We call Whistler our home away from home. Not only the fact that it’s only a 1 hour and 45 minute drive door to door, but because should we have free time as a family, it’s usually when we end up in Whistler. Sammy and I before kids went up there twice a year and we’ve managed to continue on with this travel tradition after kids with a visit in the Summer and again in the Winter.
We’ve done Whistler on a budget, and we’ve done Whistler to the max. Both have been equally as fun, except that time on our Honeymoon, it was a smidgen more magical than all the other times. Either way, Whistler can be done affordably with or without kids and I’m going to tell you exactly how.
Groupon Hotel Deals
Groupon is the perfect place to find not only a great price on random item you never knew you needed, but also for hotel accommodations and vacation packages. Every year we’ve managed to secure a great Groupon deal for the Delta Suites Whistler Village, however this year with a change in hands of ownership, they did not put one out. I recommend should you be looking at doing Whistler Affordably, check sites like Groupon for your Hotel Accommodation.
Another idea to cut your costs when traveling as a family is looking to online platforms like VRBO and AirBnB which can offer you great rental suites at an even greater price. Thanks to my mama, she stumbled across a VRBO rental that was located just outside of Whistler Village (2min drive or a 15-20min walk) that gave us the same price for a hotel but with 3 bedrooms. Really everything we needed, an extra bathroom, a sky-high loft Sofia just loved and heated floors. I would definitely consider finding a rental at one of these online platforms to cut costs, including looking outside the village to really get the most out of your traveling budget.
Weekends will always be more expensive across the board, car rentals, flights, hotel accommodations, and lift tickets, if you can swing it as a family, try and travel to Whistler during the week. Other perks alongside more affordable prices generally all around is it’s not nearly as busy, no wild crowds, and that restaurant you’ve been dying to get a reservation at, yeah! on a Monday or a Tuesday you can just walk right in, you own the joint!
Free Tobogganing (in Whistler Village)
If your kids are 10 and under I would say this hill is ample for an afternoon of free fun. Located right in Whistler Village, conveniently adjacent to DAVIDsTEA and Starbucks, the afternoon will be a magical one, as your kids scream with glee racing down the hill and you sip your piping hot “whatever it is you fancy”. The tobogganing hill is open December through March depending on weather.
Free Day Parking (in Whistler Village)
If you’re staying outside the village and a short drive is what’s needed to get you and your family into the village for the day, avoid paying a premium for parking and use lots 4 & 5 between September 16th – December 14th for free parking all day. Lots 4 & 5 are located again at the bottom of the village near the IGA.
Free Ice Skating (in Whistler Village)
Skate outdoors, in the open air, even join in on a good ‘ol Canadian game of hockey. Another great free option for the family (should you own your own skates) is Ice Skating in Whistler Village at the Olympic Plaza. Admission onto the ice and Helmet rentals are free, but should you need skates it will set you back $6 each. Ice Skating Rink in Whistler Village is open December through March, weather dependant.
Alta and/or Green Lake Ice Skating (outside Whistler Village)
Both Lakes are located outside the village, however not by far, if you’re looking for some free fun in Whistler this one will do it. I doubt it gets any more pristine than skating on a lake surrounded by trees, does it? Please do keep in mind these lakes are not monitored, so be safe and make sure to bring your own gear. No rentals available at either Lake.
Family Apres (at the Olympic Plaza in Whistler Village)
Running Mondays and Wednesday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, December 18ththrough March 28th, gather in the Olympic Plaza for some family fun. Parents can share stories about their day with a warm beverage while the kids participate in a variety of outdoor, winter activities and entertainment (see Tourism Whistler website for more info)
El Furniture Warehouse; Affordable Restaurants (in Whistler Village)
One of our very favorite places to dine, not only because everything on their menu costs $4.95, but because they have something for everyone in the family including Gluten-Free options. El Furniture Warehouse, located parallel to the Delta Suites Whistler and The Gap, this restaurant will almost always be a packed house, but for a good reason. Make a reservation if you can, or else wait it out. Dad’s are great for waiting out the line-up while you take a quick pop into the Gap and snag your new favorite scarf while the kids play on the great mound of snow in the village plaza.
Family Events at the Library (in Whistler Village)
Free daily events for the whole family; Family Together Time, Singing with Babies, Holiday Crafternoons and so much more. Located right in Whistler Village the Whistler Library is a great option for free family fun during your Family Vacation. Check out their monthly schedules here
The Old Spaghetti Factory; Affordable Restaurants (in Whistler Village)
Another great option for affordable eating in Whistler Village is one I’m sure you’re not a stranger to, but maybe not aware it’s in the village. The Old Spaghetti Factory, connected to the Crystal Lodge at the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain, a great family restaurant, with a menu option for every palette and a loud enough atmosphere to drown our your children’s wild ways.
Our Family Vacations in Whistler are ones that will forever go down in the memory books. They’re magical no matter what the weather, sun or snow and worth every last penny we’ve spent. Traveling with kids is not always easy and trends show carry many unexpected surprises, but boy are they worth it! Vacationing in Whistler Affordably with kids is possible, I promise, we do it all the time.
I wasn’t kidding about our family vacationing in Whistler often, check out some other posts from our past visits:
Whistler Traditions, Whistler Winter Vacation, VRBO Rental in Whistler Village, and Winter Getaway with Friends.