A Whistler Winter Guide for the Non-Skier
If skiing or snowboarding isn’t for you, do not worry, there are plenty of adventurous family fun activities to do all around Whistler! Whether you’re looking to escape the city life, explore one of BC’s most unique places or get out of your comfort zone, Whistler has it all.
Read on to help plan your winter wonderland getaway.
Thrill & Chills
From dog-sledding, mountain top fondue dinner, zip-lining between mountains, bungee bridge drops to Olympic bob-sledding, we’ve got it all for even the most adventurous thrill-seekers.
Canadian O1 Wilderness Adventures
Canadian O1 has a variety of winter activities for all ages. They offer snowshoeing, dog sledding, mountain top fondue dinners, and private après snowcat trips during the snow season. Venture up Whistler Blackcomb without the hassle of planning a ski day.
Instead, book you and the family in for a fondue dinner; choose between snowmobiles or a snowcat to get you to the top of Blackcomb Mountains Crystal Hut. Enjoy a delicious traditional fondue with a complimentary glass of wine as you look out onto the stunning Coast Mountain Range and twinkling Whistler village below.
Bundle up and fly from tree to tree. Ziptrek will have you screaming and gripping on their exciting zip-lining adventures. Join them on their most popular trip, the Eagle Tour, with five zip lines, four treetop bridges, including a heart-pumping 2400ft zip line with 30 storey descent. This trip is excellent for all, even children as young as six.
If you’re looking for a shorter adventure to slot in between the daytime activities and dinner plans, the Winter Après tour is perfect for you. With four zip lines, four treetop bridges, this exhilarating two-hour tour is guaranteed to make your stomach drop just in time for dinner.
Are you brave enough to take the plunge? This adrenaline-filled activity will send you flying 50 metres above the glacier-fed Cheakamus River, almost close enough to touch. Take in the unique surrounding scenery of old-growth forests, basalt column cliffs, and the breathtaking Black Tusk in the background. Fun for the whole family, or just the bravest members!
Visit the Whistler Sliding Centre to experience firsthand what it’s like to bobsleigh like an Olympian. No experience is required; with a trained pilot, you’ll fly down the track at more than 125km/hr and feel the acceleration of up to four g-forces. The Sliding Centre is the only location in Canada where the public can experience bobsleighing at an Olympic level. You’ll start your adventure with an orientation about what to expect and track etiquette; then, they will cover the proper positioning in the sleigh.
Once you are set up in your safety gear, listen out for your team name called over the speaker, and it will be your time to fly. The track crew will push the sleigh to get you started, and then you will soar down the track around every corner until you reach the end, where the runout zone will slow you to a stop. Before leaving, visit the guest service and pick up your commemorative photo or the purchased video package.
Reflect & Respect
Spend an afternoon indoors and learn about Whistler’s history and the unceded territory of the Squamish-Lil’wat Nation.
Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC)
Take the time to visit the SLCC to learn about the rich and unique culture of the Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh-Lil̓wat7úlNation. With guided tours on the hour, learn from their knowledgeable cultural ambassadors first hand. Then, walk through their permanent collection that showcases and honours their ancestor’s legacy. The exhibition showcases the core culture of; ceremony, language, regalia, and stories told through different mediums. Each piece is filled with family history passed down from generations. Learn the history behind this magical place we call home!
“The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a place where our performers, artists and storytellers can share our rich traditions with the world.” –K̲ák̲x̲elten Siy̓ám̓ Chief Gibby Jacob, Squamish Nation.
Audain Art Museum
Spend the afternoon touring around the Audain Art Museum and experience a diverse collection from local artists. Their permanent collection dates as far back as the 18th century to the present day. Witness some of the world’s most magnificent masks hand craved by the Northwest Coast First Nations tribes. Enjoy an abundance of Emily Carr’s work from her time spent in France and the small First Nations community, Alert Bay. To tie the collection together, James Hart’s The Dance Screen (The Scream) is a must-see; this massive craving shows the importance of the salmon and ecosystems to the Haida society, along with many other traditional Haida beings. Roughly every four months, the museum alternates the “current” collection to showcase different artists. Check out their website to find out more about their current exhibition on display.
Relax & Enjoy
The time has come for you to take a moment for yourself. Slow down and take in the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re looking to unwind after a big day of activities, the Scandinave is the place to be. Its unique hot and cool baths will transform you into a new person. Surrounded by forests and mountains, this serene location is the ultimate place to relax. Choose between three different warm pools with varying temperatures, multiple saunas, and steam rooms. The hot and cool dips are proven to be very beneficial to relax your mind, as well as your circulatory system.
Once you’re nice and roasty-toasty, go for a plunge in one of the cold baths to shock your system. Then, repeat! The baths are open from 10 AM - 6:30 PM; once you arrive, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like!
The Vallea Lumina multimedia night walk is the hidden gem of Whistler. Wanderthrough the forest at The Adventure Group’s basecamp, as the lights and shadows tell a magical story. Follow the secret path of long-ago hikers and witness tales of wonder and enchantment, but we don’t want to give it all away; you will have to see it for yourself!
As most Whistler locals gear up for the winter season, it begs the question, what do the non-skiers long for during the cold months? Whistler is the ultimate place for family fun and adventure, so there is fun to be had for all! Maybe the better question is, what isn’t there to look forward to?