Visiting Whistler, Canada in the Winter as a Family

Some of the best winter memories our family has created have been at Whistler ski resorts. Skiing and snowboarding are the main reasons we come to spend time in Whistler. We like to make sure we have accommodations that are convenient so that we can get on the mountain quickly. This is especially important when you have a gaggle of little ones following behind. So how can you make the most of a visit to Whistler, Canada? I've got some tips for making wonderful winter family memories in one of our favorite locations.

family vacation to whistler bc

Visiting Whistler, Canada in the Winter as a Family

family ski vacation

What if I Don't Ski?

Even if you don't ski, Whistler is the most beautiful backdrop for a winter vacation. This resort town is just 90 minutes north of Vancouver and has so much more to offer than just world-class slopes. You can find ice skating at Whistler Village, hop in a tube at the tube park near Blackcomb Mountain for more than a dozen fun runs or glide at the Whistler Sliding Center at record speed down the same bobsled track used in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

There is no shortage of luxurious spas where you can relax your cares away before hitting the pedestrian-only Whistler Village for unique shopping and dining experiences. Whistler may be big on size but it still has a very relaxed mountain-town feel. 

If you don't want to miss out on the breathtaking views but don't want to strap on skis, you can still ride the world-record-holding gondola PEAK 2 PEAK as it connects Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain. Take in the views and enjoy the scenery without ever pointing downhill with two sticks strapped to your feet!

If you want to try skiing or snowboarding, Whistler is the best location to give it a go. With world-class instructors for all ages from 3-adult, you can find lessons for all ability levels and will come off the slopes with more confidence.

I've curated a list of resorts that will meet your family's needs and have you enjoying the long winter season at one of the best ski resorts in the world. Not traveling to Whistler as a family? Not to worry! Any of the resorts listed below are perfect for the solo or couple traveling to Whistler looking to experience all that this mountain resort has to offer.

Want to make the most of the ski season? Grab an epic pass! Find out more here

Whistler Canada family ski vacation

Best Resort if You Need Space

When we travel on a ski trip, it looks like we are packing to move out of our home. The amount of clothes and gear we bring with us as a family of five can overwhelm most resort rooms, but not at the all-suite Pan Pacific Hotel. With two of the best locations in Whistler, the spacious accommodations with full kitchens, balconies, and fireplaces, gives your family the comforts of home with the ability to spread out a bit. You don't need to sacrifice comfort either. You can find stunning views from the pool deck and spa treatment rooms.

Another option if you need more space is the Lake Placid Lodge. Lake Placid Lodge has a convenient ski-in/ski-out location and is conveniently located next to the Whistler Kids ski school in the less populated Creekside area. 

Note, lodging in the Creekside location isn't convenient if you have kids or adults over the age of 13 taking lessons. Lessons for teens and adults are only available at the Whistler Village location.

The Sundial Boutique offers another spacious furnished suite option. This boutique hotel is in the heart of Whistler Village. You will find full kitchens, fireplaces and eight of the suites offer private hot tub options as well. Plus you will be close to all the shopping and dining options located in the Village. 
It's convenient for us to have a full kitchen to cook, so think about shopping for groceries at the local Whistler Grocery located in the heart of Whistler Village. Find the freshest local ingredients to create a meal in the comfort of your condo or purchase delicious pre-packaged meals. If you are staying in Creekside, walk on over to the Creekside Market or pre-order your groceries online and have them delivered to your rental property so they are ready for you when you arrive.

If you are driving up, consider stopping in Squamish, BC to get your shopping done at the local grocery store or superstores there. Your options are more expensive and more limited as you head into Whistler, but of course, they are also more convenient. 

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Squamish BC!

Best Resort for the Whole Family {even the dog!}

Whistler is known to be quite pet-friendly. You can find miles of dog-friendly trails, dog parks, and pet-friendly accommodations. Located right in the heart of Whistler Village, Crystal Lodge offers ski storage and shopping on site. Not to mention dogs are welcome at no additional charge. Dogs are given their own blanket, bowl and treat at check-in and are welcomed as part of the Crystal Canine Program. Crystal Lodge is less than a five-minute walk to the gondola and is easy access to all the fun and nightlife that is offered in Whistler Village. 

Not one to leave your dog out of the fun? Look into Alpine Dogs K9 Adventure and plan a full or half-day adventure hike for your dog. They also offer private in-room pet sitting and dog walking.



Best Resort for Young Children

Creekside is a quiet little area set off just a few kilometers from Whistler Village and was the location of the original base of Whistler Mountain. An 8-minute drive will take you from the peaceful little ski-in/ski-out location into the hustle and bustle of Whistler Village. If traveling with children means early bedtimes and a hope of retaining some sense of a schedule, your young family may feel more at home in the quieter slower-pace of Creekside at the First Tracks Lodge.

First Tracks Lodge offers mostly condo-style accommodations with full-size kitchens, free crib rental, fireplaces, and all-season pool and hot tubs. It's easy access to the child care or Whistler Kids ski school and while it may be a bit quieter than Whistler Village, it doesn't mean it's not lacking on restaurants and other amenities you may be looking for all within walking distance.
Try Dusty's BBQ at the base of the Creekside Gondola for family-friendly dining until 10 pm. After 10, Dusty's turns into an adults-only venue with live music, fun for hiring an in-room babysitter and enjoying an evening out. 

Some of the top ski resorts are located in BC. Here are my top pick ski resorts in BC Canada.

Best Resort for Luxury

Want to take in all that Whistler has to offer without sacrificing any detail? Consider staying in the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler. There isn't a time that I don't look down from the slopes into the village and gasp at the beauty of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. It's a breathtaking resort at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. It's also conveniently located just 5 blocks away from Whistler Village. The staff is known for its impeccable service and you won't have to go further than the lobby to find several five-star dining options.

Why not try Sunday brunch at the Wildflower when you stay at The Fairmont. Try locally inspired dishes in a family-friendly restaurant setting while getting a view of beautiful Whistler Mountain. 
You'll also find the luxury you have come to expect at Whistler Four Seasons. Just a short 5-minute walk to the ski lifts or a 10-minute stroll to Whistler Village has you in the heart of all of the action. 

You'll find the one-of-a-kind ski concierge who will collect and store your equipment for you. They can also help you get ski lift tickets and be fitted for equipment rentals so you don't waste precious time in line, instead, you can make the most of your time on the slopes. Whistler Four Seasons is also pet-friendly, so you can make sure you include your pooch when you travel.

Best Resort for the Budget Conscious

The recently refurbished Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel is located close to the Whistler Village Market and has complimentary ski shuttle service. You may not be directly located in the heart of the Village, but you aren't far off and that will bring you some savings in your pocketbook. The whole family will enjoy the use of the free in-room iPad minis and cuddly sock monsters that will make their appearance in your room. And once again, dogs stay free!

It's inevitable that we will forget some clothing item of importance and we will only notice once we arrive in Whistler. Can-Ski has locations in Whistler Village, Creekside, and Blackcomb making it convenient to pick up ski-equipment and apparel. 

Whatever your needs are, Whistler is a true winter wonderland your whole family will enjoy either on or off the slopes.

Start your search now for winter fun as a family! 

Know Before You Go 

The borders are open again, but there are COVID-19 Protocols in place. All lifts on Whistler Blackcomb will be running at normal capacity and there are no reservations needed. 

Masks are not mandatory on the chair lifts or in lift lines, but they are required on the gondola and when you head into on-mountain lodges and restaurants. Masks are also required in all shops, hotels, and other indoor settings off the slopes and around the village. 

Proof of vaccination will be required for all guests 12 and older at restaurants, bars, and cafes. 

Looking for more BC fun? Here are 5 reasons to visit Squamish, BC
Want to stay in the US for your next ski trip? Here are six of the best US ski resorts for families.

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