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Québec Winter Carnival for Families

by Barbara Rogers

Jan 9, 2023

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

North America

Québec City knows how to throw a party in the winter; they’ve had nearly 70 years of practice. This year, the world’s biggest and oldest winter carnival lights the streets and parks of this historic city, Feb. 3–12. Family travelers should head to Québec to be part of the fun.


You don’t have to love snow and ice to enjoy Québec City’s annual extravaganza of all things winter, but it helps. For an activity-packed week, the Quebecois don’t just skate and ski on it. They celebrate it, slide down it, carve it into works of art, drive dog teams through it, build castles with it and make candy out of it.


Québec Winter Carnival engulfs the city, from the top of its famous ramparts (Québec is North America’s only walled city) to the atmospheric stone streets of the lower town. A giant slide invites kids and parents to tube into the city from the top of the ramparts, and Place Loto-Québec is filled by a huge ice palace with towers to climb.


Elsewhere, kids can climb an ice mountain, swim in a pool inside a giant igloo and get their mittens sticky with maple candy. Look for the Cabane a Sucre – sugar shack – where you can sample traditional, chewy sweet candy made by pouring maple syrup onto snow.


Kids love to follow the Snow Sculptures Route to spot the 100 snow and ice sculptures scattered throughout the city, as well as play the online game to win some prizes. The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Concerts and live music fill the plaza around the Ice Palace. On two frosty nights, the whole city bundles up to watch a parade, where more than 300 colorfully costumed people create a mobile stage show of floats, performers, dancers and bands.


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