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Christmas in Banff and Lake Louise

Come ignite your spirit

November 17, 2017 - January 1, 2018

Unwrap your sense of wonder and experience this holiday season in a truly enchanted setting— Banff and Lake Louise.

Check off your Christmas lists with unique, handmade gifts from the Banff Christmas Market, or enjoy a Christmas show at the Banff Centre or Fairmont Banff Springs. From snowshoeing in the freshly-fallen snow to taking in a Mountaintop Christmas at the Banff Gondola, or enjoying a free wagon ride through downtown Banff, there’s truly something for everyone.

To plan your perfect mountain getaway, view our full event listings below.

*All events are subject to change without notice. 

Free Ongoing Festivities

There are plenty of free events to choose from during the holiday season in Banff and Lake Louise. Here's a few of the reoccuring festivities. 

Wagon Rides

Dates: Sundays between November 19 and December 17
Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Details: Banff Trail Riders brings you an afternoon of fun every Sunday between November 19 and December 17 from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. The wagon rides leave from the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies parking lot and are weather dependant. Make sure to dress according to the weather. 

Christmas Caroling 

Kelly Macdonald

Date: Friday November 24 and Saturdays between November 25 and December 23
Time: Friday 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Details: Castle Carolers roam Banff Avenue and share their holiday cheer through favourite Christmas songs. 

Christmas Choir

Date: Friday, December 1, 8 & 22
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Details: The Bow Valley Chorus choir performs at the Banff Avenue Square in downtown Banff. 

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.

The Rimrock Resort Hotel

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. 

Buffalo Mountain Lounge

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. 

Célestine Aerden
Storm Mountain Lodge

Top feature: Book your own cabin that features its very own wood-burning fireplace. It's the intimate getaway you've been dreaming of. 

The Juniper Hotel & Bistro

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. 

Featured Events

The holidays are a time for wonder and joy, so gather your friends and family together for some of Banff and Lake Louise's featured events. 

Kelly MacDonald

Photos with Santa

Date: Saturday, November 18
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. 
Cost: $10 donation. A portion of the proceeds go towards the Santa's Anonymous program in Banff and Lake Louise. Photos taken by The Double Jay Collective
Address: 327 Railway Ave, Banff (Banff Train Station)
Details: Join Santa at the Banff Train Station for photos with Christmas decor.

More Information

Santa Claus Parade of Lights

Date: Saturday, November 18
Time: 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Address: Banff Avenue

More Information

Hubert Kang, Travel Alberta

Banff Christmas Market

Date: Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26, 2017
Time: Friday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. -  6 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: $5 adults, children 10 and under are free
Address: 1 Sundance Road, Banff (Warner Stables)

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Banff Centre Holiday Events

The Barra MacNeils: An East Coast Christmas

Date: Saturday, November 25
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult $35, Senior $30
Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Details:  One of the most beloved concerts on the seasonal circuit, the Barra MacNeils Christmas shows always feature a highly entertaining brand of traditional seasonal fare mixed with entertaining stories and new musical twists; stamped with their lush harmonies and intricate instrumental stylings. 

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Jerry Granelli Trio: Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas

Date: Sunday, December 3
Time: 2 p.m.
Price: Adult $30, Senior $25, Children $15
Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Details:  Get into the Christmas spirit with Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas, a live soundtrack performed by the legendary jazz drummer Jerry Granelli and his trio. 

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The Debaters Christmas Show

Date: Saturday, December 9
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult $55, Senior and Student $50
Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Details:  The Debaters Live is the comedy stage show where comics go toe to toe in a battle of laughs and logic and the audience picks the winner.

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Tom Jackson: Christmas 150

Date: Sunday, December 17
Time: 2 p.m.
Price: Adult $30, Senior and Student $25, Children $15
Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Details:  Master storyteller and musician Tom Jackson weaves a mythical, multimedia, and musical journey of all things Canadian and all things Christmas. 

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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. 

Célestine Aerden

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. 

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. 

Calendar of Events