Whistler Blackcomb‘s abundance of high-alpine green and blue terrain is one of the attributes that makes this massive ski resort a popular ski vacation destination among families. Every age and ability level will appreciate the wide-open trails and incredible views, but it’s the kid-appeasing attractions like on-mountain Magic Castle, Enchanted Woods and Treefort, the Coca-Cola Tube Park, Ziptrek EcoTours’ ziplining adventures and Olympic attractions that seal the deal for families. Expect a lot of “Remember when we were in Whistler…” or “When are we going back?” after you’ve brought your young ones to North America’s No. 1 ski resort. If you’re looking to make some memories with your kids this winter, head to Whistler Blackcomb.
With the help of Mountain Travel Expert Gloria Saiya-Woods we compiled an itinerary to help families capitalize on the best of Whistler’s kid-friendly experiences within the span of a five-day ski vacation.
Mountain Travel Expert Since 2003
Day 1: Settle into your hotel and explore the base villages
Parents especially appreciate Vancouver International Airport’s close proximity Whistler. The drive to Whistler via Sea-to-Sky highway only takes about two hours. Once you’ve arrived in Whistler, settle into your hotel and acclimate yourself with the services and amenities your family will be treated to over the next five days.
"Legends is located in Creekside Village, which many families appreciate because the area is a bit quieter in the evenings. Legends provides guests with baby equipment and a kids' room so there's no need to pack extra toys or equipment," says Gloria, Kids will love splashing in the pool, while the parents relax in the hot tub. Plus you're walking distance from Creekside lift, which makes getting the little ones out the door to Snow School in the morning that much easier.
When it’s time to explore the base village and kick-off your vacation with a fun family dinner be sure to keep in mind that there are several base village restaurants that roll out the red carpet for kids. These include Blackcomb Base II’s Merlin’s Bar & Grill, Whistler Village’s Girabaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill and Creekside’s Dusty’s Bar & BBQ. All three restaurants feature kid’s menus or kid-friendly cuisine. While you’re out and about keep in mind that the rental shops are open until 9 p.m.
Avoid the stress, and get more sleep, by getting you and your kids' rental or demo gear set-up the night before the first day of skiing. Having an afternoon or evening to do that really makes a difference.
Day 2: First Day of Whistler Blackcomb Snow School
Getting the kids—and their gear—out the door and at ski school on time in the morning is sometimes the biggest challenge on a family ski trip, but that gets a whole lot easier when staying at Legends, since the hotel is just across from the Creekside Snow School location. You can drop them off at the Creekside location at 8:30 a.m., enjoy a full day of skiing, and pick them up at 3:30 p.m. and be just steps from your hotel room. Whistler Blackcomb’s Snow School is renowned for making learning to ski or snowboard fun, so you’ll be in for a lot of stories about the day’s adventures, which could include anything from skiing with characters, like Bart the Bear or Gizmo, to learning new tricks at the Habitat Terrain Park, when 3:30 p.m. rolls around. Snow School includes a hot lunch and snack and lift-line priority.
Celebrate your family's first day on Whistler Blackcomb's slopes with some sweet treats from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Day 3: Explore The Enchanted Woods and Treefort with Snow School
Whether you’re six or 60, there’s nothing like zipping through the trees, which is why Whistler Blackcomb created the Enchanted Woods. Kids love following the flowy trail through the alpine rain forests and taking advantage of every woop-di-do and mini jump. Snow School tends to spend a lot of time in this area for obvious reasons. Deep within the forest off of Pony Trail near the Big Red Express, kids can stop for a mini-break to play on the Treefort, which features squeal-inducing slides and walkways that make kids feel as if they’re a bird up in the trees. They may even get lucky and spot wildlife from above, or at least furry characters like Bart the Bear skiing by.
Close out a day well enjoyed with a family ice skating session at the Olympic Plaza followed by a pie at Boston Pizza.
Day 4: A day of family skiing followed by an afternoon at Coca-Cola®/™ Tube Park
A family that skis together, stays together. The best way to maximize your time on the slopes together is to follow Whistler Blackcomb’s designated Family-Certified Route. If the kids didn’t make it to Blackcomb’s Magic Castle and Kids Adventure Park during their time with Snow School, make sure they get to experience it. If you’re coming from the Creekside Base Village, take the exhilarating PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola to Blackcomb Mountain. Ski down Expressway and Easy Out to the Magic Castle, a winter playground complete with a slide.
Once your little ducklings have had enough, recharge with a hot chocolate and some video games at either Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain’s Nintendo Game Lounge, where kids can test out Nintendo’s latest games. Don’t be worried that they’ll become glued to the TV, after a day or two in Snow School they know what sort of fun awaits outside. When it’s time for lunch head to Chic Pea Hut, located in the Family Zone on Whistler Mountain at the bottom of Upper Whisky Jack. The Chic Pea has a huge sun deck and serves tasty flat-bread sandwiches and world-renowned cinnamon buns.Family fun doesn’t have to end when the lifts stop running. Head to Coca-Cola®/™ Tube Park at Blackcomb’s Base II and experience sliding on the snow in a different way. Open until 7 p.m. daily, Coca-Cola®/™ Tube Park features 1,000-foot lanes offering a variety of sliding experience and state-of-the-art conveyor lift makes traveling to the top a breeze.
Parents should take advantage of the resort's childcare services and enjoy a dinner at one of Whistler's acclaimed restaurants, Bearfoot Bistro or Araxi. The Core's Climb & Dine program [for ages six and up] allows kids the opportunity to learn to climb on an indoor wall while parents take advantage of an evening alone.
Day 5: Morning Ziptrek Bear Tour and afternoon at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
Start your last day in Whistler off with thrilling zipline ride. Perfect for families who have never ziplined before, Ziptrek Bear Tour features five different ziplines joined by a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks and trails. The exhilarating aerial tour covers more than 33 acres of lush rain forest spanning Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain over the Fitzsimmons Creek. Tandem zipping is available on the Ziptrek Bear Tour for children who are a minimum of six years, but weigh less than 65 pounds. Little Ziptrekkers can zip three of the five lines on their own but zip the two longest lines with a professional Ziptrek guide.
Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Whistler Upper Village’s Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre as a family. The art and exhibits showcase the histories and creative works of the Squamish and Lil’wayt Nations, which are native peoples to British Columbia. One of the coolest features of the Cultural Centre is its artist-in-residence programs, where visitors can watch Salish weaving, heritage canoe carving and cedar basket weaving.
End the day and celebrate your best family ski vacation yet with a dinner at the family-friendly Cinnamon Bear Grille [located in the Hilton]. Children 12 years and under eat for half price while those 6 years and under eat free!
If experiencing an unforgettable Whistler family ski vacation is something you’d like to make happen this winter, start planning your Whistler Blackcomb ski vacation now! Gloria, or any of our other Mountain Travel Experts, can help you find the best Whistler family vacation package deals and customize and book your flights, rental cars, lodging and more on your Whistler Blackcomb ski vacation. Call or click to chat with one of them now! You can also customize and book your vacation using our online booking services.
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Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.