With an average of 13 feet (400 cm) of snow falling between December and March, you’re pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas in Quebec, and the French Canadian capital is an atmospheric place to spend the winter months. There are plenty of Christmas and New Year celebrations held over the holidays in Quebec City, but the biggest winter event is the Quebec Winter Carnival, which kicks off at the end of January. The largest festival of its kind in the world, the three-week carnival includes a dramatic Ice Palace, an International Snow Sculpture Competition, dog sledding races and dazzling Night Parades, accompanied by a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment.
Even if you aren’t in town for the main events, you can still make the most of the snow in and around Quebec City, where the frozen lakes and rivers offer unique opportunities for ice canoeing, ice rappelling, ice-skating and a host of other thrilling seasonal activities. There is a number of ski and snowboard resorts close to the city, along with a vast network of cross-country skiing tracks and popular winter activities include snowshoeing, dogsledding, snow tubing and snowmobiling.
You don’t have to brave the cold to enjoy winter in Quebec, though – Christmas in Quebec City is the perfect time to tuck into the city’s hearty French-inspired cuisine on a Small-Group Gourmet Food Tour, where you’ll get to browse the Old Town Christmas market and sample the region’s best ice wines and ciders, a local specialty made from sweet, frozen grapes. You could even go one step further and spend a night in the famous Hôtel de Glace, a hotel sculpted entirely from snow and ice.