Helping you discover the world & share your experience.
Login    Sign Up

Quebec City: Family Friendly Fun

  • Quebec City Parliament Buildings - Corinne McDermott and her family outside the Parliament Buildings in Quebec City... (Photo by Corinne McDermott)
  • Poutine - The infamous St. Antoine poutine in Quebec City (Photo by Corinne McDermott)
  • Phoques (Seals) - Seal performance at the Aquarium in Quebec. (Photo by Corinne McDermott)
  • Vieux Quebec - Wandering down a street in Vieux Quebec. (Photo by Corinne McDermott)
by Corinne McDermott
From Family Travel
November 16, 2010

If you’re jonesing for a taste of Paris but the long flight and even longer credit card bill are holding you back, Québec City is a slice of the continent that embraces your family while taking it easy on your bank account.  Canada’s oldest city offers the charming cobbles, winding streets, and boutique hotels that you’d expect in Europe, with the extra-added bonus of having lots to do outdoors as well as in.  Don’t bother crossing the pond for your hit of French culture, pack up les enfants and head North instead.

  • The Small & Winding Roads...

The streets of the old city (Vieux Québec) demand to be explored. Every turn is postcard-perfect with centuries-old stone buildings standing on equally ancient cobblestones. There’s no shortage of cannons to climb or fountains to wish upon, but when your feet (or your kids) tire of hoofing it, don’t deny yourselves the pleasure of a horse-drawn carriage ride.  The horses (and their hooves) are well-looked after, and the hour-long ride subs as a mini-history lesson and is well worth the money.

  • The Fun in Funicular...

You can’t tour the globe with your grandparents in it, but for less than $2, this outdoor glass elevator can save you a trip either up or down L’Escalier Casse-Cou (literal translation: Breakneck Stairs) connecting the Upper Town with the Lower Town.  Going down is freakier, but the ride up might be necessary if you’ve been wandering around the Vieux Port and Quartier Petit Champlain for a while.  Strollers welcome if they fold.

  • Learning In Disguise...

The Musée de la civilisation de Québec has a good mix of permanent and temporary interactive exhibits that aren’t too big or overwhelming. Dress up in costume and pretend to live in France during the middle ages. Oh, your kids can do that too.  Then, hop over to the Aquarium du Québec. On the banks of the St. Lawrence you can check out fresh- and salt-water fish, reptiles and amphibians, as well as walruses, seals and polar bears. The Harbour seals put on a show, which was a highlight for the little pup with us as well as for the older kids in attendance, but likely for a different reason. Seal in French is phoque, and the trainer says it a lot.

  • Romp & Explore Outdoors...

Québec  City is clean and green and with so many outdoor attractions, it would be a shame to stay inside.  The Plains of Abraham demand to be frolicked on; pack a pique-nique, rent some bikes (and helmets!) and make an afternoon of exploring the Promenade Samuel de Champlain along the St. Lawrence River;  at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, hike up and then cross the bridge spanning waterfalls that are 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls.

  •  Rhymes With Cuisine...

The French Canadians know their way around comfort food like no other –pea soup, sugar pie, tourtière, Montreal bagels are second to none (sorry New York), but la pièce de résistance has to be poutine. Take French fries, add cheese curds, cover with brown gravy, enjoy. Your arteries may not thank you but if you treat yourselves for lunch one day, your kids certainly will.

Share and discuss this story with your friends

Corinne McDermott icon

Corinne McDermott

Corinne McDermott is the mother of two and the founder of Have Baby Will Travel: Your Online Guide for Travel with Babies, Toddlers, and Small Children. She’s appeared on Canada’s top-rated talk and morning shows delivering tips on travel with tots, and she writes for Canadian Family and Oh Baby magazines, and The Huffington Post. Corinne contributes a monthly column to parent resource sites across North America as a Family Travel Expert, and her advice has appeared in Today’s Parent magazine, and The Toronto Star. Connect with Corinne online at Have Baby Will Travel or on Twitter.



Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: Family Travel, Travel With Babies, Travel Gear
Website: http://www.havebabywilltravel.com/main/home.htm

More stories by Corinne McDermott

Quebec City: Family Friendly Fun

Quebec City:  Family Friendly Fun
If you’re jonesing for a taste of Paris but the long flight and even longer credit card bill are holding you back, Québec City is a slice of the continent that embraces your family while taking it easy on your bank account.  Canada’s oldest city offers the charming...

Recent Activity & Recommendations