Keeping it Local: What to do in Whistler on Family Day

A family play in the deep snow in Whistler.

Keeping it Local: What to do in Whistler on Family Day

It’s Family Day in BC on Monday, February 15 and as travel advisories are telling us to stay close to home and to do things with our household group only, we’ve put together some ideas for how locals can spend the day with the fam jam in Whistler (these could also double up for some unique Valentine’s Day experiences).

Please remember to bring your face covering, stay on top of physical distancing and look out for specific signage or guidance for whatever you choose as your adventure this Family Day. Please take a read of Whistler’s guidelines for being safe and responsible, and wear your kindness hat (it’s always in fashion).

Hunt for Hearts

There are hearts popping up at parks all over Whistler this February. Painted by local artists and residents, they’re a thank you to our essential workers and the community at large, for their strength, support and kindness. Let the kids pick their favourites on Family Day at Alpha Park (usually displayed Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9 AM to 4 PM – check the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s website for park details).

There’s a moose loose about this hoose! Whistler’s Olympic Plaza and Rebagliati Park (between the Upper and Lower Village) have become home to some very special, glowing, woodland animals. Standing around 14-feet tall, you could take the kiddos to see the shining moose and stag that add a bit of nature-awe to the already incredible light display that goes up in Whistler Village each winter (around 5,000 strings of lights with 350,000 LED bulbs!).

The moose is located at Whistler’s Olympic Plaza where there’s the outdoor ice rink and the adjacent Snow Zone. Bring a sled and your skates, grab a hot chocolate (there are several places right by the plaza) and have some fun playing with the kids. The stag resides at Rebagliati Park, the site of a new Snow Zone, so why not track him down and go for a slide!

If you fancy drinking your coffee in peace while you stroll the village, send the kids off on a COVID-friendly scavenger hunt. Do you know where you can find a wall of Jelly Bellys? A Canadian Mountie? A capoeira dancer? You might have to dive in yourself to tick a few things off the list.

Outdoor Adventures

Live like a tourist for the day and support a local business by taking the kids on an outdoor adventure.

Did you know that there’s a forest filled with stardust just north of Whistler Village? Vallea Lumina is a multimedia light show set in the forests of Cougar Mountain. The shows currently start at 6:20 PM, takes about an hour to walk and kids five and under are free.

Do you have kids that like a bit of brraaaappppp? Kids aged 5 to 12 go free on family snowmobile tours, so if you have a speed demon on your hands this one’s for you! Head out first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon for the best sledding conditions.

Get out into the wide-open spaces of the Callaghan Valley by taking the kids for a cross-country ski or snowshoe at Whistler Olympic Park. You could learn together and opt for a private lesson and if your children are at least 12 years old, you could add on the biathlon shooting experience for even more fun!

You can also bring the furry member of your family to Whistler Olympic Park, check out A Doggy Date at Whistler Olympic Park for more details.

Kids like to slide down things and secretly adults do too. The only gripe is typically the balance of uphill climb to sliding fun, but that’s where the bubly Tube Park comes up trumps – all the sliding fun, no sweat equity needed. Open into the evening (until 6 PM), this is a fun one for after skiing or school, and midweek is always quieter.

If your kids have been annoying you lately, you could always push them off a bridge – with a bungee cord attached of course! Or, maybe they might want to push you off the bridge…

Everyone’s being told to get fresh air and ziplining ensures that you get lots of that, sometimes a warp speed (good for kids ages six and up).

 

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Art & Music

The Audain Art Museum is free for kids aged 18 and under all year round, but it’s free for the whole family on Monday, February 15 (sponsored by Pique Newsmagazine), you just need to pre-book your timed ticket.

Show the kids the impressive collection of Indigenous masks, Emily Carr paintings and the current, thought-provoking exhibit, RESERVOIR, by Rebecca Belmore. Give them a pad to do their own sketches, see which artists resonate with them and simply let their minds wander.

Your favourite Whistler bands and artists have been working hard to bring you music every Thursday evening at 7 PM with Hear and Now: Whistler’s Local Music Celebration. Pop some locally made tunes on and have a dance party at home, strum along if you’re musically talented and get the kids in on the groove.

Sweet Treat Foodie Fun

Support your favourite bakery, coffee shop and dentist, by taking the kids for a sweet treat. If you’re down in Creekside, pop into Confetti where they’ll let you design your own gelato or grab a vegan cinnamon bun from Ed’s BReD. Whistler Village favs include purebread, Cows and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Shop.

Grab your family’s favourite takeout and munch on it at one of the new shelters (lovingly called acorns) dotted around Whistler Village. For more picnic-based ideas, take a read of 5 Ways to Winter Picnic in Whistler.

 

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Puzzles and Games

Escape! Whistler is about to launch their new room, the Underwater Lair. For those of you not familiar with an escape room, you’ve got 45 minutes to crack codes and clues to get out! This is great for families who enjoy a puzzle or two.

 

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Get ready to dodge and weave at AvaLaunch Snowball Blitz. Located at the Whistler Racket Club this activity is like paintball but with snowballs. Good for the family with a bit of a competitive streak!

Whatever you choose to do this Family Day, stay safe, be kind and have fun. For those of you unable to join us in Whistler at the moment, we can’t wait to have you back and adventuring with us soon!

Visit our COVID-19 page for more travel resources, and to see what’s open in Whistler, visit Whistler’s Doors Open Directory.

Guidelines for a Safe and Responsible Visit

At this time, BC’s provincial health authorities are encouraging everyone to stay small, stay local and to avoid all non-essential travel. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has stated that day trips to Whistler for skiing are okay, as long as COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols are strictly adhered to.

  • Only visit with members of your immediate household. Do not carpool or plan trips with anyone outside of your household bubble.
  • Do not plan social gatherings with anyone outside your immediate household. This includes meeting up with friends on the mountain, at après and at restaurants.
  • Ensure you have your Whistler Blackcomb reservation and/or lift tickets arranged BEFORE travelling to Whistler. Reservations are required to access Whistler Blackcomb this winter season.
  • Consider visiting midweek and during non-holiday periods to help lessen the impact on highways, lift lines and local businesses.
  • Follow all COVID-19 safety protocols in the resort, including wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing in lift lines and when on the Village Stroll.
  • Be kind and respectful to Whistler’s frontline employees who are working hard to provide a positive experience for all during these challenging circumstances.
  • Plan ahead by reviewing Whistler’s Doors Open Directory to understand how businesses have modified their operations in response to COVID-19.
  • Do not come to Whistler if you are feeling unwell or have been instructed by public health to self-isolate.

Let’s work together to Ski Well, Be Well.

Dee Raffo

Dee Raffo

You can often find Dee exploring all Whistler has to offer with her three-kid tribe in tow. Originally from the UK, Dee enjoys balancing out high-thrills adventures with down-time basking in the beauty of the wonderful place she now calls home.

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