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Quebec City Winter Fun for Families

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Founded over four centuries ago, Quebec City is one of the most romantic spots on the planet, especially when enveloped in a beautiful blanket of snow. But it’s also super kid friendly. Bien sûr, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in French Canada appeals to all ages. From wintry outdoor adventures and cultural activities to a life-sized snowman mascot, you’re sure to have a (snow) ball in one of the safest cities in North America! Here’s a look at Quebec City winter activities for families. 

Say Bonjour to Bonhomme, the Quebec Winter Carnival mascot

Say Bonjour to Bonhomme, the Quebec Winter Carnival mascot (Photo credit: Francis Gagnon, Office du Tourisme de Québec)

1. Quebec Winter Carnival

Not only is the Quebec Winter Carnival the world’s largest outdoor winter festival, but also it’s the most fun. The carnival typically takes place in late January and early February. Kids have a blast trying out winter activities like snow tubing, hockey, and dog-sledding. Bonhomme, a 7-foot-tall snowman, is the symbol of this frosty festival. No Quebec City winter visit is complete without spotting this dapper dude.

Kids enjoying maple taffy at the Quebec Winter Carnival

Kids enjoying maple taffy at the Quebec Winter Carnival (Photo credit: Office du Tourisme de Québec)

2. Musée de la Civilisation

A museum day provides a great way to warm up in winter in Quebec City. Tops for families is the interactive Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilization). Look for exhibits and rotating daily activities that explore science, culture, and history. Downstairs you’ll discover a play zone with a forest, dungeon, secret passageway, and ballroom where kids can bring fairy tales to life. Take a look at their virtual exhibits, which you can explore from home.

Entrance of Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City

Entrance of Musée de la Civilisation (Photo credit: donogl, Depositphotos.com)

3. Valcartier Village Vacances Snow Tubing

About a 30-minute drive from the city lies Valcartier Village Vacances. With dozens of tube runs, this winter playground is a paradise for adventure seekers. The runs range from easy to difficult and it’s set up like a ski hill with the green, blue and black diamond designation. In fact, you can reach speeds over 40 miles per hour on some tubing runs at Valcartier Village! There are smaller runs for preschoolers and a kid’s zone for toddlers to swoosh down mini slides.

Snow-tubing in Valcartier Village Vacances in Quebec

Snow-tubing in Valcartier Village Vacances (Photo credit: Francis Gagnon, Québec City Tourism)

Inside is an arcade and several restaurants. While tubing is the big draw, you’ll also find an ice skating trail and a maple taffy shack, where you can taste the wonders of icy Canadian sweets made from maple syrup. Open year-round, Valcartier Village also boasts more than 35 waterslides for summertime fun.

Ice skating at Valcartier Village Vacances

Ice skating at Valcartier Village Vacances (Photo credit: Benoit Camirand, Office du Tourisme de Québec)

4. Old Quebec

Exploring Quebec City’s history can be fun for all ages. Just don’t tell your kids they’re getting a history lesson as they stroll through 400-year-old streets and squares. Old Quebec is a charming mass of quaint cobblestone streets flanked by stone buildings. Pop into the many shops selling hot chocolate, maple syrup and touristy items that are sure to enthrall the kids.

Old Town Quebec City in winter

Old Town Quebec City in winter (Photo credit: windjunkie, Depositphotos.com)

5. Hôtel de Glace

While children are welcome to spend the night at Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City, an overnight isn’t the only way to see inside this ice hotel. Between January and March visitors can take a tour of this impressive chilly site. Rent snowshoes and trek around the property or simply marvel at the amazing murals and ice sculptures. There’s a café on site and a fun ice slide to wow the kiddies.

Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City

Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City (Photo credit: Renaud Philippe, Office du Tourisme de Québec)

Explore More of Quebec

For a heart-pumping winter activity, read about what it’s like to go dog-sledding in Quebec.

Discover what there is to do in sister city, Montreal with kids.

Relax at one of these amazing Nordic Spas in Canada, with or without kids.

Children as young as 12 can drive their own dog-sledding team at Chiens-Traineaux Petite-Nation

Dog-sledding at Chiens-Traineaux Petite-Nation in Quebec (Photo from Chiens-Traineaux.com)

Save Quebec City Winter Tips

For future reference, be sure to save these tips for visiting Quebec City in winter with kids. Simply pin the image below to Pinterest. We hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Things to Do in Quebec City in Winter with Kids

Are you up for some Quebec City winter fun with your family? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Saucy Travel Mama: Merci beaucoup to Quebec City Tourism for hosting my visit. The host did not pay Travel Mamas any monetary compensation. As always, my opinions are my own.

About Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama

After a career in international marketing and a few years spent living the high life as an expat, Jody now resides with her family in Calgary, Canada. Figuring travel writing was a good way to combine her wanderlust and parental duties, she’s spent the past few years working with both print and online media, contributing to the Calgary Herald Travel and Real Life sections and blogging about her adventures at Travels with Baggage (JodyRobbins.com). When not circling the globe with her precocious children (one daughter, one husband, one dog), she can usually be found snowboarding or pretending to enjoy hiking. Find Jody on Twitter at @Jody_Robbins.

Comments
  1. Susan Martin says

    Your photos capture the fun! An ice hotel sounds like a once in a lifetime experience! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jody Robbins, The Saucy Travel Mama says

      Thanks, Susan, it really was a hoot. Hotel de Glace was definitely one of those bucket list items that you’ll want to check out even if you don’t stay overnight.

  2. Nichola - Globalmouse says

    What a lot of snow fun! The snow tubing looks great and I want to visit an ice hotel so badly!!

  3. I don’t know why, because I detest winter, but I’ve always wanted to visit Quebec during the winter. I almost booked a trip for my family this winter just to experience the Hotel de Glace and then I chickened out. 🙁 Maybe next year.

  4. Mama Munchkin (@globalmunchkins) says

    I had no idea that Quebec was such a kid friendly destination. My kids would flip over the ice hotel and I love snow tubing. Adding it to our bucketlist!!

  5. Although I have never been to Canada, unfortunately, Quebec is undoubtedly the part that most attracts me and now after reading this blog post I found that my intuition was not wrong!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      If you like French culture and cuisine, then you will love Quebec indeed! Hope you can safely visit someday!

  6. I had no idea Quebec was so amazing! I’d love to go there. I’d stop in Old Quebec first. It looks like a European city!

  7. Oh my, it’s been so long since I’ve been to Quebec City. I remember going with my family as a kid! Fun times.

  8. Quebec City doesn’t get mentioned as much as other Canadian cities, but it looks like it has much to offer. I think I will stick with summer as a time to visit- those pictures look nice, but I prefer warm, sunny days!

  9. Anngelic.com says

    Québec is definatly on my bucketlist!
    I had a friend who passed away a few years ago, and I am taking over his bucketlist in his honor – so Canada is was up on the list 🙂

  10. Steven Morrissette says

    Hey, I am from Quebec. You are right Quebec is a lovely place to visit and perfect for families. Thanks for speaking so kindly of my home city.

  11. Quebec is on my list of places to visit! My kids would love the Winter Carnival and the snow tubing! But my husband and I would love the Ice hotel! We have talked about seeing one –just haven’t had the chance! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I would love to visit Canada again when the pandemic is over. So sad that we can’t go because of the pandemic, but gives us something to look forward to after. Fun to be able to make the best of wintertime!

    • Colleen Lanin says

      It’s always good to have something to look forward to! Maybe a trip to Quebec City next winter is in order?!

  13. Such a beautiful city Quebec. I love winter sometimes its bit hard but if you try to make fun out of it then winter is gorgeous.

  14. A seriously cute place to visit! Another place that after seeing a post, I now must add it to my travel bucket list! Such a sweet looking place to visit.

  15. Oh man, I’d love to get that history lesson too. Old Quebec is a place I’d definitely love to see.

  16. yudith napitupulu says

    I would love to visit Quebec, Canada and visit this place. Looks wonderful place to spend holiday with family.

  17. katrina kroeplin says

    that looks like a great time. i would love to visit in person.

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