24 HOURS IN BIG WHITE
Looking for a ski resort that’s the perfect mix of convenient, memorable and magical?
Look no further than Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Big White, is known as Canada’s favourite family resort, and with good reason – it’s ALL about family here.
With something always going on in this incredible resort, here’s the full guide to making the most of each hour of the day as a family.
8am: Wake up in paradise
Get to Big White by flying direct to Vancouver, followed up with a quick 45-minute connecting flight to Kelowna and a 55-minute shuttle up to the mountain. Big White is Canada’s largest ski-in, ski-out resort village, making for some great accommodation options for families looking to get comfortable in a snowy home away from home.
Top picks include Sundance Resort just above the Bullet Express chairlift, which features a heated outdoor pool, waterslide, hot tubs, kids room, movie theatre, fitness centre and more; Copper Kettle Lodge, full of luxe units that offer up stone fireplaces, granite benchtops and private hot tubs; and Trappers Crossing, modern multi-level townhouses that offer ski-to/ski-from access from Perfection Run, as well as easy access to the village centre just across the road.
For the ultimate parenting hack, order your groceries online at Vacation Foods before you arrive on the mountain, and have them delivered directly to your condo.
8:45am: Have the instructors pick the kids up
Parenting hack number two, coming right up. Big White has an award-winning ski school, and instructors will come pick the kids up from your accommodation for their lesson.
While the kids enjoy the Kids Centre (they may never want to leave), the grown-ups can get exploring on the mountain. Sign up for adult’s lessons, join a complimentary Snow Host tour at 10:30am daily to get the local down-low on the best runs, or hop on a chairlift and see where the runs take you. With 118 runs in total across the mountain and a green run from the top of every chairlift, it’s easy to explore a whole lot of terrain regardless of ability level. And did we mention over seven metres of natural snowfall each season?
When it’s time to have lunch with the family, head to any one of the resort’s 18 on-mountain dining options for family-friendly dining options. A favourite is Globe Cafe & Tapas Bar for Tabletop S’mores. Think graham crackers, a chocolate ganache and homemade giant marshmallows delivered to the table with your own personal tabletop firepit.
2pm: Fun times in Happy Valley
Work off the sugar rush at Happy Valley, which is paradise for kids. Accessible throughout the day and night thanks to the complimentary Lara’s Gondola, it’s a hub of activities: dog-sledding, tubing, snowmobiling (including mini kid-sized snowmobiles), snowshoeing and ice skating/fun little hockey games on Canada’s highest outdoor skating rink. There’s even an ice-climbing tower, where those of all ages can strap crampons to their boots and attempt to ring the bell at the top.
5pm: Go night skiing – or horse sleigh riding
Five nights a week, the lights come on and the lifts start spinning for night skiing at Big White. With access to 2569 meters of terrain, it makes for Western Canada’s largest night skiing area, with the longest vertical drop in North America.
When it’s time to settle in under the starry winter sky, opt for a magical nighttime experience with the on-mountain horse sleigh rides. Cozy up under a blanket and enjoy hot chocolate while gliding through snow-covered forest trails during the ride; you can even take the entire family to a gourmet dinner in a cozy cabin in the middle of the woods for a dining experience that’ll be one for the family bucket list.
7pm: Carnival night & fireworks
Big White hosts a huge range of free activities throughout the week for families – including Family Games Night, Bingo Night, free hot chocolate nights and twice-weekly Carnival Nights, along with fireworks every Saturday night. The perfect end to a perfect day… until you wake up and do it all over again.
Check out www.bigwhite.com and www.skimax.com.au for accommodation packages, including Kids Ski Free packages for kids aged 12 and under, starting from $4450*per family.