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What is There to Do in Whistler at Christmas? A 2021 Holiday Guide


What is there to do in Whistler at Christmas? Whistler in December is a magical time of year. The mountain is in full swing of ski and snowboard season, the snow is falling, and holiday joy spreads through the village.

Traditionally, there are also special seasonal holiday activities popping off across the mountain. But, in 2021/2022 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are many changes to the usual Whistler Christmas schedule this year.

What’s open during the holidays season in 2021? Below you’ll find an updated list for December activities and events in Whistler.

Whistler Christmas Events 2021 

Visiting Whistler in December is maybe the most exciting time of year. Leading up to the holidays, there are many exciting holiday-related events to keep your day entertaining – from first thing in the morning to the wee hours of the night. 

In 2021 many winter activities, like dog sledding, snowshoeing, and skating, are open, while other favourites, like the Christmas Market and sleigh rides, are postponed again. 

The good news? You still have tons of options, from holiday galas to heli-ski tours to festive meals.

Whistler Film Festival 2021

  • December 1-5, 2021 (Whistler)
  • December 1-31, 2021 (Online)

This event is held annually in Whistler and is going into its 21st year of operation. It brings together filmmakers and film fans to experience almost 100 different short films and features. 

If you are visiting in person, keep in mind, you’ll need a Whistler Film Festival Membership — but it’s only $2 per year. They offer 6-pack tickets so you can cram in as many films as possible. They also have put together accommodation, dinner, and movie deals.

Be sure to check out the lineup as there is something for everyone. 

*Proof of vaccination required for entry into all venues

Book a Ski or Snowboard Guide for your 2021/2022 Holiday

Woman standing in powder with snowboard.

Secret stashes are not hard to find with a ski or snowboard guide.

  • Safely explore Whistler Blackcomb mountains & backcountry
  • Learn new skills, discover fresh powder stashes, local intel

This is an obvious one, but if you’re going to be in Whistler, you need at least a day on the mountain to ski or snowboard. Whistler Blackcomb is a world-renowned resort with amazing terrain. 

If you’re new to the sport, we recommend you book a lesson with the snow school that can set you up with rentals, lift tickets and lessons. 

If you do have experience but don’t want to mess around with the hundreds of options on the mountain, book a mountain host to find you the best runs of the day.

Heli-Skiing in Whistler 

  • Private Tours, Book in Advance
  • Daily from January 7 to Spring 2022

Are you looking to get away from the crowds and immerse yourself into Whistler’s powder? Whistler’s Heli-skiing may be a way for you and your family to go! 

If you have four or more people, grab the guided heli-assisted ski touring option that comes with a fully certified ski touring guide from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to experience a Heli-drop and feel like you’re floating on the clouds. There are various package deals to check out to see what is the right fit for your group. We also recommend the Heli-picnic option or glacier tours if you are not a skier or snowboarder. 

Relax at Scandinave Spa Whistler

  • 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, daily (Check website for seasonal updates)
  • Silent outside hot and cold baths, massages, and more

Do you need a tranquil escape this holiday season? Look no further than the Scandinave Spa Whistler located north of the main village. 

This spa focuses on the hydrotherapy cycle of hot, cold, relax & repeat. In the winter, this place is beautiful as it overlooks the mountain of Whistler. 

Sink right into the warm hot tubs and immerse yourself into this silent world. This is a phone-free spa so really allow yourself to disconnect from your day-to-day. So what are you waiting for? You deserve this.

Book online in advance to secure both bath and massage times. Walk-ins are also welcome but may fill up quickly, especially in busy holiday seasons.

Do-it-Yourself Snowshoeing

View of someone walking away on snowshoes

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

  • As soon as the snow flies!
  • Lost Lake trails are closed for the 2021/2022 season, but many other Whistler trails are open

This is a fantastic winter activity to do in Whistler. You can snowshoe throughout the Valley trail system and into the backcountry with a little experience. This is a great winter activity option for many ability levels.

There are several places in Whistler where you can rent snowshoes, including Whistler Sports Legacies at the Whistler Olympic Park, We Rent Gear, and the Lost Lake PassivHaus (check for rental hours for 2021/2022).  

If you feel like going for a wander with your family, but if you’re not familiar with the area, there are several guided groups around Whistler that head out for a snowshoe.  

Check out more winter-time activities here

The Fairmont Festive Feast To Go

  • December 20 to January 1, 2022
  • Pick up at Fairmont Chateau Whistler

This year, the traditional holiday festivities in Whistler are taking a slightly different approach based on public health regulations. Portobello, located in the Fairmont Chateau, has put together a scrumptious to-go holiday meal for six to eight people.

Choose from a slow-roasted prime rib option (with mashed potatoes, roasted root veggies, gravy and all the fixings) or the slow-roasted turkey (once again, with a delicious buffet of sides). Book at least 72 hours in advance, pick up during your allotted time, and voila! An easy way to celebrate the holidays with everyone in your group.

Community Holiday Gala 2021 at the Fairmont Chateau

  • Saturday, December 11, 2021
  • Tickets $139 per person

This is truly an inclusive event. The Community Holiday Gala, which is on schedule for December 11, 2021, invites locals, visitors, seasonal workers, businesses, community organizations, and everyone in between to celebrate.

Your ticket includes entry to the gala reception, the Festive Holiday Buffet, and live entertainment by Side One. There is also a cash bar. Should you want to up the celebration or travel from out of town, they are also offering room and gala combos.

A Full Fridge Holiday Meal for Christmas 2021

  • Per serving orders, and delivered December 24 between 10 am and 5 pm
  • Minimum 4 person order

Another festive option for your holiday meal this year is coming to you from Full Fridge. This company has put together an extensive holiday menu at $56 + tax per person to ensure you get that turkey, stuffing, and potatoes you crave on Christmas day.

This makes it easy, as you don’t have to buy a fridge full of ingredients during your holiday in Whistler. Instead, they deliver ready-to-reheat dishes with instructions. Keep in mind, you’ll need a stovetop and oven.

Snowmobiling Tours for the Entire Family

  • Tentatively Starting: Nov 25, 2021 
  • Departures multiple times a day, private tours available

Skiing, not really your thing? Snowmobiling is an exciting alternative to experience the Whistler mountains. Snowmobile tours are available through Callaghan valley or Cougar Mountain.

Blackcomb Snowmobiles offer different tours to accommodate a variety of skill levels. If you’re not comfortable driving, you can be a passenger on the back of your partner’s snowmobile. 

Family Dog Sledding in Whistler  

  • Tentatively open for bookings: December 1, 2021
  • Online booking closed. Please call to book.

This is a must-do during the winter. Book through Canadian Wilderness Adventures as they team up with a Trappers Run adventure. Then, climb aboard the sled while you watch these amazing dogs do what they love, which is run! These exciting and Canadian tours last 2 to 2.5 hours through the Callaghan Valley. 

Learn about these incredible dogs and the commands mushers use to guide the dogs through the landscape. Experience this traditional method of transportation and immerse yourself into this super Canadian educational experience. 

Skating at the Whistler Olympic Plaza

Whistler has plenty of ice skating rinks to enjoy

  • November 26, 2021 until late March 2022
  • 11 am – 8:30 pm, with scheduled downtime for maintenance. Check times for holidays.

Why not experience a truly Canadian wintertime activity? Bring the entire family down to the Olympic Plaza, rent a pair of skates, and feel the magic. This is ideal for all ages, from toddlers to teens to moms and dads. 

Surrounded by Christmas lights and having hot chocolates nearby, skating at the Olympic Plaza is a memorable holiday experience. Tickets are $2, and rentals are only $8, making this one of the most affordable holiday activities in Whistler.

You can also skate on local lakes when conditions are safe and indoors at Meadow Park. 

Whistler’s New Years Eve 2021

  • To be Announced

Check back later for updates on Whistler New Years’ Eve celebrations according to public health regulations. 

In years past, there have been fun activities for the whole family to keep everyone entertained for the entire day. They usually offer a special 8 pm fireworks for little ones, and a later version starting at 11:30 pm.

Postponed: Fire and Ice Show 2021/2022

  • After Whistler Blackcomb Opens, Date to be Announced
  • Every Sunday: 8 pm at Whistler Olympic Plaza

This entertaining and free event is the perfect Sunday evening activity to get hyped for the rest of the week. Some of Whistler’s best skiers and snowboarders come together to hit a big air jump through a ring of fire. 

Fireworks, fire hoops, impressive tricks, and fire spinners put on an epic show for our Whistler visitors. 

Postponed: Arts Whistler Holiday Market 2021

“As a result of venue booking challenges and public health uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Arts Whistler has made the decision to cancel the 2021 Arts Whistler Holiday Market, scheduled for November 27 – 28, 2021. Arts Whistler will host the next installment of the market in November 2022.” – Arts Whistler

This two-day holiday market is a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping. Everything is hand-baked or hand-crafted. Over 100 vendors from the Sea to Sky region and across BC come together to share their craft. 

Postponed: Whistler’s Family Apres

  • Monday & Wednesdays at 3 to 6 pm
  • Check back regularly for updates on the 2021/2022 season

Whistler is known for it’s fun apres and here’s one that the whole family can enjoy. After a full day on the mountain, the fun can continue at the Whistler Olympic Plaza for hot beverages and enjoy live music, dancing, face painting, hula hooping, characters in costume, balloon twisting animals, popcorn, cookies, donuts, juggling and game.

Postponed: Whistler Sleigh Rides

  • Daily tours: 5, 6, 7 and 8 pm
  • Departure: Base 2 Blackcomb Mountain

Do you want that perfect winter wonderland scene? A magical sleigh ride is a great activity for couples or families! Cozy up on a sleigh for an hour and watch the world pass you by. 

The tour also stops at a cabin so that you can all enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate. This is a family-run business with a passion for horses. 

Private tours are also available for two or more people. 

The Perfect Trip: Whistler Holiday Events 2021 

As you can see, there are so many exciting activities to be done in Whistler during December. It will get busier closer to the holiday time, so please book ahead of time to make sure you get in what you want to experience! 

Whistler in December is one of the best times of the year as you get to experience as many of the activities as you desire. Whistler is known for its winter, and you’ve come at the prime time. Enjoy and be safe! Happy Holidays!