Your Gift Guide for Banff
- Nov 22, 2021
There is something special about Christmas in the Canadian Rockies. The majestic, snow-capped peaks, warm fires, cozy clothing, and winter adventures – Banff is the real-life version of a Christmas postcard. Which makes it the perfect place to get classic holiday gifts that will evoke visions of mountain adventures and cozy nights in snow-covered cabins under twinkling stars.
Gifts to Get Adventurous
National Parks Pass
The one thing every mountain lover needs every year, a new National Parks Pass. This pass ensures entry into Banff National Park and supports the park and its conservation efforts. Get your(s) directly from Banff Lake Louise Tourism.
Banff is a hub of outdoor adventure, making it the perfect place to find the ideal gift for the adventurer on your list. Big or small, you can get something at any price point and for any adventurer. This time of year, winter gear is always loved and appreciated, and there are a few pieces particularly popular across Banff.
Ski and Snowboard Gear
Does the adventurer in your life spend hours on the hills with their ski or snowboard? You could pick them up a new piece of downhill gear like helmets, goggles or snow pants and jackets at one of Banff's many ski-focused shops, including Abominable Ski and Sportswear, Ultimate Sports, Unltd Skate & Snow or Rude Boys/Rude Girls. Learn more about skiing and snowboarding in Banff National Park here!
Is your adventurer a bit slower pace and spends hours walking? Then snowshoes from locally-owned Monod Sports or Atmosphere makes for a perfect gift. These devices allow you to walk on top of the snow, getting into places that you usually can't in the winter. Learn more about snowshoeing and what trails we have in Banff.
Winter means snow and ice, and sometimes getting out on those trails requires just a bit more grip than boots provide. This is where winter traction devices come in! These little grips slip onto the bottom of your boot and help you stick to the snow and ice, allowing you to go and safely experience things like walking in an icy Johnston Canyon. You can find traction devices across the park, including the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub, Chateau Mountain Sports at the Fairmont Banff Springs, and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.
Banff is in Alberta, the centre of western and ranch culture in Canada. And the ranching spirit is alive and well in Banff, with plenty of horseback riding and sleigh rides. And you can gift part of that rebellious ranching spirit this Christmas season. Visit the Banff Trail Riders store on Banff Ave for all types of western clothing or give a horseback riding adventure in Banff. You could also gift a day on horseback in the Lake Louise area from Brewster Adventures or Timberline Tours. Learn more about Banff's western roots and how you can explore the mountains by horseback.
Gifts to Get Cozy
One of the advantages of the freezing weather is the opportunity to curl up in cozy clothing and blankets. There's something special about putting on that puffy coat or slipping into that down blanket and watching the snowfall with a warm drink in your hands. Banff has plenty of classic options for getting that perfect cozy Christmas present. Sometimes, the end of a big day needs something cozy.
Sweaters and Flannel
The perfect definition of Canadian comfort, a plaid flannel sweater. This is a staple in most Banffites wardrobes and will make the ideal addition to any cozy-lovers winter clothing collection. Flannel is at home everywhere in the mountains, from the trails to the pubs and holiday parties. You can get your flannel – and other comfy sweaters - from Big Bear Trading Co., Roots, Cabin 108, Jacques Cartier Clothier, the Rocky Mountain Flannel Company at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, or, for handmade moccasins, head to the Banff Trading Post just off the Bow River.
Cozy and Functional
Sometimes you need to feel cozy while getting something done in the mountains. A beautiful winter expedition can be made or broken depending on the warm clothes you have. And you have your options for your favourites in Banff – from full merino wool base layers to synthetic coats; you can pick up the perfect functional and comfortable piece in Banff. Check out the outdoor-company classics on Banff Ave. like Smartwool, Fjällräven, Helly Hansen, Patagonia and the North Face.
If you're looking for something for your furry friends for the Holiday season - they are our best friends after all - you should head to the Banff Doghouse. They have various cold-weather items for your pet to help them get out on adventures with you.
A good blanket is hard to beat. It's versatile and welcoming and feels like a big warm hug after a long day playing in the mountains. And you can get a few classics from stores in Banff, but one stands out as particularly Canadian. The Hudson's Bay Company blanket is a truly Canadian item with its distinctive red, green, yellow, and white pattern from a company with a long history in the Banff area.
You can also go to the beautiful Branches Marketplace and pick up a blanket for a cool night in Banff (or several other warm and cozy options). They're located in Cascade Plaza right off wolf street.
Stones & Jewelry
Beautiful earrings, stunning bracelets, majestic mountain-shaped necklaces, all types of jewelry can be found along Banff's quaint streets. A local favourite is ammolite – a gemstone found right here in Southern Alberta. You can pick up the stone itself, or find it embedded in jewelry at various stores in Banff, including Rocks and Gems, Ammolite in the Rockies, and Stone's Jewelry.
If the multi-coloured gemstone isn't your thing, you can find all other types of beautiful jewelry and historic rocks and stones throughout the park. Try wandering through Rock, Paper, Silver, Banff Jewels, MJ Western Stones, Pandora, or Castle Jewels.
Gifts to Fill the Soul
Giving a holiday gift can be a beautiful exchange. The opportunity for you to share with someone how much they mean to you and fill their day with warmth and joy. And the gift you give can help nourish that person's inner well-being with options like chocolates, warm drinks, adult beverages, art, and the opportunity to relax and unwind.
Banff is home to some of the world's best chocolate and candy, made right in the town. Get your hands on local favourites, bear claws and chocolate Santa while getting your insta-worthy photo. Head along Banff Ave and visit Banff's Mountain Chocolates, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, or The Fudgery (where you can watch them make fudge right in front of you!)
Do you have someone in your life who loves starting their day with a piping cup of coffee or winding down with a warm mug of tea? Then we have two fantastic options for you to get the perfect gift. Banff Roasting Company roasts premium quality coffee that is organic, Fair Trade, and rainforest responsible. Pick it up straight from the source or at several stores in town.
And, if you're looking for the perfect cup of tea to complement your gift-giving, Banff Tea Company is who you will want to see. Independently owned and operated, they are a Banff staple and feature exclusive teas from around the world.
While you're thinking about hot drinks, why not try out Banff's hot chocolate trail while shopping in town?
For those looking to get something spirited, Banff has a unique opportunity as we are the home to Canada's only distillery in a national park - Park Distillery. They make award-winning handcrafted, small-batch spirits right on Banff Ave. If spirits aren't the right gift, a local beer from Banff Ave. Brewing Co just may be. These locally-made beers are a favourite of Banff's residents and are sure to please anyone with a taste for hops. Make sure to try them before you decide which one to gift at their Banff Ave. restaurant.
Banff is home to several world-famous artists and galleries that celebrate the majesty of this place. You can find paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography, all handcrafted by local artisans. You can find a mix of everything from painting to stickers to housewares, many of which are made by local artisans at the Sideshow Gallery, Shop & Darkroom. If you've got an animal lover on your gift-giving list, you'll want to check out the All in the Wild gallery for stunning animal prints from around Banff National Park. If you're going to see one of Banff's most famous sites and gift some artwork, check out the Quest Gallery and the Mountain Galleries at Banff's castle, the Banff Springs Hotel.
If you're looking for more artisan goods, check out the brand-new Bear Street Holiday Market.
Banff is the perfect place to relax, unwind, reconnect, and rejuvenate. We have several world-class spas and outdoor hot tubs that you can use to reset yourself or give the gift of a spa day in the mountains to someone who deserves it. Check out this resource for all of Banff's best spas and wellness centres.
Spirit of Christmas
Of course, your holiday gift-giving wouldn't be complete without picking up something from Banff's year-round Christmas destination, The Spirit of Christmas store. This Christmas-dedicated store specializes in all things holiday and is a must-visit during your Banff shopping experience.