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Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

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Leeton, Australia
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Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Hi

I'm after some information about skiing in Banff around Christmas. We will be a family of 4, (Mum, Dad, 12year old and 10 year old) We are average skiers. We plan on being there for 10 days with 5 days at Fairmount Banff Springs and 5 days in another hotel. So my questions are:

Are there places to hire skis/ boots etc or do we need to BYO?

Is there a skiing program/ lessons for the kids so we can have some slope time without them?

Is transport required in Banff to look around or are there shuttles etc?

Any recommendations for the 2nd hotel for us?

Thankyou in advance for your assistance

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Tons of places to rent from, both in Banff and at each ski area. Each ski area also has its own ski school, with certified instructors, including kids' group lessons for all day or half day. There are shuttles from Banff to each ski area.

Douglas Fir Resort is a popular hotel with families because of their water slides and large indoor playground. They are located on Tunnel Mountain, putting them at the far edge of town and closer to nature. They have a laundromat, liquor store, and convenience store, but no restaurant. Many units have kitchenettes, so you can cook for yourselves if you wish.

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Yes, I'm jealous just thinking of that trip, will be so much fun.

Everything you have asked about will be easy to navigate. You basically show up to the hill, go to the rental section which should be quite obvious, and rent away for the duration you seek. From there, you can sign up your kids to a number of programs. There are even ski tours of the mountain that could show the grown-ups around.

Banff Springs does have shuttles, but I dont have the exact details. A quick call would answer that. Have you picked your hills yet? My recommendation is lake Louise first (45 min away), Sunshine second (15 min), Norquay third (10 minutes).

Country Wife made a good second hotel option. If you are prefering more 4+ star hotels, Rimrock would be the obvious second choice. If your looking for something closer to the town center, The Fox gets lots of good reviews, as does the Delta.

Just a side note...book early for that second hotel! Prices will jump FAST and things tend to book up around the holidays.

Edited: 23 July 2014, 15:00
Leeton, Australia
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3. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Thanks for this information.

Are there any on snow - Ski in/ski out resorts/ hotels in the area? The second hotel doesnt have to be 4+ stars - We are going to be on a 6 week holiday and a Fairmont for Christmas was the way to go other days we are happy to go cheaper

littlechilds correct me if I am wrong but are those 3 mountains you mentioned part of the big3? I have some done some reading on that. On these mountains are there bars and restarunts? As much as I love skiing my knees in my old age like to ski every second day but the kidlets love a daily ski so I can sit in a resturant/ cafe/ bar while they are out and about?

I am starting to get a little excited.

Toronto
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4. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in ski-out hotel in Banff. Is literally on the mountain, accessible only by gondola, so access is limited to when the gondola is operating.

Website: http://www.sunshinemountainlodge.com/

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

There are bars and restaurants on all of the ski hills. At times, I wonder if they aren't a major profit center for them! Be aware that since you are a captive audience on the ski hill, food & drink prices are fairly steep (if you'll pardon the pun).

Leeton, Australia
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6. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Thanks Country_Wife, I am aware of the ski field pricing, if its anything like Australia by accommodation will be the cheapest item for the 10days! (Mars bar/ Kitkat is usually about AUD$4 up a hill here!)

I will look in to the other accomodation options

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

There is a decent lounge upstairs in the main chalet at Louise…I found the prices good…for a ski hill. There are several options at both Lake Louise and Sunshine that are cozy.

Yes…these are the big 3…but Norquay is only on that list because its close to Banff. Panorama is a ski hill approximately 2.5 hours away…has several hotels and several outdoor pools and hot tubs. Its a resort hill more for beginners and intermediates. This would be another good option for a family destination….but its a bit far from any town…closest is Invermere at 25 minutes away.

Maybe consider staying at Lake Louise? Chateau Louise would be a stretch seeing its usually more money then Banff Springs, but there are a couple that may be up your ally….or is staying in Banff a must... which is not a big deal seeing the commutes are pretty painless

Leeton, Australia
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8. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

We are thinking about Chateau Lake Louise instead of Banff Springs,

There are just so many different options it's getting confusing! I could really go for a month! :)

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Id stick with Banff Springs.

Jasper, Canada
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10. Re: Skiing and Christmas in Banff with Children

Perhaps have a look at the Lake Louise and Banff areas with google maps, and streetview. Banff is a town of about 8000 people, with tons of options for dining in all price ranges, and things to do when you are not skiing - shopping, browsing, movie theatre, museums etc. Lake Louise is a visitor services centre - the "village" in the valley, adjacent to the highway, has a few hotels, a hostel, a small shopping centre and a handful of places to eat. (I say "village" because it's not a real town, per se - no school, church or permanent residents. All housing there is staff accommodation, provided by employers for their workers.) The Chateau LL is located 4 km uphill, at the lake itself. There is another hotel (Deer Lodge) a couple of minutes' walk away (both are expensive for dining), but there is nothing else in the immediate vicinity - other than spectacular mountain scenery - and in December/January, it's dark shortly after 4 pm anyway.

Edited: 24 July 2014, 17:15