Whistler is jam-packed with fun family activities. Regardless of age or ability, there’s a mountain of adventures just waiting to be discovered. Plus, you needn’t break the bank to show your family a great time! In this post, we’re looking forward to life post-COVID and focusing on the best activities that Whistler has to offer for every budget.
Family activities in Whistler tend to be centered on the great outdoors – and rightly so. Whistler is home to mammoth mountains, sprawling alpine meadows and old-growth rain forest.
But there’s also a great selection of indoor family activities in Whistler – you know, just in case the weather doesn’t agree with your plans.
You’ll be pleased you brought your little ones to reconnect with nature, learn about the environment, and try something new in our little mountain town. Join us in discovering Whistler for the whole family:
Family Activities in Whistler:
Your kids will love hiking in Whistler. From easy strolls on the paved, Valley Trail, to incredible adventures in the alpine, there’s a trail that’s sure to get them excited. Plus, there’s little to no cost involved.
For something middle-of-the-road, we love the Train Wreck hike. This trail has minimum elevation and takes adventurers deep into the forest. It then crosses a suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River, and to the site of an infamous train wreck.
Children and adults alike will find enjoyment exploring the abandoned box cars and discovering more of the wreck the further you go. Don’t forget your camera – the Train Wreck is consistently recognised as one of Whistler’s most instagrammable spots.
Whistler Bike Park:
Whistler Blackcomb is the birthplace of mountain biking and is the number one lift-accessed downhill bike park in the world. It’s recognised as a mecca for bike enthusiasts and is the perfect place for beginners, too. Your family will have an incredible time.
The mountain offers 70 bike trails spread throughout four distinct and easily navigated mountain zones. Plus, if you’re feeling apprehensive, the Trail Progression Scale is a useful tool in planning your day and determining where to go next.
Whistler Village Stroll is a great place to rent all of the gear that you need. From full-face helmets and armour, to specialty shoes and bikes ensuring you’re prepared to tackle the bike park safely. Plus, there are options to book onto a tour or lesson, providing you with expert advice on technique, equipment and the trails around you.
TIP: For mini-riders, we recommend checking out the skate park located adjacent to Day Lots 3, 4 and 5.
The River Of Golden Dreams
You needn’t splash the cash to find adventure in Whistler. The River Of Golden Dreams is a great way to see the valley and perhaps spot some wildlife along the way too.
The route begins at Alta Lake and weaves it’s way through the beautiful landscape to Green Lake. From here, the return shuttle delivers you back to Alta Lake. We find it’s a great way to spend the day. At times, you’ll feel a million miles from civilization and lost in the stunning scenery.
Backroads Whistler have everything you need for your voyage. Their self-guided, boat rental river package is $84 per person with kids under 12 years receiving 50% discount. The price includes boat, paddle, personal flotation device, and return shuttle. We’d recommend allowing 3.5-4 hours for the full trip.
If you’re quite happy just having a paddle on Alta Lake, single kayaks are available for $25 per hour, with other boat options available too.
A one-of-a-kind experience for all ages, Vallea Lumina will leave your family struck with wonder. This magical experience takes visitors on a night walk “in pursuit of hidden wonders…towards a place filled with beauty, and proof that the legends of Whistler are true”.
By following the story of two missing hikers, your family are guided through the forests of Cougar Mountain. Lights, lasers, holograms and sound effects create the experience, which is best enjoyed after dark.
Tickets cost $34.99 and provide a truly unique and memorable experience. IN terms of Family activities in Whistler, Vallea Lumina definitely ticks all of the boxes.
Dubbed “The World’s Most Spectacular Ziplines”, Superfly offers flyers two of Canada’s longest ziplines at over 1km long. They’re also 200m high and reach speeds of 100km/hour! If it’s an adrenaline rush your family are after, this is it.
Another great thing about Superfly is that their ziplines are tandem. This means that apprehensive children can take to the skies alongside a parent or guardian for mutual support.
Superfly Ziplines not only offers unique views of the valley and Coast Mountains, but also unforgettable memories of your Whistler getaway.
Family-friendly accommodation in Whistler:
Being a resort town, there are tons of accommodation options in Whistler. But instead of being cooped up in a traditional hotel room you may wish for a different, family-oriented experience. Here’s what we would consider for a family trip to Whistler:
There are a lot of Airbnb options in Whistler. From modern alpine chalets to rustic mountain lodges, there’s literally something for every need and budget. The beauty of Airbnb is obviously the privacy and the flexibility. You have the ability to cook for yourself, do your own laundry, and (often) make as much noise as you want. If it’s home-style living that you’re after, Airbnb is likely the option for you.
Nita Lake Lodge
Enjoy the service, amenities and luxuries of a boutique hotel, with the space and comfort of a private residence at Nita Lake Lodge.
The 2-bedroom suite is an excellent option for families and provides two separate bedrooms and bathrooms laid out on split levels. Each room also features a kitchenette, which is ideal for breakfast, lunch and snacking.
On site facilities include plunge pool and hot tub, as well café, restaurant and lounge. Guests of Nita Lake Lodge also enjoy complimentary access to water toys such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, and commuter bikes – ideal for cruising on the Valley Trail.
We have such fond memories of camping as children, which is why we had to include Riverside Camping and RV Resort.
Located slightly north of the main Whistler Village area, Riverside is located (you guessed it) at the side of a river and right on the Valley Trail. It offers plenty of space for children to run around and is ideally situated to enjoy family activities in Whistler.
If you own neither a tent nor an RV, Riverside rent out log cabins and rustic yurts, too. Yurts feature bunk beds with bedding, electricity and heating, and access to a “Comfort Station” with bathrooms and hot showers. Sounds pretty incredible if you ask us!
For tips on finding great value accommodation in Whistler, check out our dedicated post by clicking here.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now’s the time to start planning your family getaway to the mountains of beautiful BC. Action-packed and full of excitement for the whole family, we’re sure you’ll create memories to last a lifetime.
We’ll leave you with our 5 top tips on planning the best family trip ever:
- For the best rates and dining offers, experience Whistler in the spring or the fall.
- Whistler is very accessible and a car is not always necessary. Activities further afield often provide a free shuttle service and there are great bus routes in town.
- Plan ahead – tickets for Whistler Blackcomb are often cheaper when you book online 2+ days in advance. If you plan on riding 1-4 days, you may save even more.
- Whistler is home to Nesters, IGA, and Independent grocery stores, which means it’s easy to prepare your own breakfasts, lunches and snacks. This will free up your budget to spend on other things.
- Do some research on free family activities in Whistler. They’re wide and varied and include things like the Whistler Farmers’ Market, Whistler Museum & Archives (by donation), and swimming at Lost Lake.
– Happy travels!