After leaving LAKE LOUISE, we continued on our journey with a drive to Banff, Alberta. We took a quick scenic drive after a full day of snow tubing. Banff is the cutest little town within Banff National Park. It is nestled between the peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade of the Canadian Rockies. Again, the majesty of these mountains is unrivaled from anything we have ever seen. Now you have the cutest little town full of boutiques, restaurants, and tourist shops, all within walking distance of our hotel. With all of the snow sculptures for SNOWDAYS, scattered throughout the town made the ambiance of the Banff that much more magical to us.
Checked into Moose Hotel & Suites
We checked into the Moose Hotel & Suites and right away I noticed a note in our bathroom letting us know we will not see bottles of water given out. I had already noticed the lack of bottles of water in Canada. The note stated if we wanted water we could buy a reusable water bottle from the front desk for the same amount and fill it with the water from the sink. This was a double win for us, because we not only did we get the best water we have ever tasted but we scored our souvenir as well!
The Moose Hotel & Suites is a new 4-Star hotel within 1 minute walking distance to the heart of Banff. My kiddos were most excited about the pools! And room service of course! The hotel boast a spa, along with an indoor pool, and 2 heated rooftop pools where you are surrounded by the amazing view of the Canadian Rockies.
Dinner at Banff Ave Brewing Co.
After getting settled in the Moose Hotel & Suites, we headed out for a quick bite at Banff Ave Brewing Co. This is your ideal sports bar surrounded by the bustling of friends and family coming together toasting their day! The food was amazing and the kids were able to watch and learn all about the WWF back in our day! YES! Back when Pamela Anderson was on the side lines cheering on her man! They could not believe the theatrics of the men “fighting” and the strength of one man to take out 5 others with his power. If you ask them today, it was totally real! When I would try and tell them it was fake, they both quickly corrected me saying “Mom, it is totally real!!!” We all loved our food and the atmosphere of this friendly place.
Tribute to Crafts Spirits @ Park Distillery & Bar
So this may be the night I was most nervous about and the night my kiddos were the most excited. We are in this big beautiful country, seeing and experiencing once in a lifetime experiences and my kids are the most excited about… drumroll please!! The BABYSITTER! Holy cow, my kids could hardly wait to meet the person who was going to be taking care of them while we went to the TRIBUTE TO CRAFTS SPIRITS event. You have no idea how many questions I got asking me ALL about her. When in all reality I didn’t even know her name! But let me tell you she exceeded ALL of our expectations and more! She made sure the kids had the best time swimming and eating all of the room service desserts!
MY HOTEL SITTER knocked it out of the park in my kids eyes and mine too!
Meanwhile Kris and I had the opportunity to attend the Tribute to Craft Spirits at Park Distillery & Bar. The Tribute to Craft Spirits Festival features the best craft distilleries from Alberta and British Columbia, as well as showcasing the local food scene. Tribute is an event platform for spirits from craft distilleries, as well as local and artisanal products. It was created in 2018 by the passionate team behind MADE WITH LOVE, the most extravagant cocktail competition across Canada, with a goal to promote local craft distilleries and their artisans. Based on four main values: Inspiration, Raison d’être, Lifestyle and Entrepreneurship. And when they say passionate, they mean passionate. We had so much fun learning and listening to each of the distillers at this event. The love and passion that each one demonstrated about their craft was inspiring.
Now here comes the fun part.
We were able to create our own mixed drink using one or more of the featured distillers product. If you know me very well, you know I typically won’t even order a glass of wine because I have no clue what to order. Not that I don’t enjoy a glass every now and then. I honestly don’t want to look like an idiot ordering. And Kris will drink, maybe twice a year. So when we learned we were going to be paired off to compete against each other and judged on making our own mixed drink, we were both to say the least terrified.
Breakfast at Pacini’s within Moose Lodge
This had to be the BEST breakfast in downtown Banff. Each one of our meals was a healthy portions of oatmeal, eggs, pancakes, and sausage. And all the toast we could want! We could hardly pull the kids away from toasting their bread and muffins on the grill!
SnowDays in Downtown Banff
The annual SnowDays celebration is a highlight of the winter season in Banff National Park; a free 12-day long event held during January, centered around massive snow sculptures in downtown Banff. Occurring at the same time as the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise, you’ll have plenty of winter creations to explore throughout Banff National park. The kids were amazed by each creation and researched how each one was created! They had fire pits throughout the sculptures. The kids even found spots to make snow angels! Just like the Ice Magic Festival, SnowDays showcases some of the most talented artist with them transforming the snow into the most amazing pieces of art.
Lunch at Vermillion Room within Fairmont Banff Springs
I have NEVER, and when I say never, I mean never approached a resort with jaw dropped and mouth wide open. The Fairmont Banff Springs was something directly out of a movie. The setting and backdrop of the mountains made the resort that much more unreal and magical. Much less when you walk in to the resort and see the grandeur of the pillars and architecture.
We had the privilege of eating at the Vermillion Room within the Fairmont Banff Springs. We walked into a sea of food, with anything and everything imaginable for us to taste. The kids had their own buffet of pizza, chicken fingers, onion rings, chips, and CANDY! Oh my word the candy! I am not going to lie, I dipped into all of the sweet goodies myself! So you have the perfect trifecta a delicious food, amazing resort, among the most beautiful backdrop you will ever see.
It doesn’t get much better taking in the beauty and majesty of the mountains surrounding Banff, than taking a horse drawn sleigh ride. We were bundled up with blankets and hot chocolate on our carriage ride. The horses were gorgeous and our guide gave us history behind every mountain we passed. We ended our carriage ride roasting marshmallows and warming up by the fire pit. What better way to end our trip!
Banff Winter Carnival @ Cave and Basin National Historic Site
The Cave and Basin are lowest component of hot springs located within Sulphur Mountain. The waters of the springs are an incredible blue within the cave. The springs are no longer used due to the discovery of the Banff Snail, an endangered species.
We all enjoyed the games of the Winter Carnival celebrating the Olympics. We were most fascinated with learning the sport of curling. The Park guides were so kind and helped us all learn the background of each sport and even took the time to teach us a few tips and tricks! The kids didn’t want to leave.
Dinner at Grizzly House
I didn’t think I would ever get the kids to leave the Grizzly House. First off, there are phones at each and every table, including the bathroom. So you can only imagine, every time someone walked into the bathroom my kids were scrambling to call and come up with the funniest potty questions to ask. With their biggest encourager being their dad. Oh my goodness they would just laugh and laugh.
I guess I should tell you about the food too. The Grizzly House was established in 1967, and serves fondue and exotic meats cooked on a hot stone. The kids loved it. We loved it! Along with all the laughs and memories as a family. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
More Things to Do in Banff:
I truly hope you get the chance or take the time to visit this amazing country. The Banff National Park boast some of the most amazing views we have ever seen.
There are so many more activities to do in the Banff/Lake Louise area. We of course didn’t have time to do everything, but thought y’all would enjoy researching and taking part in any or all of these!
- Read about our LAKE LOUISE ITINERARY
- The Complete Columbia Icefields Tour
- Ice fishing
- Plain of 6 Glaciers Tour
- Plain of 6 Glaciers Tour and Twin Falls Hike
- The Epic Summit
- Banff Upper Hot Springs
- Jasper National Park
- Scenic drives along Bow Valley Parkway
- Johnston Canyon
- Moriane Lake – only accessible during the summer, but I have heard it is one of the most breathtaking views.
- MORE activities at LAKE LOUISE/BANFF TOURISM and TRIPADVISOR
The BIGGEST of Thank You’s to BANFF AND LAKE LOUISE TOURISM for sponsoring this post.