I have been skiing regularly in Whistler for 17 years now. What a privilege! A Whistler winter is one of the most beautiful and thrilling experiences you can have. Beyond being in awe of the spectacular surroundings, there is a phenomenal amount of Whistler winter activities in which you can participate. In this article, I am going to share five of my favourites, all of which could easily be a Whistler day trip from Vancouver.
Five Awesome Winter Activities To Do in Whistler, BC
Skiing and Snowboarding
Year after year after year, Whistler wins International awards for its ski and snowboarding experiences. It is so common that when I hear about yet another award, it barely distracts me from what I am doing.
Why is it an awarding winning ski resort?
The Whistler Ski Resort is actually made up of two enormous mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb. They are 2182 metres (7160 feet) and 2284 metres (7494 feet) respectively. Of that, 4,757 acres (1,925 hectares) and 3,414 acres (1,382 hectares) is skiable terrain. Collectively, there are over 200 ski runs, and over 36 lifts and gondolas.
In other words, you can ski and snowboard on some of the best ski runs in the world, with breathtaking views and amazing facilities, and never get bored! Even if you ski every single day of the 5 month ski season!
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
For those of you who do not ski or snowboard, all is not lost! You can still take a gondola from Whistler Village to the top of Whistler Mountain and experience jaw-dropping views. From there, you can also take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola which connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. In fact, in the 2018/2019 ski season, the first three-gondola connection in the world will exist between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. This will allow all guests, regardless of whether they ski or snowboard, to upload, connect between the mountains via the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and download in a gondola.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola is one of the longest unsupported lift spans in the world at 3.024 kilometres or 1.88 miles and one of the highest with an elevation of 436 metres or 1,427 feet. It takes around 11 minutes to cross one way and the views are absolutely stunning. For an extra thrill, wait for a glass-bottomed gondola!
On both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are world class restaurants and self-serve cafeterias easily accessed by gondola. On a beautiful sunny day, it is quite easy to lose hours sitting in one of these restaurants or cafeterias gazing out onto the ski slopes and the spectacular views below. There is no age minimum for any of these activities.
Tubing at the Coca-Cola Tube Park is one of the exciting Whistler winter activities that allows you to feel the thrill of hurtling down a mountain, without skiing or snowboarding. There’s no skill or equipment required. However, they do recommend appropriate winter clothing for the temperature. This may include ski pants, mittens, goggles, and hat or helmet (for a child).
What I love about this Whistler attraction is that it is a great family activity. Children as young as 3 years of age with a minimum height of 91cm (36″) tall are welcome. There is a “Mini-Kids” lane which starts halfway down the normal tubing hill for those between 91 cm (36″) to 103 cm (41″) tall.
Tubing in Whistler is a fun, physical activity which gets everyone outdoors.
Sometimes the answer to “What are things to do in Whistler?” is incredibly simple – go to Whistler Village for a walk. There are a few things that I have seen in my travels to 60 countries that surpass the unbelievable magic of Whistler Village in the winter. Seemingly every tree, lamp post, or other tall stationary object is wrapped in thousands and thousands of lights. Add in the blankets of snow covering the ground, and darkness that falls early in Whistler in the winter months, and you feel like you have entered another world. For me, Whistler Village in winter brings pure happiness. This is one of the Whistler winter activities that are free, easy and will be loved by everyone in your family.
Outdoor Ice Skating
In the shadows of the 2010 Olympic Rings and in Whistler Village, is Whistler Olympic Plaza. This venue hosts an outdoor ice skating rink that is free and open to all. Ice skates are available to rent for a couple of dollars. Safety aids are on hand to help novice skaters.
Surrounding the ice rink is a massive all year round playground for children. In addition, there are several coffee and dessert cafes, and lots of benches to sit and watch. On every Monday and Wednesday evening from December until the end of March, Whistler Olympic Plaza offers free Canadian-themed activities and entertainment for kids of all ages. And of course, don’t forget those gorgeous outdoor lights that are everywhere you look!
As you can see, as long as your physically able, you should definitely strap on some ice skates and go outdoor skating while in Whistler.
What To Do in Whistler
I have only scratched the surface of what Whistler winter activities are available. Whether you’re ski or snowboard obsessed or just someone who loves to gaze at winter wonderlands, a Whistler winter has something special to offer you.
Have you been to Whistler? What did you love about it?
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