Updates September 2023

Canadian Thanksgiving is typically Canadian— a bit understated, not a lot of fanfare, hockey instead of football— but in Whistler, we certainly have lots to be thankful for so, surprise-surprise—the holiday always comes with one heck of a party.

So kick out the snowjams, here’s the Insider’s list of why you need to get your turkey on up here in the mountains this October. Here is…

The Insider’s 6 Reasons to Thanksgiv’r in Whistler

A couple walk through the Whistler Village Stroll with the fall colours around them.
Whistler Village Stroll is a beautiful place to wander in the fall. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

1. The Turkey Sale and Whistler Mountain Ski & Board Swap

Looking for new ski and snowboard gear for the upcoming riding season? The Whistler Blackcomb Turkey Sale is on from October 6 to 15 with discounts of up to 60% at five of their locations; Can-Ski (Blackcomb and Westin locations), Showcase, Essentially Blackcomb and the Whistler Blackcomb Outlet Store.

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club usually runs a public ski swap where you can get rid of old gear and pick up new-to-you gear. Keep an eye on their social for an announcement, last year it was held at Fairmont Chateau on October 8.

2. iF3 – International Freeski Festival

Nothing says “almost ski season” like a slew of new ski flicks to build the already-increasing stoke levels. iF3 International Freesports Film Festival collects multiple films and packages them in shows typically hosted at the Maury Young Arts Theatre. This year’s festival dates for Whistler have yet to be announced, but keep your eyes on our events page for ski and snowboard films hitting the resort.

3. Cooking Can Be Tedious

Certainly, sitting down to share a meal with the people you love is kind of the whole point of Thanksgiving, but cooking a turkey dinner for 12 can also be stressful enough to ruin the whole thing. Juggling five to nine courses of autumn dishes while basting an oversized bird in an undersized oven can be as much fun as trying to thread a needle in the shower in the dark while doing a Rubik’s cube with your feet.

Thankfully, plenty of Whistler’s finest eateries are offering Thanksgiving dinners hassle-free. Just grab a free Pique Newsmagazine when you get to town, find a restaurant and reserve your spot. No stress, no burning the yams, no washing dishes.

You can also opt for Whistler’s Fridge Full service, which delivers a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner right to you or order your Thanksgiving Turkey To-Go from Portobello at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler; all the trimmings for 8 to 10 people.

Two bikers ride the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the fall.
Last chance for two-wheeled rides in the Whistler Bike Park. PHOTO FREEHIB MAGAZINE / KATIE LOZANCICH

4. Bike Park Closing

Thanksgiving weekend is the final hurrah of the year for the Whistler Mountain Bike Park (October 9) which means this is your last opportunity to gather the crew and savour those gravity-fed good times. After this, it will be all pedal-for-your-pleasure on the local XC trails (which are excellent this time of year, check out our Fall Biking post).

5. Decorative Gourds Are So Hot Right Now

This is what it’s all about right? Finding the hippest shellacked gourds and fancy-looking pumpkins to create that Martha Stewart-esque autumn vibe all throughout your crib? Of course, it is, except real Thanksgiving pros don’t use shellac. Grab your real, local, farm-grown gourds at the Whistler Farmers Market, which is open both Saturday and Sunday for Thanksgiving weekend.

A group of friends drink wine at the Audain Art Museum while on the Whistler Wine Walk.
Whistler Wine Walks happen every Friday in October. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

6. General Partying and Good Times

Pretty much any weekend in Whistler will provide ample opportunity to have fun and be thankful but Thanksgiving has got that little extra pumpkin in the pie. Whistler Wine Walk happens every Friday in October, where you can visit four art galleries and enjoy a glass of wine at each one. Fairmont Fridays at The Mallard Lounge is the place to kick off the weekend, and there are always DJ sets and jam sessions at Whistler’s pubs and clubs where you can dance off that turkey. Take a look at the events calendar for Thanksgiving to see what floats your gravy boat.

For all the sales and fun and movies and old-school hip hop it’s important to remember to take a moment and reflect on what you are thankful for this year and just how lucky we all are to be able to spend time in the mountains…. Okay, that was good, back to the party. Happy Thanksgiv’r.

Whistler Autumn

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Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.