Let’s take a deep snowy dive into which are Banff’s best family activities in winter, and why.
There is no better way to peel kids away from technology than to place them in adventure at a young age – Banff National Park is perhaps the best place to introduce young explorers to what awaits past a screen. The best family activities in Banff are often the most immersive and rewarding, and you’ll find them with us. They go at a slower pace and allow time for questions and curiosity.
Warm, cozy, and snuggly under thick blankets. Sleigh rides are the perfect way to see Banff’s mountainous landscape while getting a local cowboy’s take on living and riding in the area year-round.
Gliding through the grasslands near the Bow River, our guests enjoy panoramic views of Banff’s most famous mountains before stopping off for hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting over the open fire. These 45-minute tours are a great first activity to try in Banff to familiarize yourself with the mountains and our climate. Perfect for all ages, and kids 3 and under are free!
Banff National Park is a wild place – it’s a protected natural environment that has a unique history with humans and wildlife living cohesively together. Our guides will not only tell you the history of how we have gotten to such a sustainable place, but they’ll show you landmarks, historical points of reference, and if you’re lucky – wildlife.
This Banff winter sightseeing tour is a great introduction for the kids to what they have to explore in the area (and free for children 5 and under!). Often times guests are surprised about what is still left out there and how untouched it is – we pride ourselves on this in Banff and hope to inspire the youngsters and even adults on how we can look after it so visitors and animals can enjoy it for years to come.
If you were to place yourself inside a snow globe, what would it look and feel like? Well, probably Lake Louise in winter. This magical destination is an experience that leaves many speechless as they’re overwhelmed by sparkling snow, glacier-capped peaks, and an ice castle built on the lake itself. From late January until early March, ice sculptures carved from the Ice Magic Festival greet visitors along the pathway.
Borrow our snowshoes, rent some skates, go on a sleigh ride on the lake, check out the historic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel, and take in world-famous Lake Louise in all its winter beauty. The best part? Children 5 and under are free on this full day tour!
Families with kids age 4 and up can enjoy tubing at Mount Norquay by racing each other or going down in groups! The magic carpet takes you back up the hill and the work out of being on a mountain.
Kids age 8 and up can stomp around deep powder of this winter wonderland in the Canadian Rockies. With no experience necessary, this winter activity is a great way to explore trails in Kootenay National Park. The kids will especially love how easy and care-free they can be in the deep snow, jumping and rolling in it.
A highlight of this trip is the maple taffy we make in the snow – a Canadian treat! Our Banff Snowshoeing Tours run daily to Marble Canyon but kids love the Paint Pots tour with its crazy carpet slide – our version of tobogganing!
For kids 8 and older, our half-day Banff icewalks are a unique experience to the Rocky Mountains with both human and geological history. We also offer private icewalk tours for families with younger kids so everyone can go at their own pace. Each tour comes with the interpretation and knowledge of your Discover Banff Tours’ guide – and our legendary maple cookies and hot chocolate to keep you warm!
The Johnston Canyon Icewalk tours offer an experience that will captivate all senses as you explore frozen waterfalls via a suspended walkway, bridges, and a cave. Ice crystals sparkle from the sun’s rays with ice buildup along the entire canyon. With this experience, it’s easy to see the spring-blue water between ice gaps and behind the falls.
Our Banff Evening Icewalk has the added element of exploring the canyon’s lower falls via starlight, moonlight, and your headlamp. This truly unique experience offers a different perspective of exploring the mountains with no one else on the trail. You’ll be amazed at how much more focused you’ll be and how much more you’ll notice with only the beam of light from your headlamp.
The Grotto Canyon Icewalk is the only icewalk that allows our guests to walk on the frozen creek itself – this tour ventures keep into the canyon on the creek bringing our guests face-to-face with frozen waterfalls and 500 to 1,300 year old pictographs from the First Nations.
Which Banff activities will your family join us on this winter?