May is a time when you’re spoilt for choice in Whistler. While skiers and snowboarders wrap up another great season with spring skiing on Blackcomb Mountain until May 22, mountain bikers get padded up and hit the trails in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park on May 19. And if you time it just right, you could get both in on the same day, along with a round of golf or paddle on the lake.
While the bike park’s main workhorse, the Fitzsimmons Express, is undergoing exciting upgrades this summer, the main access point for bikers will be the Whistler Village Gondola. Creekside will also be a great place for bikers to explore this summer via the newly built Creekside Gondola, with some new trails to explore once the area is clear of snow.
The creativity-filled Whistler Children’s Festival spans the two weekends of May. Wow, the kiddos (and tire their little brains out) with science demos, DJ workshops, circus performances and so much more.
You’ll find us:
- Tuning up our downhill bikes and hitting the Whistler Mountain Bike Park on opening day, May 19. If you’re new to riding the bike park, check out our blog, Whistler Mountain Bike Park 101 and give it a go! May is a great time to start as it’s cooler, and the trails are tacky and tend to be quieter than later on in the season.
- Getting our final, sun-filled laps of the season on Blackcomb Mountain before putting a good coat of storage wax on our skis and snowboards until November. The last day for skiing and riding on Blackcomb is May 22, with Excalibur Gondola running seven days a week and Blackcomb Gondola on weekends until closing day. Check the Mountain Hours of Operation page before you make your plan.
- Swinging tools and spending time with a great bunch of people to contribute to the maintenance of Whistler’s mountain bike trail network by volunteering at WORCA Trail Nights, running every Tuesday. Every three volunteer nights you attend gets you a free bike park ticket, not to mention all that good karma! If you are heading out on the trails in Whistler, consider joining WORCA and make sure you check on Trailforks which trails are ready to ride on before you head out. To learn all about the different zones in Whistler’s great network of mountain bike trails, read our Insider’s Guide: Cross-Country Biking in Whistler blog.
You’ll find us:
- Relaxing our bodies and minds during Spring Yoga at the Audain Art Museum. Visit the Audain on May 4 and 18 at 9:30 AM for one hour of gentle Hatha yoga. Suitable for all levels, these yoga classes continue every other Thursday throughout spring and also include access to the galleries.
- Biking along the Valley Trail following the Natural Wonders tour route on the free, Go Whistler Tours app. It’s an 11-kilometre route that takes you from Lost Lake Park out to Green Lake and back around the Whistler Golf Course. You can use the audio function to listen to information on animals, flora and fauna as you ride.
- Hitting an early-season round of golf as Whistler’s golf courses open on May 12. Although real keeners will like to know that Big Sky Golf Club in Pemberton is already good to go!
More ways to get outside.
You’ll find us:
- Celebrating 40 years of fun at the Whistler Children’s Festival on the last two weekends in May. Check out our blog article for more details on the jam-packed lineup that will entertain and inspire young audiences.
- Having a boogie at the free, family-friendly Whistler Children’s Festival opening party at the Whistler Olympic Plaza at 4 PM on May 19. You might also stumble upon roving entertainment throughout the Village on both weekends including Vancouver’s own Mom Bop, Murphey and The Cats and a live karaoke party with Monty Biggins. Close up the festival at 4 PM on May 28 when DJ Ira hits the stage for another dance party at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
- Picking up a Cultural Connector Passport from the Maury Young Arts Center and collecting stamps at activities happening at the locations along the Cultural Connector for a chance to win cool prizes during the festival.
- Eating some ice cream in the sunshine from one (or more, or all!) of Whistler’s great ice cream joints using our well-researched blog, A Guide to Whistler Ice Cream. How many of these delicious spots have you and your family tried?
More family-friendly activities.
Arts & Culture
You’ll find us:
- Checking out the two, new pieces of artwork by nationally-recognized artists Emily Carr and Lawren Harris, which have just been added to the Audain Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. Visit the gallery on the evening of May 13 and travel back to 16th century Holland with a Renaissance Orchestra Concert amidst their current exhibition, Collectors’ Cosmos.
- Being big kids at the After Dark events during the Whistler Children’s Festival, which include a concert by the Canadian legend, Fred Penner and the record-breaking stunt duo, Monsters of Schlock.
- Revelling in the unique sound of classical music meeting bass-heavy electronic dance music at Kytami & Phonik Ops at the Maury Young Arts Centre on May 5.
- Getting inspired by listening and learning from a diverse range of inspirational voices at TEDxWhistler on May 7, which includes local Indigenous representation, happening at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Then the Metronomics Tip Top Summit brings together more thought leaders on May 16 and 17. Founded by Whistler local, Shannon Susko, you can read more about this event and Whistler’s entrepreneurial history in our recent blog post.
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Eating, Drinking & Shopping
You’ll find us:
- Celebrating the growing season and trying some fresh, new flavours with great spring dining specials at some of Whistler’s acclaimed restaurants. Read our blog on What Chefs Love About Spring in Whistler, for more inspiration.
- Browsing fresh produce and artisanal products at the Whistler Farmers’ Market, returning to the Upper Village on Sundays from May 21.
- Celebrating Mother’s Day with a decadent brunch in the Wildflower Restuarant at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and then, depending on the mom, heading to the bike park for some laps or for a soak in the Scandinave Spa (or better yet, both).
Save the Date
Nourish Spring Series by Cornucopia | June 2 – 25
Whistler Half Marathon | June 2 – 4
Comfortably Numb Trail Running Race | June 10
Back Forty Marathon Cross-Country Mountain Bike Race | June 10
XFONDO Bike Race | June 17
Manabu Ikeda: Flowers from the Wreckage at the Audain Art Museum | June 24 – October 9
Crankworx Whistler | July 21 – 30
Be a Responsible Traveller: Don’t Love It to Death
- Whistler is bear country. Take a read of our Bear Aware blog post so you can act responsibly on behalf of these beautiful, wild creatures. Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear.
- At this time of year, our hiking and biking trails are just coming out of the snow. Before you head out, check Trailforks to see which trails are open so you don’t damage them before they’ve had a chance to bounce back after the winter. If you’re using the trails regularly, consider donating to or joining WORCA, a local organization that maintains Whistler’s trail system.
- Help keep Whistler green by choosing tap water over bottled water, avoiding single-use plastics, leaving the car at home, choosing active transportation and sorting garbage properly to reduce your waste.
- Be AdventureSmart and always practice Leave No Trace principles.
- Consider our Responsible Travel pillars, Respect Nature, Think Environment, Don’t Love It to Death and Support Local.
- All travel restrictions have been removed for US and international visitors entering Canada. Visit whistler.com/covid for the latest COVID-19 information and resources for travellers.
If You’re Driving . . .
- Help reduce congestion on the highway by travelling during non-peak times. Peak travel times on the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler include Friday afternoons and evenings, weekends and holidays. To avoid this busy time, plan to visit Whistler midweek when the highway and the resort are typically quieter. Extend your weekend – plan to arrive on Thursday night and leave on Monday morning to avoid the weekend traffic. If you’re visiting Whistler only for the day, plan on staying for dinner to avoid the rush of day traffic leaving the resort after the mountain closes.
- Always check DriveBC for current road conditions before getting on the road. Follow @DriveBC on Twitter and listen to MountainFM for the latest updates.
- Paid parking is in effect in all the Day Lots although there is complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM. Overnight parking is now allowed in the Day Lots, but no overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles. Please check the RMOW website for more information on parking.
- Marketplace parking has new tariffs; $1 first 30 min and $2 first hour (15-minute, storefront parking remains free). For shopping at Fresh St. Market, register your license plate in the machine prior to shopping and they will reimburse you for 1 hour with a minimum $25 purchase.