You are planning a holiday in Whistler this winter and can already feel the snow under your skis. You’ve booked your hotel, bought a new pair of skis and that last decision is what to do with the kids while you hit the slopes. Don’t let the little ones miss out on the winter action! There are ski and snowboard programs for kids of all ages and even the tiniest travellers can have some fun while mom and dad are enjoying a day on the mountain. Here is a Guide to Kid’s Ski and Snowboard Programs in Whistler.
Whistler Blackcomb Snow School is one of the best ski and snowboard schools in North America. Your kids will be in good hands, leaving you time to explore the terrain and sharpen your technique on the mountain. Babysitting services are available for children under 18 months and Whistler Blackcomb can keep the kids busy after that.
18 – 48 months
Although kids can’t start Snow School until they are three, Whistler Blackcomb offers childcare for the young ones while the rest of the family is on the mountain. Fully licensed child-care programs run daily in four convenient locations. Toddlers and pre-schoolers will enjoy a fun, stimulating and relaxing environment. It’s a win-win situation for all.
At the age of 3, pre-schoolers can learn to ski. Depending on how many days you plan to put your child in lessons, you can choose between an Adventure Camp or a Daily Group Lesson. Adventure Camps run for 3 or 5 days and feature the same instructor throughout. These camps provide great opportunities to progress with confidence all the while having fun, playing games and making friends. The adventure camp includes a hot lunch and snacks, lift line priority and a small class ratio (4:1).
If you can’t swing a few days on the hill then Daily Group Lessons are the way to go. Whistler Blackcomb offers single day lessons as well as weekend lessons for your little ones. As with the Adventure Camp a fun learning environment, lunch and snacks, and lift line priority are included in the lessons.
School aged kids can enjoy Adventure Camps or Daily Group Lessons the same as pre-schoolers. The group sizes are slightly larger (6:1), and depending on the skills level, more of the mountain is explored. The Adventure Camp offers 3 or 5 day lesson packages and the Daily Group Lessons operate as a single day or weekend lesson. Fun themes, games, hot lunches and snacks are included.
Snowboarding on Whistler/Blackcomb starts at 4 years of age. Kids can either enroll in the Holiday Snowboard Camps or the Daily Group Lesson.
Holiday Snowboard Camps are 5 days long with a 6:1 class ratio. The camps are jam packed with fun events, themes and activities; they also include a hot lunch, snacks and lift line priority. Kids remain with the same instructor for the duration of the camp so they will form close bonds with other students and will progress quickly under the instructor’s supervision.
Daily Group Snowboard Lessons are available for 4-6 year olds. Choose from a single day lesson or a weekend (2 day) lesson. Your kids will enjoy a fun learning environment with games and activities plus a hot lunch and snacks.
Holiday Snowboard Camps are also available for 7-12 year olds with a 6:1 student/teacher ratio. Camps are five days, starting on Monday and ending Friday. Your child will explore the mountain with confidence with children similar age and skill levels. The holiday camps offer a fun learning environment and feature special weekly themes and activities.
Your 7-12 year old can also enroll in a Daily Group Lesson. One day and two day (weekend) lessons are available. Lessons include fun activities, a hot lunch and snacks, and lift line priority.
There are three program locations to choose from depending on where you are staying (available for most lessons): Whistler Kids (Whistler Village), Blackcomb Kids (Base of Blackcomb) and Creekside Kids (Creekside Village).
In all ski and snowboard programs the lesson groups are divided into levels (1-6) to ensure your child is learning with other children who are similar age and experience level. Lessons cater from absolute beginners to advanced.
Other Lesson Options
Private lessons are available for skiers and snowboarders of all ages looking for some one-on-one coaching. Groups or families can also book an expert instructor for private group lessons. This option is available for full and half days and you can select your instructor by language, gender and experience level.
Park Free-Ride Lessons are available for skiers and snowboarders 10-12 years old. This program is designed for advanced skiers and riders and offers a way to explore the park, pipe and mountain with an expert instructor and small group (max. 3).
Teenage Ski and Snowboard Programs are also available for 13-18 year old teens.
For more information on ski and snowboard programs at Whistler Blackcomb see here.
Now one last thing. Gear! You’ve booked and researched almost everything for your Whistler holiday. Now make sure the kids have the right gear to keep them warm and comfortable on the mountain. Read about Dressing Your Kids for Winter Fun and make sure to stop in at Fun for Kids Whistler, located at the base of Whistler Mountain in the Hilton Hotel Plaza, for Whistler’s largest assortment of children’s quality, name brand gear and apparel.