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

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. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

The Big White Ski Resort tagline says it all: It’s the Snow.

Big White receives an annual snowfall of 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 fluffy white stuff. Big White also has great family-friendly amenities, a lovely village atmosphere, and loads of natural BC beauty that appeals to ski enthusiasts from all over the world. Here’s your guide to enjoying the best of Big White with kids.

Location

Big White Ski Resort is located just outside of Kelowna, British Columbia. It’s about a 5-hour drive from Vancouver, via the Coquihalla Highway to the Okanagan. The mountain has a vertical drop of 2,550 ft, and 118 designated ski trails for all levels from beginning to expert. There’s enough ski hill for everyone to enjoy, and there are rarely lineups, even on weekends.

 

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.

Sweet, fluffy champagne powder and long runs await you at Big White

The Village 

The village of Big White is ski-in and self-contained, with all amenities 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 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.

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.

Face your fear and climb the incredible 60 foot tall ice tower at Big White. Ring the bell to celebrate that you’d reached the top!

Adventure Fun

Should you need a break from the ski hill, Big White’s Adventure Centre offers a host of fun winter activities. Lace up for a skate or shoot the puck on the outdoor rink, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, or rocket down a snow tube.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, climb the 60 ft Ice Tower. {Yes, that’s me in the photo!} At a cost of only $20, getting to the top of the tower could be one of the most exciting things you and your kids do this ski season.

The Ski School

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. Ski 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 find an Aussie snowboarding pro or a German-speaking Swiss ski instructor, and 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 track 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

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

If you want to book independently, Stonebridge Lodge is 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.

TTM Tip: If you’re flying in to Kelowna, pre-book the Big White airport shuttle. The van will bring you & your gear to the resort in just under one hour. If you plan to cook some of your meals during your stay, you can pre-arrange a 45-minute grocery-store stop in town, to purchase supplies to stock up for your stay. There is small grocery store in the Village, but supplies are limited and more expensive than in town.

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

Photo Credits: C Laroye

Are you planning a family ski trip this winter? Where are you headed? Share your comments below.

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