Family Activities in Québec
Winter holidays in Québec are fantastic for families and amazingly easy: direct UK flights to Montréal take a mere seven hours, year round.
The province packed with family festivals and events from November to March, winter in Québec is the season for dog sledding and snowshoeing, fat biking on frozen lakes, ice hockey games, and skating all over the place. It’s also a great time of year to explore museums and galleries or wrap up warm for a wander round enchanting historic quarters, like walled Québec City and atmospheric Montréal Old Port.
Apart from ice hockey and big mountain skiing, nothing in Québec is more of an iconic winter experience than dog sledding through snowy forests. Yet you don’t have to travel into the frozen wilderness to test the age-old thrill of being snugly wrapped up on a sleigh as a team of keen, beautifully trained huskies do all the hard work.
Winter in Québec is fabulously snowy: perfect for sharing the local passion for snowshoeing. What started off as a practical way to get about the frozen wilderness is now one of the province’s most popular sports, so you’ll find well-marked routes scattered with cosy huts to rest and refresh, almost everywhere. And if you need inspiration, there are always plenty of seasoned snowshoeing Québecers to help out with that.
Winter Carnival in Québec City
All the great carnival traditions are in place here, but twists like night parades with illuminated floats add distinctive Québécoise character. Everything from ice sculpting competitions to ice canoeing is done on a bold scale, and you only have to look at the pictures from past events to see why this is one of the world’s top three must-do carnivals for families.
Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien
For a hint of Québec’s magnificent northern wilderness and close encounters with its wildest residents, head to Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. Don’t worry about the wintery weather, this astonishing park is a year-round marvel, with a comfy train to tour the wildlife, fun pedestrian parts, and lots of places to warm-up on hot chocolate and other freeze-beating treats.
Skiing in Mont-Tremblant
With a snow-sure season from November to April, 96 runs and a level-of-difficulty ratio designed to delight skiers of all ages and stages, plus a cute resort village that looks more European than most of the ones in Europe these days, it’s easy to understand why Mont-Tremblant was voted the best overall ski resort in North America by SKI magazine.
Winterlude in Gatineau
This thrilling and activity-packed celebration takes place every February at Snowflake Kingdom: North America’s largest winter play area. Younger kids will love meet ‘n’ greets with the Ice Hog family. There are concerts and shows to entertain all ages. And the atmosphere is family-friendly, welcoming and warm – only the weather is sub-zero, so don’t forget to wrap up cosy.
Montreal Observation Wheel
The Old Port of Montreal is great fun to explore, but with winter temperatures dropping to a chilly -10°C, you may wish to alternate between outdoor and indoor activities and take advantage of another wonderful way to see the historic quarter, the rest of the city and well beyond. La Grand Roue de Montreal is the fantastic observation wheel which gently ascends to a height of 60m, and keeps everyone snug in toasty warm, heated cabins.
Understanding Canada’s passion for ice hockey is tricky, until you actually catch a game for yourself and then all becomes clear. It’s about as close to gladiatorial combat as it gets, on skates, all winter long, and it’s awe inspiring.