Quebec City is considered one of North America’s most beautiful cities year-round- this is
especially true in the colder months. This historic city transforms into a winter wonderland with
snow-covered cobblestone streets, icy river views and brightly decorated buildings with frosted
Want to plan an unforgettable family-friendly winter getaway in Quebec City? Check out these 4
must-try winter activities that your toddler will love almost as much as they love the Frozen
Spend the Night in an Ice-Sculpted Suite at Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel)
Fancy staying the night in a high-end igloo? That’s exactly what Hôtel de Glace – North
America’s only ice hotel – offers to a few hundred lucky and daring visitors every winter. This
luxurious Quebec City hotel doubles as a unique family-friendly experience and a very unique
Canadian winter activity.
Complete with intricate ice sculptures and spectacular snow arches, the ice hotel is a one-of-a-
kind experience. You can choose from an array of suites to suit your family’s size and travel
style, all decorated to match the theme of the year (the theme for 2023 is Nightlife).
Accommodations are complete with an ice bed base, a thermally insulated mattress, a comfy
winter sleeping bag, an insulated bed sheet and a pillow. For added coziness, you can opt for
an ice suite with a fireplace inside, and access to a private hot tub and sauna.
Each booking includes a room inside the nearby hotel. This is because your ice suite doesn’t
have a shower and because access to your ice room opens at 9 p.m. It also comes in handy as
an indoor backup plan – though 97% of guests spend the night in their ice room!
During the day, you’re welcome to tour the icy architectural wonders including all of the ice
suites and the Chapel and Grand Hall. There is an array of on-site Nordic-inspired amenities to
enjoy as well. You can sip juice from a frozen ice mug, your toddler can zoom down a slippery
ice slide, the whole family can skate along a picturesque trail, or unwind in a sauna or hot tub.
Pro tip: Your guide will share tips and tricks to make the most of your stay in the ice hotel,
including: filling up on food before bed to keep warm and limiting liquid consumption before bed
to avoid bathroom breaks. They also recommend using the artic spa before bed to help you
wind down for the night – if you’re travelling with a toddler you can opt for a warm bath in your
hotel room for the same effect. spend the night in a -3C degrees igloo-inspired hotel
Don’t worry, if an ice-hotel experience is not your thing, you can find many excellent family
hotels in Quebec City.
Celebrate the Winter Season at Quebec’s Winter Carnival
Carnaval de Quebec is one of the largest and most famous winter festivals in the world. The
festival takes place annually in February when the city is sure to be dusted in a blanket of snow.
2024 marks the 70 th anniversary of this festival beloved by locals and tourists alike. Carnaval de
Quebec offers snow-filled fun for all ages with a range of activities and attractions. Little ones
will love Bonhomme – the official mascot – and can even tour his official residence,
Bonhomme’s Palace! Located across from the Parliament Building of Quebec, this exquisite ice
palace is one of the main attractions boasting intricate carvings and features.
Families can watch the vibrant parade performers stroll down the streets and cheer along the
ice canoe racers as they make their way across the St. Lawrence River. When you need a
break from the fun, take advantage of the rare opportunity to sit on a winterized patio and grab a
bite to eat.
Score a souvenir at Quebec City’s world-famous toy store
Benjo Store in Quebec City is a must-visit for kids – and kids at heart. Located off of rue St.
Joseph, this world-renowned shop is much more than your average toy store.
The experience kicks off with a kids VIP entrance consisting of a small door exclusive to
children. Inside, this 25,000 square foot shop parallels Santa’s workshop.
Kids can spend all day here enjoying endless activities including stuffing their own plush toy,
listening to book readings, building toy models and playing with games and puzzles. On
weekends, little ones can even ride a mini-train around the store.
Stop by the enormous candy station for a sweet treat, or enjoy a warm beverage from the café
while kids play. Before you leave, make sure to pick up a toy as a souvenir to remember your
Quebec City visit!
Pro tip: If you’re visiting in December and looking to get into the holiday spirit, Santa often
makes appearances at Benjo on weekends.
Meet Adorable Arctic Animals at the Aquarium de Quebec
Aquarium de Quebec offers an unparalleled aquatic experience that you and your toddler will
enjoy. This attraction offers the perfect blend of learning and fun.
You can work on expanding your toddler’s vocabulary about animals and colours. Little ones will
also love the educational activities including listening to the story of Gilbert the polar bear,
building a real aquarium and eco-friendly crafting.
At the Deep Sea Pavillion, you can spot under-the-sea wildlife including fish, seahorses and
jellyfish. There’s also a tactile area where you can touch stingrays, starfish and urchins! Keeping
with the winter theme, you can meet adorable arctic animals such as arctic foxes, polar bears
What’s more, the amenities are family-friendly. You can easily tour every area with a stroller
thanks to wide walkways, ramps and elevators. Plus, they offer change rooms and a family
room with free microwave access.
Toboggan Down Terasse Dufferin
Embrace the snow by trying a quintessential Canadian winter activity – tobogganing! These
nostalgic wooden toboggans, dating back more than a century, accommodate up to four
passengers at any one time.
With no minimum age, children under the age of three ride for free on the lap of their parents.
As you zoom down the slide set along a snowy mountain, take in incredible views of two iconic
Quebec City attractions – the elegant and historic Château Frontenac hotel and the majestic St.
Lawrence River. Afterward, stop by the on-site eatery to warm up with a hot beverage paired with a sandwich or a sweet treat.
Pro tip: Dress warm! The wind as you slide down makes the cold feel even chillier – you’ll be
glad you wore the extra layers.
About the Author
Anne has lived in Quebec City for over 20 years. She started Quebec Wonders whilst on
maternity leave, to help fellow parents and travellers of all ages make the most of their trip to
her home town. Quebec Wonders are Quebec travel experts and their free online content
covers all things Quebec.