Ski, Stay & Play – Events in Banff & Lake Louise

Mention the word “Christmas” too early and you’ll likely get a pole-whack to the shins. But the festive winter atmosphere is in swing well before the month of December. In fact, there are a ton of great events you won’t want to miss in Banff & Lake Louise all throughout the season.

Why not plan your winter vacation around one? You’ll get in some world-class skiing and experience a different side of the communities coming out to celebrate.

NOVEMBER – DECEMBER: PROS ON SKIS & FESTIVITIES

Early season is prime time to jump in on the ski season hype. Our favourite season of year is just around the corner, and Banff and Lake Louise know the best ways to celebrate its arrival.

Banff Craft Beer Festival – November 23rd to 25th

It’s borderline blasphemous to go skiing without an après pint afterward. And the Banff Craft Beer Festival is the perfect opportunity to broaden your palette of ales, malts, and all the in-betweens after an epic day on the mountain.

It runs three days (so you can hit up all three resorts beforehand!) from November 23rd to 25th. Featuring nearly 40 breweries, finding your flavour should be as easy as gliding down your first warm up run.

Can’t make it that weekend? Here are some other great places to check out local brews in the Bow Valley.

Photo courtesy of Alberta Beer Festivals
Photo courtesy of Alberta Beer Festivals

Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup – November 25th to December 3rd   

Following hot on the heels of Banff Craft Beer Festival, the Alpine Ski at the Lake Louise Ski Resort begins November 25th with the men’s downhill.

Spanning two weekends for men’s and women’s events until December 3rd, the Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup hosts a ton of other activities for families, skiers and riders. Fire pits, hot chocolate, and free lessons and lift tickets for kids! A Mini Food & Drink Market will run on Ladies weekend, offering a variety of tents and treats.

Photo courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Photo courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Banff Christmas Market – November 24th to 26th 

Another great event runs that very same weekend! The Banff Christmas Market is the perfect one-stop-shop to get all the bells, whistles, and gifts for the holiday season.

Featuring Alberta(and beyond)-based vendors, you can feel good about supporting local businesses and artisans, and come home with a unique souvenir from your visit to the Canadian Rockies.  Sleigh rides and a visit with Santa will sweeten the deal to bring the kids along, too!

Warner Stables - Banff Trailriders Barn
Photo courtesy of Banff Christmas Market

JANUARY: FROZEN ELEGANCE

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on the beautiful things in life, and there’s no shortage of ways to appreciate Banff National Park’s beauty in January.

Ice Magic Festival – January 18th to 28th 

A favourite for visitors and locals alike, the Ice Magic Festival takes place just footsteps away from the flanks of Lake Louise. Watch competitors in their craft as they sculpt crude blocks of ice into beautiful works of art right before your eyes.

The aesthetic of the sculpture-lined promenades balance beautifully with Lake Louise’s unique vistas, and they’re just a short 10-minute drive or shuttle from Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Ice artist polishes an ice sculpture as part of the Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival.
Photo by Kelly MacDonald

FEBRUARY: REST, REJUVENATE & RECONNECT

February is a great month to visit Banff National Park with your significant other. Adventure, luxury, rest and relaxation will come together for the perfect winter getaway.

Unforgettable Romantic Memories

Day and night will compete for your love here, with so much to do around the clock. Ski by moonlight, take a ‘rest day’ with an afternoon at the spa, or simply take the scenic route to your next day on the slopes. This is a place where the pampering comes naturally, and the only thing melting is stress.

Here are 11 Memorable Romantic Experiences you won’t want to miss in Banff & Lake Louise.

Lifts of Love – February 10th

The Rockies version of speed dating, Mt. Norquay’s ‘Lifts of Love’ night will bring your game to the next level (literally) from atop the High Speed Quad chair lift.

Bump boards with your potential future Mrs. or Mr. as you mingle on the chair, then bring it to the dance floor at the Apres Ski Mixer in the Lone Pine afterwards. Event tickets cover your lift admission, and there’s free transportation back to Banff for guests.

A cupid over Norquay, with Mt. Rundle in the background.
Photo courtesy of Mount Norquay

MARCH: SELFIE SHOTS OF FACE SHOTS

With longer days comes deeper snow, March is that sweet spot of the year when things start to get reaaal good. You won’t be able to wipe the smile (or pow!) off your face. Springs breaks and reading weeks often conveniently fall around this time of year – the perfect time to book you Canadian Rockies ski vacation!

Photo by @waputik (IG)
Photo by @waputik (IG)

APRIL – MAY: PATIOS & PARTIES

Apres Ski Patios

Ski resort patios are as busy as the slopes themselves around this time of year, and with good reason. Sunshine, goggle tans, and fire pits make it hard to decide where to spend your time.

But as the days get longer, these are often the months when extended lift hours come into effect for some extra wiggle room.

Kokanee Kabin at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Cascade Lodge at Mt. Norquay, and Mad Trapper’s Saloon at Banff Sunshine are just a handful of options to kick back your snowboard boots.

Outdoor ski patio at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, with Mt. Temple and the Temple lodge in the background.
Photo by Noel Hendrickson

End-of-Season Parties

Ever wanted to see a ski lodge turn into a mini-EDM festival? Want to fulfill your life dream of pond-skimming in a banana costume? Lucky for you, the SkiBig3 resorts are no strangers to throwing epic parties.

Wake, bake, then shake the Lake!

Shake the Lake is set for April 28th at Lake Louise Ski Resort, and the 90th Annual Slush Cup at Banff Sunshine for May 21st. Details have yet to be confirmed, but you can bet your snowboard boots it’s gonna be a good one!

A skier soars through the air before getting dunked at Slush Cup, an annual spring tradition at Sunshine Village.
Photo by Dan Evans

Ready to be a part of the SkiBig3 action?

Contact our reservations team today and we’ll help you build a customized vacation to suit your style and budget. They’re happy to help with their local knowledge of all three resorts, and the ins and outs of Banff National Park.

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