November 2018

Nothing can invoke that cosy Christmas feeling like a Christmas in the Rockies. Imagine freshly fallen snow blanketing the trees, a brilliant blue sky, and the air just cold enough to redden chubby little cheeks. Then discover vintage Christmas touches on the decorations and greenery, a crackling fire, and a mug of hot cocoa while Christmas music plays. It’s an easy way to delight in the season and welcome the Christmas spirit! Starting in November and continuing until the end of December, Banff Gondola invites you to a Mountaintop Christmas, and you can experience this Rocky Mountain Christmas magic for yourself.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

Santa’s reindeer get to take a break in the mountains.

We arrived at the Banff Gondola on such a perfectly clear day. Fresh snow and temperatures just below zero made it easy to get excited for our trip up Sulphur Mountain. From the moment we entered the Lower Terminal, the kids were excited. Cheerful Christmas music was playing and the decorations had a beautiful, vintage touch.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

The gondola ride itself was a peaceful journey over a snow-covered forest and the lovely decorations continued throughout the Upper Terminal.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

While there are many interesting and interactive displays to explore in the Upper Terminal (I learned, again, how to tie a bowline knot), the seasonal activities had the most draw on this weekend. The kids were excited to decorate a picture frame and even more thrilled to discover the cookie decorating! The cookie decorating station was so well-stocked I might need to up my own Christmas baking game. Santa will also be visiting the Upper Terminal until just before Christmas, with the opportunity for pictures.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

We wandered out to the observation deck, where we found our favourite Parks Canada red chairs and fires burning. It was the kind of day that makes winter seem just right, so we walked the boardwalk through the trees, exclaimed over the gorgeous views, and enjoyed our hot chocolate on the way. A short Christmas movie for the kids was the perfect ending before we boarded the gondola to head almost 2300 feet back down the mountain.

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas (Family Fun Calgary)

It was the perfect way to launch our family’s Christmas season. It would even soften the Grinch’s small heart.

If you go:

The Banff Santa Claus Parade of Lights is over for the season, but consider it for next year! After our festivities at the Banff Gondola, we checked into the Mount Royal hotel, right on Banff Avenue, the main street through Banff. The hotel itself was lovely, with charming, nostalgic touches and a comfortable room. Its location can’t be beaten, with easy access to any restaurants or shops you might desire. Appropriately, the Spirit of Christmas shop is right across the street. We attended the parade, and when it was over, we simply turned around and walked the few steps into the hotel, where we headed to the rooftop hot tubs and warmed up for the evening. Make a weekend of it! Visit a Mountaintop Christmas and stay at the Mount Royal. Get some Christmas shopping done, relax in a hot tub, and savour a beautiful Christmas in the mountains!

Merry Christmas!

Banff Gondola Mountaintop Christmas Visit:

Banff Gondola:
Mount Royal Hotel:

Thank you to Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection, Banff Gondola, and Mount Royal Hotel for hosting our family; all opinions expressed here are my own. CQ