Looking for culture this winter? Check out these great ideas!

Attractions to discover, November 20, 2023 2023-11-20
Enjoy winter festivals! © Marie-Anne Gaudreault

Quebec is known for its affection for all things cultural, whether those stem from local traditions or international customs. And with winter and colder months around the corner, cultural activities often become a main source of entertainment. So we’ve dug deep to come up with as many ideas as possible of types of cultural activities for you to enjoy! Make Quebec’s festivals and tourist attractions part of your plans this winter, and choose your favourite way to immerse yourself in culture. Here are our suggestions!

Museum exposition
Photo credit: Marie-Anne Gaudreault

Visit a museum, cultural centre or art gallery

It’s easy to get your fill of arts, history and culture in Quebec! Museums, cultural centres and art galleries are constantly offering new exhibits and adding to their collections. In fact, many of them showcase Quebec’s multifaceted northern identity through a wide range of artworks and artifacts. What do we mean by that? How about an exhibition about artistic and climatic reflections from the Nunavik region, museums that take a closer look at winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling, or an arts show inspired by the Canadian winter and Earth’s dormancy? And that's just... the tip of the iceberg!

Witness the work of skilled local artisans

Interested in learning about a particular craft or trade in depth? Then you’ll want to look into the ÉCONOMUSÉE® network! These attractions invite you to discover Quebec’s rich intangible heritage by diving into how different products are made: cheese, beer, chocolate, maple syrup, soap, paper, violins, you name it! Not only do you get a window into artisanal production, but you also get to actually watch the craftspeople at work. ÉCONOMUSÉES® also include shops where you can purchase the products made on site!

Learn about Indigenous cultures

With 11 nations, 55 communities and countless stories to tell, Indigenous Quebec has close ties with the North, and stands out for the richness and authenticity of its thousand-year-old cultures. Visiting fine dining restaurants, immersive forest trails, museums and exhibitions, traditional craft stores and lodging establishments owned by members of the First Nations and Inuit are just some of the ways you can enjoy your first experience of Indigenous tourism or continue your cultural immersion. Prepare yourself for a journey into the past and a meeting with peoples firmly rooted in the present.

Experience Indigenous cultures
Photo credit: Patricia Delisle
Winter festivals
Photo credit: Marie-Anne Gaudreault

Go to a winter festival

Winter festivals are not just an excuse to party (although they are great places for a party!) They’re also an opportunity to experience a huge variety of activities with family and friends. See impressive artists at work, admire the ephemeral but oh-so-spectacular art of ice sculptures, and feel the beat of live electronic music along with thousands of other festival-goers. Above all, winter festivals are about coming together to see ordinary places turn into extraordinary venues and being a part of Quebec’s amazing spirit and awesome atmosphere.

Try outdoor activities connected to local culture

If you want the full winter experience, you’ll definitely want to step outside into the cold! Quebec is brimming with outdoor activities that tell us something about the province’s identity. Think tomcod ice fishing, a sport that dates back to the early 1600s; snowshoeing, brought to us by traditional Indigenous weaving methods rarely seen today; or ice canoeing on the St. Lawrence River, a sport officially listed in the Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec (Quebec Cultural Heritage Directory). Proof that nature and culture go hand in hand, even in winter!

Traditional activities
Photo credit: Patricia Delisle

Discover Quebec’s religious and spiritual sites

Churches converted into concert halls, abbeys that produce gourmet delights, monasteries that welcome you for a wellness retreat: the variety of experiences offered by Quebec’s religious and spiritual sites is sure to impress. Some of these repurposed places of worship breathe new life into the heritage they represent, while others preserve their original vocation and invite you to discover their ongoing history. No matter what kind of experience you’re after, these sacred sites promise to amaze!

Craft beers
Photo credit: Patricia Delisle

Treat yourself to a gourmet trip

Can you really experience culture through your taste buds? Of course, you can! Even in winter, numerous food-and-drink events pop up to delight gourmets and brighten up snow-covered streets for an immersion into local and international culinary cultures. You’ll find everything from mulled wine stands to bars literally made of ice, not to mention an array of restaurants, bars and microbreweries showcasing the diversity of ingredients and the creativity of culinary and brewing techniques. Looking for an intimate atmosphere? A number of establishments decide to add mini-greenhouses or heated bubbles as extensions to their winter dining rooms: what better way for foodies with sophisticated palates to enjoy an explosion of flavours while admiring falling snowflakes?

Stroll around historical districts

A simple activity that can actually be one of the most immersive and inexpensive ways to get a dose of history! Quebec is full of neighbourhoods that proudly display their past, and historic sites that take on an even more magnetic charm under a blanket of snow. Take the time to stroll around and admire the old-world architecture of heritage buildings. Some of these sites even have bistros, shops and galleries to visit.

See a show, concert or play

All winter long, culture lives in Quebec’s theatres and concert venues! It’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toes in, discover the latest releases, revisit the classics or treat yourself to a blockbuster show that promises great moments. At the casinos, various shows add to the entertainment experience. Comedy, song, cabaret, circus, theatre, dance... so much to choose from!

Petit Champlain district
Photo credit: Michel Julien

Dive into an immersive multimedia experience

Here’s an activity that promises to make eyes shine brightly this winter! Whether it’s themed luminous structures that make for an enchanting holiday season, immersive forest trails focusing on Indigenous culture or fantastic tales, or life-size projections presenting the history and heritage of Quebec’s towns and regions, multimedia experiences will engage all of your senses. Discover urban and rural landscapes enhanced with visual and auditory magic, and let yourself be wowed!

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