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10 Activities for Kids at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the Summer

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Disclosure: We were hosted by Whitefish Mountain Resort to try out the activities; however, all opinions are our own and this is a location we highly recommend! 

Whitefish Mountain Resort is not just a winter destination, but it’s a great destination for families during the summer & when visiting the Glacier National Park area. Check out these 10 activities for kids at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the summer.

10 Activities Kids Will Love at Whitefish Mountain Resort

10 Activities for Kids at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the Summer

This past summer, we took a two week National Park road trip as a family (to take advantage of my daughter’s free National Park pass as a 4th grader) & our final National Park was to visit Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.  This is the first time for most of our family to Montana and we were so impressed by this gorgeous state & all of the outdoor opportunities it offers.

Rope for Aerial Adventure Course

With a 2 week long road trip seeing beautiful national parks & gorgeous scenery, we also wanted to balance out our trip with plenty of fun, active outdoor adventures for our girls to really experience the beauty of the areas we were visiting. Visiting Whitefish Mountain Resort in the middle of our visit to northwest Montana and Glacier National Park was the perfect way to make new adventures together and explore this beautiful area with a variety of activities our whole family loved.

Whitefish Mountain Resort is a popular ski resort in Whitefish, Montana (about 30 minutes from Kalispell) and once summer arrives, the ski resort is filled with family-friendly activities all summer long to enjoy this beautiful mountain with views of Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley. There are definitely plenty of activities to keep your whole family entertained, no matter the age of your kids! Your adventurous teens will love the ziplining & mountain bike course while younger kids will love the summer tubing & alpine slide. Work together as a family to complete the Aerial Adventure course and then relax with a gondola ride to the summit of the mountain & enjoy those breathtaking views of the mountains.

Here are 10 Activities that Kids will Love at Whitefish Mountain Resort! Make sure to check out all of our information about Northwest Montana – how to get there, winter activities, favorite restaurants & more!

1.  Aerial Adventure Park

Aerial Adventure Course at Whitefish Mountain

One of the highlights of summertime at Whitefish Mountain Resort is their impressive Aerial Adventure course offering 5 courses of various ability levels so each member of your family can feel accomplished by the end. We had never tried out an aerial adventure course/obstacle course together as a family and it was such a great way to bond as a family & cheer each other on.

Aerial Adventure Course at Whitefish Mountain Resort

The obstacle course had such a wide variety of elements involved in getting from tree to tree with a total of 60 obstacles between all 5 courses. You have 2 hours to complete as many courses as you’d like. We did 2 courses in that time (the intermediate & beginner course), but it was also our first time so there was some learning involved in figuring out how to get across the course. The beginner course is not too far off the ground, so it’s a good one for those who are not fond of heights or to try out with your younger kids to see how they like it first.

Zipline at Aerial Adventure Park

Obstacles included crossing cable bridges, climbing thru cargo nets, swinging on a trapeze, and our personal favorite – several ziplines! They were definitely challenging but not impossible, even for us (out of shape & not so flexible – ha!)! We all felt so accomplished & proud of doing the course – definitely one of the best family moments of our 2 week road trip! I can’t recommend it enough – I had been debating whether I was going to participate or just let my husband do the course with my girls and I am so glad that we all participated together.

Obstacle Course at Whitefish Mountain Resort

As far as safety, I am someone who has a bit of a fear of heights, especially when my kids are involved, but I felt very at ease & confident in the full harness & latch system they use. You are always attached somewhere – whether it is the cables around the trees when you are suspended high in the air or to the course itself as you move from tree to tree. They have plenty of staff on site in case anyone were to get on a challenging obstacle & need assistance.

Definitely add this to your list if you visit northwest Montana – you will be glad you challenged yourself,  learn a lot about yourself & all of the strength you may not realize you have. Plus, it’s just such a pretty, peaceful location  in the trees  with views of the valley.

2. Alpine Slides

Alpine Slide at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Have you ever tried an Alpine Slide? These are popular in Europe in the mountains and they now have two Alpine Slides at Whitefish Mountain Resort. They added a second slide this August in 2019, so next season there will be two slides operating. The slides coast down the mountain with dips, turns, under bridges and through a tunnel for some thrill while enjoying the sights around the beautiful mountain.

Alpine Slide at Whitefish Mountain

This is definitely an activity that any age would love and what’s great about the slides is that you can control the speed with a hand brake to go as fast or as slow as you want. So,  even those who are wanting a slow, gentle ride will enjoy this, along with those who want to speed down the hill. Any age can ride these slides, too, kids under 48 in will ride for free with a paying adult.

When you purchase a ticket for the Alpine Slide, you will get a ride on the chairlift up to the top, which is an added bonus to see the ski resort from the air in the middle of the summer. Great views on a beautiful day!

3. Zip Line Tours

If you have been wanting to do a zip line experience, what a beautiful setting to try it out at Whitefish Mountain resort. There are 6 separate lines that stretch as long as 1900 feet across and up to 300 feet above the forest floor. That equals more than a mile of flying through the forest. The zip line tour lasts about 2 1/2 hours and involves a moderate amount of hiking, so it’s a full experience in the forest, above the ski slopes and over ravines.

Kids ages 7 & up can ride the zip lines, so it makes for a great activity to do together as a family. You can also book a 6 zip tour activity package which includes a 6 zip tour, round trip scenic lift ticket and 3 alpine slide rides. If you purchase your tickets 72 hours or more in advance, your tickets will be at a slight discount.

4. Mountain Biking

Mountain Bike Trails at Whitefish Mountain

Mountain Bike Trail Views from the Summit

Whether you are a seasoned mountain biker or you are wanting to try it for your first time, Whitefish Mountain is a great place to visit for mountain bikers.  During the summer season, Whitefish has more than 30 miles & 20 different bike trails that are either accessed by a lift or cross-country trails high above the Flathead Valley. If you are a beginner, you can start with trails accessed from the first lift (there are 2 beginner trails) & then more advanced mountain bikers can ride the chairlift or gondola to the summit to start from the top with those incredible views.

Here’s some specific information about the mountain bike park:

  • 2,353′ vertical drop
  • 2 lifts
  • 23+ miles of downhill trails
  • 9 miles of cross-country / hiking trails

5. Summer Tubing

Summer Tubing at Whitefish

Summer tubing is a great activity for the younger kiddos and a nice introduction to how tubing works for your kids before the winter snow season starts. You’ll ride the moving carpet up to the top of the hill with your tube and then slide down the hill at a nice, gentle speed. Perfect for those who may be hesitant to try the Alpine Slide, this is a laid-back ride they will love.

6. Gondola or Scenic Chair Lift Rides

Views from the Summit House at Whitefish Mountain

If you want to get an incredible view of the Flathead Valley & the Glacier National Park mountains in the distance, you’ll absolutely want to take a scenic chairlift or gondola ride up to the summit of Big Mountain for panoramic 360 degree views. They offer open chairlift rides if you want to feel the breeze in your hair & enjoy the sunshine. Or you can take the enclosed gondola which works well for any age, especially little ones. In order to get up to the top, you will actually take 2 lifts (if you are starting from the base lodge) to get to the summit.

Gondola Rides at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Once at the summit, you can take in stunning views of Whitefish Lake, the Flathead Valley & Glacier National Park. Head over to the Summit House which has a cafeteria style restaurant for lunch and a bar and it’s the only location  where you can dine at the top of a mountain in Montana. The food is standard ski resort fare, but you can’t beat those amazing views!

Downstairs, you’ll find the Summit Nature Center, which is a destination in itself for kids (see below). The summit of Big Mountain is also the starting point for mountain biking as well as numerous trails at the top of the summit or going down the mountain.

Definitely make sure to step out onto the deck on the back of the Summit House for some dramatic views and a picture-perfect setting of the beautiful mountains & valley.

7. Summit Nature Museum

Summit Nature Center

If you ride the gondola or scenic chair lift up to the summit, one of the best benefits for families is the Summit Nature Center, located downstairs in the Summit House building. This is a totally free little nature center, but even though it’s small, it is FILLED with fun activities for kids. My kids are older and weren’t so sure about visiting, but they loved it!

There are so many hands-on and interactive exhibits in this nature center that kids (& adults) will find fascinating. Plus, it is always staffed by Flathead National Forest service rangers who are so knowledgeable and helpful with the kids.

Summit Nature Center Pelts

The activities range from identifying wildflowers (with actual flowers they bring in), identifying animal tracks & scat (of course this is a hit with all the kids to get a good laugh), animal puppets, and so much more. Plus, the biggest highlight for all of us were the many animal pelts you are encouraged to touch, pick up & check out the size.

Pelts at Summit Nature Center Whitefish Mountain

There is an opportunity for kids to work on Junior Forest Ranger booklets to earn a badge & certificate or try their best at an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt. {In the winter, kids can sign up to be a Junior Snow Ranger). Free discovery walks are also offered daily in the mid-summer to provide information about the area by a Forest Service naturalist.

Outdoor Adventure Backpacks

 

If you want to explore the outdoors around the summit & maybe check out one of the family-friendly hikes, check out an Outdoor Adventure Pack.  These backpacks are filled with field guides & materials to help kids & families learn about nature together on your walk.

8. Hiking & picking huckleberries

We love to hike & Whitefish Mountain Resort is the perfect place to hike as it offers with big rewards – expansive views of the mountains,  lakes & valley, wildflowers galore in the late summer & plentiful huckleberry picking in late summer, too. The lower mountain trails are all on lands owned by the resort but the larger part of the mountain is part of the Flathead National Forest, so you’ll be hiking thru National Forest land filled with a variety of trees and wildflowers.  There are trailheads at the summit, in the village & also at Base Lodge if you are really ambitious and want to hike up to the summit (it’s their most popular trail). It’s 3.8 miles up to the summit or back down from the village. You can also choose to take the scenic chair lift one direction too, so you are only going either up or down for a little break.

We didn’t have the opportunity to do any hiking when we were at the resort, but it’s definitely something we will add to our list the next time we visit. The Arnica Ridge hike is just over half a mile long & rated as easy that heads to a pond & is the perfect place to visit for early season berry picking. They have information up at the Summit House on more hiking locations to visit for berry picking too. Make sure to bring some containers for berry picking if it’s the season for picking as you won’t be disappointed. They have great huckleberry picking spots all across the mountain & they are regularly updating where to best find the berries.

9. Spider Monkey Mountain

Spider Monkey Inflatables at Whitefish Mountain

Spider Monkey Mountain will definitely be a hit with your kids as it’s an obstacle course and giant slide inflatable. Kids ages 4 – 12 can climb up through 8 webbed floors to reach 2 stories high and then slide down the giant slide. What’s perfect about this inflatable is that it’s also right next to the back patio with umbrellas, tables & chairs for parents to relax & keep an eye on your kids while they tackle the course again & again. You pay a set price for the day, so there is no limit on the amount of time they can spend here.

10. Strider Bike Park 

Strider Bike Park at Whitefish Mountain

I love that they have such a wide variety of activities for every age of children. The Strider Bike park is a great opportunity for kids ages 2 – 6 to practice their balance and bike riding skills in a safe yet fun environment. The Strider Bikes are all pedal-less to teach kids the basics of balance while learning a bike. There is a fun course with mini hills & turns for them to maneuver around.

Ways to Save at Whitefish Mountain Resort During the Summer:

(These are 2019 prices – make sure to check the website for current prices)

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Buy a Summer Package

One of the best ways to save at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the summertime is to purchase one of their activity packages. For example,  if you purchase the Kids Adventure Package, it is a savings of $7 versus purchasing individually.

Here are a few examples of the types of packages available:

Aerial Adventure Park Activity Package – Adult – $70 (reg $94 – savings of $24) – they also have a youth package too

Includes  Aerial Adventure Park, Scenic Lift Ticket + 3 rides on the Alpine Slide or Summer Tubing

Kids Adventure Package – $25 (reg $32 – this is a savings of $7 versus purchasing individually)

*Ages 4-6, 34″-44″ tall. Includes 2 Summer Tubing tickets and unlimited access to the Strider Bike Park, Spider Monkey Mountain, and Scenic Lift.

Buy Ahead Online:

Buy tickets ahead of time online for discounted rates (must buy 72 hours or more ahead for discounts). This way you don’t have to worry about waiting in line and you save a few dollars when you purchase your tickets ahead of time, too.

Visit during Early or Late Summer Season

Some of the summer activities offer a discount if you visit either during the early or late summer season. For example, in 2019, the early season was anytime from Memorial Weekend thru June 28, 2019 and late season was Fridays-Sundays September 6-22, 2019. {Make sure to check the dates for when you are planning your visit}.

For the ziplines, the early/late season price for the 6 zip tour is just $59 (reg $75 during prime summer season). And the Aerial Adventure Park tickets are just $42 for early/late summer season (reg $50).

Armed Forces discounts in the summer:

If you are a member of the military, you can get significant discounts on summer activities at Whitefish Mountains. This is for active,  reserve & retired military personnel. This also applies to spouses and dependents, too. You must bring military ID to get these discounts. It is available for US & Canadian military.

    • 25% OFF Zip Line Tours & Aerial Adventure Park (not valid with packages)
    • 25% OFF All Whitefish Mountain Resort Lodging
    • 50% OFF Scenic Lift and Mountain Bike Tickets
    • 50% OFF Alpine Slides
    • 50% OFF Spider Monkey Mountain
    • 50% OFF Strider Bike Park
    • 50% OFF Summer Tubing

Have you been to Whitefish Mountain Resort in the summer? We’d love to hear what you thought & what your favorite activity was!

More Information about Kalispell & Whitefish Montana Areas:

6 Family Friendly Restaurants in Kalispell & Whitefish Montana

Visiting Northwest Montana – Train, Fly or Drive

Ski School or Snowboard School at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Best Winter Activities in Northern Montana

10 Best Winter Activities in Northwest Montana