Making a List: 9 Great Whistler Holiday Experiences
Presents break, trees dry out and eggnog goes sour but the memories created this holiday season can last a lifetime or more. And Whistler is an incredible memory factory.
Walking with the family through the twinkling lights and snow globe feel of Whistler Village will always be amazing, so will the early morning excitement of a Fresh Tracks Breakfast and subsequent powfest. But there’s more to life than walking around and ripping laps on the mountain (not that there’s anything wrong with that) so The Insider has compiled this list of fun, memorable, mostly family-oriented activities to go after this holiday season. Just remember, what you do this Christmas season is not as important as who you do it with. Have fun.
9 Great Whistler Holiday Experiences
Bounce, Slide and Be Merry
December 19 to January 4, 2014 from 10 AM to 6 PM, Whistler Conference Centre
Free is key this time of year and a room full of giant free bouncy castles, mini putt, video games and more is pretty much every little kid’s idea of holiday heaven. The Whistler Holiday Experience is a warm, safe, easy way for kids to burn off some of that holiday excitement (its 23,000 square feet of kid-centered good times). Plus the cafeteria serves super kid-friendly and affordable meals. (Please note The Holiday Experience is closed December 25, and December 31 to prepare for New Year’s celebrations).
Catch a Flick at the Village 8 Cinemas
Sharing time together as a family doesn’t have to mean sitting around a table talking about how your day went (although that’s good too). It can mean grabbing a couple large popcorn and hitting the theatre to enjoy a movie. It’s nice to relax the mind and escape into a film, especially at this time of year. Plus a movie will give you something else to talk about around the table later that day. The Whistler Village 8 Cinemas has top-of-the-line digital projectors and (you guessed it) 8 screens showing all the latest films in 3D and regular. Check show times here.
Set to open Saturday December 13, 2014
Best known for floating down rivers or lounging on lakes, air-filled tubes are also fantastic for bombing down snow covered hills. The Whistler Blackcomb Tube Park is just above Base 2 on Blackcomb mountain and features multiple tube lanes, a tube-tow to get you back up, snacks, music and a fire pit. Open daily the Tube park starts running at 11 AM this holiday season and is an excellent way to teach kids about the need for speed.
Mondays & Wednesdays December 22 – March 25, 2015
Après is an entrenched part of mountain culture and few places afternoon-party like Whistler but kids can get bored sitting around a plate of giant nachos reliving their glory on the ski hill. Family Après is a bit more lively, with things like street hockey, professional storytellers, children’s entertainers, hot chocolate and, of course, snowballs. And it’s all free.
Fire and Ice
Sundays December 14-March 29, 2015. 6:30-8 PM Base of Whistler Village Gondola
Who doesn’t love fireworks? Add in some happy music, fire dancers and skiers and snowboarders flipping and tricking through a giant flaming ring and you have a recipe for success. This free event is a Whistler winter tradition since 1998 and it never ceases to blow minds. Come get some. (You can get more details in this Insider blog).
Free Outdoor Ice Skating
Daily, December 13- April 6, 2015. Whistler Olympic Plaza
It’s one of those true Canadian experiences: outdoor ice skating. Since Whistler Village is not built on the shores of a lake the Municipality builds a temporary ice rink (complete with sound system and giant disco ball) at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Skating is free, skate rentals are 5 bucks, there is hot chocolate and it’s always fun.
Enter “The Snow Zone”
Daily (weather permitting), Whistler Olympic Plaza
Snow is meant to be slid upon, made into balls and frolicked in so this winter the Whistler Olympic Plaza turns into a dedicated snowplay zone for kids and adults alike. There’s a small hill for sliding, a field for constructing snowmen (and snow-women) and an outdoor fire pit to sit around and watch the fun. (Insider’s Tip: there are also multiple coffee shops and a liquor store that sells Bailey’s nearby in the Whistler Marketplace. Drinking in public is illegal in Canada but…just sayin’.)
The Chairlift Revue Christmas Special
Thursday December 18 and Friday December 19, 2014. Millennium Place, 8 PM (19+)
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a night of community theatre and this adults-only event will give you a laugh AND a chance to get away from the kids. The concept behind the Chairlift Revue is simple— every one of these short plays has to take place during a single chairlift ride. The skits range from romantic to ridiculous but all contain some sort of Christmas theme. The evening will kick off with a “Skiing under the Influence” culture exhibit in the Scotia Creek Gallery. Tickets and more info.
Coldsmoke Winter Film Tour
Saturday, December 20th, 2014. Millennium Place, 7 PM (all ages) & 9 PM (19+)
Coldsmoke Winter Film is a festival focusing on the overall awesomeness of life in the mountains. Inclusive of all things winter – travel, culture, ski, snowboard, climbing, snow – Coldsmoke collects the best of their festival and hits the road to share the stoke. Hosted by the Whistler Arts Council the Whistler stop will be the perfect way to get amped for winter. Check the promo video below and get Tickets and more info.