In Canada, winter ushers in a whole new reason to celebrate with fresh winter activities and one-of-a-kind events like Snow Days in Banff and Lake Louise. Set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, a place where winter means more, Banff Snow Days is a celebration of Canadian arts, culture and sport, all bundled into 12 incredible days of fun that’s fit for the whole family.
This year, Snow Days in Banff and Lake Louise will take place January 18-29, 2023, with family-friendly daytime and evening activations throughout the Town of Banff. If you’re still thinking about skiing in Banff and Lake Louise this winter, Banff Snow Days is a perfect time of year to plan your holiday. From a kids’ Playzone in downtown Banff to night tubing at Mt. Norquay, here are all the things you can expect to find at Snow Days in Banff and how to celebrate winter Canadian style!
How to spend Snow Days in Banff
Follow a trail of snow sculptures
One of the staple events during Banff Snow Days is the snow sculptures that can be found throughout downtown Banff. If you arrive during the first few days of the festival, you will be able to watch talented snow sculpting artists carve enormous blocks of snow, with the finest detail, right before your eyes. It takes anywhere from 3-5 days for a team of sculptors to finish one snow sculpture. Once finished, each snow sculpture will be illuminated with technicolour lights for visitors from around the world to marvel at and enjoy. Most of the snow sculptures are carved on Bear Street, but they will also be found near Banff Ave. and in front of the Whyte Museum, on Lynx Street.
TIP: Before you go, grab a hot chocolate from Wildflour Bakery, on Bear Street, to keep you warm as you walk through town. Or, if you’re looking for a tasty apres, cuddle up in a cozy booth at the Bear Street Tavern and order one of their signature pizzas.
When: January 18-29
Where: Bear Street, Banff Ave., Lynx Street
Bring kids to the Snow Days Playzone
Banff and Lake Louise is Canada’s winter playground, and Banff Snow Days is no exception. From January 18-29, Wednesdays through Sundays, the Banff High School Field will be transformed into the ultimate winter kids’ play zone with tobogganing, sleds, winter games, and “mountains” that look and feel just like the mighty SkiBig3 – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay. Come celebrate the joy of winter and play like the kid (or kid at heart) that you are in the specially-designed winter fun area that will include ice slides, a sledding hill, a fat tire bike track, a cross-country ski track, and so much more.
TIP: If you’re searching for a kid-friendly meal after exploring the Snow Days Play Zone, check out Coyotes Southwestern Grill – they’ve got a great kids’ menu!
When: January 18 – 22 & 25 – 29, 2023
Time: Weds-Fri 4:00pm-8:00pm, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-8:00pm
Where: Banff High School Field
Watch skijoring in Banff
Have you heard of skijoring in Banff? It’s okay if you haven’t – this sport is so niche and so fascinating most people are mesmerized the first time they see it live! Skijoring is a winter sport in which a person is pulled by a horse, dog, or another animal (like a reindeer). On January 28, in Banff and Lake Louise, athletes from Skijor Canada will descend on Banff Ave. for a breathtaking exhibition of horse-riding and ski stunts. There will be two events hosted on January 28, one show at 11:00am and the next at 3:00pm. Each show will last about 90 minutes and it’s recommended you arrive early to get a spot in the front row!
When: January 28, 2023 – 2 x 90-minute events at 11:00am and 3:00pm
Where: Banff Avenue – 100 Block
More ways to celebrate Banff Snow Days
Take a wildlife snowshoe tour at Lake Louise Ski Resort
Snowdays in Banff and Lake Louise is all about celebrating winter and the unique weather and wildlife that it brings. To get close to nature, take a guided Wildlife Snowshoe Tour at Lake Louise Ski Resort. On this adventure, an enthusiastic local guide will help you escape into the serene, snow-covered forests around the ski area and teach you how animals and plants deal with the long, hard winters in the Canadian Rockies. This tour is family-friendly – it’s perfect for both kids and nature lovers. Snowshoe rentals will be provided and winter clothing rentals will also be available at the resort rental shop. This tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and no previous snowshoe experience is necessary.
When: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm daily
Where: Meet at Lodge of Ten Peaks, Lake Lousie Ski Resort
Sign up your Tiny Tiger at Banff Sunshine
The joy of winter can start at any age. At Banff Sunshine, their Tiny Tigers Ski +Play program is designed to get little ones outdoors and on the snow all winter long. If you have a 3–6-year-old, you can sign them up for a half-day or full-day program that mixes indoor and outdoor daycare activities with Tiny Tiger ski lessons. Lunch and rentals may be added on and first-timers or “never-ever” skiers are welcome! Banff Sunshine’s friendly childcare staff will make sure your little one has a blast and learn valuable ski skills while you enjoy the slopes.
When: Daily 8:30am-4:30pm (Full-day), 8:30am-12:30pm (Morning Half-day), 12:30pm-4:30pm (Afternoon Half-day)
Where: Tiny Tigers Daycare, Banff Sunshine Upper Village
Go night tubing at Mt. Norquay
The fun doesn’t stop just because the sun goes down. At Mt. Norquay, on Friday and Saturday nights, the real fun begins when night tubing kicks off from 5:00pm-7:30pm. Mt. Norquay is home to Alberta’s longest and fastest tubing lanes, a thrilling kid-friendly way to hit the snow! At night, the spinning and whirling fast winter air becomes even more exhilarating with up to 8 tubing lanes illuminated by park lights and the glow of the Town of Banff below. Little ones must be 4 years old and at least 1m (42”) tall to tube. We recommend bundling up in lots of warm winter gear – like snow pants, snow boots, and a warm jacket. Goggles and a neck tube (or Buff) are a good idea too!
When: Friday & Saturday nights, 5:00pm-7:30pm
Where: Mt. Norquay Ski Resort
Want to visit Snow Days in Banff this winter?
If you’re thinking about a ski trip to Canada this winter, that includes Banff Snow Days, our reservations team will be happy to help you book anytime. Give them a call at 1-844-754-2443 or go online to access some exceptional Ski & Stay Package deals. Plus, check out more unique winter activities and experiences you can expect to find in Banff and Lake Louise!
No more Canadian travel restrictions
As of October 1, 2022, all Canadian COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, meaning this winter it’s easier than ever to book a ski trip to the Canadian Rockies. Border requirements including proof of vaccination, use of the ArriveCAN App, and any testing and quarantine/isolation requirements have ended for all travellers entering Canada whether by land, air or sea.