Western Canada: these are the best activities to do with kids on tour to Whistler!

Whistler is a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver and is a super fun place to visit during your tour of Western Canada. The former Olympic village has enough activities for the family to keep you entertained for a few days. We were there for several days during our tour of Western Canada with our daughter and we really loved the place. We have listed the most fun activities.

tour Vancouver with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#1 Take the Peak2Peak gondola into the mountains on a tour of Western Canada

Whistler is located among the mountains, and from Whistler you can use several chairlifts to take a closer look at these mountains. For example, the most famous gondola in Western Canada is the Peak2peak gondola. This gondola is one of the longest cable cars in the world, and from the gondola you have a great view.

The gondola connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and is a whopping 4.4 kilometers long. The time you are in the gondola is about 11 minutes and some gondolas have a glass floor, so you can see right away how high up you are in the gondola. The view from the gondola is stunning and look around carefully because there is a chance you will see bears walking on the mountains (we spotted one from the gondola).

You can do several hikes on the mountains, but the one I (Joep) liked best was to the ice roads on Whistler Mountain. The road here is cleared of snow every day and this causes the ice to accumulate on the side of the road, creating a wall of ice several feet high on both sides of the road.

The views on this hike are also stunning. The climb does get fairly steep, but you can always decide with kids when you find it too hard and want to turn around.

The price of the gondolas is on the high side, but then you get to use all the gondolas on the two mountains. Kids up to 6 years old can ride the gondola for free. For more information check the gondola’s website.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#2 Go play and chill at the Whistler Olympic plaza

Downtown Whistler is really a very nice place to spend a few hours having fun with your kids. In the center is the Olympic Square with a large playground in the center. Surrounding this playground are several tents, where you can have a delicious cup of coffee on one of the many benches or eat an ice cream.

Especially if your kids wake up early and you want to start the day quietly, this is the ideal place.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#3 Visit the many waterfalls around Whistler

There are several waterfalls around Whistler that are worth visiting. With all waterfalls, how spectacular they are depends on the season. We visited several of them and we list these different waterfalls here:

  • Shannon Falls. This waterfall is halfway along the route from Vancouver to Whistler, making it an ideal break for your kids along the way to stretch their legs. From the parking lot, it is a short walk to the base of the waterfall. There are possible hikes to hike up to the waterfall, but especially with small kids it can be a pretty tough climb.
  • Brandywine Falls. This waterfall is also on the route from Vancouver to Whistler and is a 15-minute drive from downtown Whistler. From the highway, Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls are not to be missed. The hike to this waterfall is 1 kilometer and can be walked in half an hour. So ideal for parents with small kids.
  • Alexander Falls. You can drive by car almost to the waterfall. From the parking lot it is a 50-meter walk to the big waterfall. When we were there, no one else was there at all.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#4 Rent bikes and take a scenic ride in the area

Whistler is known for its sporting activities, so renting bikes is no problem at all. We did have to visit a number of stores to find a bike with a cart for our daughter, but these too can be found.

At the rental company, you get a map with different routes on it. We took a lap around the golf course (bears would often be seen there, too) and then biked to Meadow Park.

Meadow Park has a large playground plus water park and is located very nicely on the water. This is also a great place to picnic along the way. The area you cycle through is very beautiful and definitely recommended.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#5 Bear spotting from the car

Whistler is the place to spot bears, and bears are seen everywhere. Of course there are certain places where the chances are higher, but basically they are in many places. For example, we saw a bear while on the Peak2peak gondola.

Another place where you are likely to spot bears is the Callaghan road. This is also the road to Alexander Falls, so kill two birds with one stone. This cul-de-sac towards the former Olympic village is regularly visited by bears. Especially at dusk (in the morning or evening) the bears become more active and you are more likely to encounter them.

We ourselves saw two bears as we drove quietly along this road toward evening. Just be careful that the police don’t catch you standing by the side of the road. Indeed, we were stopped by the police who clamped down on us with sirens blaring. Fortunately there was another car in front of us and we were able to point out that we had stopped only for the car in front of us and not for the bear. This motorist did receive a $360 fine, so you have been warned.

To increase your chances of seeing bears, you can also go on a tour from Whistler. We found this tour a little too pricey, but this organization drives a jeep through the abandoned Olympic village (the road here is closed to visitors) and then there is a very good chance of seeing several bears. These tours also leave in the early morning and late afternoon, as this is when you are more likely to see bears.

If you want to read more information about this tour or book the tour, you can do so on this website. By the way, there are lots of places on Vancouver Island where you can spot bears. For example, the bloggers at Travel Legend wrote an extensive report on grizzly bear spotting in Knight Inlet.

Whistler Canada with kids
tour Vancouver with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

#6 Chilling in a room with a Jacuzzi

How much we enjoyed our Jacuzzi on our balcony of our room. At the Glaciers Reach by All Season Vacation Rentals hotel they rent out these rooms with jacuzzi. Every morning and evening the three of us sat in the Jacuzzi and enjoyed a nice drink in our hot tub. The rooms are not cheap, but the feeling of luxury is very cool. In addition, there is a small swimming pool at this accommodation, where you can enjoy a few hours in the summer months.

#7 Take a mountain bike or sled down the mountain

At Blackcomb Mountain base camp, there are many activities for families with kids. For example, there is Nintendo’s family adventure zone. Here you can do the following activities:

  • Mario and Friends Mini Golf
  • Balloon Slide & Bouncy Castle
  • Water Rollerz
  • Glitter Tattoos
  • Nintendo Gaming Zone
  • Spyder Web
  • Hot Wheelz Electric Go Carts
  • Kiss the Sky Bungee Trampolines
  • Rope Zone
  • Spin Cycle Human Gyroscope
  • Mighty Jump Airbag
  • Westcoaster Slide

You can buy a pass with credit for your kids and the more credit on the pass, the more activities they can do.

One of the activities our daughter has been doing is sledding down the mountain with my wife.

It is also possible to rent a mountain bike and ride on different courses at the mountain bike park. This is for kids as young as 3 who can ride a bike. There are so many different trails around the mountain and off the mountain that there is a trail for every level of mountain biking.

Some courses are really quite spectacular and go steeply down the mountain. For more information about renting a mountain bike and about the different courses click
here
.

#8 Bonus tip: Squamish

On the road between Vancouver and Whistler is the town of Squamish, and Squamish is famous for the Seat to Sky gondola. The gondola goes all the way up the mountain and at the top of the mountain you can enjoy hiking with your kids. There are also tourists who do not take the gondola up, but climb the mountain themselves.

On top of the mountain are several hikes to various beautiful viewpoints. There is also a walkway, where it is a lot less crowded than the bridges in Vancouver, so if you want to take pictures on a walkway where you are alone with your family, this is a very good option.

In addition, on top of the mountain there is a playground and a restaurant and a fine terrace where you can sit. Also at the bottom of the gondola is a fun playground for kids.

For more information on opening hours and prices, click here.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

little time? Day trip from vancouver

If you are short on time right now, you can also consider booking a day trip to this place from Vancouver. You can book this in advance
book online
. There is also a combination that you can visit Squamish and Whistler in one day from Vancouver. You can
book online here
.

what to do in bad weather?


  • Meadow Park Sports center
    . Large indoor pool with sauna, hot tub and lazy river in downtown Whistler.
  • Village 8 Cinemas: Large movie theater in Whistler.

Visiting several lakes around whistler

In addition, there are two lakes that we had on our list but did not visit.

  • Lakeside Park: Large lake with sandy beach and here you can picnic, rent a kayak and there is a playground.
  • Lost Lake Park: This lake is accessible only on weekends.

Whistler Canada with kids
Whistler Canada with kids

Whistler with kids

Whistler with kids

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