The Quebec Winter Carnival is a fun family-friendly event that takes place for several days in January or February each year. Huge outdoor events including vibrant parades, amazing outdoor concerts, mind-blowing fireworks, and insane ice sculptures invite everyone to partake in a one-of-a-kind Canadian winter event.
Keep your eyes peeled for Bonhomme, the adorable official mascot of the carnival. You’ll see his image almost everywhere but there is only one life-sized Bonhomme mascot so when you see him, make sure you get a photo! The lavish night festivals, public and private parties, balls and shows are held throughout the upper city make it easy to forget about the cold.
The carnival’s rich history dates back to 1955, when the first Quebec Winter Carnival was first. Throughout the decades, the Carnival’s program continued to evolve and began to include thrilling winter activities and sports, as well as adding traditions to pay homage to the city’s French-Canadian roots. There will be no shortage of games and contests during the festival, make sure to join at least one, even if it’s as crazy as Human Foosball!
‘Wear red, an arrow sash, toot a red trumpet, and down a shot of caribou to get you in the festive mood.’
Merry-making doesn’t get any better than the Quebec Winter Festival.
The Quebec Winter Carnival will take place at different locations within Old Quebec. All the areas will be just around 1 kilometer away from one another so it’s easy enough to get by on foot. The main venue will be the fairgrounds at the historical Plains of Abraham, just a short walk from the Old Quebec area. It will come alive with all the trimmings of the most wonderful winter amusement park you can think of, with lots of attractions for kids and adults alike. The Plains of Abraham is a public park, where you’ll find lots of exciting attractions like cross-country skiing trails, snowshoeing, snow-sculpting contests, and a crazy bikini snow bath event.
Head to the Chateau Frontenac to marvel at the wild masquerade ball featuring up to 400 people. The Ice Palaces will host outdoor dance parties, while most main streets in Quebec will put up charming winter patios fronting their establishments. For some ice skating fun, go to the Place D’Youville which features an outdoor skating rink.
Taxis and Uber services are abundant in Quebec, and a quick and cheap way of getting around. If you’ll be visiting areas a little further than downtown, car rentals are recommended. There are also ferry services, buses, and taxi boats connecting you with different areas in and out of Quebec City.
The scenic Lower Town and Upper Town districts are easy to explore by foot.
Quebec City has numerous world-class hotels and AirBnB’s. To make sure that you’re in close proximity to the celebrations, book a place in Quebec’s picturesque Old Town.
The nightlife in Quebec City is outstanding. Not only does it resemble Europe with its ancient buildings, charming stone edifices, and French being used everywhere, but they do know how to party like Europe, too. Having said that, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to elegant bars, pubs, and dance clubs – with some even located right inside historical buildings.
Quebec is the perfect destination for snow sport enthusiasts. Optimal conditions here make it a prime spot for skiing and snowboarding, with various ski resorts nearby. Drop by the famed Ice Hotel where you can sip a cocktail in a -5C environment. Craving for some heat? Look no further than the immensely therapeutic and soothing Nordic outdoor spas.
The Quebec Carnival will be on February 8 to 17, 2019.
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