We love winters in Whistler, when families descend on the Canadian beauty and its awesome ski slopes. But we love Whistler in the Fall, when the autumn leaves are out and there are shoulder season bonuses to enjoy.
Shoulder Season Benefits
The fall season in Whistler brings one awesome perk: hotel discounts in a big way. We stayed in the Blackcomb lodge by Whistler Premier and since hotels started doing rooms with multiple bedrooms and kitchenettes, life as a traveling family just got that much easier. Aside from that cozy feeling of having stairs in the suite, the separate room gives families the peace that they always hope for on vacation but don’t always get in cramped hotel rooms. A few of these hotels offer loft as an option for the same price which means a whole other floor!
For a lazy fall weekend we paid 270 CAD (135 per night!) for a two-story, 6-bed room at the Blackcomb lodge. Similar deals were to be found at a bunch of other similar hotels such as the Executive inn and Summit lodge. The same room in December was around 600 CAD for a weekend!
What to do, what to do?
Going to British Columbia, Canada you always want to have the answer to this question in your back pocket: What do we do on a rainy day?
Just stepping out in Whistler any day of the year is such a luxury. The mountains are either grey and moody, pushing you toward one of endless cozy cafes and shops or they are bright and gorgeous and the park in the middle of the Olympic village is your go to for a great start to the day.
Our kids played in the stream under the bridge halfway so we never actually made it to the park in time for a full on play before everyone was starving. Luckily even the park is completely surrounded by snack options.
The Creekside area offers beautiful lake Alpha with a small, wondrous park in a natural setting. The park looks like a tree house but is actually created as a fire station, (so discrete my kids had to fill me in, not the first time)! Burn off some extra energy with a walk around the lake and start or finish with a few strong meal options all nearby.
The weather really shifts in a mountain village so a sunny morning can end up as a cold cloudy afternoon, which is where the hotel pool and jacuzzi/sauna get to be the main attraction instead of playing second fiddle to skiing.
Where We Stayed
Blackcomb lodge by Whistler Premier (135 CAD /night)
Similar options: Summit lodge, Executive Inn
Things to keep the kids entertained
Creekside park /lake Alpha (just behind the Southside diner)
Whistler Olympic village park
Weather proof ideas:
Bounce at Function Junction (trampolines galore and an amazing hot chocolatier across the street)
The little eats matter
For families with small kids it’s the little eats that matter more than big dinners, which is why making Annie’s mac n cheese in the hotel room is such a life saver (especially if your 10 year old makes it). If never having to get out of your underwear is your idea of the perfect weekend, the kitchenettes are fully equipped at most lodges.
For those of you who enjoy wearing pants, out of room options include The Southside Diner in creekside (Lake placid road) – this is a classic diner and the perfect starting point to burn off your pancakes with a walk down to the lake and fireman park. Boston Pizza has amazing views and great family menu items (Worms ‘n dirt dessert for 2.95 was a big hit, as you can imagine!). And then there’s The Spaghetti Factory, which is super family friendly and fun, with free Spunomi ice cream for all. Each meal comes with salad, sourdough bread and tea or coffee. They really take care of families at the Spaghetti factory in Whistler.
Another couple of good options are Camp Cafe (at Function Junction) and The Brew House, which is a two story restaurant with plenty of great food and boisterous fun to be had!
From the kids to the kids
“There is a sale on almost everything” Dylan, 10
“The Pool was the best” Sam, 4
“Tim Hortons – you can’t visit Canada without going to Tim Hortons!” Niki, 7