There’s something magical about November snow that transforms us all into children again. It’s the excitement of stepping into skis for the first time of the season, the laughter and shrieks as a family member shakes a snowy tree on you while enjoying a walk in the woods, or the simple act of making a snow angel.
November also marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Banff and Lake Louise with the annual Santa Claus Parade of Lights and other festive events that will get you into the holiday spirit as you seek to reconnect with your family before the busyness of the season begins.
Santa Claus is coming to Banff this November
Banff and Lake Louise come alive for the Christmas season starting on November 16th with the popular Santa Claus Parade of Lights. The parade has become an annual tradition for my family, and I love connecting with visitors from around the world as the streets of Banff vibrate with energy. A spirit of excitement and cheer can be felt all over the town as children eagerly wait for Santa Claus to make his way down the main street under a starlit sky with Christmas lights illuminating the town.
My family gets into the Christmas spirit every year as we travel to Banff on the morning of the parade and spend the day playing in the snow, skating on frozen lakes, participating in festivals around the town, and walking around the decorated streets as we warm up with a cup of hot chocolate from one of the many cafes.
The parade kicks off six weeks of holiday festivities and events including the Banff Christmas Market, a Mountaintop Christmas at the Banff Gondola, Christmas at the Castle, and holiday concerts at the Banff Centre.
Young or old, there’s something fun for every member of the family as you spend time making meaningful connections with each another over the Christmas season.
Check out a full listing of all holiday events in Banff and Lake Louise.
Connect, unwind, and relax as a family this Christmas
The holiday season can be a very busy and stressful time, so my family always schedules a weekend getaway sometime late November to mid-December to reconnect, to unwind, and to simply relax without any of the pressures associated with planning the “perfect Christmas.”
A perfect Christmas doesn’t have to come in a beautifully wrapped box, and it can be savoured for the entire month leading up to the big day. Banff and Lake Louise provide the perfect setting for families to connect, to share adventures, and to make new traditions you’ll remember forever.
Take a day trip out to Lake Louise and rent a pair of ice skates for some family fun on the rink in front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. You can also rent a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis for a short adventure across the lake to view frozen Louise Falls.
Other favourite activities for my family include taking photos with Santa, walking along the lakeshore of Lake Minnewanka near the Town of Banff, the perfect location for a family holiday photo, or visiting the Banff Upper Hot Springs to warm up from a walk around town visiting shops and museums.
Don’t just dream of a white Christmas
Pack your bags, escape the busy city, and head to the mountains for a real white Christmas this year. Even a short weekend in Banff or Lake Louise will leave you feeling more rejuvenated and alive in spirit after time spent exploring together as a family.
If you’re at Lake Louise, book a sleigh ride for your family or sign up for a dog sledding adventure where you’ll go flying across the snow from the comfort of a sled, while wrapped in cozy blankets for warmth. In Banff, go out for an evening walk along the Vermilion Lakes as you look for northern lights dancing over Mount Rundle.
It’s a winter wonderland in Banff and it’s yours to discover this Christmas.