A Heart Warming Winter at the Snow Days Festival in Canada

When winter falls, the snowflakes dance and Canada freezes over, the alpine regions of Banff and Lake Louise open up like a beautiful holiday card. The mountains come to life, there is laughter and song in the air – all thanks to the vibrant winter festival known as Snow Days. With everything from ice carving competitions to snow sculpture exhibitions, adrenaline spiking winter sports to relaxing evenings over crafted cocktails – this is a winter itinerary that you should add to your calendar! 

What to expect:

If Lake Louise and Banff are filled with snow, then Snow Days takes full advantage of that. Be prepared for a packed calendar, with highlights like:

Ice Magic:

Watch artists from all over the world, sculpt ice into different shapes, forms and sculptures. Experience the best of ice artistry as you walk around a gallery of ice castles, dragons, bars and other incredible ice-work.

Tribute Crafts Spirits Celebration:

If it’s cold outside, Banff and Lake Louise will keep you warm. The Tribute Crafts Spirits Celebration is where bars and restaurants in the area create specially curated cocktail menus and dishes that celebrate the best of food and drink in the area.

Snow Sculptures:

You’ve seen artists work their magic with ice, now see them cast their spell over snow. Bear Street in Banff is transformed into a lovely snow gallery featuring intricate or imposing shapes. It’s a treat for the eyes.

Snow Days Play Zone:

Banff and Lake Louise make winter a wonderland for your children (and your inner child) at the Play Zone. Indulge in snowboarding, skiing, biking, skating, live entertainment and other activities. When the cold gets too much, there’s cups of thick creamy hot chocolate and melted s’mores to warm you up. 


Ever been pulled by a horse, a dog or a vehicle while you’re on skis? Well then, Banff and Lake Louise are the best places to discover this unique sport. Watch teams of athletes and horses from Skijor Canada, race their way across Banff Avenue, for a gorgeous exhibition of trick-riding, horse riding and ski stunts. 

The fun doesn’t end there! Snow Days has something planned for each day of the festival. If you’re in Banff and Lake Louise during this festival, check out the other activities you can partake in:

• Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition

• Tribute Cocktail Menus

• Snow Days Play Zone

• Snow Sculpture Exhibition

• Ice Magic – one hour, one block, one carver speed competition

• Ice Magic Awards Ceremony

• FIS World Snow Days

• Ice Carving Demo

• Community Novelty Races

• Skijoring

• Tribute Outdoor Tasting Experience

• Ice Magic Torchlight Dinner and Ski

(Check out the website for the updated 2020 schedule).

Apart from these activities, you can race in a sled or enter a sled derby and win exciting prizes for fastest sled, best sled crash and more. Snowshoeing, skating, skiing and other activities can be enjoyed during the festival. There’s a lot to do and see here. 

A Few Tips:

Banff’s and Lake Louise are filled with festivities to melt the most frozen heart. However, the weather outside remains freezingly cold. Make sure you layer up to protect yourself from freezing temperatures. Wool inners, tights, socks, study walking shoes, a comfortable hat, a warm coat, gloves, scarves are all essential to take on the snow. 


Renting a car is unnecessary as shuttles are both affordable and frequent in the area. However, if you’re set on driving on your own, Hertz, Avis and Enterprise all have offices in the region, from where you can rent your own car.

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