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Rainy Day Activities in Banff, Alberta

by K Gordon Schultz
Banff Hot Springs, Alberta

There are a wealth of outdoor activities in Banff for all abilities but sometimes it just isn’t fun to go hiking in the rain. Here are some tips for a rainy day when you still want to have fun, stay active and well, dry.

The Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre offer many programs and classes for those looking for something active to do. From swimming to climbing to spin class, they offer it all.

The aquatic area includes a 25 meter lane pool, whirl pool, wading pool, steam room, and outdoor sun deck (great when the sun breaks through). The climbing gym offers a wide range of drop-in sessions or classes with options for top roping, leading climbing and belaying. They rent harnesses and shoes for next to nothing and the belay device, carabineers, and chalk bag are included in the admission price. Their fitness centre has all the cardio and weight equipment one could ask for and as a bonus has a pretty great view to boot. For the cycling enthusiast who’s missing their daily workout is the spin studio with every level from beginner to high intensity.

If you are looking for a way to relax the center also has a massage service that offers things like relaxation, therapeutic, and sport massage, acupressure, even something called a Swedish massage which I have yet to try. Check out some of the other local spas as well for a full day of relaxation and meditation. The Banff Hot Springs is always a great option but it is more enjoyable when it’s raining. The warm waters are very inviting and relaxing, you won’t want to get out!

Other indoor activities include the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and The Banff Centre which puts on a variety of events to do with music, theatre and dance, visual art, film, and festivals. Banff has a large variety of shopping so if you’re reserving your sunny days for outdoor activities leave the shopping for a rainy, cloudy day. Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a partially covered area with caves and an outdoor section as well. Take a tour of the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel or explore it on your own. As a bonus the hotel also has a great bowling alley!

After all that, if you still want to do something outside why not try your hand at whitewater rafting on the nearby Kicking Horse River. It’s raining anyway so why not get drenched in the refreshing waters of Western Canada’s best whitewater river? Otherwise take a trip on the Lake Minnewanka boat cruise. The boats are covered and heated so you can sit back and enjoy the tour while staying warm and dry. As a last resort, go for a drive on one of the many parkways in the area or visit Canmore and Lake Louise.

Don’t let a little weather get in your way of having a great stay in Banff National Park. There’s always a lot to do so make the most of your time in our beautiful park and create wonderful memories with your family and friends whether they’re indoors or outside.

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