Whether you live nearby or are planning to spend Christmas in Whistler there are plenty of holiday events and things to do at Christmas. While some events have changed over the last couple of years, there are still quite a few options in Whistler Village and nearby to make sure you are in the holiday spirit.
When it comes to booking hotels for Whistler at Christmas, this is definitely something that you will want to plan ahead for. Visiting Whistler is popular all year round and Christmas is high season with families from all over the world enjoying the world-class skiing at Whistler Blackcomb.
By the end of this post, you will have quite a few ideas for Christmas at Whistler as well as December events in the sea to sky region. I will also include information on where to stay in Whistler at Christmas, the weather in Whistler in December, and overall winter information if you have never visited the mountain before.
Don’t have time to read? Pin this Christmas Whistler post for later
Top Whistler Christmas Activities
Ski and Snowboard Everyday
Both Whistler and Blackcomb are open every day over Christmas and New Years.
The Number 1 reason that most people come to Whistler in the winter is to ski! So skiing or snowboarding has to be the top winter thing to do at Christmas in Whistler.
While some busy holiday days are blacked out, if you are local to British Columbia or Washington, register early for the kids ski free epic pass!
Ice Skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza
Whistler Olympic Plaza, in the heart of Whistler Village, transforms from a large green space to a winter wonderland with the sledding you can see above, and an outdoor skating rink full of twinkling, festive lights.
The rink opens in November and closes in late March (weather permitting).
Hours: 11am – 8:30pm (closed for cleaning 1:30pm-2:30pm and 5:00pm-6:00pm)
Prices: The admission fee is $2.00 per person (with your own skates) or $8.00 per person (with a skate rental.)
Things to Note: Free helmets are available (limited supply). It is recommended to bring your own skates if you have them. No hockey sticks are allowed. No spectators are allowed in the lobby area. No in / out privileges. Masks are required in the lobby area.
Wonder at Vallea Lumina
Legends speak of a long-lost trail that leads to a secret valley. Join a twilight expedition to explore its mysterious beauty. Just 10 minutes drive north of Whistler village, experience a range of activities from TAG Whistler. Vallea Lumina is a sound and light experience that takes you through the forest, telling a story along the way.
The winter experience runs from November to April and is much more kid friendly than the summer experience because the show times are much earlier (since it gets dark much earlier in the winter months).
What to Wear: Full snow gear is recommended for kids. Dress in layers with warm coats, gloves and hats. Snow boots are recommended for walking on snow. Masks are required.
Things to note: Strollers and sleds are not permitted. There are stairs to walk down at the beginning and a bridge to cross. Those with young children should wear them in a carrier. The walk is about 30 minutes but you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Pets are not permitted.
Pricing: Adult $29.99 Child $24.99 (5 and under are free)
Tubing at the Whistler Blackcomb “bubly” Tube Park
Fun for all riders 3 years old and older (and 36″ tall), the Whistler Tube Park offers 8 lanes of thrilling slides and no equipment is required! This is one of the best things to do in Whistler with kids, especially if you are not a ski family! You can get the same thrill as those skiing down the mountain, with no ski skills required!
Things to note: Children under 12 have to be accompanied by an adult. Children between 36″ and 41″ use the mini lanes that are half as long as the full runs. Tickets can only be bought at the Tube Park to manage capacity. Hours are subject to change based on conditions.
What to Wear: Masks are mandatory. Wear warm clothes and dress for the conditions. Snow pants are recommended, as are good winter boots, you will be walking on snow. Helmets are recommended, but not required.
Hours: Weekends and Holidays 10am-6pm, Weekdays 11am-6pm
Pricing for 2020/21: Adults 1 hour $26.50, 2 hours $38.00 | Seniors 1 hour $24.50, 2 hours $35.00, Youth (12-18) 1 hour $24.50, 2 hours $36.00 | Child (7-12) 1 hour $20.50, 2 hours $24.00 | Mini (3-6) 1 hour $15.50, 2 hours $19.00
Location: The Whistler Bubly tube park can be accessed by the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola from Whistler Village. Guests can load from the exit of the Gondola. There is signage directing you to the tube park line. You do not have to wait in the skiiers line (if there is one). Make sure you exit the Goldola at mid-station (the first stop). Once you arrive you cross the ski hill towards the parking lot and have some stairs to climb (quite a few actually) to get to the actual tube park entrance. If you want to drive, you can park at Lot 8 which provides direct access to the tube park.
Anywhere that you can find a pile of snow, the kids are bound to want to climb it! Bring up a sled and your little ones will never run out of things to do in Whistler in the winter!
In the Olympic plaza (where the Olympic rings are), snow is piled up and it makes the perfect size sledding hill for all ages. The littles and the bigs (and moms and dads too) can get in on the fun!
After hours, you can also sometimes walk up the ski hill at the Blackcomb gondola in the upper village and slide down the ski hill there.
Zip Lining is a perfect year-round activity for those thrill-seeking kids!
Snowmobile tours are for all ages! You can even get kid-sized snowmobiles!
Whistler Sliding Centre
Another one for the thrill-seekers, the Whistler sliding center allows sliders to go down on a bobsled, skeleton, or luge. More info coming soon!
Dog sledding is a fun family activity to take in in whistler with the kids! More info coming soon!
Cross Country Skiing
Whistler Olympic park offers cross country skiing just south of Whistler. It is one of the Olympic legacy projects. More info coming soon!
Snowshoeing can also be done at Whistler Olympic park. More info coming soon!
Whistler Christmas Dinner
Sitting down with friends and family is an important part of the holiday season for many people. Many of the restaurants in Whistler offer special Christmas and New Year’s dinners, brunches, lunches, and catering options to make Whistler feel like a home away from home.
Contact the restaurants directly for reservations. Also, consider dining in with meal delivery and catering options.
Because many hotels in Whistler have condo-style accommodations, it is easy to host a dinner in your room, or even prepare dinner.
Whistler Christmas Market
Whistler does not have an official Whistler Christmas market. But the Village has no shortage of shopping and options for shopping for artisans. Whistler Village has plenty of shopping options from clothing to winter gear to souvenirs. There are plenty of local artisans who make beautiful gifts. Make sure you read this post on Whistler souvenirs before your trip!
Whistler December Weather
Located in the Coast Mountain Range of British Columbia, Canada, Whistler Blackcomb consistently offers the most reliable snow conditions, receiving an average annual snowfall of 11.38 metres / 448 inches / 37.3 feet per year.
Due to Whistler’s coastal proximity, temperatures are moderate through the winter season, rarely dipping below -10°C (12°F) in the valley and -15°C (5°F) in the alpine during the coldest part of the year. Expect -5°C (22°F) average daily alpine temperatures during most of the winter months.
Temperatures are about 7 to 10°C cooler on top of the mountain than in the Village.
December weather averages are 0C to -5C in the Village which is a comfortable temperature. However, that means a chance for rain in Whistler village. But rain in the village is snow on the ski hill. Depending on the conditions, skiers and boarders may have to upload via the gondola.
More Whistler Christmas Travel Resources
If you are still in the planning stages, this information will help you plan your visit to Whistler.
Traveling with kids? This post has all of the best things to do in Whistler with kids! It has things for all seasons!
Make sure you have a good travel insurance policy if you are visiting Canada from another country.
Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday. Canada is a very expensive country for medical care and a doctors visit in an Emergency Room is over $800 to just see the doctor.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.
Where To Stay in Whistler at Christmas
If you are packing your bags for Whistler, then you are likely spending the night! Whistler has plenty of hotels, AirBNB’s, cabins and hostel-style accommodations. Whether you are looking for luxury, family-friendly or budget accommodation in Whistler, there are options for your stay!
Below I have listed some popular properties in Whistler to stay.
LUXURY: Four Seasons Whistler – The Four Seasons is one of Whistler’s luxury 5 star properties. The Four Seasons Whistler has a swimming pool and hot tub. They offer a bike valet that is convenient and safe. In the winter, I love the ski valet option where you can leave your skis at the ski hill instead of having to bring them back to the hotel. Four Seasons is located in the Upper Village near the Blackcomb Gondola.
MIDRANGE: Delta Hotel Whistler – The Delta offers rooms with full kitchens. This is ideal for those who like condo-style accommodation but want the convenience of a hotel. There is coin laundry on site which may be needed to dry out wet ski gear or bathing suits. The Delta is in Whistler Village close to everything.
MIDRANGE: Aava Hotel Whistler – Aava hotel is a midrange hotel in a great location. It is a short walk to the Gondola and just 2 minutes walk from Whistler Village.
BUDGET: Pangea Pod Hotel – Pangea Pod Hotel is conveniently located in the middle of Whistler, and is within 200 m of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. It is ideal for modern hostel-style accommodation right in the village
AirBNB‘s are another great option as they offer more space. Most are designed for 4 or more people making them perfect for families or trips with friends. You can read more about Whistler AirBNB’s or check out my go-to favorite here. One downside to AirBNB’s is that they are not all in the village.
How to Get to Whistler from Vancouver
Start with how to get from Vancouver to Whistler. If you are from out of town, there are ways to get to Whistler without a car.
5 Things to Bring With you for Whistler at Christmas time
Chap Stick – Let me tell you, winter chapped lips are for real! Whether it is the cold air or the wind, you will want chap stick at whistler in Christmas. It is also going to protect you from the winter sun reflecting on the snow. Coming to Whistler in the summer. Its a no brainer that you want to protect your lips from the sun! Bring a good lip balm (I always travel with this one and you can get it on amazon here too) and your lips will thank you!
Base Layers – If you are planning on skiing (or even enjoying time outdoors in Whistler at Christmas), get yourself some base layers. It can be VERY cold in the winter. I like Smartwool merino base layers. The merino wool means they do not smell. Their winter warmth is great for whatever Whistler weather can throw at you (the 250 weight is their winter weight).
Bathing Suit – It is always pool season in Whistler. The outdoor pools are heated and open all year round. Most hotels will have pools and hot tubs. Make sure the bathing suit is in your luggage! If you are going in the summer, you might want options for the lake and for the pool! No one likes putting on a wet bathing suit.
Winter Boots – you are going to want winter boots in Whistler. One day you can get a dump of fresh powder and the sidewalks are covered in snow, and other weeks if there is no fresh snow you can walk around in runners if you wanted to. But c’mon it is still freezing, keep your feet warm! The grip provided goes a long way when it is slippery as well! In a pinch, hiking boots will do.
Skates – If you already own skates and are driving to whistler at christmas, pack them for the outdoor skating rink. It is $3 if you have your own skates and $8 including skate rental. It’s one of the fun winter things to do in Whistler. It is actually my kid’s favorite thing to do in the village!
That is far from all, read my Guide to What to wear in Whistler which has a complete packing list for visiting at any time of the year.
whistler canada christmas
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!