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4 Places to Meet with Santa in the Mountains

Published Date
Nov 2, 2023
Santa in his workshop at the Banff Gondola.

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.

Take a gondola ride to find him on a mountain summit, towering high above the Banff townsite. Find him officially 'flipping the switch' on Christmas in town. Or visit him in a castle. 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 Celebration of Lights

Date: November 18, 2023

Time: 11 am - 7 pm

An exuberant celebration marks the start of the classic Christmas season in downtown Banff - the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights. A day filled with holiday activities and entertainment. Experience the talents of local and Albertan artists on the central stage amidst charming street performers, the enchanting "Santa's Workshop," and an array of magical activities designed for the enjoyment of you and your entire family.

As daylight fades, come together near the stage to witness a spectacular sight: Santa and Mrs. Claus guiding their merry band of dancing elves and performers down Banff Ave for the grand show. Santa himself will illuminate Banff, joined by several special guests you won't want to overlook!

Performers on Banff Ave during the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights in Banff NAtional Park.Performers on Banff Ave during the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights in Banff NAtional Park.Performers on Banff Ave during the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights in Banff NAtional Park.

2. Banff Christmas Market

Dates: November 17-19, 24-26 and December 1-3, 2023

The Banff Christmas Market is so much fun even Santa himself wants to join the celebration. Santa will be at 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.

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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 cookies in Santa’s Bakeshop, making special gifts, and, of course – taking in the snowy mountain views that make Santa feel right at home.

Find out more

Banff Gondola, Mountaintop Christmas, Winter, Banff National ParkBanff Gondola, Mountaintop Christmas, Winter, Banff National ParkBanff Gondola, Mountaintop Christmas, Winter, Banff National Park

4. Christmas in a Castle

Banff's Castle in the Rockies is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel - an iconic spot to celebrate Christmas and the festive season with their Christmas at the Castle celebration. There are a number of ways to meet Santa at the Springs - including private photo ops in the beautiful decorations, a goodnight visit to your room or a special meal in the Santa Dining Suite. You could even decorate crafts with Mrs. Claus or have a special bedtime story read by her as well.

Book your experiences directly with the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel when you reserve a room at Banff's Castle.

Two people and a giant Christmas tree at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff National Park.Two people and a giant Christmas tree at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff National Park.Two people and a giant Christmas tree at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff National Park.

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Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Real Banff is an inside look at the events and activities around the park, brought to you by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism. Our mission is to have a post on pretty much everything that is available for you to do in Banff, Lake Louise and beyond.