A long weekend is the perfect amount of time to escape the city with your family and explore Banff National Park.
Experience natural wonders, try new winter adventures, and sample some amazing Canadian food with the ones you love. There are endless combinations of accommodations and activities, so we've outlined a few ideas to inspire you and your family.
Officially start your Banff National Park adventure by checking in at Castle Mountain Chalets, where you can explore the surrounding area on snowshoes. If you don't have your own snowshoes, don't worry, you can rent them from their Activity Centre on site.
Log chalets with full kitchens and private balconies line the property in the shadows of the iconic Castle Mountain. Located at the junction of the Bow Valley Parkway and the Trans-Canada Highway, Castle Mountain Chalets is a unique property that runs along the very railway line that founded Banff National Park and exploration in the Canadian Rockies. The property and chalets are dog-friendly and even offer furry friends a special welcome treat and clean-up bags upon arrival. Buy some of your food and beverage essentials at the Castle Mountain General Store which is licensed and located on the property.
Dinner at Baker Creek Bistro - Enjoy authentic Canadian cuisine with locally and regionally sourced ingredients.
Evening at Castle Mountain Chalets - Enjoy the outdoor fire pit as the stars illuminate the quiet winter night or cozy up to your own wood burning fireplace in your chalet.
Make breakfast in the full kitchen at the Chalet, check out and continue to Lake Louise.
LAKE LOUISE ACTIVITY OPTIONS
Horse-drawn sleigh ride on Lake Louise - Book a sleigh ride at the concierge desk and embark on a cozy journey cuddled in blankets as the horse-drawn sleigh glides on Lake Louise in a snow globe-like setting.
Ice skate on Lake Louise - Rent skates from Alpine Social Rentals at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and skate with the kids on what is constantly rated among the world's most beautiful outdoor skating rinks.
Ski and/or tubing at Lake Louise Ski Resort - Lake Louise Ski Resort is Canada's third largest ski resort and home to some of the best views of any resort in the Rockies. Beginner, moderate, and ample expert terrain with views overlooking Lake Louise make this a not-to-miss place. The resort also features a great terrain and tubing park.
Head back to Banff and check in at your hotel Hidden Ridge Resort.
The Hidden Ridge Resort is a pet-friendly condo-style accommodation with outdoor hot pools, a children's play area and a sauna. Multi-level condos with games rooms make it easy for mom and dad to enjoy themselves while the kids play. Also featuring wood-burning fireplaces and complimentary Roam bus passes to downtown Banff, the Hidden Ridge Resort on Tunnel Mountain is an ideal location for families.
Other options to consider are also Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets and the Fox Hotel and Suites. Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets offers multiple room categories with chalets, condos, and lodges, and to keep the kids entertained, an indoor waterpark and indoor playground. The Fox Hotel and Suites is a great option as it includes 1- and 2-bedroom suites, options with kitchenettes, complimentary boxed breakfasts and pool facilities.
Dinner at Saltlik Steakhouse - Saltlik Steakhouse has an upstairs restaurant that welcomes families and provides a unique dining experience in Banff. The menu offers an array of selections each hand-crafted using fresh, quality ingredients and is a well-known Banff favourite for prime cuts of beef.
If the family is up for further adventures before or after dinner, Banff has some great options. Up until 10 p.m. you can rent a bowling lane at High Rollers and knock some pins over as a family. Test out your teamwork and problem solving skills in an interactive setting to escape from the EureKa Escape Room.
Ride the Banff Gondola and have lunch at Sky Bistro - The Banff Gondola is an experience not to miss for the whole family. Enjoy the 8-minute ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain where an interpretive centre with hands-on interactive displays, multi-sensory theatre, boardwalk to Samson Peak, and an outdoor observation deck awaits you. Parks Canada Red Chairs are perfectly positioned in front of Mount Rundle and Cascade Mountain for an ideal family picture or selfie.
Take advantage of the ‘Family Experience’ at the Banff Gondola which permits one child per paying adult to travel for free before noon, and receive a treat.
Enjoy lunch at Sky Bistro with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Rockies and a distinctively Canadian menu that features the unique flavours of Canada.
Use up some more energy, on your way from the Gondola, take a walk along the Bow River or drive to Bow Falls. Stare in amazement at this impressive site where the Bow River still rages under the ice. Capture this final moment of your family vacation in front of the falls before farewelling Banff, for now.