Now that the we’re back into somewhat normal temperatures, now is the time to get outside! Snowboarding or skiing Sunshine Village will leave you feeling so invigorated and happy afterwards, you’ll forget all about those January blues! For those who love Sunshine Village Ski Resort as much as I do, here’s a look at some mountain highlights not to miss this year.
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Pegged as one of the premier ski resorts in the Alberta Rockies , skiing Sunshine Village is a rite of passage. It’s only a 20-minute drive from Banff townsite and sports the only ski-in, ski-out accommodation in Banff National Park. Let’s dive into all that’s new and notable for this ski season.
Know before you go
Safety is top of mind at Sunshine Village, and they’re keeping in step with local public health restrictions. Here’s what you need to know before exploring this top ski resort.
- All visitors must wear a mask (a neck-warmer pulled up works) on the gondola up to the Village.
- Visitors must present proof of vaccine and ID to access the resort facilities.
- Unvaccinated skiers or snowboarders will need to provide a privately paid negative rapid test, or valid proof of a medical exception to access Sunshine Village this winter.
- More info on how Sunshine is participating in the Alberta Restrictions Exemption Program can be found here.
Professional photos – of you!
If, like me, you forgot to take family pictures over the holidays, all is not lost! Sunshine now offers use of their official photographer. Get a leg up on your 2022 holiday card by booking into a private 90-minute session with their on-mountain photographer.
Sure you can get a few canned shots, but also some epic ones of you skiing Sunshine, carving through mounds of powder. These hour and a half sessions cost $250, and the official Sunshine Photographer skis around with you to capture your best moments. Included in the cost are 10 edited high-resolution photos. Anyone who’s ever booked into a family portrait sessions, knows how good of a deal this is!
What to eat
New on mountain is the Beaver Tail cafe at Goat’s Eye Gardens. Besides all the decadent pastries, you can chow down on fries or a beaver dog wrapped in their signature pastry. I especially love how it’s outdoors, so kids can play in the snow while they eat.
My all time favourite spot to eat on mountain is in the Village, at The Chimney Corner (which is on the second floor of the Sunshine Inn). The views are incredible and they have a two sided stone fireplaces that’s the stuff dreams are made of.
Their mulled wine is potent! And makes me a much better snowboarder if you must know the truth. I usually follow that up by either splitting Continental Divide nachos with the family (they don’t skimp on the guacamole here!) or savoury bison chili if I don’t feel like sharing.
Packing your own picnic? The massive Sprung tents that were erected last year are still around. Combined, these tents offer 9,000 additional sq ft to warm up in.
Where to stay
I’ve never had nothing but a fantastic experience overnighting at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Skiers, if you want first tracks this is the ONLY way to get them in all of the Alberta Rockies.
That’s because Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in, ski-out accommodation in Banff National Park. Besides mowing up all the fresh pow, I can’t tell you how pleasant it is to pop into your room whenever you feel like, taking off your mask, warming up your toes and throwing back a quick bevvie before hitting the slopes again.
They have a deal going on right now that if you book in for 3 nights, you’ll get a 4th night for free. And since we’re not supposed to be travelling internationally right now, I can’t think of a better place to spend my hard earned vacation dollars.
To get the deal, use promo code 4NFREERO when booking.
Daycare options and ski lessons for kids
Not all ski resorts offer daycare for babes, but Tiny Tigers does and they’ve just reopened! Situated up in the Village, next to Wawa Chairlift, Tiny Tigers Daycare takes in wee-ones so long as they’re 19-months and as older. The daycare can also accommodate children up to 6-years-old. After that age, you can put them into full or half day lessons should you want some adult ski time.
When we moved back from England our daughter was 3-years-old, and became a weekly visitor to Tiny Tigers Daycare. If she wasn’t learning how to ski on their own little slope, she was playing in the snow, doing crafts inside and generally having the time of her life. She never made it out of the parking lot without falling asleep in her carseat, which made for a blissful drive home, too!
The flexibility of this daycare is what’s tops. You can choose to include lunch or not. Sign them up for private or group lessons (if they’re 2-years and older) or just have them play all day.
Feeling that cash crunch after Christmas? Skip the ticket line and nab a discounted lift ticket for skiing Sunshine from a Circle K convenience store in either Calgary, Airdrie, Chestermere or Okotoks and save up to $27 off the window ticket price.