Quebec City Winter Carnival is the largest winter festival in the world and it has always been on my bucketlist. Growing up in eastern Canada, I didn’t know about major world festivals like Rio’s Carnival, Coachella, Holi, Tomorrowland, or La Tomatina, but even as a child, I knew about Winter Carnival. I’d dreamed of attending and staying in Old Quebec’s castle, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. It was the stuff of bucket list dreams until last week. We attended Quebec City Winter Carnival and I lived my childhood dreams of playing in the world’s largest winter wonderland.
When we arrived at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, I was giddy with anticipation. We immediately dropped our bags in the room and went toward Dufferin Terrace historical slide. Located on the magnificent Terrasse Dufferin boardwalk, overlooking the St. Lawrence River and beside the world-famous Château Frontenac, this unique toboggan slide attracts thousands of visitors each year. It was my vision of Quebec City Winter Carnival.
We picked up tickets and pulled the sled to the base of the slide. When we reached the top, we were given time to get ourselves situated. As I sat on top of the slide with Athena in front of me, I almost cried with overflowing happiness. Every parent dreams of creating memories like this with their children. I wanted to pause time so I could live in that moment just a little bit longer. The rush awaited though and we were thrust forward into a thrilling ride. We’d planned on just doing one slide and then going back to the room to settle in but we were so excited that we continued up the hill to more Carnival attractions.
We found the Loto-Quebec Zone and I introduced Athena to a real Quebec treat, Beaver Tail with Canadian maple. In this area, there was an Ice Palace with ice sculptures and an ice bar with drinks.
We found another slide in this area called the Via Rail Ice Slide, a 300-foot slide made entirely out of ice. We couldn’t resist zipping down the slide a handful of times before returning back to the hotel. We’d only been in Quebec City for an hour and we’d already experienced so much.
That evening we went ice skating with Bonhomme, Winter Carnival’s famous ambassador, symbolizing the joy surrounding all the Carnival festivities. Following skating, we visited The Land of Ice and immersed ourselves in a magical ice palace with changing lights and interactive games. There was so much to experience that we kept ourselves busy from morning until night.
It wasn’t until the next day that we discovered Jos’ Camp Presented by Videotron. It offers dance, music, beer and sausage, and interactive games in a Canadian vintage ambiance. We participated in axe throwing, mechanical moose riding, and dancing in this fun-filled location.
I’d ridden a mechanical bull before, but I have to admit this was my first time confronting the northern cousin of the mechanical bull, the mechanical moose! I held on to those antlers though and smiled all the way to falling flat on my face.
At night, Quebec City morphed into something even more magical. With snow falling and tourists and locals intermingling in the streets, the city was alive. We stayed out late enough to experience the Carnival Night Parade, where legends came to life like my Quebec City Winter Carnival bucket list dreams.
It was everything I envisioned with an added mechanical moose and a family of my own. “Hey little girl, keep on smilin” because you’re making all my dreams a reality.