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Make, Taste, and Explore - Creston's Hands-On Hotspots

A canoe tour at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a stellar way to experience the wetlands.

By Brian Lawrence

So, you're planning a trip to the Creston area and already have some must-see spots on your list — such the Farmers' Market, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, and exploring the cute local shops and boutiques — but you also want to dive deeper into the local scene?

The area offers plenty of fantastic ways to immerse yourself in local life. Discover the art of winemaking, paddle through serene wetlands, learn about about local history or find your zen in a yoga class. It's all about experiencing Creston firsthand — authentic, personal and full of opportunities to learn, create and connect. Ready to roll up your sleeves and make the most of your time? Read on for our list of some of the best workshops, classes and tours to do while visiting the area!

Keep an eye out for the endangered western painted turtle at the Creson Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Birds and Turtles and Bears, Oh My!

Wildlife sightings happen by chance all the time, but a visit to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is pretty much a guarantee you’ll spot something — perhaps a few of the over 300 bird species that call the area home. Or something bigger, such as a moose or black bear. Or smaller, such as the blue-listed western painted turtle.

However, to help you understand the importance of this remarkable wetland and the unique creatures that call it home we suggest booking a tour at the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, a nature and wildlife interpretive centre in the heart of the wetlands. At the centre, visitors can explore interpretive displays or book a guided tour of the wetlands with the centre's knowledgeable naturalists, either via a walking tour or in a canoe on the wetlands. Self-guided wanders are wonderful, too, with loops that will take from 20 minutes to a few hours!

Visitors get a hands-on learning experience in the old one room school building at the Creston Museum!
Visitors get a truly hands-on learning experience in the old one-room school at the Creston Museum!

Peek into the Past

For a sizable dose of local history, a tour at the Creston Museum is a must! The guides lead visitors around a fascinating house built by a master stone mason in the 1960s, telling local stories about railroads, agriculture and everyday life in the last century. Each June, the museum hosts Kids’ Day, which features ice cream making and “gold” panning — a delightful event for the whole family. From July 15-20, 2024, the museum team will also be out in the community, hosting special tours for History About Town Week, followed by a five-day Pioneer Camp for kids from Aug. 6-10.

Interested in learning about the culture and history of the Yaqan Nukiy, the Indigenous local members of the Ktunaxa Nation? If so you won't want to miss the Yaqan Nukiy Heritage Centre at Legend Logos. It’s the prime place to about their culture and legends, from their unique yaqsuʔmiǂ birch bark canoes to the legends of Naⱡmuqȼin, the giant sturgeon fish of Kootenay Lake!

The Art Barn offers a huge array of arts activities for all ages.

Try Your Hand at the Arts (and Crafts!)

The Creston area is also an artist's paradise and haven to many creative souls happy to share their passion through hands-on learning experiences! In Erickson, the Art Barn Studio is the place for workshops and classes in mixed media (including but hardly limited to paper making and sculpting), and even offers small group classes and kids’ birthday parties by appointment!

Lovers of ceramics are also welcome at The Pottery on Canyon, a public studio in downtown Creston. The shop offers many workshops and, Friday through Sunday, drop-in activities allowing first-timers to try their hand at the pottery wheel and glazing their own unique design. In the area for a few days? Spending time at Eversfield Ceramics might be an option, with two-, three- and five-day workshops in their studio, located south of Creston in the rural community of Lister. Their studio is also the location of the Creston Clay Fest on Aug. 10, 2024, a day of workshops and demonstrations, as well as a market!

Farm, Food & Wine

Of course, as the breadbasket of the region, Creston is known for all the things that are grown and made here and tour of a local farm, winery or legendary brewery is a must!

For a family friendly farm experience we also suggest a visit to Kootenay Meadows Farm in Lister to see where our delicious local milk and cheeses come from (and maybe pet some calves!) In addition to an on-farm shop with chocolate milk and soft-serve ice cream, self-guided tours are available when the shop is open. It’s a great way to see the cows and milking robots — yes, you read that right: milking robots!

Sample some excellent local wines with a tasting at one of four creston wineries!

With four wineries, the Creston Valley has also become a wine destination, so you won’t want to miss out on wine tastings at Baillie-Grohman, Skimmerhorn, Red Bird and Wynnwood Cellars wineries. Downtown, Wild North Brewing Co. produces some incredible beers (the raspberry sour and the porter are both top-notch!), and the nearby Sternwheeler Craft Distillery produces incredible gin, vodka and other spirits, many flavoured with local fruits!

Creston is, of course, also famous for Kokanee beer, which comes from the Columbia Brewery, and guests (aged 19 and older) will enjoy an in-depth tour of the brewery, learning about techniques, ingredients and the brewery’s history — not to mention sample their fantastic signature brews!

Movement & Exercise

In Creston locals know the importance of blending activity with relaxation. After indulging your creative and culinary senses, why not complement your day with some movement and exercise? Creston offers the perfect places for a mid-summer tune-up!

The Yoga Room offers a wide range of styles. Brian Lawrence

In addition to exercising at your own pace in the top-notch fitness and aquatic centres, the Creston and District Community Complex also offers drop-in swimming and fitness classes — Check out their summer guide and schedule on their website to see what's happening.

Finally, to keep your mind and body in sync, The Yoga Room and Embody Movement Studio are the places to go. The former offers yoga in a wide range of styles, while the latter offers both yoga and dance fitness classes!

More to Do

From getting hands-on with workshops to diving into guided tours, we hope you've found some great ideas for experiencing Creston like a local.

But there’s still plenty more to uncover - Explore the rest of our website for cozy dining spots, things to do, and upcoming events. Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our other blog articles — they're packed with tips and insights.

However you choose to soak up Creston’s charm, we hope you feel right at home and enjoy your time here!

Brian Lawrence

Freelance writer Brian Lawrence is a former editor and publisher of the Creston Valley Advance. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and trail running, and acting in and directing productions with Creston's Footlighters Theatre Society.


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