The Banff Winter Carnival

Immerse yourself in the magic of winter and let the snow fly!

The Banff Winter Carnival returns to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site this year with fun activities for all ages. Try your hand at curling, craft an ice sculpture and play in a snow fort. Challenge family and friends to wild and wacky outdoor games like curl-plunk and box hockey, and check out vintage films and media from the Banff Winter Carnival’s glory days in the Roaring Twenties.

Just over a century ago (1917), the first Banff Winter Carnival kicked off with great fanfare and enthusiasm, much to the delight of locals and visitors alike. There were competitions in curling, hockey and ski jumping, along with more unusual spectacles like snow-shoe obstacle races, broom-ball tournaments, swim races and fancy diving in the Cave and Basin hot pool. The Winter Carnival quickly became a must-see annual festival that helped to establish Banff as one of the world's premier winter sports destinations. The original Winter Carnival faded into memory long ago, but in Banff the spirit of winter fun lives on!

The Banff Winter Carnival Returns is a featured program running from December 14th, 2019 to March 29, 2020, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays.

Cave and Basics Tour 

Looking for a quick introduction to all the highlights Cave and Basin has to offer? Join us for this accessible 30-minute indoor tour of the 1914 Bathing Pavilion and its many hidden wonders—from Indigenous significance and historic architecture, to a mysterious cave and the birth of Canada’s national parks, to the tiny and endangered Banff Springs Snail and a giant 4-screen movie.

Tours are included with your site entry fee and run daily at 1:30 p.m.