24 Fun Things To Do In Whistler In Winter For Non Skiers

Are you looking for things to do in Whistler in winter for non skiers?

As a local who lives in Vancouver and has often been to Whistler but not for skiing because I’m not a skier, I’m here to help you with other things to do in Whistler that don’t involve skiing.

Yes, Whistler is a world-renowned ski resort, and the main reason people travel to Whistler is skiing.

However, there are many other activities for non skiers in Whistler, such as dog sledding, axe throwing, outdoor skating, and more.

Things To Do In Whistler In Winter For Non Skiers

There are many events and activities that non skiers can do in Whistler in the winter. Activities during operating dates and hours are weather-permitted. They may be subject to change, so watch for the weather.

1. Tubing

The Bubly Tube Park in Whistler, near the Excalibur Gondola, is a fun winter activity for families with younger children and people of all ages.

At Bubly Tube Park, you’ll find a dedicated area where you can slide down the slopes on specially designed inflatable tubes. The park offers seven lanes with varying intensity levels, from the gentle kid’s lane to faster and longer lanes, ensuring everyone can enjoy the thrill at their own pace.

There’s also a Tube Lift, so you don’t have to carry the inflatable tube up the hill for another slide. The area has a sound system so you can enjoy music during the day or a fully lit-up area for tubing at night.

People pulling red round blown up innertubs. They are all walking up the side of the hill to take a turn tubbing down the hill.

2. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is an excellent winter activity for all ages and fitness levels. Explore the snowy landscapes through forest trails, enjoy stunning mountain views, and stroll through snow-covered trees and frozen lakes.

Guided tours are available for those who want to learn about the area’s nature and history while enjoying an outdoor adventure. You can also explore the many networks of hiking trails on your self-guided tour. Some trails are only sometimes fully maintained, so signage may be minimal, so be prepared.

If you don’t own snowshoes, you can rent them in Whistler. There are also dog-friendly snowshoe trails. However, dogs are not allowed in Lost Lake Park.

A person snowshoeing in the snow along some pre-made snow lanes. He is is wearing black snow pants, orange snow jacket, winter gloves, and his snowshoes are red and black in the middle.

3. Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling in Whistler is an adrenaline-filled activity suitable for everyone. It’s an exciting way to explore the snowy wilderness of the backcountry.

Guided tours offer options for all skill levels, letting you ride with the many tour options through the wilderness, mountains, fresh tracks, and more incredible options.

With equipment and safety gear provided, you can enjoy the thrill and capture stunning views on this memorable adventure. There are even Mini-Z snowmobiles for kids to use during family or beginner tours.

Aerial view of five snowmobiles. There are people riding them along a snowy forest.

4. Bobsleigh & Skeleton

While the bobsleigh and skeleton track in Whistler was initially built for the 2010 Winter Olympics, after the Olympics, it was adapted to offer the public the chance to experience the thrills of these high-speed sports.

Whistler’s bobsleigh experience involves riding with a trained and professional pilot in a four-person bobsleigh. In contrast, the skeleton experience lets you slide solo (in winter only). Skeleton is riding head-first down the track!

5. Ziplining

Ziplining in Whistler during winter is an exciting and scenic adventure that lets you glide through snow-covered landscapes. Whistler’s winter ziplining provides a unique perspective above snowy treetops and views of the surrounding mountains.

Remember that ziplining tours are weather-dependent, so check with tour operators before planning your adventure. Also, specific ziplining tours in Whistler are open only during winter or summer.

Forest surroundings with snow all on the trees. There are two separate ziplines with two people on it ziplining to the other side.

6. Dog Sledding

The Inuit, who live in northern Canada, invented dog sledding thousands of years ago. Many Arctic countries are still using dog sleds in rural areas of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. Dog sledding is often used to transport hunting supplies and moving camps

Dog sledding in Whistler is an excellent winter adventure where you become part of a sled dog team led by you and experienced mushers or sit back and relax and enjoy the ride by an expert musher.

The unique way of transportation takes you through the snow-covered areas, offering views of mountains and forests. You’ll learn about their personalities, teamwork, physiology, and incredible skills while participating in the journey.

7. Snowcat Tours

Snowcat tours in Whistler provide a comfortable and exciting way to explore the snowy backcountry. These tours use specialized Snowcat vehicles to navigate deep snow, granting access to remote areas that offer stunning winter vistas.

The three-and-a-half-hour Snowcat tours are excellent for those who want to travel in warmth and comfort in the snow. One of the tours will take you to a remote, heated log cabin to enjoy a delicious fondue dinner or pinnacle main course meal by a private chef.

The other tour will take you 6,000 feet on Blackcomb Mountain, where you can enjoy a fondue dinner at the Crystal Hut.

8. Outdoor Skating

One of the most Canadian things to do is ice skating. The outdoor Whistler Olympic Plaza is open during the winter in the middle of Whistler Village. You can bring your skates, and helmets are encouraged, or a rental option exists. It’s a first-come, first-serve rink with a capacity limit.

If you would rather be indoors, the Meadow Park Sports Centre is an NHL (National Hockey League) size rink open to the public. You may bring your skates and helmets or rent them at the skate shop.

9. Ice Climbing

Ice climbing in Whistler is an adventurous winter sport where climbers scale frozen waterfalls and ice walls using specialized gear like ice axes and crampons. It’s an unforgettable experience learning how to scale an icy wall.

Taught by experienced guides, ice climbing does not have to be only for the physically fit. The challenging vertical climbs offer a mix of routes suitable for beginners and experienced climbers. 

10. Ice Fishing

If you’re into fishing or know of someone who is into fishing, ice fishing in Whistler is an excellent fishing experience where you drill holes in frozen lakes to catch fish beneath the ice.

Depending on the winter season, there’s an opportunity to catch various fish species like rainbow trout, bull trout, salmon, or steelhead.

Guided tours are available for beginners, providing instruction and safety guidance. They’ll take you to their favourite spots, such as a lake or river.

11. Ride PEAK 2 PEAK

Connecting Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains is the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola with an impressive gondola ride. PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola holds three world records:

  • The world’s unsupported span for a lift at 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles)
  • The world’s highest lift at 1,427 feet (436 metres)
  • The world’s longest continuous lift system connecting three high-speed gondolas

Also, with large 360-degree viewing windows on clear days, the gondola offers views of the mountains, coastal rainforest, and ancient glaciers. The gondola provides an excellent 11-minute scenic view ride between the two mountains for those riding it.

PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola in Whistler are bright red gondolas that connect Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. There's one travelling along the route with snow covered surroundings.

The gondola operates year-round for skiers and snowboarders in winter and mountain bikers in summer. However, it’s accessible to everyone and provides opportunities for mountain-top dining, exploration, and capturing incredible photos.

12. Helicopter Tours

Helicopter tours in Whistler provide an exciting way to experience Whistler and surrounding landscapes from the air. These tours offer a chance to soar above the mountains, pristine lakes, and snow-covered forests, offering aerial views.

During the winter, there are two tours. One is a 12-minute flight that takes you over Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, a birds-eye view of Whistler Village, and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

The second tour is experiencing a remarkable 24-minute helicopter tour with a complimentary 15-minute Glacier Landing. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Whistler Resort, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and the stunning Cheakamus Glacier and Black Tusk. Afterward, step onto a 12,000-year-old glacier on Rainbow Mountain.

A helicopter tour in Whistler is also an excellent idea if you’re looking for somewhere to propose to Whistler.

13. Vallea Lumina

Vallea Lumina in Whistler is a 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mile) pathway that offers an enchanting winter adventure that takes you on a night walk through a forest illuminated by captivating lights and multimedia effects.

This unique experience combines storytelling with nature, bringing you into a magical world where you can interact with interactive elements and uncover hidden surprises along the snow-covered trail.

14. Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping in Whistler is a dare-devil adventure where you jump from a high bridge with a secure bungee cord attached. This heart-pounding experience offers an adrenaline rush in a stunning natural setting, surrounded by rugged landscapes and rushing rivers at the bottom.

Safety is a priority. With professional guides providing instructions and secure harnessing, bungee jumping is perfect for adventurers seeking an extreme experience and not for the faintest of hearts. 

15. Scandinave Spa

The Scandinave Spa in Whistler is a destination that embraces the silence in digital detox and relaxation. The spa promotes relaxation and well-being using the Thermal Journey of hot and cold stages.

It features hot baths, cold plunges, saunas, and steam rooms. Remember to book one of the many massage options the Scandinave Spa offers.

16. Axe-Throwing

Axe throwing in Whistler is a thrilling activity where you aim axes at wooden targets, channelling your inner lumberjack. It’s excellent for families and team bonding events.

17. Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

First of its kind in Canada, The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is on shared traditional territories of the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations. You can explore their traditions, art, and history through exhibits, interactive displays, and cultural demonstrations.

The centre’s architectural beauty, guided tours, and cultural exchange opportunities provide a respectful and engaging way to gain insights into the Indigenous communities.

It’s a chance to appreciate their heritage, contributions, and artistic expressions while supporting their cultural preservation efforts through your visit and purchases from the gift shop.

18. Audain Art Museum

The Audain Art Museum in Whistler is where you can see various artworks, from Indigenous creations like Haida Chief James Hart, Emily Carr, and many other talented artists.

19. Whistler Tasting Tours

Whistler Tasting Tours is a delightful and culinary-focused experience that allows you to explore the vibrant food and beverage scene of Whistler, British Columbia. 

The tasting tour features tours such as four of Whistler’s best local restaurants, known as the Hidden Gems Dinner Tour. Or the Finer Things Dinner Tour, a four-course dinner tour that explores four award-winning restaurants while learning about the area’s culinary culture. There’s also a lunch tour option if you rather explore the culinary scene during the day.

20. Whistler Core Rock Climbing & Fitness Gym

While you can’t rock climb during the winter, you can hone your skills at the indoor Whistler Core Rock Climbing Gym. It’s a fantastic place in Whistler Village to train with expert trainers. It’s also an excellent location for children to learn or experience rock climbing.

If you’re not into rock climbing, other fitness classes such as yoga, pilates, HIT, and other fitness classes are available.

21. Christmas Season In Whistler

Celebrate the holiday season in Whistler with the many activities and events around the holidays and New Year’s Eve. You can get into the fun holiday spirit during Wintersphere by meeting Santa Claus, Wintersphere’s signature holiday maze, a kid’s craft, and more.

Festival of Trees is held in the Four Seasons Hotel to support the BC Children’s Hospital. The lobby is transformed with decorated pine trees to make you feel like you’re walking through a Canadian pine forest.

Whistler Village decorated for the festive season. There are trees on the left and right that are decorated with different coloured strings of Christmas lights, red, green, white, and blue. There are people walking in the village kind of blurred out. It's also brightly lit during the night.

22. Whistler Film Festival

The Whistler Film Festival is a yearly celebration of films that brings filmmakers, professionals, and film fans together to showcase various films, from independent works to premieres and unique presentations. And give Canadian films global exposure.

With a focus on diverse genres and international cinema, the festival offers a chance to watch a range of films while also providing opportunities for networking, industry insight, and workshops.

23. Whistler Pride & Ski Festival

The Whistler Pride and Ski Festival annually celebrates 2SLGBTQIA+ diversity and unity. You don’t need to ski; you can enjoy the festivities. However, the festival offers a week of skiing, socializing, and entertainment in Whistler.

The festival provides a safe and inclusive environment where 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and allies can unite and share experiences.

24. Whistler Blackcomb Fire & Ice

The Fire and Ice Show in Whistler is a weekly winter event every Sunday that blends ski and rider performances with fire displays and fireworks. Top Whistler skiers and riders, including instructors, showcase their talents by jumping and spinning through a burning hoop.

The traditional event of Fire and Ice offers a family-friendly atmosphere free for everyone to watch in the village at the base of Whistler and Excalibur Gondolas.

Best Months For Visiting Whistler In Winter

If you’re looking for the best months to visit Whistler during the winter, and you’re not skiing. In that case, it will be December, January, February, and March, and most of the winter events and festivals will happen during those months. 

The side of one of Whistler's mountains. There's snow covered carved out ski paths and a ski lift bringing people to the top of the mountain. It seems to be during sunset.

How To Get To Whistler

Getting to Whistler is relatively easy from Downtown Vancouver or Vancouver International Airport.

From October 1st to March 31st, winter tires are required to drive along the Sea to Sky Highway.

Car

The most flexible option is to drive. Take Highway 99, the Sea-to-Sky Highway, North of Vancouver. The drive offers stunning scenic views, including the ocean and coastal mountain views.

The distance is approximately 121 kilometres (75 miles), and the drive takes around one to two and a half hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

If you’re wondering, is the drive from Vancouver to Whistler safe? Especially in winter, it usually is; yes, they plow the road often for the winter season. Still, accidents are inevitable, so be cautious, especially during the winter, because of the possibility of slippery roads in areas from black ice or limited visibility.

Shuttle Services

There are shuttle services that operate between Vancouver and Whistler. These services offer convenient transportation with the benefit of not driving yourself. Some options include SkylynxEpic Rides, and Whistler Shuttle.

Harbour Air

If your goal is to reach Whistler as quickly as possible, consider the efficient option of flying with Harbour Air, a float plane company located in Coal Harbour, Downtown Vancouver. Their float planes can transport you to Whistler in 45 minutes.

Whistler Air float plane taking a tour flying overtop a massive mountain range with snow and ice covered peaks.

How Many Days In Whistler Is Enough?

Depending on what you plan to do in Whistler, many people like to spend a day or weekend.

Where To Stay In Whistler

These are some of the best hotels for you if you’re looking for where to stay in Whistler.

💎 Best Luxury Hotel — Four Seasons Resort Whistler

The Four Seasons Resort Whistler stands as a haven of luxury. It presents exquisite rooms and suites with panoramic mountain views, excellent dining choices, a world-renowned spa, and a host of family-friendly amenities.

Guests at this luxury resort can relax by the outdoor pool and hot tubs or maintain their fitness routines at the fitness center. The attentive concierge services are readily accessible to all guests staying at the Four Seasons.

⚖️ Best Mid-Range Hotel — Crystal Lodge

Crystal Lodge’s strategic placement allows easy access to the Whistler Village. A range of room selections, some providing scenic mountain views. The Crystal Lodge has amenities like an outdoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center.

The hotel prioritizes comfort and convenience, making it a welcoming option for families. Additionally, pet owners will find that The Crystal Lodge goes the extra mile to pamper their four-legged companions during their stay.

🎯 Best Budget-Friendly Hotel — Pangea Pod Hotel

Pangea Pod Hotel is a budget-friendly accommodation choice. It features individual sleeping pods that prioritize comfort and privacy despite their compact size. These cozy pods have comfortable mattresses, linens, and storage space.

Beyond the pods, the hotel provides communal areas for mingling, including a lounge, bar, and rooftop patio. With a contemporary and urban design, the Pangea Pod Hotel offers budget-conscious travellers who want an exceptional experience while staying in the heart of Whistler.

These are some of the best ski-in ski-out hotels in Whistler if you’re looking for a hotel that will cater to someone looking for a well-equipped ski hotel while you’re relaxing. Or some of the best dog-friendly hotels in Whistler if you’re bringing a furry friend along.

What To Wear & Pack In Whistler Winter

Even if you’re not skiing at Whistler, it’s a good idea to pack and wear certain items in the winter.

🧥 Warm Clothing: Insulating or base layers like sweaters or fleece to trap heat. A waterproof and insulated winter jacket to protect against cold and wet conditions. Insulated pants or snow pants to keep your legs warm and dry. Thermal socks to keep your feet warm.

🧣 Accessories: Cover your head with a warm winter touque (a Canadian word for beanie). Waterproof gloves or mittens to protect your hands. A scarf or neck gaiter to shield your neck and face from the cold. Hand and foot warmers for extra warmth on cold days.

🥾 Footwear: Waterproof and insulated winter boots with good traction for walking on snowy or icy surfaces. Ensure they are warm and comfortable for long walks.

Whistler In Winter For Non Skiers – FAQs

These are frequently asked questions people have for things to do in Whistler in winter for non skiers.

Is Whistler Worth Visiting If Not Skiing?

Is Whistler Worth Visiting? Even if you’re not skiing? Yes, Whistler is worth a visit, even if you’re not skiing. Many activities are listed above for non skiers.

Can You Ride The Gondola In Whistler Without Skiing?

Yes! You can ride the gondolas in Whistler if you plan on not skiing. Sightseeing tickets are available at the mountain base at the Whistler Visitor Centre. They don’t sell out, so don’t worry about purchasing tickets in advance.

Do You Need A Car In Whistler?

No, you don’t need a car in Whistler. Whistler is a walkable village, so you don’t need to worry about driving around. You’ll, however, need some transportation to and from Whistler from Vancouver.

Public buses operate through Whistler Village and neighbourhoods in the area — as well as Whistler Creek, an older part of Whistler with the Whistle Creekside Mountain.

Conclusion

As you can see, Whistler offers many activities and experiences beyond skiing. From the excitement of snowshoeing through the forests to the thrill of ziplining over snow-covered landscapes, whether you seek relaxation or adventure, there are many things to do in Whistler in winter for non skiers.

Have a good day 🙂