Explore the outdoors with your family this winter break. There are lots of family-friendly places to play outside on the North Shore from the tops of our snowy mountain down to the salty shores of our beaches. Take your family outside close to home with these North Shore winter break activities.
Hit the Slopes
Head to one of the three North Shore mountains this winter break to ski or snowboard with your family. Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain all have adapted the ski experience to make it COVID-safe with increased cleaning and physically distanced lift lines. Remember to bring your mask and reserve tickets online in advance.
Walk to Holiday Lights
Head to one of the North Shore’s holiday light hotspots to enjoy a walk amongst the twinkling displays. The Lynn Valley and Edgemont Village neighbourhoods are known for their incredible festive light arrays. Or take an evening stroll near your home to admire your neighbours’ houses decked out in holiday lights.
Snowshoeing is a family-friendly winter activity since it’s easy to learn. You can rent snowshoes at Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, or Mount Seymour, then check out their easy snowshoe trails or sign up for a tour. Be sure to book rentals or tours in advance and read our tips for snowshoe beginners before you go.
Go For a Hike
It may be ski season up in the mountains, but it’s still a great time for hiking near sea level. Hit your family’s favourite low-elevation trail or use our list of the best North Shore hikes for kids to plan your trip. Pro tip: Surprise your family with a thermos of hot chocolate and some holiday cookies to enjoy along the trail.
Learn to Cross-Country Ski
Bring your family to the Cypress Mountain Nordic Ski Area on Hollyburn Ridge to experience the magic of gliding through the snowy forest on skinny cross-country skis. This year they are offering private lessons to small groups, so it’s a great time to learn as a family. Heads up: You must book all lessons, rentals, and passes in advance.
Take a Nature Walk
Challenge your family to see how many unique plants, animals, and birds they can spot on a nature walk. Use a phone app like Seek by iNaturalist, or bring a plant or bird ID book to learn about different species. Start with your local park or head to a North Shore birding destination like Maplewood Flats or the ponds and beaches at Ambleside Park.
Even if we don’t get a white Christmas this year, you can still go sledding or snow tubing with your family on the North Shore. Head to Grouse Mountain’s Sliding Zone or Mount Seymour’s Toboggan Park for some sledding fun. If you want a bit more thrill, ride the tubes at Gnarly’s Tube Park at Cypress Mountain or Mount Seymour’s Snow Tube Park. They both have tube-tows to do the uphill work for you. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Taryn is a Vancouver-based hiker, adventure traveller and blogger. You can find her on the trails of Vancouver’s North Shore on weeknights and camping in the backcountry of Southwestern B.C. on weekends. Follow Taryn’s adventures at HappiestOutdoors.ca.