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Quintessential Whistler

Vancouver Sun

Whistler, in all its wintry glory, is the most wonderful place on earth during the holidays. I’m still reveling in twinkling memories of sugar-dipped trees from last December in Whistler. Still dreaming of the horse-drawn sleighs gliding through blankets of snow, shoppers sipping hot chocolate in foggy windows, friends gathered après ski around a fire.


“It’s always a terrific time of year in Whistler,” says Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “There is so much to do and the Village looks beautiful with all the festive lighting.”


Whether you’re a skier, a snowshoer, a tuber, or a sit-by-the-fire-wine-sipper, there is something for everyone, old and young alike, this holiday season in Whistler.


Age defies the jolly activities, too. Ice-skating at Olympic Plaza is back, bigger and better than ever. “The outdoor skating is a great thing for families to do,” says Wilhelm-Morden. “It’s really quite magical.” It’s free to the public and skates are available to rent.


Ever gone on a sleigh ride with Santa? Be one of the lucky ones this year and follow it up with a delicious fondue dinner. Wooded sleigh trails skirt the frosty banks of Green Lake, wind around Blackcomb Mountain and the Fairmont Chateau Golf Course. 


Ever snowboarded in a Santa suit? Now’s your chance! The first 75 revelers in full Santa/Mrs. Claus attire at Garibaldi Lift Company win a free lift ticket on Dec 22. 


Other things not to miss this holiday season: Festival of Lights, Caroling on Christmas Eve, Tube Park, cross-country skiing at Callaghan Valley and Lost Lake under the stars. Why not work up an appetite snowshoeing and end the day at one of the many fantastic restaurants Whistler has to offer? (Reservations recommended.)


For the kiddos, the Holiday Experience fun zone at the Conference Center will keep that sparkle in their eyes with bouncy castles, miniature golf, crafts, videos games and more from Dec 21 to Jan 6 (excluding Dec 25 and 31). 


Whistler has much bubbling for New Years Eve, too. Beyond the numerous bars and restaurants, other celebrations include an evening of family entertainment around the Village. Passes give access to a range of venues hosting music, arts, crafts, food, and dancing. Amidst the fun, don’t miss the free Fire and Ice Show (7:30pm) and New Year’s Eve Fireworks at midnight. Kick off 2013 with a bang!

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