There’s nothing quite as enthralling as the magic of festive spirit. Some people may argue that the excessive media exposure has turned Christmas into a commercial and shallow holiday. It’s true that it’s widely commercial, but it’s far from being shallow. In fact, we’ve reached a point when the first thing that pops in our heads when thinking of winter holidays is joy. And that’s a fantastically wonderful thing. Family, forgiveness, relaxation, and generosity are all part of the festive dictionary. And you know what helps amplify these sentiments? Thematic activities and decorations. There’s no better place to get into the spirit of Christmas than by paying a visit to the famed Quebec Winter Carnival.
In case the name and the reputation alone aren’t enough to convince you to pack up and prepare for a departure, we’ve got up our sleeves ten proper reasons to make the Quebec Winter Carnival your holiday destination this year.
When you really think about it, visiting the Quebec Winter Carnival for Bonhomme is the equivalent of people journeying to Disneyland to snap a photo with Mickey Mouse. The festival’s towering, snowy mascot may not exactly be a global icon of Mickey Mouse levels, but it’s definitely the image of the festivity.
#2 Ice Palace
Especially now that we live in a world succeeding the Frozen craze, there’s no way a real-life ice palace won’t immediately charm the kids. The impressive structure is the home of Bonhomme (no wordplay intended) and its fun little knack is that it takes on a different form every year. In other words, no palace is the same, making this an experience you can always find fresh every year.
#3 Snowy Adventures
With the Effigy pass, you gain access not only to the aforementioned Ice Palace, but to the myriad of attractions and activities destined for the whole family. For those seeking to enjoy typical winter activities, the ice slides and snow tubes are waiting for you. Because they’re in such a high demand, you should probably prepare yourself emotionally for rather lengthy queues.
#4 Culinary Delights
To be honest, this over here is a pretty valid reason to visit festivals in general, but the Quebec Winter Carnival benefits from the fact that it’s a combination of holiday treats and local Quebec cuisine. The variety of food you can find there is typical to the environment: you can enjoy a hot sandwich or you can eat a four-course-meal at a local restaurant. Whatever it is, make sure not to miss out on the traditional French dishes presented.
#5 Maple Taffy
All carnival treats are to die for, but maple taffy is something so special by itself that it needed a separate section. Those of you that love maple syrup need to get your hands on this seasonal sweet delight. Even the technique, which involves rolling a flat popsicle stick through the threads of heated maple syrup laid in the snow. You’ll get it when you see it.
#6 Night Clubs
Perhaps one of the best parts about the Quebec Winter Carnival is that it thoroughly covers the needs of all categories of ages. The carnival during daytime is a myriad of festive activities, winter sports, and drinking hot chocolate. When nighttime hits, the Ice Palace turns into a roaring night club, packed with a DJ and all of the other assets necessary to foster a bombing party for teens and adults.
#7 Ice Fishing
What better reason to visit a place if not to experience something that you don’t get to try on a daily basis? Ice fishing isn’t exactly the type of activity you can get into right after stepping out of your house. The Quebec Winter Carnival has a special area reserved for ice holes which offer the opportunity for kids and adults alike to capture a fish themselves. At the end, you can choose whether to donate it or have it cooked.
#8 Snow Sculptures
The Ice Palace isn’t the only sight that can make your jaw drop. The Quebec Winter Carnival brings together a bunch of talented people which have the ability to mold snow into incredibly intricate and detailed sculptures. You can see everything from objects, to locations, and to bizarre fantastic creatures.
#9 Night Parades
If you don’t want to hit the local clubs when nightfall hits, then don’t fear – you won’t be running out of things to do. During two out of the three weekends throughout which the carnival spans, you get the chance to attend their night parades. The first one features 30 minutes of joyous music, singers, jugglers, and marching bands, as well as an appearance for Bonhomme himself. The second one also exhibits the local wildlife, including wolves and owls.
#10 Sleds and Sleighs
Do you love winter activities and animals? Then you must absolutely hit up at least one of these incredibly fun activities. Dog sledding is a bonus that can be “unlocked” with an addition of $10 per adult and $8 per children, but it’s thoroughly worth it (as you may imagine). The sleigh rides are also additional activities not included in the ticket pricing. They’re particularly good for cozying up in one of the three sleighs after a day of wandering about, snuggled underneath a blanket and with a pretzel in one hand and hot chocolate in another.