Travel tips Calgary and Banff

There are allot of blogs and websites out here with the ultimate information about Calgary and Banff. Especially Banff since it’s such a famous place. I will say first of all that I am not an expert. Today, I just want to share some activities that we really enjoyed on our recent journey to Calgary and Banff.

So our family is a family of 6, we have 4 children in the ages of 10, 9, 7 and 3. That always makes things interesting! Lol This has been our third travel to Canada and our second during Christmas. We traveled from Amsterdam to the US for a stopover, and then continued to Calgary. If you can afford it I would recommend booking a straight flight but it was way cheaper for us to have a stop over and since we are 6 people that can add up to allot. Our travels with our children have always been really good and I think preparation has always been key. I always make a travel bag ready for the kids with snacks, coloring pages, travel book, tablet, etc. And in the end, be flexible and patient.

Heritage Park

One of the places we visited in Calgary was the Heritage Park. For the Christmas season they have “Once upon a Christmas” on the weekends and the village is in the Christmas spirit. The kids can visit Saint Nick, there is a special Christmas breakfast that you can sign up for, and some more of that good stuff.

singing Christmas carols

The park opens at 10 and  we got there when they just opened. We had a slight change of plan due to inadequate footwear… lol make sure you are well dressed! Make sure your feet and hands and head are warm because you will be walking mostly outside and standing in lines so make sure you are well dressed. After some of us needed new footwear (by the way you can’t get that there in the park, just so you know) we really enjoyed the place!

We checked out the Bakery (by this time there was a line all the way outside) and we also had to go on a horse drawn wagon ride! While we were on the wagon ride some people started singing Christmas carols and so we sang along and it was just allot of fun. Just like in the movies! LOL

We went on a ride! It was awesome!

It was a beautiful day and it felt magical being surrounded by all those old houses and the horse drawn wagon and drinking hot chocolate outside. We didn’t get to check out everything but we really liked it and totally recommend it. Just make sure you are well dressed.

the house where you could greet Santa

Lake Minnewanka

Of course everyone knows Banff, and there are allot of blogs guiding you to the very best of Banff. We only went for a day with the kids but we had so much fun! I wanted to take some photos of the sunrise at a Lake, and my brother in law suggested we visit Lake Minnewanka since it’s not far from Banff. So we left really early (okay a bit later than planned, LOL) to try to capture the sunrise at the Lake.

We missed the sunrise but were still early and boy, it sure was cold there! This last December was not so cold actually, not -30 like 2 years earlier, but it sure felt like -30 at the Lake! Anyway, I was planning this breakfast at the Lake but we just kept it short once we got there. LOL We did see some wild life on the road and it was really beautiful to see the whole surrounding. I would totally do it over again just for the scenery.

Lake Minnewanka
near Lake Minnewanka

Banff Gondola

Next stop was the Banff Gondola. Guys check out their site and look at the videos! Just amazing!

sitting in the gondola going up (phone photo)

Anyway, we got there early and had some time to check out the gift shop and got some nice items. Once it opened we got to the top very fast as there not so many people. When we got back though the lines were so much larger! It really pays to go early. So the ride in the gondola is just epic. Maybe if you do this all the time it wont make such an impact, but this was the first time for us! We had a blast just sitting in there and looking all around us!

view while sitting in the gondola

Once we got up there the view was gorgeous. There is a trail you can follow to go all the way up the top, and that’s where I got some beautiful photos.

the trail to the top

I just loved it, being in the mountains is just so majestic and just reminds me of how great God is!

There are some nice restaurants inside and also gift shop and you can also go on the top roof. The Banff Gondola really was such a great experience I would really recommend it to anyone. Just go early so there won’t be a crowd, and do the trail! You won’t regret it!

at the top

Okay there is a lot more to say about this great city of Calgary and Banff of course, but I’m keeping it short now. We really love Calgary, the weather can be cold but it’s (mostly) always sunny and of course with lots of snow and that just makes it so sweet. We love our family there and just love the city. Calgary is close to the mountains so you can be there really fast and be surrounded by amazing nature. If you haven’t visited it yet, put it on your bucket list!

Okay, that’s it for today! Let me know what your favorite photo is! I would love to hear from you!

X Samantha

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