If you’re visiting Banff with kids, playgrounds are a great way to work off some energy – they’re fun and free. Here’s what you need to know about Banff playgrounds.
Okay, obviously this is not actually in Banff. But it’s on the way TO Banff from Calgary, and it’s worth the stop because the train theme is adorable.
The main feature of this playground is a train with an engine and caboose. The train has small tables with little seats inside, and a “tunnel” at the front that kids can crawl through to access a compartment beside the funnel. Older kids can climb to the top of the train, which is not very high.
There is also a small train station with a seat and little bowls to fill with gravel. Next to this is an activity board placed at the right height for very young toddlers to use.
Read more about the Canmore Train Playground here!
This is my favourite playground in Banff, hands-down. I love natural playgrounds, and this one does a great job of blending into the stunning scenery.
The playground features slides, a climbing wall, and several fallen trees and tree stumps for climbing. On the other side of the park, there’s a faux-mountain that kids can climb or run underneath (there’s a small opening in the middle).
Read more about the Central Park Playground here!
There are three play areas here, separated by paved walkways. One has a toddler playground, one has a playground for older kids, and one has large rocks for kids to climb on. There is also an area with a swing set.
Directly behind this playground is a bike park that older kids will love. Additionally, if you go for a very short walk to the right, you’ll find the river.
There are several picnic shelters here, in addition to washrooms and a pop-vending machine.
Read more about the Banff Recreation Grounds Playground here!
This is a fairly small, somewhat dated playground. It’s not in disrepair, but there’s nothing unique about it. The playground is located on the main drag of Banff, right next to several hotels, so it may be a convenient option if you’re visiting for several days.
Read more about the Banff Rotary Playground here!
This is a good playground – it’s similar to many school playgrounds in Calgary. It features plenty of swings and a large play structure. The structure includes three straight slides and one curly slide, lots of opportunities for climbing, blue plastic “mushrooms,” several different sets of money-bar rings, and small plastic benches and a storefront tucked underneath. If you bring a ball, there are basketball nets and plenty of space for a soccer game in the field.
This is a school playground, so it’s best to visit during non-school hours.
Read more about the Banff Elementary School Playground here!
WHERE TO STAY IN BANFF
If you’re visiting Banff with kids, check out the Fox Hotel and Suites. This is where we stayed, and the location is perfect – it’s on the main drag in Banff, far enough from the centre of town to be quiet, but close enough to be convenient.
For my kids, the big attraction to this hotel was the pool: it’s modeled after the Hot Springs! It’s a hot pool in a faux-cave. Needless to say, the kids went bananas for it.
Our room was wonderful, too. It had what’s classified as a “micro-kitchenette,” but it was more than enough to prepare a few meals in. The Fox also provides a free continental breakfast, which saved us time and money every morning.
The hotel also provided local coffee from Evelyn’s, and the soap was from the Rocky Mountain Soap Company! On top of all this, the room smelled like cedar (ie: amazing).
I found the hotel to be really family-friendly, and I’d definitely stay there again!
If you want more ideas about what to do with kids in Banff, check out the main article here!
Thank you to the Fox Hotel and Suites for providing accommodation to facilitate these playground reviews.
Katie is a librarian and freelance writer based in Calgary.