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Quebec Winter Festivals

Carnaval du Quebec

As the capital of Quebec and second most populous city, Quebec City has a tall order to fill when it comes to entertaining guests. Set along the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City hosts crisp and playful winters ideal for you and your family.

Held from late January to mid-February, the Quebec Winter Carnival has everything from parades to live music, winter racing to workshops. Said to be the Largest Winter Carnival in the World, the Quebec Winter Carnival kicks off with the First Night Parade in Charlesbourg, followed by family-friendly festivities like snow rafting, sleigh rides, soapbox derbies and outdoor barbecue feasts.

For a more adult night out in Quebec City, check out Loto-Québec Outdoor Dance Parties, or the Arctic Spas Village during the Quebec Winter Carnival. Don’t forget to visit the Ice Palace – see if you can spot Bonhomme – or sign up for workshops with a focus on costumes, decorations, and crafts. With so much to do – from snow sculptures to skiing – it’s hard to know where to start at the Quebec Winter Carnival.


Check out more winter festivals of Quebec – everything from the all night events of Montréal to the snowy celebrations of Gatineau.

Gatineau’s Winterlude

Held at Jacques-Cartier Park, Winterlude is one of the biggest celebrations in the country – seeing as the Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom is the biggest snow play area on the continent. Come early February, your can enjoy fireworks, hot air balloons, live music, food and movie night on a giant snow screen.

Santa Clause Parade

Should you find yourself in Gatineau during the holiday season, be sure to take the family to the Santa Clause Parade in late November. Set in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, Santa’s Parade starts off at 7 p.m. and allows attendees to bundle up and enjoy the show.

Canadian Ski Marathon

Are you the outdoors type? Head to Gatineau in February for the Canadian Ski Marathon followed by the Gatineau Loppet. The marathon allows participants to hit some of the most scenic trails of outdoor Quebec, connecting Gatineau to the nearby city of Lachute on a two-way run – sounds like fun. The Loppet, held at Gatineau Park, is Gatineau’s cross-country ski experience – giving visitors and residents yet another chance to enjoy outdoor Quebec.

Montreal High Lights Festival

Montreal – the largest city in Quebec and the second largest city in Canada – is home to several winter festivals cherished by residents and visitors alike. Montreal is host to snowy celebrations like the Fête des Neiges Snow Festival in late January, Montreal Restaurant Week also in January, and the many holiday season events before the new year. Of course you can’t catch them all, so be sure you’re in town for the heavily anticipated Montreal High Lights Festival – a 10-day celebration of food, music and art.

High Lights Festival

Check out the light show, stroll past the many exhibits, or even consider taking home some local art at the High Lights Festival. The celebration is capped off with the Montreal All-Nighter la Nuit Blanche – a overnight festival of live music, great food and winter sports running from dusk till dawn.

Dorval Winter Carnival

For more winter fun in the Montreal, check out the city of Dorval – the largest city on the West Island on the island of Montreal. Looking for something to do this winter? Be sure to catch the Dorval Winter Carnival. Be sure to sign up for sleigh rides, tobogganing, and of course classic snowman building. Make certain to catch the crowning of the Festival King and Queen, stick around for Comedy Night, and fill up at the popular pancake brunch. Pancakes and sleigh rides, that’s winter in Dorval.