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Christmas in Banff and Lake Louise

Christmas Events & Festivities

November 17, 2018 - January 1, 2019

There’s nothing more Canadian than spending time in the Rocky Mountains over the holidays. 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!

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

Whether you’re looking to indulge in Christmas shoppingrelax in the crisp mountain air, or enjoy a winter adventure, there’s truly something for everyone in Banff and Lake Louise.

View the events calendar

Feature Christmas 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 Feature Christmas events. 

Hubert Kang, Travel Alberta

Mountaintop Christmas

Saturdays from November 17 - December 22
Sundays from November 11 - December 23
Daily from December 24 - 30
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: Included with gondola admission
Address: Banff Gondola

More Information

Photos with Santa

Dates: Saturdays, December 1 - 22
Time: 2 - 4 p.m.
Cost: $20
Address: The Spirit of Christmas, 133 Banff Ave

More Information

A Christmas Carol

Dates: December 7 - 25
Cost: Adults - $32, Children (3-12 years) - $20
Address: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, 405 Spray Ave

More Information

Holiday Shows at Banff Centre

The Debaters Live Christmas Special - December 2
Sharon & Bram - December 15
Cost: $30 - $55
Address: Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive

More Information

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 ongoing festivities.

Wagon Rides

Sunday, November 18
Saturday, December 1
Sunday, December 2
Saturday, December 8
Sunday, December 9
Saturday, December 15
Sunday, December 16
Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Banff Trail Riders Store, 132 Banff Avenue

Christmas Performances

Saturday, November 24
Saturday, December 1
Saturday, December 8
Saturday, December 15
Saturday, December 22
Time: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Location: Banff Avenue Square

For more information on these free events, check out the Events Calendar.

Christmas and New Years on the Ski Hills

Embrace the holiday season like a true Canadian and ski with Santa at Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay

Banff Sunshine

Santa on the Mountain

Date: December 15 & 16 and December 22 & 23
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with lift ticket
Details: Find Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Banff Sunshine Village for a photo before he heads out on Christmas Eve. 

More Information

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade

Date: December 24 & 31
Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: Free with lift ticket
Details: Watch specially trained skiers put on nighttime show for guests.

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Lake Louise Ski Resort

Ski with Santa

Date: December 23 & 24
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with lift ticket
Details: Santa will be skiing with his elves and Griff the Grizzly on the frontside runs. Take a picture with Santa or ski a few runs with him. 

More Information

Mt. Norquay

Santa Shreds for Free

Date: December 25
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free lift ticket (conditions apply)
Details: Dress as Santa, Mrs Clause, an elf or anything Christmas related and shred the slopes for free at Mt Norquay.

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Torchlight Parade

Date: December 31
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details: Ring in the New Year with Mt. Norquay's Torchlight Parade. 

More Information

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. 

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.

Destination Canada
Cozy Cabins

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.

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. 

Share your Christmas memories #mybanff

Calendar of Events

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