11/20/2012 05:22 EST | Updated 01/20/2013 05:12 EST

A Great Family Vacation in Whistler


So far, our kid-friendly travel itineraries have taken us to New York and Portland; this week, Alexandra Suhner Isenberg of brings us a snowy family retreat to Squamish/Whistler. Don't forget the mittens!


The Four Seasons Resort Whistler is incredibly kid-friendly, with plush bears and owls offered upon check-in, free games and movies to borrow for snowy nights, and pint-sized slippers and robes for trips to the hot tubs. Not only do kids under five eat for free in the hotel restaurant, there are also programs in peak season where kids can make s'mores in the fire pits or create pizza with the chefs in the hotel kitchen (offered on-the-house). Did we mention the custom cookies, iced with our kids' names, waiting in the room? Hey, what about us poor adults?

Stop in Squamish on your way up to Whistler...


Eagle-watching in Brackendale, "Winter Home of the Bald Eagle." These giant birds arrive in December and hang around for a few months to feast on fish. Go to the Brackendale Dyke, off Government Road, for some great spotting and free use of telescopes on weekends. But be careful of salmon road kill, the birds like to drop the remains in unexpected places. Find a map here.


The Polar Express is a train ride departing from the West Coast Railway Station. A 50 minute ride (including a stop for hot chocolate and cookies), followed by a trip to the "North Pole" complete with visits to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Expect to spend two hours enjoying this magical trip. To buy tickets for December 1-2 or 8-9 ($24-$39) visit

Warm up and eat

Howe Sound Brewery has a restaurant that accommodates kids and their beer-connoisseur parents. Try the beer battered fries poutine ($10) and the locally-made Christmas Ale, made from four different malts and a blend of spices ($6.50 a pint).

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