The holiday season can get expensive but if you know where to head, you can participate in any number of free activities in Banff and Lake Louise that are bound to inspire the Christmas spirit even for the family Grinch.
Priceless Pics with Santa
Getting pictures with Santa is a longstanding holiday tradition but instead of heading to a mall, waiting in a long line and paying upwards of $20 for a photo, head to one of the ski hills with your own camera to get that same shot for free. Both Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort give you the opportunity to pose with Santa or even do a few runs with the man himself. Here is Mr. Claus’ schedule:
- At Sunshine Village, Santa will appear at Sunshine Mountain Lodge from 12-1pm and will ski Strawberry lift from 1-2pm on December 20th, 21st and 25th.
- At Lake Louise Ski Resort, spot Santa and his elves at the Lodge of the Ten Peaks from 11am-2pm where they will snap a pic and send you a complimentary e-card or catch him on the slopes from 2-3:30pm on December 23rd-25th.
Festive Fun in the Square
Every Saturday until Christmas, the Winterstart festival transforms the Banff Avenue Square into a hive of holiday activity from 4 to 7pm. Expect a smorgasbord of live music, carolers, fire pits, marshmallows roasting and ice craving opportunities. For more details visit Banff Lake Louise Tourism’s events calendar click here.
Christmas Movie at the Castle
There is nothing like watching a classic Christmas movie to put you in the holiday spirit and why not watch on a big screen? The Fairmont Banff Springs hosts complementary Christmas movie screenings in their Conference Centre Theater from December 21st to 30th. Films are open to the public on a first come, first seated basis. For a full listing of films and other scheduled Christmas activities (available at various price points) click here (pdf).
Santa Shreds for Free
If you love costumes then start digging through your tickle trunk and ski for free on Christmas Day at Mount Norquay. Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves and Reindeers can all hit the slopes without a lift ticket – but put some effort into it. A Santa hat alone won’t make the cut!
Santa Sleigh Sighting
Skating on Lake Louise is a must and if you time it just right – you can also be guaranteed one of the most mind-boggling Santa sightings around! On December 24th at 2pm, Santa arrives by sleigh to the front of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise so bring your skates and all the believers in your clan for a unique encounter.