Banff Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff, Alberta, Canada is a world-renowned ski resort in Banff National Park. It is a picturesque ski resort with breathtaking views and is a perfect ski resort for families.
Have you been dreaming of skiing in Banff National Park? It is one of a few Banff Ski Resorts in the area which can all be part of your Canadian winter ski vacation.
As parents, we have our own thoughts of what a family-friendly ski resort is, but kids have their own ideas.
What You'll Find in This Post
- 7 Things Kids Love about Sunshine Village Ski Resort
- Best Places to Stay at Sunshine Village Ski Resort
- Sunshine Village Ski Resort Travel Tips
- Family Travel Tips for Sunshine Village Skiing
7 Things Kids Love about Sunshine Village Ski Resort
1. Sunshine Village Gondola Ride
In order to get to the main Sunshine Village ski lodge, you have to take a 15-minute gondola ride up the mountain. It is a unique experience that the kids LOVED! As we floated above the tree line it took us to the top on a journey to the unknown until the doors opened and we arrived at the main ski lodge filled with snow and excitement.
The kids probably would have been just fine only with the gondola ride alone! A great way to start the day off with success. Keep in mind that the gondolas are not heated, so dress for the colder conditions.
2. Learning the Colours of skiing
The instructors have a genius way of helping kids learn how to ski, make it fun! I was educated by Sofia, who was 4, about the different colors of skiing. Red means Stop, Green means Go, Purple means Jump, Blue means Disco, and Black means Fall Down. Keeping it easy and fun with the colors helps clearly communicate with kids learning how to ski. Kids just love the fun colors and games!
3. Chairlift Rides
1st one to be exact! The Strawberry chair was Sofia’s first chairlift ride after all the hard work on the magic carpet. The kids love to chill out and ride the lifts, it’s really the only time they sit still. We watch the boarders/skiers do tricks off the rails at the terrain park and hit the jumps. Talk about which run we are going to tackle next and point to the run they just accomplished. Big smiles and sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes passes the time.
4. Learning how to parallel ski from their instructor
One of Luca’s favourite parts of the day was learning from an uber-cool ski instructor that knows “way more than you mom”. This is probably true, since this instructor had been teaching at Sunshine for the past five years and has been going to the resort for the past 19 years! I think he knows the mountain and definitely more than me about skiing. What I loved to see is the enthusiasm (and patience) these instructors have for teaching kids how to ski and push them to learn new skills.
The instructors are someone kids can look up to and strive to be better at skiing because of them. Both the instructors that our kids had been beyond helpful and always positive. Although we ski with our kids too, we find to help build their skiing foundation learning from someone else other than us has been what has worked for us.
5. Skiing with Family
It seems to be too simple. But, one of their favourite things was spending time with us (gasp!) and their aunt, uncle, and cousin that were with us. It melts my heart because sometimes kids just want to spend time with you! Teaching them something, talking with them and just hanging out is all they really want from us.
6. Lunch & Hot Chocolate
For the love of food! Good old fashion poutine will hit the spot for any kid after a hard-working morning on the slopes. Canadian classic poutine is french fries, Quebec cheese curds covered with gravy. The cafeteria has a variety of options from sandwiches, soups, french fries, burgers to butter chicken over basmati rice. Something for everyone can be found in the cafeteria. We usually bring lunch, but we opted for a treat this day. Plus, their favourite drink to warm up with is a cup of hot chocolate!
7. Having Fun
The smiles on their faces tell it all when we were at Banff Sunshine Village resort. They just want to do something fun for the day. On our ski day, both the kids hopped out of bed at 6 am, dressed themselves and were waiting in the ski pants before I could even get my teeth brushed. Skiing is just fun for them! Their rosy red cheeks at the end of the day and falling asleep on the car ride home is a tell-tale sign they had fun.
Best Places to Stay at Sunshine Village Ski Resort
There is only one hotel that is located at Sunshine Village resort, which is the Sunshine Mountain Lodge. It is typically booked for most days due to the ability to ski-in and ski-out from this location. The hotel is located at the top of the resort, which makes it really convenient for families.
Most hotels and lodges are located in Banff. Banff to Sunshine Village ski resort takes approximately 25 minutes, and depending on weather and road conditions can take a little longer. Staying in Banff allows you to have more variety of restaurants, shopping, activities and sightseeing.
Some of our favourite places to stay in Banff including Elk & Avenue Hotel, Moose Hotel & Suites, and Best Western Plus. Most of the hotels and suites are generally booked fairly early in the season due to the high demand for staying in Banff.
We highly recommend staying close, or on, Banff Avenue since most restaurants and shops are located on this street. They have great shuttle and bus services along this road and most are included with your hotel stay.Booking.com Booking.com
If you are going as a larger group, or prefer to stay in a condo then Airbnb may be a better option to look for. There are plenty to search from that are also located close to Banff Avenue and allow for a more homestay feel than a hotel. Generally, places will give you a better price when staying for a minimum of 1 week.
Sunshine Village Ski Resort Travel Tips
- Since Sunshine Village is inside Banff National Park, you are required to purchase a national park pass. You can purchase these in advance and find out all the pricing and details at the Banff National Park.
- Always check Sunshine Village Ski Resort’s website for the latest snow report, trail maps, shuttle services, which lifts are open, changes in policies, updated information and latest events.
- As mentioned above there are a few other ski resorts in the Banff area, including Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay. These both can be added easily to your family ski vacation in Banff.
- Lift tickets can be purchased ahead online, sometimes at places like Costco can offer discounted prices and onsite at the ticket booth at Sunshine Village kiosks. Look into multi-day passes and save more money if going more than once.
- If you are considering going for a few days, look into the pricing and options for season passes. Sometimes the break-even of these passes can be worth some of the perks season pass holders get.
- You may also want to consider the Ikon pass, which gives you options to many other ski resorts.
- Sunshine Village is also part of the Mountain Collective for purchasing tickets with other dream destination ski resorts.
- Check out the Sunshine village webcam to get an idea of weather conditions before you head out in the morning.
Family Travel Tips for Sunshine Village Skiing
1. Sunshine Village Ski Daycare
Tiny Tigers Daycare (19 months – 6 years) is located at the main ski lodge area and what we liked the most is the separate magic carpet for the little ones under 6 that can use this for their lessons instead of the main magic carpet where everyone else goes.
2. Sunshine Village Ski Lessons for Kids
The Kids Kampus Program (6 – 12 years) allows you to choose the ability level for the kids and different options of half or full-day lessons for what works for us.
3. Online Booking of Ski Lessons
Makes it extremely easy for booking the right lessons and daycare. The information is clearly outlined on the website and you can have everything set up and booked before arriving at the ski hill.
4. Terrain for all Abilities
Sunshine Village has terrain for everyone and their skiing/boarding abilities, which helps those who are learning to experts in the family.
Whether you are a kid or a parent, there are many reasons that make Sunshine Village Ski Resort a great family-friendly ski resort. This past ski trip held some big milestones for our kids; Sofia’s first chair lift ride and Luca learning to parallel ski. Both are great accomplishments but most importantly they had fun and we spent some quality time together on the slopes.
Have you ever been to Sunshine Village Ski Resort? If so, what was your favourite part of the resort?