(This post was sponsored by Tourism Whistler uploaded on Oct. 2019)
The first thing that comes to mind when people hear Whistler, is that it’s a skiing and snowboarding destination, the clear emerald water of Joffre Lake and home to the 2010 Winter & Paralympics Winter Games; And yes, Whistler is all those things and so much more. Nestled in the Coast Mountains and just roughly a 2-hour drive north of Vancouver, Whistler B.C is a year-round haven that offers an extensive range of accommodations and activities like spa, clubs, golfing, outdoor sports, and plenty of world-renown restaurants and bars, etc. to satisfy your vacation needs. However, now coming back as a new parent, I’ve discovered that Whistler is also a great destination to take your kids and offers lots of family-friendly attractions. Today I am going to be sharing with you some great ideas for you to plan an unforgettable fall trip with your kids in beautiful Whistler B.C!
Accommodation: Where To Stay?
Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites
One of the first things you have to consider when traveling is the accommodation and especially now as a parent, a family-friendly hotel is a must! This time we chose to stay at Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites located at the heart of Whistler Village because it is so accessible to all the shops, and restaurants and just a short walk to the Blackcomb Mountain gondolas. As soon as we walked into this full-service hotel with warm and friendly staff, we saw many families with small children there so it’s a good sign to me that we chose the right place to stay. A dream to take yourselves or with your kids, their suites are spacious and inviting with a beautiful pool area. For me, a great pool is necessary because Adelina likes to play in the water and what I love is that both their indoor & outdoor swimming pools are heated and they also have plenty of Jacuzzi pools for you to unwind after a long day of fun!
They also have other great amenities like a 24 hr adult-only fitness center, a washer & dryer option in the rooms and boast two amazing in-house restaurants: Hy’s Steakhouse and Brickwork’s Public House to satisfy maybe quick late-night food craving or if you like to experience a delicious sumptuous steak and cocktail! And if you don’t fancy any of those ideas, you can always cook a nice meal in your fully equipped kitchen, call room service or go exploring in the Village for some Instagram-worthy restaurants. But my favourite part of the stay is that I get to wake up every morning and enjoy the crisp autumn air, at the comfort of my own private balcony overlooking the mountains which is a nice way to start the day ahead. Adelina also enjoys watching her daily Peppa Pig on their flat screen T.V and comfy couches to begin her baby day.
Attractions: Where To Go?
Whistler is truly one of those places that can cater to anyone’s vacay desires and fall is a great time to travel still because the weather is nice (with the occasional rain) and with lots of activities for both adults and kids of all ages to do.
Whistler Public Library
If you follow the rainbow road just across our hotel entrance you will find the gorgeous 12, 000 square ft Whistler Public Library. Renovated in 2008, the library is one of the busiest in the province and has become a community hub for both locals and visitors earning the nickname ”Whistler Living Room”. The library’s green design and unique timber-framed structure truly capture perfectly its surroundings and has a wonderful space in the back for sing-a-long and story time for babies and toddlers during the morning! Adelina loves to explore the ample books they have for children and the beautiful garden they have in the back. A hidden gem, from the outside, I would not have expected a garden filled with fall flowers of yellow and gold, and across is the Whistler Museum, where there is a lovely mural for some great family photos.
This attraction is not for children but I would highly recommend it for parents if you are coming up for an anniversary/couple trip or if you are traveling with friends and family members (like we did we grandma) who can watch the kids for a few hours. Our first time here, what I heard about the spa was a “no-talking” rule inside and no photos of course but I wasn’t expecting the beautiful scenery. Set within Spruce Grove and overlooking the mountains, Scandinave Spa is a gorgeous Nordic oasis filled with flowers and hammocks, and chairs where you can relax after you experience their Hydrotherapy, a cycle of hot and cold and then relax. At first, I was scared of heading to the cold cycle (which looks like a small waterfall) and just stayed in the hot pool, but once I got the courage to try it out it I feel instantly relaxed. I think am a fan now of this Scandinavian tradition and will definitely return next time.
The highlight of our trip I would have to say is Vallea Lumina, an immersive award-winning multimedia nighttime walk that gives audiences an unforgettable experience. Now in its second year, the enchanting show follows two hikers’ journey to finding hidden wonders as they explore Whistler’s, Cougar Mountain. A dazzling collaboration between Moment Factory and the Adventure Group, Vallea Lumina was inspired by Whistler’s culture and natural beauty and uses the language of emotions to speak and engage with audiences of all generations. I was not only mesmerized by the stunning lights and effects but also by how interactive the whole show is. Even though I have heard of Vallea and have seen pictures on Instagram, you really have to be in person to truly understand its magic. Only accessible by shuttle service provided by the show, the bus ride up was short (only about 10 mins) and super fun as we got a party bus. The shuttle ride really helped with building anticipation for the show as it feels like you are going on a trip within a trip. From the moment we got there I felt like we were transported to a camp, with people roasting S’mores by the fire pit and kids playing checkers and Jenga. As we hiked up the first part of the show we were greeted by radio transmission and the story unfolds as we follow the hiker’s adventure through the mountain. I can only say the experience was like seeing fireworks and animation on screen for the first time because the imagery was just so unreal and all made by computers. The hike I have to say was a little tedious for me as I have to carry Adelina in a carrier (no strollers allowed) but the hiking up the mountain really made you feel like you were part of the journey and I think that is why it’s designed the way it is.
Overall the show was unbelievable and one of the most dazzling shows I have ever encountered and truly an experience you have to take your kids to. As mentioned Vallea Lumina is not accessible by car but there is a complimentary shuttle service to take you to and back from the mountains. Also, the show only allows for baby carriers and not strollers as you really have to hike up steps so please be aware that you might have to carry your toddler and small child in some parts of the way especially if they can’t really walk well yet. The show we went to is the summer experience and will end in October but we are in luck because a winter show (for the first time ever) is coming and will begin on Nov 28 and is a great non-ski winter experience for all ages and truly the first of its kind!
So you can follow this Link for more info about the winter attraction coming soon!
On the last day of our trip, we wanted to keep it relaxing and simple before we headed home. So we ventured into the Upper Village and checked out the Whistler Farmers Market. Not only just vendors selling specialty B.C made goods, to fresh produce, to unique foods like paella, the farmers market is also really fun for kids. Adelina loves to walk and see all the sights and cute dogs walking by while listening and dancing to the live music. She was a crowd favourite that day with her new pom pom toque and people greeted her enthusiastically. The market is now over for the season but will reopen for the summer so please check back HERE for more info next year.
Dining: What to Eat?
Now no trip is complete without mentioning the food and Whistler has some of the best restaurants in the world. And because Whistler has so much great dining options, I didn’t even do any research and just played it by ear and you can totally do that! So I want to recommend you some of my favourite restaurants that are both family-friendly and date-night worthy!
Apres at Earls Whistler
Generally, people wouldn’t recommend chain restaurants when traveling because you can have it any time in the city but something about the chain restaurants in Whistler that are different and the food is even better. Our first meal was lunch at the newly renovated Earls Whistler, which updated its look and feels embracing both urban chic and mountain charms as seen with the beautiful antler chandeliers when we first entered. Hosted by Tourism Whistler, I got to meet the lovely Joanne and it’s always wonderful to meet with people and not just connect online! Joanne was just so wonderful and warm and even gave Adelina a stuffed teddy which she immediately loved. And for the food, I highly recommend you order the Scallop Risotto which was my favourite there!
I have been going to Milestones in Whistler a lot in October as I was just up there again for the annual London Drugs Beauty Event. Each year they hold their holiday party there so Milestones is always memorable for me. But during my trip with the family, we went there as mentioned after our lovely walk around the farmers market it’s just a great location with good food, a wonderful atmosphere, and also very kid-friendly. I really love the Portobello Mushroom Chicken which comes with a nice bed of spaghetti and the Sweet Chili Chicken Bowl which is my husband’s favourite.
If you are looking for something more upscale I do highly recommend Hy’s Steakhouse which is conveniently located in our hotel the Delta! I would definitely say Hy’s Steakhouse is a fine dining experience and their steaks are costly but I find that as we get older, we like to spend more on experiences like trips and food to really create great memories. In the Vancouver location, I don’t really see people bringing their kids there but in the Whistler location even though it’s still fine dining it’s very chilled and they are quite family-friendly (they even stored our stroller for us) and not to mention it’s just in our hotel so makes it super convenient. I would recommend everything there especially their cheese toast to start and my husband always likes to be adventurous and order the 22-inch Porter House which he can never quite finish but we end up having it for a late-night snack and it was still so good!
So after our 1st night in Whistler, my husband and I ventured out to explore the nightlife after the baby was asleep. I have to say, Whistler is bustling in October and even during nighttime the bars and restaurants are popping! Since my husband loves a good drink (he’s a whisky and old-fashion guy) we grabbed some Spanish tapas at Bar Oso. The menu selection isn’t huge but I really like the skewer Tortilla De La Patatas (omelette) and the Lobster & Matane Shrimp Roll while my husband ordered the Beef Tartare. If you like their food, I would say their drinks are even better and I really enjoyed “Trophy Wife” it tastes so good and has the best name. We couldn’t sit inside because the place is quite small but I really enjoyed sitting outside with the heated patio and it was just cozy and a lovely way to end our first day in Whistler.
Why I love Whistler!
I remember coming as a kid with my parents, with friends on summer trips and even for our anniversary trip one year with my now husband. Each time I come I create special memories but this time, I saw Whistler differently! And now that I have a kid, I mostly like to travel to kid-friendly and family-oriented destinations and it’s great that Whistler can cater to everyone. Each time I come, I discover new adventures and this time the highlight was definitely Scandinave Spa and Vallea Lumina. Coming to Whistler is always fun but this time it holds a whole new meaning! I will always remember how this is the trip that Adelina truly learned how to walk and It will always hold a special place in our hearts. Looking forward, I am thinking we will probably make this a family tradition to return each fall to see the beautiful autumn leaves and create more new and exciting memories.
Thanks for reading and happy fall travels!