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Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

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Miami, Florida
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Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

Hey all- We are mom, dad and 4-year old traveling from Miami to Whistler last week March, first week April 2010...

Here are my questions:

1. Are there still good snowboarding conditions then? (sorry! native floridian here... clueless)

2. Do we need a car?

3. Can my son get snowboarding lessons?

4. Hotel recommendations for our little family?

(We'll need to rent all equipment)

Any other tips greatly appreciated!

Best,

Jen

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

Hmmm - you'll be right at the end of the Paralympic Games:

http://www.vancouver2010.com/

which wrap up on the 21st of March. This shouldn't be a problem, but worth being aware of.

Here's the rental and lesson info for W/B

www.whistlerblackcomb.com/rentals/index.htm

Other places will also do rentals, but this will give you an idea.

Lots and lots of great hotels. With a 4yo, you might not want to be right in the village, which can get noisy with party goers. Look at Chateau Whistler, which is right at the base of the Blackcomb lifts and has a great pool.

Sechelt, BC
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2. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

Whistler/Blackcomb doesn't do snowboard lessons for 4 year olds. At 3 & 4 years old they only do skiing lessons. You might be able to arrange private snowboard lessons for a 4 year old. To do that I would e-mail the ski school directly.

whistlerblackcomb.com/contact_us/index.htm

There is a tube park that a 4 year old would surely enjoy. Children must be 36" tall.

In addition the resort has childcare available: whistlerblackcomb.com/rentals/…index.htm

You don't need a car. You can take a shuttle to Whistler directly from the airport. Whistler itself has excellent public transportation.

Unlike the previous poster I would suggest staying right in the villiage. With a 4 year old it gives you more options to break up your day. You can go back to the hotel midday for a break if you need to. In addition it is easier to bundle him/her up for a day of skiing without having to deal with buses or parking. Also all the restaurants and shopping are right at your convenience.

Rental options include renting directly from the mountain or from a private rental company. Shop around the internet to find exactly what you want.

3. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

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Removed on: 17 October 2009, 23:05
Winnipeg, Canada
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4. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

Welcome to the Whistler Forum

1. Generally speaking, yes. No one can predict the weather, but conventional wisdom says that you're pretty safe.

2. Whistler is a pedestrian village, so no cars are allowed. There are small distances between the Upper Village and Blackcomb Lifts and the Village and the Whistler lifts. The great news is that there is a free shuttle called the WAVE that connects these areas and runs every 6 minutes till late evening and every 10-15 minutes after that. Very convenient. You are only minutes away from anything.

You won't need a car in town and parking is quite expensive, so we never take a car sice we don't use it and it just becomes an added expense. If you feel you want to do some touring in the area you can get a daily rental instead.

The Sea to Sky High-way on the way up is stunningly scenic, but if you're not used to winter driving, that might be another reason to avoid getting a car rental.

If you are coming to Whistler directly from the airport you can take the Pacific Coach. It is very convenient, professional and easy to locate at YVR and will drop you at your hotel. Or look at Greyhound from Vancouver.

http://www.pacificcoach.com/

http://www.greyhound.com/home/

3. There are indeed ski and skiboard lessons for 3-4 year old. Follow V67's very useful link. Also check here with the Nordic Ski Club. I believe they have a program for 4-5 year olds

whistler4kids.com/cgi-local/…

I've seen them a many times and it is adorable! If he finds snowboarding is not for him, there are a few other things for kids to do. Look at the Coca-Cola tube park. It 's on Blackcomb. You must be 36 inches and accompanied by an adult, if you're under 12.

whistlerblackcomb.com/reservations/Lift-Tick…

4. For accommodations, I am also very partial to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. It has great outdoor pools and hot tubs. Also a little pool indoors with a swim out area that kids really like. It's got a couple of nearby shops for pop and small grocery purchases and you can do laundry. It's is quiet at night. Fairmont operate a shuttle to the village as well. The WAVE stops right at the end of the driveway or it's a 5 minute walk.

It's hard to make more definite suggestions about where to look without knowing what your budget might be. However, if you are traveling with a 4 year old, I would look at some of the other options as well. A good number of hotels and condos offer one bedroom accommodations, lofts or studios that have small kitchen or self -catering facilities. This might help keeping him on routine and allow to you fix a snack or beverage a la minute.

I agree with V67's advice to avoid staying in the heart of Whistler Village. There is a very lively après ski scene and it can be a bit noisy when the bars close. Not really family friendly at that time of day.

The more family oriented resorts are on the edges of the Village( look at the North Village if consulting an accomodation map) and the Upper Village. Again, nothing is far away from anything. It depends on your budget. I think the Pan Pacific Village Centre fits the bill, the Four Seasons next to the Fairmont, the Delta , the Westin and a plethora of condos. Have a look at this link and check out the hotel and condo reviews here on TA and that should get you started on a new round of questions. :)

whistlerblackcomb.com/accommodations/index.h…

Happy planning.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

HI Jiujen,

A couple of pointers...

1- WINTER DRIVING - If you have not SIGNIFICANT Winter Driving Experience, then we on the CANADA TRAVEL FORUMS generally do not recommend that you undertake driving while on vacation during our winter months. Winter Driving is tricky enough for those of us who have years of experience, and unless you are familiar with things like - Snowstorms, Blizzards, Blowing Snow, Drifting Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain, Black Ice and Freaky Fog, we suggest that you leave the driving to the professionals (Public Transit). For more info I suggest that you read thru the CANADA - BEFORE YOU GO - TRAVELLER ARTICLE entilted "Winter Driving" = tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c55003/Canada…

2- SNOWBOARDING & SKIING - If you cannot get your 4 Year Old into Snowboarding Lessons (for whatever reason), then opt for Skiing. Most ski schools will take kids as young as 2 (once they can walk & run). Small kids are quick to pick up skiing (they will be awesome within just a few days). And Skiing, unlike snowboarding... is a skill that they will be able to do their whole life (there are lots of folks who ski well into their 60s and 70s... and even a couple beyond that). Infact, my first choice would be for skiing over snowboarding... my kids all began on skis, all later learned to snowboard, and now that they are in their 20s do both.

Also, if it comes down to choosing between a full-day program and a half-day program, and both you and hubby are skiing, then opt for the FULL DAY. The Ski School Programs for kids are great... and they have great instructors and activities for the kids. Your child will be well cared for, and if yourself & hubby are taking lessons (say in the AM) then you'll have a half-day to yourselves.

Then regroup at the end of the day as a family... and be sure and find out what activities there are apres-ski for families. Typically the Resort - Hotel & Ski School will have things for their patrons (things we've done in the past have included - Bonfires - Skating - Sleigh Rides - Fun Racing - Wine & Cheese etc).

Hope this is helpful, you're family will have a blast... and a holiday that you all will remember forever. My kids still talk about all our ski vacations... and I'm surprised by how much it had an effect on them because they even remember stuff from when they were really really little (like your 4 year old) and tell us stories about when they first began to ski. "I remember the first time I ____ " (skied down such & such - took the chairlift - etc).

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

PS>.. Once the ski bug hits, guaranteed you'll be looking for another winter adventure a year later. The good news is there are a lot of fabulous spots right across North America.

6. Re: Assistance requested: Miami family trip to Whistler!

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Removed on: 16 April 2010, 05:37