Family Friendly Things to do in Kamloops, British Columbia

My husband and I have been visiting Kamloops, BC for around 5 years. Over the years a lot of friends and family have always asked me why Kamloops and why not Kelowna or Osoyoos.

Kamloops has always had a special place in my heart. When hubby and I got together, we wanted to do some mini road trips and Kamloops was one of the first places we visited. Surprisingly, we were amazed at how short of a drive it is from Vancouver (3.5 to 4 hours) and how we always had a great time. We also announced our pregnancy to the world while in Kamloops!

Over the year’s, we have found some great activities to do, especially for a family with a toddler. Here is a list of our fav activities to do while in Kamloops:

Hiking: Rj and I are not big hikers but we found a trail with beautiful views that we could take the stroller up to on our last visit. We went to Kenna Cartwright Park with Zara on our last trip and she loved it. It was not a super long hike, but the view was amazing.

Pre-baby we have also been to Peterson park which is a bit more rugged.

Both of these are dog friendly.

Here is a list of all the places to hike.

Kamloops Wine trail: Yes finally Kamloops has wineries! There are 4 wineries in total and the earliest one opened up in 2012. I will be writing a separate post on my experience at the wineries, so watch out for it!

BC Wildlife Park– This was our favorite part of the trip. The BC Wildlife Park is a not for profit park and all the animals are usually rescued or injured and unable to survive in the wild. The animals have large enclosures and looked very well cared for. We saw Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Moose, Camels, and even goats. There is a playground and even a water park. There is also a volunteer-run mini train inside the park that takes you around. You can easily spend a full day here. The cost is around $15 and kids under 3 are free. If you have the Entertainment Coupon book, you can get in for, 2 for 1. This was definitely a highlight of our trip.

Have you been to Kamloops? What is your favorite activity to do in Kamloops?

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are based on my experience.

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Zara’s favorite playgrounds in Vancouver

Summer is around the corner and days will be longer so we can head outside to spend more time in the sun!!

This gets me excited to spend more time with the family. Our favourite activity is to head out to a park where Zara can run around, and we can relax. Here is a list of our favourite parks in the city:

Steveston Village: We used to live close to Steveston Village pre baby and loved it! The park next to the community centre will not disappoint. The park has plenty of safe climbing equipment for unsteady feet, plus a real Trolley that kids can explore with parents. There are also slides galore and a water park in the summer. For the parents, there are tons of coffee shops and restaurants in the village to meet every single palate.

Creekside Park: This park is right by Science world and has beautiful water views. The park’s grounds are built of soft foam mats, making it safe, if kids happen to take a tumble. Zara felt super confident climbing up to the slide here! There is a large tunnel slide for kids 5 and up as well. For parents, Olmpic village is a short walk away and has a lot of choices for food and coffee. My favorite is Mario’s Gelato which is also close by. Craft Beer Market is also a good spot for lunch and drinks.

Trout Lake Park: I have written about Trout Lake in the past, but I just had to put it on our list of favorite parks in Vancouver! The park has slides of multiple sizes, a climbing orb, and a huge sand pit. Views of the lake are amazing! There is also an off-leash dog park for your fur babies. Coffee, snacks, and Gelato are available at the Circus in the Park.

What are your favorite parks in the city?

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Healthy Family Expo Vancouver 2018

I have a 2.5-year-old daughter and one day she is going to turn into a woman. One day she is going to question the way her body looks and doubt her eating habits. One day she is going to go on a diet, or maybe multiple diets. One day she is going to feel guilty about eating that extra slice of cake. One day she is going to get on a scale and define her self-worth based on the number she sees.

My husband and I, as her parents have a responsibility to teach her that the number on the scale does not define her. We have a responsibility to instill healthy eating habits and instill a positive body image. We are human and eating that extra slice of cake is not going to hurt you if it is done in moderation.

You have to start them young as they say! So a couple of Sundays ago, we took her to the Healthy Family Expo. It was held at the Vancouver Convention center with 1000s of exhibitors promoting healthy living. There were samples galore but also space for kids to be kids. Movement is part of a healthy lifestyle and there was plenty of that in 35000 sqft space. There was a rock climbing wall set up for older kids as well as Spring free trampolines. The toddler area had a tumbling gym as well as a bouncy castle. Needless to say, Zara had a lot of fun jumping, playing and snacking on healthy snacks! She also got to see her favorite, Daniel Tiger, and Super Why CBC characters live in concert.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always going to be something we are going to have to work on as a family. My hope is that events like the Healthy Family Expo will give help her move in the right direction. Have you been to the Expo? Are you planning on going next year?

Please note this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are solely based on my experience.

Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Mom’s night out at Hotel Blu Vancouver

Self-care has become a household term recently, especially if you are a mom. Recently, I had a girlfriend come visit me from Montreal. Both of us are busy moms and desperately needed some time to be just ‘us’. We decided to book a night away for a staycation at Hotel Blu and get some much needed ‘girl time’. Neither of us had stayed here before but we loved the location and the reviews looked promising.

We checked in a little bit early and were pleasantly surprised how modern this hotel is.
Check-in was a breeze and the concierge desk texted me an hour later to ensure the room was to my liking. What service!!

The room was a good size with a king size bed, a Nespresso machine, and an automated concierge. We were on the third floor and had views of the city. Luckily it was a sunny day and we loved looking out to the hustle bustle of the city.

Here is video tour of the room:

The location of the hotel is perfect. We could walk to Gastown, Yaletown, and Downtown. Our first stop after check-in was drinks and oysters! Luckily the hotel is steps away from Fanny Bay Oyster bar. We were able to get in for happy hour and enjoyed some happy hour oysters and drinks. Next, we decided to head over to the BC Liquor store to grab a bottle of wine for the room while we got ready for a late dinner. With no kids to chase and diapers to change both of us were able to relax and put on makeup in peace.


We decided to head out to Chambar for dinner, again it was a short walk away. Both of us had never been to Chambar and let me tell you, dinner was quite an experience. Chambar is known for its brunch but the dinner menu was amazing. We had mussels and wine to start. I went for the lamb and my girlfriend tried the wild boar. We were there for almost 3 hours and the food was divine. The portions were large and we were stuffed. The service was amazing. We felt like queens for the night!

Checkout was at noon at Hotel Blu, so both of us slept in (the bed was super comfortable, like sleeping on a cloud !) and we took our time in the morning (something neither of us is used to). We wanted to spend the rest of the sunny day shopping and the hotel was kind enough to hold on to our bags until we were ready to go home. I loved Hotel Blu and would definitely be back.

This was the second time that I had been away from Zara without the hubby. And I have to say that it was nice to be just ‘me’ for a change. I ate, drank and shopped to my heart’s desire. I slept in (Hallelujah!!) !! Sometimes, that’s all you need, one night away to get some down time to feel refreshed and be a happier well-rested momma!

So mommas next time you feel like you need a vacation, just do a staycation and get to know ‘you’ again. What are your favorite spots in Vancouver for a staycation?

PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery

Valentine’s Date night : Where to go in Vancouver to Wine and Dine

Valentine’s day is around the corner! I have compiled a list of my fav restaurants for you mommas and dadas that are looking for date night ideas and BONUS, two of them are kid friendly in case it turns into a family affair!

Here are our fav restaurants:

The Keg: I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal here. When Rj and I first started dating this was our go to date restaurant. Last year Rj and I celebrated our ten year dating anniversary with a dinner at the Keg and we were not disappointed. The Keg is also kid friendly, so if your little one is tagging along on your valentine’s date, this the place to go.

Ahi Tuna and Creme Brûlée YUM

Ahi Tuna

Lupo: Lupo made Rj and I feel at home. It is actually set in a house and it felt like we were visiting a friend’s house. The food is Italian and the flavors are authentic and divine. Make sure to try the beef short rib and the lamb.

Lamb shank, Beef Short rib, Tiramisu, Beef Carpaccio

Wildebeest: This restaurant serves unique flavors and dishes but I promise you the tastes will blow your taste buds! If you see the lamb on the menu try it!!

Lamb shank, Beef Short rib, Fried chicken bites

Merchants : This is our favorite restaurant to go to when we are craving fresh oysters. They also change up their menu often and feature seasonal dishes, to appeal to various taste buds.

Seasons in the Park: I love Seasons in the Park! We got married at Queen Elizabeth park and we had our reception here, so Seasons holds a special place in my heart. We celebrate every wedding anniversary with a dinner here. The views are spectacular and enough of a reason to visit. We have always gotten great service and loved the meals here. Bonus! They are kid friendly and have a kids menu. So if you can’t find a baby sitter, you can still enjoy a dinner out.

Lobster and Prime rib, and Mac and Cheese

What are your fav places to go? Are you planning a date night with your spouse or celebrating with the family? Comment below.

Please note this is not a sponsored post (I wish it was). All opinions are based on my personal experience.

Free/Cheap Rainy Weekend kid friendly spots in Vancouver

Winter is a tough month for families in Vancouver, BC. The rain has everyone stuck inside and usually after the crazy Christmas spending, people are looking to save some dollars.

I am always on the hunt for where I can take Zara to run around indoors, for FREE or for the price of a coffee at Starbucks, on the weekends.

Here is a list of a couple of my favorite places to hang out with Zara for FREE or economical cost in Vancouver.

Oakridge mall : This is one of my favorite malls for multiple reasons. It’s accessible by skytrain and has free parking. The play area is a simple carpeted area but Zara has a blast running around. They also have some coin operated toys in the area that, Zara loves, jumping in to. The play area is also located right by the Lego store, which is a dream for my girl. The LEGO store has a set up of LEGO, that Zara has thoroughly enjoyed. There is also a Vancouver Public Library in the mall if you are feeling like grabbing a book or story time. For meals, there is a White Spot or multiple choices at the food court. Unlike other malls, I find Oakridge busy but not crowded and it is small enough that you are not walking a mile to get to the bathroom!

Trout lake Community Centre: I have written about Trout Lake in one of my previous posts, and it is one of our favorite spots to visit. You can read about it here. The play gym is $3.00 for drop in and runs from 10am to 12pm, Sunday to Friday. You can also buy 10 tickets for $24.00 and save some dollars to treat yourself to a coffee. When you need a large area for your kid to run around on a rainy Sunday, this the place to go. Last Sunday, they had a bouncy castle set up, and Zara was totally blown away. They also have a cute little cafe, serving local baked goods, sandwiches, coffee and ice cream! Covers all the food groups!

Ikea: I recently learned that Ikea supports refugees, so I feel good about spending my money here. Also, the Ikea restaurant has really upped their game on the quality of food. The breakfast is $2.99 and comes with cage free eggs, potatoes and turkey sausage. The lunch and dinner menu is more than just Swedish meatballs and has a lot of variety at reasonable prices. Kids meals are $2.99 and Zara is a huge fan of their Mac and cheese. And did I mention they have wine??!! They have seating with little play areas in the restaurants so the kids are not confined to a high chair.

There is a ball pit play area for potty trained kids, while parents shop. The toy section has a display toys that Zara loves to run around and play with.

Family dinner night anyone??

Fraser River Discovery Centre: The first time I visited the centre I was in awe of how family friendly it is and how much Zara enjoyed it. You can read about my experience here. Adults are $6.00, children 2 to 12 are $3.00, and under 2 are free. With Family day around the corner, they have hands on exhibits to explore including: make a mess at the residue ramp and digging for artifacts in the archaeology bin. Did I mention it’s FREE?

What are your favorite places to go in Vancouver in a rainy day, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

The Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) : Educating the Minds of Tomorrow

When Rj and I found out we were having a girl, I was ecstatic. Rj was happy, but he was worried that he wouldn’t have anything in common with her. Fast forward 2 years and some months and Zara is a daddy’s girl through and through. They are two peas in a pod and their bond is amazing. Zara loves anything with wheels and prefers to play with cars rather than with dolls. In fact we have one doll and A LOT of cars in her toy box.

So, when I received the invitation to visit the Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC), to join them for their Christmas celebration, ‘Fishmas a Winter wonderland’, I was excited. Rj is an avid fly fisherman and his dad was a fisherman, so the Fraser River was a part of his life growing up. This was a chance to introduce my daughter to a part of British Columbia’s history, educate her on its impact on our province and get her interested in fishing.

The Fraser River Discovery Centre did not disappoint.

The space is large and beautifully laid out. It is two floors, and had lots of room for little ones to run around and explore.

The exhibits, are informative and made learning fun. Zara’s favorite to my husband’s delight was Sturgeon George. It is a replica of a Sturgeon and the exhibit walks you through their life cycle.

For Fishmas, they had an array of interactive displays set up run by volunteers, like ‘ice fishing’, making mini snow-globes, coloring, etc. They also had an interactive puppet show written by one of the employees, Julie!

Downstairs, to our amazement is a large toddler playroom, with a projector screen cinema. There are a choice of educational and fun shows that you can request the staff to play for you. The Toddler room, also has tons of room to sit for parents while the kids play with toys or watch the show.

Verdict: We spent almost 2 hours in here and Zara had a lot of fun and when she is entertained, I can let my hair down and enjoy myself! I found the staff and volunteers, to be super friendly and accommodating. In my opinion it was worth the drive down from Vancouver, and a great respite from the rain and cold temperatures outside. The Fraser River Discovery Centre is a not for profit society and supporting a cause, whose goal is to educate the minds of tomorrow, is close to my heart. At the same time, watching my husband and daughter bond over common passions is priceless.

Check out the The Fraser River Discovery Centre for a list of events.

Please note that I was invited to visit The Fraser River Discovery Centre and write about it. In return, I was compensated with free entry. All opinions in this post are my own.