New Years Eve in Banff National Park

I’m not one to hit the club and party hard on any occasion. It seems to me that doing so for New Years tends to be extra expensive and busy. While looking for an alternative to staying home, I discovered New Years Eve in Banff National Park.

Spending New Years Eve in Banff.

New Years Eve in Banff

So to ring in this New Year, my boyfriend and I packed our bags and headed to Banff. While it is pricey, it seemed our options would be just as expensive if we stayed in the city.

In the city, we would have had to pay cover charges, high dinner prices, cab fares, and possibly a hotel downtown. In Banff, all the events are free and the town is quite walkable. Besides, who doesn’t want to escape to the mountains for a few days?

Bow River in Banff National Park, Canada.

Banff town is not the only place within the park to celebrate NYE. Lake Louise also hosts a pretty good party (or so I’ve heard).

Back to New Years Eve in Banff, most of the events for the evening are concentrated along Banff Ave. The street closes down after seven. While many restaurants require a reservation, many still accept walk-ins.

Town of Banff, Canada at night. A church lit with Christmas lights in the snow.

Be sure to dress warmly, whatever your plans are! If you don’t own long underwear, my best tip is to put on tights and wool socks, and wear a long sleeve underneath a sweater. Layers are key. Warming stations are set up around Banff Ave for those who still find themselves chilled. Fires and parked buses welcome all.

People warming by the fire on New Years Eve in Banff.
A Happy Holidays in Banff.

If you are truly cold, it’s best to head inside for a drink. St James Gate had a great selection of *special* hot drinks while we awaited the countdown.

This year, Banff decided to trade their fireworks for a pyrotechnics show. I was expecting flame-throwing or something similarly amazing, but was disappointed with the mini-fireworks at the outdoor arena. Hopefully they’ll improve on this in the future.

NYE Events:

  • local band playing live music
  • winter obstacle course
  • street performers
  • fire dancers
  • skating
  • maple taffy
  • Indigenous story teller
  • children’s train

Stay up to date on this years New Years Eve in Banff here.

Arena in Banff National Park lit with lights for Christmas and NYE.
Ice skating at night in Banff, Canada
Outdoor NYE concert in Banff National Park.

While I love a good festival, I look forward to brunch in the morning even more. Many local restaurants put on a special breakfast just for New Years Eve in Banff.

Banff’s Brunch

My boyfriend and I headed to the Waldhaus Pub for brunch, as we had never been. This pub isn’t the only place to eat that I recently added to my Banff’s best restaurants list. Known as “Banff’s best kept secret,” the Waldhaus is tucked away behind the Fairmont and above the river. It really is the forest house.

Forest House, The Waldhaus  restaurant in Banff.
Waldhaus restaurant in Banff, Fairmont Banff Springs.

Brunch itself wasn’t the best I’ve had, but the Waldhaus is a must-see when in the park. We shared two of the Eggs Benedict – our favourite dish. I am already looking forward to enjoying one of their German dinners.

Eggs Benedict with mimosas for brunch.

Inside the Waldhaus Pub in Banff.

The best thing to do after a good meal is to take a walk. Bow River Falls Viewpoint is one of my favourite scenic lookouts in town. It also happens to be the parking lot for the Waldhaus.

Exploring Banff National Park in the Winter. Wearing a wool skirt and long coat with furs for an elegant winter look.
Channeling my inner Game of Thrones style in this heavy winter coat with wool skirt and fur scarf. Winter in Banff.

In the summertime, this place is alive with tourists and recreationists. In the winter, it’s yours to explore!

Classic winter style. Wearing a long wool skirt with fur collar.
Exploring Banff in the winter, wearing a classic winter style. Vintage outfit with wool skirt and fur neck scarf.

Cheers to a New Year!

Cheers to a New Year. Mimosas for brunch.

Shop my: coat (vintage, similar here here and here) – skirt (old Zara, no dupes) – long-sleeve navy top – faux fur wrap (old, similar) – gloves (less expensive) – my favourite tights – ankle boots (old, similar)

Check out some of my other Banff posts: Where to Eat in Banff, Winter Hiking, Buffalo Mountain Lodge.

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