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Banff

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Banff Family-friendly Activities

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

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

Embark on a horseback riding adventure as you breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air. Approach the Bow Falls and enjoy spectacular views. Pass by the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course known as one of the most immaculately manicured courses in Canada. Continue along the edge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and cross through the waters once more. A partial climb up Sulphur Mountain brings you through a wooded residential area and back to the corrals. Enjoy a unique experience and cross the Spray River. On hotter days, your horse may even decide to cool itself off by splashing water onto its belly. Have an experience unlike anything else.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

2. 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 National Park: 2-Hour Sundance Loop Horseback Ride

3. Banff National Park: 2-Hour Sundance Loop Horseback Ride

Explore stunning sections of wilderness on this two-hour horseback riding tour in Banff National Park. Spot wildlife that you might not get to see on foot and learn a few cowboy tricks along the way from your guide.  Pass by natural sulphur hot springs as you make your way to one of Banff’s national historic sites, the Cave and Basin. Trek along the tranquil Bow River and take in magnificent views of the Bow Valley. Press through thick marshes that are difficult to navigate on foot. Watch as your horse easily ascends the slopes of Sulphur Mountain to reach the Windy Knoll viewpoint where you can take striking photos of the sweeping landscape. 

Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

4. 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: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

5. Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Embark on a ride on a horse-drawn carriage to explore the main sights of Banff in a fun, romantic, and authentic way. Each carriage can hold up to 6 passengers. Choose from 3 regular tours from downtown Banff. The Downtown Banff carriage ride is a 15-minute ride that takes you through the town and along the Bow River. Pass by many of the original homesteads of Banff, each having a story to tell. From the Bow River, pass by Banff’s Central Park and back onto Banff Avenue for your return to downtown. The Bow River carriage ride is a 30-minute ride that takes you over the Bow River and past the Indian Trading Post onto one of Banff’s prestigious residential streets. Follow the Bow River and loop back to downtown, crossing the Bow River again before returning to downtown Banff. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel ride is a 1-hour carriage ride along the Bow River and past Central Park. Continue over the Bow River, past the Luxton Museum, and past the world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Banff: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

6. Banff: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

On this backcountry adventure, your guide will take you along a route that the early explorers of the Canadian Rockies blazed nearly a century ago. It’s the ideal way to dip your toe into horseback trekking in Banff. On the first day, start the trip at the stables in Banff, where you will meet your trusty horse, specifically picked for you. Even if you have no experience, you'll be matched with a mild-mannered horse and be taught everything you need to know. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain confidence in the saddle. All the horses are steady, responsive, and can be counted on to cross any terrain, from forest paths to boulder-strewn creeks. On the ten mile journey to your lodge, follow the trail alongside the rushing glacier-fed waters of the Bow River, Healy Creek, and Brewster Creek. Along the way, stop for a simple, hearty cowboy-style hot lunch on the banks of the river. You’ll arrive at Sundance Lodge late afternoon, This is an ideal place for those who want to marvel at the beauty of the Banff backcountry, while still being swaddled in comfort. Settle into your room and freshen up from your day on the trail, then gather around the table for a gourmet meal and an evening of conversation. Arise on the second day to enjoy a delicious breakfast, and some free time to enjoy your morning and the surrounding countryside. You will begin the ride back to Banff in the late morning, bringing along handmade sandwiches for the journey, as well as fresh-baked goodies and fruit. Return to Banff at approximately 4:30 PM, with plenty of stories to tell about your adventure in the backcountry.

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 Rock Climbing Tour

8. Banff: Private Rock Climbing Tour

This program is designed as an introduction to the exhilarating sport of Rock Climbing. It can be done as either a full or half day program. Our recommendation is for the full day program, as it allows the chance to try a variety of climbs and develop your skills. We will go to a local climbing area and participants will have the opportunity to climb a variety of routes with the security of a top-rope. Safety is our top priority. 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! Climbing areas we typically visit on this program: Sunshine Slabs (near Banff) Back of the Lake (Lake Louise) The Dome (near Canmore) Suitable for all ages and ability levels. Kids love this program!

Banff: Private Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride for Four

9. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Banff Family-friendly Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

Warner Stables did a great job at making this horse riding experience one to remember. Great views along the bow river; highly recommend!

Great people beautiful well mannered horses. We did the Two hr then the 3hr cook out. Brilliantly

Very enjoyable experience along Bow river, would highly recommend it!!

Excellent, meaningful, fun with dedicated staff. I would go again!

Amazing Experience! For first timers please pick 1-hour ride.