Christmas Time in Whistler | A Holiday to Remember
Whistler, a beautiful village just two hours north of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Corridor. It is a year-round resort destination with some of the best adventurous activities British Columbia has to offer. Not to mention fanatic hotels and restaurants to suit every budget. Whistler is a fantastic holiday destination, and that does not change over winter. It is never too early to start planning your Whistler Christmas.
A Winter Wonderland, Whistler at Christmas
Winter is probably the most magical time of year to visit Whistler. The beautiful mountains and snowcapped roofs in the village give it a winter wonderland feel. And visiting at Christmas would make a trip even more special. Celebrate the holidays out on the hillside skiing and boarding then head out for Christmas dinner once the lifts close.
A Christmas trip to Whistler is one your family will never forget. Sparkling decorations light up the trees throughout the village, and the Coast Mountains are visible all around. Read on to find out how to make the most of your Whistler holiday this Christmas.
What to do in Whistler at Christmas?
Ski, aprés, build snowmen. Repeat.
There is so much to do in Whistler over the Christmas period. You can fill your holiday with exciting activities like skiing and zip lining, or take the kids to visit Santa at the Fairmont Hotel. Even just strolling through the village at night will be delightful with it’s beautiful sparkling Christmas lights. If you are staying nearer Creekside there is even a giant Gingerbread house with fun activities for kids, and coffee and hot chocolate for everyone.
3 Activities for the Whole Family over Christmas
- Sleigh rides
What could make your stay more magical than taking the whole family out on a horse-drawn sleigh ride on the lower slopes of Blackcomb Mountain? Cuddle up on comfortable padded seats wrapped up in warm blankets. Wrap up warm as sleigh rides only run in the evenings once skiing has finished for the day.
Rides usually run for one hour and can cost around $72 per person for adults, and $42 for children aged three to twelve. Sleigh reason runs from November to March, depending on snow conditions, so you are guaranteed a wonderful ride through the snow during the Christmas holidays.
- Ice Skating
The Christmas season will signal the start out outdoor ice skating season. From December the ice rink in Whistler Village at Olympic Plaza will open once again and will run until the end of March. Skating on this ice rink is free of charge for all, and you can hire ice skates for $6. Even better, for those who are not as confident, ski aids and helmets are free to borrow.
The Olympic Plaza ice rink is open every day from December until March, but has varying hours. Skate from 11am-1.30pm, 2.30pm-5pm and in the evening from 6pm until 8.30pm.
Ice Skating will also be possible on many of the local lakes around Whistler, however, this can be a dangerous activity. Ensure freezing conditions have been down to at least -10° C several days prior to skating and check the ice thickness before heading out. You could also check with locals and call a local fishing company to check on lake freezing conditions.
- Skiing and Snowboarding
It would be hard to talk about Whistler in winter without mentioning skiing and snowboarding on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. This could be the ideal way to spend your Whistler Christmas.
On Christmas day, save the presents for later and get the first lift up the slopes on either mountain, this may even be a great day to try out Fresh Tracks. Fresh Tracks is a mountainside breakfast at the Roundhouse on Whistler mountain, followed by early access to fresh powder and perfectly groomed runs.
Once you have finished your Christmas Day skiing you will really feel like you have earned that Christmas lunch. During the Christmas season, lifts will usually open at 8.30am and run until around 2.30pm- 3 pm.
There are many more activities available for you and the family during your Whistler Christmas, try out the Coca-cola tube park on Blackcomb Mountain, or Zip through a magical wintery forest with Superfly Ziplines. The winter season can also be a great time of year to find deals and offers on activities throughout the village.
All Your Whistler Holiday Questions Answered
What are the snow conditions during Christmas?
Snow conditions can vary year to year, however, in December 2018 we saw a record snowfall of 373cm. The powder skiing was epic.
Historically the snowfall for the Christmas period has varied from around 130cm to the highest recorded last December.
December in the village would likely give you temperatures as low as -5°C, and in the Alpine -12°C. On average over the ski season, Whistler will see 10.6 metres for snow, with December being a great time of year for good snow conditions and fantastic skiing and snowboarding.
What is the lift ticket price for the Christmas holidays at Whistler?
Lift ticket prices will vary over the winter season, and we highly recommend booking in advance online to save money and time when you get to Whistler. You will also usually get more discount the more days ski days you purchase in advance.
For an adult full-day lift pass for Whistler Blackcomb you will be looking at prices of around $150. For children aged 7-12, a day pass will be in the region of $75, teens of 13-18 years of age $127, and for seniors aged 65 and older, it will cost around $135.
Prices will likely be higher the closer to Christmas and the later you book.
For those wishing to sightsee and not ski, check out the Peak to Peak Gondola. You can head up from either mountain and access beautiful views of the mountains from a glass-bottom gondola that travels between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
How to get Christmas trees in Whistler?
Christmas trees and holiday decorations can be rented in Whistler. You have the option of live or artificial trees and come pre-decorated. You can also check out Whistler Garden Centre for handmade wreaths, trees, and decorations too.
What are Whistler Christmas time events?
- Fire and Ice Show
From mid-December to March you will be able to see the Fire and Ice show in Whistler Village. This is an amazing free event where you can watch skiers and boarders perform jumps and tricks through hoops that have been set on fire. This event runs every Sunday and begins usually at 8 pm.
- Luge World Cup
If you head to Whistler before the Christmas holidays you will catch the Wessman Luge World Cup at the Whistler Sliding Centre. This event takes place on the 13th and 14th of December 2019. Watch athletes compete at speed of up to 130km/h as they head down the Olympic Track.
- Family Aprés
Head to Whistler Olympic Plaza with the whole family for fun activities. The is a free kid-friendly event and will usually run from 3pm-6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays from mid-December onwards.
- Santa Day
The official date for Santa day is yet to be confirmed, but it will happen in the Christmas holidays and it is not to be missed.
Head to Merlin’s bar below Blackcomb for 7.30am dressed in your best Santa outfit. The First 100 Santa’s or Mrs. Clause’s will receive a complimentary lift ticket.
- Carol Service on Christmas Eve
This is an annual event at the Westin Hotel and Spa.This celebration features carols and readings by community members telling the traditional Christmas story.
- Daily Mountain Tours on Whistler and Blackcomb
These tours are free to attend, just meet your host on Whistler Mountain at the Roundhouse, or Blackcomb Mountain at the Rendezvous at 11 am. An experienced guide will take you around the mountain, and down the best runs to suit the group.
Where to stay in Whistler at Christmas?
If we could only offer you one tip for your Whistler Christmas holiday, it would be to book early. Whistler can get busy over the holidays, and by booking early you can get the best deals on activities and hotels in the Village.
- Four Seasons Resort Whistler
This is a stunning hotel near Blackcomb Mountain. They currently have a deal where if you book for three nights, you will get the third night free in select suites. They also have an offer called the Best Available Rate, which is available from July 30th to December 31st 2019. This offers the best rates on rooms throughout the hotel.
- Sundial Boutique Hotel
In the village centre, this is a comfortable hotel minutes away from the mountain. They currently have winter deals available for 2019 with 35% off for bookings of more than four days between November 15th 2019 and April 26th 2020. Hurry with your bookings, this offer expires on the 31st August 2019.
- Hostel International Whistler
This is suited to lower budgets, or those looking for a low key travel experience in Whistler. It has its own cafe on-site, private ensuite rooms. They also have a private ‘squad’ room, which is ideal for families and groups.
Whatever your plans are when visiting Whistler, Christmas will be a fun-filled holiday for you and your whole family.