Ignite your festive spirit and watch the town of Banff come alive during the famous Santa Claus Parade of Lights in November. The Banff Christmas Market is another great way to enjoy the festive atmosphere, indulge in culinary delights, and find one-of-a-kind treasures.
If you're looking for festive events, check out Mountaintop Christmas at the Banff Gondola, holiday concerts at Banff Centre, or explore Christmas at the Castle at the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
A Postcard-Perfect Christmas Itinerary
There's nothing more Canadian than spending a few days in the Rocky Mountains over the holidays. See what a perfect two-day vacation in Banff and Lake Louise could look like.
As you wake up and gaze at the breathtaking views, you sip your first morning coffee by the warm glow of a cozy, crackling fireplace. Wrapped in blankets, it's easy to savour the moment watching small snowflakes fall outside your window. Then, you realize there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.
You stroll along quaint streets while the sun rises over the mountaintops. Hopping from shop to shop you're welcomed by the sound of holiday carolers and greeted with unique stores that line historic Banff Avenue; it’s the perfect place to find that special gift for under the tree.
With your Christmas list checked twice, it's time to give your feet a rest and enjoy a sleigh ride through the fresh snow. The crisp mountain air cools your cheeks and you warm your hands on a cup of hot chocolate as you glide through the shimmering trees.
If you're looking for a quintessential Christmas experience, make your way to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel which celebrates the festive season with Christmas at the Castle. Take in the new show, A Christmas Carol, or sample the hotel's luxurious food and beverage offerings on the 'Eat the Castle' culinary tour.
When the sun goes down, the streets, and your holiday spirit, come alive as you indulge in an authentically Canadian meal in downtown Banff. After a night under the lights of Banff Avenue and the stars in the sky, you retreat to your cozy cabin, ready to start tomorrow's adventure.
To experience the pure joy of the holidays, there’s nowhere better than Banff and Lake Louise—it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and gather with friends and family.
Festive Places to Stay
Decked with ornate decorations and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Banff and Lake Louise have a range of accommodation that are guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.
Hotels, Lodges, and Inns
The historic hotels, luxury lodges, and boutique inns in Banff and Lake Louise truly come alive with the spirit of the holidays and are the perfect place to enjoy a festive mountain getaway.
Bed & Breakfast
Plan a stay at one of the charming B&Bs in Banff this festive season to finish your Christmas shopping, enjoy a cozy mountain escape, or a romantic weekend.
Staying in a classic mountain cabin is a great way to enjoy the winter playground that is Banff National Park. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, or a cozy retreat, these frontcountry lodges are the perfect place to celebrate an alpine Christmas.
Where to find Cozy Fireplaces
Some of the best moments during the holiday season revolve around curling up under a blanket, next to a wood-burning fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. These moments are elevated even further in Banff and Lake Louise when this fireplace is next to a window overlooking mountain vistas. Here are some accommodations that offer these rejuvenating moments.
Top feature: The indoor fireplaces are next to huge windows that overlook the Bow Valley. The outdoor one is a perfect winter retreat with stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains.
Top feature: The fireplace is located in a beautiful lounge right next to the Sleeping Buffalo bar. Order a signature cocktail and appetizer before your hand-crafted meal is served in the restaurant.
Top feature: Book your own cabin that features its very own wood-burning fireplace. It's the intimate getaway you've been dreaming of.
Top feature: The Juniper Bistro boasts a cozy indoor fireplace where you can cuddle up with your friends and enjoy Canadian cuisine. The outdoor fireplace is just as relaxing, which also offers a unique view of the town of Banff.
Winter Wonderland Experiences
There's plenty to see and do in Banff National Park. Explore our list of essential winter experiences you need to try this holiday season.
Take a sleigh ride through the Rockies
Taking a sleigh ride at Christmas is a celebration of family and winter fun, one of the most quintessential activities you can do. Tours are available with Banff Trail Riders in Banff and Brewster Adventures in Lake Louise.
Ice skate on frozen lakes
There are several magical outdoor skating rinks in Banff National Park. Lace up your skates and glide across the iconic Lake Louise, or for a traditional experience head to The Waldhaus Rink in the Spray Meadows behind the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Rentals are available at Snowtips-Bactrax in Banff and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.
Ski with Santa on the mountain
Santa loves to ski in the Canadian Rockies and can be spotted at the three ski resorts during the festive season. Look out for jolly Saint Nick at Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay.
Embark on a dogsledding adventure
For a true Canadian winter adventure, mush your own team or sit back and relax as you take in the gorgeous frozen landscape of the Canadian Rockies. One of the most unique and memorable activities around, a dogsledding adventure will provide fun for the whole family.
Enjoy the mountain views on a gondola ride
Celebrate Christmas on a mountaintop and take part in a new family tradition at the Banff Gondola with a visit from Santa, games, and festive movies for the whole family.