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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. Their energies are high, and the anticipation is real. But getting away, even for an afternoon, is how memories are made. And an afternoon in Banff is a great way to do it.

Christmas with the Kids in Banff

See Santa

First things first. You've got to go check-in with the man in red. He'll be at the Banff Gondola on weekends through December from 10:30 AM–2 PM. 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!

A child sits on Santa's lap in a decorated workshop

Get the picture

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?

A family in a Banff Gondola cabin

Christmas Crafts

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!

Two children decorate a cookie with icing

Spirit of Christmas

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.

People walk through a shop of Christmas decorations.

Photo credit: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson

Go Skating

Time for some activity! There are a number of beautiful outdoor ponds in 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.

Two children play with powdery snow

Photo credit: Travel Alberta

Tips for Family Christmas in the Rockies

Be sure to dress warm! And, by the way, it doesn't end with Christmas. You can take in these activities straight through December 30—this would be the perfect itinerary for the post-Christmas days when the kids are out of school.

We've got more tips on visiting the Banff Gondola this Christmas, including how to save and and how to make it your new family tradition. Read More

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