I raised my daughter in Vancouver, and nearby Whistler was a favorite destination, no matter the age or the season. Its pedestrian-friendly village is great for kids beginning to get more independent while traveling, and the surrounding mountains are packed with outdoor activities for all abilities. In the evenings, the restaurants in the village bustle with life—warm up in front of the fireplace and refuel for the next day’s adventure.
In 2010, it was the host for many of the Winter Olympic events, and the area offers kids the chance to try a variety of winter sports during private, or family lessons. Here's how to see all of it in three days.
It’s a snowy paradise in winter and a hiker’s haven in the summer—dress accordingly.
If you only have time for one thing, make it the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for the views.
Your Whistler adventure starts with a zipline tour through the forest to see the area with an activity that keeps kids engaged. Otherwise, opt for a more relaxed trip on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola—get to the top of Blackcomb Mountain from the Upper Village Gondola, or the top of Whistler Mountain from the Whistler Village Gondola (tickets included in Peak 2 Peak price).
In the afternoon, learn history at the nearby Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, which highlights the culture and history of the two nations (kids under 5 are free and you can wander over from the main village.)
Get into nature and explore a winter wonderland on a snowmobile tour of one of the nearby mountains—the fun of the snowmobile is sure to appeal to kids who can stay warm and cozy on the back and still enjoy the scenery.
Otherwise, opt for a tromp through the woods on snowshoes and experience pristine wilderness and the peace of the forest—kids will have fun learning to maneuver with their snowshoes, and it offers a low-barrier alternative to skiing or snowboarding. The surrounding mountains offer a variety of tour and rental options for beginners and families.
Whistler Olympic Park is a 30-minute drive from the village, and it offers kids the chance to experience Olympic glory—the site has more than 75 miles (120 kilometers) of ski and snowshoe trails, and offers lessons and rental equipment. Try out a new sport with a winter biathlon lesson, where your family can compete to see who has the makings of an athlete, or opt for a cross-country ski class. Later, head back to Whistler for a sightseeing tour and make the most of your remaining time (don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the Olympic Rings).