Whistler with Kids 2018-19 Winter Guide

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Whistler with Kids Winter 2018-19 Guide


Whistler with Kids Winter Guide


Planning a Whistler family vacation? Whether you are looking for the top Whistler kids activities, Whistler kids ski free deals, family-friendly restaurants, or the best hotels in Whistler for families — we’ve got you covered here. In a hurry? Please see the following menu to find what you need quickly .

Looking for something else?  See also Things to do in Whistler with Kids — Christmas and New Year’s and the Whistler with Kids Summer Guide 


1. Whistler Kids Ski School – Kids Ski Free – Whistler Childcare – Family Certified Features
2. Top Things to do with Kids in Whistler – Whistler Family Activities
3. Best Family Accommodation Whistler and Whistler Vacation Rentals
5. Best Family Restaurants Whistler



If you would like a quick look around at some Whistler family fun, check out this 1 minute Youtube video:






Whistler Kids Ski School – Whistler Kids Ski Camp

Whistler with Toddler

My kids cut their first turns in Whistler kids ski lessons. I still remember dropping my eldest off at the age of three for a 5-day Whistler kids camp and thinking that there was no way that he would be skiing by the end of the week. Boy, was I wrong. He was up and going in his pizza stance by the end of day 2.

Whistler makes kids ski and snowboard lessons easy on parents. There are many options to choose from to suit your child’s needs — from 1 day to 5 day kids adventure camps. There are also three different drop-off points for kids lessons (Whistler Kids Creekside, Whistler Kids Blackcomb and Whistler Village Kids), so you can pick the location closest to where you are staying. Learn more at Whistler Snow School.


Whistler Kids Ski Free

First of all, kids under 6 years of age always ski and ride for free at Whistler Blackcomb. Please note that a child still needs to have a scannable pass picked up from one of the ticket offices (or included with kids lesson packages).

Children living in Canada and Washington State can participate in the Epic School Kids Program. This fantastic program offers kids from kindergarten through grade 5 (with proof of residency) the following:

  • 5 days of free skiing
  • 1 free ski lesson for kids who have never tried skiing or snowboarding
  • 1 free rental for kids who have never tried skiing or snowboarding.
  • To register your child for the EPIC School Kids program, click here and book your child’s lesson through Whistler Blackcomb Reservations 1-800-766-0449.

Note: Unfortunately, the Epic School Kids Program is full for the 2018-19 season. Typically, registration starts in the spring, so I recommend signing up for Whistler Blackcomb emails here if you are interested for the 2019-20 season.


Whistler Childcare

Looking for Whistler kids daycare? Here are your options:

From Newborn: Hire a nanny or babysitter to come to your hotel, resort or condo. The well established Babysitting Whistler rates start at $20 per hour. (see website)

From 18 months to 48 months: For those parents visiting Whistler with toddlers that need child minding, Whistler Childcare has four different licensed daycare facilities for children 18-48 months. Whistler kids daycares can fill up very quickly, so be sure to reserve this service well ahead of time, especially during holiday periods. See Whistler Kids Childcare for more information. Full day care at these facilities is $115/day (8am-3:30pm).

From 30 months – 5 years : Teddy Bear Daycare at Millennium Centre in Whistler Village is open Mon.- Fri. year round. (see website)


Whistler Mountain Family Friendly Features

Whistler Blackcomb is committed to their family programming. Family Certified icons are displayed on ski runs, in stores, and in food and beverage locations to indicate kid-friendly areas, products and services. Signage and flags also indicate on-mountain ski/snowboard areas to better mark child-friendly and beginner terrain. You’ll find all kinds of Whistler Blackcomb kids on-mountain fun on this list to check out while exploring these two side-by-side mountains.

Note: Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are considered one resort (no need to buy separate passes). They are connected near the top by the Peak-2-Peak gondola.

  • The Whistler Mountain Kids Training Centre — featuring a large skills zone and a race training zone.
  • The Whistler Family Zone and Bear Cub run (the signage in this area discourages aggressive skiers and boarders). The area also has a brand new six passenger high speed lift, replacing the old Emerald Express chair.
  • The Blackcomb Kids Magic Castle and the Whistler Tree Fort – both great for a little on-mountain break.
  • The Enchanted Forest run on Whistler Mountain.
  • The free Nintendo Gaming Lounges at the Roundhouse Lodge (Whistler), the Rendezvous Lodge (Blackcomb) and at the Wizard Grill (Blackcomb Base).

Whistler Kids Features



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Things to Do in Whistler with Kids

Wondering what to do in Whistler with kids? Whether you are looking for Whistler toddler activities or fun for tweens and teens, you’ll find the top family attractions here. Make your Whistler family vacation your best holiday yet !


Skating at Whistler Outdoor Skating Rink

Enjoy family fun at this fantastic outdoor covered skating rink. Free for the whole family (skate rentals are $6 , helmets are free); this is a great option in any kind of weather. The rink is open daily from 11am-9pm (closed for ice maintenance 2-3pm and 5:30-6:30pm). Too cold?  Warm up by the fireplace or the outdoor fire pit. The Whistler outdoor skating rink is located at Whistler Olympic Plaza (map). See website for more details.


Skating in Whistler Village
Image Credit: Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler


Family Après Ski in the Village

Looking for things to do in Whistler as a family? Family Après at Whistler Olympic Plaza runs on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 3pm-6pm (Dec. 17th, 2018 to March 27th 2019). Designed for families with kids of all ages, the events include a variety of entertainment and family activities that change from week to week – snowman building competitions, tobogganing, storytelling, roving characters, music, mini hockey, snacks, hot beverages and more. See website for further details.


The Treehouse Playground

This picturesque Whistler Village playground has features suitable for a wide range of ages, including toddlers. As an added bonus, it is surrounded by coffee/tea shops (Starbucks, Blenz, Purebread, David’s Tea) and other kid friendly attractions (skating rink, library, toy store, and the candy shop). The playground is located at Whistler Olympic Plaza (map).


Best Playground in Whistler


Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop

This cute little candy shop is enough to send any child into high gear. Fortunately, it is conveniently located close to the Treehouse Playground should your child need to burn off that sugar afterwards. (map)


Whoola Toys

A great stop if you are looking for things to do après ski. Whole Toys is located close to the playground and the candy store (map). See Whoola facebook page for hours.


Tubing in Whistler – Coca Cola Tube Park

This mountainside tube park is great fun for the whole family and wonderful for kids who still have energy to burn after a day on the mountain. Kids must be at least 3 years, 36″ tall and accompanied by an adult if under 12 years. The tube park is located at Blackcomb Mountain (Base2) with access from the Excalibur Gondola. See website for more details or read reviews for the tube park on TripAdvisor.


Winter Zip Lining in Whistler

ZipTrek Whistler offers the year-round exhilarating experience of flying through the air through the treetops and over a canyon. My son tells me that riding in the winter is even better than the summer because there aren’t large crowds (less time waiting around). Several different tour options are offered for kids 6 years and up, although to ride the super long Sasquatch line, riders must be at least 10 years old. Learn more on their website or read reviews for Ziptrek Ecotours on TripAdvisor.

Alternatively, just a 10 minute shuttle ride north of Whistler you will find Superfly Ziplines, an adventure center that offers an exciting winter zip line tour. The tour starts with a custom 4×4 climb up Rainbow Mountain, followed by a winter wonderland zip line tour through old growth forests. The highlight of the tour is a ride on one of Canada’s longest ziplines at well over a kilometre long and 600 feet high. Kids must be 7 years and at least 60 lbs (27.3kg) to ride. Learn more on their website or read reviews for Superfly on TripAdvisor.


Escape Whistler

Escape Whistler is a real-life gaming experience where groups of 2 to 6 people are placed inside a themed room. Groups are presented with puzzles, riddles, and clues – working together to solve them within 45 minutes in order to “Escape” from the situation. Themes include The Pirate ShipThe Pinball Machine, The Buried Cabin and The Rabbit Hole. Escape Whistler is conveniently located right in the heart of Whistler Village, near the Whistler Village Gondola (see map). Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. See website for more details or read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Note: I had the pleasure of trying out the Pirate Ship room with my son recently. While we didn’t quite escape in the 45 minutes allotted, we sure had a ton of fun and can’t wait to try another room.

Escape Room Whistler Village


Meadow Park Sports Centre

Enjoy skating in the indoor ice arena, working out at the fitness centre, and swimming in the fantastic pool (includes a lazy river).  Please see website for drop-in times and rates. The centre is located 5 minutes north of Whistler Village on the Sea to Sky Hwy (map).


Tobogganing, Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing at Whistler Olympic Park

Whistler Olympic Park (a 30 minute drive south of Whistler Village) offers hours on end of all-ages family fun with one convenient pass (cross country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and more!). You can even bring the family hound along on certain dog-friendly trails ! The Whistler Olympic Nordic Centre has all your equipment rental needs taken care of (including baby Chariot rentals for the ridiculously fit). Enjoy the venue’s dedicated sledding hill for multiple runs on saucers, carpets or toboggans. Borrow or bring your own sled and helmet. Rentals and access to the toboggan hill are free with admission to the park. Vehicle access to the toboggan hill is $10.00 plus $5 for every extra passenger (driver and kids 6 and under are free). See website for more information or read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Note: All sliders 18 and under must wear CSA approved helmets. Helmets are strongly recommended for all sliders. Free toboggan and helmet rentals are available at the Day Lodge. Availability is limited and a valid credit card is required for deposit.


Where to Snowshoe Whistler



Whistler Holiday Fun – Free Christmas Kids Activities

During the Christmas holidays the Whistler Conference Centre hosts a kids fun zone including a ton of bouncy castles, a putting zone, movies and air hockey – all for free ! This is a perfect activities for people looking for activities in Whistler for toddlers during the busy holiday season.


Kids Activities Whistler
 Image Credit: Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler


Whistler Fire and Ice Show

Whistler Blackcomb turns up the heat every Sunday with a free Fire & Ice Show. The whole family can enjoy watching skiers and snowboarders jump through a dazzling ring of fire, flanked by fire spinners and fireworks. The event is held every Sunday night at 6:30pm and there is a special show on New Year’s Eve at 11:30pm. The show happens at the Skiers Plaza in the main village (map). See website for more details.


Whistler for Kids
Image Credit: Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler



Village 8 Cinemas

Enjoy a movie with your family when you are not on the mountain. With eight theaters, there is usually at least one “G” movie playing. The theatre is located at 4295 Blackcomb Way  (map). See website for showtimes.


Whistler Public Library

Looking for things to do in Whistler with a baby? The library has some wonderful free drop-in programs for parents and little ones including Rhyme and Song (Tuesdays) and Singing with Babies (Saturdays). The library is located within Whistler Village at 4329 Main St. (map). See website for more details. I would also recommend checking the Arts Whistler website for other things to do in Whistler with toddlers and wee ones.


The Core Climbing Gym

Looking for a Whistler kids camp that does not involve skiing or snowboarding? The Core offers kids climbing classes and camps for children 4 years and up. They also offer a popular Climb and Dine program every evening for children 6-14 years – allowing parents to enjoy a night out on the town…or at least 3 hours. They are located at 4010 Lower Whistler Conference Centre (map). See website for more details or read reviews on TripAdvisor.


Whistler Peak 2 Peak Gondola Experience

Do you have a youngster who just wants to see what it’s like at the top of the mountain? Try the Peak to Peak Gondola Experience. The gondola leaves from Whistler Village. See website for more details or read reviews on TripAdvisor.

Family Activities in Whistler

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is an authentic cultural activity for the whole family. It was created to celebrate the joint history of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations, featuring exhibits that showcase their creative works and cultures. Performances, crafts and guided tours engage guests and create a memorable experience. The centre is located at 4584 Blackcomb Way (604) 964-0990 (map). See website for more details.


Audain Art Museum – Family Studio Sundays

While museums are not always the easiest with kids, Whistler’s lovely Audain Art Museum does a great job engaging little ones with their Family Studio Sundays (12-4pm). Each month has a different theme, with activities inspired by a range of works in the Museum’s permanent collection. Learn more on the Audain Art Museum Events page.

Audain Art Museum with Kids



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The Best Hotels in Whistler for Families

Looking for the best Whistler family accommodations? The best place to stay in Whistler with kids can depend on a number of factors (lively vs. quiet, proximity to Whistler kids lessons etc.). The following properties are our picks for the top Whistler hotels for families. I would like to recommend that before you go to the list, that your please first read this little section regarding the location of the three village bases.


Whistler Blackcomb Layout

Whistler Family Friendly Activities
Image Credit: Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler


Understanding the layout of Whistler Blackcomb Resort will help you to plan what is most suitable for you in terms of finding the right family-friendly Whistler accommodations. The two mountains sit side-by-side. When driving toward them from Vancouver, you hit Whistler Mountain first and Creekside Village Base where you have gondola access to Whistler Mountain. A two minute drive further takes you to the larger Whistler Village Base (The Village) where you have access via lift or gondola to both mountains. A one minute drive further and you will arrive at Upper Village Base (or Base ll ) where you have gondola access to Blackcomb Mountain. The two mountains are linked at the top by the Peak-2-Peak gondola, so regardless of where you stay, you can still experience both mountains on the same day.

What is important to know, is that although Whistler Village proper is where most of the stores and restaurants are (and a lot of the action), it can sometimes be a little noisy at night. Creekside Village is quite quiet but still has several family friendly restaurant options. Blackcomb Upper Village Base is very serene and is just a 10 minute picturesque walk to Whistler Village (my personal favorite – providing the best of both worlds). All bases have Snow School drop off points and Whistler daycare facilities. This map may help to give you a better understanding of the layout.


Worth noting:

  • Whistler hotels charge an additional $20-$62 for overnight parking. If you are staying in the main village, you can optionally park in the Whistler Conference Centre underground lot for $15/24hrs (see map).
  • Most hotels and vacation rentals will expect you to prepay within 14 days of your arrival.
  • All three village bases have Whistler kids ski school and Whistler childcare drop off points.
  • Book as early as possible as in-season rates can be insanely high.



The Best Whistler Family Resort and Hotel Options


1. Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre – Whistler Village

Highlights: Fantastic village location, outdoor pool, hot tub, daily breakfast buffet, après ski wine reception, complimentary wifi, newspaper, ski valet, kids robes, games, high chairs and cribs, baby monitors, pool diapers and babysitting.
Hotel class: 4 star
Rooms: Studio to 2 bdrm suites with kitchenettes (5 available with washer/dryer).
Reviews: 95% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Click here for rates.


Family Friendly Hotels Whistler
Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre


2. Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside – Whistler Village

Highlights: Slopeside, outdoor pool, hot tub, evening cookies and milk for kids, complimentary wifi, newspaper, resort shuttle, ski valet, kids robes, games, high chairs and cribs, baby monitors, fire screens, pool diapers and babysitting.
Hotel class: 4 star
Rooms: Studio to 2 bdrms all with kitchenettes.
Reviews: 95% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor
Click here for rates.

*If you are torn between the Pan Pacific Mountainside and Pan Pacific Village Centre, I would personally pick the Village Centre. Although it is a little further from the hill (which is not far at all), it is worth it for the complimentary buffet breakfast. That said, the pool at the Pan Pacific Mountainside has the most fantastic view of the ski hill.


Pan Pacific Family Friendly Hotel Whistler
Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside


3. Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites – Whistler Village

Highlights: Large suites, baby safety kits, children’s welcome gift, outdoor pool and health spa.
Hotel class: 4 star (last renovated in 2014).
Rooms:  Studio, 1 and 2 bdrm suites, full kitchens (some with washer/dryer).
Reviews: 87% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Note: I think this hotel provides great value with its spacious suites and central village location, but be sure to request a room away from the downstairs nightclub.
Click here for rates.


Family Friendly Hotels Whistler
Delta Village Suites Whistler


4. Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel – Whistler Village

Highlights: Pet friendly, complimentary hot chocolate, free snowshoe rentals, onsite cafe, pool and hot tub, close to Treehouse Playground and outdoor ice skating.
Hotel class: 4 star
Rooms: Double Queen Rooms, King with Sofabed and 1 Bdrm Suites with Sofabed, some with kitchenettes.
Reviews:  93% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Click here for rates.


5. The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa  – Whistler Village

While I know this one does not get the same glowing reviews as some of the other properties listed here, when I had a toddler in daycare and a 4 year old in ski school, this place was my absolute favourite. The Whistler Village daycare is in the same building as the hotel and the Snow School is right outside. The hotel has also recently undergone a multi-million dollar refresh and rooms are looking great. In fact I’ve booked another weekend here myself for this winter.

Highlights: Excellent location close to ski school and daycare, with pool and spa.
Hotel class: 4 star
Rooms: Studio, 1 and 2 bdrm suites, most with kitchenettes.
Reviews:  70% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Click here for rates.


Best Family Resort Whistler
The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa


6. Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Upper Village

Highlights: Recently renovated (25MM in improvements), slopeside, ski valet, pet-friendly, indoor/outdoor pools, hot tubs, spa, babysitting, seasonal kids programming.
Hotel Class: 4.5 star
Rooms: Double queens to 2 bedroom suites.
Reviews:  89% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor.
Click here for rates.


Top Luxury Hotels for Families Whistler
Image Credit : Mike Crane – Tourism Whistler


7. First Tracks Lodge – Creekside Village

Highlights: pool and fitness centre, ski in/ski out, wifi, full gourmet kitchen, washer/dryer
Hotel Class: 4 star
Rate Class: $$$
Rooms: one to four bdrm suites
Reviews:  95% of family reviewers rate as Very Good or Excellent on TripAdvisor
Click here for rates.




Whistler Vacation Rentals

When renting a condo or house in Whistler, I strongly encourage you to thoroughly read reviews on the properties you are interested in. Few are true ski in/ski out and thus may require some extra effort to get on the hill or get to the Snow School. That said, renting a Whistler vacation rental can be a great way to save money on your Whistler family vacation. VRBO, and Airbnb all list hundreds of family vacation rentals in Whistler. If you have never rented from Airbnb before, I can offer you a $34 USD ($45 CAD) Airbnb referral credit. If need to rent baby gear in Whistler, Baby’s on the Go has a good selection.


Airbnb Credit

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Whistler Family Restaurants

Best Family Restaurants Whistler


Looking for the best family friendly restaurants in Whistler? The great thing about eating out with babies, toddlers and older children in Whistler is that it is a resort town so almost every restaurant is prepared to pull out a high chair or some coloring if necessary.  That being said, here is a list of particularly kid friendly Whistler restaurants. My preference leans towards restaurants that take reservations (since nobody wants to wait in line with little ones) and Whistler restaurants with a kids’ menu.

Rating: Number of stars (out of a maximum 5) given by reviewers on TripAdvisor.com (as of Nov. 2017).

Meals Offered : B=breakfast L=lunch D=dinner

Entre Price  $ = under $10    $$ = $10-$15    $$$ =  $15-$25    $$$$ = $25 +



Best Family Restaurants Whistler

Looking for the best Whistler family restaurants? Fortunately, as a resort town, Whistler has a a number of options that making eating out with a little one easy and enjoyable. See the following options listed by area.


Family Friendly Restaurants Whistler Village Base

Pizzeria Antico (pizza) $$ casual dine in and take out (L/D) 4/5 stars

Garbo’s Grill (burgers) $$ casual dine in and take out (L//D) 4.5 .5 stars

Earl’s Whistler  (american) $$$  dine in and  take out (L/D)  4/5 stars

Crepe Montagne (french) $$ casual dine in and take out (B/L/D)   4.3/5 stars

Samurai Sushi (japanese) $ casual dine in and take out (L/D)  4/5 stars

The Royal Taste of India (indian) $$$ (L/D) 4.5/5 stars

Teppan Village (japanese steakhouse) $$$ casual elegant dine in (D only)   4/5 stars

Dubh Linn Gate Pub  (international) $$$ casual dine in and take out (B/L/D)  4/5 stars

Quattro (italian) $$$ fine dining and take out (L/D) 4/5 stars

Pasta Lupino (italian) $$ casual dine in and take out –  (L/D)  4.5/5 stars

Ingrid’s Village Cafe (bakery, sandwiches) $ casual dine in and take out (B/L)  4.5/5 stars

Garabaldi Lift Company GLC (burgers / apres ski) $$ casual dine in and take out (B/L) 4/5 stars

Purebread (bakery cafe) $ casual dine in and take out (B/L) 5/5 stars

Mogul’s (cafe/sandwiches) $ casual dine in and take out (B/L) 4.0/5 stars

The Mexican Corner $$$ (mexican – including kids menu) casual dine in (B/L/D) 4.5/5 stars

Splitz Grill (burgers) $$  casual dine in and take out (L/D)  4.5/5 stars

21 Steps (italian and international tapas) $$$ casual elegant dine in   4.5/5 stars

Caramba (italian/pizza) $$$ casual dine in and take out (L/D)  4/5 stars

Araxi (pacific northwest) $$$$  fine dining (D only)  4.0/5 stars

Cows (desserts and ice cream) $ casual dine in and take out (Dessert)  4.5/5 stars

Menchies (frozen yogurt) $ casual dine in and take out (Dessert)  (no ratings yet)


Best Ice Cream in Whistler


Best Family Restaurants Whistler  – Creekside Village Base

Southside Diner (burgers) $$  casual dine in and take out (B/L/D)   4.5/5 stars

Samurai Sushi  (japanese)  $ casual dine in and take out (L/D)  4/5 stars

Creekbread Whistler (italian pizza) $$ casual dine in and take out (D only)  4.5/5 stars

Dusty’s Bar and BBQ  (pub food and BBQ) $$ casual dine in  (L/D)  4/5 stars  *kids eat free


Best Family Restaurants Whistler – Blackcomb Village Base (Upper Village)

Mallard Lounge Fairmont Chateau   (american)  $$ casual dine in L/D  4.5/5 stars

Nagomi Sushi  (japanese) $$ casual dine in and take out (D only) 4.5/5 stars

Sidecut at the Four Seasons (steakhouse) $$$ dine in (L/D) 4.5/5 stars

Pint Size Pilot Amazon Store

You May Also Be Interested in the Following Posts:

Whistler Family Friendly Events – Christmas

Whistler with Kids – The Summer Guide

Park City Ski Resort with Kids

Deer Valley Resort with Kids

Alta Ski Area with Kids

Keystone Mountain Resort with Kids

Revelstoke Mountain Resort with Kids

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort with Kids

4 Responses

  1. Claire
    | Reply

    First of all thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful information. Actually, I was planning to go on a ski holiday with my family and I was concerned about my daughter as she is just 5 years old.This is a really helpful guide.

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Nothing delighted me more than seeing my son fully comfortable on skis at Whistler lessons by the end of day three (he was 3 years old). Five is a wonderful age to start (I learned at about the same age). As my dad has always said to me “The family that skis together – stays together !”

  2. Jody
    | Reply

    Great information, the only thing is the Holiday experience dates are incorrect. Should be December 22-January 4

    Check out http://Www.whistler.com/Christmas

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Thanks Jody. I hadn’t had a chance to update this one for Xmas 2017 yet. I will do it right now. Thank you so much for the heads up. 🙂

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