You Can Watch a Santa Claus Parade in the Mountains of Banff on November 16 – Here’s What You Need to Know Before you Go

There’s one Santa Claus Parade that kicks off our Christmas Holiday. Every year, we visit Banff for the Santa Claus Parade, watching the parade of floats, fire trucks (the kids’ favourite part) and a massive inflatable Santa, make their way down Banff Avenue. This year, the Santa Claus Parade takes place on November 16, 2019 – making this month the perfect time to make hotel reservations to see the parade and experience the magic of a winter weekend in Banff.


As fall retreats and winter emerges, so does the wonder and joy of Christmas in the Canadian Rockies. In mid-November, a flurry of family-friendly activities kick-start the season in Banff bringing holiday cheer to a whole new level. During the day, kids can have their photo taken with Santa and tell him all of their Christmas wishes!

At dusk, the streets come alive with the magic glow of the Santa Claus Parade of Lights. Get into the holiday spirit as a procession of floats, performers, and Santa himself, traverse Banff Avenue. After the parade, follow the performers to Central Park for the Carols by Candlelight concert.


  1. You don’t have to arrive too early 
    Though there are crowds in the park for the Christmas parade, you don’t have to arrive too early for the show. We make our way down to the parade route about an hour before it begins, ducking into shops for hot cocoa and treats to keep the kids warm while we wait.
  2. Layer, Layer, Layer 
    The weather is cold, if you’re standing but if you’re going to walk and take part in activities, the kids might get cold.
  3. Bring a Sled
    Little kids dressed in layers of snowsuits aren’t only difficult to carry around, but when you’ve got a far walk to where you’ve parked for the parade, you’re going to want to bring a sled with you. Layer the bottom of the sled with blankets for extra warmth, the entire sidewalk and parade route is sled friendly – and in fact, in the snowy weather, sleds are going to be easier to navigate than strollers.
  4. Bring Your Own hot Cocoa 
    It can get expensive to spend the weekend in Banff. Finding small ways to save, like preparing a thermos of your own cocoa is a great way to cut a few dollars from the trip. Bring it with you to warm up those tiny hands in the moments before the parade begins.
  5. Don’t Skip food Reservations 
    As you can imagine, the restaurants in Banff area are packed after the parade. Make reservations, or have one of the members of your party leave the parade early and grab a table at your preferred place. To reduce the walk, try to watch the parade from close to where you’re going to enjoy dinner afterwards, if you’re going to enjoy dinner on Banff Avenue.

Visit to learn more about the Santa Claus Parade of Lights in Banff