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an aerial shot of the surrounding mountains during a whistler christmas vacation.

The Ultimate Whistler Christmas Itinerary: Festivities, Fun, & Snow

Step into a winter fairytale with a Whistler Christmas, where every corner sparkles with holiday joy and the spirit of adventure.

This magical time of the year transforms the village into a snowy paradise, brimming with festive cheer and winter activities.

From the twinkling lights of the village to the powdery slopes of the mountains, a Christmas in Whistler is a dream come true for holiday enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Whistler BC Christmas Activities

Welcome to Whistler, BC! This enchanting Canadian resort town transforms into a winter wonderland every Christmas, offering a festive escape like no other.

Whether you’re a local, a first-time visitor, a seasoned traveller, or looking for a family-friendly holiday destination, Whistler during Christmas is a magical experience. Let’s dive into 12 must-do Whistler winter activities that will make your Whistler Christmas unforgettable.

Courtesy: Tourism Whistler

Explore Whistler Village’s Winter Wonderland

During Christmas, visiting Whistler is like stepping into a living snow globe. The village is aglow with over 6500 twinkling strings of lights that reflect off the snow, creating a magical aura. As you walk around, the sound of laughter and the scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air.

One of my favourite memories is walking through the village on a crisp evening, hot cocoa in hand, marvelling at the intricate light displays and festive decorations. The local shops, with their windows dressed in holiday themes, invite you in with the promise of finding that perfect gift.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

And then there’s the snow – oh, the snow! It blankets the village in a pristine white that crunches underfoot, turning the whole world into a winter wonderland. Trust me, it’s straight out of a fairy tale!

a skiers descends from the top of the whistler-blackcomb ski resort.
Instagram: @whistlerblackcomb

Ski or Snowboard on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains

There is no denying that the heart of a Whistler Christmas is undoubtedly the skiing and snowboarding experience. After all, these iconic peaks offer some of the best slopes in the world, with trails suitable for all skill levels.

Even after countless trips, there’s still something incredibly freeing about gliding down these slopes, surrounded by towering trees and endless white. And the best part? The slopes are open on Christmas and New Year’s Day for those blessed souls fortunate enough to find themselves in Whistler during the holidays.

Are you looking to save some cash? Then check out Dress Like Santa Day on December 15th. Free lift tickets are awarded to the first 100 people who arrive at the Garibaldi Lift Company bar dressed in Santa attire!

Instagram: @gowhistler

Enjoy Wintersphere at the Whistler Conference Centre

The festive spirit in Whistler Village during Christmas is contagious. The village comes alive with various events and celebrations that capture the essence of the season.

One event that stands out is Wintersphere. Your children’s eyes will sparkle with wonder at the endless array of crafts and activities and the popular holiday maze. And, of course, Santa appears, waving merrily to the crowd.

This free, family-friendly pop-up event takes place at the Whistler Conference Centre from December 23rd until January 6th.

✈️ Heading in from YVR? Check out our guide on how to get from Vancouver Airport to Whistler.

the outdoor skating rink at whistler olympic plaza.
Courtesy: Tourism Whistler

Go Ice Skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza

There’s something undeniably romantic and nostalgic about ice skating, and Whistler Olympic Plaza is the perfect place to indulge. The square houses an outdoor rink that is set against the backdrop of the Olympic Rings and snow-covered mountains. It offers a picturesque setting for an afternoon or evening skate.

You can skate hand-in-hand with your loved ones with the crisp air nipping at your noses as you glide across the ice. Around you, the village’s festive lights and music create a lively and intimate ambiance.

The rink is open from November 23rd until mid-March. Skate rentals are available for $9, with helmets and skate aids included.

a pair of friends enjoy shopping whistler village.
Instagram: @gowhistler

Partake in a Whistler Christmas Shopping Adventure

Christmas shopping in Whistler is an experience in itself. The village is home to a variety of shops, from high-end boutiques to quaint local stores, each offering something unique. Whether you’re looking for the latest ski gear, handmade crafts, or gourmet treats, you’ll find it here.

Despite its relatively small size, the village is home to a plethora of clothing stores that even rival Vancouver’s Robson Street. Canadian favourites like Roots, Lululemon, and Aritzia are all here. And if you’re looking for outdoor wear, Arc’teryx, the North Face, and Patagonia will help you keep warm.

Looking for something more unique? The Arts Whistler Holiday Market on November 25th and 26th features over 60 carefully curated local vendors offering hand-baked, hand-made goodness.

a group partakes in a whistler snowshoeing adventure.

Enjoy the Whistler Backcountry

While skiing and snowboarding are the main draws, the area’s vast array of outdoor activities extends far beyond these popular winter sports. So, you’ll surely find a sport to enrich your Whistler Christmas getaway, regardless of age or fitness level.

For those seeking a more tranquil experience, snowshoeing in Whistler is a must-try. It’s a serene way to explore the winter wonderland, with trails winding through ancient forests and alongside frozen lakes. You’ll find a variety of guided snowshoeing tours that include equipment and tutorials.

For a family-friendly adventure, tobogganing and tubing are excellent choices. The Bubly Tube Park offers multiple lanes of snowy slopes, providing fun and laughter for all ages. It’s a delightful way to spend an afternoon, followed by warming up with hot chocolate by a fire.

a sleigh ride cuts through the backcountry during a whistler christmas excursion.
Courtesy: Whistler Adventures

Experience the Magic of a Whistler Sleigh Ride

A Whistler sleigh ride is like stepping into a fairy tale. Nestled under a blanket, you’re whisked through a winter landscape that’s straight out of a storybook. The sound of sleigh bells and the gentle trot of horses add to the enchanting experience.

This wintery dream world seemingly slows down as you can take in the serene beauty of your surroundings. At the same time, your guide will share stories of Whistler’s history and wildlife, making the ride scenic and informative.

It’s a magical adventure for families that delights both young and old. And for couples, it’s a romantic experience that’s hard to beat.

the octopus appetizer at wild blue in whistler, bc.
Instagram: @wildbluerestaurant

Indulge in Whistler’s Christmas Culinary Delights

The Village’s culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious. After a day of adventure, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a meal at Whistler’s Best Restaurants to warm the body and soul. From cozy cafes serving hearty breakfasts to fine dining restaurants offering exquisite cuisine, there’s something for every palate.

Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, and the brand-new Wild Blue are my recommendations for an elevated fine-dining experience befitting a luxurious Whistler Christmas getaway. Or check out Stonesedge Kitchen, Tandoori Grill, and Pizzeria Antico if you’d prefer a more casual option.

For those with a sweet tooth, the village’s bakeries and chocolate shops are a must-visit. Indulge in a freshly baked pastry at Purebread or a piece of artisanal chocolate at Rocky Mtn Chocolate– it’s the perfect treat to enjoy as you wander the festive streets.

a woman relaxes in a thermal spa at the scandinave spa in whistler, bc.
Instagram: @scandinavewhistler

Enjoy Whistler’s Luxurious Spas

The holiday season, while joyful, can often be hectic and stressful. Luckily, Whistler’s serene environment provides an ideal backdrop for relaxation. The town’s spas offer a variety of treatments designed to soothe the mind and body, allowing visitors to embrace the spirit of the season truly.

Whistler is home to several premier spas that cater to a range of preferences. The world-renowned Scandinave Spa is probably the best place to start. This Scandinavian-style thermal spa retreat is guaranteed to cure your aching bones after a day on the slopes.

Most high-end Whistler Hotels also provide state-of-the-art facilities for those seeking a high-end spa experience. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Vida Spa and Westin Resort’s Avello Spa & Health Club are a perfect escape from the holiday grind.

a snowboarder jumps through a ring of fire at the whistler fire and ice festival.
Instagram: @gowhistler/photo by Mike Crane

Stare in Awe at the Enchanting Fire and Ice Show

The Fire and Ice Show is a must-see in Whistler. This weekly event runs every Sunday from December 31 to mid-March. It combines the thrill of ski and snowboard stunts with the spectacle of fire and pyrotechnics, creating a show that’s as exciting as it is mesmerizing.

vancouver whale tour banner

I can still remember standing in the crowd, the cold forgotten, as I watched the performers soar through the air, their tricks illuminated by bursts of fire and colourful lights. The crowd’s energy, the athletes’ skill, and the night sky’s dramatic backdrop made it an unforgettable experience.

The show is not just a display of athletic prowess; it’s a celebration of Whistler’s vibrant winter sports culture. It’s a reminder of the passion and spirit that make this town such a special place, especially during the holiday season.

the Arts Whistler Holiday Market, one of the most popular whistler christmas markets.
Instagram: @artswhistler/Photo by @emilyserrellphoto

Exploring the Whistler Holiday Markets

The Whistler Christmas Market scene is a festive treasure trove for all ages. As you wander through the stalls, you’ll be greeted by the sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays. Trust me, it’ll be more than a shopping experience – but a celebration of the community and the season.

You’ll have a few options to choose from. The aforementioned Wintersphere at the Whistler Conference Centre is a good place to start. And we’ve also mentioned the fantastic Arts Whistler Holiday Market that takes place in late November.

Are you looking for another option? The Bespoke Market operates out of the stylish Audain Art Museum on December 9th and 10th. You’ll find a vast array of vendors hawking handmade goods, clothing, and jewellery. And you can sample all kinds of artisanal foods and beverages while you’re there.

an aerial view of the peak to peak gondola in whistler, bc.

Take a Scenic Gondola Ride for Breathtaking Views

A ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is an experience like no other. As you ascend, the views of the mountains and valleys unfold in a breathtaking panorama. It’s a moment of awe and appreciation for the natural beauty of Whistler.

During my first ride on the gondola, I was astonished by the sea of white punctuated by the dark green of the trees. Indeed, you’ll feel the same, as it’s a view that is both majestic and serene, a reminder of the grandeur of nature.

The gondola is not just a way to get from one mountain to another; it’s an opportunity to see Whistler from a different perspective. Whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder, or simply a lover of beautiful landscapes, the gondola ride is an experience that shouldn’t be missed when looking for things to do in Whistler.

Whistler Christmas FAQs

Whistler transforms into a magical winter wonderland during Christmas, offering a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, festive events, world-class skiing, and a vibrant village atmosphere. Its combination of outdoor activities and holiday cheer makes it an ideal destination for a memorable Christmas experience.

Yes, Whistler is quite popular during the Christmas season. This festive period attracts many visitors who are eager to experience the winter wonderland ambiance and array of holiday activities. The village buzzes with excitement, and the slopes are a hive of activity.

It’s a lively time to visit, but it’s also wise to expect larger crowds and plan accordingly. Booking accommodations and activities well in advance is highly recommended.

Absolutely! Whistler hosts a variety of festive events during the Christmas season, including the iconic Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wintersphere, Arts Whistler Holiday Market, the enchanting Fire and Ice Show, and an outdoor skating rink in Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Yes, skiing and snowboarding are among the top activities in Whistler during Christmas. Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains offer some of the best slopes in the world, suitable for all skill levels, and both are open throughout the holiday season – including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Absolutely! Visiting Whistler during Christmas is a truly magical experience that’s worth it for anyone who loves the holiday season combined with outdoor winter activities. The town is transformed into a picturesque winter wonderland with festive decorations, a range of events, and excellent skiing conditions.

Whether you’re looking for adventure on the slopes, unique holiday shopping, or simply a cozy retreat in a beautiful setting, Whistler during Christmas offers something special for everyone.

The best way to get to Whistler during the holidays largely depends on your starting location. If you’re flying in, the closest major airport is Vancouver International Airport. From there, you can rent a car, take a shuttle, or use a bus service to reach Whistler, which is about a 2-hour drive along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway. The drive itself is beautiful, offering stunning views of mountains and the coastline.

For those already in Vancouver or nearby areas, driving or using a bus service are convenient options. During the holiday season, it’s advisable to book your transportation in advance due to the higher demand.

Ready for your fairytale Whistler Christmas getaway?

A Whistler Christmas is a blend of adventure, relaxation, and festive joy. It’s a place where memories are made, and traditions are born.

Whether you’re here for the skiing, the shopping, or simply to bask in the holiday spirit, Whistler welcomes you with open arms.

So come and experience the magic of Christmas Day in Whistler – it’s an adventure you’ll never forget.

Happy Holidays?

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