Canadian resorts offer lots of family-friendly Christmas activities for guests to enjoy. Here’s a sampling.
British Columbia’s Big White Ski Resort holiday offerings run through Jan. 4. They include a free lift ticket to the first 30 people to arrive at the Village Centre Mall in full Santa or Ms. Claus dress Dec. 21; Santa’s Cinema where a selection of family favorites – like “Miracle on 34th Street”, “Frosty the Snowman” - can be viewed starting at 5 p.m.
If you love breakfast as much as you love Santa, then join him at the Happy Valley Day Lodge from 8-10 a.m. to share in his (supposedly) favorite breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup, Dec. 23 and 24. Christmas Eve features the Torchlight Parade at 5:30 p.m., followed by fireworks. Ski and snowboard with Santa Christmas Day. Meet him at the Village Centre Mall at 10 a.m. and then hit the slopes.
Big White has a special gift for anyone staying two nights at the Inn at Big White over Christmas: an extra night and day is free. The special is valid Dec. 20-26; mention LO/1314 when booking.
Holiday festivities at Sun Peaks Resort, also in British Columbia, are underway. In addition to Santa sightings, there’s maple taffy pops made in the snow, musical performances, storytelling with the elves and more. Still not done with Christmas shopping? Vendors will be on hand with ideas for gift buying.
Santa makes a stop at Sun Peaks Dec. 22-24 for skiing, snowboarding or skating, and breakfast with the man himself. Check out the extensive list of activities.
BC’s Whistler Blackcomb says participate in free family holiday fun at the Whistler Conference Center between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. beginning Dec. 20-Jan. 5 with indoor entertainment like mini-golf, bouncy castles and video games. Sorry, closed Christmas Day.
The free Fire and Ice Show begins Dec. 22 led by the Whistler Blackcomb Ski & Snowboard School starts at 6:30 p.m. every Sunday (special time New Year’s Eve). Enjoy the twisting and flipping through a burning ring of fire, finishing with fireworks. Christmas caroling at the Westin Resort and Spa features traditional carols, choral music sung by choirs and readings, beginning at 6:30 p.m. They ask for a donation to continue the tradition. There will be an inter-denominational service on Whistler Mountain in the Glacierview at the Roundhouse, 9:30 a.m.
Heading to Alberta? Banff Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only ski-in/ski-out lodge at Sunshine Village Resort, has a variety of things to do for the whole family. Have your photo taken with Santa Dec. 24 and 25; ski with Santa Christmas Day at 1:30 p.m.; or attend the Ginger Bread House Workshop Dec. 24.
Try toboganning on a traditional maple wood slotted sled Dec. 21, 24 and 28 for guests of the Lodge; watch the torchlight parade Christmas Eve beginning at 7 p.m.
Quebec’s Mont-Sainte-Anne’s holiday celebration starts Dec. 21 and continues to Jan. 5. Welcome Santa Dec. 21 at 10 a.m., have your picture taken with him, go for a ride in his wagon at 11 a.m., and then off to the slopes from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. when Santa will be handing out treats to the kids. Check out Sculptura Mont-Sainte-Anne where snow sculptures will be built by local teams at the base of the mountain. Try your skill at inflatable games, tubing, ice skating every day and be sure to say hi to Yéti the mascot.
Stoneham Mountain Resort, also in Quebec, shares in the Christmas spirit beginning with the arrival of Santa Claus by groomer Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. He also will be around Dec. 22-24. Christmas Eve the traditional Christmas mass will take place in the cafeteria in the Main Lodge from 10-11 p.m., complete with musicians. Dec. 28 is a race between parents and kids; Dec. 29 offers the “Bons-Vivants” race described as a friendly race for adults.
Photo: Mont-Sainte-Anne (Mont-Sainte-Anne/Olivier Croteau)