and local groceries (we picked up fall veggies, butter chicken, and samosas!). In the fall, there are fresh-from-the-field pumpkins and decorative gourds. There’s also petting zoo and hedge maze as part of the Don O Ray Farm Adventure, but these attractions are seasonal.

FYI: The farm will be hosting a drop-in fall photoshoot event on Sunday, Oct. 22! More info here

Where: 3443 Benvoulin Road KELOWNA (see map below)


3. Summerhill Pyramid Winery

What: Summerhill Pyramid Winery has been one of our family’s favourite spots since moving to Kelowna. The views are spectacular, there are games for the kids out front, the restaurant serves delicious, locally-sourced food, and we love their wine. Bonus: They’re passionate about organic and biodynamic farming.

FYI: Summerhill uses no animal byproducts in its wine-making, and is therefore vegan friendly. More info here.

Where: 4870 Chute Lake Road, KELOWNA (see map below)


What: Hands down, Quilchena Park is our kids’ favourite playground in Kelowna. This amazing spot up in beautiful Kettle Valley has tons of play structures, is appropriate for toddlers all the way up to big kids, and has a giant tube slide! In the summer, the splash pad is a perfect way to keep cool.

FYI: We wrote more about this awesome park here.

Where: 5636 Jasper Way, KELOWNA (see map below)


5. DunnEnzies Pizza

What: Pizza! On the patio! We’ve always loved DunnEnzies, and their Lower Mission location has an amazing outdoor patio underneath a lovely mature tree, overlooking a grassy lawn. We ordered breakfast pizza and tacos (all of which was delicious), and the kids loved playing in the grassy area.

FYI: Mission location is dog-friendly. You can also find DunnEnzies downtown, at Landmark, and at the Airport Village. More info here.

Where: 4638 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)


6. It’s a Bakery

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What: Our Mission adventure came full circle with a trip to It’s a Bakery (next door to Barn Owl Brewing) for an afternoon pick-me-up: A sweet treat for the kids, and caffeine for the grownups. They’ve got lots of house-made breads and sweets, as well as grab-and-go lunch items, but we were particularly excited about all the pumpkin spiced options (we blogged about it here).

FYI: Learn more about It’s a Bakery by checking out their website.

Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA (see map below)


Eco-Conscious Gear For Kids This Fall

By DTO Staff

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The cooler temperatures are here, and that means parents across the valley are pulling warm-weather apparel out of storage, getting rid of too-small items, and hitting the shops for new gear.

For those of us who are as concerned with the environment as we are with our wallets, it can be hard to know what to buy, especially when we don’t want to sacrifice quality.

Here are Do The Okanagan’s Green tips for kid shopping this fall…

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1. Shop second-hand

There are financial benefits to buying preloved (cut your cost by 50-90%), BUT ALSO shopping second-hand is like giving the environment some much needed holiday time! Hey mother nature, you’ve been working overtime… grab yourself a bottle from our local wine list and put your feet up for an hour or two.

When a pair of boots or snowpants are passed down from child to child, it keeps that item out of the landfill, while foregoing buying a new product, which needs to be manufactured, packaged and shipped. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, it takes 2,700 liters of water to produce 1 t-shirt -ONE-. Just imagine all the other components and byproducts that happen before an item even arrives at your house.

So before you head out to buy a new coat, scour your local buy-and-sell groups, or hit up a second-hand store. Here are our fave brick-and-mortar stores that sell gently-used kids’ gear (see map below):

  • Little Plum Children’s Boutique - VERNON

  • Salvation Army Thrift Stores - VERNON and KELOWNA

  • Value Village (three locations in VERNON, KELOWNA and WEST KELOWNA)

  • Second Tyme Around - KELOWNA

  • Once Upon a Child - KELOWNA

  • Play It Again Sports - KELOWNA


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2. Shop local brands and stores

There are so many amazing local clothing brands in the Okanagan, and giving them your business is a great way to not only support local brands, but also reduce the impact of shipping. Not sure where to start? We love:

  • Brok Boys - Local kids’ apparel company … with an increasing selection of adult clothing, too! brokboys.com

  • Nooks - Sustainably- and locally-made baby booties and apparel. nooksdesign.ca

  • Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel - Family-run company, producing ethically sourced and produced clothing. www.okanaganlifestyle.ca

  • Anchors and Arrows - Sustainable and fashion-forward clothing for the little humans in your life. www.facebook.com/AnchorsandArrowsurbanapparel

  • Dolly Funkle - Hand-made clothing for babies, kids and the people who love them. Custom orders welcome.

  • Nest and Nurture - Ethically-made garments for little people, hand-made piece-by-piece in West Kelowna. www.nestandnurture.ca

  • Crepe and Coral - Hand-made kids’ clothing, with functional and fashionable sweaters, bottoms and more. www.facebook.com/crepeandcoral


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3. Buy items that can be recycled

Did you know that Kamik boots (like the ones pictured above) have a recycling program? Yep! Once the boots have been worn out, you can send them back to Kamik where they will be given new life! Learn more about Kamik’s Sustainability Program here.

Bonus: Their boot liners are made from recycled plastic (see our next post to learn about other products made from recycled materials). In the past five years, Kamik has reused, recycled and transformed 15 million plastic bottles. Yusss!!!


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4. Buy Items made from recycled materials

The exterior of Parkland bags (like Isla’s backpack, pictured here) are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, and their leather diamonds are made from apples, so they are vegan. Lunch bags, totes, backpacks and more come in a variety of sizes and awesome patterns. Read Parkland’s amazing Recycle Story here. You can find Parkland products locally at:

  • Baby and Me - KELOWNA

  • Scallywags Kids - KELOWNA

  • Orchard Park stores including Indigo, Bentley and SportChek - KELOWNA


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5. buy Products made sustainably

We started buying Mini Mioche clothing for our kids when we lived near the company’s Distillery District store. We loved how their soft and comfy fabrics, as well as the fact that they are Canadian.

All Mini Mioche clothing is made Toronto using premium organic and sustainable fabrics made from non-GMO plants, and their fabrics are dyed ethically and locally using low impact dyes from natural sources. They don’t ship their product in plastic or polybags, and everything from their hang tags to shopping bags are made with recycled and recyclable materials. PLUS they run a donation and upcycle program in their stores, so gently-used Mini Mioche apparel can be donated to families in need. Learn more about this awesome company’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing here.


 
 

How do you shop with sustainability in mind? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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#ReToy -ing is the hottest new trend

By SAFFRON QUIST

SPONSORED BY: Fun Bugs Indoor Playground

It was recently my kiddo’s birthday. I always cringe when I watch the pile of garbage hit the curb after a kid’s -or any- party. I’m often the crazy lady picking through trash bags rescuing as much as I can from the dump.

At our house, I try to do the max: compostable single-use plates that actually go in a compost bin, we usually don’t do disposable decor or balloons (this year was an exception because we had an old stash squirreled away), and in previous years we’ve asked for RESP contributions instead of gifts. Even Solla’s dress is second (actually third) hand!

Buuuuut… kids hit a certain age where RESP contributions totally suck and toys become an expectation.

Kid’s toys are SO HARD on our garbage crisis! The amount of plastic, wood, metal, batteries, dyes, scents… required to create the toy itself -and then the packaging (oh and sometimes we carry it out in a plastic bag) makes me want to barf and cry at the same time -similar to when I drink too much tequila and with the same level of regret.

Every time a new toy is created, there’s an enormous use of resources and then waste created in manufacturing, shipping, and merchandising. Just think of what it takes alone to keep the lights on at Toys R Us (sorry Toys R Us). And then the toy breaks or the batteries die, and we toss it… eventually eating it in our seafood dinner.

According to Huffington Post the toy industry in the US accounted for over $18 billion in sales in 2017. That a lot of F-ING toys!

So, in my under-qualified opinion, I think we’re doing our kiddos a huge favour by teaching them mindfulness. Where these things come from, where they end up, and the global affect that it has. Also, that presents are not the most important part of the party.

ReToy-ing is the hottest new trend! We know because we’re starting it! #retoy

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This year, I asked our friends to go through their kid’s toys and wrap up something they were no longer playing with -or purchase something used. Let’s face it, there’s a heap of stuff in your house that you (or grandma) think is super rad but your kiddo is totally over.

I can say with certainty, that Solla did not miss that toxic plastic smell or the copious amounts of packaging that comes off brand new stuff. And she scored some amazing things!.. probably even better things than had our friends hit up Walmart.

So we challenge you to give the planet a giant hug, fuel your kid with knowledge, and join us in the retoy movement. Especially with Christmas right around the corner! Use the hashtag #retoy and tag us on social media @dotheokanagan!


Some great places to find used toys, books and clothing:


For more go green ideas, hit up -GreenOkanagan.com!-


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Fall Bucket List (free printable)

Fall is upon us! *twirls with hands in air as leaves fall all around* And we want you to get outside and enjoy the best of the Okanagan this season. So we’ve made the ultimate Fall-in-the-Okanagan Bucket List (scroll down a bit to print this off at home), featuring our favourite things to do in September and October! (Made in collaboration with The Local Gift Card).

Check any of these items off, and tag us in your pictures! Have fun! And enjoy your fall :)

 
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FALL BUCKET LIST ON THE BLOG

We’ve been crossing off some of the ideas in our September Bucket List, and blogging about it. Check it out, and let us know if you get the chance to try any of these awesome activities!


Local Alcohol That Pairs Well With Back-to-School

By DTO Team

SPONSORED BY BIRCH HILL STUDIO

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We made it!

Week one of back-to-school is In. The. Bag. If you had illusions of pulling out meticulously-organized freezer meals for school lunches, and instead threw six cheese strings in a bag - you’re not alone. If your kid had to remind you for three straight days that he needed indoor shoes - you’re not alone. If you dropped your child off at school wearing the exact same clothes you wore to bed the previous night, then you are my twin, and come find me so we can high-five.

The first week back can be madness, but there’s nothing more rewarding on a Friday evening post-bedtime than pouring a glass of something … refreshing. But, what pairs best with I’m-watching-Netflix-on-a-pile-of-dirty-clothes? Or, I-was-late-for-pick-up-four-times-this-week? Read on. And treat yourself, dear back-to-school parent. *clink*


BROKEN LADDER CIDER

Pairs well with cold Annie’s (white cheddar, obvs, because orange cheddar tastes like poison), which your children didn’t finish, so you might as well eat it - amiright? With its crisp, sweet finish and easy-to-hold can, Broken Ladder cider is also the perfect end-of-the-first-week-of-back-to-school drink for parents who only lost 25% of their minds this week.

 
Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

Made in Kelowna. Light, crisp and delicious. Using only local apples, no other ingredients, it’s basically like having a salad for dinner. At only 5.2% alcohol you get the motion of drinking without becoming totally wasted (right away).

 

BENCH 1775 VIOGNIER

Pairs well with a dinner of cold cereal with a side of guilt. Cold cereal because you didn’t actually get the back-to-school grocery shopping, and guilt because your kid was late for the first day of school because you couldn’t find your car keys or your wallet. Kick back, throw your feet up on top of that pile of laundry teetering aggressively on your living room ottoman, turn on Netflix, and enjoy a cold, crisp glass of Viognier.

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our  Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition!  Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal

Made in Naramata. To date, this juicy fella has the highest score in our Battle of the Okanagan 2019 wine competition! Hovering somewhere around 14% alcohol, you can drink the entire bottle and feel good about supporting your local wine makers. #shoplocal


BNA BREWING EARL PALE

Yuuuummm. This beer pairs well with absolutely nothing, because it’s so dang good. But on a Friday after the first week of school, we recommend pairing this delicious local masterpiece with the Dairy Queen you convinced your spouse to go out and get for you because the salad you had for dinner just isn’t cutting it. Ideal for parents who plan on staying up til midnight next Tuesday to finish their child’s “About My Family” collage, vowing that this is the last time you do your kid’s work for them.

 
Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five,  BNA ! We love this beer.

Made in Kelowna. Contemporary Pale Ale showcasing the citrus & spice qualities of the hops. The addition of Earl Grey tea complements these flavours and smooths the finish. High five, BNA! We love this beer.

 

PERSEUS WINERY CAB MERLOT

This delicious red (one Kristen’s faves) pairs well with an evening devoted to getting grass stains out of brand-new leggings, and foolishly hot glue gunning Girl Guide badges on a sash because you can’t be bothered to find the sewing kit. This rich, medium-bodied wine features notes of black cherry with hints of cocoa, with a spicy finish. (Full disclosure - that last part came straight from the website. Kristen’s tasting notes are usually something like: “winey” or “tastes like grapes” or “yes, pour me some more”).

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years.  Perseus  wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .

Made in Pentiction. A rich, but medium-bodied red wine that is made to drink over the next 5 years. Perseus wines continue to delight the Kelowna portion of the DTO team .


OKANAGAN SPIRITS BOURBON

This drink will punch you right in the taste buds, in all the best ways. Pairs well with the pizza and cinnamon stix you secretly ordered after the kids were in bed. (Hot tip: Bury that pizza box under a pile of older recycling, so your kids don’t see it the next morning and ask questions you are not prepared to answer). Pour over ice with a little maple syrup and you’ve got yourself a big-girl (or guy) drink.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

Made in Vernon. At 40% alcohol, this magic liquid is like psychological noise-cancelling ear phones.

What’s your drink of choice? Tell us in the comment box below!


Check out all things Back to School including great local products and deals 👇

The Best Pumpkin Spice Treats Around the Okanagan

By KRISTEN THOMPSON

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It’s Pumpkin Spice season! From lattes and hot chocolates, to perogies and donuts, we’ve got the best spots to indulge your pumpkin-loving sweet tooth around the Central Okanagan this fall!


Gluten-free Pronuts from Blooming In Health

What: Blooming in Health makes gluten-free, stevia-sweetened and high-protein treats (with vegan options), and their fall-flavour “pronuts” looks amazing! I mean, c’mon: Pumpkin churro, pumpkin cheescake, mini pumpkin caramel pronuts, and pumpkin pumpkin churro caramel?! YES PLEASE!

Where: Visit their site for all their Kelowna area retail locations HERE.


Pumpkin latte at Davison Orchards Cafe

What: Davison Orchards in Vernon is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to make the most of the fall season. Their cozy cafe is serving up Pumpkin Lattes and hot apple cider to keep you warm while you hunt for your pumpkins, and shop for pie and other goodies.

Where:

  • 3111 Davison Road, VERNON map


Pumpkin-spiced drinks at Kootenay Coffee Company

What: Kootenay Coffee Company is serving up Pumpkin Pie Lattes and White Pumpkin Hot Chocolates this fall. How can you even decide?!

Where:

  • 1019 Richter St, KELOWNA map

  • 590 HWY 33, KELOWNA map


Pumpkin Spice Blondies and Lattes at Whisk Cake Company

What: Whisk Cake Company in Rutland is your go-to spot for pumpkin treats like pumpkin spice cream cheese blondie squares, and pumpkin pie lattes. Plus: They also serve an assortment of keto-friendly treats, too!

Where: 203 Rutland Rd N, KELOWNA map


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies at Hot Bread Shoppe

What: Artisan bakery and gift shop in Vernon, specializing in exquisite breads and baked goods made from scratch with simple, healthy ingredients, love, and gratitude.

Where: 2901 31 St, VERNON. Visit here for more


Pumpkin Pie Perogis from Perogy Mama

What: The Perogi Mama makes the most amazing homemade perogies, with flavours that will knock your socks off, including pumpkin pie perogies and apple pie perogies. $10 for 12 perogies, but orders close April 10. Bonus: Some of gluten-free options available.

Where: Visit her Facebook page here for more details.


Pumpkin Biscotti, Cheesecake, Brulee Latte + Matcha Latte at It’s A Bakery


What: There’s so much pumpkin goodness at It’s a Bakery, it’s hard to choose. From pumpkin biscotti and pumpkin cheesecake, to pumpkin brulee latte and even a pumpkin matcha latte, this great little bakery in the Lower Mission (beside Barn Owl Brewery) is the perfect spot to stop and grab a seasonal treat.

Where: 4629 Lakeshore Rd, KELOWNA


Kindergarten Shopping Guide

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The back-to-school is a big deal for kids and parents alike, regardless of what grade is coming up. But for first-timer, it’s an extra special - and daunting - few weeks. We know, because DTO’s oldest kid checked Kindergarten off her to-do list last year. And with first grade just around the corner, she’s helped us compile a list of must-haves for first-timer kids and their parents.


1. BENTO BOX LUNCH KIT

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We love bento-style lunch boxes! They let you pack a variety of foods for lunch, adding variety and fun to school meal time. Plus, most products on the market these days are leak-proof!

Shop local: Scallywags Kids

Scallywags Kids on the Pandosy strip is one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, and it always has a great selection of products, including the amazing OmieBox. The divided tray lets you serve your entire meal in one place, with insulated side compartments to keep fruit & veggies cool, and a vacuum-insulated bowl for warm entrees. Plus it’s easy for little hands to open.

Elsewhere: Can’t make it to Scallywags? You can also find leak-proof bento boxes in Kelowna at Superstore, the Independent, Indigo, Justice, TJs, Baby and Me, and Chicken Little.


2. THE ULTIMATE BACKPACK

 
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Parkland backpacks are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, plus they come in a ton of super cool patterns. And they come in two sizes, so your kindergartner will be carrying a bag that actually fits.

Shop local: Baby and Me

Baby and Me has these amazing backpacks, and tons of other amazing back-to-school accessories. It’s one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, conveniently located right on Harvey.

Elsewhere: We’ve seen these awesome backpacks locally at several Orchard Park Mall (Kelowna) stores, including Indigo, Bentley, and SportChek, as well as at Scallywags Kids on the Pandosy strip.


3. RECESS-PROOF OUTERWEAR

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Recess happens rain or shine, and if your kid doesn’t have good quality outwear, they are going to be miserable. We love Hatley. With adorable patterns and great quality product, it’s worth the splurge.

Shop local: Baby Station

Have you discovered Baby Station? Located in Kelowna in the plaza near Staples, it has a great selection of outerwear, dining gear, and baby and toddler accessories - including Hatley gear for back-to-school!

Elsewhere: Check out Baby and Me, Scallywags Kids, Carter’s, Joe and MEC for great rain gear.


5. EASY-OPEN THERMOS

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Send your little to kindergarten with a warm lunch with a steel Skip Hop thermos. They are cute, easy to open and close, and they come with a spork that attaches to the outside.

Shop local: TJ’s The Kiddies Store

Your one-stop baby and kid dining stop. TJ’s The Kiddies Store - near Banks and Baron - has it all (and not just dining gear, might I add). Grab an insulated thermos, and then shop around for other great lunchtime products.

Elsewhere: You can also find Skip Hop thermoses at Baby and Me and Carter’s. Superstore also has a great selection of kid-friendly thermoses.


5. ACCESSORIES YOU’RE WILLING TO LOSE (d’oh!)

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We became well acquainted with the lost and found department this year. Invest in multiple pairs of mitts and toques, and visit your local second-hand store to pick affordable gently-used gear without sacrificing quality.

Shop local: Little Plum Children’s Boutique

We love Little Plum Children’s Boutique! This consignment store in downtown Vernon features an amazing selection of high-quality, gently-used items for babies and kids (and mamas, too!).

Elsewhere: If you can’t make it to Little Plum, we also love Once Upon a Child and Play-it-again Sports in Kelowna (both are near Costco) for great second-hand outerwear. Once Upon a Child also sells mitten clips, which have become a life saver in keeping mittens from a lonely playground demise. You can also find mitten clips at Carter’s/Osh Kosh.


6. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SIGN

 
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You may have noticed that these signs dominate your Facebook feed on the first week of school, and with good reason - they’re a super cool way to document your child’s first day of school each year.

Shop local: Memory Blocks

We love Lake Country-based Memory Blocks, and they happen to make two different versions of the chalkboard back-to-school sign. Check out their signs here, and get yours in time for school!


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