You’ve just arrived in Banff and you’re ready to zip up your jacket and explore… but where to go and what to do? Have no fear! Here is a compiled list consisting of a plethora of fun things to see and do in this beautiful Rocky Mountain hub!
Banff Winter Events & Happenings
Perfect timing! Right now in Banff is one of its most vibrant and exciting festivals: SnowDays. From January 15th to February 7th Banff comes alive with all sorts of activities for everyone’s interests including food festivals, snowman building contests, ice sculptures and more.
Foodies & Friends
For foodies and friends, check out Banff’s renowned Banff Big Taste Festival on January 28th and 29th. Food and wine lovers join together at the Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge to taste local chefs’ unique creations and wash them down with Canadian and international wines and beers. At $20, this gastronomic endeavor is not to be missed. Can’t get enough? Join with the Maple Leaf Grill again for $35 on January 29th for a Distillery Tour and Food Tasting. Your taste buds and will thank you.
Food aside, it’s time to appreciate winter sports. One of the most popular Banff winter events, The Big Bear from February 5-7 celebrates world-renowned skiers and snowboarders as they take on the terrain park and display their skills to the delight of onlookers. Enjoy watching them while you sip a beer in the Molson beer gardens and head on over to Aurora for the Big Bear Afterparty at 9pm (oh and by the way, it’s free with your purchase of a Big Bear ticket). For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, there is no better way to psyche yourself up for hitting up the slopes than this weekend of activities, parties, and watching the pros tackle the rails. (check our Banff Winter Events Calendar to see the daily happenings).
Sense & Sensibility
Now it’s time to tackle the arts. From January 30th to February 28th, the Wild Rockies Photo Exhibit displays phenomenal photographs on the theme of wildness. As a part of the Exposure 2016 Photography Festival, this is not to be missed. Open on Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11am – 5pm, you’ve got plenty of time to check out stunning landscape and dramatic wildlife scenes of Banff, Yoho, Jasper, Revelstoke, and surrounding areas through the lens of local mountain staff photographers.
Finally, for those who want a little historic background to the area, Banff Park’s National Historic Site and natural history museum is a must-see. Built in 1903, the historic log building is one of the oldest natural history museums in Canada, and is home to a unique display of the wildlife. Open on weekends from 12-4pm, the museum is an excellent representation of early interpretations of natural history in Canada.
Special Offers – the Après
So much activity can wear you out! Fortunately, Banff and Lake Louise offers many post-activity options. Treat yourself to a spa treatment at Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel for an après-ski delight. From 4-10pm, this luxurious spa offers three waterfall treatment pools, men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms, co-ed fireplaces and more. At $49, that’s a post-ski treatment you can’t ignore!
If you’re feeling peckish and are craving some delicious and filling food, the deals at Toque Canadian Pub can’t be beat. At $10 for poutine and a burger after 4pm, deals don’t get much better than this.
One last place to check out for after your day of fun is the Fenlands Recreation Centre. On Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm join the Banff Curling Club to learn how to play this classic Canadian game! Until February 3, $20 gets you all the equipment you need plus a full lesson. You’ll be a pro in no time!
Finally, Banff offers some fantastic deals for visitors in some of its iconic hotels. If you find yourself at the Fox Hotel and Suites for three nights, well, count your lucky stars because your fourth night will be free.(when packaged up with Enjoy Banff). And finally, take a look at the Inns of Banff for two nights – wait, a third night for free. At the Banff International Hotel until April 2016, you can stay six nights and get your seventh free! Check out even more deals on Enjoy Banff’s winter specials page!
With the snow-covered mountains jutting out of the winter landscape, Banff is one of the most beautiful parts of the Canadian Rockies, let alone the rest of the nation. If the plethora of activities and festivals in Banff doesn’t convince you to stay, turn your sights to the surrounding wilderness – it will take your breath away. Call up our friendly Rocky Mountain Specialists at Enjoy Banff and let them design & plan your trip in the amazing surroundings of Banff National Park.