Quebec’s Winter Carnival is the largest winter festival in the world, dating back to 1894. Its reputation for good times and festivities places it right up there with Rio and New Orleans, albeit with its icy touch. 475 tons of water is used to create snow sculptures, including an incredible ice palace. There are various competitions, such as dog sledding, canoe and sleigh racing, and things really get hopping when thousands descend for the night parade, ushered in by a boisterous character known as the Bonhomme, and his naughty knights.
Length of Trip : 3 – 7 days
Cost : Purchasing an effigy is your ticket (it must be worn to gain access to the site) and a fun souvenir. In 2013, the price was $15. Children under 8 get free entrance.
Best time to go : Winter Carnival usually takes place first two weeks of February.
Wheelchair friendly : Since the site is outside in snow and ice, there is no special wheel chair access, and motorized vehicles are not permitted. Access is allowed but will be challenging. There are disabled washrooms on site.
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat : There are various fast food vendors on site, although the crowds can get busy. You can always leave the grounds for a meal in Old Quebec. Your effigy gets you a discount at participating restaurant partners.
Official Site : www.carnaval.qc.ca/en/
Getting There : Directions from the airport, bus terminal or train stations.
Note from Robin : Your effigy (entrance ticket souvenir) gets you discounts at hotels, restaurants, and even a visit to the Ice Hotel. Locals fill up their plastic Bon Homme canes with caribou for a little warmth during those evening strolls. Caribou Recipe (for 10 people, or 3 party animals) 3 oz. Vodka 3 oz. Brandy 12 ½ oz. Canadian Sherry 12 ½ oz. Canadian Port