Quebec City in a Flash – Winter Carnival Edition

Welcome to our Destination in a Flash guide for Quebec City, Canada – special Winter Carnival edition! Whether you want some inspiration for your next trip, or need advice on making the most out of 24 hours, this is the guide for you! We’ll tell you our favorites from our adventures in Quebec and what we recommend to see, do, eat and skip. 

What to See:

Hôtel de Glace: North America’s only hotel made totally from ice, the Hôtel de Glace is a must see! Everything from the bed you sleep on to the bar you drink from is made of ice! You can spend the night there in one of their spectacularly decorated rooms, or just visit and enjoy the cold. The bar is open for visitors to have a drink and they even have an ice slide for a bit of fun! The Hôtel de Glace is open from January to March and is a 20 minute drive from Quebec City center.

What to Do:

Check out the local ice bars: While the carnival has many great activities and stalls, make sure you still see city center for the ice bars! Many of the restaurants and bars will build their own ice bar outside their establishment to host winter drinkers throughout the carnival. Some of them are really impressive and decorated, and many will have a fire to warm up by. It’s the perfect winter bar-hopping scene!

What to Eat/Drink:

For something sweet, try Maple Taffy on a Stick: We all know the best Maple Syrup comes from Canada, so it would be a sin not to try it! But for a little winter fun, you need to try their Maple Taffy Pull. It will be made right before your eyes as hot maple syrup is poured over the snow, and then rolled up on a popsicle stick! The syrup hardens on the snow making it a gooey, delicious lollipop to eat while you enjoy Carnival!

For something more saucy, try Caribou: If you weren’t sick of Maple syrup yet, try Caribou – a concoction of red wine, maple syrup and liquor (usually brandy). It tastes a bit like mulled wine as it’s typically served hot, which is sure to keep you warm in the snow. At Carnival, it’s served in long plastic cane with the carnival’s mascot, Bonhomme, atop to be your drinking buddy!

What to Skip, and What to Do Instead:

Skip the dog sled ride: back in 2013 when I went to Winter Carnival, we partook in the dog sled ride. It was just for 2 people, and the 6 huskies took you around a small track. I won’t lie, it was pretty fun and it was a unique winter activity that was new to me. But upon reflection, I can’t say that it was kind or fair to the animals. I do not have any information stating that the dog sled rides at Quebec Carnival are cruel or unsafe for the dogs. But we have heard about companies that chase the wintery season with their dog sled attraction, sometimes bringing them all over the world and placing them in very stressful environments. So if you are interested in partaking, maybe do some research about the company they use that year, or be safe and just avoid it.

Try a human foosball or a bobsled ride instead: Quebec and Winter Carnival have SO MANY other amazing winter activities that are fun for the whole family! There’s tubbing, cross country skiing, and a really fun bobsled ride at the carnival. But my favorite was still the Human Foosball game! It’s foosball on ice where you are the little guys! You are strapped into a pole and play a slippery, exhilarating game of soccer with 10 of your favorite peps! Definite must try when you are at Winter Carnival!

Matthew & Stephanie

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