Seven Tips for the Perfect Family Banff Ski Trip

Spring is the perfect time for families to take a ski vacation to Banff National Park. The days are long and the skiing is beautiful. Plus, there are even more off-slope activities to entertain once the warmer weather hits. No matter the age of your kiddos, these tips will help make your spring family ski vacation one for the books!

1) Check Out These Family-Friendly Lodging Options

Condos, castles, cabins, oh my! There’s no shortage of accommodation style in Banff and Lake Louise. While you may have more flexibility to please with older children and teenagers, consider these accommodation options if you have younger tots in tow. From family-oriented activities to an indoor waterpark, these lodging options know how to keep kids well-entertained once you’re off the slopes.

Photo courtesy of CanAlta Lodge.

2) Pack Smart for Spring in the Rockies, From Puffies to Sunscreen

Things do start to heat up once March and April hit, but it can still get chilly once the sun sets behind the Rockies ridgelines. Spring can be a gamble for weather, so it’s best to anticipate all temps. You may be skiing in a t-shirt in the afternoon, and reaching for your down jacket by dinner time. While we typically see light, dry snow here in the Rockies, Springtime often necessitates waterproof layers to enjoy the terrain all day long. Sunscreen is a good idea to pack along. The snow + sun combo has been known to lead to winter sunburns.

Two children on ski run at Mt. Norquay ski resort, Banff National Park.
Photo by Shannon Martin.

3) Cut Down on Logistics – Leave Rentals and Tickets to Us!

The beauty of booking with SkiBig3 is that it’s your one-stop-shop for nearly all elements of a seamless spring ski vacation. By pre-booking SkiBig3 Lift Tickets three or more days in advance, you can rest assured they will be waiting at your hotel’s concierge for pick up upon arrival. Booking tickets 21 days or more in advance ensures the best possible rate.

Gear rentals are easy peezy at our SkiBig3 Adventure Hub, conveniently located right on Banff Avenue. Kiss extra-early mornings of waiting in line goodbye! Simply walk to the Adventure Hub from your Banff hotel after checking in, get fitted, and then head out for dinner at any of the mouth-watering restaurants downtown. Nearly everything is within walking distance. Plus, your kids will love taking in the sights and vibe of our unique mountain town.

Your family’s gear will be waiting at your hotel by the next morning, perfectly timed for you to pick up before hopping on our complimentary ski shuttle to any of the SkiBig3 resorts.

Shop technician fits ski boots to a pair of rental skis at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub in Banff National Park.
Photo by @zoomzoomcreativeco (IG)

4) Don’t Sweat Sleeping In With the SkiBig3 Shuttle

Speaking of the ski shuttle – early birds don’t necessarily get the worm here. There are several pick-up locations within walking distance of many Banff hotels. They are scheduled to leave (and return) frequently throughout the day. Midday and late afternoon can be great times to ski the resorts, as the early-rising keeners have burned off by then. The daylight hours in the Canadian Rockies are super long by Spring, with many resorts extending their lift operating hours for even more ski laps.

While parking lots may be filling up by this time, the ski shuttle will drop you off at the front of the base area action. Direct-to-lift SkiBig3 tickets mean you’re only a short walk away to your first chairlift or gondola ride of the day. No painful parking lot walks necessary! It’s so short that your kids can even carry their own gear.

Group of skiers walks down Banff Avenue in winter with ski gear.
Photo by Mike Seehagel.

5) Discover All Three Resorts With Guided Adventures

There’s a whole lot of Rockies to explore with SkiBig3 – we’re talking 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. With the luxury of longer ski trips, you’ll have the opportunity to fully experience the unique terrain and character of each SkiBig3 resort – Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay.

An even better way to make this happen is by taking part in our Guided Adventures program. Suitable for families with skiers at an intermediate level and above, Guided Adventures helps you maximize your slope time. Our certified ski guides will take you to spots you wouldn’t have found on your own, and will cater the day to your interest and level.

SkiBig3 Guided Adventure group at Banff Sunshine Village, Banff National Park.
SkiBig3 Guid3d Adventure group at Banff Sunshine Village. Photo by Jillian Tester.

6) Here for a Week? Consider a Split Stay

Not only are there three world-class ski resorts to discover here, but also two towns within the national park borders. A split stay between Banff and Lake Louise will allow the fam to fully appreciate all that Banff National Park has to offer. A quiet retreat in the village of Lake Louise will bring you closer to nature, with the mountains literally at your doorstep. And after your travel journey getting here, this is the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. Lake Louise Ski Resort is just a 10-minute drive from the village. Check out our insider’s guide to staying in Lake Louise.

After a few nights’ rests in Lake Louise, the excitement of Banff will be all-the-more welcomed. Banff Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay are both a short shuttle from here. In town, there are endless activities, restaurants, galleries, museums, and shops to discover.

Interested in staying East of the park gates? Check out our insider’s guide to staying in Canmore – another charming mountain community that neighbours Banff.

Skiers at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mt. Temple in background, Banff National Park.
Photo by Jake Dyson.

7) There’s Snow Much to Ski and Do – From Apres to Off Day

Springtime in Banff National Park is the holy grail for families that thrive in the outdoors. While the resort skiing is in its prime, other activities are waiting to be enjoyed. Tubing at Mt. Norquay is a family favourite. Ice walks to Johnston Canyon, dogsledding, winter hikes, snowshoeing, and the Banff Gondola are also sure to please.

If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can move things indoors. Consider rock climbing at Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation, or Elevation Place in Canmore. Bowling at High Rollers is a popular past time (kids will love their pizza!) or head to the Douglas Fir for an evening at Banff’s only indoor waterslide.

Learn a bit about Banff’s history with a dip at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, or a visit to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Both experiences are included with the purchase of 3+ day SkiBig3 Lift Tickets. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is also well worth a visit to learn even more about the founding of Canada’s first national park.

Family snow tubing at Mt. Norquay ski resort in Banff National Park.
Photo courtesy of Mt. Norquay.

Ready to plan your perfect spring ski vacation to Banff National Park? Our in-destination Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best vacation package for your style and budget. You can reach them by calling 1-844-754-2443.

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