With its picturesque, ski-in/ski-out, Tyrolian-style Village hub, Sun Peaks Resort is known as one of the most family-friendly resorts in North America. The resort boasts a wide range of après-ski activities for kids of all ages, plus a child-minding playschool at the base of the Sunburst Express Chairlift. The 2011-12 season commemorates the 50th anniversary of Tod Mountain, the original ski hill that became Sun Peaks in 1992.
A whopping 1,200 hectares (3,678 acres) of skiable terrain, spread out over three mountains, makes Sun Peaks the second-largest ski area in British Columbia—and that’s not even including the 30.8-km network of trackset Nordic-skiing trails. The area boasts two alpine bowls, as well as a wide variety of groomed cruisers, bumps and beginner terrain—122 runs in total, with a vertical drop of 882 m (2,894 ft.). Best for beginners: 5 Mile, the longest run at the resort, allows skiers of all ages the experience of cruising down from the top of a mountain. For intermediates: head over to the West Bowl, an open meadow of rolling runs and powder stashes accessed by the West Bowl T-bar. For gonzo teens (and expert parents): head for the black-diamond terrain off the top of the Burfield Chairlift—take Kookamungas into the Chief and finish off with the Challenger, the steepest sustained run on the hill.
Affordable: Tod Mountain Coffee House & Creperie (locally roasted organic coffee and all-day breakfast items including sweet and savoury crepes); Sunburst Restaurant (mid-mountain spot with legendary ooey-gooey, fresh-baked cinnamon buns); Mountain High Pizza (single slices to eat on the go; whole pizzas for takeout or delivery); Powder Hounds (stick-to-your-ribs burgers, steaks and schnitzels, plus a multi-item kids menu). Splurge: Mantles Restaurant and Lounge at the Delta Sun Peaks Residences (with a menu based around the local/regional “farm-to-fork” philosophy).
The Sun Peaks Sport School’s Sun Tots Programs for kids three to five offer a one-to-one student-to-instructor ratio. Sun Kids Programs offer group ski lessons for ages six to 12, and snowboard lessons for kids eight years old and up. The Ski Sisters program allows women skiers and boarders to experience the mountains in female-only groups with a guide-to-rider ratio of three-to-one.
The Family Weekend Getaway package, valid January 5 to March 25, 2012, offers two nights accommodation and two days skiing for a family of four (two adults and two kids) at $349 per night.
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the village, go for a dip in the year-round outdoor heated pool at the Sports Centre or go skating at the outdoor skating rink (skate rentals are available). There’s also Tube Time at the Tube Park, a downhill sliding adventure accessed via the carpet lift and, if you still have some spring in your step, strap on a pair of snowshoes and join the one-kilometre guided hike up to a trapper’s camp for a marshmallow roast (offered twice a week). Older kids can head over to the Mascon Hangout and play XBox or watch snowboard and ski movies with other kids their age.