Christmastime in Banff National Park is nothing short of magical. Even Santa himself wants to partake in this special Canadian Mountain Christmas.
It’s no surprise that he finds himself at home amongst the peaks and valleys of Banff National Park. Holiday spirit seeps into every experience here, from the town’s festive streets all the way up to the tips of the mountain tops. Watch Santa whiz down the slopes as he trades in his sleigh for skis. Or, take a gondola ride to find him on a mountain summit, towering high above the town of Banff. These unique and breathtaking Rockies landscapes are as white as the North Pole, serving as the perfect backdrop for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with Santa and your loved ones.
He makes several appearances here during the holiday season, and he’s around just about every corner. Here are a few spots you can catch him throughout the Christmas winter wonderland of Banff National Park.
1. Santa Claus Parade of Lights
Santa makes his grand Banff entrance at the Santa Claus Parade of Lights on November 16th. Meet Santa before the big event at the Banff Train Station, where kids can tell him their biggest Christmas wishes. At night, make your way to Banff Avenue to see Saint Nick in his element – amongst a procession of bright and festive Christmas floats illuminate the night path.
2. Banff Christmas Market
The Banff Christmas Market is so much fun, even Santa himself wants to join the celebration. From November 22nd to 24th, Santa will be at the Warner Stables to meet with the whole family. Get your picture with Santa, and then enjoy shopping and kid’s activities like Christmas story time, craft time, and the tree lighting ceremony.
3. Christmas at the Banff Gondola
This winter, Santa and his elves have transformed Sulphur Mountain’s summit into his very own Christmas workshop. Catch them in action with a ride up the Banff Gondola – kids ride free before noon! Top off your visit by decorating cooking in Santa’s Bakeshop, making special gifts, and of course – taking in the snowy mountain views that make Santa feel right at home.
4. The Spirit of Christmas on Banff Avenue
Did you know that Christmas is so celebrated in Banff, there’s an entire store dedicated to the holiday? The Spirit of Christmas store on Banff Avenue is a ‘must stop’ for Santa – he’s there nearly every weekend in December. Parents can enjoy a mulled spice hot bevy while children meet Santa and take home their very own special gift.
5. Santa Shreds for Free at Mt. Norquay
The slopes of Mt. Norquay turn into an explosion of our favourite Christmas characters on December 25th. From Santa to his Elves, reindeer to Mrs. Claus, anyone dressed up in full a full Christmas get-up gets to ski and snowboard for free! Although the real St. Nick may not be on the slopes (or is he?), the whole family will have fun dressing up for this special ski occasion.
6. Christmas Cheer with Santa Claus at Lake Louise Ski Resort
Santa LOVES skiing, and he’ll be ripping it up at the Lake Louise Ski Resort throughout the holidays. Keep an ear out for the jingly reindeer bells from him and his elves in the Lodge of Ten Peaks and out on the slopes. They’ll be handing out Christmas treats and posing for unforgettable Christmas photos with the resort’s famous vistas as the perfect backdrop.
7. Santa on the Mountain at Banff Sunshine
For two weekends in December, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be enjoying their favourite snow at Banff Sunshine. From the slopes of Strawberry run all the way down to Daycare, they’ll be shredding it up on their Christmas planks, handing out candy canes, and taking photos with every little ripper that wants to meet this holiday duo.