As the holiday season quickly approaches, Alberta’s national parks and local landscapes are calling! Featuring dazzling glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, thundering waterfalls and evergreen forests, roaming wildlife, all surrounded by mountains, Alberta is the place to be as you spend your holidays with family or that special someone.
Whether you want to get out for some adventure or stay tucked in next to the fire, here are seven ways you can enjoy the beauty Alberta has to offer this holiday season.
1. Sleigh ride in Banff
The community of Banff is nestled firmly in the heart of the mountains, with true wilderness lapping at the edges of town. Venture into the evergreen forests where your feet wouldn’t take you on a traditional horse-drawn sleigh ride.
From the moment your sleigh glides out onto the snow-blanketed fields, you’ll feel every sense come to life. The soft jingling of horse harnesses provides a soundtrack to the tales of your cowboy guide as he gently flicks the reins and leads you across the winter wonderland.
- Where: Banff Trail Riders Stables, 100 Sundance Rd., Banff
- When: From December 2023 to March 2024
2. Borealis Lights
Experience the enchantment of the holiday season as Borealis Lights Drive-Thru Christmas Lights Display returns to the St. Albert Kinsmen RV Park! Immerse yourself in the festive magic with an expanded array of lights, captivating displays and an extended route, promising an even more spectacular celebration of lights and joy.
- Where: Borealis Lights Light Park, 47 Riel Dr, St. Albert
- When: From Nov. 17 to Jan. 7
Experience the enchantment of the holiday season at the Blue Grass Enchanted Christmas Market! Like a picturesque scene out of a charming, snowy European village, discover truly one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures by local makers that will make the perfect Christmas gift for the ones you love.
- Where: Blue Grass Nursery, Sod & Garden Centre,
102-39026Range Rd 275, Red Deer County
- When: Every Sunday in December from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Maligne Canyon Icewalks
Taking you into the heart of the Maligne Lake Canyon, explorers will discover its frozen falls, frosted limestone and natural ice sculptures.
Alongside a professional guide, guests are able to safely navigate the canyon floor, with protective gear including helmets, boots and cleats.
Your Maligne Canyon icewalk experience also includes a smokehouse lunch at Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, complete with main course, side and non-alcoholic drink.
- When: Dec. 15 to March 31
5. Guided Snowshoeing Tour
The arrival of winter in the mountains transforms the forests and hills into a fresh, clean canvas, reinvented daily by shifting winds and falling snow. For thousands of years, humans have used snowshoes to traverse the terrain without sinking deeply into the soft snow.
As you strap into your snowshoes and take your first steps across the surface of the pristine snow, you’ll notice that your tracks aren’t the only ones crisscrossing the landscape. The knowledgeable insights of your guide will introduce you to the small but mighty creatures who have left subtle marks of their travels etched into the snow.
- When: December 2023 to April 2024
The excitement of dog sledding begins the moment you hear the exhilarated chatter of the Lake Louise sled dogs, and it builds as you bundle yourself into a well-insulated sled and feel the pack lean into their harnesses.
What you might not expect is the purposeful silence that falls suddenly over the dog team as they pull powerfully onto the trail. The sights and sounds of the snowy forest take over as your sled speeds along the Great Divide Trail towards the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains.
- When: December 2023 to April 2024
- Where: Kingmik Dog Sled Tours, 16430 Hwy 1A, Lake Louise
7. Juniper Hotel
Start your day with morning sun, mountain views and a mimosa! Or enjoy lunch and cocktails on our spacious patio. Fresh dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients – come see why Juniper Hotel’s brunch is a local favourite!
- When: Brunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
- Where: 1 Juniper Way, Banff, AB
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