Located within the breathtaking boundaries of Banff National Park, the two towns of Banff and Lake Louise provide the recipe for a perfect family vacation: awe-inspiring scenery, a fun family-friendly atmosphere, and every outdoor activity you can imagine.
Canada is a hot destination for travel! Recent acclaims from National Geographic and CNN Travel call Banff a standout place to visit: The World’s Best Ski Towns by National Geographic and one of CNN Travel’s 18 best places to visit in 2018.
Here are six reasons your family should pick Banff National Park as your next winter vacation destination:
1. You’ll be spoiled for choice with activities
If you’re looking for a snowy winter wonderland, you can find it here! The Canadian Rockies are known for powder snow, often described as the best in Canada. And the abundance of white stuff makes for a snowy smorgasbord of spectacular attractions and activities each winter. Here, the chance of hearing your kids utter the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored!” is slim to none.
Banff National Park is ripe for exploration on your family’s own terms. From the classic favourites (skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and ice skating) to the more novel experiences (fat tire biking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, sleigh riding and ice walk tours), it’s likely your only concern will be finding the time to try everything on offer!
2. You’ll reconnect with nature and the outdoors
Today, the amount of time kids spend outside is alarmingly low (only minutes per day) while screen time is at an all-time high (upwards of seven hours). Experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of outdoor activity each day. Yikes! Even that seems shockingly low. A vacation here can blow that number sky high and ignite a connection for the outdoors that can last a lifetime.
If you’re a city dweller, getting outside offers a fantastic way for the family to escape the concrete jungle and revel in fresh air and outdoor adventure. Imagine no traffic, no noise, no crazy city life: just rosy cheeks, spontaneous laughter and contagious smiles all around.
With scenery this beautiful and so many interesting ways to get active, the kids will quickly lose interest in their screens and embrace this mountain winter-wonderland.
3. You’ll discover après activities for all ages
Banff and Lake Louise are friendly mountain towns where you’ll be immersed in the laid-back vibe of alpine life.
Following a pre-requisite dip in your hotel hot-tub, families can explore the many options for après entertainment. Test your skills with 10-pin bowling at High Rollers, hit the water slide at the Douglas Fir Resort, shoot some hoops or go rock climbing at the Banff Centre, or head to the Lux Cinema to see the latest blockbuster.
Still craving outdoor activities after dark? Try night skiing or snow tubing at Mt Norquay, or pull on your skates for a game of hockey under the stars at Lake Louise. Don’t forget to enjoy a fire-side nightcap of roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate.
The atmosphere here is safe and welcoming – it’s the kind of place where people not only stop to help strangers and answer questions, they do it with a smile. All these factors come together to create a sense of community, whether you’re here for one day or one year.
4. You can find family-friendly accommodation, no matter your budget!
Travelling with little ones in tow takes some extra planning. Keeping the kids happy is all the easier if your choice of accommodation helps out! Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets feature Banff’s only indoor waterpark, complete with two water slides and a kiddie pool. If that’s not enough to keep them occupied, head over to their indoor play zone.
Or, visit Banff National Park’s only ski-in / ski-out accommodation at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Give your kids the ‘first tracks’ experience during the day, and enjoy their massive outdoor hot tub by night. The Sunshine Mountain Lodge also features both a family room and an activity room equipped with pool table, bubble hockey, Wii console, and flat-screen TV.
Heading to Lake Louise? The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise does luxury and kid-friendly at its finest. Kids’ Mountain Adventure programs, winter camps, and babysitting services are just a few ways to ensure an enjoyable stay for the whole family.
5. You’ll find food for the whole family – picky eaters included!
Enjoy flexible meal times? All-day breakfast at Tooloulou’s restaurant in downtown Banff has you covered. If you’re partial to a great pizza, you’ll feel right at home at High Rollers, Banff’s newest bowling alley which specializes in pins, pints and pizzas. For vegetarians and healthy eaters, Nourish Bistro offers a world of creative plant-based cuisine – don’t miss the 27-ingredient nachos, complete with strawberries and other surprisingly savory-compatible fruits.
Craving something hot and hearty? Head to The Rimrock Hotel for Pasta Wednesdays – you and the kids can pick your own toppings. Looking for some added excitement on top with great food? Check out Greek Night at Balkan Restaurant where you can get involved with some traditional plate-smashing. For a luxurious Sunday Brunch, the Fairmont Banff Springs offers a full spread just for the young-ones – and if you’re a hotel guest under 5, little ones eat free from the kids’ menu. For Banff’s best coffee and hot chocolate (plus some delectable, specialty baked goods), head to Whitebark Cafe.
6. You’ll reconnect with your loved ones
While we might not realize it in the moment, family holidays are often where life’s most treasured memories are made. Formative moments, such as a family snow-ball fight (when the kids win), the pride of conquering new riding skills on the mountain, or the hysterical laughter at the bottom of tube park: these are the kind of memories that stay with us forever.
Surrounded by plenty of things to see and do, a joyful atmosphere and some truly amazing scenery, you’re guaranteed to experience some seriously unforgettable moments. Don’t forget to share your favourite memories with us on social media by tagging #SkiBig3!
Insider tip: Choose from a wide selection of Ski & Stay Packages and kids 12 & under ski FREE when one parent skis 5+ days. March and Spring Break Ski & Stay Packages are still available, but space is limited. Plan your trip early, so you can secure the best accommodation options suited for your family.
Are you ready for a family holiday to remember?
To book your next SkiBig3 vacation to Banff and Lake Louise, check out our featured ski and stay vacation packages or call us at 1-844-754-2443.