This season, Whistler Blackcomb is focused on developing its family programing. The new Family Certified icon will be displayed on ski runs, in stores, on Whistler Blackcomb’s website, and in Whistler Blackcomb food and beverage locations to indicate kid-friendly areas, products and services. New signage and additional flags have also been added to on-mountain ski/snowboard areas to better mark children and beginner-friendly terrain.
Here are some newly improved family-friendly runs and activities to check out while exploring Whistler Blackcomb:
- Whistler Kids Training Centre on Whistler Mountain, featuring a larger skills zone, an improved race training zone and additional flags and signage for ease of finding.
- Bear Cub run on Whistler Mountain is easier than ever to spot with a brand new entrance sign, interpretive signage about bears and a rest station.
- Magic Castle on Blackcomb and the Tree Fort on Whistler are refurbished this season making it more fun than ever to take a break from skiing or riding and explore the on-mountain playgrounds.
- The Enchanted Forest run on Whistler Mountain is wider this season and has a brand new entrance sign.
More information about “Family Certified” and other family activities can be found on Whistler Blackcomb’s website.
March is Family Month at Whistler Blackcomb
Every March Whistler takes time to celebrate families, giving a shout out to the youngest rippers in the clan. For travelers at this time of year, Whistler Blackcomb offers deals and packages catered especially to families to make travelling to Whistler with little ones a breeze. These packages are available primarily leading up to peak season through the fall and into January however, the mountain often releases last minute packages throughout the season for those who don’t require advanced planning.
Family Fun at Whistler Blackcomb: Quick Reference Guide
Family Zone and Learning Centre on Whistler Mountain
Whistler Blackcomb's Family Zone on Whistler Mountain is the perfect place for families and beginners. This area is great for newbies and is designed so traffic flow is slower to provide a comfortable learning environment. The Family Zone is located on Whistler Mountain just outside the Roundhouse Lodge, accessible via the Emerald Express chairlift. A second option for beginners is the Learning Centre where families can get comfortable on their boards or skis, located at the top of Olympic Chair on Whistler Mountain.
Whistler Blackcomb offers ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and skill levels. The Snow School at Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest in the world, consisting of over 1,100 professional ski and snowboard instructors and more than 50 Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) Level 4 instructors, that's more than any other snow school in Canada! Speaking over 26 languages and originating from all over the world, Whistler Blackcomb believes its ski and snowboard instructors are the best in the business and there is no better place to learn than from the best.
Kids Ski Adventure Camps
The Kids Ski Adventure Camps are a fun and intensive lesson program for kids, jam packed with events and activities. Children will quickly become comfortable in this group environment as they have the same instructor and classmates all week long. This is an enhanced learning progression program that provides measurable results.
Coca-Cola ®/™ Tube Park
Located at Base 2 on Blackcomb Mountain, the Coca-Cola ®/™ Tube Park offers great fun for the whole family. The Tube Park has eight lanes varying in difficulty from green to blue to black. Lanes are 1000 feet long and come equipped with a state-of-the-art conveyor lift that makes traveling to the top a breeze.
Whistler Blackcomb offers fully licensed childcare programs for children aged 18 to 48 months
All Whistler Kids Childcare staff are trained in First Aid and are passionate about providing the best possible care. Parents can relax and feel secure in knowing their children are being well taken care of while they are out enjoying some time on the mountain. Childcare staff have extensive experience and have logged countless hours with children of varying ages and abilities - Whistler Blackcomb Childcare changes approximately 6500 diapers per winter season!
Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler
The Magic Castle and Tree Fort are fun adventure play lands for kids to explore. The Magic Castle is located on Blackcomb Mountain in the Children's Adventure Park, which is accessible via Easy Out, just above the base of the Catskinner Chair. On Whistler Mountain, kids can hang out and play in the Tree Fort, located just off of Bear Cub trail near the Big Red Express chairlift. These outdoor play areas provide a little magic for families to find and explore while taking a break from skiing or snowboarding.
Big Easy Terrain Garden
Designed for skiers and riders learning how to use park features, the Big Easy Terrain Garden is the first stop in park progression. The park is 3,116 feet long, with a 574-foot vertical drop, it features smaller versions of rails, rollers and mini-hits and is groomed nightly. Located on Blackcomb Mountain, the Terrain Garden is accessible via the Solar Coaster Express.
Family-friendly Chic Pea Hut on Whiskey Jack
Located in the Family Zone on Whistler Mountain at the bottom of Upper Whisky Jack, the Chic Pea cabin has a huge sun deck and serves world-renowned cinnamon buns. Known as the family "refuel station" on the mountain, this is the perfect meeting spot for a midafternoon family snack, slice of pizza, or hot chocolate.
Fire and Ice Show
Families looking for an evening of fireworks and fire spinners will not be disappointed with Whistler Blackcomb's Fire and Ice Show. Arguably the No. 1 free family activity in Whistler, watch as Whistler Blackcomb Snow School's finest hit a big air jump through a blazing ring of fire. The show takes place in Skier's Plaza at the base of Whistler Mountain every Sunday evening in the months of December to April.
Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone, presented by Nintendo
Tons of fun for kids of all ages, the Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone is located in Whistler's Upper Village and features mini golf, a climbing wall, a maze and much more. The fun kicks off mid-June and ends in early-September.
Farmers' Market Wednesday & Sundays
Whistler's picturesque and bustling Farmers' Market takes place every Sunday during the summer in the Upper Village. The market features a wide variety of fresh, organic and locally grown produce plus an array of arts, crafts and jewelry created by artisans in Whistler's own backyard.
Downhill Mountain Biking
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is ranked as the No. 1 lift accessed downhill park in the world, offering lift-serviced descending trails for thrill seekers of all levels. Trails range from gentle banked cruisers through the Coastal forest to tight and twisty single track - perfect for intermediate riders. Programs, such as Bike Park 101 and the children-focused DFX Camps will ensure that the Bike Park is fun for the whole family.
PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience
Parents and kids alike will be thrilled riding Whistler Blackcomb's world record-setting PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola as it bridges the gap between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Children will feel as though they are soaring above the clouds as the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola travels a span of 4.4 kilometres/2.73 miles in just 11 minutes. Families will experience a serene aerial flight showcasing Whistler Blackcomb's flora and fauna and the beautiful alpine vistas of the Coast Mountain Range.
The PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience also includes access to the PEAK 2 PEAK Viewing Gallery in the Whistler Terminal and the Samsung Alpine Theatre in the Roundhouse Lodge.
Families looking to explore the Whistler Blackcomb alpine on foot can choose to embark on any of the 16 mountain top trails, varying in difficulty from green to blue to black. Spanning over 50 kilometres on both mountains, the alpine hiking trails offer breathtaking views and allow families to get up close and personal with Whistler Blackcomb's flora and fauna. There are plenty of short hikes for little explorers as well as mid to longer length trails for those in the family looking for more of a challenge and adventure. Visitors in all seasons enjoy a one of a kind mountain-to-mountain experience while gaining a greater appreciation of the importance in preserving Whistler's natural environment.
*Please note: Hiking trails will open as snowpack allows.
Bear Viewing and Ecology Tours
Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains support a population of up to 50 black bears and cubs that have adapted to feeding, mating, and hibernating amongst ski area habitats. Whistler Blackcomb offers daily Bear Viewing and Ecology Tours during the summer months so families can learn more about the wildlife, vegetation, glaciers and rainforests of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. During the tour, guests visit bear dens and wander through pristine alpine meadows and old growth Western Hemlock forests while learning how Whistler Blackcomb's conservation and enhancement initiatives help to sustain healthy populations of native species. Guests will also learn how Whistler Blackcomb is continually redesigning its recreational experiences to ensure a sustainable future.
Mountain Top BBQ Series
Every weekend during the summer, the Roundhouse Lodge hosts Mountain Top BBQs. Hikers and sightseers can work up an appetite taking in the alpine splendor via Whistler Blackcomb's vast trail network and lift system including the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola before tucking into a delicious barbeque spread. A memorable experience for the whole family, the Mountain Top BBQs will feature live music, alpenglow on the Coast Mountain Range and of course, a breathtaking sunset at 6,000 feet to cap off the evening.
Beginners learn to ski in comfort
With over 8,100 acres of skiable terrain to explore and endless powder to uncover, each day brings a new adventure and fresh learning experiences for families new to winter sports. Whistler Blackcomb’s ski and snowboarding lessons strives to create the perfect blend of skill development, mountain exploration, social time and fun.
The resort’s Family Zone on Whistler Mountain is the perfect place for families and beginners to sharpen their skills. This area is specific for families new to skiing or snowboarding and is designed so traffic flow is slower to provide a comfortable learning environment.
Whistler Kids also offers a variety of different lessons and camps for children of all ages and skill levels. Lessons are jam packed with fun events and activities where kids become comfortable fast. Kids get to know the other kids, the instructors quickly form bonds with their students and lasting friendships blossom. Fun is just the beginning.
A legion of ski and snowboard instructors
On average, Whistler Blackcomb employs over 1,100 ski and snowboard instructors annually more than 50 of which are Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance (CSIA) Level 4 instructors. That's more than any other snow school in Canada! Speaking over 26 languages and originating from all over the world, every one of Whistler Blackcomb's instructors are passionate about teaching and growing the sport of skiing and snowboarding.
A Family That Skis Together, Stay Together
Anyone who grew up skiing or snowboarding will report many of their happiest memories occurred on snow. From exploring winding trails through the trees and laughing as dad's long skis get caught up, to nursing a cup of hot chocolate and excitedly recounting details of every single run, family time doesn't get any better than connecting on the mountains.
Whistler Blackcomb had family at the forefront when designating a special Family Zone on Whistler Mountain, accessed by the Emerald Express. This slow skiing area features a variety of terrain options to keep all skiers and riders in the group happy and together. For the more adventurous, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains also feature "secret" playgrounds for kids to discover and explore. The Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler are outdoor playgrounds hidden in the trees where the kids can kick off their skis for some playtime before heading back to the trails for more turns or to head to the kids' sized terrain park "Terrain Garden" on Blackcomb Mountain to get some air and slide some mini boxes.
AprÈs, not just for your parents
Après-ski (French: after skiing) refers to going out, having drinks, dancing, and generally socializing after skiing. Whistler Blackcomb wants every member of the family to be able to enjoy this long standing tradition, that’s why in select locations, kids under 19 years of age are welcome to join their parents for an after ski beverage – non-alcoholic of course – before 8pm.
Whistler Blackcomb’s prime family-friendly après spots include Merlin's Bar & Grill at the base of Blackcomb, Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) at Whistler Mountain Village base and Dusty's Bar & BBQ in Whistler's Creekside.
Keeping Teens Happy
Finding a family vacation that isn't going to get the old eye roll from teens can be nearly impossible. Whistler Blackcomb is one ski resort that has it all .including free wifi on the mountain to ensure not even one Facebook status or Tweet gets missed! With teen-specific Ride Tribe ski and snowboard school programs, the potential to run into their snow-sliding idols in every chairlift line, terrain parks galore, a killer skate park and indoor rock climbing not to mention glacier camps, mountain biking and lakeside lounging in the summer - Whistler is truly an outdoor paradise for teens.
Families soar high on the PEAK 2 PEAK
Hiking around Whistler Blackcomb in the summer months is breathtaking but it's also hard work, especially for kids. The world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola takes the effort out of hiking for the little ones and provides a spectacular, 4.4-kilometre journey from one mountain to the other.
Redefining the Whistler summer experience by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, this engineering marvel breaks three world records. It's the longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres, the highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor and the PEAK 2 PEAK completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe.
Summer Adventure Zone
If hiking, biking or exploring doesn't tire the kids out then take them to the Blackcomb Adventure Zone, presented by Nintendo the mountain's ultimate playground for families of all ages. Located right at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, kids can try thrilling activities such as the Westcoast Luge, Little Mountain golf, Hot Wheelz go karts, bungee trampoline, spin cycle, balloon slide, the castle or the spider web. After working up an appetite, stop for lunch at Merlin's or The Wizard Grill and prepare for some exhausted kids at the end of the day.
Flaik Tracking Solution For Extra Safety And To Track The Day On The Slopes
Flaik is a real-time tracking solution for skiers and riders that not only provides extra safety, but allows participants to log their day to see what runs they were on and how much vertical was achieved. Included in all Whistler Kids programs and private lessons, Flaik provides real time GPS tracking of the exact location of guests. Once registered on www.flaik.com, users can view their day on the mountain online and share it with friends and family. A world leader in high alpine tracking, Flaik provides a great way to enhance a guest's experience on the mountains. With the ability to see their runs online after their lesson, Flaik provides a great talking point and provides a new way to enjoy and remember their day.