Festivities... at home!
Here are some “homemade” ideas for entertaining and indulging in delicious treats. We start with the aperitif.
- Do you enjoy creating cocktails? When shopping for spirits, consider buying an SAQ gift card at the grocery store with the American Express Cobalt Card, which will give you 5X the points thanks to this technique;
- Need guides or inspiration? We recommend the Quebec books Cocktails: the 50 essentials or Tout sur les gins du Québec by Patrice Plante (aka Monsieur Cocktail) or Boire le Québec by Rose Simard.
You’re entertaining during the holiday season and don’t feel like managing the entire kitchen?
- HelloFresh, Goodfood and Cook it, ready-to-cook box delivery companies, are offering menus during the holiday season;
- For HelloFresh, visit the Aeroplan eStore to earn Aeroplan points or Rakuten for cash back;
- For Goodfood and Cook it, use the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, which offers 5 points/dollar on home delivery services.
Handicrafts... at home!
After the effort, the comfort. Cocooning at home? On Etsy, several Quebec and Canadian artisans offer DIY(Do it yourself ) boxes. Here are some suggestions:
- ClubTerracotta introduces you to clay and pottery (including dried flowers) in kits that contain everything you need to sculpt, paint and seal (without firing);
- Want to try your hand at embroidery? DiYOrder offers a wide range of kits to help you try out this new-fashioned manual activity;
- CoquettePassion invites you and your family to create themed sets of felt houses, squirrels, trees and trucks;
- DIYcraftZone offers you a kit for making soy candles with dried flowers.
Outdoors at the park
There’s no shortage of park outings in Quebec! Here are some of them:
In Montreal :
- Head to Parc Jean-Drapeau’s winter trails for a whole host of activities: tobogganing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, winter biking, birdwatching, ice climbing, etc. ;
- Christmas in the Park offers more than a hundred shows for the whole family in selected Montreal parks.
In Val-d’Or, Abitibi-Témiscamingue:
- The Agnico Eagle Trail at theVal-d’Or Recreational Forest will be ready to welcome you towards the end of December. This is an ideal place for skating;
- Oversized tire bikes, tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snow scooters are also on the winter program at the Forêt récréative.
In the Outaouais :
- Go skating or walking in the Éco-Odyssée nature park, a vast marsh transformed into an ice labyrinth, the only one of its kind in the world. The icy paths cross several ecosystems: marshes, forests and fields. The skating trails will be illuminated every evening from Friday to Sunday.
In Quebec City :
- Try your hand at oversized-tire biking at Domaine Maizerets, cross-country skiing on the Plains of Abraham or tobogganing at Parc de la Pointe-aux-Lièvres. Do you prefer hiking? Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier is sure to enchant you;
- Looking for a thrill? From December 16, 2023, come to the Winter Play Center at Village Vacances Valcartier, day and night, just 20 minutes from Quebec City. It’s the biggest winter playground in America.
In Saguenay :
- Introduction to ice fishing ? Head for Glaces du Fjord in the Saguenay for a unique experience in villages of multicolored cabins. Other family activities include snowmobiling and dog sledding.
Shows and interactive activities
To be more dazzling than ever, some cities combine illuminations and technologies to offer surprising free animations in Quebec and Ontario :
- Baie-Saint-Paul : visit the various installations of the digital art trail on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street, from December 1 to 10, 2023 ;
- Québec City: Feast your eyes and ears on Place Jean-Béliveau and Lumière sur l’art on Avenue Cartier;
- Trois-Rivières : Noël au Sanctuaire will feature shows and celebrations at the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap, starting December 3, 2023;
- Ottawa: nearly 300,000 lights will be installed to highlight several sites and monuments and create a route of lights.
Winter under the sign of generosity
The holiday season is synonymous with kindness. Here are some suggestions for volunteering:
- Guignolée des médias (throughout Quebec), food aid ;
- Opération Nez Rouge, volunteer shuttle service ;
- Pas dans la rue (Montreal), inclusive support for people aged 55 and over living in very precarious conditions or with no fixed address;
- For all types of volunteering throughout Quebec: jebenevole.ca.
Christmas Markets in Quebec
Christmas Markets are the perfect way to store local and find unique artisanal and agri-food products. You’ll find around twenty of them on the Christmas Market Route website.
Here are a few destinations:
- Old Quebec: the German Christmas Market recreates the festive atmosphere of the great European Christmas markets in the heart of Old Quebec. An opportunity to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and discover German specialities. Until December 23, 2023;
- Joliette: traditional music and culture from the Lanaudière region will be featured at the Marché de Noël de Joliette in downtown Joliette. From a visit from Santa Claus to a cultural walk, from Christmas with the dogs to sweet and savoury treats, you’re sure to have a great time. Until December 23, 2023;
- Montreal: the Montreal Christmas Village, in the Atwater Market Square, will offer a program specially designed for families, including a sleigh ride and a visit from Santa Claus. Until December 24, 2023.
Store local online
Where can you see Santa Claus in Quebec?
The best places to see Santa Claus are at Christmas markets and shopping malls, where there will be plenty of entertainment throughout the holiday season.
Where to spend Christmas in Montreal?
Many activities will be closed on December 25, which is a public holiday. A stroll around Mont-Royal and Old Montreal is ideal, as is a trip to the movies or a fun day at the skating rink.