From January 14 to February 12 2012 Banff SnowDays winter festival will bring a whole host of exciting winter activities and events to the town of Banff and other venues in Banff National Park. Like Jasper in January, a popular annual event in Jasper Alberta, SnowDays is a chance to celebrate everything that is wonderful about winter in the Canadian Rockies. While skiing and snowboarding are already extremely popular activities for winter visitors to Banff, SnowDays introduces some new ways to enjoy and appreciate the winter months, with story telling, outdoor skating, curling, mountain films, wildlife walks, live entertainment and street hockey joining existing events and festivals such as Celebrity Ski and the Ice Magic Festival.
Banff SnowDays Events & Activities
Banff Snow Days kicks off with the Fairmont Banff Springs Celebrity Sports Invitational, otherwise known as Celebrity Ski on Thursday January 12 2012. Taking place until January 15, Celebrity Ski brings together Hollywood stars such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Alec Baldwin at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel with skiing, snowboarding and other fun events at Sunshine Village in aid of the Waterkeeper Alliance.
The same weekend, the Mountain Adventure Festival will take place on January 14 and 15 with ice climbing in downtown Banff, outdoor skating, snow carving, and mountain adventure stories.
January 20-22 sees the first weekend of the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise where masterpieces will be carved from huge blocks of ice, while on Jan 21 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel there’s a chance to join a free guided hike with Parks Canada to learn how to identify wildlife tracks. Kids will love meeting sled dogs on the evening of Jan 21, and on Sunday January 22 the famous Lake Louise to Banff Loppet cross country ski race will take place.
On the evening of Friday January 27 the hilarious Cardboard Sled Derby takes place at Mount Norquay and on Janury 28 and 29 the second weekend of the Ice Magic Festival takes place with an emphasis on family fun for the Little Chippers. Also on Jan 28 is a talk about bear safety courtesy of Parks Canada, and that night you’ll have the opportunity to join the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for an evening of star gazing.
Saturday February 4 sees the Dave Irwin Dash for Cash at Sunshine Village, free snowshoeing lessons at the Fairmont Banff Springs golf course, and fireside stories about Norman Sanson at the Banff Park Museum. On Sunday February 5 visit the Mary Schaffer Story Tent to hear historical stories about early explorations in Banff National Park.
For something completely different, on the final weekend of Banff SnowDays, why not go and see the Victorian Soldier Drumming and Firing Demonstration on the evening of Friday February 10. One of the highlights of Banff Snow Days 2012 has to be the street ball hockey tournament taking place on Banff Avenue throughout the day on February 11 and 12, and for a historical perspective on Canada’s national game there’s also the opportunity to see a Victorian Hockey Demonstration on Feb 11 at the Banff Community High School Outdoor Rink.
The above SnowDays activities are just a small selection of what’s on offer throughout this exciting winter festival, and you will find a full schedule of events by visiting www.banfflakelouise.com.
Find a Banff Hotel
In general, Banff hotels do not offer special packages or deals specifically for SnowDays, however if you need accommodations during this winter festival you can simply click here and enter your dates to see rates and availability for a selection of hotels in Banff.