Boredom is Not an Option: 12 Summer Fun Activities for Kids in Whistler

Boredom is Not an Option: 12 Summer Fun Activities for Kids in Whistler

 

Scientists say, as a species, the human attention span is getting shorter (we now score just a tiny bit lower than goldfish apparently) and while that sounds kind of alarming for all of us it’s especially concerning for parents of young kids.

So to help battle the inevitable requests for smart phones and video games in the next few months, The Insider has compiled a list of 10 incredible things for kids to do in Whistler this summer.

Whistler Kids Activities

1. Skateboard

Bored? Get on a board. Tucked into the forest between Whistler Village and the Upper Village, The Whistler Skate park is bigger and better than ever and is now the 2nd largest skate park in Canada, with super-fun flow transition lines and one of the best old-school snake run/bowls in the world.

2. Street Entertainment

Telling your kids to go, “roam the streets” is usually not the best idea but in Whistler’s pedestrian Village the streets are car-free and often full of roaming jugglers, performers, musicians, comedians and the occasional giant costumed ice princess on stilts. It’s all part of the Whistler Presents program, get more details here. The Whistler Visitor Centre also has premade Scavenger Hunt Checklists including an all new Canadiana-style hunt for Canada’s 150th celebrations.

3. Free Concerts

Music soothes the savage beast (or the grumpy child) so it’s a good thing that throughout the summer Whistler Olympic Plaza comes alive with free concerts aimed at not only entertaining your kids, but also educating them. It all starts with an live introduction to classical music when the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra kicks off the summer with free shows on the July Long Weekend, and continues with a host of other free concerts with the schedule going all the way through to September.

Pirate Ship Escape Room

4. Escape Rooms

Kids love imaginary worlds and Escape! Whistler has four incredible scenarios built for your kids (or the whole family) to escape from using wit and teamwork. Check out the Pirate Ship, Lost Tomb, Rabbit Hole or the very Whistler-esque Buried Cabin. It’s like a real live video game to keep your kids stoked on rainy days, sunny days, or any day. Check out this Insider blog for a deeper look.

5. Ice Cream!

Ice Cream is magic–it can dry tears, heal scrapes and put an end to whining of almost any sort. The big news for 2016 is that always-popular creamery Cows has moved (or is that mooooooved) to a bigger location just on the other side of the pedestrian bridge (by the fire hall). So now you have another reason to check it out. But Cows is only one of many great spots and ice cream is such a popular form of summer happiness we already have an entire blog dedicated to it. Check it out and see if you can eat them all.

Ice Cream on the Village Stroll

6. Ride a Bike

After all that ice cream it will be good for the kids to get moving and biking . The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is high-octane fun but for younger (or mellower) kids a ride along the Valley Trail makes for a good family outing. Another option is the kid’s bike Flo Park right beside the skate park for really young kids still getting the hang of their two-wheeled adventures (there are also some big dirt jumps there for kids who like airtime.)

7. Science! Learning! BioBlitz!

On June 2-4, 2017 the Whistler Naturalists Society host the 10th annual Whistler Bioblitz, a one-day event to increase public appreciation for biodiversity and give kids a legitimate scientific excuse to scramble around in the wilderness cataloguing each and every creature and critter they can find. Birds, animals, frogs, fish, bugs, plants– anything goes and there are usually professional scientists on hand offering advice and family friendly presentations. More info.

8. Climb a Cliff

It’s really hard to be hyper when you’re halfway up a sheer cliff so rock climbing is a great way to help kids learn how to be calm and focus. The Core offers indoor climbing right in Whistler Village but there are half-day outdoor climbing courses available, as well as the safe-and-challenging high alpine climbing adventure of Via Ferrata on Whistler Peak.

9. Movies

Even though Whistler is most definitely a town of action and sports, it’s important to balance all the activity with some relaxing down time. For parents that can be the spa but kids will likely choose the movie theatre. The Whistler Village 8 Theatre has 8 screens playing all the latest first-fun Hollywood hits. Sometimes this is the cheapest way to get your kids to sit still and be quiet for 90 minutes. Now where is that spa?

Stone Carving Classes for Kids

10. Stone Carving (and other Art)

Kids love Inukshuks, especially building an Inukshuk, and everyone loves bears so the soapstone carvings in Fathom Stone Art Gallery are worth checking out at any time. But why not put the kids in a stone carving art class so they can learn to carve Inukshuks or bears on their own. Classes run from one hour to 6+ for ages 5 and up. Arts Whistler, the local arts council, also offers a host of summer workshops and programs and both the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and new Audain Art Gallery are worth bringing the kids into. Find a full list of Whistler Arts and Culture facilities here.

11. Family Adventure Zone/ Whistler Farmers’ Market

Bungee Trampoline, Bouncy Castle, Climbing wall, trapeze, mini luge… The Adventure Zone at the base of Blackcomb in the Upper Village is a literal summer kid’s playground open every day all summer long. And on Wednesdays and Sundays the Whistler Farmers’ Market sets up right beside it so kids and adults alike can peruse local farm produce, discover locally made artisan souvenirs and perhaps most importantly, eat a snow cone!

Whistler Children's Festival

12. Whistler Children’s Festival

It only happens once a summer but the Whistler Children’s Festival is the longest running festival in town and that might be because it’s the most fun. Set for July 7-9, 2017 the Children’s Fest takes over Olympic Plaza with crafts, art, live performances, balloon animals, face painting, mascots and more. Get more info at Whistler.com or pre-register for Children’s Fest workshops at Arts Whistler with a discount for booking before June 9.

Bonus: Play Time

There’s something to be said about having a plan for keeping the kids entertained, but there’s also places in Whistler you can go and hang out for the day for some good old fashioned play time. Three top spots are any lake for a day by the water, the original Meadow Park Waterpark and the always popular Whistler Olympic Plaza with the wide green lawn, picnic tables, massive playground and plenty of food nearby. Time for the kids to run free, and for you to finally get into that specially hoarded summer book.

Download this handy flatsheet for extra family fun ideas for summer and check out Whistler.com for even more family fun. Happy Summer, now get outside and play like champions. 

Feet Banks

Feet Banks

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.

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