The 10 Best Things to Do During Winter in Whistler 2017/18
Written by April Thompson • Nov 14, 2017
Other than skiing.
Ugh, I’m so over skiing. Said no one ever. But just in case you somehow find yourself not skiing or doing other on-the-snow activities (snowmobiling, dog-sledding skiing, you know what I mean), then I’ve got a bunch of my favorite (mostly) off-the-snow things for you to do at Whistler!
Relax amongst nature at Scandinave Spa
First things first. Go relax those muscles that you’ve pulled whilst skiing. Head over to Scandinave Spa for a traditional Scandinavian bath experience, only 5 minutes drive from Whistler Village.
Relax in their outdoor baths which situated amongst the cedar forest and surrounding mountains. Or grab a Swedish massage to ease those sore muscles. If that’s not enough for you, they’ve got everything from a Eucalyptus Steam Bath to a Multi-Purpose Yoga Studio for extra relaxation. There’s also a Nordic Waterfall and cold plunge pools for those who are brave enough! Just so you know, this bath experience is only for those age 19 and over. There’s no need to book for the baths but I recommend making a reservation for a massage. You don’t want to miss out!
When: Daily from 10:00am - 9:00pm
Cost: Scandinavian Bath entry (as of December 1,2017) - $55 USD/$70 CAD
Massages: 60 minutes from - $130 USD/$165 CAD
Bungee Jump Over a River
This isn’t for everyone, but if you love heights, you’ll love the Whistler Bungee Jump. It’s the highest bungee jump in British Columbia! The 160 ft drop spanning 300 ft over the Cheakamus River will definitely get your heart racing. If you need some reassurance, the guides there have over 20 years experience. The Whistler Bungee Jump is one of the most scenic bungee jumps in the world, as it’s nestled between an old growth forest. Take a moment to admire it when you arrive (and before the adrenalin kicks in). The Whistler Bungee Jump is just 15 minutes drive south of Whistler Village.
When: 12:00pm - 3:00pm (winter hours)
Cost: From $97 USD/$124 CAD
Go Ice Fishing
Alright, this is as Canadian as you get. If you’re here in Whistler, you have to go ice fishing. For this authentic Canadian experience, I would say go ice fishing with Pemberton Fish Finder. They operate in both Whistler and nearby Pemberton.
Whistler has some great fish but you should venture out to Pemberton for the big ones with a trout easily weighing 10 lbs plus! In winter, you can catch anything from Rainbow Trout to a Kokanee. These guides have won Favorite Outdoor Guides from 2014 to 2017, so you know that they will give it their all for you to find some fish! Experience the real Canadian deal and take your friends or family ice fishing. They even accommodate for bachelor and bachelorette parties!
Cost: Full day tours from - $188 USD/$239 CAD
Bobsleigh and Skeleton down the world’s fastest sliding track
Guys, this is actually one of the coolest things to do in Whistler. If you’re here during winter then you’re in for an Olympic treat! The Whistler Sliding Center, which hosted the bobsleigh and skeleton comps for the 2010 Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games, offers the bobsleigh and skeleton sport experience to the public from mid-December - early April. I highly recommend adrenalin junkies give this one a go! Grab your friends, jump into a four-person bobsled, and ride down the world’s fastest track with speeds of 80 miles/hour or more and coast through 10 twists and turns. If you can’t manage to convince your friends to go in a bobsled with you, then hop onto your own sled and slide head-first to experience the rush of skeleton on the fastest sliding track in the world! You’ll be going at speeds up to 60 miles/hour! Told you this was cool. Don’t worry, the staff here will give you a very in-depth safety brief.
When: Open to public mid December - early April
Cost: Bobsleigh: From $126 USD/$161.10 CAD
Skeleton: From $126 USD/$161.10 CAD
Cross Country Ski
If you’re not a mountain-shredder but still like to enjoy the outdoors, I’d suggest going cross country skiing in Lost Lake Park, it's one of my favorite things to do here at Whistler! This stunning park has 20 miles of groomed trails around with 2.5 miles of trails under lights for some night cross-country skiing.
Don’t worry, there are water stations and warming huts on the trail system to keep you warm and hydrated. You’ll need a trail pass to access all the different ski trails. Rentals and lessons are also available which include the trail pass. Lost Lake Park is within walking distance from Whistler Village or get dropped off with the free Village shuttle bus.
Cost: Trail pass: Adults full-day - $17 USD/$21 CAD for adults
Discounts for youth, kids, and families
Rentals: see Cross Country Connection
Watch films at the Whistler Film Festival
If you’d rather stay warm after skiing, movie buffs can enjoy the Whistler Film Festival from late November to early December. This film festival is one of the best in the world and celebrates both Canadian and International films, showing a selection of their 2017 films in a range of theatres throughout Whistler. You can get a 6 pack of tickets to share amongst your friends or if you want to binge watch, keep them for yourself.
When: November 29 - December 3, 2017
Cost: Single film ticket - $13 USD/$16.50CAD
Packages are also available
Ski for free (as Santa)
Yes, I know this is on-mountain, but it’s still in one of my top ten because who doesn’t love a dress up? To receive a free ski ticket on Santa Day, you have to be one of the first 100 Santas and Mrs Claus’s to finish the Santa race.
Even if you don’t get a free ski ticket, you can still say you skied down a mountain with over a hundred Santas! (Plus it’ll make for a pretty cool insta pic). Alternatively, you can hang out with Santa at the Skate With Santa Event held in Whistler Olympic Plaza. The Skate With Santa Event gives out hot chocolate, cookies, and crafts! If you haven’t had your Santa photo taken yet this yet, you can get it here!
When: Santa Day - select dates in December
Party at the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival
From guided skiing to the cowboy party, this festival has it all. The Whistler Pride and Ski Festival is one of the biggest winter pride festivals in the world and has been running for over 25 years. Join members of the LGBTQ community and their friends to enjoy the Annual Pride Ski Parade, an indoor pool party, as well as many parties all leading up to the main event, the Snowball.
When: January 21 - 28, 2018
Cost: Varies per event. See Whistler Pride and Ski Festival
See the Christmas lights at the Village
I’m sure you won’t miss the lights if you’re already in the Village but it's definitely worth the mention (plus it's one of my favorite things to see here)! Every winter, Whistler Village overflows with Christmas lights which are set up all around Olympic Plaza, storefronts, and trees lining the village pathways.
The village is full of great restaurants, bars, and shops with lots of events throughout the holiday season. At night, I like to skate at the outdoor ice rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza, which has its own set of lights to skate under. You can also see the surrounding Christmas lights as you skate around the rink.
When: late November - late December
Enjoy some Family Aprés
For some family aprés, visit Whistler Olympic Plaza for free outdoor family-friendly activities and entertainment. Activities are always changing but a few of them can include snowman building competitions, sledding, music, hockey and of course hot drinks and snacks. The best part is, they’re free to enjoy! Be sure to check out the Fire & Ice show. This show is a Whistler tradition, combining music, dancing, snow, and fire in the most brilliant way. You’ll be amazed by professional skiers and snowboarders flipping through rings of fire located at the top of steep jumps. Plus every show finishes with a fireworks display!
When: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
December 18, 2017 - March 28, 2018 (Monday & Wednesdays)