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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27 Comments

  • Beth Henry says:

    That ice tower looks daunting! Did you try it? I have never been to Canada for skiing. It is so beautiful!

    • Claudia says:

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

  • 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.

    • Claudia says:

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

  • Brianna says:

    I’m actually planning a big group ski trip and Big White checks all of our boxes. That ice tower is too cool!

  • Andi says:

    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!

    • Claudia says:

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

  • Sreekar says:

    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?!?

    • Claudia says:

      The gunbarrel coffee is fabulous! A sight for the eyes and super tasty coffee corretto too.

  • Tom says:

    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!

    • Claudia says:

      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!

  • Sarah Ebner says:

    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!

  • Tami says:

    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…

    • Claudia says:

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

  • Megan Jerrard says:

    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!

    • Claudia says:

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

  • Reshma says:

    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!

  • Lillie says:

    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…

  • 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.

    • Claudia says:

      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.

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

  • Carol Perehudoff says:

    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!

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