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BanffFamily-friendly activities

Our most recommended Banff Family-friendly activities

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Bow River Horseback Ride

1. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Bow River Horseback Ride

Start the tour in Banff where you will meet a member of the riding office, who will check you in and provide you a helmet for your ride. From here, walk back outside into the sunshine and meet your trusty horse. Using a step, climb onto your horse under the direction of your guide, and learn some basic horseback riding techniques. Follow your guide along the tranquil Bow River and past the historic Cave and Basin Hot springs - the original birthplace of Banff National Park. This area is home to wildlife in amongst the thick marshes and grassy meadows. Enjoy unspoiled views of the magnificent Rocky Mountains along the way. After 1 hour of scenic horseback riding, return to the stables, where you'll disembark and say goodbye to your horse with some farewell pats.

Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

2. Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

Choose between a 20-minute, 30-minute, or 55-minute tour over the Canadian Rockies with a professional pilot. The day starts at the helicopter base surrounded by mountain views. Go through a thorough safety briefing with the flight crew before learning about the controls and getting kitted out with a professional headset. Feel the excitement build as the crew readies for takeoff. Once in the air, the itinerary will vary depending on the option selected. Either way, breathtaking sights are guaranteed. 20-Minute Tour Deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, take in an incredible view of Abraham Lake - its incredible blue color and unique bubble patterns are truly a sight to see. After a glimpse of the lake, continue the flight around the Canadian Rockies. 30-Minute Tour The most popular of the 3 flights, this adventure covers crevasses, glaciers, and waterfalls over the beautiful Wilson Icefield. Soar at a cool 100mph, 9000ft (2900m) over Cline Pass. Admire the impressive fierceness of the mountains while flying alongside them. 55-Minute Tour The “Complete Columbia Icefields Tour” is just that – a complete, full, 55 minutes of gorgeous scenery and ancient ice. See the iconic Columbia Icefield the way it was intended, an awe-mazing trip highlight to remember for years to come. Marvel at incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. Pass over 6 different glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls. Many mountains reveal themselves along the trip, including Purple Mountain, Mount Cline, Resolute Mountain, Mount Harlan, Minster Mountain, and more. This trip is sure to leave anyone speechless. All the trips end with one last 360-degree view of the Canadian Rockies and Abraham Lake before landing softly back at the heliport.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

3. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

4. Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

Start your tour in Banff, where you will meet a member of the riding office, who will check you in for your sleigh ride. Now it's time to climb into the sleigh and get cozy with your loved ones under a cozy wool blanket. Hear the tinkling of sleigh bells, as the horses lead you on a journey through Banff's mountain meadows. Along the way, listen to stories from your guide and soak in the spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains, while keeping your eyes peeled for local wildlife, such as elk and deer. Finish your memorable excursion with a fireside warm-up stop after the ride with a hot drink back at the stables.

Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

5. Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

Visit one of the largest sanctuaries in Canada and hear about the mission of this wolfdog rescue organization. Learn about wolfdogs during a 30-minute presentation and go inside one of the wolfdog enclosures behind a short barrier. An experienced staff member will safely lead you through the enclosure during the tour. Enjoy a self-guided sanctuary walk either before or after your tour.  Take photographs of one of the packs of wolfdogs from inside their enclosure and ask the wolfdog experts any questions you may have. Please note that there is no interaction with the wolfdogs on this tour.

Banff: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

6. Banff: Self-Guided Scenic Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 22+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Banff Townsite in 2-3 hours. Once downloaded, your tour begins in the heart of the Banff Townsite. From there, you'll meander along the Bow River towards the mighty Bow Falls, a natural spectacle you won’t want to miss. Next, you'll head towards the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, also known as the "Castle in the Rockies." Learn about its rich history, spanning over a century, and how it became a symbol of Banff National Park. From there, take a leisurely drive against the stunning backdrop of Cascade Mountain before reaching the shores of Lake Minnewanka. Here, you’ll uncover legends of this lake both ancient and contemporary. Next, pass the abandoned mining site of Bankhead while you make your way toward Mount Norquay. Finally, you’ll drive up a gorgeous mountain road to the Mount Norquay Lookout, where hiking trails and dining options await you. Your tour concludes here.

From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

7. From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

Once your guide has picked you up from the meeting point, take a scenic drive in a modern minibus along Highway 93 South from Banff into the neighboring Kootenay National Park. Upon arrival at the Paint Pots trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots and give you an introduction to the art of snowshoeing. Then, start down the easy 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) winding forest trail, perfect for beginners as it covers a mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain. Cross a bridge over the frozen Vermilion River to the fascinating Paint Pots, mineral deposits once used by First Nations people for rock painting. As you explore this cultural treasure within the Kootenay National Park, learn about the history of the fur trade with your guide. Throughout your snowshoeing tour, hear stories of Banff’s indigenous people, explorers, and fur traders who lived in and traveled through the Rockies. After the crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. What's more, try a crazy carpet slide down the hill while the maple taffy is being made - kids and adults alike love this part of the tour! After your snowshoeing adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride for Four

8. Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride for Four

Enjoy a 40-minute sleigh ride on your private four-seat sleigh through the mountain meadows, situated close to the town of Banff. Meet at the Warner Stables in Banff to begin your sleigh ride. Admire the stunning views of the majestic Mount Rundle and beautiful Mount Norquay as your guide provides information on the surrounding area.  Cuddle up under a blanket with your family, friends, or loved ones in a private sleigh ride for four. If you are lucky, you may even spot some local wildlife including deer or elk. Finish off the trip by warming up by a crackling fire and roasting some marshmallows from your s'mores kit and snack on some tasty treats.

Banff: Historic Cave & Basin Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

9. Banff: Historic Cave & Basin Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour

Enjoy an app-based self-guided outing with a visit to Banff National Park. Travel at your own pace and discover interesting facts about the National Park via your smartphone app. Start by downloading the local provider's app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Note: This 2.2+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Banff's Cave and Basin in 1-2 hours. Once downloaded, your tour begins outside the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Get the opportunity to explore the amazing underground hot springs that first put Banff on the map. Pay a visit to a free museum documenting the internment camps which operated nearby during the first World War. Begin walking along the easy, gorgeous Marsh Loop Trail. Listen to stories about the discovery of Banff’s famous hot springs and the dramatic legal battles that ensued whilst you walk. Learn how the discovery eventually led to the creation of Canada’s first national park. Hear about an ancient superstition regarding bears which forever changed the way they are referred to by locals. Your walk will follow the bank of the Bow River, offering plenty of amazing views as you hear about even more of Banff’s fascinating history. End your adventure by returning to the parking area where you began.

Introduction to Rock Climbing: Beginner, Full Day

10. Introduction to Rock Climbing: Beginner, Full Day

This program is designed as an introduction to the sport of Rock Climbing. Designed for families with kids' or friends looking to try a new experience, this program gives participants the chance to try a variety of climbs and develop their skills from a beginner level. Families with kids under 10 check out our half day program. Safety is our top priority, we will go to a local climbing area and participants will have the opportunity to climb a variety of routes with our guides. You will learn the basic skills to rock climb outdoors including: Hazard awareness and risk mitigation Tying in to the rope Belaying and Lowering Communication between climbing partner Climbing Movement techniques As always, your guide will customize the program to suit the skills and abilities of the group ! A detailed course package will be emailed 3 days prior to course commencement. Family members who are not joining the program may be able to watch if we're going to a nearby site. Please ask us! *This group booking needs at least 4 bookings to move forward. We cannot guarantee the tour until this number is reached. Please inquire with our team via email to verify. **If you have an exceptional experience and would like to leave a tip for your guide, 10-15% is a customary amount. You can pay with cash or contact our office directly to arrange.

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What people are saying about Banff

It was a full hour ride by Bow River and the horses were very well trained! There were 2 guides following the group, monitoring the horses as well as giving us some background to the places we've visited! Highly recommended activity!

The people who run the stables are very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. It’s also walking distance from the hotels.

Such an awesome little ride! friendly staff and informative, great family experience! Definitely coming back in the summer!

We enjoyed our private family sleigh ride. Our guide was awesome and the atmosphere impecable.

It was fun and a neat experience. The driver was knowledgeable about the horses and the area.