When it’s cold outside sometimes the last thing you want to do is think about your summer to-do list. But the UK’s winter season is the perfect time to curl up on the couch and think about next summer’s family vacation. A great place to visit in Canada with your little ones is the alpine town of Whistler in British Columbia, which is just 1-and-a-half-hours north of Vancouver with rail, road and floatplane links. Famous for its Olympic Park, it has become popular as a winter destination but is equally as fun-packed during the summer months. Here’s just a taster of what you and your family can get up to.
1. Walk among the evergreens
Explore the forests of Whistler on a maze of bridges, boardwalks and platforms. There’s two to choose from: Ziptrek TreeTrek Tour and Superfly Treetop Adventure Course. The first is a gentle course so families can stroll through the natural forest, while the second offers adventurous types the opportunity to test themselves on a maze of tightropes, plank bridges, swinging logs, ziplines, cargo nets and tree ladders.
2. Learn to mountain bike
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park DFX Daily Kids program’s offer lessons for children between the ages of 5 and 12. They are suitable for children with no previous experience and have a maximum group total of 4, so your child will receive plenty of one-on-one training.
3. Camp out under the stars
There’s no better way to explore the fresh Canadian air, than a few nights camping in Whistler. Choose between Whistler RV Park and Riverside RV Resort & Campground – the latter also offers yurts that overlook Whistler Valley!
4. Spend the day at the beach
Whistler and the surrounding area is home to a collection of glistening lakes and in the summer months the banks of these lakes become sandy beaches. Families can relax in the sun with a picnic or can rent one of the on-site BBQs. Adventurous types can also rent canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards – some of the beaches also have tennis courts and volleyball nets.
5. Take a jet boat tour
Travel along Whistler’s Green River on board a jet boat and gaze at mountain peaks and lush green forests. Expert pilots will guide you through the canyons making sure you have the perfect family day out.
6. Have fun at the Family Adventure Zone
At the base of Blackcomb Mountain lies a day out in itself. The Family Adventure Zone will keep energetic children occupied with go-karts, mini-golf, a 315m slide, bungee trampoline and Spin Cycle Human Gyroscope – the same technology NASA use to create the feeling of zero gravity.
7. Stop by the Whistler Children’s Festival
If you’ll be in Whistler during July then this event – which takes place in Whistler Olympic Plaza – is a must-do. Children will love the hands-on art workshops, crafts, theatre, multi-media, dance, music and magical performances.
8. Indulge their sweet tooth
If your little one has a sweet tooth (or you do!) then there’s two shops to check out in Whistler: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop. The first is famous for its candied apples and everything is made fresh daily. While the second is a 1,000 square feet shop found in Whistler’s Marketplace with the biggest pick ‘n’ mix you’ll ever see.
9. Take the family out for dinner
Whistler boasts a scrumptious amount of options for eating out, with many family-friendly places lining the streets. Some top choices include the Old Spaghetti Factory, Misty Mountain Pizza, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Crêpe Montagne and Cow’s Whistler (where you can also buy cow related clothes!).
10. Experience a bird’s eye view
Book yourself a PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Experience Ticket and awe at stunning views of Whistler Village from open-air chairlifts and gondolas, including the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. During the summer, tickets also include entry to a mountain top BBQ buffet and access to over 50kms of hiking, running and walking trails.