Best winter activities in Île d’Orléans

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
Promenade Horatio-Walker
Cidrerie Bilodeau
Ice Skating in Saint Laurent de l’île d’Orléans 

Domaine du Radar Austrian sledding​​

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).

Village du Père Noël Santa Claus Village

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. 

Marché de Noël de Terrebonne

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. 

Zoo Ecomuseum

Zoo Ecomuseum on Montreal Island

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.

Parc Omega

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.