Between British Columbia and neighbouring Alberta there is truly no shortage of winter ski destinations on the West Coast of Canada. Each destination boasting their various claims to fame – Highest vertical, Most terrain, Fastest lifts, and of course Best snow. Big White is the holder of many of those titles. In fact, in 2015 alone, Big White took the title of “Best Powder” as awarded by Ski Canada Magazine. It also ranked within the top for “Biggest Vertical” ski runs, but it’s recognition for being the “Best Parental Break” is what puts it over the edge when it comes to family friendly destinations.
Big White truly puts families first, but does so without sacrificing the guest experience for those traveling solo or without kids. Here are the 6 top reasons why Big White should be on your family vacation bucket list.
From their highly revered local and international instructors, to their specially designed playground style facility featuring games, activities and its very own cafeteria and cooks, it’s no wonder the Kids’ Centre, located in the heart of the village just steps from the Village Centre Mall, was voted “Best Place to Abandon Your Parents”.
Enrolling children from 18 months to 5 years, this is a fantastic option for if your child is not quite snow-ready. In addition to typical daycare programming, the youngest “wannabe” skiiers can enter into a hybrid daycare/learn-to-ski program.
Events & Activities
One of the many guarantees at Big White is that there is always something to do. Prepare to pack your après-ski calendar with fun filled activities that appeal to families. Whether it’s Family Après Ski Night at the Moose Lounge in Happy Valley Day Lodge – featuring free popcorn and coloring for the kids, crave worthy menu items, and live music that will undoubtedly have you singing along, to Game Night and Carnival Night that is sure to excite your competitive and playful sides. If you’re looking to enjoy some child free time, make sure to take advantage of one of the Kid’s After Dark drop off events.
If the 7,606 vertical feet of terrain isn’t adequately getting your blood pumping, consider trying your hand (literally) at the impressive 60 foot Ice Climbing Tower. Strap on your skates and test out Canada’s Highest Skating Rink, or go for a rip on the Mega Snow Coaster. While still exhilarating, but less likely to increase your insurance premiums, SnoLimo Tours are a great way for non-skiers or boarders to navigate the mountain terrain. You can also make your way around via Dog Sled, Horse Drawn Sleigh, Snowshoe, or Snowmobile. They even have a mini snowmobile track for the kids!
They Go The Extra Mile
The majority of the accommodations at Big White feature Ski In/Ski Out capabilities. I can speak from experience that one of the craziest, most hectic and stressful parts of skiing with children is getting them out the door in the mornings. Big White offers a stress free door-to-door pick up/drop option for your children (must be able to ski) to get them to their lesson at the start of the day, and home at the end! Bliss is waving goodbye to your children while sipping your piping hot coffee and watching from the window three stories up! Did I mention that you can also have your groceries ordered right to your room? Save yourself the pre-trip shop, packing a cooler or stressing about where and what to eat when you arrive while trying to negotiate hungry travelers and a car load of luggage.
Food & Dining
Much like everything else at Big White, there is no shortage of places to eat or drink, with the vast majority of them being family friendly! 18 on-mountain restaurants, cafes, delis, pubs and nightclubs ensure that you won’t be stuck dining at the same place twice – although, the expansive and indulgent menus will no doubt have you returning. Kids menu’s are abound, as are daily specials, and amazing options for any dietary restrictions. Do not leave Big White without visiting Globe Café & Tapas Bar for their at the table s’mores with homemade marshmallows! And if you’re feeling peckish while on the hill but don’t want to give up valuable skiing time, stop by Cecil’s Perogies for a ski-through meal at the base of the Black Forrest chair.
Looking to vacation with the family and get the most bang for your buck, Big White will not disappoint. A pre-during-and après ski playground for children and adults alike, you are sure to win parent of the year when you book this trip.