In Quebec City
- Festival/Outdoor Activity: Quebec City's Winter Carnival
Enjoy the best of the cold season during the biggest winter celebration in the world. Countless activities are scheduled over the course of the first two weeks of February, but the most popular happenings are certainly the two night parades, during which thousands of people gather along the streets of Quebec City to enjoy the colorful carnival floats, dance troupes, marching bands and entertainers that know how to keep the crowd warm. Visit the Ice Palace, admire the numerous ice sculptures, have fun at one of the many activity sites, dance under the stars at one of the outdoor dance parties, and meet Bonhomme himself, the Carnival's star! There truly is something for everyone.
The night parades are free, and most activity sites can be accessed with the Carnival's Effigy, which can be bought online and in many stores and shops around Quebec City.
When: February 1-17, 2013
Where: All around downtown Quebec City (view a map of all the sites)
- Outdoor Activity: LumoCité
Part of the Winter Carnival activities, LumoCité is a multimedia lighting event designed around a winter theme. Expert multimedia teams from around the world will light up the capital's most beautiful architectural treasures such as the Palais Montcalm, Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, Morrin Centre and Fortifications of the Abraham Plains. Visitors can walk from one attraction to the next to enjoy a full night of spectacular sights.
When: Nights, February 6-9, 2013
Where: Several locations around the city (View Map)
- Outdoor Activity: Canoe Race of the Winter Carnival
Undoubtedly one of the Carnival's iconic activities, the canoe race is a legendary competition that has been held since the very first edition of the Carnival, 120 years ago. Every year, courageous teams compete with one another during a tumultuous and spectacular ride across the St. Lawrence River.
When: February 9-10, 2013
Where: Bassin Louise (View Map)
- One-of-a-Kind Accommodation/Food/Outdoor Activity: The Ice Hotel
Quebec City's most unusual hotels is opening its icy doors for the winter season. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, it's a must-see attraction to visit. Accommodation starts at $199 CAD per night, and packages including themed activities, such as dogsledding, are available. Tours are also offered, which allow visitors to admire the hotel's huge snow vaults and ice sculpture.
When: January 5 to March 24, 2013
Where: 9530, rue de la Faune, Quebec City, QC G1G 5H9 (View Map)
- Family Activity/Festival: Festi Lumières Festival
This year, the Festi Lumières festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary at Quebec City's aquarium. Thousands of lights illuminate the site, creating a magical winter atmosphere that twinkles in a rainbow of colors, lighting up the trees, ice sculptures and animal-shaped structures. There is also a gingerbread house, illuminated slides, inflatable games, and an enchanted tree.
When: January 11 to March 9, 2013
Where: Aquarium du Québec (View Map)
- Exhibition: Fine Arts in New France
This exhibition proposes a rereading of art in New France - from the founding of Quebec City to the taking of the capital by the British in 1759 - in order to evaluate its impact on later artistic development and on the evolution of the concept of cultural heritage. Every form of art is represented: painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, fancy metal ware, furniture, textiles and decorative arts.
When: Until April 28, 2013
Where: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (View Map)
- Outdoor Activity: Ice Skating at Place d'Youville
Skate right in the heart of Old Quebec's charming ambiance at Place d'Youville, just across from Porte Saint-Jean and the Capitole de Québec. The Place is especially romantic at night, and the rink is equipped with a refrigeration system, which guarantees excellent ice skating conditions at all times. Access is free for those who come equipped with their own skates, and skated can also be rented on site for a small fee.
When: October 13, 2012 to March 17, 2013 (dates are approximate, depending on weather conditions)
Where: Place d'Youville (View Map)
- Outdoor Activity: Guided Snowshoeing Tours of the Plains of Abraham
Follow a knowledgeable guide through a nighttime course mapped out by the Plains of Abraham's sports history. Along the way, you will learn about many of the city's sports secrets as well as leisure activities of "la belle époque". Showshoes, lanterns, arrow sashes and hot chocolates are included.
When: February 16, 2013 (in English) and more dates in French
Where: Plains of Abraham (View Map)
- Outdoor Activity: Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing on the Plains of Abraham
Ski or snowshoe for free in one of the most accessible and beautiful sites in Quebec City, right downtown, offering sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River and the city's iconic Château Frontenac. The Plains of Abraham provide 12.6 km (7.8 miles) of ski trails for beginner to intermediate cross-country skiers, a 3.8 km (2.4 miles) round trip snowshoeing trail and a 5.6 km (3.5 miles) walking trail. A waxing room and two heated rest areas are located along the way, and sports equipment can be rented on site.
When: Until the end of March, according to weather conditions
Where: Plains of Abraham (View Map); Equipment rental at Discovery Pavilion of the Plains of Abraham (View Map)
- Family Activity: Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament
Come cheer some of the best 11- and 12-year-old hockey players from Canada, the US and Europe. Around 2,200 players from 15 countries will compete over 11 days in front of crowds totaling about 200,000 fans.
When: February 14-24, 2013
Where: Colisée Pepsi (View Map)
Around Quebec City
- Outdoor/Family Activity: World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships
The 31st edition of the World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships will showcase the world junior elite of downhill skiing, some of whom are hopefuls for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sotchi. They will compete in various disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super giant, downhill, and combined alpine. Two resorts in the greater Québec City area, Mont Saint-Anne and Le Massif ski resorts, will host 250 athletes from over 50 countries for an event that will thrill all those who share an interest in alpine skiing.
When: February 18-28, 2013
Where: Mont Saint-Anne (View Map) and Le Massif de Charlevoix (View Map)