Updated: October 2018
Teenagers are interesting creatures—half child, half utterly-irresponsible adult— and yet keeping a teenager happy can be the make-or-break point of any vacation. Of course, many teens will be plenty stoked to just ride the mountains all day and then hunker down in the hotel with an open tab for room service and pay-per-view movies/video games but Whistler actually has quite a few options for teenagers looking to get away from the “old folks”, flex their independence, and have a bit of fun this spring break.
Meadow Park Sports Centre
Meadow Park features a pool (complete with slide, copious noodles and a separate kiddie area) full gym, squash courts and an NHL-sized skating rink with daily public skating sessions. Whistler Transit stops right out front and if the valley snow has melted there are also a couple fields in back for running around and tossing/kicking a ball or hucking a frisbee.
Ice Skating at the Olympic Plaza
Free is key when you have a kid and free ice skating at the Whistler Olympic Plaza is a really fun way to kill a couple hours and enjoy a bit of Canadiana. Open daily (winter times TBA) the Plaza rink also has a rental shop in case airport security confiscated your kids’ ice skates. The rink will be gone at the end of March so get there while you can.
Indoor Rock Climbing at The Core
The Core is a full-on fitness facility but bored teens will probably have more fun on the climbing wall than the elliptical machines. The Core offers kid-specific camps as well as a climb-and-dine evening program (which is perfect if you want to ditch your teens and get into some of Whistler’s more romantic fine dining spots.)
Whistler Youth Centre
The Whistler Youth Centre is a great place to meet local teens and talk about how to become a pro skier or snowboarder and stay young forever. It’s free and open to local and visiting teens on a drop-in basis and teens (13 – 18) can come rock out on the skateboard mini-ramp or get busy on the pool tables, ping pong, x-box, movies and more. They’re open on Fridays (3:30 PM – 11 PM) and Saturdays (6 PM – 10 PM), as well as specific Wednesday afternoons for Teen Cafe and Alphabet Soup, Whistler’s LGBTQ group. Call 604-935-8187 for details on any of the above and to check winter timing as it does change seasonally.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Tube Park is open daily throughout the winter season. It features over 1000 feet of sliding surface with green, blue and black lanes. Best of all, there is no skill or equipment required so anyone should be able to rip it up. Kids under 12 need adult supervision, however.
Fire and Ice
Most teens love explosions and fire so watching skiers and riders huck through a flaming ring at the weekly Fire and Ice show is a pretty safe bet. It all starts at 8 PM on Sunday night at the base of the Whistler Gondola until the spring. And best of all, it’s free.
Check out the Whistler Insider blog post about a 12-year Fire and Ice veteran.
Whistler Public Library
Aside from being a beautifully awesome building with a green roof the Whistler Public Library is also one of the most-used libraries in British Columbia (and yet it’s closed on Sundays, go figure).
Regardless, the library has a Teen Lounge full of Young Adult books, magazines, movies and computers for teens to “do homework” on. The Library also often organizes special events like the Youth Café, which offers games, socializing, book talks and writing workshops.
Village 8 Cinemas
Geared primarily towards younger kids, this local website/family resource guide features events and ideas that some teens may be into. From Saturday “Craft-ernoons” to Japanese Drumming Performances Whistler4kids always has something fun on the go.
Even if you forgot to pack your chauffeur hat your teens can still get to and fro via Whistler Transit.
And if all else fails, start a snowball fight! But most importantly, whatever you end up doing with your teens, have fun and enjoy the family time. They’re only young once and the nicer you are to them now the better they will treat you when you’re old and far-less-mobile.