We haven't been able to stop blogging about Québec and who can blame us? From cultural experiences to international festivals and memorable activities sure to make you appreciate Mother Nature a little more; why not visit la belle province. To serve as your pocket guide, we compiled a list of all the can't miss experiences that are waiting for you in the Belle Province. Check out why Québec City and Montréal are the place to be next year. PS. You might get the chance to meet us too!
Experience French culture closer to home and without the jet lag. In case you didn't know, Québec City offers travelers a fully immersive French environment with a backdrop that is rich in history. The city also offers a variety of interactive attractions and festivals; especially throughout the winter time.
1. Visit the Hôtel de Glace
The Hôtel de Glace is one of a kind. It's also the only true ice hotel in all of North America. Should you choose to stay the night, find peace at their spectacular chapel or drink local ciders out of glasses made of ice...Prepare to be amazed at the wonders that is the Hôtel de Glace. What students really love about this attraction is how you're invited to touch the walls and ride the indoor slide.
2. Attend the largest winter carnival in the world; Carnaval de Québec.
Going strong for over 60 years now, the Carnaval de Québec embodies the province's identity. You and your students can watch an ice canoe race, an activity so unique you will only ever come across it in Québec; or watch artists compete against one another in building mesmerizing ice sculptures. You can even dance with Québec's very own Frosty the Snowman named Bonhomme Carnaval who will surely steal your heart. Seriously, what better way to learn about Québec culture than at a carnival?
3. Go dog sledding at Aventure plein air Inukshuk.
What's more fun than exploring the snowy enchanted forests of Québec than with a pack of friendly huskies!? Dog sledding instills a great deal of leadership and responsibility for students who choose to lead the dogs like a true musher. The feeling of leading these friendly pups throughout the forest is incredible and indescribable, making dog sledding a definite must-do activity.
4. Have a blast at Village Vacances Valcartier.
After a day filled with learning and walking around, both you and your students deserve a little leisure time. Why not spend it enjoying the fun side of winter!? Known as North America's largest winter playground, Village Vacances Valcartier offers the best thrills and non-stop fun. As if the park wasn't already cool enough; in December 2016 (just one month from now), Valcartier will be opening a brand new indoor water park so you can experience - 30-degree fun AND 30-degree fun in a matter of minutes.
Just so you know - The Hôtel de Glace and Village Vacances Valcartier have teamed up to be closer than ever. Now, neighbors; you can start your day off at the Ice Hotel and spend the night on the slopes. How convenient!
5. Channel your inner acrobat at the École de Cirque de Québec.
Show off your skills at the famous École de Cirque de Québec from juggling to walking the balance beam and free falling onto big cushions. This is agreat way to get your students moving in ways that maybe your school gym limited, plus you'll even get a tour of where the real acrobats practice every day.
6. Learn about our friends of the sea at Aquarium du Québec.
Discover the wonders of the sea and come to face-to-face with walruses, polar bears, and even stingrays. With a variety of interactive exhibits and guided tours; there is something for everyone to do and love at the Aquarium du Québec.
7. Walk across the beautiful Montmorency Falls.
Take in the beauty of Montmorency Falls and snap some sweet photos from each lookout point. If you happen to visit during winter, you might spot some brave adventurers climbing the block of ice that forms in front of the falls.
8. Take a journey to Nouveau France's past at La Citadelle.
Fun fact: Québec is the only fortified city in North America, above Mexico. You can walk along the grounds that were once crucial to Nouveau France and even climb up some of the walls to see unique views of Old Québec. Your student's imagination will sure run wild as they explore the nooks and crannies once used for important figures of the military.
9. Snap a picture of the Le Château Frontenac.
The most photographed hotel in the world; Le Château Frontenac is both a luxurious hotel and important piece of Québec history. It was here where the leaders of Nouveau France once lived and held important discussions.
10. Stroll along Terrasse Dufferin.
Offering one of the city's greatest views; walk along the long Terrasse Dufferin which holds some important objects from the battles that once determined Québec's fate. You and your students can even take a ride down Les Glissades de la Terrasse which is a toboggan slide when the temperature drops below zero.
11. Sharpen your sweet tooth at a sugar shack.
Get your sugar shacking on at some of our favorite spots Érablière du Lac-Beauport, Cabane à Pierre or Chez Dany. Each sugar shack offers their own unique maple produce and delights that are sure to make your taste buds dance.
12. Lose yourself in the streets of Old Québec.
Admire the European styled buildings on rue Saint-Jean and Saint-Louis or the Place Royale square. While once homes; today many are local-inspired restaurants, speciality gift shops and high-end boutiques.
13. Ditch the city walk for an adventure up in the trees at Arbraska.
Once you're done with the city, you and your students can head out into the wild that is Arbraska where you can explore the abundance of nature alongside the trees. With different platforms to climb, glide and slide along - buckle your harness and start exploring. Did you know that Québec is best known for its foliage, so why not plan your visit during fall?
The multicultural epicenter of Québec is our backyard and the place we call home sweet home. Montréal is the place to be now, in 2017 and forever. Celebrating its big 375th birthday, we want everyone to know about the big festivities planned for 2017. The city is always alive no matter the time or temperature; with something for both the young and old. Welcome to Montréal. Let's show you around!
14. See how Montréal shines even when it's -20 at Montréal en Lumière.
With dazzling illuminated structures, locals foods to munch on and drinks to keep you warm; brave the cold and experience winter like a true Montréaler at the creative and interactive Montréal en Lumière festival. Trust us that after a few minutes of fun, you'll forget all about the below-zero temperature.
15. Frolic through the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Open all year round with both an indoor and outdoor garden; our favorite exhibit is the Garden of Lights (September 2-October 31) featuring both Chinese and Japanese Gardens lit up by lanterns.
16. Learn about biodiversity, flora, and fauna at the Biodôme.
Get to know the different animals who call the Biodôme home or test your knowledge on one of their many interactive workshop consoles; which are a big hit with students. Our favorite stars of the museum are the penguins.
17. Blast off to the endless & mysterious universe that is the Planetarium.
Learn about our universe, space and our neighboring planets with interactive exhibits or by lying back on a beanbag. Pictured above, you can experience life on Mars, see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) or lose yourself in space; in both English and French.
18. Get to know the critters of the Insectarium.
Face your fears and get to know these unique critters on a new level. If you're brave enough, you can even eat some covered in chocolate; some say it's delicious and since it's a source of protein, nutritious as well?
19. Venture to the Olympic Stadium.
Montréal held the first ever Canadian Olympic Games so why not pay a visit to the historic site. Nowadays, the Olympic Stadium hosts special concerts and baseball games; or visitors can take a fast ride up the elevator for a spectacular view of the city.
20. Discover Montréal's past roots at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum.
Archaeology is all about being hands-on so what better than having an activity than by recreating archaeological sites for young students mind. With exhibitions ranging on world history and Montréal's roots, Pointe-à-Callière Museum makes archaeology and history exciting. Who knew there would be a time you can tell your students to get their hands dirty while learning!
21. Wander through the old streets of Vieux-Montréal.
A trip to Montréal just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Old Montréal, which is also where our office is so we can come by and say hello! Walk down the tightly knit cobblestone streets that are home to boutiques selling local goods or have lunch on an outdoor terrasse in Place Jacques-Cartier. We can even organize a rally race for you and your students that way you can discover the Old Montréal while having fun.
22. Discover Montréal's amazing & useful Underground City.
Montréal is famously known as the Underground City because of a big chunk of its downtown core being accessible underground. So when winter comes around, our underground city is the best thing since sliced bread. Connected to metro stations, shopping malls, banks and even entertainment centers; if you're looking for leisure time, it's best spent here.
23. Take the best selfie on the Mont Royal lookout.
Montréal is all about views and if you're looking for that picture perfect skyline shot of Montréal, you're best bet is climbing Mont Royal and taking a picture (or selfie) of Montréal.
24. Pig out on poutine, smoked meat, and bagels!
No matter what anyone tries to tell you, Montréal bagels and smoked meat take the gold medal. Disagree? Why not go have a taste test yourself, don't forget to invite us. Montréal is a serious carb party and you should try not one but all of them.
25. Get your game on at Gros Joueurs.
Canada is the third largest video industry; Québec is the leading province and Montréal is the heart of the video game industry. If you're a gamer, a computer science student or interested in learning all about the history of video games; take a nostalgic trip back to your childhood at Gros Joueurs. An experience like Gros Joueurs can really open your student's eyes to different career opportunities that they may not have been aware of before.
26. Jam out at Montreal's International Jazz Festival.
While there are a handful of winter festivals Montréal; there are many more in summer. Some of them might be pricey, however, there are a lot of free shows and activities that come with the international festivals. One of them is Jazz Fest. The world's largest Jazz festival; Montréal hosts on average 3,000 artists annually. Be sure to catch a free show in the Quartier des Spectacles while deciding which food truck to have dinner at.
27. Immerse yourself in French culture at Les FrancoFolies.
What better way to experience French culture than at a French music festival? You can do just this at Les FrancoFolies!