BC

Whistler, BC, With Little Kids

Cover photo

Whistler – one of the most livable communities in the world and where adrenaline junkies, fresh air lovers and scenic searchers come to play! It was also the home of the Alpine, Nordic and Sliding events during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games!

Whistler has been our go-to weekend getaway location for many years. Because it’s only a two hour drive from our home in the Fraser Valley, it makes the perfect quick trip. We hadn’t had the opportunity to go since our two boys arrived, so we were super eager to visit last weekend and see how fun it would be with our two toddlers!

We knew this would be a different experience then we were use too. In the past Whistler had meant Zip-Trekking over ravines, riding ATVs through mud puddles and lounging at the Spa. This time we needed to coordinate our schedule with naps and bedtimes, take part in family friendly experiences and for the most part, eat in our hotel. Thankfully our boys are adventurous and ready to take on new experiences. I of course was armed with my camera and ready to document at all times!

If you are looking to visit this top tourist destination with children, here are a few of my suggestions.

Walking Collage

1. Go for walks.
One of the things that I love about Whistler are the numerous trails that are stroller friendly. Walk through the village, walk by the river or walk over to a lake. You really can spend an entire day walking around and still find a new trail to explore. It’s free, keeps the kids entertained and allows you to breathe in that glorious fresh mountain air! Another option is to rent bikes at one of the various shops and hotels and explore that way.

Olympic Plaza Collage

2. Childrens playground near Olympic Plaza.
Our nearly three year old loved this park! I myself loved that there were several coffee shops within view! Both our early mornings were spent here, which worked great for us because this place gets busy in the afternoons! There are slides, tunnels, water fountains, swings and an over sized bobsled.  Once you manage to convince your children to leave (not easy by the way), be sure to head over to the giant Olympic Rings and get a family photo. There’s even a big rock stationed in front so that you can set up your timer for a shot if need be.

Market Collage

3. Whistler Farmers Market
I had heard about the Whistler Farmers Market that takes place Sundays in the Upper Village, but my expectations were far exceeded when we went! Booths as far as the eye could see containing fruits and veggies, hand made crafts (like soaps, candles and rocking chairs), bakery treats and specialty clothing. It was a lot of fun exploring the different creations while we munched on tasty snacks like salted almonds and fresh raspberries. A highight for me was seeing Mally Bibs, a company from mission who makes customized leather bibs with a magnetic closure. Very cool!
Tip – If your kids are a little older they have an entire Fun Zone right next to the market, ready to entertain them with huge trampolines, climbing towers and go karts!

Cultural Center Collage

4. Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Center
I love rooms full of historical artifacts and this place has plenty of them! There’s tons of indigenous cedar carvings, hand woven baskets, textiles and instruments that are sure to please the eye of anyone who wanders in. My preschooler went straight for the kids section where he happily banged the drums and climbed into a log canoe. There’s a great gift shop near the entrance and a little cafe to enjoy some special snacks too.
Tip – It’s recommended that you take the 45 minute tour to really learn about what surrounds you, but because it begins with a 15 minute film we knew our children were too young. If your childs attention span is short, try to catch up with the group after so that you can go into the LongHouse.

Gondola Collage

5. Ride to the top of Whistler/Blackcomb Mountain.
My boys love gondolas! From the first whoosh out of the loading area to the final dip back down to the ground, they enjoy every second of the ride! We had fun looking for bears, watching bikers zoom beneath us and talking about the snow and ice in the distance. Once we reached the top we got pictures with the colourful olympic rings, the inukshuk and the team Canada bobseld. From there you can also go across on the Peak to Peak gondola, which holds several world records and gives you stunning 360 degree views. There are several places to eat at the top too, where you can sit and enjoy the view of the surrounding Coastal Mountains, Lakes and Village far beneath you.
Tip – The gondola ride to the top of the Mountain is about 25 minutes one way and the Peak to Peak is another 11-15 minutes across. You’ll want to allow a couple hours to really experience both.

When I say Whistler is a great weekend away that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a full week here. You most definitely can find enough activities to keep your family busy for a full vacation! Keep in mind that many adventures are seasonal and you’ll want to time your visit based on the activities that appeal to you. Winter and Summer are peak season, but there are plenty of festivals and events to see during the Spring and Fall.

Whether you’re looking to relax or are into more high energy travel, Whistler offers you the best of both worlds. It’s most definitely a place for your family to enjoy!

For more info on things to see and do in Whistler, check out their official website.

**Disclosure: We were provided with accommodations and entrance tickets in order to facilitate this review. The opinions and ideas expressed are completely my own.**

 

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