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Celebrate Winter in Banff with the Magical SnowDays Festival 2024

Published Date
Nov 21, 2023|
Events & Festivals
An ice sculpture of a woman dancing in front of a red sunset at Lake Louise.

From January 19 to February 4, 2024, Banff National Park comes alive at SnowDays, transforming the area into a unique experience of events, snow and ice sculptures, family-friendly parties, and the Canadian culinary and shopping that visitors come to expect.

Looking for a snowy experience found nowhere else? You've found it in Banff and Lake Louise.

The experiences:

  1. Live Snow Sculpting
  2. Play like a kid in the PlayZone
  3. Cowboys and Trick Skiing at Skijoring
  4. Ice Magic Reimagined
  5. Fill your social feed
  6. Frolic in the Snow
  7. Stay and play (or relax)

1. Experience live snow sculpting

Most people have never witnessed such dramatic art that is a snow sculpture. The snow sculpting artists themselves can be witnessed sculpting multi-storey high snow cubes into masterful creations that will ignite creativity and leave visitors in awe at this unique event on Banff Ave, Bear Street, and the Whyte Museum in downtown Banff. From January 19 - 26, sculptors will be working on their masterpieces all around downtown Banff.

2. Play like a kid again at the SnowDays Play Zone

Dive into winter and explore the best of winter activities! Sled on the three ski hill-inspired hills, go for a spin on the fat bike course or try cross-country skiing  - there's something for all ages at the SnowDays Play Zone.

You can even get your photo with the illuminated Banff sign, complete with views of Tunnel Mountain and Mount Rundle behind you.

The PlayZone is open Wednesday to Friday, 3:30 to 7:30 pm, and Saturday-Sunday 12:00 to 7:30 pm during SnowDays.

3. Watch the sport that combines Alberta's foundational cultures: ranching and mountain life

Experience the breathtaking sport of Skijoring. Where cowpoke and their horse partners pull trick skiers through snow jumps right on Banff Ave. Join us on January 20, 2024, for two shows at 11 am and 2:30 pm. This is a free event, with first-come, first-serve seating right on Banff Ave. Come out and join us in watching this fabulous combo of Alberta's ranch life and mountain culture.

4. Ice Magic Reimagined

For the first time since 2020, Ice Magic returns to the shores of Lake Louise!

On select weekends in January and February, witness top-notch ice carvers in action at the Ice Magic Competition. Marvel at their intricate frozen masterpieces as you stroll through the magical, illuminated ice gallery under the starry winter sky at Lake Louise.

You'll need tickets to join in the fun, available for purchase starting December 12, 2023. It's an exciting return as we welcome back world-class ice carvers to compete at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for the reimagined International Ice Carving Competition.

Ice Magic 2024 is a ticketed event with public viewing available from 6 pm to 9 pm on weekends.

Mark your calendar for these key dates:

  • January 26 - 27: Watch the carvers craft ice sculptures for the 2024 Ice Magic Competition.
  • January 28: Join us for the Award Ceremony where we'll announce the 2024 Ice Magic Competition winners and enjoy a live carving demonstration.
  • February 2 - 4: Admire the finished ice sculptures and catch live carving demonstrations.

Get your tickets starting December 12.

5. Get your Social On

SnowDays is the perfect time to fill your social feed with outstanding mountain scenery. Including the illuminated Banff sign that can only be seen during the winter holiday season. SnowDays will provide a spectacular view that makes the perfect accompaniment for your photos. Share your posts with Banff & Lake Louise with #MyBanff.

The illuminated Banff sign with Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle in the Banff townsite of Banff National Park.The illuminated Banff sign with Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle in the Banff townsite of Banff National Park.The illuminated Banff sign with Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle in the Banff townsite of Banff National Park.

6. Play in the Snow

What would an event like SnowDays be without getting out and exploring in the snow? Go on a guided snowshoe adventure, try cross-country skiing, or rent a fat bike. There are a ton of trails in Banff National Park to explore this winter with your new mode of transport.

Or strap on your skis or snowboard and try one of the bucket list runs at one of the three big resorts: Mt. Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise.

A guided snowshoe experience at Banff Sunshine village with Great Divide Nature Interpretation.
A person fat bikes over a bridge in Banff National Park.

7. Stay and Play Longer

One day won't be enough to explore all SnowDays and winter in Banff have to offer. Stay an extra night or two and go see the immersive light experience Nightrise at the Banff Gondola or soak in the relaxing warm waters of the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

No matter what you do, winter is for everyone in Banff - whether you are looking for a thrilling adventure (like ice climbing) or a relaxing stroll, you will find it in Banff and Lake Louise.

For a full event breakdown visit our SnowDays page.

Winter Family Hiking Fun, Lake Louise, Banff National ParkWinter Family Hiking Fun, Lake Louise, Banff National ParkWinter Family Hiking Fun, Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Real Banff is an inside look at the events and activities around the park, brought to you by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. Our mission is to have a post on pretty much everything that is available for you to do in Banff, Lake Louise and beyond.