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72 hours for families during winter in Banff and Lake Louise

Published Date
Jan 15, 2022|
Themes
Family Travel
Spray River, Banff National Park

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.

A family in their winter gear looking into the basin at the Cave & BasinA family in their winter gear looking into the basin at the Cave & BasinA family in their winter gear looking into the basin at the Cave & Basin

Day One

Officially start your Banff National Park adventure by checking in at Baker Creek by Basecamp 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.

Have dinner at The Station Restaurant in Lake Louise - Enjoy local favourites and Canadian cuisine in a heritage railway station.

A family playing in the snow in full snow gearA family playing in the snow in full snow gearA family playing in the snow in full snow gear

Day Two

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 Wilson Mountain Sports and travel to the Lake Louise lakeshore. Skate with the kids on what is constantly rated among the world's most beautiful outdoor skating rinks.

A family of four holding hands and skating towards an ice castle on the frozen Lake Louise A family of four holding hands and skating towards an ice castle on the frozen Lake Louise A family of four holding hands and skating towards an ice castle on the frozen Lake Louise

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.

A family of four travels down a snowy hill in separate tubes but holding handsA family of four travels down a snowy hill in separate tubes but holding handsA family of four travels down a snowy hill in separate tubes but holding hands

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 continental breakfasts, and Cave & Basin-themed pool facilities.

Peeking through a hole into a cave themed indoor swimming poolPeeking through a hole into a cave themed indoor swimming poolPeeking through a hole into a cave themed indoor swimming pool

Dinner at Grizzly House - Grizzly House has been serving up good times in Banff since 1967. Warming cheesy fondues, good wine, and exotic meats are on the menu here so there's something for everyone.

With its rustic log cabin look you can't miss it on Banff Ave. Inside, the ski cabin vibe is elevated by the smells of Bison, boar and even rattlesnake cooking at each table. Don't worry though, they have more traditional food to choose from too!

Other great options for dinner for families would be The Old Spaghetti Factory, The Bear Street Tavern, and Boston Pizza.

A dad and two young girls enjoy pizza next to an outdoor fireplace A dad and two young girls enjoy pizza next to an outdoor fireplace A dad and two young girls enjoy pizza next to an outdoor fireplace

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.

High Rollers BanffHigh Rollers BanffHigh Rollers Banff

Day Three

Grab breakfast at your hotel, or head to Wild Flour Bakery or Whitebark Café for a bite to eat before heading off for your adventures for the day.

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 await you. Parks Canada Red Chairs are perfectly positioned in front of Mount Rundle and Cascade Mountain for an ideal family picture or selfie.

Three young boys looking over the viewing platform deck at the Banff Gondola on a snowy winter dayThree young boys looking over the viewing platform deck at the Banff Gondola on a snowy winter dayThree young boys looking over the viewing platform deck at the Banff Gondola on a snowy winter day

Take advantage of the ‘Family Experience’ at the Banff Gondola which permits one child per paying adult to travel for free before noon.

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.

Jonny Bierman

Jonny Bierman

Jonny is an Albertan who grew up skiing Banff’s slopes before globetrotting and studying on Vancouver Island. He now lives in Banff and enjoys all things outdoors and adventure.