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Fri, 20 Oct 2023

Banff Christmas Events: What's Happening in 2023

If Christmas is your favourite time of year, you’re not alone. Here in Banff and Lake Louise, we love Christmas almost as much as we love first tracks, and it shows with our extensive list of Banff Christmas events.

 

Banff and Lake Louise are both vibrant communities buzzing with live music, tasty holiday specials, wintery outdoor celebrations and, of course, the chance to shred with Santa! Whether you’re a foodie, traveling with kids, or looking for local culture, there are Christmas events in Banff for you.

 

Bookmark these festive Banff Christmas events happening this November and December:

 

 

Christmas Events in Banff for Foodies

A couple in the Banff Springs geodome with afternoon tea Celebrating Christmas in the outdoor geodome at the Fairmont Banff Springs | Photo by Travel Alberta / ROAM Creative

 

Banff Hot Chocolate Trail

 

November 17 - December 31

 

This holiday season, 20+ restaurants across Banff and Lake Louise are putting a sweet spin on this Christmas classic. Follow the Banff Hot Chocolate Trail and see if you can sip each holiday-inspired creation, available for a limited time.

 

Festive Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs

 

November 17 - January 1

 

On your rest day, splurge on a luxurious holiday-themed Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs. (Bubbly and brilliant mountain views included).

 

Banff Craft Beer Festival

 

November 23-25

 

It’s not called “Albeerta” for nothing. This province is home to some of the most talented brewmasters in Canada and an electric craft beer scene buzzing with local flavour. The Banff Craft Beer Festival returns to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site for 2023.

 

Banff Whiskey Experience

 

December 1-2

 

With fifteen whisky-tasting masterclasses, two special presentations, and two panel discussions hosted over two days, the Banff Whisky Experience is a unique, educational festival that welcomes all whiskey enthusiasts to “the most beautiful whiskey festival on Earth".

 

360 Dome Festive Dinner at the Fairmont Banff Springs

 

December 15 - January 1

 

The Fairmont Banff Springs 360 Dome Festive Dinner lets you toast to Jule tide cheer inside a private, crystal-clear dome with VIP service and panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies.

 

Christmas Brunch and Dinner at Crave Mountain Grill

 

December 17 & 25

 

On December 17, Santa will pop in for photos at the Crave Christmas Brunch. Then, on December 25, the Crave Christmas Buffet Dinner will lay out a full-blown holiday spread including seafood, a carving table, and a chocolate fountain.

 

Ice Bar at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

December 21 - January 1

 

One of the coolest bars in Canada (pun intended) the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Ice Bar is a wintery wonder, constructed from 20 blocks of solid ice. Their Spicy Santa spiked hot chocolate will put you in the party spirit!

 

Santa Bar at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

December 21 - January 1

 

The Santa Bar at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a whimsical pop-up cocktail bar dedicated exclusively to all the cliches of Christmas, returning for a limited time this December.

 

The Thirsty Reindeer at Fairmont Banff Springs

 

December 22 - January 1

 

If you’re into over-the-top Christmas decor, then it's time to don your jingle bells and prance up to the Thirsty Reindeer at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Find it at the Ramsay Bar open from 3:00 pm-11:00 pm daily.

 

Christmas Dining in a Castle

 

December 25

 

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will be serving Christmas Dinner and Brunch in its royal Victoria Ballroom while at the Fairmont Banff Springs, you can book a seat in Santa’s Dining Room.

 

Christmas Events in Banff for Families

In Search of Christmas Spirit in Banff Experience a live Christmas story at In Search of Christmas Spirit in Banff | Photo by Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka

 

In Search of Christmas Spirit

 

November 17- December 31

 

In Search of Christmas Spirit is a family-friendly outdoor event known for its stunning display of lights, sounds, and storytelling. By the light of your lantern, wander through the Cascade Gardens of Time, as you listen to a live Christmas story told by the animals of Banff National Park.

 

Santa Claus Celebration of Lights

 

November 18

 

Back for the first time since 2019, the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights will be a full day of cheerful celebrations on Banff Avenue including live music and street performers.

 

Christmas at the Castle

 

Starting November 17

 

Each year, the Fairmont Banff Springs transforms into a real-life North Pole for its hotel guests! Kids adore the Christmas at the Castle activities including bedtime stories with Mrs Claus, gingerbread house making, craft stations, and private photos with Santa.

 

Whyte Christmas

 

December 2

 

Everyone is welcome to Whyte Christmas - a free Christmas event hosted by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Kids can grab a cookie and listen to carols while adults can tour the exhibits on Banff National Park's dynamic history and mountain culture.

 

Festivities at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

December 21 - January 1

 

The Festivities at the Chateau Lake Louise host a bucket list of wintery Christmas fun for all ages. Hotel guests can book into movie nights, holiday trivia, scavenger hunts, lakeside campfires and more!

 

New Year's Eve Kids Party at the Fairmont Banff Springs

 

December 31

 

Who says grown-ups get to have all the fun? The New Year's Eve Kids Party at the Fairmont Banff Springs is a sparkly bash with games, music, and dancing for kids!

 

 

Christmas Events in Banff for Shredders

Santa shredding at Banff Sunshine Village Santa shredding at Banff Sunshine | Photo by Jill Tester

 

Santa on the Mountain at Banff Sunshine

 

December 9-10, December 16-17

 

Christmas is a busy time for Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Know how they keep their cool? Shredding some sendy lines at Banff Sunshine! Find Santa on the Mountain at Banff Sunshine on weekends in December.

 

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade at Banff Sunshine

 

December 24

 

The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade at Banff Sunshine is a one-of-a-kind procession of light down the slopes and a longtime resort tradition.

 

Ski with Santa at Lake Louise Ski Resort

 

December 25

 

If you think Santa is good at driving a sleigh, check him out on skis! See if you can catch the man in red as he carves some Christmas Day laps at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

 

Santa Skis for Charity at Banff Sunshine

 

December 25

 

On Christmas Day, Santa Skis for Charity at Banff Sunshine and all resort guests are invited to join him by weaning their favourite Christmas character outfit on the slopes in support of a local Alberta charity.

 

New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade at Banff Sunshine

 

December 31

 

Starting at 7:00 pm, Sunshine Mountain Lodge guests can watch the annual New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade at Banff Sunshine. A fiery glow of red lights trailing down Banff Sunshine’s famous slopes.

 

New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade at Mt. Norquay

 

December 31

 

Every year, a brave group of Mt. Norquay’s staff take on the “Big Chair” to ski down the slopes in a flaming trail of red. Look up! You can watch this iconic spectacle from the streets of downtown Banff.

 

 

Banff Christmas Events for Music Lovers

A Christmas Carol at Fairmont Banff Springs The festive classic, A Christmas Carol returns to the stage at the Fairmont Banff Springs | Photo from Christmas at the Castle

 

John Goulart Live at The Juniper

 

November 30

 

You won’t want to miss John Goulart Live at The Juniper - an up-close performance with one of Canada’s most internationally recognised classical guitarists. This Banff local will be performing an evening of classical guitar through the ages.

 

A Christmas Carol at the Fairmont Banff Springs

 

Date TBC

 

Carter-Ryan Productions' rendition of A Christmas Carol returns once again to the Fairmont Banff Springs. Featuring puppets, soundscapes, and live-action - all ages are invited to enjoy this heartwarming Charles Dickens classic.

 

Wîchoîe Ahiya Singer Songwriter Open Concert

 

December 1 & 8

 

Be the first to hear new works in two open concerts showcasing the faculty and participants of the Wîchoîe Ahiya Singer-Songwriter Residency. Brought to you by Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

 

Joanna Borromeo Live at The Juniper

 

December 14

 

What’s Christmas without a little jazz? Joanna Borromeo is Live at The Juniper and this JUNO-nominated vocalist, pianist, and composer has got soul in spades.

 

Mariya Stokes Live at MacLab

 

December 15

 

If you’re a country fan, Mariya Stokes Live at MacLab is an event you can’t miss. This Alberta-born songstress is known for her wit, confidence, and gritty steel guitar.

 

New Year's Eve Jazz Gala at the Fairmont Banff Springs

 

December 31

 

Reserve your golden ticket to the most fashionable New Year’s Eve party in Banff - the New Year's Eve Jazz Gala at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Champagne will be flowing as well as a four-course menu paired with live music and classic cocktails.

 

Banff Christmas Events for Culture Seekers

 

Banff Christmas Market

 

November 17-19, November 24-26, December 1-3

 

Still on the hunt for a show-stopping souvenir? Find it at the Banff Christmas Market, featuring over 100 artisanal vendors, 9 days of magic, and warm family fun at the Warner Stables.

 

Nightrise at the Banff Gondola

 

Starting November 18

 

At the top of Sulphur Mountain, a truly ethereal experience awaits. Nightrise at the Banff Gondola, created in partnership with the Stoney Nakoda Nation, is an immersive gathering of light, stories and sound.

 

The Debaters Live on Tour Holiday Special

 

November 25

 

Award-winning comedian Steve Patterson returns to Banff with the The Debaters Live on Tour Holiday Special to host a duel of wit between two Canadian comics. Improv at its finest will have you wiping away tears of laughter during this two-hour comedic battle.

 

Fireside Chat with Chic Scott and Cliff White

 

December 7

 

Cliff White’s family has been in Banff since 1886, with ties to the creation of Mount Norquay Ski Resort, Skoki Lodge, and Banff Sunshine Village. Join this historic citizen as he shares his memories of growing up at Banff Sunshine Village and his years working in the Banff Park Warden Service.

 

Celebrate Christmas in Banff

 

This destination comes to life over the holidays. From food to family-friendly fun - Banff Christmas events are a great reason to book your next Canadian ski vacation in November or December. If you’ve already booked your tickets - we'll see you soon! If you’re still dreaming of visiting this winter wonderland, call our Vacation Specialists at 1-844-754-2443 and they will help you book your perfect Ski & Stay package.