By: bound2explore January 2016
Have you ever dreamed of staying in the ice hotel? Or enjoying the sport of dog sledding and sliding down the snow slide? If you have, then you definitely do not want to miss one of the world’s largest winter carnival which hosts many winter activities. The annual Quebec winter carnival takes place in downtown Quebec City from late January to mid- February. This year, the Quebec winter carnival will start on January 29, 2016 and end on February 14, 2016.
The ice hotel is located on the other part of Quebec City outside the carnival area. This ice hotel gives you an opportunity to spend a night. Since not many rooms are available, you will need to book ahead of time if you intend to stay here and enjoy everything made of ice. Here, you can slide on the ice slide, climb the ice stairs, relax on the ice sofa and sleep on the ice bed. To block the cold, the ice bed is covered with plastic mattress and sheepskin on the top of it. This method seems to work just fine. If I remember correctly, I didn’t feel the cold when laid on the ice bed the last time I visited the ice hotel.
From the ice hotel, we continued our exploration to the carnival. You need to buy a ticket to enter the carnival area. The ice and snow sculptures on both sides will greet you as you enter the carnival. Here, you can explore the ice castle, try the sleigh ride, browse the ice/snow sculptures, watch the live performance on stage and you can also try the sport of dog sledding.
Dog sledding was my dream come true. The ride was so much fun and the Siberian huskies were gorgeous. The cost of dog sledding is comparatively cheap compared to other places. So if you have been thinking about it, this is the best place to try. They even give you the opportunity to navigate the ride and take pictures with the huskies. Last time I was there, they only accept cash so therefore be prepared to bring cash with you. The good things is they also accept American dollars so you really don’t need to change your money to Canadian dollars.
Tips for having a good time at Quebec winter festival; first and foremost, you need to bundle up. It is cold and you’ll be outdoor most of the time, so wear layers and put on your snow pants. Second, bring a moisturizer. Any petroleum oil such as Vaseline is the best protection against chapped lips and dry skin. Last but not least, if you want to have toasty hands and feet, bring the hand warmer. You can insert the hand warmer inside your gloves and your boots to keep your hand and feet toasty the entire time. I did it, and I assure you, you’ll be glad if you do.
While you are busy exploring the carnival, don’t forget to try the Canadian beaver tail fried pastries. The taste reminded me of funnel cake but more delicious. Guarantee, you will be hooked on it. Start your winter exploration by having a Canadian day, and Canadian sure know how to enjoy the winter!