What to do on Thanksgiving weekend?

To the point Whether you're with family or friends, Thanksgiving is a time for cultural, sporting and culinary activities, as well as getaways with a change of scenery. Discover our suggestions for making the most of this long weekend, in Quebec or abroad.

A breath of fresh air for Thanksgiving!

Every year in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Hiking is one of the most popular activities during this national holiday, to admire the flamboyant colors that set nature ablaze. From Rigaud to Montreal, by way of Quebec City and Mont Sutton, here are events to delight young and old alike.

Rigaud's Festival of Colors

Climbing Mont Rigaud on the L’Escapade trails is a must! Several routes are offered in this forest, depending on the difficulty level. As part of this 25th edition, the festival will host the Marché des saveurs, the Espace artisans, as well as shows, including one by Guylaine Tanguay on Thanksgiving Day.

  • 5, rue Pagé in Rigaud – Parc Chartier-De-Lotbinière
  • Saturday, October 7 to Monday, October 9, from 10 a.m.

Trois-Rivières Autumn Delights

On the shores of the St. Lawrence River, gourmets are invited to the Trois-Rivières agri-food fair. It’s a tradition to enjoy a fine meal of local produce. Culinary demonstrations, chef battles and late-night parties are on the menu for this 22nd edition, which promises to be a mouth-watering affair. This Thanksgiving, don’t miss the final duel between Martin Ringuette and Gabriel Bernier.

  • 100, avenue des Draveurs, Trois-Rivières
  • Friday, October 6, from 2pm. Saturday, October 7 to Monday, October 9, from 10 a.m.

Les Jardins de lumière de Montréal

There’s no shortage of superlatives to describe this magical experience! At dusk, the gardens of China, Japan and the First Nations will take center stage at the Montréal Botanical Garden. A chance to stroll the illuminated paths and immerse yourself in the magic of silk lanterns. You’ll also be able to calligraph and light your own lanterns.

  • 4101 Sherbrooke Street East, Montreal
  • From 6:30 pm (until October 31)
Jardins de lumière – Une ode à la Lune – 2021
Jardins de lumière - Une ode à la Lune - 2021

Traditional music in Quebec City

The Maizerets Estate hosts the 32nd edition of the festival Rendez-vous ès TRAD festival. Musical performances, workshops and an improvisation match featuring traditional songs will be held under a big top. For Thanksgiving, a group walk will be offered starting at 11 a.m. on the estate’s trails.

  • 2000, bd Montmorency, Québec City
  • Friday, October 6, from 5 p.m. Various times from Saturday, October 7 to Monday, October 9

La Flambée des couleurs in Magog-Orford

La Flambée des couleurs ‘ flagship activity is well worth the detour. What a pleasure to climb aboard a gondola and discover the splendid view! The event, which will feature all kinds of entertainment at Mont-Orford and Magog, will also include a weekend of gourmet delights as part of Thanksgiving.

  • Mont-Orford, 4380 Chemin du Parc
  • Coffee tasting workshop, Saturday October 7 (10 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Wild cuisine workshop, Sunday October 8 (10 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Autumn Market, Monday October 9 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
  • Last weekend, October 14 and 15
telecabine mont orford action de grâce
Facebook Mont Orford

Compton's gourmet tour

Some 50 producers await you in the Compton countryside for this 16th edition. The tradition has remained true to its origins: you’ll have the opportunity to sample a wide variety of products, such as organic ciders, tourtières and maple sweets, along a 6-stop route. A shuttle service will even be available. The big harvest market brings the festivities to a close.

  • La virée gourmande: Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8, from 10 a.m. (various locations)
  • The Great Harvest Market: Monday, October 9, starting at 11 a.m. at Lion’s Park, Compton

A colorful autumn at Mont Sutton

From mountain biking and chairlift rides to local wine tastings, hiking and giant zip lines, there’s something for everyone at the Mont Sutton Fall Festival. At Thanksgiving, discover “Forest Essentials” with Jessica Adams. This workshop will help you identify several species of plants and animals.

  • 671 Maple Street, Sutton
  • From 8 a.m., depending on activities (until October 15)
  • Monday, October 9: workshop from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Facebook Mont Sutton

Mountain biking in the spotlight at Mont-Sainte-Anne

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup comes to Mont-Sainte-Anne. There’ll be plenty of festivities, including competitions, a village of exhibitors and festive evenings. You can even camp under the stars, close to the mountain. The competitions end on Thanksgiving with the KIDOVÉLO, reserved for children aged 2 to 12.

  • 2000, boulevard du Beau-Pré, Beaupré
  • From Thursday, October 5 to Monday, October 9, several opening hours

Pumpkins in the spotlight in Morrisburg

More than 7,000 illuminated, hand-carved pumpkins will be displayed along the trails ofUpper Canada Village. When night falls, this spectacular open-air exhibition will offer visitors several themes over a distance of more than a kilometer. New creations are featured every year at Pumpkinferno.

  • 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, Ontario
  • Friday, October 6 to Monday, October 9, from 7 p.m.
  • Open on selected evenings until October 29
citrouille Pumpkinferno action de grace
Facebook Upper Canada Vill

Discovering snow geese in Montmagny

It’s a tradition that’s celebrated every year. The Festival de l’Oie Blanche de Montmagny will once again celebrate the arrival of snow geese in the region. For this 51st edition, take part in the various activities: flea market, parade, country lunch and evening parties. You can observe these birds on the flats of the St. Lawrence River. Several trails are accessible from the festival, on foot or by bike, including the L’Oie Blanche trail.

  • Several venues, including Église Saint-Thomas in downtown Montmagny
  • Thursday, October 5 to Monday, October 9, 2023, various times

Don’t forget to use the American Express Cobalt® Card to earn 5 points per dollar at restaurants, bars and grocery stores.

Thanksgiving getaways in the U.S.

It’s time to break away from routine! From Las Vegas to the City of Angels and Orlando, discover our suggested destinations for a few days of well-deserved time off.

If you’re taking a last-minute flight, here are our tips for finding a cheap one with points. And when you’re there, be sure to pay for your expenses with a no-conversion-fee credit card like the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card to save 2.5% on your purchases.


What happens in Vegas...

Strolling the Strip, taking in a show and trying your luck at the casino are all part of the Las Vegas experience. Las Vegas. Want to combine urban madness with the great outdoors? It’s perfectly possible, even for a few days. Here’s our guide to getting away from it all.

The City of Angels, glamour and glitter

Hollywood and Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and its famous pier, Venice Beach and Malibu. Names that are synonymous with luxury, excess, frenzy and California dolce vita in Los Angeles. Here’s our guide so you don’t miss a thing.

Orlando, when magic comes to life

Are you a fan of XXL theme parks? Orlando is the perfect destination for a dream vacation in Florida! A family destination par excellence, Walt Disney World Park will draw you into its magical world in the company of Mickey Mouse and friends. Discover our guide to planning your getaway.

New York, the city that never sleeps

New York is as fascinating as ever, constantly reinventing itself. Central Park, Times Square, Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty… Want to (re)discover the Big Apple? Follow our guide‘s recommendations.

Boston, the cradle of America

A cultural and historical destination, this city is known the world over for its famous Harvard University. For those unfamiliar with Boston, the Freedom Trail is an easy way to discover a number of iconic sites. Here’s an overview of its charming assets.

In North America, dates and customs differ between Canada and the United States. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. As tradition dictates, every year the American president pardons two turkeys before D-Day.

Happy Thanksgiving 2023!

Frequently asked questions

Open or closed at Thanksgiving?

Commercial establishments, including most SAQ and SQDC outlets, will be open without restriction on this date during normal business hours. However, some businesses may change their normal opening hours to accommodate the vacation. Cinemas and some museums will also be open. Most libraries, Canada Post offices, schools, financial institutions and federal and provincial government offices will remain closed.

What is the meaning of Thanksgiving?

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament officially declared the second Monday in October “a day to give thanks to Almighty God for the bountiful harvests he has blessed Canada with”. Harvest celebrations and abundant harvests are a tradition. Nowadays, it’s an opportunity for families to get together over a meal and share good times.

Canadian Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday, except in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

What is Thanksgiving in Quebec?

It’s the harvest festival. Days of thanksgiving were celebrated in New France as early as 1604. However, the festival of the same name was brought to our Belle Province by Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution in the 18th century.

Tradition dictates that turkey with its trimmings and pumpkin pie are a must. It’s also a great time to decorate for fall, and show off your best pumpkins and cornucopias.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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