North America’s largest winter playground is Village Vacances Valcartier near Quebec City. It features more than 35 slides and 17 mechanical lifts. For the ultimate thrill, they offer Everest, the highest accelerating slide in North America. For the little ones, they offer a children’s playground. There is everything in between too. You can slide on an individual inner tube or whirl down on the Tornado, a huge tube that can accommodate three to eight people. You can even rush down the slopes on a snow raft that can hold up to 12 people.
When we first arrived, we grabbed an inner tube, there are thousands of them so there is no wait, and took the first lift we saw to the Central Area. The Central Area includes seven inner tube slopes that can accommodate one to eight people per group depending on the weather conditions.
We could immediately tell we were at the largest winter playground. There was no end in site. From the Central Area, you can go in multiple directions and there are more lifts all around.
The slope options are well labeled so we started with an intermediate level option to asses Athena’s courage and get our bearings.
We rode together for most of the day and even the easy slopes were a lot of fun and provided a thrilling ride.
After Athena built up her courage, we tried the Snow Rafting.
It was super fast and exciting. We held on to our hats and hit major downhill speeds with a smile on our faces. The only down side to the rafting is that when you reach the bottom of the slope, you need to push the raft back to the lift area. We were excited about how far we went while we were going down the slope but it made for a long haul back to the lift with a huge raft. It was definitely worth it though and we rafted three more times throughout the day.
In the same area as the rafting, there is the Tornado. It’s a unique invention exclusive to Valcartier Vacation Village. The Tornado accommodates up to 8 people and is equipped with a special mechanism that makes it swirl. Even when you stop, it keeps on spinning.
Surprisingly, this was Athena’s favorite slide. The more we spun and rushed down the slope, the more I worried that Athena was going to be sick. It was fast and we spun round and round. She was tucked into her jacket and I wondered what I’d do if she threw up all over it and us.
We reached the bottom and she stood up exclaiming, “That was the best ride ever! Can we go again?” I could tell her adrenaline was pumping because she was running back to the lift.
Every time we rode the Tornado, she tucked herself into her jacket and every time we reached the bottom she was bursting with joy. I have a little adrenaline junkie on my hands. What have I done? I’m certain if she was tall enough, she would have rode every slide there.
Even when we were exhausted tired and the wind picked up so much that we needed to hold our glasses on our faces, she was still smiling and anxious to run back to the lift to do it again.
My favorite slide was the Half Moon. The fast and abrupt start surprised me and always had us holding on tight.
I loved the Himalaya section, too, where we sped down the four longest and steepest slopes while enjoying the Jacques-Cartier River and Valley views. Be aware, though, that children need to be 52″ tall and over to experience these slopes.
Village Vacances Valcartier is only a short drive from Quebec City so you could experience Quebec City Winter Carnival and Village Vacances Valcartier in one vacation. Make sure to save a full day for the winter playground though. It’s named the largest winter playground for a reason. You could easily spend an entire day there.
Village Vacances Valcartier also has an indoor waterpark with a 4,000 sq ft wave pool, more than 14 slides, a family pool with water games, a river full of activities, and a double surf wave. Regardless if you’re a winter sledding lover and want to explore the largest winter playground or the pool and water sliders are more your thing, you can make the whole family happy at Village Vacances Valcartier.