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Christmas Festivities in Canmore and Banff: A Winter Wonderland in the Rockies

Cascade Mountain in the background of hung lights in the streets of Banff townsite in Banff National Park

As the crisp winter air sets in, the picturesque towns of Canmore and Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, come alive with festive cheer. From enchanting light displays to exciting winter activities, there is no shortage of Christmas-themed events and attractions to enjoy. Join us as we explore all the unforgettable Christmas festivities awaiting you in Canmore and Banff this November and December.

Santa Claus Celebration of Lights – Banff

Mark your calendars for the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights (also known as the Santa Claus Parade of Lights) on November 18th, 2023. Shifting away from your typical parade, the streets of Banff come alive with festive cheer as you explore the many pop up stations, cafes and interactive stationary floats. There’s even a crafting tent where you can work with Santa’s elves creating presents.

This heartwarming event is perfect for families and sets the tone for the holiday season.

Festive people on the streets of Banff for the Santa Claus Celebration of Lights

Canmore Christmas Artisans Market

Immerse yourself in the artistic spirit of the season at the Canmore Christmas Artisans Market, taking place on November 18th and 19th, 2023, hosted at the Canmore Recreation Centre. Discover an array of unique gifts created by talented local artisans. From handmade jewelry and artwork to pottery and textiles, you’ll find something truly special for everyone on your list. Support local craftsmanship while enjoying the festive ambiance of the market.

Christmas Market in Canmore

Hot Chocolate Trail

Indulge your taste buds in a delightful adventure along the Banff and Lake Louise Hot Chocolate Trail. From November 17th, 2023, to December 31, 2023, warm up with a cup of delicious hot chocolate and discover the superb offerings of local cafes, bakeries, and chocolatiers.

Follow the trail through the stunning mountain towns of Banff and Lake Louise, where you’ll encounter a variety of unique hot chocolate flavors; each with its own special twist. From traditional rich cocoa to creative blends infused with spices, caramel, or even mint, there is a hot chocolate experience to satisfy every palate.

People walking the streets of Banff with a warm hot chocolate in their hands.

Banff Christmas Market

Step into a world of holiday enchantment at the Banff Christmas Market, held over the weekends of November 17th-19th, 2023, November 24th-26th, 2023 and December 1st-3rd, 2023. Explore a collection of charming heated cabins adorned with festive lights, offering a wide selection of handmade crafts and delectable food products from local artisans. Indulge in the seasonal flavors and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this traditional Christmas market. Don’t forget to take in the live music, relax in the outdoor fire lounge and explore Santa’s House and Reindeer Stables.

Vendors all set up at the Banff Christmas Market

In Search of Christmas Spirit

Embark on a heartwarming journey through the Cascade of Time Gardens to find the true Christmas spirit at the “In Search of Christmas Spirit”. The experience follows an enchanted trail and is delivered by illuminated sculptures, an engaging story and captivating sound effects. It tells the story of the wildlife of Banff National Park and their appreciation for the safe space that Banff National Park has gifted them. This free event runs from November 17th, 2023 – December 31, 2023. Book your free tickets online and remember to dress for the weather.

Cascades of Time Gardens - In Search of Christmas Spirit.

Canmore and Banff will be the epitome of festive charm with an array of Christmas activities and events that showcase the unique beauty of this mountain region. Whether you choose to attend all the festive events, or just one, you are sure to create lasting memories of the holiday season. For locals or visitors alike, make it a point to explore the Christmas cheer in Canmore and Banff this November and December.

Looking for gift ideas? Check out our Whitewater Rafting Tours and Adventure Hub. The gift of adventure is an experience that will last a lifetime.