{Family Trip to Banff}

What a crazy season 2020 has been! Wading through this pandemic, with its restrictions, challenges and protective measures– we are thankful to have seen this farm season through. Now it’s time for a refresh. Each year we cap off the season with a celebration or a vacation of some sort.

This year Denis and I decided on a weekend trip to Banff. A stay-in-the-province getaway to celebrate the completion of another successful season as a family. Gosh they worked hard this year! We all did.

This little getaway was well deserved and just what our little fam-jam needed.

Where did we stay?

We rented an Airbnb condo in Canmore (definitely recommend!), with plenty of space for all seven of us. The view of those mountains out every window and off our balcony was incredible. Everywhere you turn in Banff/Canmore you see the majestic Rocky Mountains– just sitting on the sofa eating cereal and looking out was soul-filling.

We planned a few activities to enjoy over the weekend, however a big part of the fun was just chilling together doing things we don’t normally do. The pool at the resort was a big hit (even with social distancing measures), learning some new board games together, and the boys loved the night we spent watching hours of American Ninja Warrior eating popcorn and staying up late.

(With only one TV at our home and no cable– a television in every room is all kinds of special!)

What did we do?

BANFF GONDOLA + BOARDWALK — A gondola ride up to the summit, with breathtaking views of the mountain range and an expansive summit boardwalk in the crisp winter air. Definitely worthwhile.

This activity had all the best elements– adventure (in the words of a scared Faith on the ride up, “So this is how it ends…” and Felix, “We’re all gonna die!!”), space to run for active kiddos, and boundless beauty all around to take in.

Oh and coffee at the end 😉 There is a Starbucks at the base.

SHOPPING + BEAVER TAILS — Both Canmore and Banff have beautiful shopping villages that adults and kids alike enjoy visiting. We spent afternoons browsing along each, topped off with a tasty Canadian beaver tail snack. Yum!

LAKE LOUISE — This stop will steal your breath away. It definitely did ours! No matter how many times I’ve seen it, this gorgeous frozen lake nestled in the middle of the mountains is a sight to behold. If you can, bring your skates (or rent some)! The lake is daily lit for night skating once the ice is frozen. (They also build an ice castle here every year, offer hot chocolate, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides.) It’s winter paradise.

FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS — Sunday Brunch at the Fairmont is one of our annual traditions as a family this time of year. Something we all look forward to as our celebratory meal to mark the end of farm season. The buffet spread is chock full of every delicious brunch offering you can dream up. (The kids go nuts for the crepe station and limitless sausages, Denis veers for the fresh pastries, and I’m a smoked salmon and eggs benedict kinda girl…) This year, since we were in Banff, we enjoyed our Sunday brunch here and it was lovely.

Exploring the castle afterwards is an exciting bonus!

Alberta sure is beautiful! With the incredible Rocky Mountains right at our doorstep, and two breathtaking national parks (both Banff + Jasper) just a few hours northwest and southwest of the farm… we are sure glad COVID forced us to stay local this year.

This was an awesome wrap up after another busy farm season. If you’ve never ever been– I highly recommend it!

Now it’s time to cozy up by the fire and hunker down on the farm for the winter. Stay healthy everyone.