Banff
Family-friendly Activities

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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: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

2. Banff National Park: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

Maximize your time in Banff National Park with this Hop-On-Hop-Off Pass and see all the main sights at your own pace. The stops include Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and the Lake Louise Gondola (admission is not included). There are 3 departures from Banff, so you can start early and see everything, or sleep in and enjoy a tour along the famous Bow Valley Parkway to Moraine Lake before your return to Banff. • Stop 1 - Banff - The tour departs at 07:45 AM, 9:30 AM, and 12:15 PM daily • Stop 2 - Johnston Canyon - Hop off here to hike up to the beautiful Upper and Lower Falls or even go all the way up to the famous Ink Pots • Stop 3 - Lake Louise Gondola - Soar by gondola or chairlift to the most stunning views on the Lake Louise Gondola • Stop 4 & Stop 5 - Lake Louise - Make sure to hop-off here to enjoy Lake Louise and all that it has to offer. Check out Lake Agnes Teahouse and the breathtaking Plain of Six Glaciers • Stop 6 - Moraine Lake - the most stunning lake in the Rockies. Experience the absolutely breathtaking Valley of the Ten Peaks that surround the lake. Return to Banff as early as 1:45 PM or enjoy all the stops and come back to the town at 6 PM. On your way back to Banff open the windows and watch for wildlife along the famous Bow Valley Parkway. Grizzly bears, black bears, elk, bighorn sheep have all been spotted here. Your bus will stop for photos at any sighting. Enjoy your tour on the original yellow school bus style with a professional driver and a tour guide. All the buses all guaranteed to be 5 years old or newer. Guides on board each bus will help you plan your day on a 1 on 1 basis and give you a personalized itinerary that matches what you want to do. They also have extensive knowledge of nearly everything you would ever want to know about Banff and can help you with hiking suggestions, or even just great places to eat.

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 trip and spot wildlife that you might not get to see on foot. Learn a few cowboy tricks along the way from your experienced 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 before pressing through thick marshes as you climb Sulphur Mountain. Continue up to Windy Knoll where you can take striking photos of the sweeping landscape

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

4. 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: 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.

Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

6. Kicking Horse River: Half-Day Intro to Whitewater Rafting

Get a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting on Class 1-3 rapids starting in Yoho National Park of Canada. Experience moderately-challenging rapids and the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies.  Check-in at the lodge conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1. Be fitted with top-of-the-line gear and transported to the starting point of the rafting experience. Receive a thorough safety briefing before setting off on the river. Embark on a 90-minute downstream journey starting with the "Alarm Clock" rapid, which is sure to wake everyone up. In between the exciting rapids, take in the beautiful scenery surrounding you on all sides. Learn about the wildlife in the area, how the Kicking Horse River got its name, and how the river gets its beautiful blue color. Finish the rafting trip at "Hopi's Hole", which serves as an exciting grande finale. After the rafting, be taken back to the lodge to relax and warm up in the heated changing-rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy freshly baked goodies and seasonal fruit along with a selection of hot and cold beverages. Browse through the gift shop to pick up a souvenir t-shirt or photos from your experience.

Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

7. 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: 2-Day Overnight Backcountry Lodge Trip by Horseback

8. 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.

Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

9. Kicking Horse River: Whitewater Rafting Trip with BBQ

Set off on the famous Kicking Horse River for a genuine Rocky Mountain whitewater rafting experience. The 5-hour trip (2.5-hours on the river) combines all the best the river has to offer: bouncy and splashy waves, calm and scenic float sections, and big whitewater rapids.  Check in at the local partner's base, conveniently located on TransCanada Highway #1, and change into your top-of-the-line gear, which is provided. Transfer then to the rafting start point and, following a thorough safety briefing, it will be time to get on the river. Begin on the upper, more gentle, scenic section of the Yoho National Park. For approximately 1-hour, enjoy splashing through the waves as you warm up for the more intense sections downstream. The second half of the trip, taking approximately 1.5 hours, is made up of 14 sets of rapids ranging from Class 2 to Class 4+. Expect to get soaked during this section! After rafting, transfer back to the base to enjoy the warmth of the DayLodge and heated change rooms. Once back in warm, dry clothes, enjoy a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch.

From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

10. 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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

The decision you need to make when coming to Banff is how to get to the sights/sites. If I had a day, I would choose hop on hop off. THe alternatives: car (deal with waits for car shuttles and full parking lots), Discover Banff or other tours (they drive and wait for you; 45 minutes per Lake), ROAM public transit... You can customize the amount of time at your stops with Hop on Hop off and there are experienced guides on the bus helping you formulate your itinerary. Hop on Hop Off takes the quieter route to Johnston canyon, recently re-opened, while other tours whiz by on the Highway 1. They save 6 minutes, but you get to see wildlife (hopefully.) Our early morning trip out: we saw an elk posing for us on the side of the road, a black bear, a deer, and best of all: "The Boss", the tagged biggest, meanest grizzly. The bus stopped to see all of them, plus a lookout. You don't get that with public transportation or other transport methods.

We Highly recommend this tour. Dominique, Tyler, Tiifany, and Jeff made our day! They were a wealth of information and fun to spend the day with. We saw everything we wanted to see and got great advice on Questions we asked about the area. They even helped us plan routes for future sightseeing later in the week. This tour was very well executed. So glad we booked it!

Great experience. Trails were forgiving enough for rookie riders, with guide input for more challenging terrain. Time taken to fit riders to horses. The guides take excellent care of you and keep you fed like royalty. Lodge was well worth the adventure. Absolutely worth the price.

Our family of 5 adults and a toddler were able to see everything we wanted to, and more, in one day due to Tyler and the others at Hop On Banff. We were impressed with their knowledge and passion for the area, and their willingness to share both with their passengers.

My family and I had a great time. I recommend that everyone should do this at least once.