20+ Festive Issues to Do that Vacation Season

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Compiled by the Highway 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 reworked 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 photograph 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 – photograph by way of 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 turn out to be just about 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 experience in each Banff and Lake Louise with that particular somebody?

Christmas Spirit in Banff
Celebrating Christmas in Banff – photograph by way of Journey Alberta credit score Erik McRitchie

Attempt ice skating and visiting the ice fort on the enduring Lake Louise, or maybe wander round downtown Banff, admiring the colorful decorations that adorn Banff Ave. How about some winter mountaineering? Many hikes in Banff are much more stunning as soon as they’re lined in snow. And the proper solution 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 received’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 will be loved at dozens of areas, however anybody visiting Banff at Christmas can let you know there are a number of locations that stand among the many relaxation. Listed here are only a few the place locations you possibly can take a look at stunning Christmas lights in Banff.

Cascade of Time Backyard

The Cascade of Time Backyard will 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 fascinating story of appreciation informed from the viewpoint of the wildlife that calls Banff Nationwide Park dwelling. Illuminated sculptures, rows of lights, and life like sound results full the expertise. In Search of Christmas Spirit runs on choose days from November 23 till the tip of December, and tickets will 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 – photograph by way of Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Downtown Banff

Because the retailers, eating places, and motels that line the streets of downtown Banff mild up, so you’ll absolutely 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 basic. Banff Avenue is a superb place to start out.

Banff Ave in Winter
Banff Ave adorned for Christmas – photograph by way of 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 through the vacation season. On the garden, towering timber sparkle in shades of blue, inexperienced, and crimson. In the principle foyer, a huge, totally decked-out Christmas tree sits beneath a shocking chandelier. Whereas spending the evening could be a bit costly, it prices nothing to go to the Chateau merely to admire the lights and it’s a surefire solution to get into the Christmas spirit. Fairmont’s location proper on Lake Louise simply provides to its magnificence and marvel.

Christmas in Banff National Park
Christmas time in Lake Louise – photograph by way of Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score @celestineaerden

Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge

Much like the Fairmont Chateau, the Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge transforms into an enchanted Christmas fort and encompasses a spectacular mild show through the Christmas season. If staying on the resort breaks the financial institution, you possibly can nonetheless benefit from the lights on the resort’s winter occasion, Christmas At The Fort.

Christmas Carriage Ride at the Banff Springs
Christmas carriage experience on the Banff Springs Lodge – photograph by way of Journey Alberta

The CP Vacation Prepare

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

CP Holiday Train
The CP Vacation Prepare lit up for the vacations – photograph by way of CP Vacation Prepare

Visiting the Banff Christmas Markets

There are fairly a number of Banff Christmas markets to see through the festive season! In the event you’re planning to spend Christmas in Banff, you’ll find that excellent last-minute vacation present 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 fireplace pit. Tickets should be pre-purchased however are solely $10 per individual, and youngsters beneath 10 years previous are free. The market grounds will be discovered at Warner Stables.

Banff Christmas Market
Tables on the Banff Christmas Market – photograph by way of Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Orange Lady

Bear Avenue Vacation Market

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

Christmas Carols, Performs, and Concert events in Banff

Carols on the Park

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

Carolers sing in Banff
Carolers singing in Banff – photograph by way of Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Kelly MacDonald

Nation Christmas Dinner

The Brewster Nation Christmas Dinner is an excellent enjoyable solution to expertise Christmas cheer and the country nation allure Alberta is understood for. Friends start on the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and climb aboard a horse-drawn sleigh for a magical experience to the barn the place you may be greeted by a dwell band enjoying nation Christmas music. Carry the entire household and luxuriate in a home-cooked Christmas dinner, and perhaps even discover ways to line dance. The dinner is being provided 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 could find him on the Banff Springs or the Chateau Lake Louise, however listed here are a number of of his different favorite native hangouts the place you may simply be fortunate sufficient to see him.

Atop Sulphur Mountain

How a few go to to Santa atop a mountain? Expertise a Mountaintop Christmas by taking the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. A shocking hike through the summer season months, the ascent is far simpler through the cooler months because of the Banff Gondola. Take within the breathtaking surroundings as you experience the gondola to the mountain peak, the place you will see that Santa’s Bakeshop, photograph ops, and lots extra for all ages to take pleasure in. The Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain runs on Saturdays and Sundays solely through the month of November, however begins every day runs on December nineteenth and goes till the thirtieth.

Tickets are advisable prematurely and will 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 could find him at Warner Stables through the Christmas Markets.

Santa Claus Parade

**Cancelled for 2022**

No Christmas in Banff Nationwide Park is full with out a go to to Banff city to see the Santa Clause Parade. Santa and his elves might be tossing sweet canes down Banff Ave from Elk Avenue to Buffalo Avenue. 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 – photograph by way of Journey Alberta credit score Erik McRitchie

Santa on the Slopes

In the event you’re planning to hit up a ski resort throughout your Banff Christmas, you may 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 might catch him and Mrs. Claus gifting away sweet canes close to the chairlifts or all through the resorts.

Santa on the Slopes is a conventional a part of a mountaintop Christmas, happening yearly at Sunshine Village.

Christmas Procuring in Banff

It ought to be simple to seek out that excellent present 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 presents can discover them at Banff’s well-known Christmas retailer, The Spirit of Christmas. Situated on Banff Avenue, right here you’ll find these excellent festive dishes for Christmas dinner, cute trinkets that invite the vacation spirit into your private home, and that particular present for your beloved to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Spirit of Christmas Store Banff
Spirit of Christmas Retailer – photograph by way of Journey Alberta

Different widespread retailers for Christmas purchasing in Banff are:

  • Cool as a Moose – They’re Canada’s #1 Memento retailer and have distinctive clothes and presents for all ages.
  • Branches – In search of the proper genuine handmade Banff memento? You’ll absolutely discover it right here. Branches have artwork, playing cards, stickers, mugs, present units, and the rest you’re searching for.
  • Rocky Mountain Cleaning soap Firm – Strolling in you’ll love the odor. 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 through the Christmas season. Remember to take a look at these different solutions that can absolutely carry vacation cheer.

Sleigh Rides

A personal horse-drawn sleigh experience with your beloved is the final word solution to have fun 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 Journey – photograph by way of Journey Alberta credit score Célestine Aerden

Cross Nation and Downhill Snowboarding

There are 3 predominant ski resorts in Banff Nationwide Park that are a few of the greatest for Alberta snowboarding and are famend world wide. But in addition the cross nation snowboarding is a type of Banff winter actions that simply don’t get sufficient credit score. What higher solution to get your coronary heart charge up than admiring the fantastic thing about your environment on a quiet forest path?


Do you know you could ice skate on Lake Louise? Ice skating is the quintessential winter exercise, and through the winter months, the enduring blue Lake Louise, simply exterior the Fairmont Chateau, freezes stable, permitting guests to spend Christmas day ice skating, surrounded by towering peaks. One other widespread skating alternative is Lake Minnewanka or Spray Lakes Provincial Park (20 minutes from Canmore).

Skating on Lake Louise
Skating on Lake Louise – photograph offered by Journey Alberta

Hike Tunnel Mountain

There’s no scarcity of mountaineering trails within the Canadian Rockies, and mountaineering through the winter affords a wholly new perspective on the fantastic thing about Banff. Tunnel mountain is one among Banff’s hottest hikes, and is often accessible through the winter as effectively.

Canine Sledding

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

A Dog sledding team in Banff
A canine sledding workforce in Banff Nationwide Park – photograph by way of 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 will 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 with out a soak within the world-famous Banff Higher Scorching Springs. Marvel on the surrounding surroundings and breathe within the crisp mountain air when you soak within the pure spring water.

Banff Upper Hot Springs
The Banff Higher Scorching Springs at dawn – photograph by way of Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Noel Hendrickson

In search of extra vacation cheer?


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