Craving a mountain getaway this winter? Think cozy log cabins with alpine vistas and delicious food and craft beer served by the fire after a day of skiing on powdery slopes. Think snow-capped peaks, hot tubs, fresh mountain air, and the feel of the wind on your face as you summit a peak after a long hike. Think Banff and Lake Louise! There’s no place quite like the Canadian Rockies to draw you into that magical winter wonderland feel! If you’re looking for the perfect getaway for your family this winter, make it Banff and Lake Louise and don’t miss out on these…
7 Family-Friendly Adventures for Your Winter Holiday in Banff and Lake Louise
1/ Take Your Family to New Heights at Banff Gondola
There’s more than one way to summit a mountain! Taking an 8 minute trip to the top of Sulphur Mountain on Banff Gondola is just one, but it is one your family will never forget! Here both the journey and the destination hold equal weight. Aboard the gondola, you’ll watch in awe as towering trees dissolve into tiny specks beneath you, and you’ll feel your excitement build as the incline increases to what feels like vertical near the peak. At the top of Sulphur Mountain, you’ll enjoy a state of the art interpretive centre with interactive exhibits, the opportunity to take a short boardwalk hike along a mountain ridge, and, of course, the pièce de resistance…a 360-degree view of the awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies! If all that excitement leaves you feeling a little famished, enjoy world-class dining at 2900 feet at the Sky Bistro which proudly serves delectable Canadiana cuisine with a side of the best view in town!
2/ Hone Your Ski Skills at Norquay
A trip to the Rockies is not complete without a day on the slopes! Whatever your experience on skis or snowboard, Mount Norquay, located just 5 minutes from Banff, is a gem for families. Dubbed Alberta’s best-valued snow school, Norquay offers both group and private lessons for all ski and board levels as well as a family package on lift tickets to help keep you within your budget. With 28 runs spread over the breath-taking 1190-acre resort, Mt. Norquay is a partner in SkiBig3 which offers one lift ticket and free transportation between Banff/Lake Louise and three of the best ski areas in the country. Mount Norquay is also proud to offer half-day lift tickets, tubing, and the only night-skiing opportunity in the Bow Valley! Cap off a day on the slopes with a house-distilled spirit at the cosy Park Distillery while kids enjoy a selection off the kids menu.
3/ Build a Connection to the Canadian Rockies with Discover Banff Tours
Fancy a magical evening ice walk down the scenic Johnston Canyon to a series of spectacular waterfalls? Or an leisurely sight-seeing tour with a stop at Banff’s World Heritage Site? Discover Banff Tours would love to guide you on your way! Offering group or individualised tours around Banff and Lake Louise’s premier sites, they will help you build a connection to the Canadian Rockies through their professional guides who are eager to share their knowledge and passion for the wildlife, ecology, and environment in Banff National Park. Discover Banff Tours offers programming in sight-seeing, wildlife watching, horseback riding, dog-sledding, ice walks, hiking, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, and more!
4/ Rejuvenate in Banff Upper Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a day of relaxation in Banff, you won’t want to miss the chance to rejuvenate at Banff Upper Hot Springs! This historic bathhouse offers visitors an opportunity to luxuriate open air in warm mineral-filled waters with a spectacular alpine backdrop. The spa, Banff’s premier attraction, pays homage the nearby iconic Cave and Basin which has long been established as a National Historic Site. Here the interpretive centre takes visitors on the millennia-long journey of how the thermal waters of the Cave and Basin transformed from a place of gathering and healing for Indigenous peoples to the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system.
5/ Chill at a Winter Festival
The heart of January beats strong at Banff’s SnowDays Festival and Lake Louise’s Ice Magic Festival. Running January 18 – 28, these festivals offer families the chance to spectate at the 2018 Canada Cup of Ice Carving in Lake Louise or to see blocks of snow transformed into scenes from iconic photographs of Banff and Lake Louise. Take the chill off after a day of festival-going with an easy-going, family-friendly, and affordable meal at The Bear Street Tavern in downtown Banff!
6/ Discover Lake Louise by Snowshoe
A ‘day at the lake’ takes on a whole new meaning when you stop at Wilson Mountain Sports! Whether you’re looking to make tracks on the Lake in a pair of snowshoes or skates, ski cross-country on some of the most beautiful trails in the country, or rent a fat bike, Wilson’s has you covered. Just stop by their convenient location minutes from Lake Louise and get kitted out for your day of adventure! After a day of enjoying the sights, there’s no place to unwind like the Baker Creek Bistro. Just a short, scenic drive down the Bow Valley Parkway tucked into an idyllic wooded scene; you’ll find this gem where you can enjoy locally sourced ingredients prepared to perfection like smoked fingerling poutine by the light of a log fire.
7/ Take a Break from the Great Outdoors in a World Class Museum
Need a break from the cold? Discover Banff in a new way at a world-class museum! Get ready to take your family on a historical adventure of survival, adaptation, and triumph as they explore the travails and changing culture of the Indigenous Peoples of North America at the Buffalo Nations Museum, or spend a day honouring the natural beauty and heritage of the Canadian Rockies. The Whyte Museum was founded by locals, Peter and Catherine Whyte, as a place to gather and appreciate the landscape through exhibitions, art, events, archives, and more.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or a place to clear your head, you’ll find it in the Canadian Rockies. Plan your winter holiday in Banff and Lake Louise TODAY!
With special thanks to Banff Lake Louise Tourism and the spectacular Fox Hotel & Suites for their kindly hosting and the most comfortable, convenient place for our family to relax between holiday adventures.