Banff is just a quick 75 minute drive from the west side of Calgary and it’s an easy escape for a half day visit with the kids. When the chinooks are blowing in town and there’s no snow to be found, pop into the mountains for a day of sliding, skating and relaxing in the hot springs.
For those who want some variety, check out the hill behind the Banff Springs Hotel. Just park next to the Bow Falls and walk around behind the hotel to find the hill. It’s in a gorgeous setting next to the Spray River and a large pond for outdoor skating. This is the postcard Canada experience of winter.
If you’ve forgotten your gear, you can rent toboggans and skates in the ski shop at the Fairmont Banff Springs.
There’s outdoor skating at The Fenlands, Banff Recreation Centre on Norquay Road.
When conditions permit, there is a track cleared for skating on the Bow River, accessible from Central Park in downtown Banff.
The pond beside the toboggan hill at the Banff Springs Hotel is gorgeous. There’s a warming hut and often a bonfire at the Waldhaus Rink, located beside the Spray River.
After you’ve spent a couple of hours of fun, unwind with a dip in the Upper Banff Hot Springs. The Banff Upper Hot Springs is one of Banff’s most famous attractions, and oldest, it was discovered in 1884. The air may be crisp, but the water is always 39 degrees when you go for a relaxing dip.
The above itinerary is guaranteed to put a smile on your kids’ face and wear them out for a solid snooze the entire ride back to Calgary. We had a beautiful Sunday in the Rockies and are making plans to do it again next month.
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