What to do With Kids in Whistler? Get Outdoors!
A holiday to Whistler is the perfect time to encourage the whole family to unplug, switch off, and get outside. There are so many things to do in Whistler with kids, you might not even need to turn the TV on for the whole week! Whether you’ve got toddlers, teens, or anyone in between in town, you’ll find plenty in Whistler to keep kids occupied.
From adrenaline-fuelled adventure to exploring local cultures, to fun-filled afternoons in the sun, Whistler has it all. The hard part is choosing what to do, and when. So we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite activities for kids of all ages, so you can start planning your unforgettable family holiday in Whistler.
Get Outside! Whistler is Made for Kids
If you planned a family holiday to Whistler, chances are you wanted to get the kids playing outside and enjoying the great outdoors. And you won’t be disappointed by the choice of outdoorsy things to do in Whistler with kids. Aside from the obvious ones (skiing, biking, hiking), here are some of our favourites that you might miss.
- Paddle Whistler’s Lakes and Rivers
In summer, exploring Whistler’s lakes and rivers by boat is a must-do family activity. You can easily rent canoes, kayaks, double canoes or stand-up paddleboards to suit your family. Kids will love learning to paddle for themselves, and when they get tired, mum and dad can take over! You might even spot local wildlife like beavers on your trip through Whistler. Our favourite tour is a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams – it really lives up to its name!
- Treetop Adventure
Kids who like monkeying around will love the Treetop Adventure Course at The Adventure Group. With a kids course for 7-11 year-olds, and a full course for ages 12+, everyone is sure to get a thrill from the challenging obstacles and dizzying heights. For parents, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon enjoying the beautiful forests of BC while the kids get active. Or if you have older kids, there’s no excuse not to take on the full course with them!
- Family Adventure Zone
In the summer, Upper Village lights up with kid-friendly activity. The Family Adventure Zone is a parents’ dream – there’s so much for kids to do that you’re guaranteed a chance to slow down and relax. From mini-golf to go-karts, bungee trampolines to a giant balloon slide, the kids will stay entertained for hours, and head back to the hotel ready for a good nights’ sleep!
- Whistler Scavenger Hunt
Show the kids what Whistler is all about by doing your own Whistle scavenger hunt. Tourism Whistler has produced some great scavenger hunts for winter and summer. You’ll easily pass an afternoon discovering Whistler history, tasting delicious Canadian treats, spying wildlife, and stumbling across beautiful views.
What to do in Whistler with Kids When it Rains
Rainy days do happen in Whistler, but don’t panic – it doesn’t mean your holiday is ruined. There’s heaps of rainy day activities for kids in Whistler that will keep everyone warm and dry. Or alternatively, you can make like a local and get outside and play anyway!
- Escape! Whistler
Escape! Whistler is one of Whistler’s favourite rainy day activities, and with good reason. With four different puzzling rooms to try out, with increasing difficulty levels, there’s something for everything. With younger kids try the Pirate Ship for an introduction to Escape Rooms. Or if your family is up for a challenge, take a trip down the Rabbit Hole.
- Meadow Park Pool and Sports Centre
A great swimming pool never fails to brighten up a rainy day. And Meadow Park Sports Centre in Whistler is brilliant. With a full-size pool plus a huge kids pool, tons of toys, a slide and basketball hoops, there’s a lot going on. There’s even a hot tub and sauna for the adults to sneak a few minutes chill time while the kids are playing happily.
- Get Muddy
Rain is a state of mind, right? And sometimes it’s best to just embrace it and get wet. Throw on the kids’ rain jackets, pants, and rubber boots and there’s nothing to stop you having a great day outside. The hiking and biking trails around Lost Lake are relatively well protected by the forest, making them a perfect rainy day spot for an outdoor adventure. And there’ll be plenty of giant puddles to splash through too!
- Rock Climbing
If you’d rather stay dry, but the kids are up for an adventure, head down to The Core climbing gym in Whistler village. The indoor climbing centre has roped climbing and bouldering, and plenty of friendly staff who will teach the kids the basics. You can book a lesson with a pro instructor, and parents can hang around and watch the kids get to grips with a fun new sport.
What to do in Whistler with Toddlers
Toddlers are perhaps the hardest age-group to cater to in Whistler. But while they might not be old enough to get in on the serious outdoor adventure, tots can still enjoy spending tons of time outside in Whistler’s fantastic playgrounds, parks, trails and beaches.
In the summer, Whistler has some great outdoor playground options for younger kids. On those hot summer days, the waterpark in Meadow Park is a must-visit that kids will go crazy for. If you’re here in winter, check out the snow slides that appear in the Olympic Plaza – bring a sled and let the tots get in on the snow-sliding action.
- Whistler’s parks and beaches
We’re blessed with many beautiful parks and beaches in Whistler, and they’re the perfect place to pass an afternoon with toddlers. Lost Lake, Rainbow Park, and Lakeside Park all have spacious grassy areas, washrooms, water fountains, and food concessions, so you can stay for hours. The little ones can run around to their hearts’ content, and go for a paddle on the beaches when the weather is good.
- Explore the Lost Lake Trails
Plenty of adventurous parents come to Whistler wanting to combine a brilliant family holiday and some serious outdoor adventure. Our tip? Rent bikes in summer and cross-country skis in winter from Cross Country Connection complete with trailers – so the kids can come for an adventure too. Give them their first taste of outdoor adventure and before long they’ll be beating you up (and down) the hills.
- Peak 2 Peak
The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola is ever-popular with families visiting Whistler. And for toddlers, it’s a mind-blowing experience. Kids get such a thrill from riding the gondola and looking down from the crazy height. And it’s totally safe too, so parents can relax. Plus while you’re up there, you can do some wildlife spotting – friendly marmots are commons sights and the top of the mountain in summer.
What to do in Whistler with Teens
- Mountain biking
Whistler’s ultimate adrenaline sport will definitely appeal to a lot of teenagers out there. If they’re keen bikers, head straight to Whistler Mountain Bike Park and start exploring the challenging trails. There’s also some great lessons and camps for teens that will take their riding to the next level, and give them the chance to make some holiday friends. If they’re new to the sport, book an introductory lesson, or try out the cross-country trails around Whistler.
- Axe Throwing
Angsty teenagers and axes – what could possibly go wrong?! Just kidding – we actually think axe throwing is a great activity for teens. Even the most hard-to-impress teen will probably enjoy the chance to hurl sharp objects around. And the fun and friendly competition makes this a great activity for the whole family to enjoy together. We’ll show you the ropes, and then the kids can show you how it’s done.
Another family-friendly activity that will still wow your teens is a zipline tour. There’s a few on offer in Whistler, and most of them offer jaw-dropping heights, exhilarating descents, and 360-degree incredible views. If younger teens are nervous, the Bear or Eagle tours from Ziptrek are great options. But if everyone is feeling brave, try Superfly Ziplines or the infamous Sasquatch – the longest zipline in North America.
- Museums and Galleries
Not every teenager is thrilled to have an outdoorsy, adventure holiday ahead of them – we get it. Luckily, Whistler isn’t just for thrill-seekers any more. There’s tons of fantastic museums and galleries to suit teens who are more artistic or culturally-minded. The Audain Art Museum has world-class exhibits from around the world. And the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre offers a fascinating glimpse of the indigenous cultures of the area that most teens won’t know much about.
A little-known hidden gem of Whistler is its skate park – the second largest in Canda. There’s a keen skate culture here, and during the summer months, the park is packed with local teens and adults honing their skills. And the great thing is, Whistler is a safe community where you can leave your teens to enjoy for a few hours on their own. Meanwhile, you can head down to the spa for some much-needed R&R.
Whistler for Kids – A world of possibilities
Like we said, there’s LOTS to do with kids in Whistler. Whatever age, you’ll be able to share some memorable experiences as a family, and hopefully help your kids love and enjoy the outdoors for years to come. And while there might be some activities you have to miss out on this year, that’s just an excuse to come back a few years’ later when the kids have grown a few inches, and try a whole new set of Whistler adventure.