Banff, Alberta | Fun Winter Festivals

Embrace the winter and enjoy awesome festivals in Banff

Whatever tickles your fancy, Banff has a long schedule of winter festivals to choose from, proving Banff is a year round tourist destination. Food, beer, Christmas shopping, ice carving and skiing excitement- it’s all here.

Event_Olympic_Block_Party_Banff_2014_Paul_Zizka_4_VerticalWinterstart Festival and Bon Appetit Banff

Bon Appetit Banff is the premier kick-off event of the Winterstart Festival, a month-long celebration encompassing all the downtown celebrations in November and December. It’s ten days of culinary heaven as 30 of the finest restaurants in Banff and Lake Louise offer a fixed price menu of delicious creations for you to sample.

Banff Christmas Market

Shop for gifts crafted by local artisans with the flavor of the Rocky Mountains at the Banff Christmas Market. It’s a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for unique fashions and knickknacks along with live entertainment and fantastic food

Craft Beer Festival

They call it the world’s most beautiful beer sampling event, because it takes place in Banff National Park. Sample amazing food from some of Banff’s best pubs and restaurants, or try an offering of beers from Alberta’s own breweries and share stories with local brew masters.

Event_Ice_Magic_Festival_Lake_Louise_2014_Paul_Zizka_1_HorizontalSanta Claus Parade of Lights

It’s Christmas in the mountains. Serenading carolers and sparkling lights line the streets. Mountains provide the backdrop to festive ice rinks. Bring your family to activities on Bear Street- dancing, singing and Christmas stories, with a stop by Santa Claus at the train station for a visit and photo opportunity. Face Painters, balloon twisters and other magical friends share the afternoon with you in Cascade Shops. Cap it all off with an amazing parade of lights on Banff Avenue.


History, culture and action are what the month-long SnowDays festival is all about. Opening weekend will include a street party featuring a live DJ, ice carving demonstrations and a whole lot more.

Ice Magic Festival

Talented ice artists travel from around the world to show off their carving skills at the Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival. It’s a 34 hour ice carving competition that’s been going strong for 20 years.

The Big Bear

Watch ski and snowboard pros as they compete at a unique street style course right in the heart of Banff. Get a shot at prizes in between sessions, and dance along to the DJ at this party atmosphere.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .


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