We travelled to Whistler when our daughter was 2 years old. As she was only 2, she was too young for ski school but we had lots of activities she could participate in. It was a great family trip, and we loved Whistler so much we will be planning a trip back at some point.
Travel: We arrived into Vancouver Int’l Airport via American Airlines. It was an easy airport to navigate and the customs was all automated since we are US citizens.
Arrival: We chose to rent a car for the drive from Vancouver to Whistler. The rental car gave us the guarantee of a car seat, and the freedom we wanted. It is appx a 4 hour BEAUTIFUL drive from Vancouver to Whistler. There is also a bus option that will take you from the airport to Whistler. There are several options for this, and here you can access all the recommendations: https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/get-to-whistler/transportation/buses-taxis
Hotel: We chose an airbnb rental right in the heart of downtown Whistler. We were semi across the street from the public library, and next door to Cows Creamery which always smelled of hot waffle cones, and was a favorite of our toddler even in the cold. Our location in the heart of the village was ideal with a toddler in tow. We literally took the elevator down, and could immediately start walking the sidewalks. My husband chose to snowboard several days and it was very easy for us to walk from our rental to the base of the gondola in seconds to meet him for lunch.
Logistics: Navigating Whistler is a breeze with a toddler. The streets are plowed and easy for a toddler to walk. The stroller was no problem, although we rarely needed it. Our daughter liked being pulled in a toboggan, and walking and pulling her dolls in a toboggan. 🙂
Activities: As we visited in winter, activities could differ depending on the time of year of your visit. My neighbor has visited in the summer and says this an equally impressive time to visit with children.
Tobogganing: We bought a toboggan on arrival at the local hardware store in town. Our daughter loved sliding down the hills behind the Olympic rings daily. There were always other kids doing the same, and the heated fire pits are a nice touch while you watch in anticipation. For older kids there is the Coca Cola Toboggan and Sled Park. This will be a favorite if your kids are old enough to ride solo and hold on as they do not allow parents to ride with children.
Park: Right next to the Olympic Rings is a children’s park in the theme of a tree house. It has a slide, and little play areas. The park is not cleared of snow in winter, but multitudes of kids were enjoying it just the same. Our daughter actually preferred the snow on the slide 🙂
Dog Sledding: We chose to do dog sledding thru Blackcomb Snow Mobile Company as our tot loves dogs! This was a highlight of our trip. It is a bit pricey, but since she was 2 we were able to all 3 ride in one sled together so we decided to go ahead for the adventure. The company will pick you up from the Hilton in Whistler and transport you to the sledding starting point. Or you can choose to drive which we did. They allowed my daughter to meet all of the dogs and feed them a treat after the sledding. She also got to help with the commands. They served hot apple cider and cookies at the end which was great! For older children and adults this company also does snow mobiling which I am sure would be a hit! https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/activities/dog-sledding
Peak to Peak: On a day my husband was not snowboarding, we chose to do the peak to peak tourist experience. It allows you to take the gondola all the way up from Whistler base, and board the peak to peak gondola which connects Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain. This is quite a spectacular ride!!! You can take in stunning views of the local scenery, and it holds the record for the longest free span between ropeway towers. We chose to eat lunch on the Blackcomb side outside on the deck which was lovely. There are numerous options for food fare in the cafeteria. Our daughter enjoyed this, and we also got some lovely photos in all of the snow at the top.
Around the Village: As mentioned, Cows Creamery is too good to miss for ice cream and treats. Whoola Toys is a great local toy shop that we spent time & money in :). The local library has weekly kids activities right in the middle of the village. We found all of the restaurants in town to be kid friendly as well. We even visited Hy’s steakhouse with no problem. There is also the Meadow Parks Sports Centre that is a short drive away with heated indoor pools which made for a fun morning. There is also ice skating here or you can ice skate outdoors in Whistler Olympic Plaza.
On our next visit, our daughter will be old enough for ski school which should be enjoyable as I saw tons of kids enjoying their ski lessons as we rode the gondola up past their school.
And if you are looking for something to do on your way back from Whistler to do in Vancouver, we highly recommend the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This park was beautiful and we all enjoyed it including our toddler.