Winter is here! Things to do in Quebec city in wintertime!
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Winter is Here! While winter weather in this beautiful province can be harsh and tough, Quebec is nonetheless a lovely city in wintertime. Once you embrace winter your trip will be unforgettable. Here is a small list of activities you can do when you will come over for a visit:
Crédit Photo: Facebook au 1884
Try Dufferin Terrace Slides (Tobbogan Run)
From Mid-December to Mid-March This is a tradition for many Quebecers since 1884! "Attache ta tuque avec de la broche." (Which in French Canadian means "tie your hat with staples"). Slide down at speeds up to 70 kph and shiver with excitement! You're in for a treat with this nice, cheap activity. Rent your toboggan at the 1884 kiosk right by the slide. Have fun!
Try some great coffee-houses
Un café, s'il vous plaît Of course you can pass the whole day outside... but what better after your rosy cheeks have gone numb than a nice hot cup of coffee? You can go to Tim Horton or Starbuck coffee if you want but you should definitely try coffee in certain coffee-houses that are exclusive to this city! Here is a short list of some of these places: Maison Smith (you can find 3 La Maison Smith in the old town at great locations). Café Félin ma langue aux chats(If you love cats this is the place to go, it is a cat friendly coffee house. Location is about 1 minute away from the Gare du Palais train station). Les Bruleries (Various locations, great local art display! Joli endroit). Saint Henri (In the heart of Saint Roch, relaxing) Camellia-Sinensis (If you are more into traditionnal tea...it's one of the places to go! Good service) Sebz Tea Lounge (located in the upper town, it features knowledgeable employees and a wonderful ''loungey'' vibe. A very pleasant experience indeed!)
Go to a spa
How to cope with cold weather? Winter time is actually the perfect time to experience the greatest condition of a spa. It's relaxing, good for health and pores, not to mention a great escape from the stress. Quebec city have plenty of spas that you can experience. There's also one that recently opened last year only 15 minutes walking distance from Place Royale. The Strom spa is right by the saint Lawrence river at a perfect location. I personally visited the place and it is literally immaculate. I didn't want to leave the place. It is already ranked as one of the most beautiful spa in whole Quebec area. There are also many other great ones, for example Siberia Spa (In the wild) Sky Spa (which on the top of a skyscraper...I know!) Spa des Neiges
Take the ferry
A boat ride on the historical Saint Lawrence river it’s a must (all season included). The most amazing view you'll get is in winter. Seeing the cold ice floating along the river is a unique experience. Did you know that people in the past were able to cross the saint Lawrence river on horse carriages? We formerly had an ice bridge and people were even able to cross the river by foot…now I don’t suggest you to do so…You might die. Levis overlooks Quebec right across the river where you'll find the ferry. Go have a drink at the LeCorsaire microbrewery (1 minute away from the terminal) and enjoy the view for me.
Shovel the snow
That is not one of the usual things you will see on a list of things to do in wintertime for a tourist…but I find it totally interesting, especially for someone who's never done it. If you see someone shoveling their entrance, their car park or anything, ask them to try or if they have another shovel to help them. The good side of being a tourist is you wont have to do that activity everyday all winter! ( unlike we, who do that most of the winter). That being said, be careful when you shovel the snow to avoid injury. If you aren't sure… google how to shovel snow on youtube (Yes it exist!).You will be helpful to the people, and they will love you offering help!
Crédit Photo:Carnaval de Quebec facebook
One of the biggest carnival events in the world is hosted here!
A long time tradition in Québec city, Le Carnaval de Québec is really fun! Next edition (Febuary 7 to 16 , 2020) will be totally amazing! Last year we had a good year with the traditional parade was amazing featuring rock music and a pyrotechnic touch, canoe race with over 60 competing teams over the frozen water of the Saint Lawrence river, a wrestling show, Ice sculptures ,axe throwing, snow bath ... and many other things! Can't wait to see the 2020 schedule! For more info look to this website and salute our bonhomme if you come! Salut bonhomme!
Crédit photo:Wikipedia Pierre Cb
Go see Montmorency waterfalls
Montmorency waterfalls is an impressive waterfalls with 83 meters high (30 meters higher than Niagara falls) and at few minutes away from the old Quebec. If you have no car or you are on tight budget you can easily take the public transportation to go there with the 800 bus to Beauport (it’s the last stop, you can’t miss it).The bus is a 7$ roundtrip and it will bring you back at old Quebec when you want without any rush. In wintertime its quite amazing to see it. You can walk on the bridge over the fall and take great picture to impress your friend (or yourself if you have no friend)! If you are willing to do it there a possibility to do Ice Climbing near from the waterfalls for info click here ...you will definitely feel like Jon snow climbing the wall! It's safer of course! Also it is nice to see what we call le pain de sucre (Sugar Loaf). It's basically an ice formation at the bottom of the waterfall. The river freezes and freezing water sprays on top and thus ice accumulate on it creating a dome-shape. That being said, be warned. It'S called a loaf, but dont take a bite of it, The Montmorency falls authorities will not pay for a any needed dental surgery. No only that, but it doesn’t taste good…It's not sweet at all...been there done that !
Go see the Warming Stations
Newly this year, over 12 ephemeral place for winter will take place in different locations in the city. They are great warming station where you can chill out outside on a bench with a blanket by a fire. It could give you the change to have a chat with the locals, have a drink of coffee or hot chocolate and embrace winter as well in one of the winter capitals in the world. Plenty of activities will take place over the winter, the schedule will soon be available. I will personally be looking forward to visit all of them!
Photo credit :Facebook du Village vacances Valcatier
Sledding at Village vacances Valcartier
One of my personal favorites. Every year when I was in highschool we had the chance to choose an activity. For me it was the inflatable snow tube sliding at Village Vacances Valcatier...That was my choice without any doubt. Speed and fun, both kids and adults will enjoy. I'd even dare say some adults were scared to try some of them. It's not too far from downtown but you do need to have a car. That being said you can also take a special shuttle to go there.
Ice Fishing at the Village Nordik (closed for 2020)
January 19 to March 10 Bassin-Louise
You should try ice-fishing in wintertime! It's a great unique winter experience. Village Nordik is located at few minutes from the train station. They can cook the fish you catch for a cheap fee and be of all it'll be as fresh as can be! It's a fun activity and if you pay a little bit more you can fish in an inflatable Igloo! Dress well, wear warm clothes and it will be one of the highlights of your trip. If you've never tried fishing they can help you as well :)
I won't do the whole list because it'll never end and winter will be over by the end of your read. But here are a few other activities: A free walking tour of Québec ofc ;) Ski or Snowboard at the Mountain (Le Relais, Stoneham, Mont-Ste-Anne, etc) Take a food tour Dog Sledding Snowshoeing at the plains of Abraham or domaine Maizeret Take a tour of the Château Frontenac Ice Skating at Place d'Youville Go see and cheers for the Rempart de Québec (Ice hockey) at le Centre Videotron Go see the international Pee-Wee Hockey tournament and see the hockey hall of fame exhibition Skidoo rental Visit l'Hôtel de glace (Amazing completely ice-built hotel, you can even tour the inside) Visit a Microbrewery Go shopping Wear warm clothes Make a snowman Breathe the cold air ... I told you, it never ends!