Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and immense expanses of wilderness, it’s no surprise that the best educational opportunities in Whistler are mostly outdoors. There are numerous options available no matter what your budget or interests are. For inspiration, here is our guide to the Top 10 Educational Experiences in Whistler.
1. Visit the Olympic Rings at Olympic Plaza
Educational Value: Olympic History, Sport
Teach your children about the fascinating world of the Olympics. Visit the Olympic Rings still standing in the Olympic Celebration Plaza. As Whistler Blackcomb was a venue for the Winter Olympic Games 2010, seeing the rings is experiencing a piece of history. Moreover, let your children watch some of the previous Winter Olympics before you leave for Whistler so it resonates when they visit.
2. Go for a breathtaking ride on the PEAK2PEAK Gondola
Educational Value: Engineering, Nature
Not just for skiers to enjoy! Ride one of the world’s longest and highest lifts connecting the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in as little as 11 minutes. At a world-record breaking height of 436 metres, the stunning 360-degree views of Whistler Village are impressive. The surrounding volcanic mountain peaks, lakes, ancient glaciers and forests are not to be missed. Above all, there is easy access for children of all ages which makes it an incredible way to experience jaw dropping views.
3. A heart fluttering crossing on the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Viewpoint
Jaw-dropping Cloudraker Skybridge Tourism Whistler/Jusa Jeskova
Educational Value: Engineering, Nature
The newly built Cloudraker Skybridge is a spectacular new suspension bridge offering panoramic views of the mountain tops and the surrounding alpine scenery. In addition, learn about the surrounding ancient volcanic formations from the Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk. This cantilevered observation deck, accessed via the Cloudraker Skybridge, provides truly sensational views. This is a fascinating experience for children of all ages to enjoy and a breathtaking bucket list adventure. It’s easy to see why this rates so high on our top 10 educational Whistler experiences.
4. Whizz through ancient Cedar forests on a snowmobile safari
Educational Value: Nature, Geography, Mythology, First Nations History
A great way to see Whistler’s back country is by going on a snowmobile safari. Ride through the beautiful snow covered mountains surrounded by ancient forests with picturesque views. This is an amazing opportunity for a child to experience winter nature at its best. There are various companies offering snowmobile tours to suit all tastes and budgets. Some of these include Blackcomb Snowmobile and Canadian Wilderness Adventures. In addition, they may even offer mini snowmobiles for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old to ride independently.
Read more about our Snowmobile Safari in Whistler.
5. Visit a 12,000 year old glacier on a Heli-Glacier experience
Educational Value: Nature, Geology, Geography, Ecology
This incredible 24 minute sightseeing tour is absolutely breathtaking. Get a bird’s eye view of Whistler and the surrounding mountains. In addition, it provides the chance to fly between and learn about the geology of 12,000 year old glaciers. After that, the grand finale of the tour is a 15 minute landing on top of an ancient glacier. Get out and enjoy the powder snow and jaw-dropping views. This was our son’s first experience of snow and it’s an incredible activity to do on a first visit to Whistler.
Read more about our Helicopter Glacier Experience in Whistler.
6. Learn about Canadian traditions through dog sledding
Educational Value: Nature, Geology, Geography, Inuit and Dog Sledding History
If your children love dogs this experience is for them! Nothing beats the feeling of being pulled through the snow-covered pine-clad wilderness by a team of lively canines, reliving the Canadian traditions of centuries past. Join a professional musher in harnessing and staging the dog team. Learn the commands and feel the thrill of driving the sled. Above all, this is a magical experience for children. It offers them a chance to learn about dogs, the history of dog sledding in Canada and an opportunity to take the reins for themselves.
Read more about our Dog Sledding Adventure In Whistler.
7. Have an awe-inspiring adventure exploring an ice cave
Educational Value: Nature, Geology, Glaciology, Geography, Ice Age History
A visit to an ice cave is one of life’s bucket list adventures and a spectacular experience for any child. Lifting off from Whistler by helicopter, you and your children will fly over Canada’s vast terrain made up of the Pemberton ice fields. You get to see all this before you even reach the ice cave, an icy kingdom like no other. Once there, your children will pass through a labyrinth of chambers and passageways glowing a magnificent aqua blue. They will explore frozen waterfalls and hunt for ice worms. Consequently, they will journey through the ice ages as they see layers of ice millions of years old while having a crash course in Geology and Glaciology.
Read more about our incredible experience
8. Dig down deep at Britannia Mine Museum
Educational Value: Geology, Minerology, Geology, Geography, Mining History
A 45 minute drive from Vancouver on the Sea-To-Sky Highway, the Britannia Mine Museum is an excellent stop en route to Whistler. A visit to this museum is an outstanding opportunity to enhance a child’s understanding of the past, present and future of mining. An immersive visit includes an exciting 45 minute tour of the underground mine.
During this tour your child will don a hard hat which is a real highlight for them. After that they will climb aboard a train that takes them into an early haulage tunnel. This gives them the opportunity to discover what it took to be a miner. Furthermore, children also get to pan for real gold and gemstones and explore historical buildings. They can also learn about minerals in the Mineral Gallery. A 10/10 for education and fun!
Read more about our experiences
9. A picture perfect experience painting with a famous local artist
Educational Value: Art, Nature, Geography
For anyone who enjoys painting or drawing this activity is a must. Your child enjoys one-to-one time with a professional local artist learning and practicing new techniques to produce a piece of art work to be proud of. Above all, painting with a famous local artist was without doubt one of our son’s favourite top 10 educational Whistler experiences.
Check out his Painting Lesson With A Famous Artist in Whistler.
10. Immersive cultural activities at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
Educational Value: Art, Nature, First Nations History, Culture, Geography
The first centre of its kind in Canada, visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center and immerse your children in the heritage of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. The centre is situated in a three-storey, 30,400 square foot award-winning building which evokes the form of a Squamish longhouse and earthen dwelling. This cultural centre is an excellent way to introduce children to the indigenous nations of the area. There are hourly guided tours and friendly Cultural Ambassadors to share their knowledge along with live demonstrations and forest walks. A highly recommended educational experience and one not to be missed!
For anyone looking to teach their children through experience and adventure whilst ticking off some bucket list adventures of their own, be sure to visit Whistler!
You might also like our Family Travel Guide To Whistler.