This Alberta Castle Is Turning Into A Winter Wonderland With Fire Pits & Festive Drinks

It's like a scene out of The Christmas Prince.

Two people holding Christmas-themed cocktails. Right: A Holiday tree at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel during Christmas at the Castle celebrations.

Two people holding Christmas-themed cocktails. Right: A Holiday tree at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel during Christmas at the Castle celebrations.

If as soon as November 1 hits, Mariah Carey's famous Christmas anthem starts reverberating in your heart and your home, and all your outfits suddenly turn a festive green and red, you might have been possessed by the Holiday Spirit without a cure in sight. Are you ready to dive head-first into the most magical time of the year? 'Cause we've got just the event for you.

Another year, another winter wonderland. Indeed, the dazzling Fairmont Banff Springs will once again metamorphose into a spectacular alpine Christmas castle for another year of unforgettable holiday moments. This time around, the Banff Springs Christmas festivities kick off on November 25 and go all the way until the day following the Three Kings' Day celebrations, January 7.

Now, despite Banff being a year-round destination of choice year-round destination of choice for international and Canadian travellers alike for its wonderful location among the shark peaks of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by turquoise streams and lakes at the bottom of gargantuan glaciers, nothing compares to the awesomeness of the holiday season in the Albertan town.

The themed celebrations, called Christmas at the Castle, happen during that time of year when magic dust fills the air and makes you drunk on happiness and love. The international attention the Banff hotel has been allocated since its opening in 1888 is only the more justified once you lay your eyes on the beauty that is the Fairmont Castle while it is hosting a plethora of holiday events.

Not only will the majestic hotel will be decorated from top to bottom for the holidays, but tons of events and activities will be taking place daily in every nook and cranny of the gorgeous location, because around the holidays, the Fairmont's castle-like splendour is greater than ever. Surrounded by beautiful decorations, including tons of exquisitely-decorated Christmas trees, a gingerbread replica of Banff Springs, and more, you will feel like the protagonist of your own Hallmark Christmas movie.

Now, you don't need to stay at the hotel to enjoy the holiday vibes. You can simply pop by, explore, and get some photos in any of the beautiful corridors or grand rooms. But if you're a fan of seasonal activities, there is no shortage of choice. There will be massive Christmas markets in which you'll find unique local vendors, artists, and artisans selling the perfect gifts for anyone who made it on your "Nice" list.

You can also rent a campfire and stuff your face with s'mores, attend a guided Hotel History Tour that will treat you with a "brief but fascinating history of the area," or carry your little to a Holiday Crafts event and pretend it wasn't all for you (no one will know you actually wanted to feed your inner child).

For realsies though, you could spend the entire month of December at the Fairmont Banff Springs without getting bored for a single second. It's the ultimate no-clock-in-a-casino Holiday trap! And we're not even sorry.

Of course, if you’re a more traditional Christmas type, you’ll be happy to hear that a theatrical version of A Christmas Carol will be showing on multiple dates. And if plays are more your thing, you'll be delighted to know that Canada: The Musical, is also featured on the calendar of events.

If you’re just in it for the food and drinks, you won’t be disappointed. There are holiday brunches, festive Christmas high tea, and tons of lounges to sip on seasonal drinks. From a nice cup of delectable hot chocolate after an Outdoor Candy Cane Search, to a wonderfully crafted cocktail that will charm your tastebuds at The Thirsty Reindeer, there is something to satisfy every soul.

While the holiday season always seems to come and go before you even have a chance to fully settle into the spirit, there are ways to make it last. Christmas at the Castle makes for adorable holiday dates or for some fun in Alberta with your crew or your sugar-cookied-up little monsters.

Now, happy holidays! We'll be eating s'mores by the campfire if you need us.

Christmas at the Castle

When: November 25, 2022, to January 7, 2023

Address: 405 Spray Ave., Banff, AB

Why You Need To Go: You'll feel like absolute royalty when you step into this enchanting Christmas castle in Banff and savour the holidays in the most magical way possible.


Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article has been updated since its original publication on November 7, 2019.

Kelly Asselin-Tousignant
Associate Copy Editor
Kelly Asselin-Tousignant is an Associate Copy Editor for Narcity Media Group and is based in Montreal.
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