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The 8 Reasons To Never Miss Another Carnaval de Québec

Canadians love winter and there is no better way to celebrate winter than at Carnaval de Québec, the largest winter carnival in the world. Don’t let the temperatures scare you, the festival has plenty of activities to keep you warm inside and outside. From neon night parades to live music to icy ‘snow baths’ there is something for everyone at the iconic Carnaval de Québec. Scroll down for a smattering of photos that’ll show you everything you missed out on last winter and will have you booking your ticket for next year ASAP!

Human-sized bowling

Yes, your childhood dreams have come true. Last year at the Carnival everyone was invited to get into human-sized inflatable balls and roll down a lane made of ice to try and knock over giant bowling pins.

Shots from glasses made of ice

Talk about the most eco-friendly way to have a drink. These ice shot glasses not only keep your drink frosty cold but when you are done with them they melt away leaving no carbon footprint. Talk about cool.

An epic ice sculpture carving contest

Imagine what Burning Man would look like if the desert froze over… That is what these ice sculptures are like. A field of bigger than life abstract sculptures that you have to see for yourself.

A frigid ‘snow bath’ with Bonhomme

Cheer to all the crazy people that did the snow bath last winter! Groups after groups of people went out on stage wth Bonhomme, danced around like crazy people in the freezing cold and rolled around in the snow. We dare you to go do it this winter.

A VIP chance to cheer on an ice canoe race

Not often will you have the chance to watch athletes battle it out at a traditional ice canoe race. Stand on the dock so close to the race you can hear them yelling as they race towards you to get the buoy.

A wild night parade

Imagine bigger than life creatures lit up, dancing above your head on a beautiful winter night. This is what the night parades are like at Carnaval de Québec, always featuring a giant Bonhomme who takes over the streets with lights and music all around.

Human-sized foosball

The foosball table was brought to life at Carnaval de Québec last winter as people strapped in and moved side to side to work together to get the ball in the net. If this isn’t a friendship builder, we don’t know what is.

Chillin’ in the Ice Palace

Talk about the ultimate cribs. Chill out in the ice palace for the day like a true ice king/queen. With every last detail covered you have to check out the inside of the palace for a true winter experience.


Everything you need to know to attend Carnival de Québec this year:

  • Carnaval de Québec is happening January 27 – February 12, 2017.
  • You can buy your passes in advance right here. 
  • The activities change every year. The official program will be announced January 12th, 2017.
  • Dress warm! It can be very cold in Québec in the winter. Make sure to wear lots of wool layers , insulated boots, gloves, hats and a facemask. 
  • Bring extra hand warmers and feet warmers and use them liberally. Spending a few dollars on warmers is better than being cold!
  • Stay nearby. Parking and walking long distances in the cold can be uncomfortable. The closer you stay the easier it is to get to the festival and enjoy it. We suggest The Hilton, Hôtel Château Laurier Québec or the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.


Check out Samuel and Audrey’s trip to Carnaval de Québec last year:


Have you been to Carnaval de Québec? Let us know in the comments below… 

Trip Details

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