Whistler’s lofty reputation as a winter ski resort might lead you to believe this mountain jewel is off limits during the summer months. In reality, the summer months are proving just as popular as their winter counterparts, proving particularly popular with families who seek adventure and love the outdoors.
Whistler is the ideal place to enjoy a family vacation with an abundance of kid-friendly activities, plenty of open space, and the opportunity to run free and explore new places.
Once you’ve made the decision to head for the Canadian mountains, it’s time to plan activities for your children. We’ve pulled together some of the top kid-friendly fun to be had in Whistler this summer, to help you get started.
1. GET LOST AT LOST LAKE
A trip to Lost Lake is an absolute must, especially on a warm sunny day. The Lost Lake trail is just a short walk or bike ride from Whistler Village and the well-signed Valley Trail will guide you through lush green forests interspersed with tadpole-filled lakes and streams. The lake reaches refreshing yet comfortable temperatures, so a splash in the shallows is inevitable if you have water-loving kids. For more experienced swimmers, there are docks and floating platforms that sit on the lake too. If you’d prefer keeping your feet on dry land, head to the large grassed area complete with onsite BBQs, picnic tables and a beach for playing frisbee or other outdoor games.
2. RIDE THE PEAK TO PEAK GONDOLA
No visit to the mountains of Whistler would be complete without a trip on the Peak to Peak Gondola. There’s something truly awesome about riding the highest gondola lift of its kind, at 1,427 feet above the valley floor. Parents and kids alike will enjoy the staggering views of the mountain landscape. Accessible via the Whistler Village Gondola and the new Blackcomb Gondola, the Peak to Peak reopens for summer from May 25th until early October. Children aged six and under go free!
3. SCALE NEW HEIGHTS INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING
While Whistler has plenty of things to do outdoors, rock climbing at The Core Whistler is ideal for avoiding the midday heat or for taking shelter during rainy days. The Core offers an array of action-packed classes and camps for children four years and up – and no climbing experience necessary. Watch on as friendly, experienced guides teach your little ones climbing techniques and safety skills, or unleash your inner child and join in!. Summer Camps start at the beginning of June through to Labour Day and the classes are extremely popular with families.
4. HEAD OUT ON A MAGICAL NIGHT WALK
Who doesn’t love a little magic? The Whistler Night Walk, or The Vallea Lumina as it’s also known, comprises 1.5 km of mysterious trails that lead you through an enchanting coastal rainforest. The luminescent journey is everything you’d expect from a real-life fairy tale. Opening in spring, The Night Walk runs throughout the summer months and there are special rates for youth while children under five go free. Overall, it takes between 50 and 80 minutes to complete but allow around two hours to make time for transportation to its hidden location.
Free Activities in Whistler for Kids
5. CLIMB TREES NEAR THE OLYMPIC RINGS
Whistler Treehouse Playground is located at Whistler Olympic Plaza, the home of the famous Olympic Rings. This playground is suitable for all kids – including toddlers and has so you can sip on a cappuccino while the kids run riot!
6. GO HIKING
With the snow melted away, the area’s labyrinth of hiking and biking trails are ready to explore. Head out on the five-kilometer Whistler Train Wreck Hike to discover the colorful train cars hidden away in ancient forests. Alternatively, head out on a guided Whistler hike and benefit from local expertise as you exercise and explore.
7. ATTEND WHISTLER PUBLIC LIBRARY EVENTS
The library in Whistler is another great option on hot or rainy days, and this centrally located facility has loads of free activities for kids of all ages – from mini-workshops to story time and more.
Whistler Activities Ideal for Older Kids
8. THROW LIKE A LUMBERJACK
While the idea of hurling axes may sound crazy at first, this quintessentially Canadian pastime and top rainy day activity has a solid safety record. The team at Forged Axe Throwing have everything you need to learn the basics of this exciting timber sport. They will even help strike up a little family competition. Compete against the kids (children must be over 10 years old to participate, accompanied by a legal guardian) and put your aim to the test, with the goal of sinking an oh-so-satisfying bullseye.
9. SOAR LIKE A SUPERHERO
Soaring like a superhero high in the sky is surely on the wishlist of many kids and adults alike, and a zip line adventure in Whistler is a great way to make that dream (almost) come true. Zipline tours are available for children aged 7 years and over or a minimum weight of 27 kgs (60Ibs). You’ll be safely harnessed as you take off on this invigorating high-wire flight, taking in the stunning views below.
10. RIDE THE RAPIDS
If you’re a family that likes to live life in the fast lane, a ride along the exhilarating white water rapids of the Green, Lower Cheakamus, Elaho and Squamish Rivers is for you. You’ll be under the expert guidance of Wedge Rafting, who’ll help you navigate the high-speed rapids.
You are sure to have a wonderful Whistler vacation by incorporating some of these activities into your plans. For more on Whistler be sure to check out our Whistler Travel Guide!