To many people, Whistler is a veritable winter wonderland
— the embodiment of Christmas scenes from childhood stories, with
snowcapped vistas, ski slopes, and twinkling lights. So it’s really no surprise
that tourists from far and wide flock to town for Christmas holidays.
But aside from our aesthetic, there are plenty of holiday
activities and events in store for residents and tourists alike. This year,
Whistler is planning another family-friendly Christmas season, hosting the
Whistler Holiday Experience, which includes a wide range of games, activities
and entertainment options.
Sue Eckersley is president of Watermark Communications Inc.,
the company that manages and operates the Whistler Holiday Experience for the
Resort Municipality of Whistler.
“Basically there was clearly a need for some family programming
in the resort that was not susceptible to our weather,” Eckersley explained.
“…If it’s raining in the valley or it’s minus 20 in the valley, what do you do
if you are a parent with small children after ski school, or before ski school,
or if you child doesn’t do ski school? We saw it as an opportunity to provide
refuge for families in a fun and warm environment.”
The event is intended to complement traditional Whistler
outdoor activities, targeting infants to 14 year olds with things like movies,
indoor mini golf, video games, foosball, air hockey, bouncy land, crafts and
“It was an opportunity to sort of give back to our resort
guests and really show that we’re thinking about them and their challenges,”
They launched the Whistler Holiday Experience last year, when
the weather conditions were optimal — not too cold, snowy and perfect for
“And yet, we were still smoking busy. We had hundreds of
families a day come into the conference centre,” said Eckersley.
And, best yet, the Whistler Holiday Experience is free, though donations
are being accepted that will go to Playground Builders.
“The concept is that people who are here during this time have
certainly spent a lot of money in Whistler, and it’s supposed to be about a
‘thank you for choosing us,’” Eckersley explained.
The Telus Whistler Conference Centre is sure to be teaming with
tots and teens from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19 to Sunday, Jan. 4,
excluding Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.
Coast Mountain Photography will also be on-hand, snapping
photos with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 20 (12:30 to 4 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 21 (2
p.m. to 5 p.m.). During the evening of Saturday, Dec. 20, singer Allison Crowe
will give a free concert, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. and the show starting
at 8 p.m.