Family Day is a statutory holiday in mid-February. It’s a busy time to visit Whistler as the resort offers special deals and events in normal years.
WHISTLER, FAMILY DAY AND COVID-19
There was more to do on the February Long Weekend in 2022 compared to the previous year, but the pandemic was still a big issue in BC at the time. Masks were compulsory for all indoor events and many places required visitors to be vaccinated. Some events continued to have modified formats.
The ski hill was still crowded on holiday weekends. There were fewer people than in pre-pandemic years due to the persistence of COVID, but there were plenty there still, especially with the return of some events.
To learn about skiing opportunities and Family Day activities elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, see the Vancouver Ski Hills and Family Day in Vancouver articles on the website VancouversBestPlaces.com.
Whistler on the BC Family Day Weekend
In 2023 Family Day happens on February 20th. The provincial statutory holiday takes place each year on the third Monday in February.
Since most children and parents have the day off, Whistler is a popular destination during the long weekend. In years without a global pandemic the resort also attracts plenty of travelers from outside the province. BC’s holiday coincides with President’s Day in the United States (which also falls on the third Monday of February) and Family Day in Alberta. To make up for the crowds, and to attract as many tourists as possible, businesses across Whistler offer special deals for the day.
Below are some of the special discounts and activities available for folk of all ages in Whistler on Family Day most years.
In the Village
In years not affected by a global pandemic the Resort Town of Whistler hosts a selection of special activities during the Family Day Long Weekend. One of the most popular (and free) activities is the Family Après in the Plaza. The event usually runs at the Whistler Olympic Plaza on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 pm during the winter time (so not just on the holiday weekend). The event features free hot drinks, live music, games, treats and more. However, in 2022, free activities in the Whistler Olympic Plaza on Family Day only included the snow zone, sledding, and skating.
While not on the actual holiday, another popular activity in regular years is the Whistler Fire and Ice Show. The weekly event usually happens on Sunday nights at Skier’s Plaza. It features skiers and snowboarders doing tricks through flaming rings. The event also features DJ music, fire spinners and pyrotechnics. This event was cancelled in 2021 and it’s unclear whether or not it took place in 2022.
One family-friendly event that did happen for sure in 2022 was Vallea Lumina. The illuminated multi-media light walk was open daily at sundown with tours leaving every half hour or so. Vallea Lumina usually costs about $30 for adults ages 16 or older and $25 for youth ages 6 to 15. On Family Day in 2022, youth tickets cost 50% less. Children under the age of 6 got in for free as always.
In addition to the various activities, area restaurants are especially popular on holiday weekends. If you want to eat somewhere special with your family, or perhaps with your special someone on Valentine’s Day, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance. For ideas on places to go see our article about Whistler Restaurants.
On the Mountain
February is generally a great month to Ski or Snowboard at Whistler Blackcomb. Winter time runs from December to March in Whistler so February is still in the midst of the snowy months. Daily temperatures in the Village range from around +3 degrees down to -5 degrees (Celsius) in February most years with temperatures being even colder the further up the mountain you go.
While discounts on lift tickets are rare, kids usually receive free ski or snowboard rentals with a paying adult at select rental locations across the town on the Family Day weekend.
Skiing and snowboarding are great winter activities for families to enjoy. However, the mountain resort also offers other kid-friendly activities. Most activities listed below are included with the purchase of a lift ticket.
Whistler Mountain is home to two Family Fun Zones. Located at the mid-mountain area, the mountain is home to a large Tree Fort winter playground. The Tree Fort can be accessed via the Bear Club trail which is close to the Big Red Express. There is also a Family Zone within the Whistler Mountain Terrain Park for young folk and visitors of all ages to practice their skills.
Similar to Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain is home to another couple of Family Fun Zones. Blackcomb’s Magic Castle can be found within the mountain’s Children’s Adventure Park. The area is accessible via the Easy Out trail just above the base of the Catskinner Chairlift.
At the base of Blackcomb Mountain is the Bubly Tube Park. The park has 7 tubing lanes ranging in difficulty from the mini slope (for the younger folk) up to the fast lanes. Unlike the other on-mountain family-friendly activities, admission to the Tube Park is not included with the price of a lift ticket. Prices for the 2021/22 season are listed below:
- Adult (ages 19 to 64) – $26 (one hour) or $35 (two hours)
- Youth (ages 13 to 18) – $24 (one hour) or $34.50 (two hours)
- Senior (ages 65 or older) – $24 (one hour) or $34.50 (two hours)
- Child (ages 7 to 12) – $20.50 (one hour) or $23.50 (two hours)
- Mini (ages 3 to 6) – $16.50 (one hour) or $20 (two hours)
For more information visit the Bubly Tube Park page on the Whistler Blackcomb website.
Other Special Deals
Retailers and other businesses in Whistler offer special deals and offers during the Family Day holiday. However, due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, some activities were unable to take place in 2022. Discounts for 2022 included the following:
- Free travel on BC Transit for those under the age of 13
- Children 12 and under ride free with a paying adult on select snowmobile tours
- Free admission to the Audain Art Museum for children under the age of 19
- Free transfers for children under the age of 6 with YVR Skylynx and the Whistler Shuttle, as well as for children under the age of 7 with Epic Rides
Deals in previous years have included the following:
- Free skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza
- 50% off Whistler-Blackcomb lift tickets
- 50% off snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Lost Lake Park
- Half price off cross-country and snowshoeing tickets and free hot chocolate at the Whistler Olympic Park
- 50% off drop-in fees at the Meadow Park Sports Centre
As of mid-February 2021, health authorities were advising people against non-essential travel. If from the Lower Mainland but outside the Whistler area, people wanting to ski at the resort were encouraged to do so as a day trip and not stay overnight. For Family Day next year though, be sure to make your reservations with Whistler Hotels well in advance.