|Carnival grounds// All photos by Adam Leposa|
This past weekend, Travel Agent got a chance to visit the opening of the Winter Carnival in Québec City. In no particular order, here’s a look at what to see and do around the city.
The Old Town
Québec City’s Old Town is the only walled city with its original fortifications north of Mexico. Boutiques along rue St. Jean and St. Louis feature an array of shopping opportunities, and Le Petit Cochon Dengue at the bottom of the Furniculaire offers a place to warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. For tour info visit https://www.toursvieuxquebec.com/fr/page/accueil.
Hôtel de Glace
Just a fifteen-minute drive outside the city, the Hôtel de Glace is a hotel made entirely of snow and ice sculpted this year in honor of the legends and history of Québec’s First Nations. Travelers not staying over can enjoy guided tours and drinks at the ice bar, while guests can check out the outdoor spa to warm up before turning in in their cold-weather sleeping bag. Wedding packages at the onsite ice chapel are also available. For details reach out to Brian Pellamb at 418-623-2888 ext. 116.
First Nations Hotel and Museum
The First Nations Hotel and Museum, run by the local Wendake tribe, is a boutique hotel whose sinuous shape mirrors the next-door St. Charles River. Every room on the property has a river view, and the hotel’s restaurant features traditional fare, such as smoked fish, seal, elk and bison. Reach out to Director of Sales Isabelle Coté at 1-866-551-9222.
This ice palace on the Carnival grounds at the Plains of Abraham takes workers three weeks to build, and features ice sculpting demonstrations from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This wide courtyard outside Bonhomme’s Palace has a Ferris Wheel that offers a birds’-eye view of the festivities, and by night the area transforms into an outdoor discotheque.
|Outdoor dance party|
Inflatable sled rides down the bluff directly above the Place Loto-Québec offer thrills for the entire family. Travelers can choose to ride in either a straight-ahead sled or a “Twister” version that spins you as you careen down the hill.
This long stretch of the Carnival grounds features row upon row of snow sculptures, as well as outdoor food vendors. There is also an ice slide and outdoor hot tubs at the Arctic Spas.
Espace Hydro-Québec and Le Bistro
These two heated food and rest areas offer a chance to warm up and recharge with panninis, local cheese plates and local specialty drink Caribou, a variety of mulled wine.
Each year teams of canoers compete to brave the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River. Preliminary rounds this year will be February 3 on Grand Allée, and the finals will take place in the river February 5.
Night parades light up the streets of Québec City on Saturdays, February 4 and 11, at 7 p.m.