Rainy Day Activities in Whistler (Updated Fall 2019)
Whistler is known around the world as one of the greatest and most thrilling places to ski and snowboard. It’s also a well established name in downhill mountain biking, transforming its white pillowy slopes for dirt and adrenaline in the summer months.
But what happens in the shoulder seasons between the sun and snow? Shoulder season means rain. So, what are some things to do in Whistler when it rains?
We are located in a coastal rainforest after all and spring and fall are the wettest seasons. It can also rain in the valleys in winter! Don’t be shocked to see a dreary wet day out your hotel window in mid-January. While the peaks are covered in pow, the Village collects only puddles. The mountains and valleys around here tend to have drastically different weather systems.
Many visitors come to our little mountain town surprised to find it so wet. They frantically google “Things to do in whistler on a rainy day.” Rest easy! Whistler has many indoor activities.
A Quick Summary of What to do in Whistler When it Rains
To get the full scoop on these great options, read on!
- Axe Throwing at Forged Axe in Function Junction
- A Whistler Tasting Tour
- Visit the Audain Art Museum
- Get Your Yoga On
- Catch a Movie at the Village Cinema
- Find a hotel hot tub!
- Escape! Whistler
- Grab a round of drinks at a local watering hole
- Relax with a massage
- Check out the Meadow’s Park Recreation Center Indoor Pool
- Or skate at indoors (also Meadow Park)
- Explore the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
- Get creative with Fathom Stone Art
- Eat good food!
- Rain or Shine, the Scandinave Spa
- Learn a little at the the Whistler Museum
- The Whistler Core Climbing and Fitness Centre
- Cheers to Whistler’s Craft Beers!
- Go Shopping in the Village
- Road trip to the Britannia Mine Museum
- Visit y Whistler Public Library
- No better day for a Bungee Jump
- Go for a hike anyway!
Average Rain (and Snow) by Month in Whistler
The good news about the rainy season? Prices drop significantly in the shoulder season (find out more shoulder season deals here).
23 Things to Do When its Raining in Whistler
Forged Axe hears your call for help! Here are our 23 suggestions on things to do in Whistler when it rains. All is not lost, Whistler is bursting at the seams with rainy day, and undercover, options. Whether you want indoor activities or don’t mind getting wet, this is the ultimate list.
1. Get Competitive at Axe Throwing
When it rains, it pours, so we welcome you to come down to function junction and try your hand at the bullseye. At Forged Axe Throwing, you can compete and socialize with friends and family while throwing axes in friendly, guided competition.
There isn’t a more Canadian sport than axe throwing, so spending a rainy day in Whistler aiming a real axe at a wooden target is one of the best and most unique experiences.
Not only do you get to experience something new, you also pick up a new skill.
2. Head out on a Tasting Tour
With most of your time on the tasting tour spent indoors (with short interludes dashing between locations) Whistler Tasting Tours is a professional and knowledgable tour showing you the best in show when it comes to restaurants in Whistler.
Everything from desserts to wine, hidden gems, and Whistler’s foodie history. Tasting everything from chocolate cheesecakes to well cooked steaks, the tasting tours are a great and delicious way to spend a rainy day, while still exploring the village and keeping your taste buds happy.
3. Browse the Audain Art Museum
As one of the newest art museums in Whistler, the Audain Art Museum is an excellent and educational way to spend a rainy afternoon. The Audain Art Museum showcases work from the province of British Columbia.
From modern works of local and national artists, to contemporary Canadian classics, and artworks of the First Peoples, the museum covers a broad range of styles and displays it through captivating art work.
Even the architecture of the building is worth checking out alongside the on-site shop, which has local books, souvenirs, and postcards, perfect to remind you of your time spent in Whistler.
4. Relax at Yoga
Throughout our tiny mountain town, there are many different studios and gyms to get your yoga practice on. Ranging in size and location throughout the city, the yoga studios offer classes differing in style, type, and skill level.
Some yoga studios even provide guests with spectacular views of the surrounding views of Whistler, whether in a group setting or private one-on-one.
A perfect way to spend a rainy day in Whistler, practicing yoga offers you peace of mind and body. Check out Yogacara for their full line up of classes.
Whether you have been incredibly active in the days prior or have plans to go out on a long hike or do a full week of skiing, practicing yoga can help your body prepare, relax, and rejuvenate, making it a perfect experience for a rainy day.
5. Catch a Movie at the Cinema
During most rainy days, we often think of seeing the latest movie at the local cinema. Whistler has a modern cinema located conveniently right in the village. Playing the latest movies, catching a movie at the local cinema is a great way to spend a rainy day – especially with children.
Imagine Cinema Village 8 also serves up snacks and drinks on-site, ensuring you have a comfortable and luxurious movie viewing experience.
6. Dare to go Hot Tubbing
Many hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts have on-site hot tubs that are more often than not located outdoors.
Although it may be raining in Whistler, oftentimes it can be fun and adventurous to sit in a hot tub when it’s misty and cold.
Just make sure you don’t risk it during thunder and lightning storms!
Whether you have the chance to sit in an indoor hot tub or venture to an outdoor one, spending a short amount of time in the morning, afternoon, or evening in the hot tub can be a great way to relax, enjoy your holiday, and take in your surroundings.
7. Challenge Yourself to Escape! Whistler
Found in the heart of the village, Escape! Whistler is one of the most unique and entertaining ways to spend a rainy afternoon.
With a couple of different escape rooms on-site, the idea is to work together with friends and family to piece together clues and tips to escape from the locked room.
A great way to socialize and enjoy a laugh, the entire experience is indoors, ensuring you will be kept dry from the rain outside.
8. Grab Drinks with a View
In the heart of Whistler Village to Creekside and beyond, there are many incredible restaurants, lounges, and bars to simply grab a round of drinks and relax and socialize.
Many bars and restaurants provide great views of the slopes, the mountains, the forests, and the surrounding village.
Whether you are looking to enjoy natural views or meet some new friends, Whistler is an incredibly social place.
Many restaurants and bars even have patios and balconies where you can grab some cover during rain spells and still enjoy the great outdoors, without getting wet. Check out the Brewhouse or Dusty’s for mountain patio views.
Foodie? Check out our top destinations
9. Treat Yourself to a Massage
Since many tourists flock to Whistler to spend time outdoors and participate in many activities and adventure sports, the city is filled with businesses who ensure people have the chance to relax and unwind after a day spent exploring.
Whistler Day Spa has many massage options available, perfect for working out the rainy day blues. Check at the front desk of your hotel for any in-house options as well. Massages range in price and variety.
During a rainy day, shop around for the right place to get a massage and spend some time relaxing and treating your body right.
10. Find an Indoor Swimming Pool
Whistler has a number of indoor swimming pools located inside Village hotels and resorts. During a rainy day, head to an indoor swimming pool to relax and unwind.
Some swimming pools in the city have spectacular views and are often located right in the heart of the village.
Oftentimes, hotels with indoor pools have spas, on-site restaurants, and bars that you can have access to as well to enjoy the full experience.
You can also head to the indoor public pool (and hot tub!) at the Meadow’s Park Recreation Center. Its a perfect and affordable place to bring the kids to work out that extra energy when its pouring outside.
11. Take to the Ice on an Indoor Rink
During the snowy season, Whistler has many outdoor ice rinks that are created by both the city and by locals who play hockey and enjoy an outdoor skate with views.
During rainy days, locals and tourists alike head to one of the indoor rinks to practice skating, play hockey, and socialize while staying active.
There are a couple of different venues offering indoor ice skating in Whistler including the Whistler Olympic Plaza and the Meadow Park Sports Centre. Grab your skates or rent a pair and stay dry while practicing one of Canada’s favourite sports.
12. Head to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a recent addition to the museums and educational centres found in Whistler.
Offering insight into the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation, the cultural centre is a great way to spend a rainy day in Whistler.
The Squamish Cultural Centre has exhibits, plenty of information, and interactive exhibits for the whole family. This cultural centre is suitable for the entire family and often hosts live performances and events throughout the season.
13. Try Carving a Bear
Fathom Stone Art is a local art studio and gallery located in the village in Whistler. The gallery focuses on selling beautiful sculptures and pieces of art, they also offer visitors the chance to sculpt and create their very own soapstone bears.
With classes for everyone (ages 5+) you and your children can take home a piece of Canadian art as a souvenir.
Since bears reside in the forests around Whistler, creating your own piece of artwork can be one of the greatest souvenirs you take home from the city.
A perfect activity for a rainy day, you have the chance to rest your legs and work on your creative side. A couple of the carvers are even in the Forged Axe Throwing League!
14. Dine on Some Delicious Food
Whistler has exceptional restaurants located throughout the city. From fine dining to snack bars, restaurants and pubs; Whistler offers food lovers everything from fast food to hour long fine dining experiences.
During a rainy day, take some time to discover the restaurants found around the city. Whether you are looking for something for the whole family or a romantic fine dining experience for two, Whistler has a huge variety of differently priced restaurants, ensuring an unforgettable experience.
There’s no better excuse than blaming the weather to spend a few hours eating great food!
15. Relax at one of the Scandinave
One of the best ways to spend a rainy day in Whistler is to relax at one of the many local spas.
Offering treatments, massages, or relaxing poolside experiences, Whistler has plenty of spas. Many spas in hotels offer guests facials, massages, nail treatments, body scrubs, and much more.
Many spas in Whistler also have on-site restaurants where you can spend your afternoon eating if the rain doesn’t stop. At Forged we’re huge fans of the Scandinave Spa.
16. Browse the Whistler Museum
Opened in 1986, the Whistler Museum is one of the oldest museums in the city. Many people often wonder how the city of Whistler came to be one of the busiest and best ski and snowboard resorts in North America and the Whistler Museum answers this question exactly.
The Whistler Museum tells the history of the region, who the first settlers in the area were, and how the industry began in the area.
The museum has everything from interactive exhibits to artifacts and documents. The museum is open 7 days a week, 11am-5pm, and late on Thursdays.
17. Try Your Hand at Indoor Rock Climbing
Located in the heart of the village, the Whistler Core Climbing and Fitness Centre has a 5500 square foot climbing wall.
If you are looking to try something new, stay fit, or simply practice rock climbing, the rock walls inside the gym range in difficulty and size. The variety of rock walls inside the centre ensures that brand new climbers can learn how to climb, while even the most experienced climbers can still feel challenged and have fun.
Perfect for a rainy day, the gym also offers other amenities including workout machines, tutorials and classes, and workshops. Better yet, the climbing walls are a great place to practice before heading out into Whistler to try your hand at the fantastic outdoor climbing offered in the region – obviously on the sunnier days.
Tons of daily kids activities as well, from learning the basics to their awesome Climb and Dine offering. Even if you just want a few hours away from the children, they provide hours of entertainment for the littles (Ages 5+) and promise to return them safe and sound, and tired.
18. Drink All the Craft Beers
If you have a hankering for local brews spend the day brewery hopping. With three breweries to try (plus many more region selections) you have a full day ahead of you.
As you stumble back into the Village, make your way into the newly revamped High Mountain Brewery for a big meal and a bigger selection of brews.
Looking for a tour? Canadian Craft Tours offers a Whistler Only tour. For $89 you get a flight at each brewery, transportation between each stop, and a behind the scenes tours about each location.
You hit every-single brewery in this fine little mountain town without having to break a sweat.
19. Hit the Local Shops
Throughout the village and across the city, there are many unique local shops offering handicrafts and souvenirs to visitors. Plus, if you need to stock up on the best rain jacket’s on the planet, hit up Patagonia or Arc’teryx for the goods.
Since the village has many locally owned shops and businesses closely located to each other, a rainy day is well spent running between shops and exploring the village to check out what’s available and understand the culture and industry. There are many stores selling locally made souvenirs, handicrafts, clothing, food, and of course sports and winter equipment.
20. Step Back in Time at the Britannia Mine Museum
Many visitors to Whistler don’t know much about the history of the area before it became a booming winter sports place. However, one trip to the Britannia Mine Museum ensures that you know more about the history than most.
This is located just outside of Whistler on the way back to Vancouver so it’s a great thing to do on the drive home!
Constructed around the original working mine, the Britannia Mine Museum has may interesting displays and interactive exhibits.
Spend a rainy day walking around the museum, learning about the history of the area, and deciding if a career in the mining industry could ever be in the future for you!
21. Grab Your Reading Glasses & Visit the Whistler Public Library
Yeah, yeah, we hear you saying, “Whats so great about a public library?” Put your doubts aside and check out the huge selection of entertainment – books included.
Everyday Whistler Public Library hosts a huge array of activities and events, for old and young alike.
For kiddies, check out the Preschool Story Time or the Rhyme & Song For those without kids, they have meditation classes, photography classes, and even classes covering the basics of personal finance.
The best part about the activities? They are free!
22. Go Bungee Jumping!
Its raining, its pouring, and its time to go bungee jumping at Whistler Bungee. They are open, no matter the weather, and it really doesn’t matter how wet you’ll get. The views are the same when they point downwards!
Speaking from our personal experience throwing our own staff members off the bridge, we can attest to the good times and professional staff at Whistler Bungee. Bring a change of clothes, and take a leap of faith into their canyon.
23. Just Get Outside and Get Wet
Living in the coastal mountains of beautiful British Columbia teaches you one thing – you’ll never go outside if you don’t learn to live with the rain. Especially because the dramatic differences between the weather at the bottom and at the top of the mountain, you might be surprised if you decide to brave the rain and head up.
The many outdoor gear stores in Whistler also cater to the rainy weather. Get a new Goretex from the Escape Route and never fear the rain again. With the proper outdoor gear, the rain really isn’t all that bad, and it means you can still get the most out of your vacation.