Celebrate your mom with a trip to O’Keefe Ranch

Moms with kids admitted free to historic ranch on Mother’s Day/opening day May 12

Looking for a great way to spend Mother’s Day in the North Okanagan and learn more about the history of the area?

You can spend a relaxing or an active day – your choice – at the historic O’Keefe Ranch, which is combining its opening day for the 2019 season on May 12 with a special event geared for moms and families.

“We’ll have pony rides, carriage rides and all the historical buildings will be open – you can take a mansion tour or wander through the museum,” says Tim Gibson, finance and marketing manager for O’Keefe Ranch.

It’s a great way to be introduced to this iconic property, located 12 kilometres north of Vernon on Highway 97.

Here’s some other activities and displays you’ll find at O’Keefe Ranch on Sunday:

  • Mom gets spoiled in other ways To help celebrate this special day, if you’re a mom visiting the Ranch with children, you’ll be admitted free of charge. Also, the Ranch has arranged to host yoga classes for free, so wear comfortable clothes that day!
  • Visit the barnyard From the rare double-horned Jacob sheep to goats and a variety of domestic and exotic birds – and of course, the ever-popular draft horses – there’s plenty of animals living at the Ranch. Feel free to come down and say hi.
  • See an experienced blacksmith in action This ancient trade has evolved over the generations, and resident blacksmith Patrick McIvor of Dancing Scot Forge is often on hand leading classes to teach you the basics as well as more advanced techniques. On Sunday you’ll find a group handcrafting belt buckles.
  • Learn about the Ranch’s history Founded in 1867, the Ranch played a key role in feeding Gold Rush miners who travelled to the Cariboo to seek their fortune. Cornelius O’Keefe and his cattle-driving partners, Thomas Greenhow and Thomas Wood, each staked out 160 acres at the time. You can find out more about the day-to-day activities of the Ranch through interactive displays and from knowledgeable staff. Just ask!

Discover some other ‘Did You Know’ facts

There’s some details about the Ranch you may not know – like the fact the O’Keefe mansion was built in three different phases, or that the Greenhow museum next door sits on the same spot as the original Greenhow mansion, which burned down in 1939.


Through the season the Ranch employs 20 staff and between 35 and 40 volunteers help out in all areas. They all welcome you to come down with the family, share in the fun or enjoy a meal at the Cattlemen’s Club Restaurant on site.

To plan your visit to O’Keefe Ranch, click here for hours, admission rates and more, or call 250-542-7868. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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