It’s the Snow at Big White Ski Resort with Kids

big white ski resort with kids

The Big White Ski Resort tagline says it all: It’s the Snow. Big White receives an annual snowfall of 750 cm/24.5 feet of dry fluffy snow, known as champagne powder. It’s light stuff, which makes for truly amazing ski conditions. As with any great ski resort, there’s so much more to Big White than just that all-important snow quantity and quality. Big White also has great family-friendly amenities, a lovely village atmosphere, and loads of natural British Columbia beauty that appeals to ski enthusiasts from all over the world. Here’s our guide to enjoying the best of Big White Ski Resort with kids.

The Best of Big White Ski Resort with Kids

big white ski resort with kids

Big White Basics

Big White Ski Resort is located just outside of Kelowna, in the Okanagan Valley in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. It’s about a 5-hour drive from Vancouver (7-8 hours from Seattle), via the Coquihalla Highway to the Okanagan.

In terms of resort stats, Big White has a vertical drop of 2,550 ft, with 16 lifts accessing 119 designated ski runs for all levels from beginning to expert. There’s enough powder and terrain for everyone to enjoy. And there are rarely lineups, even on weekends. Big White is also home to Western Canada’s largest night skiing area, offering up 8,429 skiable acres of terrain, including the impressive terrain park, TELUS Park. 

If you’ve never enjoyed a ski experience at Big White before, it’s highly recommended to start off with one of the Resort’s free daily Snow Host Tours. The program is a great way to get a feel for the hill and its many runs and lifts. Guests can meet the experienced volunteer Hosts daily at 10:30 AM in a signed designated spot across from the Village Centre Lodge.

big white ski resort with kids

If you’re flying in from other parts of Canada, the United States or Australia, take note. Big White operates a convenient Airport Shuttle from Kelowna International Airport to the resort, which is about a 55 minute ride. You should pre-book the shuttle prior to your arrival. If you plan to cook some of your meals at your condo or chalet during your stay, you can pre-arrange a 45-minute grocery-store stop in town, to purchase supplies to stock up for your holiday. There is small grocery store in the Village, but supplies are limited and more expensive than in town.

big white ski resort with kids

Big White Ski Resort Village

The village of Big White is Canada’s largest totally ski-in, ski-out resort center. Meaning you can ski or snowboard directly to the door of your accommodation and to more than 20 on-mountain restaurants, cafes and bars. All these amenities are within a short walking distance of hotels, condos and ski lifts. The central Village Centre building has ski and snowboard rentals, ticket offices, retail shops, the Big White Bakery and Beano’s cafe.

There are a wide variety of restaurant options throughout the Village, from small cafes offering tapas-style healthy and vegan menu choices, to traditional bars and burger grills. Do stop for some pie or kid-friendly cookies at Big White Bakery in the Village Centre, or enjoy an upscale, family-friendly dinner at the Kettle Valley Steakhouse and Wine Bar in the Happy Valley Day Lodge.

The Big White Ski Resort tagline says it all: It's the Snow. But it's so much more than that for travelling families looking for winter holiday fun. Best tips for Big White with kids.
Don’t miss the fiery gunbarrel coffee or hot chocolate at Snowshoe Sam’s

No visit to Big White is complete without sampling an adult-only Gunbarrel coffee or hot chocolate from Snowshoe Sam’s Gunbarrel Grill. It’s a fiery, one-of-a-kind experience.

The Happy Valley Day Lodge is accessible via a short ride on Lara’s Gondola, five minutes from the main village. The Lodge is home to the casual Moose Lounge and Bistro, the fine dining Kettle Valley Steakhouse restaurant, and picnic facilities for day-users. The Lodge also hosts daily family activities for kids, such as crafts, marshmallow roasting and smore-making.

big white ski resort with kids

Winter Activities at Big White

Should the family and littles need a break from skiing and riding, Big White’s Adventure Centre offers a host of family-friendly off slope winter activities. Lace up for a skate or shoot the puck on Canada’s highest elevation outdoor skating rink, maintained by the cutest little Zamboni.

Rocket down one of five snow tube lanes either solo or as a family group. The helpful lifties will even give you a spinning start. Or book a snowmobile tour (including Mini-Z snowmobile experiences for kids), dog-sledding tours, and horse-drawn sleigh rides through a winter wonderland, including a dining tour for supper in the woods. 

If you’re feeling really adventurous, climb the 60 ft Ice Tower, like I did. Yes, that’s me in the photo. At a cost of only $20, ice climbing to the top of the tower could be one of the most exciting things you and your kids do this ski season. Anyone from ages 4 to 84 can climb the ice tower, if they dare.

big white ski resort

Big White Ski School

Need lessons? No problem. Big White has a huge indoor ski school building, housing lesson registration and equipment rentals for kids, a kitchen for ski school lunch prep, and two play areas divided by age: 4-6 and 7-12. There is also a climbing wall, LEGO, and activity tables to keep kids busy before or after lessons. Skiing and riding lessons for younger children and beginners take place off the main mountain, near the Adventure Centre, with a moving carpet to get kids back up the hill.

Finding a suitable ski instructor is easy with Big White’s Ski School database. You can pick an Aussie snowboarding pro or a German-speaking Swiss ski instructor. Through the Ski School valet service, they’ll even come to your hotel and pick up your child for their lesson, for a small fee.

The Big White Ski Resort tagline says it all: It's the Snow. But it's so much more than that for travelling families looking for winter holiday fun. Best tips for Big White with kids.
Safety first at Big White’ Ski School with the Flaik GPS tracking system.

Big White prioritizes safety through its Flaik GPS tracking system band. Every ski school child wears this device on their lower leg. Flaik tracks skiers should they become lost, and allows Mom and Dad to follow along with their child’s day.

Big White also operates the Tot Town Daycare facility for pre-ski children (babies to age 5). Kids can also go for half-days, for those who don’t wish to ski the whole day. Ski Canada Magazine has cheekily voted it the “Best Place to be Abandoned by Your Parents.”

Where to Stay at Big White

Big White has a centralized reservation system that bundles lift tickets, rentals, and accommodations. The resort offers excellent package deals where kids under 12 often stay and ski free.

If you want to book independently, Stonebridge Lodge is a great choice for ski-in, ski-out luxury condos. They have full kitchens, hot tubs on every deck, and country-style, ski-kitsch suites. It’s one minute from Village Centre and spacious enough for one or two families sharing.

There are also many individual vacation properties available through VRBO. We shared this wonderfully-appointed Mistaya Chalet guest house with two other families on our last stay.

The Big White Ski Resort tagline says it all: It's the Snow. But it's so much more than that for travelling families looking for winter holiday fun. Best tips for Big White with kids.
When travelling in a large group, it makes sense to rent a holiday chalet together at Big White.

If you’re looking for an affordable family ski holiday, pristine snow quality, and no lift lines,  Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia, should be at the top of your list. It’s the snow… and so much more.

New more skiing inspo? Check out these articles about other British Columbia ski resorts.

Family Fun at Sun Peaks Ski Resort

25 Epic Things to do in Whistler in Winter

Best Ski Resorts near Vancouver

Winter Fun on Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains

Insider’s Guide to Whistler Creekside

 

Photo Credits: C Laroye

Where do you love to ski? Share your comments below.

33 thoughts on “It’s the Snow at Big White Ski Resort with Kids”

  1. Pingback: Best Ski Resorts near Vancouver | The Travelling Mom

  2. Shannon Entin

    That ice tower looks SUPER fun! I love skiing, but have yet to ski in Canada. Maybe next year!

  3. Can I manifest another ski trip for us next winter? You were the best ski/snowboard companion ever! Such a fun trip, and I still have a TON of Canada ski resorts to hit up, too.

    1. Oh my, yes please!! It was so much fun skiing with you. We have so many more Canadian resorts to enjoy…

  4. Carol Perehudoff

    Big White sounds fabulous and it’s time to start thinking about ski season. I’m all about champagne so champagne powder would suit me perfectly!

  5. Danielle (Bubs on the Move)

    I have never seen anything like that ice tower – Looks like an amazing destination.

  6. Oh, you’ve really got me missing the snow! I can’t wait to dust off my skis. Big White ski resort and it’s pristine conditions sound amazing! I’ll definitely be taking a couple of ski getaways this winter. Not sure I’ll make it out to British Columbia, but I do love Mont Tremblant on the Eastern side of Canada. It also has a contained village, perfect for ski on/off hotels and restaurants.

    1. Me either! I’m so excited for ski season! I hope you get lots of run time at Mont Tremblant – it’s a great resort too.

  7. We are not skiers, but this place looks like it has something for everyone! I want to climb that tower and have the gun-barrel coffee so bad…

  8. Big White Ski Resort looks too fabulous! What a great place for a ski vacation. What caught my attention best was the ice tower. It looks intimidating as well as tempts me to try! The holiday chalet looks like the ideal option for people traveling in large groups. Lovely pics!

  9. Megan Jerrard

    Firstly, the 60 foot tall ice tower at Big White looks like incredible fun! I love visiting the snow but I’ve never skied or snowboarded before, so I think I would need to take lessons at the ski school – the kids would prob be better than me! The Flaik GPS tracking system is a great way to make parents feel safe and secure in letting their kids head out there – really fantastic initiative. Thanks so much for the information on where to eat, what to do and where to stay – appreciate the insight and tips!

    1. I hope you get to ski someday soon Megan! They have great beginner courses for adults at Big White, by the way. 🙂

  10. Wow! The ice tower looks legit! What a challenge that would be…and rather scary! I loved the chalet you rented with two other famlies. That is a fun way to enjoy a getaway and save money too…

    1. Pooling resources and sharing a chalet is a great way to travel, spend time with friends and save money too!

  11. Really love the sound of this place. It seems so well set up for families with great activities (and no queues!), good food and that adventure centre. Plus that ice tower looks amazing!

  12. I guess that there are not too many people makes this place a really nice family place. I don’t have any children, but i remember the times we always went skiing when my brother and i still were kids. My mom was always so happy when there were not so many people because she could always keep an eye on us. It also seems they organised the ski schools very well. Love that they even have activities for before and after the ski school!

    1. It’s always great when you have the slopes to yourself a bit. When ski runs are too crowded, it’s just not as fun!

  13. Hey, the slopes are amazing, but keep them aside for a moment.
    What I wanna check out for now is the Gunbarrel coffee! Unique for sure?!?

  14. I have been wanting to get to this corner of Canada for years, but I was trying to get there for the wine, had no idea it was also a great ski area. I will definitely be looking to ski there in the winter!

    1. Well the wine is a good reason too! But the skiing is phenomenal. Hope you get to visit in any season Andi!

  15. After a hot summer, this is looking especially tempting! It looks like a great place for a family vacation. There seems to truly be something for everyone at every age and skill level.

    1. I love summer, but I admit to being excited about winter and skiing again! And Big White is perfect for families.

    1. Yes! That’s me climbing the ice tower in the photo! A personal highlight of our winter visit to Big White. 😉

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Claudia

Claudia

Thanks for visiting The Travelling Mom!

I’m Claudia, an adventurous mom who loves to explore the world and travel with my family. This site shares modern-mom-tested family travel sanity tips, destination advice, and inspiration to stay ever curious and create lifelong travel memories.

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