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Christmas in the Mountains | A Holiday Guide to Whistler

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Whistler is the ultimate Christmas destination. Imagine a village covered in snow surrounded by twinkling lights and sharing a hot beverage around the fire with family. There are so many things to do in Whistler in the winter that go beyond the ski hill that will entertain the entire family. Whistler village Christmas is the most popular time to visit so don’t delay – book your Whistler holiday today!

Why Whistler is a Perfect Holiday Destination

Whistler takes no shortcuts when it comes to making sure the resort is looking extra festive for when guests from around the world descend on our tiny town. A blanket of freshly fallen snow helps set the scene that provides hours of entertainment with snowball fights, building snowmen, and tobogganing. Come see why Whistler is known as one of the most special places to spend Christmas in Canada

  • Winter Wonderland

    The hilton in Whistler with Christmas lights

    Starting in Novemeber, expect to see the Village getting festive.

Whistler is truly a magical winter wonderland from the end of November to April. The municipality works tirelessly to hang hundreds of thousands of lights all over the village to make it look extra festive. Restaurants, shops, and hotels are fully decorated as well and host special events such as meetings with Santa, cheese fondue nights, and carolling. 

  • Festive Events

Whistler is fully open for business over the holidays, with all shops, restaurants, and activities being open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. See Santa drive through the village atop a fire truck typically on December 23rd, watch athletes jump through rings of fire at the Fire and Ice Show at the base of Whistler Mountain, attend winter artisan markets, or walk through the Festival of Trees at the Four Seasons Resort.

  • Families First

Kids have no shortage of fun free events and activities over the holidays. Ice skate on an outdoor rink at Whistler’s Olympic Plaza, enjoy story time with Santa at the Library, or burn off excess energy at the free Whistler Holiday Experience at the Conference Centre where bouncy castles and games await indoors. 

What to Expect in Whistler Over the Holidays

Whistler is a busy place over the holidays and for good reason – it’s a wonderful place to spend Christmas! Be ahead of the game and save money by booking everything in advance so you can arrive feeling relaxed and ready to get your holiday started.

Prices in Whistler Over the Holidays

Snowy lake in Whistler

Just like the snow, prices start getting heavy close to Christmas in Whistler

Prices for accommodation during the holidays are at their peak in Whistler – it’s not surprising to see standard hotel rooms selling for over $500 a night at Christmas. 

Many hotels and vacation properties also have strict minimum night stays during Christmas and do not allow for stays under five nights. Plan ahead and save money by booking early but do be aware of cancellation policies as many are quite strict over the holidays.

Prices for WhistlerBlackcomb lift tickets are also at their peak during the holidays, along with their super popular ski and snowboard lessons for adults and children. By booking before August 31st for lift tickets and November 15th for lessons you will enjoy discounts.

Booking in Whistler at Christmas

If you had a certain hotel or location in mind, book as early as possible to avoid disappointment as the resort does sell out over the holidays. Booking in the summer (June to August) for the upcoming winter will offer the best discounts and the most availability of properties in Whistler. 

It’s worthwhile to arrange transportation to and from Whistler ahead of time, along with lift tickets, rentals, and lessons for the most savings. Booking activities in advance is also beneficial as some providers offer discounts for booking in advance, but for super popular activities such as dogsledding and sleigh rides book as soon as possible as they do sell out over Christmas!

Temperatures in the Region

scarves stacked on a table

Pack a scarf in the later months of fall, its time to get cozy.

The temperatures in Whistler are relatively mild in winter compared to other places in Canada such as Banff and Montreal, and Whistler experiences a more coastal forecast that is wetter than our friends in the east. 

This brings tons of snow that can be heavy at times, and if it’s raining in the village you can bet that there will be snow on the mountain. The temperatures range from a low of minus five degrees Celsius to a high of zero.

Don’t Forget About Snow Conditions

According to historical data, Whistler receives on average two metres of snowfall in December. This is great news for guests travelling over the holidays as there should be plenty of powder days to enjoy. 

Mother Nature can always throw some curveballs, and though the snow will be falling it does take some time for the mountain to be fully filled in. Ski patrollers do a great job of blocking off trails that aren’t yet ready and do their best including creating man-made snow to get the entire mountain open and ready for over the holidays.

Things to Do in Whistler, in the Winter (Over Christmas)

There are so many fun and festive things to do in Whistler in the winter, and though walking through the village and spending time with family and friends will fill up your schedule, should you have time Whistler has so many incredible tours to choose from for all ages and abilities. 

  • Sleigh Ride

Can you imagine anything more Christmassy and festive than a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the snow? The tour takes you along Blackcomb Mountain where you’ll enjoy the old-fashioned experience of gliding through the snow on a public or private tour. 

The tours take place in the evenings and the trails are lit with lights as you make your way to a cozy cabin to warm up and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. Book early for dates over the holidays – these tours book up quickly!

  • Skiing and Snowboarding, Obviously a Whistler Must-do

    A group of friends sit on a chairlift in the sun.

    Skiing in Whistler over the holidays! Good choice for all abilities.

It would be impossible to visit Whistler – the world’s number one ski resort in North American – and not give skiing or snowboarding a try. The team at WhistlerBlackcomb’s snow school cater to all abilities and can set you up with rentals, lift tickets, and lessons to get you on your way. 

If you’re already experienced and have your own gear, simply purchase a lift ticket and away you go. If you’re new to the resort, take a guided tour of the mountain with a Mountain Host who knows the resort like the back of their hands and will take you out for an hour to get better acquainted with the mountain.

  • Snowmobiling – Goin’ for a Rip!

Never driven a snowmobile before? No problem! On snowmobiling tours in Whistler, all abilities are welcome to give the sport a try (so long as they’re age 16+ with a valid driver’s license) during a tour in the backcountry of Cougar Mountain. 

Helpful guides will teach you the ropes of steering, stopping, and sliding before travelling along ploughed back roads to scenic destinations amongst old growth trees. 

  • Dog Sledding through the Mountains

There are not many places in the world where you can try the sport of dog sledding, but Whistler is one of them! The practice of using dogs to pull sleds goes back thousands of years where snowy and icy ground made travel by dogsled much faster than walking and today, is more commonly used for tours rather than traditional means. 

Professional mushers will guide you through the trails of the Callaghan Valley where you’ll have many photo opportunities and time to spend with the dogs harnessing and staging them. This adventure is extremely popular in the winter and prebooking is essential to get on their very limited tours!

  • Give Snowshoeing a Try

    View of someone walking away on snowshoes

    Don’t ski, but want to get into the snow? Try Snowshoeing!

Enjoy the silence and tranquillity of a snowshoeing tour atop Whistler Mountain. Choose from a serene walk through old growth forests to vigorous treks on backcountry trails. 

You’ll feel like you’re floating while walking through the freshly fallen snow as you escape the ski runs and get into the wilderness. You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to experience all the mountain has to offer – take a day off or get on the mountain during a snowshoe tour!

  • Head to the Spa

Soothe achy muscles and enjoy some ‘me’ time during a trip to the Scandinave Spa – a retreat just north of Whistler Village. The Finnish tradition involves following the regime of hot, cold, and relax. 

Warm up in hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas, cool down in plunge pools, then relax in solariums, in hammocks, or around the fire pit. It is a silent spa so bring along a book if you wish but do not bring any electronics such as phones or iPads.

If you have any desire to visit Whistler over Christmas, start planning NOW! Visitors love coming to Whistler over the holidays and many come year after year and book their favourite hotel and activities well in advance to take advantage of availability and discounts. A truly Canadian Christmas awaits – with so many things to do in whistler, in winter – you’ll want to start planning now! Getting started and get excited, with something to look forward to for the months to come!