Things to Do with Kids in Whistler in Summer

You might think Whistler, British Columbia is a winter-only destination. Think again! There are as many things to do in Whistler in summer with kids as during the mountain town’s popular ski season. Here are my favorite family-friendly activities to ensure an action-packed summertime holiday.

Whistler Children's Festival
Whistler Children’s Festival (Photo credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane)

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1. Zipline through a rainforest.

Fly through a  rainforest, hundreds of feet over Fitzsimmons Creek with North America’s oldest zip-lining company, Ziptrek Ecotours. Ziptrek operates 11 lines, connected by treetop bridges high above the old-growth forest that stretches between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

The minimum age to zip is 6 years old, and kids under 65 pounds are limited to tandem rides with professionals on the (still awesome) Ziptrek Bear tour. Book your Whistler zipline adventure now!

Ziplining in Whistler with Ziptrek  in summer
Ziplining in Whistler with Ziptrek (Photo credit: Ziptrek)

2. Canoe the River of Golden Dreams.

Take a guided canoe or kayak tour paddling down the River of Golden Dreams. Whistler EcoTours or Canadian Wilderness Adventures guides can take you across Alta Lake (also known as the River of Golden Dreams), through the Whistler Wetlands, and down a glacier river.

The tour ends in beautiful Green Lake. The guides share interesting history about the area and point out lovely flora and fauna along the way. Reserve your Whistler paddling tour!

Canoeing the River of Golden Dreams
Canoeing the River of Golden Dreams (Photo credit: Tourism Whistler/Mark Mackay)

3. Bike down Whistler Mountain.

Descend Whistler Mountain on a white-knuckle mountain bike ride in Whistler Bike Park. But don’t worry, every level, from beginner cruisers to double-black bike runs, are available in this mecca for mountain bikers.

You can take it as easy as you like with this truly family-friendly activity. Your kids will be inspired when they see local kids as young as 5 decked out in biking armor flying down the hill like pros. Take a look at various Whistler bike tours available via Viator.

Mountain biking in Whistler
Mountain biking in Whistler (Photo credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane)

4. Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Enjoy 360-degree views of Coast Mountains and Whistler Village via the Peak 2 Peak Gondola between Whistler and the Blackcomb Mountains. After hiking the excellent trails, enjoy a picnic lunch or dine in a mountaintop restaurant with a killer view. A ride on the special glass-bottom gondola grants you a bird’s-eye view of the forest and Fitzsimmons Creek far below.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Peak 2 Peak Gondola (Photo credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane)

5. Go stand up paddle boarding.

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP for short) has exploded in popularity. The area is surrounded by lakes, making SUP an easily accessible and enjoyable activity in Whistler in summer with kids. Once you get your “SUP legs” and can balance on the board, it’s a calm and relaxing paddle around Alta or one of Whistler’s other lakes.

Stand Up Paddleboarding on Alta Lake, Whistler. Fun for the whole family!
My son and dog stand up paddle boarding on Alta Lake (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

6. Play at Family Adventure Zone.

Want to tire out your adventure-craving kids? Believe me, they’ll play ’til they drop at the Whistler Family Adventure Zone. It’s located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain.

Choose from such activities as luge, mini-golf, pony rides, a climbing wall, bungee trampolines, and go-carting, just to name a few. Exhaustion is guaranteed.

Mario and Friends Mini Golf at Family Adventure Zone
Mario and Friends Mini Golf at the Family Adventure Zone (Photo credit: Whistler/Mike Crane)

7. Take on the Treetop Adventure Course.

If you’ve ever wanted to play tag in the trees, then Treetop Adventure Course is for you! Don a harness and navigate a series of easy to progressively more challenging elements on this aerial tree course with suspended bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip lines. A special Kids Course for ages 7-13 includes a climbing wall, fisherman’s net, and suspension bridge.

Treetop Adventure Course in Whistler
Treetop Adventure Course (Photo credit: The Adventure Group)

8. Spy on black bears.

As many signs in the Village remind visitors, Whistler is bear country. Up to 70 black bears reside in the resort area. They are active in the mountains and can be spotted from the Whistler Gondola.

If you want a more in-depth peek into the life of bears, (from the safety and comfort of a 4×4 vehicle), book a guided tour. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars! Take a look at this Whistler Photo Safari and this Whistler Jeep Tour. Private tour options are available.

Black bear and cub in Whistler
Black bear and cub (Photo credit: Whistler/Mike Crane)

9. Enjoy outdoor and music festivals.

Summer is typically festival season in Whistler. The GOFest Great Outdoors Festival kicks off the fun on the Victoria Day long weekend in May. The frivolity continues all summer long with concerts and musical celebrations in the Village and on Whistler Mountain.

In July, families will appreciate the Whistler Children’s Festival, replete with hands-on craft activities plus live musical, theater, and magic performances. Meanwhile, the epic Crankworx Whistler Festival takes place over a 10-day period in August, celebrating the world’s best downhill, slope style, and enduro mountain biking.

Crankworx Whistler Festival 
Crankworx Whistler Festival (Photo credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane)

Discover more outdoor adventures for families.

As you can see, ski resorts like Whistler make incredible family vacation destinations not only in winter but also in summer. If you liked this story, then I bet you’ll love our list of things to do in summer in Vail, Colorado, and these summer activities at Keystone Ski Resort.

For more outdoorsy explorations in Canada, take a look at my Clayoquot Wilderness Resort review (also in British Columbia) and why you should consider Le Boat Family Houseboat Vacation in Ontario, Canada.

For more ideas to connect kids to nature, read these nature-focused travel ideas for families.

Things to Do in Whistler in Summer with Kids

Save these Whistler summer tips!

For future trip planning, be sure to save this list of things to do in Whistler in summer with kids. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Which of these nine things to do in Whistler in summer with kids would you like to try? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. I have only ever visited whistler in the winter when there was snow, but there also looks like there’s so much to do here in the summer too

  2. I think Canoe the River of Golden Dreams should be fun. Zipline is a good activity too! Nice list!

  3. My granddaughter just went paddle boarding for the first time. I was surprised since she’s 7 but she did great!

  4. This all looks like so much fun except for the gondola with glass bottom–I’m scared of heights!!!

  5. These sound like great places to go with the kids! I would love to visit when the pandemic is over and we are allowed into Canada.

  6. looks like so many great options. spying on bears sounds like fun, as long as its from a safe distance lol.

  7. Wow, this is such a gorgeous place! I can’t wait for COVID to be over, so I can get back to travelling again.

  8. Wwwoooaaahhhhhh…zip-lining looks so cool in the movies and photos. I am not sure my stomach can actually stomach it.

  9. Wow Whistler looks amazing! I will have to add it to my travel bucket list, haha. So many awesome things to do there in the summer.

  10. Very interesting activities! Hope that I can take my kids to Whistler one day for them to enjoy the games.
    The pandemic is just too bad for outdoor activities.

    1. I love that we can still explore the outdoors now, but it sure would be nice to travel to beautiful places like Whistler! Hopefully you can go when it’s safe to travel again!

  11. One of the things I suffered the most, with the covid chaos in the world, was the idea of ​​not being able to travel and not knowing when this would be possible again. The freedom to move, be amazed, fall in love and get excited about places, people and cultures is an essential element. That’s why I don’t care how far a place is or “famous” if it captures my heart I want to go there. This is on the bucket list!

    1. Cristina – I am right there with you. It’s tough to stay home when there are so many beautiful places in the world to explore! I hope you can visit Whistler someday when it’s safe to travel again!

  12. Very beautiful place for vacation. I think Zipline through a rainforest will be one great amazing experience.