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Cheap Things to do in Whistler? This is your Guide.

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Visiting Whistler isn’t cheap – the price of a hotel room will make you spit out your drink and lift tickets? Prepare to pay upwards of $150 per day to ski at world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb.

Lucky for you (and your bank account) we’ve come up with a list of cheap things to do in Whistler that will turn you from shaking your fist at the sky to raising your hands in the air!

Whistler is Expensive!

Once upon a time, Whistler was a beloved getaway for folks looking to spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the mountain fresh air. Accommodation didn’t cost an arm and a leg, you could purchase discounted lift tickets from the  7-11. Plus, a plate of nachos at the end of the day wasn’t the same cost as a steak dinner.

Gone now are those days, as Whistler has transformed from a hidden Canadian gem to a world wide phenomena.

Solidarity, friends – for Whistler is still a magnificent place to visit and with a little extra planning, you’ll be able to visit without a financial fleecing. Trust us, we live here and it’s still possible to do Whistler on a budget. 

Planning ahead by booking your accommodation, transportation, and activities well in advance will help your quest for cheap things to do in Whistler. Why? Well, we do have several awesome hostels in town, but they book up quickly and so do the local campgrounds.

And activities? While they more widely available than the limited accommodation, you can often save if you book now – not later. So get commitment from your friends or kick it solo and plan your trip to Whistler today.

8 Cheap Outdoor Activities in Whistler

Rain, shine, snow, sleet – there’s always something fun to do in Whistler outside. Dress for the elements and be one with nature during these fantastic and cheap things to do in Whistler outdoors. 

1. Vallea Lumina

Whistler’s perfect evening activity for the whole family is Vallea Lumina – a multimedia night walk in pursuit of hidden wonders. From Whistler Village, you’ll be whisked away to Cougar Mountain where a 1.5-kilometre (1km in winter) path guides you between light displays, song, and stories. Sip a hot chocolate or make s’mores back at the base around their fire pits.

  • Cost: $29.99/adult
  • Length of Time:1.5-2 hours roundtrip

2. Hiking

No visit to Whistler would be complete without a traipse into nature via one of Whistler’s many hiking trails. Perhaps a stroll around Lost Lake (summer only), a short trek to discover an abandoned train wreck or ghost town, or get your sweat on with a full or multi-day trip to Cheakamus Lake, Garibaldi Lake, or Black Tusk. 

  • Cost: Free!
  • Length of Time: anywhere from one hour to eight+ hours depending on the trail.

3. Rent Cross Country Skis or Snowshoes

In the winter months (December to March), Lost Lake transforms into a nordic centre where you can rent cross-country skis or snowshoes and explore the area via their marked trail system. The trails are open daily from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM and a trail pass is required to access the area ($22/cross-country skiers or $11 snowshoe). On Monday and Thursday nights after 3:00 PM, trail passes are 50% off!

  • Cost: $22/$11 for a trail pass (cross-country skiing/snowshoeing) and $30/$20 for rentals (cross-country skis/snowshoes)
  • Length of Time: 2-4 hours

4. Driving Range

Whack some balls and let off some steam at Whistler Golf Club’s driving range (May – October) right next to Whistler Village. During certain times of the year, the golf club also has promotions where you can get a bag of balls plus dinner at the golf club’s restaurant, Palmer’s, for super cheap. 

  • Cost: $12/50 balls, $18/100 balls, $22/150 balls. $5 for rental clubs. 
  • Length of Time: 1 hour

5. Disc Golf

Never heard of it? This fringe sport combines frisbee and golf in a wilderness setting and is a great way to get some fresh air, crack a few beers, and enjoy some friendly competition.

There are three courses in Whistler: Lost Lake, Kadenwood, and at the Whistler Olympic Park. Use of the course is free at Lost Lake and Kadenwood (Whistler Olympic Park charges a small fee to enter the park) but does require you to bring your own frisbees. They can be purchased at Whistler Sport Stop or if you’re lucky, at the local thrift store (Re-Use It Centre).

  • Cost: Course use is free, but you need your own discs.
  • Length of Time: 2-4 hours

6. Lake Side Hangs

Lakes of Whistler, on Valley Trail

We challenge you to hit all 5 lakes in one single day!

Whistler has five freshwater lakes that are perfect for water sports like kayaking or SUP’ing, chilling on the grass with a book, partaking in a game of beach volleyball, or braving the waters for a swim (the temperature is quite nice, actually).

Lost Lake, Green Lake, Alta Lake, Nita Lake, and Alpha Lake each have their own unique characteristics and can all be reached via Whistler’s pedestrian-only Valley Trail. Wayside and Lakeside Park on Alta Lake have rental shops for SUP’s, kayaks, and canoes and most parks have restrooms, picnic tables, grassy fields and/or docks. Hanging out at the lake is Whistler’s ultimate pastime in the summer. 

  • Cost: free to hang out at the lake, SUP/Kayak/Canoe rentals range from $20+ per hour.
  • Length of Time: one hour to all day long!

7. Bike the Valley Trail

Whistler’s Valley Trail is a pedestrian-only paved pathway that connects Whistler’s neighbourhoods, lakes, parks, and viewpoints. The Valley Trail is 40 kilometres long and is an ideal place for a jog, a dog walk, or a bike ride to explore Whistler beyond the village. Rent a bike at one of the many bike rental shops in Whistler (we suggest Gateway Bikes in Whistler Village) for an hour or for the whole day to discover a whole new side of Whistler, sans car. 

  • Cost: free to use, bike rentals run from about $15 per hour.
  • Length of Time: one hour to all-day

8. Treetop Adventure

Be a monkey for the afternoon on a Treetop Adventure with The Adventure Group! Meet in Whistler Village where you are taken by bus to Cougar Mountain, suited up with a harness and taught how to use the carabiner clip system and away you go.

The course features seventy different obstacles from rope swings to balance beams that reach heights of up to sixty feet off the forest floor. This adventure is perfect for groups of friends, coworkers, or memorable Tinder date. It is only open in the summer months (May – October) and is available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

  • Cost: $69.99/adult (lookout for early booking discounts)
  • Length of Time: 3-4 Hours Roundtrip

8 Cheap Indoor Activities in Whistler

All that fresh mountain air making you dizzy? Head indoors to enjoy these cheap things to do in Whistler without having to wear a thousand layers of clothing to do so (but please wear some clothing).

1. Meadow Park 

Meadow Park is Whistler’s world-class multi-purpose recreational facility and is a cheap and cheerful place to go for a swim, skate, workout, or shower (if you’re living the van life). They offer cheap nights (50% off) on Tuesday and Friday nights after 6:00 PM where you could hit the gym then enjoy the steam room, sauna, and hot tubs afterwards.

  • Cost: $9/adult drop in with other passes available for longer stays
  • Length of Time: one hour to all-day

2. Forged Axe Throwing

Enjoying some indoor outdoor axe throwing

Axe throwing is an crowd-pleasing apres activity.

Discover the sacred art of axe throwing with a one-hour session at Forged Axe Throwing in Whistler’s Function Junction neighbourhood. Enthusiastic hosts will coach you and challenge you to some friendly competition which will have you laughing and sweating in no time. Axe throwing is best paired with a post-activity beer from Coast Mountain Brewing next door or samosa and hot drink from The Velvet Underground, also next door.

3. Pub Crawl

A pub crawl, one of the self-organized kind, can be a fabulous way to spend an afternoon in Whistler Village. Prerequisites include: age 19+, have a penchant for alcoholic beverages, and aren’t planning on driving for the rest of the day. We recommend the GLC, Dubh Linn Gate, and the Crystal Lounge.

  • Cost: plan for around $8/beer, house wine, or well drink. $10-15 for a speciality cocktail.
  • Length of Time: 30 minutes to all night long!

4. Indoor Climbing

If a holiday can’t keep you away from the climbing gym, The Core in Whistler Village has a 5,550 square-foot indoor rock climbing gym to practice on. They can supply the harnesses, ropes, and shoes and have options to self-belay, auto-belay, or boulder. 

  • Cost: $18/person for drop-in plus $2-$9 for rentals
  • Length of Time: one hour to all-day

5. Culture Crawl

Audain art muesuem

A rainy day activity, the Audain is worth attention even in the sun

Whistler has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with two must-visit museums being the Audain Art Museum and the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre. The Audain is a state-of-the-art building that houses a permanent collection of local Canadian art along with special exhibitions. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre offers hourly tours by friendly ambassadors from the Squamish or Lil’wat nations who share their culture and knowledge in this immersive cultural centre.

  • Cost: Audain $18/person, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre $18/person (or purchase both with a Cultural Pass at the Whistler Visitor’s Centre for $30/person).
  • Length of Time: 1-2 Hours

6. Escape Rooms

An excellent way to spend forty-five minutes and you’ll be talking about it for hours after is Escape Whistler’s challenging escape rooms! With four to choose from beginner to advanced, the team at Escape have built each room with so much thought, creativity, and care as you work through puzzles, riddles, and interactive obstacles.

  • Cost: $33/person
  • Length of Time: 45 minutes

7. Board Games at the Living Room

Cozy up by the fire, grab a board game, and park yourself at one of the long communal tables and let the competition begin! Located in the heart of Whistler Village at the Pangea Pod Hotel, the Living Room is an excellent space to unwind with some food and drinks, meet new people, and play one of their many board games. We recommend Jenga or Catan (but never Monopoly if you want to keep your friends).

  • Cost: free to hang out but we recommend ordering a drink or a snack while you hang out.
  • Length of Time: one hour to all-night

8. Cinema

Village 8 Cinemas is Whistler’s local movie theatre located underground in Whistler Village. Eight screens play the latest blockbuster hits, with Tuesday nights being ‘cheap’ night. Neighbouring restaurant Three Below also offer a ‘Dinner and a Movie’ special for $23.

  • Cost: $14/adult ($8 on Tuesdays).
  • Length of Time: 1-3 hours.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this extensive list of cheap things to do in Whistler and truly hope money does not deter you from visiting this beautiful mountain town. With a bit of planning, some research, and the very fact that you’re reading this article, you can avoid that sticker shock and simply focus on having a great time in Whistler.