As a mom of three living in Whistler, I am often asked what there is to do for young families in Whistler with kids aged zero to five, especially in the winter months. This is always a tough one as what I suggest depends a lot on the nature of the child (and their parents) and where they sit on the adventure spectrum, so I’ve tried to balance my suggestions.

One thing that I’ve learned over the years though is that kids are great at enjoying the little things. So don’t overthink or over plan it, however always have snacks, lots of snacks.

Here are 12 ideas of what to do with your little one in Whistler, in winter.

Two kids enjoy skiing on Whistler Blackcomb.
Mini shredders on Whistler Blackcomb. PHOTO GUY FATTAL

1. Snow School

Kids as young as three can try sliding down the slopes on two planks with the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School. You can opt to get them in daily or sign them up for a three or four-day camp. There’s also the option of going private if you want them to get some quality time with some incredible ski instructors.

My advice would be to book these lessons in advance as peak times, such as over festive and spring break can sell out. The locally-based team at is great to speak with about snow school as they also know which accommodation is closest to the slopes and often, the best deals on gear rentals.

2. Mountain Sightseeing

Kids six and under are free when Winter PEAK 2 PEAK sightseeing. They get to ride the three gondolas that go up, down and across Whistler Blackcomb, with a lunch or snack break at one of the mountain-top restaurants.

When my kids were little (not skiing), my husband and I would make a little base at the Roundhouse or Rendezvous Lodge and then trade off after a few ski runs. If you and your kiddos have the skills you can of course take your toddler up for a ski but know that carrying a child in any kind of carrier is not permitted while downhill skiing on Whistler Blackcomb. Check out our post on the Best Whistler Ski Runs for Kids, which includes Whistler Blackcomb’s kids’ map (make sure you check out the Magic Castle and Treefort).

A couple pull a child on a sled at Olympic Plaza in Whistler Village.
Taboggan and ice skating fun at Whistler Olympic Plaza. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

3. Whistler Olympic Plaza: Ice Skating & Sledding

In the winter, Whistler’s Olympic Plaza is home to an outdoor ice skating rink and the Snow Zone for sledding fun. The plaza is surrounded by coffee shops, which gives it bonus points from parents.

Kids under four are free and they have those handy skate aids to help little ones make their way on the ice. You can bring your skates or rent them there. For tobogganing, if you don’t have your own sled / toboggan check in with your hotel to see if they have ones you can borrow or you can buy or rent from The Circle Kids, which is located not far from Olympic Plaza on Main Street.

Two young children read an art book while they're surrounded by works of art at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler.
Bring a sketchpad and some pencils to the Audain. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

4. Cultural Critter

We used to take our daughters to the Audain Art Museum (under 18s are free) when they were pram-bound, but I have also taken all three of my ladies there as toddlers. I had to stress the no touching and no running rule repeatedly, but, with expectations set and a few glances from the security guards, we got there.

For the babies and toddlers still napping, the quiet ambience of the museum is dreamy, and then when they’re a bit older it’s an incredibly inspiring place for the creation of their own art pieces (bring art supplies). They often run events for kids, so check the events calendar to see if any are happening while you’re in Whistler.

A young child plays the pow wow drum at the SLCC in Whistler.
Kids can dance to the beat of their own drum in Whistler. PHOTO ROBIN O’NEILL

A tour of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) starts with a welcome song and tours happen every hour, on the hour during opening times (children five and under are free). My girls were fascinated by the beating drums and the uniqueness of the singing.

The exhibits have lots of bright photos and the carved posts and artwork are incredibly visual. The Thunderbird Cafe sells bannock donuts, which are also a hit with the kiddos. They sometimes run craft workshops, although these tend to be geared toward the older kids, but my three have managed a cedar bracelet or two.

Librarian reading a book to two children at the Whistler Public Library.
Whistler Public Library’s programming is a favourite with local families. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

5. Book Worms: Whistler Public Library

Whistler’s Library is a vibrant, welcoming place with lots of events geared towards young children. Pop in for some quiet time, peruse the books, play games together or join in on storytime. It’s fun seeing what’s being read in other areas of the world.

A shot of Whistler Village twinkling with all its festive lights in winter time.
Young kids marvel at the thousands of sparking lights in Whistler. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

6. Take a Short Winter Stroll

In the winter months, Whistler is lit up like a winter wonderland with thousands of fairy lights. Put some layers on your little one and enjoy the simplicity of a winter stroll through Whistler Village or Creekside Village. Depending on the weather you could consider towing them in a sled or popping them in a carrier, both of which you can rent through Baby’s On the Go. Download the free, Go Whistler Tours app and look at the Festive Light tours to see the places with the most sparkle.

My girls especially love seeing the deer at Rebagliati Park on the way to the Upper Village. We sometimes go armed with a winter scavenger hunt, to add another element to the walk. Pair this with a…

A decadent hot chocolate with bear art in the froth from Fix Cafe in Whistler.
Hot chocolates are beary nice on a cold, winter’s day. PHOTO CHRISTIE FITZPATRICK

7. Quest for a Sweet Treat

Kids young and old love a sweet treat. The free, Go Whistler Tours App has a self-guided tour dedicated to where you can get some of the yummiest treats in Whistler. My girls recently tried cinnamon buns and that’s all we’re being bugged for now (try Ed’s Bred in Creekside, Chick Pea on Whistler Mountain and Hot Buns Bakery in Whistler Village for those). We’ve also done some hot chocolate research for you in Where to Get the Best Hot Chocolate in Whistler.

Three generations of a family explore the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler.
The girls took their grandfather to the Whistler Sliding Centre on his last visit. PHOTO DEE RAFFO

8. Whistler Sliding Centre

It’s free and fun to spectate at the Whistler Sliding Centre, which is located on Blackcomb Mountain (catch the Excalibur Gondola up to Base II, to get there).  Before you leave, check out what’s on track to see sliding athletes training in the Olympic sports of skeleton, luge and bobsleigh, or public participants enjoying the thrill of the Passenger Bobsleigh and Public Skeleton sports experiences. Grab a map at Guest Services and follow the paved path around the course to see sleds whizz past you on the fastest track in the world. Youth aged 14+ can have a go at some of these sports, as can you!

The path is steep, so you’re going to have to be mindful of that if you’re bringing a stroller (check the brake works well), but it’s wide and smooth They might have a concession stand open if there’s an event, but I’d tuck some hot chocolate in a flask just in case (there are washrooms, snacks and swag at the Guest Services building).

Also, the sound the athletes make when they thunder down the ice can be a little scary for young kids (Mommy, is that a dragon coming?), so maybe have a word with them beforehand to allay any fears!

A private lesson was the perfect family adventure for us. PHOTO SILKE JELTSCH

9. Whistler Olympic Park

Located a 15-minute drive south of Whistler Village is the Whistler Olympic Park. Here’s where a lot of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Nordic events were held – you’ll see the ski jump as soon as you get there.

I’ve snowshoed with my girls in a back carrier and I’ve also pulled them in a ski chariot along the cross-country tracks (renting a ski chariot is done on-site and is $21 for two hours). If your little ones are adventurous, they do have cross-country and snowshoe rental gear available (book ahead and online for the best deal), and if you need to brush up on any skills, one idea is to take a private family lesson.

We did this when our twins were young enough to be tucked into a ski chariot while our four-year-old had a go on skis, read about that in Cross-Country Skiing With Small Kids in Whistler. Another Whistler Insider went on a snowshoe with his two small children and you can read about that in A Family Snowshoe Adventure in Whistler.

After you’ve gone for a snowshoe or ski there are also tobogganing lanes (bring your own sled and Hemet) in the shadow of the ski jumps! The Day Lodge is a great place to warm up and recoup before you journey back to Whistler Village.

As with a lot of weather-based activities, always check the conditions and what’s open before you go! They also have events during the winter season, and it’s fun for little kids to watch these in between toboggan laps.

One of the visual displays at Vallea Lumina in Whistler.
A light show set in the forest. PHOTO THE ADVENTURE GROUP / MOMENT FACTORY

10. Vallea Lumina

My kids often reminisce about “the talking trees”, which are part of the stunning, multi-media show called Vallea Lumina (tickets for children five and under are $9.99). The earliest time for these tours is 6:30 PM (they have to wait until it’s dark, so times change over the season), so you’ll need to think about feeding / sleeping routines, but it’s a beautiful walk in the forest with an immersive story element that’s just magical.

You could take kids in a carrier or let them explore the trail themselves. The path is one kilometre long and relatively flat for most of the way, although there’s a large staircase to tackle at the end. I dressed the kids in their ski gear, and it’s good to note that it can get slippy in the winter so you could consider wearing shoes with traction devices. Depending on your pace, I’d leave one to two hours to enjoy the forest. Read more in, Magic in the Mountains: Whistler Vallea Lumina.

A young girl screams with delight as she slides down an icy track at the Whistler Tube Park.
There are two shorter lands at the Tube Park for the mini thrill-seekers. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

11. bubly Tube Park

Little kids can tube! There’s a dedicated section with two lanes for the younger kiddos at the bubly Tube Park. They do have to be at least three years old and 36 inches tall (91 centimetres) and they need a mini-ticket (starts at $19), which is only sold at the tube park itself (no pre-buying online).

What’s great about the Tube Park is that you can take a magic carpet ride to the top of the lanes, which means no lugging the tubes (they look like donuts) up the hill, especially with a little one in tow. If you feel a bit nervous letting your little one whizz off down the lane solo, you can get in your own tube and hold the mini-tube handles.

To get there, you can take the Excalibur Gondola up to Base II and walk up some steps, or park in Lot 7 or 8. Snowsuits for this one too!

12. Meadow Park Sports Centre

Kids tend to love the water and there’s an indoor kids pool at Meadow Park located a 10-minute bus ride (kids 12 and under are free on the buses) north of Whistler Village. The leisure pool has a miniature lazy river, a small whirlpool and some fun fountain features. They also have life jackets and pool toys available.

There’s also an indoor ice skating rink. Strollers are allowed on the ice for the really little ones (they have some there or you can bring yours) and there are also skating aids for those taking their first glides on the cold stuff. You can bring your skate gear or rent it there. Make sure to check the opening times and schedules before you go.

A father and his two kids enjoy apres in Whistler after skiing.

After all that excitement you’ll likely be looking for a place to eat. Check out our Insider’s Guide to Eating with Kids in Whistler for some great tips and options. Make sure to check the events calendar for kid-centric fun too as over the festive period there’s Winterspehere that are geared towards younger children.

As much as we LOVE our children, if you’re looking for a break Whistler does have babysitting services, and if you want to rent any child-specific gear check out Baby’s on the Go. Another place to look for gear is Whistler’s Re-Use-It Centre, you might be able to pick up a snowsuit or some ski boots and then you could always take them back to be re-sold if you don’t want to pack them! For more on family travel to Whistler visit our dedicated page.

The locally-based travel consultants at are great at knowing which accommodations are the most family-friendly (there are some with dedicated game rooms), so chat with them when you’re planning your Whistler family holiday to get more tips.

Book your winter trip now to secure up to 25% off lodging and 33% off rentals. Thinking about spring skiing? Receive a $75 après voucher for every third night booked.

Come experience Whistler Blackcomb’s extensive terrain and adventure at every turn to see why we're known as one of the best resorts on the planet. Secure your mountain getaway with for personalized service and the local knowledge of our Whistler-based team. Want to win a winter trip for two to Whistler? Check out our Drop In to Winter contest.


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.