New Year at the Banff Springs 2010

November 30, 2010  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

new year's eve firework display

Following on from our post highlighting the best Christmas events at the Banff Springs Hotel, we have now put together a list of our favorite events taking place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel during the 2010/11 New Year period.
New Year is busier than Christmas in Banff, and we strongly recommend that all the following events be booked before you arrive at the hotel. If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, take a look at the hotel packages for New Years in Banff.

New Year’s Family Skating Party

Festive family dinner in the Waldhaus Pub with an after dinner skate on the rink outside.
Dec 31st, 6-9pm
Waldhaus Pub
Adults $30
Children 10 yrs and under $15
Skates can be rented for $9/hr at Banff Springs Ski & Mountain Sports

Banffshire Club New Year’s Eve Dinner

Exquisite New Years tasting menu with wine pairing in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.
Dec 31st, 6-9.30pm
The Banffshire Club
Adults $400
*If you wish to continue the celebration and attend the New Year’s Eve Party described below, special priced tickets are available for an additional $90.

New Year’s Gala Evening

This is the Banff Springs’ biggest New Year party with a four course gala dinner with wine service, host bar, live entertainment and midnight buffet.
Dec 31st, 6pm-1am
Van Horne Ballroom
Adults $295 (all inclusive)
Children $149 (after 8pm the event is for adults only)
*Also open to guests staying at other Banff hotels

New Year’s Eve Party

If you don’t wish to attend the whole gala evening described above, you can join the party after dinner at 10pm.
Dec 31st, 10pm-1am
Van Horne Ballroom
Adults $125
*Also open to guests staying at other Banff hotels

Other New Year’s Dining Options

The events described above are specially organized for New Year’s Eve, however the other hotel restaurants are also open for business as usual, including the Waldhaus, Samurai and Castello, all of which require reservations. Grapes Wine Bar and the Rundle Lounge will also be serving food on New Year’s Eve on a first come first served basis (reservations not accepted). There will also be entertainment in the Rundle Hall from 9pm to 1am.

For information about Banff New Year’s Eve Packages including accommodation at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel click here.

Apart from our picks above, there are many other festive events happening at the Banff Springs throughout the Xmas and New Year period. For full information, see the Christmas at the Castle brochure at the Fairmont Banff Springs website.
While we have made every effort to provide accurate information, we recommend that you confirm all events and pricing directly with the hotel.

Christmas in the Rockies

November 27, 2010  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

Xmas Parade

Christmas celebrations in Banff start on December 7th 2013 with an exciting range of family activities including carnival games, Christmas crafts, face painting, performance by Bow Valley Chorus (12-1pm), and photos with Santa, all taking place between 1-4pm in Cascade Plaza.

In the Bison Courtyard from 11am-3pm there will be ice carving demonstrations and there will be an opportunity to show your own ice carving carving talents at the “Little Chippers” stations. Also, join one of of santa’s elves for outdoor aerobics!

The main event of the day is the Santa Claus Parade of Lights which starts at 5.30pm and runs from Elk St to Buffalo St via Banff Ave. The parade will include festive floats and Christmas lights and will no doubt be the highlight of the day for all the children.

If you would like to combine your Christmas in the Rockies weekend with some skiing or snowboarding, you should check out the Banff ski packages which combine hotels in Banff with lift tickets at a discounted rate.

Banff Springs at Christmas

November 5, 2010  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

Banff Springs at Christmas

For anyone lucky enough to be staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel during the Christmas or New Year period, there is no end of fantastic activities and wonderful dining experiences to be enjoyed. If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, take a look at the Banff Christmas hotel packages for a few interesting options. Then you can decide how to fill your Xmas schedule: from Christmas Parades to Carol Singing, from Snowshoeing to a Gingerbread House Workshop, their Christmas at the Castle brochure is jam packed full of special holiday events right through the month of December.
Below, the team at Banff.mobi has highlighted some their favorite activities and the main dining options for the Christmas period December 24th to 26th 2011.
Christmas is a very busy time at the Banff Springs and it is strongly recommended that you make reservations for any events and all dining before you arrive at the hotel.

Christmas Eve Activities

Christmas Day will no doubt involve indulging in some terrific food, so why not get out for some exercise on Christmas Eve by joining the Wilderness Walk from noon to 1pm. Cookie Decorating looks like a fun event for the family and takes place from 1-2.30pm and costs $25 per dozen. Santa’s Workshop (3-5pm) is sure to get the kids excited for the big day, and the Great Santa Send-Off (5.30-6pm) is a fun and lively event for all. The Traditional Christmas Sing Along (9.30-10.30pm) has taken place at the Banff Springs for years and is a wonderful opportunity to sing and hear all your favorite carols in a very festive atmosphere.

Christmas Eve Dining, December 24

Cascade Supper Club
5 course dinner with live entertainment and dancing.
Dinner seating from 6.30pm, followed by dancing into the night
Adults $125

Christmas Day Activities

After a morning of swapping Christmas presents, you might feel like some fresh air, so why not Skate with Frosty from 1pm to 4pm on the Waldhaus rink, where there will also be a fire and hot chocolate to warm you up! If you don’t have skates, they can be rented from the ski rental shop at the Conference Centre. If you want to move at a slower pace why not try your hand at Curling, which is available on the rink outside the Bow Valley Grill from 8am to 8pm, and to wind down after an action-packed day, the children may enjoy listening to Bedtime Stories from 8pm.

Christmas Day Dining, December 25

Christmas Day Brunch
Christmas style brunch buffet.
9.30am-1.30pm
Mezzanine 2
Adults $56
Children 6-12 $28

Family Christmas Buffet with Children’s Entertainment
6-9pm
Alberta Room
Adults $70
Children 6-12 $35

Cascade Supper Club
5 course dinner with live entertainment and dancing.
Dinner seating from 6.30pm, followed by dancing into the night
Adults $125

Boxing Day Activities

If you haven’t yet tried your hand at Bowling, Boxing Day might be an opportunity to do so from noon to midnight at the Banff Springs Bowling Centre, and the Snowshoe Shuffle sounds like a fun outdoor event from noon-1pm. Bingo Night (7-8.30pm) is sure to provide some light-hearted fun for all, while Family Movie Night (9pm) may be a great way to wind down on Boxing Day night.

Boxing Day Dining, December 26

Boxing Day at the Banffshire Club
Festive feast in the hotel’s signature dining room.
6pm-9.30pm
Adults $115 (food only, wine pairing is extra)

For information about Christmas packages at the Banff Springs including accommodation, click here.

Apart from our picks above, there are many other festive events happening at the Banff Springs throughout the Xmas period. For full information, see the Christmas at the Castle brochure at the Fairmont Banff Springs website.
While we have made every effort to provide accurate information, we recommend that you confirm all events and pricing directly with the hotel.

Banff Olympic Torch Relay

January 13, 2010  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

On January 20th the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch will arrive in Banff, carried by local Olympic medal winner Karen Percy Lowe. The Olympic Flame is due to arrive in Central Park at 6pm, which will be followed by entertainment including live music from the popular quartet The Canadian Tenors, and the latin influenced group, Bomba. The entertainment in Central Park is due to finish at 8pm, after which the Royal Canadian Legion and Wild Bills will be carrying on the celebration downtown.


Photo © VANOC/COVAN

A quick look at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Map shows the route in Banff starting near the Rocky Mountain Resort, proceeding along Banff Ave, turning right onto Elk St, left onto Lynx St, left onto Wolf St, and then right onto Banff Ave as far as Central Park. If you miss the Flame on January 20th, there will be a second opportunity to see the Relay the following day, January 21st, as the Flame leaves Banff starting at the Banff Springs Hotel at 13.07, down Spray Ave, crossing the river at Banff Ave, turning right onto Caribou St, left onto Muskrat St, left onto Moose St, left onto Banff Ave, right onto Wolf St, and then a right turn onto Lynx St towards the Highway, from where it will then make its way to Lake Louise.
The Olympic Torch will reach its final destination in Vancouver on February 12th.

Banff Hotel & Ski Packages

November 25, 2009  
Filed under Where to Stay

With decent snow at the ski areas around Banff, now could be a good time to plan your next Banff ski trip. To narrow your choices, we have featured ski packages from 3 standards of hotel, each of which offers savings compared to booking accommodation and ski passes separately.

*Note that the information below is from last winter 09/10 and is no longer valid. Please take a look at current Banff ski deals for 2011, courtesy of BanffHotels.org.

If you are looking for a good standard of hotel in downtown Banff, the Mount Royal Hotel has a great deal for a 3 night stay with breakfast and a 3 day tri-area lift pass (which can be used at Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, or Norquay) including ski bus, costing from $784.56 to $994.56 plus taxes for 2 people in a standard room.

At the luxury end of the market, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is offering its Ski for Free Package which is valid for stays of 2 nights or longer. A 2 night stay qualifies for 2 tri area ski passes (ie one day of skiing for 2 people) including ski bus, and for each additional night 2 more ski passes are provided, so a 3 night stay would allow for 2 days of skiing for 2 people etc. Rates start at $299/night plus taxes for 2 people in a Fairmont Room, and the offer is valid until April 30th 2010.

The Homestead Inn is an affordable Banff hotel with a central location and is offering ski packages of various durations, which include accommodation and lift pass. For example, lodging for 3 nights including 3 days of skiing, Sunday to Thursday during ‘value season’ starts at $564 plus taxes for 2 people in a double room.

The above ski packages are all subject to availability, and can change without notice. To confirm pricing and for reservations, please contact the hotels directly.

Superb November Skiing in Banff

November 24, 2009  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

It’s been a great start to the winter for Banff and Lake Louise ski resorts, with both Sunshine Village and Lake Louise already having all lifts open thanks to some fantastic early season snow. Norquay has also been open at weekends since October 31st and will open fully on December 4th.
Sunshine Village is reporting a 107cm snow pack, while Lake Louise reports 65cm mid mountain and 93cm at the mountain top.
To get you in the mood for skiing and riding, check out these recent photos from Lake Louise.
Judging by the amount of snow already on the ground both in the Banff and Jasper areas, it looks like we’ve got yet another excellent winter ahead of us in the Canadian Rockies!

September Hotel Packages

September 8, 2009  
Filed under Where to Stay

Visitors to Banff are generally attracted not only by the town itself, but also by the myriad of activities and tours available in the surrounding area. One of the best ways to get the most out of your trip to Banff, while saving money at the same time, is to take advantage of one of the accommodation and activity packages offered by some Banff hotels.
The Brewster Bundle is a fantastic way to combine a night in a heritage hotel with 2 of Banff’s most popular attractions. For just $125 per person, two adults can enjoy one night’s accommodation at the Mount Royal Hotel, a pass each for the Banff gondola, and two tickets for the Minnewanka Lake Cruise. This package, available until October 11, is ideal for first time visitors to Banff, as it includes the ‘must-see’ attractions that would probably be on your itinerary anyway. It will also appeal to Alberta locals who have been to Banff before, as the boat cruise and gondola ride are a perfect way to take in the beauty of the Canadian Rockies in a short amount of time.
If you are a family looking for condo style accommodation with a kitchen, the Rocky Mountain Resort offers a Banff Lake and Mountain Package which includes a 2 night stay, 2 adult passes for the Banff Gondola and 2 adult tickets for the Minnewanka Lake Cruise. Rates start at $510 for a standard suite (no kitchen), and several other room types with kitchen are also available.
Another Banff package which caught our eye, although not strictly speaking an ‘activity’ package, is the Royal Feast at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
On September 26 you can enjoy a medieval dinner, castle tour, one night’s accommodation, and Sunday brunch the following morning, starting at $499 for 2 people. Bring a hearty appetite!

The above packages may be subject to change and availability. To confirm rates and for reservations, please contact the respective Banff hotels directly.

If you are flying in from overseas and would like to research hotels in Calgary for before or after your trip to the Canadian Rockies, visit the Calgary Hotel Guide for some suggestions.

Banff Dragon Boat Festival

August 1, 2009  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

On August 15 and 16 the 2nd annual Banff Dragon Boat Festival takes place at Lake Minnewanka. Dragon Boat Racing is a centuries old Chinese tradition, which involves teams of 22 paddlers in an ornate 40ft long boat, paddling to the beat of a loud drum. As well as providing a lot of fun for the competitors, the Festival is great for spectators, who can watch from the shores of the lake while taking in the stunning scenery surrounding Lake Minnewanka. Races take place from 9am to 3pm on the 15th and 16th and a free shuttle is provided from 8am to 5pm to take spectators from downtown Banff to Lake Minnewanka and back. There are also cultural performances on the 15th in Banff Ave Square from 3pm to 5pm, which include dance teams and First Nations drummers.
Last year’s inaugural event was a great success, and all the fun is sure to be repeated in a bigger and better festival this year.
For full information see the official Dragon Boat Festival website.

Midsummer Deals at Banff Hotels

August 1, 2009  
Filed under Where to Stay

It may be peak season in Banff, but that doesn’t mean there are no hotel deals to be had, if you know where to look. Here are some special offers that might entice you to extend your stay a little…

In the heart of downtown, the Mount Royal Hotel offers several packages throughout the summer, such as the Brewster Bundle which, for only $125 per person, includes 1 night’s accommodation, two adult passes for the Banff Gondola, and two adult tickets for the Minnewanka Lake Cruise - ideal for first time visitors to Banff.
The Juniper Hotel and Bistro is offering some very competitive rates, starting at $134/night for a 2 night stay, and extra nights for just $99, based on Sunday to Thursday stays until September 6.
Located on Tunnel Mountain, and ideal for families, the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets is offering a Stay, Play and Cook Your Own Way package which includes two night’s accommodation, a “Cook your own” breakfast kit and a “BBQ your own dinner” kit. Rates start at $197 from June 27 to August 22, and are as low as $140 from August 23 to September 30.
For a luxury hotel at a reasonable price, it’s hard to beat the Rimrock Resort Hotel which is offering rates starting at $99/person for stays in August, subject to availability.
And, finally, the Rundlestone Lodge is offering a 25% discount off the rate for superior one or two bed guest rooms throughout July and August.

Please contact the providers of the above offers directly to confirm rates and make reservations.

Canada Day Celebrations

June 17, 2009  
Filed under Events & Entertainment

canadian flag

July 1st is Canada’s birthday, otherwise known as Canada Day. Entrance to Banff National Park is free and the town of Banff has a whole day of events and celebrations lined up for 2009.
Here’s the schedule of events:

9-11am Parks Canada Pancake Breakfast at Banff Canada Place

10.30am-2pm Sidewalk Art at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

12.00-12.30pm Opening Ceremonies of the Central Park Canada Day Activities

  • 12.30-1pm Siska First Nations Dance
  • 1.00-1-30pm Steve Harmer’s Magic Plus
  • 1.30-2.00pm Will White, Banff Taiko Drumming
  • 2.00-2.30pm Calgary Fiddlers
  • 2.30-3.00pm Cheremosh Ukrainian Dancers
  • 3.00-4.00pm Keith Hitchner and Highwood
  • 4.00-4.30pm Peter Bertelsen Jazz

5.00-6.00pm Banff Canada Day Parade on Banff Ave

7.00pm Continuation of Celebrations in Central Park with the following live bands

  • 7.00-8.00pm Cronic
  • 8.00-9.00pm The Heebee Jeebees
  • 9.00-10.00pm Boneyard
  • 10.00-11.00 Suzie Q

11.00pm Annual Banff Canada Day Fireworks can be viewed from Central Park or Bow Ave.

Happy Canada Day!

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