As the magnificent peaks of the Canadian Rockies begin to gather snow, Banff is preparing to celebrate by hosting the annual Banff Winterstart Festival! Come join us for almost a full month of exciting activities to kick the season off and give winter the welcome it deserves! On November 12th this charming mountain town comes to life as you enjoy mouth watering local cuisine, craft beer, fast paced alpine events as well as events to get you in the Christmas spirit! To get you started and give you a better idea of what this fantastic festival has to offer, we’ve highlighted the main events below. Hurry though, as tickets won’t last long for this spectacular winter celebration! For great deals on Banff accommodation, let our friendly Enjoy Banff team be your local guides & planners. Book you vacation in November and take advantage of Banff winter early deals. 

Bon Apetit Banff

Photo credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/ Paul Zizka Photography

Get things started by tasting what is surely the best food in the Rockies! From November 12th to 22nd try a variety of unique 3 course menus from over 30 local restaurants, take part in guided food tours where gourmet dishes and wines are paired effortlessly, or treat yourself to one of the signature culinary events such as a local distillery tour or a seasonal harvest brunch. Don’t forget to try some famous Alberta beef while you’re here! In addition, to ensure you have the best stay possible Bon Appetit Banff is offering visitors Dine and Stay packages at a variety of luxurious resorts. Whatever it is that gets your taste buds in the mood, you’ll find it here at the Banff Winterstart Festival! To view a full list of participating restaurants and to book your tickets, check the official site of Banff Tourism.

Banff Christmas Market

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Photo credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/ Paul Zizka Photography

Nov 20th to the 22nd, come and experience the mountains and the magic of the annual Christmas market! While strolling along the decorated avenues, you’ll find lots of unique gifts, hand crafted treasures and one of a kind fashion items all while enjoying live entertainment and delicious food! Bring the whole family and take advantage of everything this eclectic market has to offer. You’re sure to check some people off this years Christmas list, and perhaps find a little something for yourself in the meantime… it is Christmas, after all! Learn more about attending or becoming a vendor.

Banff Beer Festival


Photo credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/ Paul Zizka Photography

Delicious craft beer, breathtaking scenery and local food. What more could you really ask for? Held at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, this stunning location boasts being home to one of the best craft beer festivals Canada has to offer! Nov. 27 & 28th, come taste local brews and sample some of Banffs famous pub food, all in one of the most picturesque places imaginable! The local Alberta breweries bring out their finest hops and most tastey creations, for you to sample and savour! Tip: You’ll want to dress warm for this event as it is partially held outdoors. Visit the official site of Banff Tourism to learn more and book your tickets!

Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup


Photo credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism/ Paul Zizka Photography

Downhill Ski racing is an exhilarating sport, both for spectator and competitor. Watch some of the fastest skiers in the world conquer the speed circuit at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Hosting the mens events on Nov. 28th and the ladies events Dec. 4th & 5th on the World Cup circuit, it’s the only event of its kind in Canada, hosted by Banff Winterstart Festival! If you’ve never seen a live ski race, now’s your chance! No lift ticket is required, so dress warm and come join the cheering squad as you watch these world class athletes rip downhill reaching speeds you won’t believe are possible.

Santa Claus Parade of Lights

Christmas in the Rockies

Finally, wrap things up with the spectacular Santa Clause Parade of Lights! The kids won’t want to miss this one, as Santa makes an appearance in the twinkling town of Banff! Get into the Christmas spirit while watching carolers, making crafts and meeting the big guy himself. This exciting evening of magic and wonder is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. To book your tickets and learn more about what there is to experience over this fun-filled month, visit the  Official site of Banff Tourism. For hot  deals in around the time of Banff WinterStart Festival, browse our early deals blog and find your Rockies home for this winter vacation.