Our Favourite Things To Do in Quebec City in January

Our list of what to do in Quebec City in January includes the opening of the Ice Hotel, the start of the winter carnival, free activities to do this month and road trip ideas.

Here's a list of activities in Quebec City in January

Visiting Quebec in January is an absolute joy. The winter season has officially settled in, and pretty snow covers the scenery. Locals and tourists alike have become accustomed to the sunny, snowy pleasures of January in Quebec City. 

Our list of things to do in Quebec City in January has been written with your leisure in mind. We invite you to keep reading to learn about our favourite Quebec City winter activities. 

Quebec City Events in January

1. Quebec Winter Carnival 

Have fun in Quebec City during Winter Carnival
Quebec City's famous Winter Carnival starts on 25 January, 2024 (Photo © TQ / F. Gagnon)
  • January 25 to February 11, 2024

The ultimate Quebec City winter activity is the Winter Carnival. It's known worldwide as the place to celebrate the beauty and joy of winter. The iconic Bonhomme leads the Winter Carnival. Highlights include wintery decorations, a parade, musical concerts, maple taffy and more winter treats. 

The 2024 Quebec Winter Carnival starts on January 25th and runs through February 11th.Visit the website for a complete list of events.

budget tip

Budget tip

Some sites and events require the official carnival pass (the effigy). You will save $10 per effigy if you buy it online before January 14.

What To Do in Quebec City in January

2. Ice Hotel

Ice hotel is a know place in Quebec City in January
The Ice Hotel is located next to Village Vacances Valcartier. Most people will visit the hotel after a day of snow tubing. (Photo © TQ / G. Leroyer)

Quebec City in January means the Ice Hotel is open for business. This unique structure is indeed what it sounds like – a hotel made almost entirely of ice. Located in the Village Valcartier, it has everything you need to spend a cozy, unforgettable night in the only hotel of its kind in North America.

You can also visit the Ice Hotel if you’re unsure about spending a night in its icy recesses. Visiting the hotel is a popular activity for families and curious visitors.

Tickets to visit the Ice Hotel are $5 cheaper if purchased online.

3. Ride the Old Quebec Funicular

Enjoy the views riding the funicular in Quebec City in January
Old Quebec funicular (Photo © TQ / JF. Hamelin)

The Old Quebec Funicular is a fantastic Quebec City attraction. It’s not winter-specific, but it’s nonetheless outstanding. The funicular is the easier way to get from Dufferin Terrace to the Upper Town. Make sure you stand close to the window for incredible views of Quebec City and the icy Saint-Lawrence River. Strollers are permitted and children under 46 inches ride for free. Payment in cash is required. You will find an ATM at the lower station.

Funicular tickets can only be purchased on site and only cash payments are accepted.

4. Relax at a Scandinavian Spa 

Strom Spa is a known Quebec winter attraction to visit
Strøm Spa Nordique (Photo © TQ / G. Leroyer)

Visiting Quebec City in the winter means you’ll (hopefully) spend much time playing outside. If you’re looking for a break from the excitement of Quebec City winter activities, why not visit a spa? 

There’s a vast array of Quebec City spas. The Strom Spa is our top choice because it’s five minutes from the city core. This means you can quickly get here by car or taxi. Many of the spa’s rooms overlook the Saint-Lawrence River, one of the most beautiful sights in Quebec City during January.

A fee applies to access the site and treatments are an add-on.

5. Ice Skating 

Visit Quebec City in January and do ice skating
The Ice Rink at Place D'Youville is one of the most scenic ones in the Old Quebec (Photo © TQ / G. Leroyer)

Ice skating is a classic winter activity to enjoy when visiting Old Quebec City in January. Several Quebec City ice skating rinks are available, each unique in its own way. Why not try them all?

The rink at Place D’Youville has a heated cabin, restrooms and offers ice skate rental ($). Skating is free if you bring your own skates.

The Plains of Abraham rink is long and wide, perfect for beginners. They also have a heated cabin with restrooms and skate rentals. They also sell snacks on site. Ice skating is free if you bring your own skates.

Ice Skating is free (but a fee applies for equipment rental)

6. Guided Walking Tour 

Tour Quebec City in January with your family.

A guided walking tour is an excellent thing to do in Quebec City in January if you want to get better acquainted with this beautiful city.

This two-hour tour of Old Quebec is particularly well-rated.

7. Winter Playground at Village Valcartier 

Have fun doing snow activities in Quebec City
Snow tubing at Village Vacances Valcartier (Photo © TQ / F. Gagnon)

When visiting Quebec City in January with kids, check out the Winter Playground. Every day includes activities like snow tubing, ice skating and snow rafting. Village Vacances Valcartier is a 40 minutes drive from Quebec City.

While there's no public bus service from Old Quebec to Valcartier, a convenient round-trip transfer shuttle can be booked.

8. Bora Park

The indoor water park Bora Park is also located in Valcartier. You have two travel options: driving there yourself or using the shuttle bus service I mentioned in the prior section. Bora Park features water games and activities, water slides, an adventure river and, of course, a swimming pool. Even small children measuring less than a meter will have access to a few slides (accompanied by a parent). If you want to combine the water park and snow tubing, we recommend staying overnight.

Things to Do Elsewhere in Quebec in January

9. Dog Sledding near Quebec City

Sledding is a good family activity in Quebec City during January

A unique Quebec City winter attraction is dog sledding. We like the Pourvoirie du Lac-Beauport as their guides are experienced, it’s close enough to Quebec City for a day trip, and they also have cottages if you want to turn it into a weekend getaway.

10. Domaine Enchanteur 

If you’ve exhausted the outdoor ice rinks in Quebec City and are looking for more places to practice, we suggest you check out the 15km forest trails at Domaine Enchanteur. This Quebec City activity is a perfect day trip, only 1.5 hours away. They also have a petting zoo and snowshoe trails.

11. Igloofest

Igloofest is worth the day trip from Quebec City in January
Igloofest at Old Port Montréal (Photo © TQ / G. Leroyer)
  • January 18 to February 10, 2024

Igloofest is Montreal’s most popular outdoor winter dance party. This festival typically lasts all winter and starts in January. Every weekend, they bring in famous DJs for a night of dancing in the Old Port. Check out their artist schedule and join one of the most fun Quebec winter attractions.

Weather in Quebec City in January

Dress warmly in Quebec City during January

Quebec City in January is definitely cold. It can get downright icy if you factor in the wind from the Saint-Lawrence River. I suggest you wear full winter regalia: long johns, neck warmers, toque, boots, gloves and balaclava. 

Don’t forget to wear snow pants for those days you’ll enjoy Quebec City's outdoor winter activities. If you spend several hours in a row outside, you will need woollen gloves and thermals.

Quebec City in January is magical. Bring all the winter necessities to enjoy the best Quebec City winter attractions, like the Quebec Winter Carnival and the Ice Hotel. Trust me, they make the cool weather worthwhile.

Related: Want to plan more adventures while visiting Quebec in January? Here are our favourite Quebec City day trips.

Anne Rodrigue-Beaudoin Quebec Wonders

About the Author

Anne was born and raised in Quebec City. She is our resident expert for the city of Quebec and other popular regional destinations such as Charlevoix and Gaspésie. Having travelled to every corner of the province with her children, she is also our expert for family related topics on Quebec Wonders.

Similar Posts