“There’s so much more to Tremblant than skiing,” according to Indulgent TravelingMom. So even if you make it all the way there and decide that speeding down a hill on two sticks simply isn’t your thing, you’re in luck. Because there are plenty of other options when it comes to Mont-Tremblant’s winter activities — some of which are even free.
Tremblant Winter Activity Guide
Beautiful Mont-Tremblant is awash in winter activities that suit just about every age range. But considering there’s everything from the predictable (snowboarding) to the unique (horse-sledding), you’ll need a Tremblant winter activity guide to help plan your days.
My family just returned from our sixth visit to Tremblant — which Ski Magazine consistently ranks the No. 1 Overall Resort in the east — five of which have been during the winter season. And while I’m here to tell you that every cold-weather activity we’ve tried has been excellent, there are things you need to know to plan your stay.
Skiing and snowboarding
This is an obvious one, right? I know, but I’d be remiss not to include skiing and snowboarding since that’s what most people visiting Tremblant in the winter plan to do. The summit reaches 2,871 feet and 96 trails cover all four faces of the mountain. There are 665 acres of skiable terrain (91 of which are glades), so Tremblant is suitable for every level of skier.
If you plan far enough ahead, we’ve seen big savings on lift tickets at Costco or through Liftopia. Think about using all that extra money to try some new winter activities!
My kids adore the 3.7-mile-long Nansen Trail, which is a green run that can get even the newest skiers and boarders down from the summit. You can’t miss the incredible views along the way.
Be sure to hook up with a free Info Ski Guide (located at the Guest Services desk) in the Grand Manitou Lodge after you hop off the gondola. These guides will give you an hour or two of their time and show you some of the off-the-beaten-path runs. Buy your guide a hot chocolate at Le Refuge (accessible via a blue run) and bring an extra few bucks for a tip.
If you’re staying at a Tremblant hotel or condo, you get a free pass for something called First Tracks, which gets you on the gondola at least 30 minutes before the general public. Several runs are open early and fresh corduroy awaits.
Private Lessons and Snow School
Parents have a few options when it comes to lessons at Tremblant. There are private lessons, which are great for kids who — like my son — get nervous with the idea of camp or kids’ clubs. They do come with a steeper price tag, though.
If you can’t quite swing the private option, consider the half- or full-day Snow School. Groups of about seven kids are placed together based on skiing or snowboarding ability. The half-day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then you pick your kid up for the day. We went with the full-day Snow School, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes a hot lunch — and we’re talking a quality meal, too. My kids had Shepherd’s Pie!
At CAD$129 per child for a full day, this is a more economical way to get your kids into lessons. The bonus, of course, is that it frees you up to do your own thing for most of the day.
Tremblant’s guided snowmobile tours are perfect for the first-timer. Most of the trails follow a straight path and they’re all ground-level, so there are no hairpin turns going up the side of a mountain. You can ride your own sled, but I was glad my husband and I booked our own so I could experience the thrill firsthand.
A 1.5-hour tour was enough for me, because if I had to press the throttle with my right thumb for much longer it would have fallen off.
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This is an offsite activity, so allow for about 40 minutes of travel time each way. Kids five and older can ride at a reduced cost with parents; maximum two people to a sled.
Snowshoe and Fondue Tour
Even though I’m not an avid snowshoer, and I’m considerably out of shape right now, I am so glad I tried this tour. Because partway through there’s the promise of melted Swiss cheese. And wine.
Take the gondola up to the summit just as the mountain closes for the day around 3:30 p.m. Strap on some snowshoes (available as part of the tour fee if you don’t have your own) and set off on a guided trek. I was treated to a spectacular sunset in the first half of the tour:
Then there was the cheese fondue. The chocolate fondue. And the wine I mentioned, which flows freely for those over age 18 — Quebec’s drinking age.
Just remember that you still have to climb down the rest of the way! It’s a six-hour tour all said and done and about half of it is spent snowshoeing. I wouldn’t recommend this tour to anyone under the age of 12, or if you’re pregnant.
Wear really good, waterproof winter boots that’ll keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable the entire evening. And remember that since a lot of the trail is downhill to dig your toes firmly into the snow before putting your heels down. This should help prevent a few falls.
Le Studio Créatif
If you need a break from the cold, Studio Créatif is perfect when you want to get your creativity on.
A couple of important notes: first, painting pottery isn’t cheap. Expect the smallest piece (like the size of a fridge magnet) to run you a good $15 to $20 and a midsize piece (like a mug) to be closer to the $35 mark. And second, you need to allow at least 24 hours for your masterpiece to be fired, so don’t save this activity for your last day.
There’s a charming little frozen pond down in the lower village near the chapel where you can skate. If you happen to be a terrible Canadian mother like me and don’t have skates for your kids, fortunately rentals are free if you’re staying in participating Tremblant accommodations. If you’re staying offsite, bring your own because there’s no charge to use the pond.
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
This family activity can easily double as a romantic one if you leave the kids at home. We loved hearing about the history of the mountain, learning local folk songs and playing some instruments during this hour-long, horse-drawn sleigh ride.
But dress warmly! Even though you’ll get a wool blanket, the horses can get moving at a good clip and the windchill can be especially strong through the Laurentians. Not even the hot chocolate pit stop halfway through will help if you didn’t come prepared.
Another perk to staying onsite in the village is free access to Tremblant’s sliding evenings, which otherwise costs around $11 per adult and $7.60 for kids 12 and under.
Every night from 6 to 9 p.m., the bunny hill adjacent to the Fairmont Tremblant is converted to an awesome tubing park. And when my kids got tired of lining up for tubes, they loved whooshing down the hill on the supplied Zipfy sleds. Oh, heck — who’s kidding who — so did I!
Yes, this is a real thing. Much like dog-sledding, a small horse is hooked up to a converted dog-sled that’s built to carry one adult. And it’s really fun. You don’t need experience with horses or sleds, but you do need to be ready for this fast-paced, 1.5-hour adventure.
My husband and I absolutely loved this activity.
Children over the age of five can ride with a staff member, but these horses move at a pretty wild pace so it would only be suitable for daring kids. I know for a fact that mine would find it more terrifying than thrilling. This is also an offsite activity, so budget your time accordingly.
Oh, and bring a balaclava and your goggles! It can be a chilly ride.
AquaClub La Source
We always like to end a weekend at Tremblant and soothe tired muscles by visiting this indoor waterpark. It has a few small slides, an area for kids to master their cannonballs, a rope swing, a family hot tub and an outdoor hot tub reserved for adults.
TravelingMom tip: Only buy a three-hour entry ticket — it’s enough. We have never once reached the three-hour mark and wanted to stay longer.
Don’t forget to stay somewhere fabulous
We’ve stayed at three-, four- and five-star properties in the Tremblant village. But also loved our recent stay in an Altitude luxury chalet just outside of the resort, which is booked through a local property management company called Tremblant Living. It was only a three-minute walk to the gondola in Tremblant’s upper village, and more skilled skiers can even ski in and out of the chalet.
With our kids in tow, we chose to walk and leave our skis overnight in the village at the Valet Ski ($5 per night per person) instead of carrying four sets of skis and poles between two parents.
Because this isn’t a typical hotel room, all the comforts of home are within reach. A full kitchen complete with pots, pans, baking trays, plates, cutlery and glassware is one sweet bonus for families who want to save a few bucks and make food “at home.” Separate rooms for our kids made adult time easier once they were tucked in, too.
And then there was that fireplace…
Most of all, bundle up and prepare to be swept away by the magic that is Tremblant. Explore the village one restaurant at a time, and be sure to come back when the weather warms up, too, because it’s an all-season resort that’ll continue to wow you with its other seasonal activities.