Family things to do in Banff

One big generous playground, Banff offers endless family-friendly activities. Almost everything is designed to be family friendly in Banff, but we  summarized a MUST DO  list of family things to do in Banff:

Dashing thru’ the snow in a One-Horse Open Sleigh!

Dashing through the snow/In a one horse open sleigh/O’er the fields we go/Laughing all the way/Bells on bob tails ring/Making spirits bright/What fun it is to laugh and sing/A sleighing song tonight/Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells/Jingle all the way/Oh, what fun it is to ride/In a one horse open sleigh!!

There’s no better way to end your day of invigorating activities then with a wonderful sleigh ride. Snuggle together beneath warm wool blankets and breathe in that fresh mountain air as you sip hot chocolate and listen to the jingle of the sleigh bells. The friendly drivers will help deliver the perfect “Western Touch” to your winter holiday. Sleigh Rides in Banff is an absolute MUST on your Rockies’ bucket list.

Dog-sledding in snowy Banff, a MUST -family TO DO

Dogsled tours are a unique and exciting experience. Join your professional musher in harnessing and staging the animals, all well-treated with the highest standard of dog care and on-site kennel. Then learn the commands for yourself and feel the excitement of driving your own team! Have fun with this genuine, family-friendly pastime as you inhale the crisp mountain air and zip along the snow.Choose from a two-hour fun ride or an eight-hour excursion. The amazing huskies just love the snow & the kids, your kids will adore them back, and will give you the ride of your life. Enjoy breathtaking views while you zip along through the snow. The Power Hound Express will have you and your family driving a team of huskies through the mountains as well as learning the art of dog-sledding. End your journey by relaxing by a cozy campfire. You will build some valuable family memories!

Sightseeing tours

These beautiful tours offer you a glimpse of the natural beauty found in Canada’s first national park, an awesome opportunity for your your kids to learn about the wild life & flora that populate Banff National Park.  For a memorable and learning experience, we recommend you book a guided tour with the premier guides around. And no matter what your comfort level is with hiking and wilderness exploring, you don’t have to be a rugged mountain man to journey off into the bush of Banff National Park. Just get a rugged mountain man to take you on a guided tour. There are numerous excellent Banff Sightseeing Tours options available for all skill levels and ages and for all different motivations, to experience one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Family Snowmobile tour

Includes a visit to an early 1900s Silver Mining Town, a perfect educational opportunity for your children. A bit of adrenaline, and a learning experience at the same time! Charge through the snow in some of the Rocky Mountain’s most beautiful terrain. Introduce your kids to the  raw power of a snowmobile as you through tracks only accessible by sled and blaze trails through deep cherry powder, spraying rooster tails in your wake as you navigate the wilderness. Endless family adventure and pristine wilderness awaits you and your snowmobile and a ride through it just might be the highlight of your Banff family winter vacation! Lifetime memories!

Banff Upper Hot Springs

No family vacation to Banff is complete without spending a few hours at the Banff Upper Hot Springs, where you can soak your cares away in the always warm hot springs mineral water after you have journeyed to the top of Sulphur Mountain from where you can enjoy the views of Banff below and the beautiful Rocky Mountains beyond. The upper Banff hot springs are family friendly with a special wading area for children and change rooms with floors that are heated. The day spa has many amenities including a myriad of spa therapies, aromatherapy, wellness treatments and a fabulous steam room.You will also see the Banff Springs Hotel towering like a castle in the distance.

The Gondola

Accessible for young and old, families and friends, this eight minute gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain gives guests amazing mountaintop views of the city of Banff, the Bow Valley and the surrounding six mountain ranges.  The ride takes you to three outdoor observation terraces where you can relax and enjoy the scenery, or refuel in the restaurant while drinking in the views. See more mountains in a moment than most see in a lifetime! Build these unique memories with your family!  The ride takes you to three outdoor observation terraces where you can relax and enjoy the scenery, or refuel in the restaurant while drinking in the views. See more mountains in a moment than most see in a lifetime! Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a bird’s eye view of six mountain ranges.

Family-friendly float trip

Nothing beats the thrill of rafting down waters surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. From beginners to experienced rafters, those who want calmer waters and those who want the thrill of turbulence, there is a whitewater rafting in Banff for everyone on one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in Canada.Banff  has plenty of more mellow rapids, perfect for families. The Kananaskis River, is a dam-controlled river (meaning the water levels are predictable) with Class I and II rapids. The Elbow River—which sports a shallow access point, making it easy for both kids and adults to navigate—is another option, but make sure you plan accordingly. The Elbow River can only be accessed during May and June each year due to water levels.

Family-friendly Lake Louise

Even though it is a good hour drive away, Lake Louise is definitely worth the trip. The pristine lake surrounded by craggy mountains is beautiful in any season and during the Summer months you can enjoy a canoe on the lake for a small rental fee. Here you can also stay at the Chateau Lake Louise for the length of your stay. Endless family friendly activities await you in the summer time as well: Family outdoorsy adventures in this area goes without saying.  From canoeing to horseback riding tours, to hiking and mountain biking, the choices are endless!  Check out our summer activities for more info about summer playground in Banff. One thing for sure, you will never run out of family things to do in Banff!


A MUST do with your kids while in Banff, skating makes for an excellent winter experience in the Rockies. Here’s a run down of a few of the best options of ice skating in Banff.

  • Johnson’s Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Vermillion Lakes -A short five-minute drive from Banff can take you to one of the lakes around town where you can skate on the frozen surfaces in the crisp mountain air. An authentic winter experience, skating on lakes is a fun thing to do when the snow is cleared, as these ones usually are. Remember to always test the ice before heading out onto the lake!
  • Beautiful Lake Louise This incredibly scenic rink located right on Lake Louise falls in spot #1 as one of CNN Travel’s “10 most beautiful ice skating rinks in the world”.
  • Ice Skating in Banff at the Downtown High School Rink
    Right downtown on Banff Avenue, the rink at the high school is a great spot to skate. Lights are up so skating can occur at night. And it’s right across the street from the Banff Aspen Lodge
  • Fenlands Recreation Centre
    The newly renovated rec centre offers public skate and shinny from Monday to Friday. Standard rates are $4.50 for adult admission and $4.50 for skate rentals.
  • Skating Oval on the Bow River
    Lace up your skates at the Blue Canoe docks and head out on the oval. It’s not always maintained so check before you skate, but the setting and surface is some of the most exciting ice skating in Banff.

Ice Skating in Banff Needs Skate Rentals If you choose to skate anywhere other than the recreation centre, you can rent your skate from Snowtips. Here you’re able to rent basically ALL winter equipment items.

Inner Tubes

You can also find your inner child in an inner tube at Tube Town on Mt. Norquay, along with your kids! Riders of all ages hop on tubes and enjoy ride after ride down the snow trail. No need to carry your tube all the way back up, there is a handy rope tow to do the job for you. A small child area is great for the little ones.