The North Shore Mountains that form the backdrop to Vancouver’s ever-changing skyline are a big reason why this west coast city is considered one of the most beautiful and livable urban areas in the world. The three local north shore mountains – Mount Seymour, Cypress and Grouse Mountains – are only 40 minutes away from Vancouver. These local ski resorts offer similar but slightly distinctive snow sport programming that can meet nearly every family budget. They also have full-service restaurants and cafeterias offering a wide variety of food and menu items, so you can spend the day having fun in the sun and snow, and then relax and fuel up for the ride home. Here’s how to enjoy skiing with kids Vancouver.
Tips for winter fun at Vancouver North Shore Mountains
Skiing & Snowboarding
Family of four passes for a day’s worth of skiing/snowboarding range from $129 to $180. You can rent equipment for a fee. Skiing and riding are not a cheap sports, but they really are great fun. You may wish to start off with some lessons if your family has never tried it before. All three local hills have excellent kids and adults ski and board lesson programs. You’d be surprised at how quickly your child learns to snowplow down the mountain!
Note: If your child is in Grade 4 or 5, they are eligible to apply for the Canadian Ski Council’s annual SkiPass, giving them up to 3 free lift tickets to nearly every ski resort in BC and Alberta, including all three north shore mountains and Whistler. For details and to apply, visit www.snowpass.ca
Cypress Mountain has the most extensive local cross-country ski trails. Their Jackrabbits cross-country ski lesson program is a great way to introduce children to this fun and accessible winter sport. Equipment rentals extra.
All of the local hills offer great snowshoeing programs. You can rent snowshoes or bring your own pair to hit the specially-marked trails, either on your own or with a guided group (recommended).
Snowshoeing is great exercise in the beautiful outdoors, with great views of the city on a sunny day. Both Mount Seymour and Cypress Mountain are provincial parks where you can access free, public trails. Remember to stay out of bounds of the ticketed ski resort areas.
Snowtubing & Tobogganing
Both Cypress and Seymour Mountains have Snow Tube Parks, where you can spend a couple hours or a day sliding down the specially designed snow tube hill in custom snow tubes, while getting a ride back up on the tube tow line. A two-hour rental rate will cost approximately $20 (per person).
Mount Seymour has a great Toboggan Park, where you can bring your own toboggan or sliding mat (no inflatables allowed) for only $10 (pp) per day. This is the most reasonable snow play deal on the north shore.
If your child loves practicing her jumps and sit spins, Grouse Mountain has a 8,000 sq ft outdoor skating pond. Admission to the Skating Pond is included in the Grouse Mountain Admission, Winter Pass or day Lift Ticket.
Photo credit: eye for beauty, C Laroye
[ttm tip: Skiing can be an expensive sport. To outfit your family, visit ski swaps, used sporting goods stores, and consignment stores to shop for used skis, snowboards and other ski gear.]
Do you enjoy winter fun on Vancouver’s North Shore mountains? Share your family’s favorite things to do in the comments below.