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Birthplace of Canada's national parks: Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Events calendar


Malcolm Carmichael / Alpine Peak Photography

Ongoing

Xplore Cave and Basin! 
Daily 
Kids aged 6-11 will discover hidden secrets at the birthplace of Canada’s national parks with their own free Xplorers guide filled with fun activities and games. Pick up your free booklet at the front desk of Cave and Basin NHS.

Discovery Tour 
Saturdays and Sundays 1:30 p.m. (45 minutes) 
In a dynamic guided tour, the story of Cave and Basin National Historic Site unfolds at the very place where Canada’s first national park was born. Re-live the discovery of the thermal waters. Site entry fees apply.

January

New Year’s Day–Voyageurs at the Cave
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
Noon to 4 p.m.

Start your year in voyageur style, with fur traders and Métis trappers from Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. Share bannock over a fire and learn about the Canada 150 Voyageur Rendezvous Canoe Race from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, to The Pas, Manitoba.

Winter Carnival at the Cave
Daily
From its earliest days the Cave and Basin was a hotspot for the wild and wacky Banff Winter Carnival. This year we mark the Carnival’s 100th birthday with old time movies and music, an ice palace and slide, bonfires, curling activities and other winter games and stories, plus a photo exhibit in collaboration with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

Movie Mash-up—The Thrill of the Hill
Saturday, January 14th, 2017
Doors open at 7, program runs 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Join us for another movie mash-up (indoors) featuring downhill skiing / filmmaking legend Eddie Hunter and stars of the slopes today. Classic 1940s footage of the Banff Winter Carnival paired with contemporary ski movies—all capturing the sheer fun of skiing in the Rockies. A collaboration with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies Archives.
Admission at door: $10.80

Heritage Hockey
Friday January 20, 2017
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Banff Downtown Ice Rink
Cheer on a shinny hockey game between local Banff celebs and players representing the legendary 1930s Clear Lake All Stars hockey team from Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. Hosted by Mountain FM's Rob Murray. A fun family-friendly event, with fire pits and old time winter carnival music!

Chocolate—A Taste of the Past
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Noon to 5 p.m.
Discover the distinctive flavours of a hot chocolate recipe dating to the mid-1700s. Learn how to make chocolate from cocoa beans. Join chocolate experts from the HERITAGE® Division of Mars Canada Inc. for a chocolatey-sweet family-friendly event.

Whiskey and Chocolate
Saturday, January 21, 2017 
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Join CBC’s culinary expert, John Gilchrist, in raising a glass to Canada’s 150th. Sip on a stellar line-up of Canada’s finest whiskeys perfectly paired with exquisite chocolates and an evening of entertainment. In proud collaboration with award-winning Cococo Chocolatiers and the Banff Hospitality Collective. Free Roam shuttle bus to/from Banff Information Centre, departing 6:15pm, returning 9pm.

Tickets available

February

Celebrating Night Skies at the Cave
February 6 to 28, 2017
Throughout the month of February, discover the magic of the night sky with photo exhibits, films and special weekend programming including an inflatable planetarium, stargazing and night photography workshops.

Photo Moments with Amar
Saturday, February 11, 2017
7 to 9 p.m.
Join local nature and wildlife photographer Amar Athwal as he re-visits some of his favourite photographic “moments”” of the past year. Hear stories about how he “got the shot”. Bring your sweetheart to a special Valentine’s edition of this favourite annual program at the Cave.
$3.90 per person, payable at the door.

Star Search at the Cave
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Join us under the stars at the Cave and Basin. Step inside an inflatable planetarium for a 180° night sky view. Then head outside with interpreters from the Royal Alberta Astronomical Society and their top notch telescopes to view the wonders of the world above.
Doors/planetarium open 7 p.m., 8:30 to 11 p.m.–outdoor viewing with telescopes
$10.80 per person, payable at the door.

March

ParticipACTION 150 Play List—Curling at the Cave
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Noon to 4 p.m.

Take part in some quintessential Canadian fun with curling activities on the historic pool deck. ParticipACTION team is coming to Banff to get Canadians moving, try something new, and prove how Canadian you really are!

Movie Mash-up—Let’s Curl!
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday March 25, 2017
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Curling activities on the pool deck followed by fun curling movies. Bundle up the whole family for some quintessentially Canadian winter fun.
$10.80 per person, payable at the door.

April

National Canadian Film Day (Canada 150 Signature Experience, led by REEL Canada)
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
On April 19, 2017, great Canadian movies will be available via broadcast, online and at over 600 screenings in cinemas, libraries, public squares and anywhere you can show a film. With free events happening across every province and territory, many involving Canadian film talent, NCFD 150 — a Canada 150 Signature Project — promises to be the largest film festival in the world.

Banff BioBlitz 150
Saturday April 22, 2017
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join knowledgeable leaders to help conduct amphibian surveys in the lower Bow Valley of Banff National Park.

Banff & Lake Louise Tourism presents Concert at the Cave
Friday April 28, 2017
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

May

Trains Trains Trains
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
May 20 to October, 2017
Pull into the Cave and Basin for a season of celebrating trains. Journey back to the 1880s to a rough-and-tumble railway labour camp. Discover how the hot springs put Banff on the map for train passengers from across the country and around the world. Ride the rails on a hand car, test your strength on a High “Spiker”, and so much more.

Model Trains at the Cave
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, 2017

Bring the family for a weekend of mini trains and maxi fun. Dozens of model railway enthusiasts showcase tiny trains from the steam era. Hop aboard the ¼ scale CP train, the Puffer Belly Express (Saturday only).

June

Cave Lantern Tours
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday nights, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 2017. Two tours/night, 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

It’s after hours at the Cave and Basin, but we’re letting you in. Your senses awaken as lanterns cast shadows on ancient grotto walls. Mysterious sounds and voices are a reminder that others, like you, have journeyed to these thermal waters for centuries. We’ll supply the lanterns; you supply the imagination.
A family-friendly 40-minute program. $10.80 per person. Registration required, call 403- 845-3524.

Drawn to Nature
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday June 10, 2017
10:00 a.m. to noon 12:00 p.m.

Be part of a special artistic and cultural collaboration in an outdoor painting session. Work alongside a painting instructor and an indigenous knowledge keeper to learn new ways of seeing and interpreting the natural world. In collaboration with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Walter Phillips Gallery. All ages and levels of experience are welcome. Materials will be provided. Advance registration is required through the Walter Phillips Gallery, 403-762-6281 or walter_phillips_gallery@banffcentre.ca.

July

Hobo Campfire Singalong
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturdays, 1:30-2:00 p.m. and 2:30-3:00 p.m.

Rest your bones by the side of the tracks and enjoy catchy train tunes and comic sketches, presented by Parks Canada's own theatre troupe, Mountain WIT.

Cave Lantern Tours
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday nights, July 8, 15, 22, 29, 2017. Two tours/night, 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

It’s after hours at the Cave and Basin, but we’re letting you in. Your senses awaken as lanterns cast shadows on ancient grotto walls. Mysterious sounds and voices are a reminder that others, like you, have journeyed to these thermal waters for centuries. We’ll supply the lanterns; you supply the imagination.
A family-friendly 40-minute program. $10.80 per person. Registration required, call 403- 845-3524.

Iron Horses and Lego Trains
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Friday July 7 and Saturday July 8, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Join special guests from Iron Horse Park (Airdrie) and climb aboard a 1/8th scale steam locomotive to ride the mini rails along the historic pool deck at the Cave and Basin. Check out dozens of lego miniature model train sets, and try making one of your own.

Drawn to Nature
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday July 22, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Be part of a special artistic and cultural collaboration in an outdoor painting session. Work alongside a painting instructor and an indigenous knowledge keeper to learn new ways of seeing and interpreting the natural world. In collaboration with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Walter Phillips Gallery. All ages and levels of experience are welcome. Materials will be provided. Advance registration is required through the Walter Phillips Gallery, 403-762-6281 or walter_phillips_gallery@banffcentre.ca.

August

Hobo Campfire Singalong
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturdays, 1:30-2:00 p.m. and 2:30-3:00 p.m.

Rest your bones by the side of the tracks and enjoy catchy train tunes and comic sketches, presented by Parks Canada's own theatre troupe, Mountain WIT.

Cave Lantern Tours
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday nights, August 5, 12, 19, 26, 2017. Two tours/night, 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

It’s after hours at the Cave and Basin, but we’re letting you in. Your senses awaken as lanterns cast shadows on ancient grotto walls. Mysterious sounds and voices are a reminder that others, like you, have journeyed to these thermal waters for centuries. We’ll supply the lanterns; you supply the imagination.
A family-friendly 40-minute program. $10.80 per person. Registration required, call 403- 845-3524.

Drawn to Nature
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday August 19, 2017
10 a.m. to noon

Be part of a special artistic and cultural collaboration in an outdoor painting session. Work alongside a painting instructor and an indigenous knowledge keeper to learn new ways of seeing and interpreting the natural world. In collaboration with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Walter Phillips Gallery. All ages and levels of experience are welcome. Materials will be provided. Advance registration is required through the Walter Phillips Gallery, 403-762-6281 or walter_phillips_gallery@banffcentre.ca.

September

Songs and Spirits of Canada
(Alberta Culture Days event)
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday September 30, 2017
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Doors open at 7:30 p.m.)
Journey across Canada in song. Live music, a platter of Canadian fare and a cash bar featuring all Canadian spirits.

October

Songs and Spirits of Canada
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday October 28, 2017
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Doors open at 7:30 p.m.)

Journey across Canada in song. Live music, a platter of Canadian nibbles, and a cash bar featuring all Canadian spirits.

November

Hometown Heroes
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
November 8 - 19, 2017
Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Get to know the stories of Banff’s own First World War Hometown Heroes.
Photo exhibits, historical movies, recruitment activities and more.

December

Bow Valley Chorus at the Cave
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Sunday December 3, 2017
Doors open at 4:30 pm, concert 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Sing along to Handel’s Messiah and favourite carols under the full moon on the historic pool deck. Songbooks provided. Dress for the weather.
Cash ($3.90, $3.40 Seniors, $1.90 Youth) or toy donations to Santa’s Anonymous