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Christmas in Banff National Park
Kelly MacDonald
The Real Banff / Published: Thu, 08/29/2019 - 16:59

Things To Do in Banff and Lake Louise in December

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December is the height of festive season in Banff and Lake Louise! Things may look a little different in 2020, but we're celebrating the joy of the holidays. With an abundance of snow on the mountains and the town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise dressed up for the holidays, get ready to embrace the unique opportunities that December brings.

Embrace the first of winter adventure

The time has come to dust off your skis and snowshoes - winter is here! December ushers in the first of frozen lakes, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more. 

Check out these 6 winter adventures to try in Banff and Lake Louise for more inspiration. 

Cross country Ski, Winter, Banff National Park
Devaan Ingraham
Bow River Loop

Discover Christmas traditions in Banff and Lake Louise 

From skating under the stars to a pop-up, deconstructed Christmas market, this is the perfect year to start a new family tradition with your loved ones. We've put together a list of Christmas traditions to discover in Banff and Lake Louise.

Complete the Triple Crown of Trails

In addition to the annual Hot Chocolate Trail, spend more time in Banff exploring with the addition of the Christmas Artisan Trail and the illuminated story trail: In Search of Christmas Spirit. The combination of these trails is the perfect way to lift your spirits and embrace the joyfulness of the festive season. Fill your days and nights wandering through pop-up market stores, warming up with mouth-watering hot chocolates and being captivated by the illuminated animal puppets of Banff National Park in their quest for Christmas spirit. 

Whyte Museum - Get in the Christmas Spirit

Get into the winter and holiday spirit. From November 1 - December 20, bring your family and friends along to pick up your free Whyte Museum Winter Activity Kit. Inside you'll find a holiday scavenger hunt, colouring pages, and materials to build a holiday ornament.

Taste the best of Alberta 

Alberta beef meets craft spirits brewed with glacial water - December is the perfect month to embrace the hearty, comforting food of Banff and Lake Louise. Take your meal to the next level and check out one of these 7 scenic restaurants in Banff and Lake Louise. Bon appétit! 

Enjoy a Mountaintop Christmas at Banff Gondola

Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain and visit Santa's Workshop, enjoy art and craft activities, or take a family Christmas photo. As the sun goes down and the stars come out, take a blanket and cozy up around the fire on the rooftop and enjoy an evening exploring the galaxies with a professional photographer on hand to help you get the perfect shot. All activities are free with Banff Gondola admission.


Walking along the snowy ridgelines of Sulphur Mountain, Banff National Park, AB

Search for Santa

Set out on a magical mission you will never forget to locate Santa’s secret hideaway in the town of Banff. Follow clues to the final location and then celebrate with some one-on-one time with Santa. To prove to everyone that you cracked the case, there will be a professional photographer on hand to capture the moment. Check out The Search for Santa if you are seeking a new and exciting way to celebrate this holiday season. 

Mountain Top Torchlight Parades - December 24 & 31, 2020

Stay at Sunshine Mountain Lodge on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve and watch specially-trained torch bearers put on a nighttime show.

Alternatively, watch as Mt. Norquay instructors and staff brave the North American run with torches in hand on December 31.  

Ski Snowboard Sunshine Village Noel Hendrickson

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