Anyone traveling with kids knows that family travel requires resourcefulness and patience. Finding the right balance between activities for the kids and those for adults is an art that grows with experience. Parents visiting Quebec will surely find that this city tries to make life easier for them: it is a compact destination that is easy to visit with children. A simple stroll in the Old City will intrigue even the youngest, who can observe the colorful houses, climb on the old cannons in the parks, walk on the ramparts, scan the horizon from the Dufferin Terrace, and hail the horses drawing the carriages. In addition to all the activities within the city center, there are many others in the region: all you need is to drive a few kilometers to discover a variety of adventures that will have them yelling, "No, we can’t leave yet!"
Aquarium du Québec
This 40-acre indoor and outdoor public aquarium located west of the city center is home to over 10,000 marine creatures: fish, reptiles, amphibians, and sea mammals. The aquarium’s stars are certainly the polar bear, the walruses, and the seals who provide especially captivating moments when they are being fed or trained. In the summer, kids can cool off with water games, while in the winter, visitors of all ages will find a festival of lights enchanting.
Village Vacances Valcartier
This huge year-round playground is the quintessential Quebec City family destination. In the summer, there’s a waterpark equipped with 35 waterslides, two themed rivers, and a wave pool, and families can stay in the Village’s modern campground where even more activities keep little ones busy until bedtime. In the colder months, Valcartier becomes North America’s largest winter playground: over 35 slides, mechanical lifts, skating paths, and ice-karting will allow visitors to warm up to our cold and snowy winter.
Domaine de Maizerets
The Domaine de Maizerets is a superb 66-acre urban park located in Limoilou that features over 11 kilometers of walking trails, an arboretum, a butterfly house, a sixteenth-century mansion, a hedge maze, ponds, and a playground. In the winter, the park is accessible to cross-country skiers and features a skating rink and trails for snowshoeing.
The Québec-Lévis Ferry is the most scenic—and cheapest—“cruise” visitors can enjoy on the St. Lawrence River. It connects the Old Port on one side of the river to the historic district of Lévis on the other. The ferry transports workers and tourists alike, who all enjoy breathtaking views over the city during the 10-minute ride.
Fruit Picking (Polyculture Plante)
A traditional family activity in Quebec City during summer and early fall, fruit picking provides the perfect excuse to drive to scenic Île d’Orléans for a taste of the island’s sweetest produce: berries and apples. Polyculture Plante is a family farm that features the island’s largest fruit and vegetable stand, and a wide selection of local homemade products and maple delicacies are also available for purchase. A large picnic area makes for a nice rest stop where visitors can enjoy their own lunches or the farm’s baked treats.