14 Winter Activities to Try in Québec City
Looking for things to do in winter in Québec City? There’s no shortage of options! The area turns into a giant playground for outdoor winter activities from December to late March, and the conditions tend to be spectacular. To get you started, here are some ideas of fun things to do in the snow in the city and surrounding area.
- Francis Gagnon
- Catherine Côté
- Massif de Charlevoix
Go Sledding Down a Hill Like a Kid
Sledding is one of the classic winter activities for kids and parents alike. Whether you’re spending a day snow tubing at a resort like Village Vacances Valcartier, zipping down the old-fashioned toboggan run at Dufferin Terrace, or flying down the 7.5 km luge course at Massif de Charlevoix, you’ll get to the bottom grinning from ear to ear and shouting “again!” no matter your age
- Place D'Youville, Francis Gagnon
- Francis Gagnon
Skate on the Prettiest Rinks
Lace up your skates and get out onto one of the many rinks in the Québec City area. The refrigerated ones at Place D’Youville and on the Plains of Abraham offer an enchanting historical setting and great ice, no matter the weather. Ice paths in the forest are another popular option and make a great winter activity for kids. They’re especially pretty at the end of day when all the twinkly lights come on. There’s one in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier and another in Shannon. Absolutely magical!
- Centre Castor
Spend a Night Somewhere Special
Turn your accommodation into an experience by choosing a fun, unique place to stay. There’s no better way to wrap up a day spent outdoors than by cozying up to a fire in a yurt at Village Yourtes Valcartier or Vallée Bras-du-Nord or in one of the floating houses at Bora-Boréal. Add it to your winter bucket list!
See the Ice Hotel
Visitors from around the world have been coming to see this architectural marvel for over 20 years. The Hôtel de Glace is made entirely of ice and snow and has a new theme each year. You’ll be blown away by the lobby, ice bar, chapel, and beautifully sculpted rooms. Another one to add to your winter bucket list!
- Parc naturel régional de Portneuf, PG.MOV
Go Snowshoeing in the Woods
There are hundreds of kilometres of snowshoeing trails in the region, and every new dump of snow is the perfect excuse to get out and explore. Jacques-Cartier National Park offers a spectacular setting in a gorgeous river valley with mountains on either side. (Remember to book before you go.) If you love mountains, there’s also Maelstrom, a new sector at Sentiers du Moulin with breathtaking views.
- Dylan Page
- Sentiers du Moulin, Dylan Page
Try Fat Biking
Rolling through the forest on a bike with big fat tires is one of those winter activities that everyone needs to try at least once. The sport is fast gaining in popularity all over, and the Québec City area is no exception. Among the many options, you have Empire 47, where the impeccably groomed trails and wide selection of rentals make for a fat biking experience sure to bring joy to your heart.
- Dominic Boudreault
Enjoy Miles of Cross-Country Skiing
With all the trails and snow and the length of the season, the Québec City area is a dream destination for cross-country skiing. The hardest part is deciding where to go! On top of the many options in the surrounding area, you can also try this outdoor winter activity right in the city centre, on the Plains of Abraham. The trails run right past Québec’s fine arts museum and have long flat sections that are perfect for beginners.
- Sophie Gagnon Bergeron
Explore the Vast Wilderness on a Snowmobile
You don’t need to own a snowmobile to ride along hundreds of kilometres of trails through snowy woods. There are many companies located next to trailheads that offer rental packages with everything you need to get out there.
- Simon Clark
Try Ice Fishing
Enjoy the same thrill of fishing, minus the mosquitoes, when you reel one in out on the ice. The Québec City area has a number of ice fishing centres that make it easy to try this classic outdoor winter activity. The equipment is supplied and there are friendly fishermen on hand to explain how it’s done. For those who tend to get cold easily, many centres have heated cabins available on site.
- Canot à glace expérience
Go Ice Canoeing
Ice canoeing used to be a way for people to travel between the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence River. Today, it’s become a sport and a symbol of Québec’s northern culture. And although it may sound hardcore, you don’t have to be insanely fit to try it. Ice Canoeing Experience offers excursions with experienced guides who will take you out on the water and show you how it’s done. Talk about a fun thing to do in the winter!
- Francis Gagnon
Go Dog Sledding
Hop on a sled pulled by a joyful band of huskies and fill up on fresh air on a magical ride through the forest. To get the full experience, be sure to visit the kennel before or after your ride. Children over the age of 2 can generally participate, making this a great winter activity for kids. Just be sure to check in with the dog sledding company to find out what their conditions are for rides with children.
- Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
Go Ski Touring and Get Off the Beaten Path
Ski touring is an outdoor winter activity that gets you off those groomed runs and into a world of pow. No wonder it’s becoming so popular! Of course, you’ll need to be an experienced skier to shred those piles of white stuff. There’s also hok skiing, a hybrid between snowshoeing and cross-country skiing that can be a good way to test your skills getting up and down backcountry terrain. You can try it at Station touristique Duchesnay, which has hok skis for rent and a section for beginners.
Go Canyoning down a Frozen Waterfall
Does rappelling down into an icy cave sound like your kind of adventure? Buckle up and get ready to go ice canyoning. This is one thrilling outdoor winter activity everyone can enjoy, since you don’t actually need any special skills to do it. In the Québec City area, you can go ice canyoning down Chute Jean-Larose with a guide from Canyoning-Québec.
- Francis Gagnon
- Ludvig Germain-Auclair
- Benoit Rousseau
Tear up the Slopes
If you want to go skiing or snowboarding in the Québec City area, you have 4 different mountains to choose from. For something easy and nearby, Le Relais is great for beginners. For a solid park, go to Stoneham. And for great skiing with sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River, head to Mont-Sainte-Anne or Massif de Charlevoix.