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Our Winter Staycation at Big White!

You’ve probably seen me share photos of how beautiful Kelowna is in the spring and summer, but what you might not know is that we also have an amazing ski resort right close by that’s perfect for visiting in the winter. A few weeks ago we decided to go to Big White Ski Resort for a little winter staycation! Justin and I had been talking about getting up there because we REALLY wanted to get Leo on a snowboard to see if he would love it JUST as much as his dad, even though he’s a bit young, we figured its worth a shot. Not to mention, while we’ve been traveling a lot this winter, when we are home … we are “home” …  I’m a bit of a homebody and don’t get out much in the winter but I was super eager to explore the mountain, take Nacho and Peaches for some good exercise and MOST of all … see how our little man likes snowboarding!

For those of you who don’t know, Justin used to be a pro snowboarder so we were pretty excited when Justin’s parents bought Leo a tiny kid’s Burton snowboard a couple of years ago as a Christmas gift!! Over the last year and a half, we’d pull him around the house on his little snowboard to work on his balance but up until the other weekend, we hadn’t yet taken him out on a hill with it!

So, with all of our plans in place, we loaded up the kids and the dogs and hit the road … about 2 minutes in we took a pit stop to grab Peaches a winter coat (whoops, forgot about that! lol) and popped by A&W to fill our bellies up with Beyond Meat burgers! LOL! THEN we were back on the road!

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation

After a quick 40 min trip (right from downtown Kelowna!!), we were at Big White Ski Resort checking into an adorable little chalet, the Blacksmith Lodge! But honestly Kelowna is so close, you could choose to stay in the city too if you preferred. Our little home for the weekend was located slope side (and offered tons of parking!!). Our lodge had a private hot tub (which we definitely took advantage of!) and it didn’t take Leo long to find some toys to play with and soon enough Justin and I were sitting by our fireplace sipping on a glass of red wine to kick off our staycation! Ps. Now that we realize how close Big White is to us, I can already foresee many day trips up here in our future!!

First thing the next morning we had breakfast in our cabin and made our way to … THE BUNNY HILL! That’s right, it was time to find out what Leo thought about this whole snowboarding thing! LOL! I have to say, I was a LITTLE bit concerned as to how this was going to pan out! I mean, he is still so young so we weren’t sure how he was going to take to it … what if he fell? Would he get frustrated, scared, or just give up?? We were about to find out …

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation

Well, if you followed along with my Instagram stories that weekend you’ll know it was QUITE the OPPOSITE!! He absolutely LOVED it!! He did surprisingly well, he had a smile on his face the entire time and had incredible balance!! I swear my heart MELTED when he beamed and said “I’M SNOWBOARDING!!!!” in that squeaky little voice. It looks like snowboarding runs in the genes … in fact, even so much so that I think he may even give his DAD a run for his money! LOL!

We spent a good portion of our morning on the bunny hill, Justin ran up and down the hill with Leo and Annie and I watched the fun unfold! Annie was so content that day, I had her wrapped up in her Baby Bjorn and she was snug as a bug!!

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White StaycationJillian Harris Big White StaycationJillian Harris Big White Staycation

Once Leo started to get hungry we took a break from the bunny hill and made our way back into the village to grab lunch at The Woods Restaurant! Not only was the service incredible, but the food was AMAZING and their caesars were drool-worthy but it also happened to be Aussie Day that day so the energy was incredible, the music was perfect and everyone was out for a good time!!

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation

After lunch Leo was getting pretty sleepy so we popped back to the lodge, Leo went down for a nap and mama hit the hot tub to RELAX!! Once everyone got a little R&R we got dressed up and took the dogs for a nice walk around the village! Ps. I was so impressed by how dog-friendly this resort is! It’s the perfect destination to bring your fur babies with you … everyone is so welcoming to them!!

Later that night we went for dinner at The BullWheel (who had many veggie friendly options for us!) and caught the fireworks after dinner to wrap up the evening! This was not only Leo’s first day of snowboarding but also his very FIRST fireworks show … it was a pretty magical day for the books!

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation

On Sunday morning I took some “me time” LOL … and left Justin with the kiddos and fur kiddos at the lodge while I escaped for an aromatherapy massage and an Eminence facial (one of my favourite skincare brands!) at Elevation Spa!! The spa was seriously dreamy and JUST what I needed! Once I was done at the spa, we took Leo back out to the bunny hill for a few more runs and then packed up and made our way home!

Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation Jillian Harris Big White Staycation

Honestly, we really needed that. It’s amazing that this kind of retreat is SO close to our home and I really loved being outdoors and active with the family. I haven’t been the most active the last few years … a combination of work, being pregnant and having an infant or toddler… oh, and building a house!! LOL!! It’s kind of held me back … but seeing Leo on the hill and feeling the ENERGY and vibe up in Big White made me realize it’s time to get my arse in gear and get out the skis myself!

I’m SO excited to see what the next few years bring for our family. Now that Leo is growing up and we are able to take on these kinds of hobbies, it will be fun to see if skiing and snowboarding is something the whole family takes up and becomes a part of our lifestyle! Never the less, even if for the food, spa, fresh air and exercise, we’ll be up again soon … we’re already planning our next adventure!






Thank you Tourism Kelowna for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Way to go Leo you did amazing super proud of you. Looks like an amazing family weekend. Love you’s all!♥️?

  2. Big White is similar to Sun Peaks which isn’t far from my home. I can see Leo becoming a real pro in the future … he’s awesome on that board. Fearless, good balance for a little guy and lots of cheering to help him along. It’s good
    to getaway and spend some time in the beautiful areas this region has to offer.

    Nice video … take care, all.

  3. Hi Jillian, first of all I think you’re super amazing! Love reading your blogs and watching your IG stories…they’re super entertaining!

    I’m a mom of 2 myself (preschooler and – baby that just turned one a week ago). My husband and I have dreamed of moving to Kelowna from Ontario. Where do you recommend is a great neighbourhood for young families to move to there? Also, what other advice would you give for a young family like yours and ours moving there?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

    Keep being the real you! ?

  4. When did you get a 2nd dog? I must have missed it,. How did Nacho take to a new sibling? I’m a HUGE dog person and want to know all about it.

  5. So good to instill the love of sports into your children at an early age. My children are grown and they love skiing on snow and water, golfing and plenty more things we did together when they were growing up. They take to it like fish to the water. Enjoy!

  6. Hello Jillian,

    I’m from Edmonton and it’s minus -32 right now…crazy! I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blogs, your pictures and your beautiful family. Now that your onesies come in plus sizes I’m IN!!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life with us all. God bless you all!

  7. Hi Jill!
    When have you got a new fur kiddo?? I have totally missed that post or have you done it yet? I’ m happy to hear more about that one 🙂

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