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With two energetic boys and a local hill with some of the best powder in the world, I recently traded in my snowboard for a set of skis and am loving it (long story, but it involved a lot of wiping out). I’m proud to say that I’m a green/blue run kind of gal: no Cliff for me. My knees go weak thinking about it; a hard pass for me, but Charlie is addicted. They also happen to have the best ski school – for young and old.
No matter what your skill level is, spending time in the open mountain air in the company of people who have such a zest for life is so therapeutic!
How to get to Big White
Big White is located about a 1-hour drive outside of Kelowna, BC. It’s an easy scenic drive through a wintery paradise. Make sure you have winter tires: the roads can be slick.
Where to Eat at Big White
There are endless options for dining up at the hill, all located in The Village. Should you wish to grab a few groceries and some wine to dine-in, they also have a well-stocked market and wine shop right in the Village. Here are my après-worthy picks (a solid 80% of the reason why I love skiing).
Many memorable nights were spent here in my younger days (and some I can’t remember, funny). No trip to the hill is complete without a visit to Snowshoe Sam’s. It’s super kid-friendly and happens to have the best Caesar on the hill.
Woods is hands-down my favourite place for après (they had me at the Insta-perfect entrance). The former home of the owner of Big White, it is cozy and while kids can dine here, it’s a bit more of an adult (translation: calm) vibe. Woods has a lovely menu and a solid drink list with loads of local wine options to greet you as you slide off the slopes. Try the Burrata appetizer and the Ling Cod as a main if you can’t decide!
On a sunny day I highly recommend soaking up the vitamin D with a cold beverage at one of their outdoor picnic tables: it’s a perfect place to people watch. Order a spiced rum hot chocolate for a special treat.
Don’t judge this place by the outside: it has an impressive menu with a lot of delicious healthier options along with a lovely local wine list. The Bullwheel is an ideal place for groups with some bigger tables with a lively atmosphere. You must try their Buddhas Winter Bowl!
The Clock Tower Coffee Co
While this is more of a snack place, The Clock Tower is a convenient spot to grab a quick bite, hot chocolate or a donut should that tickle your fancy. I’m a big fan of their yogurt parfaits personally, and the kids love the cookies that are bigger than their heads for reasons I don’t need to explain. There are other day lodges on the hill that also offer casual eats to fuel you on the slopes.
What to do at Big White
Don’t ski? No problem. There is so much to do at Big White! Here are a handful of other activities to enjoy at the hill outside of downhill skiing:
- Cross Country Skiing
- Dog Sledding
- Sleigh Rides
- Snow Mobiling
- Snow Shoeing
- Après (an event in itself)
Where to Stay at Big White
We have stayed at three different places at Big White over the years, and all of them have been top notch. Note that they are all ski-in, ski-out which is a must in my books. Trying to coordinate everything with kids is no joke!
I have to say, Sundance might be my favourite place to stay on the hill, especially if you have kids. We stayed in a townhouse (I love having the hot tub), but they also have condos for rent. The amenities are something else: outdoor pool with a slide, two hot tubs, games room, and a movie theater. The beds were also super comfy: I had an amazing sleep! Sundance is a bit of a walk (7-10 minutes) to the Village, but they also have a shuttle.
We rented a large unit here and there was a lot to love. The boys were obsessed with the media room that this unit had, and I loved that it was all one floor. I found Copper Kettle to be a bit quieter, and super lovely. The views were something else.
My cousins and I all rented condos here a couple of years ago: what a blast! Stonebridge is located right in the village which is incredibly convenient. These newer condos had hot tubs and were beautifully decorated.
What to Pack for Big White
Call me shallow as a puddle, but I’m here for the outfits. That being said, leave the fancy footwear and attire at home. Here’s a rough guide of what I pack:
- Lululemon pants
- Chunky sweaters
- Long sleeve shirts
- Cozy socks
- A good book
- Body lotion & lip balm
- Warm jacket, gloves & toque
- Ski outfit & gear