The Local’s List: December 2018

The Local’s List: December 2018

Your guide to what’s up, what’s new, and what’s on in Whistler for the month of December. 

Lights are twinkling in nearly 300 trees in Whistler Village, turning it into the winter wonderland dreams are made of. December is a truly magical time of year when the snow fills the air at the same time as bucket loads of festive spirit sets it aglow. There’s skating in Olympic Plaza, Santa takes to the slopes, athletes jump through fiery hoops, sleigh rides pull families through the snow, and a new gondola launches – and that’s just for starters!

Here are some ideas of what you can get up to in Whistler this December…

  • If you’re thinking about venturing into the backcountry at all this season take a look at an Avalanche Skills Training or Introduction to Backcountry course. If you’re curious, but don’t quite know where to start, try a guided tour to see what it entails.
  • Ice skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza opens on December 8 and runs from 11 AM to 8:30 PM daily until the end of March. Note that they do close for maintenance between 1:30 – 2:30 PM and 5 – 6 PM. You can rent skates there too!
  • Did you know it’s bald eagle season? Squamish is home to North America’s largest wintering population of bald eagle and you can take a float down the river to learn more about them. Our contributor, Nikkey Dawn, took a float last season, check out her experience.

View Whistler Weather and Webcams

Arts & Culture Adventures

  • The Whistler Film Festival is in full swing, and with 85 innovative and original films from around the world there’s a lot to take in until December 2.
  • Get into the festive spirit on December 6 and take a felted ornament Art Lab. All the materials are included, just bring a sense of festive fun and your creativity!
  • It’s an ARTventure with local artists, Vanessa Stark, Andrea Mueller, and Andy Anissimoff as they go on interactive with an augmented reality app at the latest gallery show at the Arts Centre. You point your smart phone at the artwork to reveal videos about the artist, how they create their work, and what inspires them. Opening night is December 8 from 7 – 9 PM. Learn how to download the app and more about the event here.
  • Are you an artist, creative, performer or musician? Arts Whistler has launched a new initiative called Arts-U: From Inspired to Hired, to support you with six interactive sessions that will help grow your professional skills. From presentation skills to marketing, business management to finding new career opportunities, check this event out on December 8.

View all arts-based activities here.

Family Fun

  • There’s a new Whistler Gingerbread House in Creekside! Open from noon each day this winter, grab a legendary Cloud Cone, get your gifts wrapped, and indulge in cotton candy and baked goods – yummy! Closer to the big day, Santa will also make a few appearances.
  • Starting December 17, Family Aprés happens every Monday and Wednesday from 3 – 6 PM at Whistler Olympic Plaza. A rotating line up of kid-friendly entertainment keeps the little ones busy while you indulge in a cup of hot chocolate.
  • The Whistler Holiday Experience at the Whistler Conference Centre opens on December 22 and runs until January 6, from 10 AM to 6 PM (closed Dec 25 and 31). Kids can enjoy a mini putt course, table games, bouncy castles, crafts and video games for free over the holiday break – wahoo, tired kids!
  • Wow the kids at the weekly Fire and Ice Show, happening every Sunday, starting December 23, at the base of Whistler Mountain at 6:30 PM – it’s free, and it’s awesome!

More Family Fun Ideas

Flavours of the Month

  • Restaurants and hotels are starting to release their Christmas and NYE dining menus, but you’ve got to be quick to secure your reservations though as this is a prime dining time!
  • On December 18 the Four Seasons Resort launches their pop-up restaurant, Let’s Ramen which will be open during the festive period until Jan 6. You should also make a note to checkout their Festival of Trees, and vintage patio camper that serves up s’mores, hot chocolates, and tipsy snowmen – you have to go to find out more about the latter.
  • Like craft beer? Take a tour of four local venues serving up some favourites and seasonal bests with Whistler Craft Crawl.
  • Along with the coffee shops rolling out their ginger and eggnog infused coffees, the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop launches their Christmas mix popcorn!


The Village Vibe

  • Got your furry friend with you on December 1? Head into the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa from 12 – 5 PM to get a snap with Santa and photos printed on-site. There are complimentary refreshments for humans and dogs alike, a holiday silent auction, carols, and stocking stuffers also available. All proceeds benefit Whistler Animals Galore (WAG).
  • At the base of Whistler Mountain by the Fitzsimmons Chair is where you’ll find some rail jam action going down on December 20. From 7 – 9 PM the King of the Rail presented by Showcase sees skiers and snowboarders of all ages throw down tricks to win prizes and the crowd’s respect. This is the first of four events, and to sign up you just need to head into Showcase Snowboards.
  • Join the jolly elf himself in Mountain Square on December 21 from 3 – 6 PM for Santa’s Sleigh and Boot Drive with Whistler’s Firefighters will be happening. This free photo op with Santa is atop a vintage Thibault fire truck and donations raised go directly to the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund.
  • The Made in Whistler Artisan Market is on from noon to 5 PM on December 15, 22, 23, 29 & 30 at the Westin Resort & Spa, so dip in out of the cold to check out the locally-made goodies being showcased. For some other suggestions on where to find some great gifts check out Made-in-Whistler Gift Ideas.
  • New Year’s Eve celebrations start at noon on December 31 with a special Family Après at Whistler Olympic Plaza and a variety of indoor activities at the Whistler Conference Centre. Later in the evening, bundle up and head to Skier’s Plaza for a special edition Fire & Ice show, with fireworks displays at 8 PM and midnight. There’s also free transit from 6 PM – 4 AM!

More on Village Shopping, Dining and Arts and Culture

Don’t Forget…

  • Take a look at the ‘Trees of Hope’ paintings at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, December 1 – January 6. Ten Canadian artists created these artworks that are up for silent auction to raise funds for the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
  • Check out the North Face Base Camp on December 1 and 2. Visit Skier’s Plaza on these days to check out the action, and look out for the North Face “lucky” chairlifts and gondolas to get your hands on some prizes.
  • Winter parking regulations are in effect until March 31. This means no parking on the even side of the street Mon-Fri, 9-5 PM (excluding holidays), no parking on the odd side (anytime of the year), and no overnight parking in the Day Lots. In short – consider catching the bus!

Events this Month

Plus plenty more, all here in our event calendar… or you can check out What’s on in Whistler this week here.

So dig out that Santa outfit, dust off the beard and join us for a magical December in Whistler.