In the midst of all these post-holiday grey days, who wouldn’t need a little pick me up in the form of bit of sub-zero merry-making?
Old Quebec City is just the remedy for those winter blahs. The historic city offers one of the oldest, (and truly coldest) winter festivals around. When I was a young lad, I was actually afraid of that giant smiling snowman with the red toque towering above us mere mortals.
Turns out, Bonhomme Carnivale is just as friendly as Frosty The Snowman, and that’s why he remains the lovable mascot of the largest winter carnival in the world.
Talk about Canadian history
After checking into the beautiful and historic Chateau Frontenac hotel on the banks of the St. Lawrence, I was amazed at the snowy festivities taking place all over old Quebec.
Elaborate night parades, sleigh and dogsled rides, concerts, and snow sculpting to name just a few. The very funny and icy canoe race on the St. Lawrence is not to be missed, and if you’re really adventurous, you can zipline right through the middle of the historic Plains of Abraham, which happens to be the nucleus of the carnival.
It’s also a fun tradition to actually skate alongside Bonhomme himself, so better sharpen those blades. That chilly dude can hustle.
All this wintry fun has been part of the Quebec calendar since 1894, and began with the habitants of New France, who knew how to eat, drink, be merry, and get a little rowdy prior to Lent.
Let’s face it, this time of year there’s no sense in fighting the coldâ€¦might as well celebrate it. What better place to do that than in cool old Quebec? This year’s Quebec winter carnival runs from January 28th to February 13th..
Other Cool Things to Do in Quebec City
Shop in Petit Champlain
Check out North America’s oldest shopping district, located at the foot of Dufferin Terrace in the Vieux Port. Watch actors re-enact Quebec’s 400-year history, or chow down at any one of a dozen bistros.
Visit Canyon St. Anne
Marvel at the highest pedestrian bridge in Quebec, and walk over three separate suspension bridges, past a giant waterfall. For the more adventurous, first-class bungee jumping, zip-lining and mountain biking.