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Looking forward to checking out all the amazing things to do in Quebec City in winter? Get set ready to explore in no time with this Quebec City winter guide.
If you are looking for an ideal getaway in the Quebec province, then it has to be the beautiful Quebec City. Given its location, the winters are something that you can look towards for visiting this place. It is one of the most wonderful places to visit in Canada in winter. There are decorated carnivals, adventure sports, Christmas markets and many unique winter activities that would make you feel like home here. The quaint snow capped buildings, charming alleys with cobblestone streets and an adoring castle overlooking the Saint Lawrence River makes the city look right out from a fairy tale.
Still wondering about things to do in Quebec City in winter, below is a small list to look at.
Things To Do In Quebec City In Winter
1. Staycation In The Ice Hotel
This is one of the coolest things to do in Quebec city in winter. Have you ever fantasized about the ice beds during chilly winters? If your answer is Yes then this place is going to be a paradise for you. Welcome to the Hôtel de Glace, the ice hotel in Quebec city that is only open to provide you the best services usually from January till April. It is like living in an igloo but with all the luxurious amenities that you can think of. First of all, you would be amazed by the architectural beauty of this hotel.
Made of around 15000 tons of ice, you would be left aghast by how strategically it has been designed. Don’t worry about the cold because a fireplace would be available to you near the ice bed for your comfort.
The arched ceiling makes sure to contain the warmth but the temperature would be regulated so that the ice won’t melt. You would love the different drinks that they offer you in the short sized ice glasses. There are 30 rooms apart from themed suites, the chapel, Grand Hall and a family area. Staying at the hotel is a one-of-a-kind experience, as it is the only ice hotel in the entire North America.
2. Attend The Winter Carnival
Welcome to the most celebrated carnivals in the world. If you are planning to visit Quebec City in winter, this is one event you need to look forward to. Winter Carnival is organized and celebrated every year. In 2024, it would be celebrated from February 2 to February 11. The Winter Carnival is also known as the Bonhomme Carnival by the residents. It has a mascot too, a giant smiling snowman.
If you are wondering where does the Mascot live? You are on your first destination to visit the Ice Palace which is full of fun and multiple things made of pure ice only. You can see the Bonhomme here and he would welcome you with icy arms.
If you are planning to visit with your family this is going to be a memorable moment for each one of you. While young ones can look forward to playing snowballs, the older ones can use their creativity by making giant ice sculptures and participating in Ice Canoe Race. Do taste the Caribou. It is a popular alcoholic beverage in Quebec city. While being a part of the winter carnival, don’t forget the Night Parade, which is the most fun and colorful part of the whole experience.
3. Indulge In Winter Activities At Bonhomme’s Playground
Now, when you have already been to his home and have been his guest, Bonhomme offers you to visit his playground. The ground gets covered with thick ice. Here, you will not only find the local residents who will be spending their winter afternoon but also find a plethora of tourists and travelers who participate in multiple winter sports.
Snow bowling, Ice tubing, Ice skating, Snowboarding and numerous other sports are somethings that you can participate and have fun in. There is a separate area if you are visiting the playground with your tiny tots. There are many slides and see-saws to play with. Fun does not stop for anyone here.
4. Keep Yourself Warm By Drinking Caribou
If rum and vodka are the only drinks that have been keeping you warm throughout the winter then get ready to give your taste buds a bit of refreshment on your visit to Quebec city. A drink exclusive to the place and something that you are going to love is Caribou.
Caribou is a boozy drink made of brandy, vodka, sherry and port to enjoy only in cold climate. It will help you in keeping yourself warm by all means. The legend says that it was made by the people who first settled in this area around 17th century. Undoubtedly, a recipe so old helps to cope with chilling winters here.
The drink is most often enjoyed during the Winter Carnival and also plays an important role in bringing the people together at night time. An open fire along with your favorite people sharing their stories and sipping on Caribou is the evening you can look forward to.
5. Taste The Frozen Maple Syrup At The Sugar Shack
What if you do not like alcohol? Is there nothing for you in Quebec City’s vicinity? That is not true at all. Quebec city has something for everyone in its magical alleys. Get ready to taste delightful tangy flavors in winter on your visit to the city. The Frozen Maple Syrup or Maple Taffy are the most sought-after local snack in Canada.
The making of the snack is as delicious as it tastes. Witness the hot and boiling maple syrup to slowly drop on freshly crusted ice and suddenly they both become one to give you a tasty adventure to slurp on. The best part is that it is all made of organic material and most often has honey as the main ingredient. So, you can enjoy it without any worry.
If you only want to slurp on the ice and don’t like the syrup, you can always range it from light to the intense flavors. The golden one has the lightest flavor to amber, dark, and finally very dark for the intense taste. Make your choice and enjoy.
6. Take The Aroma Spa During Winters
One thing that we gravely miss in icy cold winters and destinations is a hot bath. But Quebec City makes sure that you are offered the best facilities possible and has a plethora of spas where you can easily take hot spas and aroma therapies. These spas are not only closed but some are open spas where you can take a hot tub swim under the cloudy cold skies while sipping on Caribou.
A hot oil massage where the oils are infused with medicinal herbs and essence and then they leave you among incense sticks with the best aromas. They have also specialized in providing which aroma would be best suited to support your mind, body and soul. All your chakras would get aligned after this experience. It is one of our favorite things to do in Quebec City in winter.
Some of the noted spas in Quebec where you would find the best class services are Siberia Spa and Strom Spa. All you need to do is book your reservations at one of these spas and they will take care of the rest.
7. Get The Adrenaline Rush At The Red Bull Ice Cross
For the past 7 years, Red Bull has sponsored the downhill ice-skating challenge among the best of the best. Trained athletes participate in the race every year. Get ready to be astounded by what these participants bring to the rink. You can enjoy the thrilling show from the sidelines like all the other residents. Be aware that it is not easy to win this event as the participants have to cross multiple turns and jumps to complete the rounds.
Thousands of visitors witness the race and cheer from the sidelines. You would get an adrenaline rush by simply watching the different actions and performances that these athletes are capable of doing.
8. Enjoy Ice Skating At Place D’Youville
Red Bull Ice cross is for experts and enthusiasts but what if you want to ice skate just for the joy of it. Well, Quebec city has the perfect place for you. The place is called Place D’ Youville. As soon as the snowfall occurs and the ice settles, the rink becomes the perfect place for the ice skating activity with your buddies.
The place remains open throughout the winter months to let the visitors enjoy the fun of ice skating without any problems. However, ice skating at the magical time of Christmas and the winter carnival when the twinkling lights are lit and the air has a festive flavor to it is the perfect time to go for it. The rink opens from Mid-November to mid-March. There are temperature regulators to ensure that the ice remains ready for skating.
9. Do Some Winter Shopping At Petit de Champlain
When you are in one of the oldest places that still has its trace, you are bound to make memories there. The cobbled roads of the city and stoned houses on both sides along with the chime from the century old church are somethings that make you feel that you have landed in a fairytale.
Petit de Champlain is the square space of the city. The tasty smell from the freshly baked bread from the bakery, the aroma of the freshly brewed chocolate and coffee from the cafes along with music on the sidewalk makes for a perfect evening in the city. A walk in the square would make you want to go shopping and fetch some memorabilia on your way home from a place that you never want to leave.
10. Go For Ice-Fishing At Louise Basin Inner Harbor
When you are visiting the city next to the St. Lawrence River, how can you miss the experience of Ice Fishing? But when you are visiting Quebec city, ice fishing is not a regular thing to do here. The experience is a bit different.
Different how? Ice fishing here consists of living in an inflatable igloo and musical ambience along with the company of many other families to accompany you. It’s not like your regular routes where you just wait in the silence with your fishing rod dipped in the water. In Quebec City, it becomes more of a celebration and a communal activity. Who would want to miss that?
Where To Stay In Quebec City In Winter
As we have mentioned earlier, staying at Hôtel de Glace would be a wonderful and unique experience for you to enjoy in Quebec City in winter. If you are looking for more options, consider staying in the Old Quebec neighborhood. It holds an astounding European charm. We enjoyed our stay at the Le Priori Hotel. Located right in the heart of Old Quebec, this boutique hotel is a perfect choice for travelers during winter. Rooms are comfortable, spacious and all the necessary amenities. The rooms are also beautifully decorated and have a cozy fireplace.
Now that you know about all the awesome things to do in Quebec City in winter, we are sure you are going to have a great time here. If you would like to share more ideas and winter activities that you highly recommend in Quebec City, do let us know in the comment section below.