Are you planning a family trip to Banff and Lake Louise and wondering, 'Is Banff kid-friendly?' Look no further! Banff National Park has many options for exciting kid's activities to entertain your little adventurers and create unforgettable memories for the whole family.
Read on to discover the best kid-friendly activities in Banff and Lake Louise that you can enjoy in the beautiful Canadian Rockies.
Lake Louise and Banff Kid-Friendly Activities
Ride a Banff Gondola
When it comes to enjoying panoramic views and experiencing the mountains from new heights, gondola rides are a fantastic choice for families. There are four options for partaking in this kid-friendly activity in Banff and Lake Louise. Can you see Banff National Park from up high in all 4 spots?
The Banff Gondola offers a thrilling 7-minute ascent up Sulphur Mountain, providing awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys. There is no minimum age requirement, making it a great choice for families with children of all ages.
One child is admitted for free with each full-price adult ticket.
You don't need to worry about parking or traffic by taking advantage of the free shuttle included in your gondola ticket, which will take you to the Gondola start point, with pick-up locations in downtown Banff.
Soar to over 2,100 meters (7,000ft) elevation on the historic Mt. Norquay North American Chairlift in Banff National Park, where you'll be treated to breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.
Keep an eye out for Big Horn Sheep, Black Bears and Grizzly Bears as you ride the chairlift, as Mt. Norquay is known for its wildlife sightings. The famous chairlift is more than just a ride; it's an unforgettable open-air journey into the sky, offering panoramic views that stretch beyond the clouds.
Up top, you'll find incredible viewpoints, comfy chairs and the Cliffhouse Bistro, a transformed 1950s tearoom with a retro-cool European chalet vibe and mid-century modern décor. Here you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Banff townsite while indulging in a mountain-gazing lunch.
Children 2 and up can ride the chairlift with their parent/guardian.
Enjoy a kid-friendly adventure with the Banff Sunshine Sightseeing Gondola. Gather the family and ride Banff's biggest gondola, taking in the scenic valley views and wildlife sightings as you ride up to Sunshine Village. From the Village, take the Standish Sightseeing Chairlift to experience breathtaking 360-degree views. The chairlift ride is included with the gondola ticket, ensuring a complete and memorable experience for the whole family. From the Standish Chairlift, you can explore Banff's alpine area with little to no effort, including the spectacular viewing deck that overlooks Rockbound Lake and towards Mt. Assiniboine.
At the village, you have a number of options for food and drinks, so make sure to stock up before heading out exploring. There is no age limit for riding the Banff-Sunshine Sightseeing Gondola.
Ascend into the Canadian Rockies' splendour at the Lake Louise Gondola, where families can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, glaciers, and Lake Louise itself. Keep an eye out below you as you ride the gondola. The area is a wildlife habitat, and grizzly bears - as well as other wildlife - are frequently spotted beneath the gondola. Once you are up top, you can hike a number of trails or relax on the viewing deck and look out over Banff's alpine and towards the iconic Lake Louise.
There is no minimum age requirement for this gondola, ensuring that the whole family can partake in the experience.
Kid-Friendly Hikes in Banff and Lake Louise
Exploring the natural beauty of Banff and Lake Louise through hikes is a great way to engage children and foster a love for the outdoors. There are a lot of options for kid-friendly hikes for children of all abilities. Here are some kid-friendly hiking trails that you won't want to miss:
This easily accessible hike offers stunning views of Banff and the Bow Valley. With a moderate difficulty level and easy-to-follow path, it's suitable for families with children who are comfortable walking over 5 km.
A short hike from the road will lead you to Mistaya Canyon, where you can witness the power of nature as the water rushes through a narrow gorge. Take a bridge over the gorge and explore along the river, experiencing one of the Icefield Parkway's hidden gems. Exercise caution with younger children, as the trail may be uneven.
Known for its picturesque waterfalls and suspended catwalks, Johnston Canyon is an exciting adventure for families. However, it can get crowded during peak times, so plan accordingly. Take Roam Transit from Banff so you can see the Bow Valley Parkway without needing to drive.
Learn everything you need to make the most of your visit to Johnston Canyon with our Discover More at Johnston Canyon blog.
Stroller-Friendly Hikes in Banff and Lake Louise
Lake Louise Lakeshore
Take a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lake Louise, marvelling at the turquoise waters and breathtaking mountain backdrop. The trail is relatively flat and perfect for kids of all ages. Make sure to stop and pick up a special treat at the Old Tyme Candy Shoppe in the Lake Louise Village.
Bow River Pathway
This scenic pathway follows the Bow River, offering a gentle and picturesque hike suitable for families with young children. Follow the Bow River Trail from Central Park along the edge of the Bow River all the way to Bow Falls, to take in Banff's spectacular waterfall. Or go the opposite direction and explore Banff's recreation grounds, complete with a skate park, basketball court and playground.
Make sure to stop in town at one of the many candy shops as a treat for everyone to enjoy at one of the pathway's many benches or viewpoints.
Experience the thrill of kid-friendly river rafting in Banff and Lake Louise as you embark on an exciting journey along the picturesque Bow River with Rocky Mountain Raft Tours. Departing from Bow Falls, this adventure is perfect for families seeking a fun-filled, gentle water activity.
Looking for something more exciting and adventurous for your Banff kid-friendly activity? You can get out on the Kanaskis River or ride through Horseshoe Canyon in rides suitable for a variety of ages.
Get ready to paddle, laugh, and create unforgettable memories together on a kid-friendly river rafting adventure in Banff and Lake Louise.
Go on a trip down the incredible Icefield Parkway (voted one of the world's most beautiful roads) to the Columbia Icefield for a day of glacier explorations that's the perfect kid-friendly activity.
Take a massive Ice Explorer all-terrain vehicle out onto the Athabasca Glacier and go for a walk on the 10,000-year-old ice sheet. Then head over to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, a suspended glass-floor platform that takes you 280 m (918ft) out over the Sunwapta Valley floor.
Go for a Family-Friendly Water Adventure
Canoe Rental from Banff Canoe Club
For a serene and peaceful experience on the water, rent a canoe from the Banff Canoe Club. Paddle along the calm waters of the Bow River, taking in the majestic mountain scenery and keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Canoeing is a fantastic activity suitable for families with children of all ages.
Cruise across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Minnewanka, surrounded by towering peaks and stunning vistas by renting a boat or taking a boat cruise on Banff's largest body of water. The Lake Minnewanka Cruise boat ride provides an opportunity to learn about the lake's fascinating history, see fantastic landscapes and spot wildlife along the shores. Alternatively, you can get out on the water under your own power by renting a canoe or kayak and exploring the lake's edges. Children of all ages can enjoy this scenic adventure in Banff National Park.
Set off on a fantastic family adventure from the Lake Louise Boathouse by renting a canoe and exploring the enchanting waters of Lake Louise. With its breathtaking mountain backdrop and serene turquoise waters, Lake Louise offers the perfect setting for a family-friendly canoeing experience. Glide along the lake, feel the refreshing breeze, and create precious memories together in this idyllic natural wonderland.
Take in History
Engage your little ones in a captivating journey through history. Explore the exhibits and learn about the area's unique natural and cultural heritage. These educational attractions offer a mix of entertainment and knowledge suitable for all ages.
- Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, : Invites visitors to experience the vibrant culture and history of the First Nations People of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies through intricate artifacts, captivating stories, and a profound appreciation for the land that shaped their traditions.
- Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, : explores local topics and culture through art exhibitions, cultural exhibits, events, and regional treasures.
- Banff Park Museum : displays the rich natural history that inspired Canada's first national park, with over 5,000 captivating specimens on view in a National Historic Site log building, the oldest federal building still standing in any Canadian national park.
- Cave & Basin National Historic Site : Discover the birthplace of Canada's national parks and explore the natural and cultural history of the mountains at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, where you can also experience the hot water seeping from the rocks and smell the minerals while hiking the scenic trails.
Knockdown some Pins
For some family-friendly indoor fun, head to High Rollers in Banff. Located on Banff Ave, this easy-to-access, retro-themed bowling alley is the perfect place for some kid-friendly fun. Enjoy a game of bowling and get some tasty treats to break up the outdoor explorations. Please note that minors are not allowed after 10 pm, so plan your visit accordingly.
Horseback Riding in Banff and Lake Louise
Saddle up and embark on an unforgettable horseback riding adventure in the stunning landscapes of Banff and Lake Louise. Explore the Banff townsite - including the mighty Bow Falls or head out around Lake Louise and up to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. Many local outfitters offer guided trail rides suitable for children, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Make sure to check the minimum age requirement for each provider.
Banff Area Horseback Riding
Lake Louise Area Horseback Riding
Banff and Lake Louise are undoubtedly kid-friendly destinations, offering a wide range of activities that cater to the whole family. Create lasting memories with your little ones as you explore the wonders of nature, engage in thrilling activities, and dive into the rich history of the region. Banff and Lake Louise are family-friendly places for children of all ages seeking unforgettable experiences amidst awe-inspiring beauty.
Plan your visit today using our intuitive trip builder and discover the joy of kid-friendly activities in Banff and Lake Louise!