Christmas in Quebec

christmas_quebecBeginning December 2 and continuing through January 2, Québec City transforms into a magical place, with its appearance akin to a children’s storybook. Known as the Québec Fête Noël, the city’s already enchanting architecture becomes even more enhanced as the snow falls upon the city and leaves an abundance of snow on the streets of Old Québec, the heart of the celebration. Here in Québec it’s Père Noël, not Father Christmas, who will shimmy down the chimneys, and even those who long ago stopped believing in Santa Claus may succumb to the magic of Christmas in this setting.

Illuminated Christmas trees are everywhere, as are carolers, nativity scenes, lights, costumed dancers, and seasonal concerts. Special events and holiday festivities are held throughout the month of December. Enjoy a memorable  Carriage or Sleigh Ride and be amazed by the beauty of the season.

Quebec City also runs a FREE escort service as Christmas to aid drivers who feel they are not capable of driving due to fatigue or alcohol consumption.

Check out Operation Red Nose  for more details.

Christmas Exhibitions are set up by many of the city’s museums. Like check out the Art Museum

Choirs offer performances (some free) during the holiday season.

Orchestras featuring holiday related music perform at various venues along with violinists, bagpipers, and percussionists that meander through the streets.

A Nativity pageant is given each year, along with various street theatre performances.

Special events for children are present throughout the city.

An Elf Parade through the heart of Québec City will entertain the whole family.

Stay warm by ice skating in the public rink at Place d’Youville.

Make sure to try a coffee or alcohol-infused hot chocolate from one of the street kiosks.

Also not to miss is the Christmas market, Noël au Marché, which opens in the huge covered marketplace in the Old Port. Under a canopy of twinkling lights, 100 vendors set up shop selling pottery, pastries, soap, wooden toys, maple sugar, birdhouses, hatpins, alpaca shawls, and so on. Many of these vendors are mom-and-pop enterprises and EVERYTHING is made in the Quebec Province. The city doesn’t want mass marketing in this festival and that includes Santa Clause. Love Christmas decorations? Make sure to stop by Noël Hamel, an area consisting exclusively of Christmas decorations. This isn’t a small area, either. In fact, it is the largest collection in Canada! Browse thousands of brilliant decorations from around the world from October to early January

From November-February, swing through the St. Roch Area, which lights its St.Joseph with a brilliant Christmas Sun (made of thousands of lights). This district also outdoes itself with each storefront exhibiting a nativity display.

Throughout the Rue de Petit Champlain, fir trees are lit with tiny sparkling lights, making the atmosphere seem surreal as you pass through the snow-covered streets with wandering carolers at your side.

Not to miss is L’Aventure de Noël, where all ages can participate in the largest inflatable games park in Québec! At the ExpoCité exhibition center during December, join in the winter festivities with educational zones, slides, obstacle courses, climbing walls, giant trampolines, shows, and other activities for a minimal price.%0a%0aIf you’re coming into town during the first part of November, make sure to see the Parade of Toys. This weekend celebration is overloaded with activities, games, and shows. Santa Clause makes his debut in the city’s Village of Geoffroy and the events culminate in a magical parade of toys delightful for all ages!

Searching for the ideal Christmas gift? Look no further than the Salon des Artisans. Here over 225 craftsmen show off their work to the public. Everything from leather, wood, glass, and ceramics to lingerie, jewels, fur, furniture, and agro-alimentary products can be found at this showcase. The show runs on special days during December at the Centre de foires de Québec.

On the Festive Season Day in December, take in the mini parade on Rue St. Jean at Place d’Youville. Here Santa Clause arrives and, with elf assistance, hands out presents to children chosen from a drawing held earlier that day.

Or even check out the Ice Hotel!

Regardless of whether you are staying here for the entire winter season or simply dropping by on a weekend escape, there are priceless experiences for the whole family to enjoy! One of the best parts of the Christmas celebration in Québec City is that everyone partakes. Restaurants offer festive menus, hotels offer holiday packages, shops and boutiques overflow with gift ideas, and Mother Nature adds her touch to make it the perfect White Christmas!