Home Destinations Fun Family Skiing at Mount Norquay & Family Ski Day Giveaway

Fun Family Skiing at Mount Norquay & Family Ski Day Giveaway

by Karen Ung
Mount Norquay is a family-friendly ski resort just minutes from Banff with fun runs for the whole family, an amazing ski school, great on-hill dining, and a wicked tube park. Best of all, there aren’t long lines for the lifts so you can spend more time shredding! Ski here, then head into town for dinner or a soak in the hot springs for a perfect day.

“And now I’m going to take you to the best viewpoint in all of Norquay,” Gord tells me and my husband. The winter scene that unfolds before us is undeniably gorgeous with Cascade Mountain to the left and Rundle straight ahead. It’s hard to believe we’re mere minutes from the town of Banff! 

Mount Norquay Ski Resort
Gord Fielding, Director of Mount Norquay’s Snow School, is our guide and instructor for the morning while the kids are in ski school. He goes on – between dispensing invaluable pointers on skiing technique – to share some of Norquay’s rich history and his favorite runs. We learn that many of the runs have been renamed to honor local legends: Giv’er Grandi, Rob’s Run, Wiegele’s, Monod’s Legacy, and hEaD Hunter to name a few. If you’re lucky, you might see some of them on the slopes! (I’m pretty sure Mr. Eddie Hunter told me where to find the best snow on our visit!)
At Mount Norquay

The morning passes quickly, but we notice an improvement from when we started. A few key things are sticking and it feels good! We decide right then and there that this is something we need to do more often. Over the past several years, we’ve focused so much on teaching the girls that we haven’t advanced our own skills. Plus, it’s pretty fun to ski kid-free once in a while!

Mount Norquay Magic Carpet Area

Our girls are enjoying their lessons too. Big POG (7) is tailing instructor Mike, jumping on her skis and beaming; and Little POG (5) is perfecting her pizza (snowplow) with Lou’s patient tutelage. They are pleased as punch with their first-ever ski lessons and conspiratorially tell Gord that ski school is way better than Mom and Dad lessons! It’s clear that the instructors are carefully selected and well trained, and Gord reveals they all must have experience working with kids. (Note: Little POG simply completing the lesson was a huge win! She’s very shy and has bailed on classes in the past because she was scared of the instructor, but Lou was very friendly and non-threatening. Thanks, Lou!)

Little POG heading to her first ski lesson!

In high spirits, we make our way to Lone Pine Pub to refill our tanks. Big POG, our little connoisseur, orders salmon and corn fritters off the kids’ menu. Little POG goes for  chicken tacos, my husband gets the salmon burger, and I order the steak sandwich.  Everything is delicious and Liz takes great care of us. While we could comfortably lounge all afternoon – there’s good stuff on tap and the sunset is beautiful from Cascade Lodge – the mountain is calling.

Lone Pine Pub Chicken Tacos

After a few more fantastic runs, it’s tubing time! A hot spot at the end of the day, the tube park line moves surprisingly quickly with many people riding down in groups. We soon experience the biggest vertical drop of any tube park in Alberta. It is breathtakingly FAST, but so much fun! We can’t get enough and shut the place down. For more information and a video, please see Tubing at Mount Norquay’s Tube Town.

Mount Norquay’s Tube Town has a sweet view of Mount Rundle
Fifteen minutes later, we’re choosing sweets at the candy store on Banff Avenue. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day! Gotta love a great ski hill so close to town!
Yumminess at the Banff Sweet Shoppe

What We Love

  • Location: Leaving your hotel in Banff at 9:15 am and getting to the ski hill at 9:30 am is awesome (especially if you’re not a morning person)! Mount Norquay is only 6 km from the town of Banff so there are tons of nearby options for lodging and dining. See my Where to Stay and Where to Eat pages for ideas.
  • Short Lines: We never had to wait long for the chair lift. Spend more time skiing!
  • Small class sizes for group lessons make it easier to learn! Little kid classes (3-5 yrs old) max out at 2 students while 5 year old classes have 3 students. Big kid classes (6-12 yrs old) have no more than 6 students, but usually have only 3-4!
  • Terrain for all levels. There’s a magic carpet area for first-timers, and green runs off Cascade Chair and lower half of the Spirit Chair (you can get off halfway). Intermediate skiers will enjoy skiing blue runs off the high speed Mystic Chair before easing into more advanced stuff. For more of a challenge, check out the Norquay 90 Glades, terrain park, and expert runs off the North American Chair!
  • Friendly staff! Everyone was awesome from management to ski instructors, lifties, and pub staff. The tube park guys even said hi to us in downtown Banff!
  • Great On-Hill Dining Options: Grab a quick bite at the deli/cafeteria in the Cascade Lodge or North American Lodge; or dine at Lone Pine Pub. The pub has a great kid’s menu, selection of craft beers, and delicious  For the best view in Banff, head up to the Cliffhouse Bistro. I recommend the charcuterie platter and game & fig flatbread!
  • Norquay’s Toonie Days (ski for $2!) are a great way to check out the mountain before you commit to a season’s pass. If you plan on skiing a few times this season, the Big Drop Card gives you your 1st, 4th and 7th ski days free with discounted visits in between for the price of one day ticket.
View from Mount Norquay

Mount Norquay Fun Facts

  • Norquay’s Snow School is the longest running and most reasonably priced snow school in Banff! Children’s winter programs fill up in September, so mark your calendars!
  • Mount Norquay’s tube park has the biggest vertical drop in Alberta so it’s super fast and super fun. Read about our experience: Tubing at Mount Norquay’s Tube Town.
  • Norquay’s Terrain Park has just been upgraded with more fun features!
  • The only night skiing in Banff is at Mount Norquay! Fridays and Saturdays from 5 pm – 9 pm January 2 – February 25.  Fridays from 5 pm – 9 pm the rest of the season.
  • Mount Norquay is Banff’s first ski resort! It turns 91 in 2017.
  • Black Magic is one of the steepest runs in Alberta!  
  • The sightseeing chairlift is open year round! Enjoy the view from the lookout, then visit the the Cliffhouse Bistro for an amazing lunch. Please see this story for details: Experience Mount Norquay’s Sightseeing Chair Lift and Cliffhouse Bistro.
Cliffhouse Bistro Charcuterie Platter

Mount Norquay generously hosted us for a day of skiing and tubing, including ski lessons and lunch, but all words and opinions are my own. A special thank you to all the friendly staff who made our day great!

Mount Norquay Ski Resort


Now is your chance to win a Mt. Norquay Quality Time Family Package valued at $149! This package includes Ski Lift Tickets for 2 Adults and 2 Children/Youth (up to 17 yrs.). For complete details, see Mount Norquay Deals.

Fine Print: Contest is open to Canadian residents only, however, the winner must be able to pick up the prize at Mount Norquay. The Mount Norquay Quality Time Family Package is valued at $149, must be accepted as is (no cash value), and expires at the end of the 2016/2017 ski season. A winner will be randomly selected via the Rafflecopter app. This contest is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  Contest closes January 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm MST! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Coleen January 31, 2017 - 3:10 AM

I've never been to Norquay. Would love to ski the mountain with my family of 5! ❤

Kim Brochu January 31, 2017 - 2:33 AM

I've never been but it sounds like a great place to have my kids try out skiing!

Robin January 31, 2017 - 1:55 AM

This is a ski hill we still need to try. Sounds like the perfect family ski day with my hubby and two littles!!

Outdoor love! January 30, 2017 - 11:13 PM

We love norquay! Had so much luck with their mighty mite lessons. Love the value of the power of 4 pass. Would love to try the tube park one day!

Nekolina Lau January 29, 2017 - 3:04 AM

Looks like an awesome day.

alexcgy January 27, 2017 - 10:23 PM

I've tubed and skied at Norquay and enjoyed it!

Emily McKnight January 26, 2017 - 7:11 AM

I have never been to Norquay but so hope to try it this season. I have heard it has lots of beginner terrain to keep me and my 5 year old busy while hubby goes off on the black runs!

Caryn Salageanu January 26, 2017 - 4:59 AM

I have never been to Mt. Nor quay before but it sounds like it has lots of amazing runs to keep my family busy!

Holly January 24, 2017 - 11:04 PM

Sounds like you guys had an awesome time! So excited to try and head back again, this time with all the kids��

Unknown January 24, 2017 - 7:32 PM

I've never been to Norquay myself, but I am so excited to get my 4 year old zipping down the slopes with me!

Anonymous January 24, 2017 - 6:09 PM

Norquay is my favourite of the closer resorts to Calgary. I don't like crowds or ice, and the other place has both. Mt Norquay is friendly, with varied terrain and often good snow.

Kathy Hunt January 24, 2017 - 5:15 PM

Norquay isn't one of the resorts we usually frequent, but it sure would be fun to go.

rockieschick January 24, 2017 - 3:17 PM

My comments won't work �� Let's try again. I really want this because the last time I was there was in my teens! Haha

Dany Kal January 24, 2017 - 3:07 PM

We love the different how the different chairs have connecting paths

Sarah McLean January 24, 2017 - 2:02 PM

I'd love to try the tubing!

Heather Pennett January 24, 2017 - 5:36 AM

So fun! Thanks Karen!

Tracy Kennedy January 24, 2017 - 5:05 AM

Love Norquay because it just feels like a family friendly hill. We got there right after Xmas and forgetting our youngest had switched to bigger ski boots we had forgotten to adjust the bindings accordingly. Well a quick trip to the shop and it was fixed so fast and very inexpensively. It's just easier at Norquay.

jetsetsonja January 24, 2017 - 3:21 AM

This was the first place I ever tubed and it was so fun!! Haven't tried skiing here but I shall pop it on the list now I am officially a skier ������

T. January 24, 2017 - 2:48 AM

Looks great! I usually consider other ski resorts but your post made me at Norquay to my list!!

Cathren Percival January 24, 2017 - 1:38 AM

I haven't been to Mt. Norquay yet but I'm looking forward to one day getting there with the kids as they're just starting to get into skiing/boarding

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