Panorama Ski Resort – With Kids
Over two ski seasons, our family committed to skiing the British Columbia Powder Highway — a group of 7+ mountains renowned for their annual bounty of powder. On this particular leg of our adventure, we flew to Calgary and set out on a week long road trip that took us to Banff, Lake Louise, Panorama, Kimberley and Fernie. What a great time we had ! In this post you will find our recommendations for visiting Panorama Mountain Resort with kids. Take a quick peek at our video or just read on.
Panorama Resort Terrain
For our family, the terrain of Panorama Ski Resort suited us just fine. 75% of the runs within the 2800+ acres are appropriate for beginners and intermediates. This married up quite well with our family stats (75% of our family skis at this level). That said, Panorama is one of the top 10 ski mountains for vertical drop in North America (http://mountainvertical.com).
During our day at Panorama, the kids and I spent our time cruising around on greens and blues, popping in and out of the trees, while my husband explored the more challenging, black diamond terrain at the top (including Tayton Bowl which used to be a heli-ski only area).
Panorama Resort Ski / Snowboard Lessons and Childcare
Panorama offers ski and snowboard lessons for children 6-15 years (Discovery Learn to Ski up to advanced level). For children 3-5 years old, they offer a 1 hour private lesson to help get them on their way. Adaptive classes for people with physical and cognitive disabilities are also available (must be booked in advance).
For adults, there is a full range of lesson options including private instruction, womens only classes, ski with the pros workshops and instructor training. Learn more about all the great programs offered at: Panorama Ski and Ride Programs.
If you are not bringing along your own equipment, Panorama has all your ski and snowboard equipment rental needs covered at Panorama and Lusti’s Mountain Outfitters
Children too young to spend all day on the slopes will have a ball at Wee Wascals Childcare (18 months – 5 years). A day of fun activities (indoor and outdoor) can also be combined with a one hour lesson for children 3-5 years. The Panorama daycare gets very busy during the holiday season so reserve ahead to guarantee your space. Learn more about Wee Wascals here.
Other Activities at Panorama Ski Resort
Panorama Village is really cute, with most of the condo style accommodations surrounding the hot spring pool and hot tubs. All Panorama lodging guests have complimentary access to the pools.
From the resort, you also have access to many other great activities including heliskiing, tandem paragliding, ice skating, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, horse drawn carriage rides and more ! There is also a free shuttle bus to the nearby town of Invemere. Learn more at Panorama Resort Activities.
Quite honestly, the preferred activity for my children when not skiing was to ride the adorable complimentary gondola that runs from the lower village to the upper village. It looks like something that Disneyland might have sold off in about in 1969, but it is good fun.
BC Hot Springs Near Panorama
Within 35 minutes of Panorama Mountain Resort are two different natural hot spring pool facilities. We visited both Radium Hot Springs and Fairmont Hot Springs during our stay. Facilities-wise they are not posh (think recreational centre) but the pools are great for sore, tired legs. Personally, we preferred Radium Hot Springs because the setting is so pretty. For more information and hours of operations, see the Radium Hot Springs website or the Fairmont Hot Springs website.
*Note: Although Fairmont Hot Springs is called a resort, it is not affiliated with the luxury Fairmont hotel brand. I just want to make sure you are not expecting a pool butler.
Fairmont Hot Springs
Best Restaurants at Panorama Mountain Resort
For on mountain dining, the Summit Hut is good fun. It is a nice place to warm up by the fire, has a decent smokie, and even offers fondue nights throughout peak ski season (learn more here).
Grey’s at the Earl Grey Lodge, receives excellent reviews for fine dining while also offering a very nice kids’ menu. New to the Earl Grey Lodge is their more casual concept restaurant the Cabin Smokehouse, which we enjoyed very much. For lunch and après ski, pop by the T-Bar Grill. For your caffeine fix Lusti’s Cappuccino Bar is a must.
See Tripadvisor’s List of the Best Restaurants at Panorama Mountain Resort here.
Panorama Resort Accommodations
We loved our stay at the on mountain Earl Grey Lodge Bed & Breakfast. I felt like we were pampered guests in a cozy home. Children of all ages (including babies) are welcome at Grey’s. Rooms 5 and 6 can be locked off, turning them into a perfect 2 bedroom, 2 bath, family-friendly suite.
The property has a small shared kitchen for guests and a lounge stocked with games, books, DVDs and more. Guests also have use of the Panorama Resort hot pools. The property is home to two great restaurants (Grey’s and Cabin Smokehouse) so you don’t even have to venture far for your supper. Learn more about Earl Grey Lodge here.
See other hotel and condo options at Panorama Resort at Expedia.com.
Getting to Panorama Mountain Resort
The closest major airports to Panorama Resort are Calgary, AB, (+ a 311km / 3.5 hour drive) and Spokane, WA, ( + a 464km / 5 hr drive).
We flew in to Calgary and rented a 4WD at the airport. During the winter, you should expect full winter driving conditions (black ice, blowing snow, wandering wildlife etc.). Despite the significant premium, I was so glad that we had rented a big winter ready SUV. As part of our trip we traveled to Banff, Lake Louise, Panorama Mountain Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and then Fernie. Throughout the drive, we experienced the full range of winter driving conditions and saw many vehicles that had slid off the road.
Note: We found the best rates with Alamo. They were the least expensive of all the major brands of car rental companies that had a YYC airport pickup, and they also kindly gave us a free upgrade. With kids, I try at all costs to avoid having to take a shuttle to a rental car lot after a flight.
Find out everything you need to know about Panorama Ski Resort at: www.panoramaresort.com
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