Whistler Fun with Kids (Without Hitting the Slopes)

Recently our family had the chance to head up to Whistler for a quick day trip. We don’t ski or snowboard, so we were looking for fun (inexpensive) activities we could enjoy off the slopes. With Easter coming up, here’s a day’s worth of Whistler fun with kids under 10, for under $40 – without ever setting foot on the mountains.

Ochestra playing in outdoor gazebo

Live music at a gazebo in Whistler, just one of the free ways to have fun off the slopes.

Before you go, we recommend you download a copy of the area map here: http://www.whistler.com/resources/pdf/maps/whistler_village_map_small.pdf. Note: most of these activities take place in “Village North” – the left-hand side of the map.

1. “Adventure Playground” – Free!

Little girl climbing down a ladder at a playground

Adventure abounds on this beautiful playground.

Located in the Olympic Village, this inclusive playground is perfect for year-round adventure. Accessible to children of all abilities, it features two tree houses, slides, and interactive components like a musical station. In the winter it’s a snow-covered wonderland, and in summer there are splash pools for staying cool. It’s also adjacent to a Blenz and a Starbucks, so mom and dad can keep up their stamina.

2. Live Music and Entertainment – Free!

Just south of the playground is a gazebo where we stumbled upon a performance by a high-school band. They covered a medley of Beatles tunes, and had us dancing in the streets. If you want to be sure to catch a performance during your stay, check out http://www.whistler.com/concerts/ and http://www.whistler.com/events/ to review what’s happening.

3. Lunch at El Furniture Warehouse – Cheap! (http://warehousewhis.ca/)

When we stepped inside “El Furny” we weren’t sure it would be kid-friendly. It has a kitch, 1970s grubby pub-style décor. But with all menu items coming in at $4.95, this is a great place to feed the family. The hostess immediately found crayons and paper for our little one, and after a few minutes’ wait, we were seated. The booths are a little tricky (slippery) for small ones to stay put, otherwise the environment is fun and very casual. The patio would be a great choice in warmer weather.

Little girl looking a restaurant menu

Decisions, decisions. Hard to choose what to order at “El Furny”.

We tried the chicken strips and fries (next time we’d ask for “no pepper” as these come pre-seasoned), the pulled chicken sandwich with daily soup (yum!), and a twisted greens salad. With water for mom and dad and a small juice, this lunch clocked in at under $20 (plus tax and tip). Can’t beat that!

4. Afternoon Quiet Time at the Whistler Public Library – Free!

Can a library be a tourist attraction? This one is! The Whistler Library has a fantastic kids section with books, puppets, toys, and a computer for educational games (10 minutes a turn). They also have a small room where toddlers can explore and play as loudly as they like.

5. Extend Your Trip With Camping 

Our trip ended there, but we were surprized to learn how many camping options there are nearby. In addition to a number of private campgrounds, there several provincial parks and recreation sites within a short driving distance. Next time we’d consider the following nearby camping options and extend our stay:

Whether it’s a day trip or you end up spending the night under the stars, Whistler is an affordable year-round destination for families – even those that don’t ski! We’d welcome your tips for exploring the area, just post them in the comments below.

Published: March 30th, 2015

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by vancouvercampingmom

Morgan was raised on camping by her father and maternal grandparents. A life-long Vancouverite, she is a tourism instructor at BCIT and Royal Roads University and a customer service trainer. Morgan lives in East Vancouver with her family and puts a heavy emphasis on family travel as a way to learn, grow, and reconnect.

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