So many things to see and do in Kamloops!
Recently, a group of us visited the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park with our children. We began by exploring the 5 acre Heritage Park, on the banks of the South Thompson River. A fun picnic was had where we got to eat our lunch inside one of the traditional semi-underground “pit houses” which at one point were used to house the Secwepemc people in the winter months.
During our lunch, a caretaker kindly made us a fire and explained to us a little bit about the construction of the pit houses as well as how many people would have lived in them. Then it was time to head back outside to explore the more than a kilometer of trails winding through the archaeological remains of a 2,000 year old Secwepemc winter village site.
While exploring the Heritage Park, we also checked out the unique Ethnobotanical Gardens, which consists of traditional plants and informational displays on how they were once used.
Finally, it was time to head inside into the Secwepemc Museum, and the displays of photographs and artifacts of the Secwepemc people. Our museum guide graciously catered to the age group of our children and even sang a couple of songs while the children participated by sharing a small wooden canoe. She even taught the little ones to say thank you in Secwepemc language (Kukwtsétsemc). One highlight for my almost 4 year old was when they were each allowed to use the traditional drum, which they all did with gentle care.
The Museum and Heritage Park is a great place to visit with your entire family (and an excellent idea for those out of town visitors!). Services include picnic areas, washrooms and indoor eating areas in the traditional pit houses. Things to see in the Heritage Park include the gardens, the orchards and plenty of walking paths, including a boardwalk through the marsh areas.
How to get there:
North Shore Area: Take the #5 Yellowhead Highway (direction South) and turn left onto Shuswap Road East. Follow the signs to the Museum.
South Shore Area: Take the #5 Yellowhead Highway (direction North) and turn right onto Shuswap Road East. Follow the signs to the Museum.
Summer Hours (June 1st to Labour Day) 8:00 – 4:00, Monday – Sunday
Open Statutory Holidays
Winter Hours (Labour Day to June 1st) 8:30 – 4:30, Monday – Friday
Closed Weekends and Statutory Holidays
Jodi is originally from Montréal, Quebec but spent a few years in Northern New Brunswick after graduating from University. She moved to Kamloops in the Spring of 2010 with her family and works as an educational assistant. Her 7 and 8 year old keep her really busy as they love exploring the area and enjoying what Kamloops has to offer!