10 Things to Do at the Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival entices you to stop hibernating and get outside and embrace the winter! Here are some of our top suggestions on what to do at the carnival!

Meet Bonhomme!

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Bonhomme is the official mascot of the Quebec Winter Carnival. He is a giant seven-foot-tall white jolly snowman who wears a red hat and a red sash across him. Every year he is given a key to the city and officially reigns over the carnival.

To the locals Bonhomme is more than a mascot, he is as real as you and me! For many, the highlight of carnival is if you’re lucky enough to have an encounter with Bonhomme. In the eyes of some Quebec youngsters Bonhomme is adored more than Santa Clause!

The ultimate accessory at Quebec Winter Carnival is to wear the arrow sash that Bonhomme wears which can be purchased in many shops around Quebec City. It makes Bonhomme very proud. 

Visit Bonhomme’s Castle!

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Bonhomme is a snowman with expensive taste! Bonhomme lives a life of luxury because every year he gets a brand new, architecturally designed ice palace to live in! It is essential when attending Quebec Winter Carnival to visit Bonhommes Ice Palace!

The Ice Palace is magical at night time when its all lit up with bright LED lights. Night time is also when the palace transforms into a dance club. DJs spin some beats and revellers dancing the night away all while enjoying the strong alcoholic drinks served from the nearby huts.

The Bonhomme Ice Palace is opposite Quebec Parliament Building just a few steps from the fairgrounds. Bonhomme also lets you tour his palace and all the walls and furniture is made of ice.

Bonhomme has a reputation of being a bad host but sometimes he may show up to his own house party so keep an eye out for him! 

Watch the International Snow Sculpture Competition

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If you want your jaw to drop them make sure you check out the International Snow Sculpture Competition which is one of the absolute highlights of Quebec Winter Carnival. It showcases the most incredible mind-blowing ice sculptures.

The competition features the best ice sculptures from around the world who compete against each other in the hopes of winning snow carving superiority. if you’re lucky you may even be able to witness the carvers work on their turning their ice-block into a piece of art.

The event sees carvers work around the clock during opening weekend to transform huge piles of snow into a masterpiece of their choosing. The public is even allowed to vote for who they believe should be the champion.

Watch the Charlesbourg Night Parade

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There are two family friend night parades that are held during Quebec Winter Carnival. The first is the Charlesbourg Night Parade and the second is the Upper Town Night Parade. Both are festive processions that include lots of singing, dancing, gorgeous costumes and floats and an of course an appearance by Bonhomme. 

Eat delicious Canadian Cuisine

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Ever heard of “Beaver Tails”?

well they are one of the favourite treats at carnival. They are essentially just a flat donut in the shape of a beaver’s tail, but they go so well with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Or you can also roast some marshmallows around crackling fires to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Another Canadian favourite is maple taffy. This is an incredible tasty treat made from boiled maple syrup that is then drizzled over snow and when cooled turns into a delicious soft candy eaten on a stick! It’s a must try, I mean what’s more Canadian then maple syrup?

For some more savoury Canadian treats try some poutine, it’s like the most Canadian dish ever. It’s French fries covered in gravy (more like swimming in gravy) and topped with cheese. Or try tourtiere a traditional French-Canadian dish. It is a meat pie that’s only served in the winter months.

Attend the a Party or Ball!

There is a fancy Masquerade Ball held at the Chateau Frontenac every year that attracts hundreds of fancy-dressed individuals. Actually there are so many other events that occur during carnival like organised dances and parties that are thrown in honor of Winter Carnival all throughout Quebec City. Of course, the Outdoor Dance Party outside Bonhomme’s Ice Palace is a must.

#QuebecWinterCarnival entices you to stop hibernating and get outside and embrace the winter! 🍁 Filled with fun activities for the whole family! Here are our top suggestions! #Quebec #Canada #carnival #carnivaland ✅ Click To Tweet

Drink Caribou

What is a Caribou?

Anyone who lives in Quebec will tell you that a caribou is pretty much the greatest drink ever created. Caribou is similar to a mulled wine and for the most part contains red wine, brandy, cinnamon sticks and of course maple syrup. It is served everywhere at carnival, hot and cold. Caribou is guaranteed to ward of those winter by warming you up from inside out.

Have snow bath!

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This is not for the faint of heart! Its only for the brave and maybe the most insane who have the guts to go out in sub-zero temperatures and literally take a bath in the snow. Its very fun to watch and if you have the balls, why not try it yourself.

Enjoy some Canadian Winter Sports

What’s a winter carnival without some ice-skating?

Coming to Quebec during winter and not putting on some ice-skates would be a tragedy. There is nice outdoor ice-rink that is put up at D’Youville. It’s a beautiful place to skate as your surrounded by historic old buildings.

Also you could try the Toboggan Ice Slide. This is one of the most popular and fun events at Winter Carnival! Four people can hop on a toboggan and slide downhill towards the Château Frontenac. If you’re a speed junky then this is the thing for you, because the sleds can reach speeds of up to 70 km/hour.

Become a Human Foosball!

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You can also try the human foosball setup which sees you being strapped to a pole while you and your teammates attempt to score the most goals without hands. The game is played with 18 people, nine on each team and you are attached to poles in groups of three and you all must work together to hit the ball. The game is loads of fun.

Read more about carnival here.

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