Havre Familial is a 4 stars holiday centre, offering outdoor activities ideal for families all year round. We visited the centre during winter time enjoying ice skating on lake Clair, tubing (two slopes) and winter hiking. The resort is also offering cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing. During the summer, there are plenty of water sports activities.
I hope that the residents of Saint-Lazare would not hate me for writing about this winter heaven, so close to Montreal. This family-friendly park is offering well-organized facilities such as tubing, an ice rink, outdoor playgrounds and 20km of cross country & 4km of snowshoeing trails.
Île-d’Orléans, on the St. Lawrence River nearby Quebec City, is devoted to agriculture & horticulture and is benefiting from agrotourism all year long. The island consists of 6 municipalities, it is about 34km long and 8km wide at its widest point. The island is accessible via the Île d’Orléans bridge from Beauport. I have listed a few ideas for a half day visit during winter time.
Chocolaterie de L’île d’Orléans
Ice Skating in Saint Laurent de l’île d’Orléans
The place for some winter adrenaline rush! Riding on an Austrian sled down the slopes of Mont Sainte-Marguerite. Enjoy 4 consecutive descents of 2.3 km each ride. Choose between a Family or a Kamikaze trail. The place was once a military communications base (part of the Royal Canadian Air Force) during the Cold War from 1952 to 1964 as it has the highest peak in the region (summit at 698 meters). These days, the small mountain resort also offers hiking trails, bike trails, survival training, visits to the military bunker and more. We were happy to find this place as most activities with Austrian sledding in the area do not allow young kids to participate. Here you can ride with your kids from a very young age (taking the risk into consideration).
A colourful theme park for young kids (designed mainly for 2-8 years old) with lots of activities; tubing (three options), treehouses, inflatables, train ride, slides and houses with different stations. This park is open mainly during the summer and is open briefly during the winter (until Jan 6th, 2019!). Super friendly staff dressed as elves will keep you entertained in each station.
We had a lovely afternoon visiting the Marché de Noël de Terrebonne. Open from November 29th until December 16th, 2018, the market is located in old Terrebonne. Main attractions are the exhibitors; decorated stalls with various offerings (food, wines, clothing, house decorations and more). There is a main stage with performing artists (check online program). The market is relatively small so you can continue walking along the decorated streets of Old Terrebonne to discover this charming area. Add to your walk a quick visit to Ile-des-Moulins just nearby the market.
This zoo located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal is a good place to go for half a day, all year round. At the zoo you will find species from North America like prey birds, wolves, foxes, lynx, caribou and many more. This is not a regular zoo, it is a wildlife sanctuary where most of the animals are orphans, rehabilitated or born within the zoo enclosure.
Mont Saint-Hilaire is located east of Montreal with an elevation of 414 meters. The area is known for its apple orchards thanks to the soil which is ideal for the growth of apple trees. The most touristic activity in the area includes apple picking! We visited an apple orchard and a nearby alpaca farm during a rainy winter Sunday afternoon and it was just wonderful.
Few weeks ago we were looking for a place to do winter tubing (with a mechanical lift) and a walk in the forest. We found this nice park relatively close to Montreal. The park is offering many other activities like snowshoeing trails, cross country ski, outdoor skating and disc golf.
So close to Montreal, Sommet Saint-Sauveur transforms itself during wintertime from a huge summer waterpark to a ski resort with an additional alpine roller coaster – The Viking nearby. The ski resort is suitable for complete beginners (with magic carpet) to advanced levels, even though the advanced trails are not too steep.
How can I describe our day experience at Omega Parc? Way beyond expectations! This 15km drive-through adventure is like a safari expedition to discover the wildlife of Canada. The park has more than 15 species of animals (like deers, elks, wolves, foxes, bisons, turkeys, boars and many more) from different habitats: meadow, forest, mountain, lake and boreal region. You can actually make contact with (most) of the animals by feeding them with carrots (only) when you drive along the path.
One word: Wow! What a day! We spent a full day at the Village Vacances Valcartier beginning of the winter and we didn’t want to leave the place! The park has more than 35 snow slides to go down with a yellow tube, snow rafting, skating and much more.
We decided to give a visit to Quebec Aquarium once we were in the area of Quebec City, during a huge snow storm. We enjoyed the visit very much and so did our kids! The Aquarium exhibits fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and sea mammals.