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20+ Festive Issues to Do that Vacation Season

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Compiled by the Street Journey Alberta workforce

Final up to date on November 19, 2022

With towering snow-capped mountain peaks, effervescent sizzling springs, and idyllic winter scenes all over the place you look, Banff Nationwide Park is a magical place to spend the vacations. Yearly, Banff townsite is remodeled right into a winter wonderland full with all types of actions that the entire household can take pleasure in together with sleigh rides, Christmas markets, carol singers, Christmas crafts, and picture ops with Santa.

So why not mount these winter tires, head west, and uncover all that Christmas in Banff has to supply?

Banff Springs Christmas Tree
Christmas time in Banff – picture through Journey Alberta

Celebrating Christmas in Banff Nationwide Park

Banff Nationwide Park is the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies, and Banff at Christmas is a sight to behold. The ski resorts develop into nearly unrecognizable when the Christmas decorations come out, and there’s a ton of additional particular vacation magic in each Banff and the close by hamlet of Lake Louise all through the vacation season. How about taking a horse-drawn sleigh journey in each Banff and Lake Louise with that particular somebody?

Christmas Spirit in Banff
Celebrating Christmas in Banff – picture through Journey Alberta credit score Erik McRitchie

Strive ice skating and visiting the ice citadel on the long-lasting Lake Louise, or maybe wander round downtown Banff, admiring the colorful decorations that adorn Banff Ave. How about some winter climbing? Many hikes in Banff are much more stunning as soon as they’re coated in snow. And the proper method to finish the day? Take a soak in Banff Higher Scorching Springs, or sip on a sizzling chocolate in entrance of a hearth discovered alongside the Banff festive sizzling chocolate path.

No matter tickles your fancy, you gained’t be disenchanted for those who select to spend this Christmas in Banff.

Discovering the Finest Christmas Lights in Banff Nationwide Park

Nothing screams Christmas extra loudly than twinkling lights. Banff’s Christmas lights might be loved at dozens of places, however anybody visiting Banff at Christmas can inform you there are a number of locations that stand among the many relaxation. Listed below are just some the place locations you may take a look at stunning Christmas lights in Banff.

Cascade of Time Backyard

The Cascade of Time Backyard might be discovered alongside Cave Avenue in Banff city. Throughout the Christmas season, an interactive vacation expertise known as In Search of Christmas Spirit descends upon the backyard to inform a charming story of appreciation instructed from the viewpoint of the wildlife that calls Banff Nationwide Park dwelling. Illuminated sculptures, rows of lights, and lifelike sound results full the expertise. In Search of Christmas Spirit runs on choose days from November 23 till the top of December, and tickets might be bought on-line. Gown heat, because the occasion is totally outside.

Search of Christmas Spirit Kid
The Cascade of Time Backyard polar bear on the Search of Christmas Spirit – picture through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Downtown Banff

Because the retailers, eating places, and lodges that line the streets of downtown Banff gentle up, so you’ll certainly discover your festive spirit as you wander up and down the lanes and avenues. Sip on a sizzling drink as you admire the twinkling lights, or munch on a Beaver Tail, a real Canadian traditional. Banff Avenue is a superb place to begin.

Banff Ave in Winter
Banff Ave adorned for Christmas – picture through Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Nothing screams Banff Christmas greater than the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, it lights up inside and outside in the course of the vacation season. On the garden, towering timber sparkle in shades of blue, inexperienced, and crimson. In the primary foyer, a big, totally decked-out Christmas tree sits beneath a surprising chandelier. Whereas spending the evening is usually a bit costly, it prices nothing to go to the Chateau merely to admire the lights and it’s a surefire method to get into the Christmas spirit. Fairmont’s location proper on Lake Louise simply provides to its magnificence and surprise.

Christmas in Banff National Park
Christmas time in Lake Louise – picture through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score @celestineaerden

Fairmont Banff Springs Resort

Much like the Fairmont Chateau, the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort transforms into an enchanted Christmas citadel and includes a spectacular gentle show in the course of the Christmas season. If staying on the lodge breaks the financial institution, you may nonetheless benefit from the lights on the lodge’s winter occasion, Christmas At The Fortress.

Christmas Carriage Ride at the Banff Springs
Christmas carriage journey on the Banff Springs Resort – picture through Journey Alberta

The CP Vacation Practice

Seeing the lit-up CP Vacation Practice is magical because it makes its method throughout Canada. The practice departs Montreal on November 27 and heads west in direction of Vancouver, making dozens of stops alongside the way in which. The decked-out practice strives to unfold consciousness and garner help for meals banks throughout Canada. For 2022, the practice stops in Banff on December thirteenth at 7:00pm on the Banff Practice Station. Don’t miss out on the free dwell leisure from MacKenzie Porter and Virginia to Vegas.

CP Holiday Train
The CP Vacation Practice lit up for the vacations – picture through CP Vacation Practice

Visiting the Banff Christmas Markets

There are fairly a number of Banff Christmas markets to see in the course of the festive season! For those who’re planning to spend Christmas in Banff, you could find that excellent last-minute vacation reward at any of those markets.

Banff Christmas Market

The Banff Christmas Market runs each weekend from November 18th till December 4th and is loaded with over 100 artisanal distributors, dwell leisure, and loads of Christmas treats to eat and drink across the out of doors hearth pit. Tickets should be pre-purchased however are solely $10 per particular person, and children below 10 years outdated are free. The market grounds might be discovered at Warner Stables.

Banff Christmas Market
Tables on the Banff Christmas Market – picture through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Orange Woman

Bear Road Vacation Market

The Bear Road Vacation Market might be discovered proper within the coronary heart of Banff and is a vital slice of a Banff Christmas. Flick thru the stalls and help native artisans and distributors to seek out the proper items, pattern signature Banff treats, after which high off your day by having fun with a scrumptious dinner at any of the eating places that dot Banff Avenue. The Bear Road Vacation Market runs from December 10 – 31 on choose dates, so examine the hyperlink above!

Christmas Carols, Performs, and Live shows in Banff

Carols on the Park

There’s nothing like Christmas carols to get you within the vacation spirit, and this further particular Christmas live performance, held in Banff Avenue Sq. on a number of Saturday nights from November by means of to January (see the schedule right here) guarantees to not disappoint.

Carolers sing in Banff
Carolers singing in Banff – picture through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Kelly MacDonald

Nation Christmas Dinner

The Brewster Nation Christmas Dinner is a brilliant enjoyable method to expertise Christmas cheer and the country nation attraction Alberta is understood for. Friends start on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and climb aboard a horse-drawn sleigh for a magical journey to the barn the place you’ll be greeted by a dwell band enjoying nation Christmas music. Convey the entire household and revel in a home-cooked Christmas dinner, and possibly even learn to line dance. The dinner is being supplied on December 23, 28 and thirtieth. Get your tickets earlier than they promote out!

The place to Discover Santa in Banff

Santa has been recognized to spend time at Lake Louise and Banff at Christmas. You will discover him on the Banff Springs or the Chateau Lake Louise, however listed below are a number of of his different favorite native hangouts the place you would possibly simply be fortunate sufficient to see him.

Atop Sulphur Mountain

How a couple of go to to Santa atop a mountain? Expertise a Mountaintop Christmas by taking the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. A surprising hike in the course of the summer time months, the ascent is way simpler in the course of the cooler months because of the Banff Gondola. Take within the breathtaking surroundings as you journey the gondola to the mountain peak, the place you can find Santa’s Bakeshop, picture ops, and lots extra for all ages to take pleasure in. The Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain runs on Saturdays and Sundays solely in the course of the month of November, however begins every day runs on December nineteenth and goes till the thirtieth.

Tickets are really helpful upfront and might be booked on-line.

Santa in Banff

Santa’s Home and Reindeer Stables

A photograph op with Santa is a type of must-do Christmas actions, and households visiting Banff at Christmas time head to Santa’s Home and Reindeer Stables to just do that. You will discover him at Warner Stables in the course of the Christmas Markets.

Santa Claus Parade

**Cancelled for 2022**

No Christmas in Banff Nationwide Park is full and not using a go to to Banff city to see the Santa Clause Parade. Santa and his elves will probably be tossing sweet canes down Banff Ave from Elk Road to Buffalo Road. Children will even get the prospect to take their image with Santa and inform him all their Christmas needs. It’s a type of excellent Banff Christmas actions.

Banff Santa Claus Parade
The Banff Santa Claus Parade – picture through Journey Alberta credit score Erik McRitchie

Santa on the Slopes

For those who’re planning to hit up a ski resort throughout your Banff Christmas, you would possibly simply be fortunate sufficient to identify the Massive Man amongst a whole bunch of different Santas hitting the slopes on the times main as much as Christmas Day, even on Christmas Eve. You additionally could catch him and Mrs. Claus making a gift of sweet canes close to the chairlifts or all through the resorts.

Santa on the Slopes is a standard a part of a mountaintop Christmas, going down yearly at Sunshine Village.

Christmas Buying in Banff

It needs to be simple to seek out that excellent reward at Christmas at any of Banff’s picturesque vacation shops. Merely wander downtown and pop into all of the totally different retailers and markets.

Spirit of Christmas Retailer

Anybody searching for Christmas spirit and people excellent Christmas items can discover them at Banff’s well-known Christmas retailer, The Spirit of Christmas. Positioned on Banff Avenue, right here you could find these excellent festive dishes for Christmas dinner, cute trinkets that invite the vacation spirit into your private home, and that particular reward for the one you love to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Spirit of Christmas Store Banff
Spirit of Christmas Retailer – picture through Journey Alberta

Different standard retailers for Christmas buying in Banff are:

  • Cool as a Moose – They’re Canada’s #1 Memento retailer and have distinctive clothes and items for all ages.
  • Branches – Searching for the proper genuine handmade Banff memento? You’ll certainly discover it right here. Branches have artwork, playing cards, stickers, mugs, reward units, and the rest you’re searching for.
  • Rocky Mountain Cleaning soap Firm – Strolling in you’ll love the scent. Right here you’ll discover pure soaps and different skincare merchandise made proper within the Canadian Rockies.

Different Christmas Occasions and Actions in Banff

There’s a lot to do in Banff in the course of the Christmas season. You’ll want to take a look at these different solutions that may certainly deliver vacation cheer.

Sleigh Rides

A non-public horse-drawn sleigh journey with the one you love is the final word method to rejoice Christmas within the Canadian Rockies. Wrap your self in a heat blanket and take within the surroundings of the magical winter wonderland that’s on the Banff valley facet throughout a 40-minute tour.

Christmas Sleigh Ride
Christmas Sleigh Experience – picture through Journey Alberta credit score Célestine Aerden

Cross Nation and Downhill Snowboarding

There are 3 major ski resorts in Banff Nationwide Park that are a number of the finest for Alberta snowboarding and are famend world wide. But additionally the cross nation snowboarding is a type of Banff winter actions that simply don’t get sufficient credit score. What higher method to get your coronary heart fee up than admiring the great thing about your environment on a quiet forest path?


Do you know that you would be able to ice skate on Lake Louise? Ice skating is the quintessential winter exercise, and in the course of the winter months, the long-lasting blue Lake Louise, simply outdoors the Fairmont Chateau, freezes strong, permitting guests to spend Christmas day ice skating, surrounded by towering peaks. One other standard skating selection is Lake Minnewanka or Spray Lakes Provincial Park (20 minutes from Canmore).

Skating on Lake Louise
Skating on Lake Louise – picture supplied by Journey Alberta

Hike Tunnel Mountain

There’s no scarcity of climbing trails within the Canadian Rockies, and climbing in the course of the winter affords a wholly new perspective on the great thing about Banff. Tunnel mountain is one in every of Banff’s hottest hikes, and is normally accessible in the course of the winter as nicely.

Canine Sledding

It’s exhilarating to be whisked by means of the snow and timber being pulled by a workforce of canines. Banff at Christmas is the proper alternative to offer canine sledding a attempt for those who’ve by no means completed it earlier than.

A Dog sledding team in Banff
A canine sledding workforce in Banff Nationwide Park – picture through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Scorching Chocolate Path

Talking of sizzling chocolate, Banff and Lake Louise’s sizzling chocolate path is an absolute must-do for anybody spending Christmas in Banff or Lake Louise. From November to January 1, Christmas-themed sizzling chocolate treats might be discovered for a restricted time at over 20 eating places unfold out throughout Banff city and Lake Louise, together with a number of ‘grownup’ boozy sizzling chocolate selections. Why not attempt all of them?!

Banff Higher Scorching Springs

Lastly, no go to to Banff Nationwide Park is full and not using a soak within the world-famous Banff Higher Scorching Springs. Marvel on the surrounding surroundings and breathe within the crisp mountain air whilst you soak within the pure spring water.

Banff Upper Hot Springs
The Banff Higher Scorching Springs at dawn – picture through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Noel Hendrickson

Searching for extra vacation cheer?

When you’re within the mountains having fun with all the vacation cheer, don’t overlook to eat nicely! Take a look at our guides to brunch in Banff plus all the very best Banff eating places for each meal.

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