Winter Carnival in Quebec City

by Emma Hackwood

Have you always wanted to explore Quebec City? Flight Centre’s Christine Khouzam recently travelled there to explore the winter carnival and shares her highlights of the trip with us:

Quebec City is commonly referred to as a miniature version of Europe, however, in the winter months a traditional carnival is put together by the local community – Bonhomme Carnival!  It boasts at being the world’s largest winter carnival and ranks third among the world’s largest carnivals.  If you don’t mind braving the cold at a frigid -29, plus the wind chill, then this is the place for you!

Carnival, Quebec City

Located about a 15 minute taxi ride from the Jean-Lesage Quebec City Airport, there are many hotels to choose from to best suit your needs.  I stayed at the Delta Quebec which was conveniently located about a 5 minute walk from all the festivities and the main strip of this quaint city.  The hotel price was reasonable and had great service.

Carnival, Quebec City

To get into the carnival, you must purchase an ‘Effigy’ which is the mascot of the event – Bonhomme de Neige.  It is a onetime purchase of $15 which gives you in and out privileges for the entire 17 days of the affair.  All across the grounds are giant blocks of snow where participants create unique and beautiful art for the snow sculpture competition. As you walk along the grounds you can choose to join in the fun events!  From racing down a 120m ice slide, to lounging in a hot tub in well below sub-zero temperatures, there is something for everyone in and most are free of charge.  Why not get a little cozy and take a sleigh ride? I had so many favourite moments, one of which was the dog sledding.  At an extra charge of $10 per person, you get to ride or steer 4-6 sled dogs around a 1/2 km track.

Carnival, Quebec City

The true icon for this event is seeing the Bomhomme’s home.  It’s a giant Ice Palace that measures up to a whopping 36 feet long and 10 feet high made out of ice!  It takes over three weeks to build and uses about 250 tons of water! Over the weekends, at night this area becomes a discotheque for adults 18+ to dance the night away and enjoy the traditional alcoholic beverage known as Caribou.  It’s a 22.9% fortified wine that has become part of the carnival’s beverage choice for adults.

There’s so much more to see and experience, but why wait for me to tell you all about it,  go and check it out yourself!


Looking for more information on travelling to Quebec City for the winter carnival? Contact Christine Khouzam an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre Dixie Mall based in Mississauga by connecting with her online or calling 1 866-569-9647.