Family Spring Skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb

This spring, give your family what may just be the best mountain vacation they've ever had

Credit: Flickr / stijn

Whistler Blackcomb offers lessons for beginners, so your kids can get comfortable on skis

Your kids will love the skiing, tubing and hotel amenities, and you’ll love the ease and convenience of staying at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler

“This is the best vacation our family has ever had on a mountain,” my 10-year-old said to me as we made our way up the Wizard Chair for yet another run down the lower front side of Blackcomb Mountain.

The fact that we had never been on a family vacation “on a mountain” before, was beside the point. Whistler-Blackcomb had served up a spectacular early spring weekend, and the kids were officially hooked.

Spring Skiing at Whistler

The spring ski season at Whistler usually starts around the Easter weekend and runs until Whistler closes on April 22 and until Blackcomb closes on May 20.

Image: Courtesy the Fairmont Chateau Whistler

As most families will appreciate, taking three kids – three, seven and 10 – on any type of holiday, even one lasting only four days, is usually an exercise in futility. But the convenience of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler as our home away from home made this an exception.

Located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Fairmont is an exceptionally kid-friendly resort. From the pool deck area – teeming with kids on this spring break weekend – which features two pools and four hot tubs, most of which are outdoors, to the easy convenience of the on-site rental facility.

On-site Rentals and Ski Lessons

Owned and operated by Whistler Blackcomb Resort, the Fairmont’s on-site rental facility allows guests to get fully suited up the day they arrive, and by simply providing their room number when they return the next morning, get immediate access to their rented ski and snowboard equipment at a moment’s notice.

This on-site rental convenience eliminates the hassle of dealing with the parking lots, long walks and screaming kids sometimes associated with a family ski holiday.

Image: The Scream

Whistler Blackcomb also offers are wide variety of both full-day and half-day lessons for beginners through to advanced skiers. Lessons are run out of the bases of both Whistler and Blackcomb, providing ease of access if you’re staying in either the Upper or Lower Village.

Our three-year-old daughter gave lessons a shot on the first day, but was having none of it by noon. As a warning, be confident your little ones are able to make it through a day of lessons, as registration for the on-site daycare closes after 10 a.m., which means either mom or dad will be relegated to the hotel for the balance of the day if things don’t work out as planned.

Daycares, which will run you $85 per day, are located throughout the Whistler Blackcomb area. We took advantage of the one in the Blackcomb Kids Club, a short walk from the Fairmont, but there are others located at the Whistler Kids Club and at the Westin Hotel.

Blackcomb Tube Park

Image: yvettemn

If you’re looking for a break from skiing, halfway up the Blackcomb Gondola sits the Tube Park. Upon arrival, you and your tube take a magic carpet up to the top of the park where you select from one of seven snow chutes that propel you down the hill. Spotters at the top will ask if you want to spin or not. Those with queasy stomachs, be warned.

Also be warned that the climb from the gondola exit to the top of the Tube Park is not a simple one if you have little ones in tow – it’s a combined 500 yards up the ski hill and then up a series of wooden stairs to get to the base of the park. Once you arrive, though, you won’t be disappointed.

Family-friendly Dining Options

The Portobello Deli in the lower level of the Fairmont is probably the best spot to grab a quick breakfast or lunch for the family, as it closes at 3 p.m. each day.

While there are a number of other options in the Lower Village, if you don’t want to take the shuttle or make the 15-minute walk from the Upper Village, Milestones at Blackcomb is your best bet.

Kids can sit and eat in the lounge until 8 p.m., and they are welcome in the main restaurant until closed. Armed with crayons, kid’s menus and colourful plastic toys attached to their drinks, this restaurant knows how to cater to kids. Meals hit the table within 15 minutes of ordering the times we paid a visit, and the bill was under $100 on both occasions, which is saying something for a family of five.