Half the Park is After Dark – 10 Night Activities in Banff National Park

Our winter playground here in Banff National Park is a mecca for cold weather activities. Whether exploring our 8,000 acres of combined skiable terrain or discovering our two unique towns of Banff and Lake Louise, you’ll find endless opportunities to create your own authentic mountain memories here. And living these dreams doesn’t just happen in the daytime – there’s snow much to ski and do once the sun dips below our Canadian Rockies ridgelines.

From the vibrant nightlife of downtown Banff to the quiet winter seclusion in the surrounding mountains, here are ten night activities just waiting to be discovered in Banff and Lake Louise.

#1) Night Skiing & Tubing at Mt. Norquay

The shredding doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Mt. Norquay is the only ski resort in Banff National Park to offer night resort activities. Bring the whole family to enjoy night runs on Cascade Chair and spins down their tube lane from 5-9 p.m. every Friday, and Saturdays beginning January 19th. Fancy a drink in the Lone Pine afterward? Their ski shuttles will take you back to Banff safely.

Renee McCurdy night skiing at Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park.
Renee McCurdy night skiing at Mt. Norquay. Photo by Daniel Thomson.

#2) Starlight Skating At Lake Louise

Outdoor skating on frozen lakes is a favourite Canadian past time, made all the more special beneath a blanket of stars. Lake Louise is the opportune spot to skate with the starlight. Warm up next to the open fire pit and bench area, where you can easily bring a mug of hot cocoa. During the Ice Magic Festival in January (and onward!), the kids can discover a frozen castle right on the lake itself.

Night photo of frozen lake, ice castle, and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

#3) Evening Ice Walk at Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is a must-see destination no matter the season, even more so in the winter! These guided ice walk tours provide all of the gear (and snacks!) necessary to navigate this frozen beauty. Taking a night tour will give you a unique perspective of the grandeur of these natural ice features, as your headlamp illuminates the chandeliers of ice. Insider Tip: Enjoy discounted rates at Discover Banff Tours with your SkiBig3 Lift Ticket!

Evening ice walk at Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park.
Photo courtesy of Discover Banff Tours.

#4) Stargaze at Lake Minnewanka

A short drive from the town of Banff will take you to the largest frozen lake in Banff National Park – Lake Minnewanka. The mountains are further apart here, providing ample skyspace to observe the heavens. If you’re lucky, the Aurora Borealis may even make an appearance!

Aurora Borealis at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park.
Aurora Borealis at Lake Minnewanka. Photo by Tera Swanson.

#5) Torchlight Dinner and Ski at Lake Louise Ski Resort

Lake Louise’s Torchlight Dinner is coming one night only this ski season, during the Ice Magic Festival. Begin with apres drinks, appies, and a live ice carving mid-mountain at Whitehorn Bistro, then enjoy first tracks down a freshly groomed run with their staff by Torchlight. At the base, head to the Sitzmark Lounge for a buffet dinner.

Torchlight Dinner at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff National Park.
Torchlight Dinner at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Photo courtesy of Lake Louise Ski Resort.

#6) Starlight Dinner at Mt. Norquay

Mt. Norquay’s Starlight Dinner is a truly unique Canadian Rockies experience. Take a starlit ride via the North American chairlift to the iconic Cliffhouse Bistro, high above the clouds at 7,000ft. Chef Morne will delight with an alpine-inspired, five-course meal and carefully-selected wine pairings. As the night draws to a close, stars will shine overhead as you descend back towards the soft glow of the town below.

Night photos of the Cliffhouse Bistro at Mt. Norquay, Banff National Park.
Cliffhouse Bistro at Mt. Norquay. Photo courtesy of Mt. Norquay.

#7) Cross-country Ski with Olympians

Just a short drive East of Banff will take you to Canmore. This unique mountain town is home to Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, developed to host the 1988 Winter Olympics. Today, it continues to host training athletes and Olympians, as well as the general public. Rent a pair of skinny skis and try your hand at the training track, on their 6.5 km illuminated night route.

Illuminated cross-country ski track at Canmore Nordic Centre, Canmore, Alberta.
Photo by Bob Truman / skierbob.ca

#8) Soak under the stars from an outdoor pool

The mountains in Banff National Park are so impressive, you’ll want to take in the views as long as possible. Check out these outdoor hot pools to do just that! As you recuperate your body after a day of skiing the slopes, you can soak in the scenery just a little bit longer.

Rooftop hot pool at the Moose Hotel & Suites, Banff, Alberta.
Photo courtesy of the Moose Hotel & Suites.

#9) Try Your Hand at Ten-Pin

Pins. Pints. Pizza. This is High Rollers’ claim to fame. Located right on Banff Avenue, this bowling alley and beer hall blend is family-friendly until 10 p.m. A great place to unwind and fuel up after a day on the slopes, kids will love the New York Style pizza between rolls of the bowling ball, and those 18+ will be spoilt for choice with over 48 craft beers on tap.

Family bowling at High Rollers bowling alley in Banff National Park.
Photo courtesy of High Rollers Banff.

#10) Enjoy our Vibrant Mountain Culture Scene

The mountains don’t only inspire us to get out and explore, they also pique the creative minds of artists around the world. Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on Tunnel Mountain is a focal point for performances of every variety. Or check what’s on at artsPlace in Canmore for everything from art classes to live screenings.

Nighttime shot of Banff townsite and Mount Rundle, Banff National Park.
Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

What are you waiting for? Your dream winter vacation to Banff National Park is just moments away. Talk to our Vacation Planners today by calling at 1-844-754-2443 . Or, plan your Canadian Rockies ski vacation online. Great Ski & Stay Packages are available now.

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