First held in 1894, Quebec Winter Carnival is a two-week celebration which welcomes a million participants from around the globe. If you’re a fan of snow, you’re going to love it at the Carnaval de Québec, where you can join the hardy locals in indulging in dog sleigh racing, canoe racing, snowcross and the infamous Snow Bath. The festival starts with a colourful parade, led by the event’s mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval, a giant snowman in a red hat. Highlights include the International Snow Sculpture Competition, boasting some incredible creations, and the Ice Palace - an amazing illuminated structure made of ice which hosts dance parties and other festival activities.
The carnival takes place from January to February in Quebec City. To get to this famous winter event, head to the Quebec City Jean Lesage airport, just six miles south of the city. From there, take a $35 taxi or the number 78 bus into the city centre. If you’re heading to the carnival from elsewhere in Canada, it can be cost effective to travel by train - plan your journey here. The main carnival activities take place in the old quarters - snow sculptures & dog sledding on the main site of the Plains of Abraham, the ice palace is situated on the Place de l’Assemblée Nationale and the skating happens at the Place D’Youville.
If you’re planning to attend the carnival, why not jump right in with both feet and take part in the Snow Bath, or Bain de Neige. The challenge is to roll around in a giant pit of snow in just your bikini or trunks at temperatures of around minus 20! If frolicking in a snow bath with hardly any clothes on isn’t your thing, you can wrap up nice and warm and simply spectate. Don’t forget to try the local brew - a warming concoction of red wine, whisky and maple syrup named Caribou.
Make the most of your trip to Québec to celebrate winter by staying in the perfect rental accommodation for you. If you book with Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in bed and breakfasts, studios, apartments, penthouses or townhouses…all within easy reach of all of the Carnival festivities via public transport. Check out our accommodation in Québec.
If you’re travelling to this lively city for the carnival, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do, including: Montmorency Falls Park; Notre Dame Basilique de Québec; and the beautiful Place Royal.
To find out more information about the carnival, please check out the city’s official website where you’ll be able to find out information about the Bonhomme the mascot, where to watch all the events and the full carnival schedule.
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