Banff is a place we get to several times a year. Which is why buying an Annual Park Pass is a good investment for us. In the summer we partake in hiking, geocaching, camping near by, the hot springs, and once in awhile we take in some treats and good eats on the strip. In the winter one can enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities including snow shoeing, ice caves, skiing and sleigh rides to name a few.
On this quick trip to the Mountains, we first stopped in Canmore before landing in Banff. Since we were unable to visit the Museum in Canmore, and it was slightly colder in Banff, we decided to drop into the Whyte Museum of The Canadian Rockies upon our arrival, to take in some history. This museum entry fee is by donation and while it’s not large, it’s packed with some interesting artifacts from the area. We very much enjoyed viewing the Exhibition of Sarah Fuller: My Banff. It’s a series of photographs collected based on personal experiences and perceptions in and around Banff featuring real people in real time. The kids loved checking out the heli-skiing helicopter and learning about bears in garbage cans.
Next we checked into the Banff International Hotel for the evening. This hotel is right on the main strip but yet far enough away from any noise that might entertain any given evening. Just a short walk and you are in the midst of Banff. We were booked into a Loft Suite and the kids were besides themselves with excitement. Upstairs in the loft were two very large beds and they immediately got to work unpacking everything they brought, setting up shop and making plans. They even had their own TV. The suite is very spacious and comfortable. The staff at the front desk were very accommodating and we were thrilled to have underground parking. There is even a Ricky’s right in the hotel should you want something to eat.
We arrived in Banff on Valentine’s Day and since we went to a fancier restaurant the previous night in Canmore, we decided to go some where more fun and carefree with the kids to celebrate. Enter Banff Avenue Brewing Company. This place was recommended to us as kid friendly and that is exactly what we wanted. We made reservations, arrived on time, and immediately received great service. The food was good and there was a nice selection of beverages to choose from. This is a place we will visit again.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel. Banff Lake Louise Tourism had recommended we check out Valentine’s Weekend at the Cave and Basin National Park and we were very excited about this family fun outing. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada is the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system. You can enjoy interactive displays and exhibits, guided tours, naturally occurring and warm mineral springs inside the cave as well as wander through a gallery to take in some history of the park itself. In the winter during certain times you can even go for a skate.
This evening’s celebration was about old time movies & films, skating, fire pits, roasting marshmallows, enjoying hot chocolate and a mini ice palace with slide. And what fun it was. While we were there, we had the pleasure of meeting Patrick McCloskey of McCloskey Productions Inc. who was onsite taking photographs. An interesting person to talk to full of information on the area and history of the park. He took some lovely photos of the kids.
We stayed until it was time to go and the event was over. It definitely tuckered the kids out but not enough to sleep in the next morning. Morning came, we got up, packed up, sought out breakfast and checked out. A quick coffee, tea and Beavertails stop and we were on our way home.
Every time we come to Banff we find something new to explore. Check in with Tourism Banff if you go to find things to do off the beaten path. So much to see and learn about the area and a fun outing for the entire family. We can’t wait to go back!