Amidst all the shopping, concerts, baking and parties, it's important to take time to slow down and connect in a meaningful way with your kids at Christmas.
Energy is high and the anticipation is real as the big day approaches. But getting away with the whole family, even for an afternoon, is how memories are made. And an afternoon in Banff is a great way to do it.
First things first — you've got to go check-in with the man in red. He'll be at Mountaintop Christmas at Banff Gondola on Saturdays and Sundays until December 11 and every day from December 17 to December 30. Get the kids to rehearse what they want to tell him ahead of time — even the most jaded seem to fall under a spell in the presence of old St. Nick. And remember: kids go free before noon!
Both with Santa, of course, and then together as a family. The Banff Gondola's team of professional photographers will happily snap a souvenir photo for you. Is there any setting more picturesque than the top of a mountain?
The mountain-top fun needs to get hands-on. Head over to meet Santa's elves and they'll help the kids make something special to take home — maybe even a gift for mom and dad. Check that off the list!
Head down to Banff Avenue and step into a holiday wonderland at The Spirit of Christmas store. Check out the SnowBabies, Dickens' Village in Department 56 and the amazing assortment of musical Christmas wind-ups.
Time for some activity! There are a number of beautiful outdoor ponds in and around Banff where you can glide across the ice and soak up the beauty of winter. Go later in the day to enjoy the alpenglow as it falls across the mountains and then watch the sky turn into a shimmering galaxy of stars.
Be sure to dress warm! And, by the way, it doesn't end with Christmas. You can take in many of these activities straight through December — this would be the perfect itinerary for the post-Christmas days when the kids are out of school.