6 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit Early This Year

6 Ways to Get in the Holiday Spirit Early This Year

How early is too early to start celebrating the holidays? In Whistler, never! Just kidding, you won’t catch us carolling in October, but we do like to start getting into the spirit around mid-November. By now, the Village has been coated in holiday splendour, the classic Christmas tunes have begun to play and we’re gearing up for joy-filled events.

One of the best parts of breaking out the winter wonderland experience early is that we have at least a whole month of merriment to share with visitors. Here are a few of our favourite ways to kick off the season:

Admire the Lights

Lights, lights and more lights – 350,000 to be exact – that’s how many you’ll find strung around Whistler Village. A self-guided tour along the Village Stroll with a cup of hot cocoa is the perfect way to spark your holiday spirits. Stop to roast marshmallows or warm yourself around outdoor fire pits, and pause for photos ops or to watch the snow fall along the way.

And if you enjoy the Village light display, you’ll love Vallea Lumina, an immersive multimedia night walk in the forest. Watch stories play out over the snow and pursue hidden wonders around every corner.

All lit up. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Go Ice Skating in Whistler Village

Who doesn’t love ice skating? It brings back those core childhood holiday feelings of exhilaration and pure, simple delight. The outdoor rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza opens early this year on November 29. Situated in the Village with views of the mountains, it’s got that magical, snow-globe town essence everyone loves.

On Mondays and Thursdays from December 9 – January 2, you’ll also find Family Après in Whistler Olympic Plaza between the hours of 3 – 6 PM (from January 2 – March 25, 2020, Family Après switches to Monday and Wednesdays). Kids can enjoy free activities, games and entertainment.

Family skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza

The perfect family activity. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Shop from Local Artisans

Carefully picking out the perfect gift for a loved one and supporting a local artisan at the same time – it’s a guaranteed double dose of the warm and fuzzies. You can shop everything from BC scented candles to original paintings and prints in boutiques and galleries along the Village Stroll and at these upcoming events:

Arts Whistler Holiday Market | November 30 – December 1

Refresh Holiday Market December 6 | Refresh Holiday Market December 7

Made in Whistler Winter Artisan Market | December 15

Shopper looking at jewellery at the Whistler Holiday Market

The Whistler Holiday Market is one of Whistler’s largest collection of artisans. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Book a 2+ night stay on Whistler.com from December 1 – 15 and you’ll even receive a $50 shopping voucher redeemable at select stores, boutiques and gift shops. If you miss the online promotion, you can purchase vouchers in-resort at a discounted rate ($20 for a $25 voucher) from the Whistler Visitor Centre from December 1 – 15 (while supplies last)!

Visit the Festival of Trees

Not only is the Festival of Trees jaw-droppingly beautiful in appearance but also in meaning, the event raises funds for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. The glittering forest is located inside the lobby of the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to take a wander, the display is open to everyone. The festival is on from November 30 – January 8 with the Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler also have a similar event, Trees of Hope, a collaboration with 10 Canadian artists. There is a silent auction of their artworks that benefits the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

These two aren’t the only hotels to go all out for the holidays either, in the early weeks of December you can pop into the lobby of any of Whistler’s large hotels like The Westin to see their displays and curl up with a cider or mulled wine in one of their restaurants or lounges.

Fairmont Chateau in Whistler surrounded by snowy trees

Bonus, the hotels look straight out of a holiday movie. PHOTO FAIRMONT CHATEAU WHISTLER

Celebrate the Ski and Snowboard Season

The ability to ski and snowboard again, the true gift of winter! On November 28, both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains open for skiing, riding and sightseeing. You can get together with fellow snow-obsessed mountain lovers at The North Face Base Camp Celebration for a cup of hot chocolate, product giveaways, games and more on December 7 – 8 in Skier’s Plaza.

The North Face is also hosting a contest to win an exclusive camp out experience at the top of Whistler Peak. Win and not only will you have an unforgettable night under the stars but you get to keep the camping gear and you’ll have first tracks all to yourselves! Contest details.

Deep powder skiing on Blackcomb

Our Happy Place. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Gather and Get Social

Nothing feels more like the holidays than spending quality time with family and friends, old and new. From family craft workshops to community fundraisers, galas to après, there are many places to gather. Check out the holiday event calendar for a full list.

Friends around a fire on a patio in Whistler

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to gather. PHOTO BRETT HITCHINS

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our guide to getting hygge in Whistler, take a peek at family activities or peruse winter itineraries. Whichever holidays you observe over the winter season we look forward to celebrating them with you in Whistler!

Getting in the holiday spirit early also means great savings, find early season deals on accommodation and more at Whistler.com.

Nikkey

Nikkey

Nikkey got her start in Whistler as an outdoor guide and the habit of talking about the place has clearly stuck. Whistler’s general laid-back lifestyle and immediate access to fun is what’s kept her around. When not hanging out on the Whistler Insider team Nikkey works as a freelance creative for outdoor and wellness brands. Nikkey’s favourite Whistler animal is the marmot- she just wants to pinch those fluffy cheeks! (but never would because she respects wildlife and really likes having her fingers attached to her hands.)

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