Winter Carnival in Quebec: What to Wear

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Sledders in front of Quebec's Chateau Frontenac during Winter Carnival

Quebec’s annual Winter Carnival is a family friendly event, celebrating the season. Even if you hate the snow and ice, there’s something for you to love – if you’re dressed correctly. There’s an old saying – “There’s no bad weather. Only bad clothes.” Here’s what you need to pack to enjoy all of the fun at Carnaval de Quebec.

Sad to say that I won’t be there this year – I keep planning to take my family and “stuff” gets in the way.  But it is such a spectacular event, it’s worth mentioning anyway.  I visited Quebec a couple of years ago and for me, a  beach and warm weather traveler, to say that being bundled up, snow tubing, sleeping on a bed of ice and tromping around in 5 degree weather was fun, you better believe it!  There is a constant festive vibe in the city throughout the festival.  Everyone is out – kids, babies, adults, elderly and tourists.

What to Pack for Quebec’s Winter Carnival

To look like you belong there, here are a few tips:

  • Dress in layers – nylon next to skin, NOT COTTON. If you sweat, the cotton holds the moisture, keeping you cold. This goes for hands and feet too. I wore a nylon fitted tee under a thin IceBreakers merino wool pullover under an average ski jacket and I was very warm.
  • Buy a wrap
  • Bring a Buff – it looks cool and will keep your neck, face and/or head warm.  It’s also good for hat hair – you can use it as a headband or head cover if it’s really bad.
  • BonHomme is a hero so when you see the Pillsbury-looking holiday snowman wave frantically – he is important
  • Visit Hotel De Glace, even if you don’t want to sleep there. It’s living art and it will be gone in April.  IF you have already seen it, go again – the design is different every year.
  • Drink maple whiskey and caribou. Don’t ask, just drink it. It will keep you warm.
  • Try everything. I don’t ski and I don’t love heights but the snow tubing at Villages Vacances is spectacular and not to be missed
  • Dip into the Turkish baths even though it’s really really cold.
  • Eat poutine, beaver tail and crepes.
Kim Orlando, founder of SheBuysTravel, is a lifelong traveler, an entrepreneur and a sought-after social media and marketing consultant. She has made hundreds of appearances on TV and in digital and print media, sharing advice and tips built on decades of travel experiences. Hailing from the hills of Kentucky and taking her story to New York, Los Angeles, and beyond, Kim built an online platform, the original TravelingMom, that has reached millions of moms and empowered them to explore the world with their families. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel. Kim has been featured on “News Nation,” “Today,” “Good Morning America” and on numerous satellite media tours. She has contributed travel guidance to outlets including The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more. (Read more about Kim’s media appearances here) Her travel mantra is simple: All travel counts. “You don’t have to go far. Leaving your home is travel,” Kim says. “Wherever you go, even just to the next town over, you can learn something new, see someone and something you haven’t seen before. “It’s good for the brain and good for the soul.” An epiphany in early parenthood started Kim on the journey that led to SheBuysTravel. She’d been a fan of a newsletter for women travelers, and she saw an opportunity. “I thought something like that for moms could be extraordinarily helpful,” she said. “I was traveling for work, traveling for fun, and I was looking for support.” That seed grew into the award-winning website TravelingMom, created as a resource for traveling families of all stripes. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel, with an expanded mission to serve women travelers at any stage of life. Millions of readers have visited the site for trip planning help, travel secrets, destination information and gear recommendations. What sets SheBuysTravel’s content apart, Kim says, is its foundation in real-world experience. “Our writers and editors have actually gone out there and done this stuff,” she says. “They’ve booked the flights, tried the tour, tested travel clothing, visited that new hot spot to see if it’s worth the hype. It’s all real.” Memorable Adventures A 2022 tour Kim guided to Bhutan was a particularly standout experience. “Bhutan sounds so exotic, of course,” she said. “But the part where my heart just glows and warms is thinking of the people we met – amazing women doing amazing things in Bhutan.” Their ranks included a former police officer whose ventures into food science helped mitigate food insecurity for residents of Bhutan’s highlands. Top Tips Planning for travel can be daunting, Kim acknowledges. “I always say: Go anyway. No trip is going to be perfect. There’s always going to be something you didn’t expect, something that doesn’t go the way you pictured or planned it. And that something is what’s going to make it a great trip.” And on a practical note: “Go early! Getting to the airport or hitting the road just an hour earlier relieves so much stress.” Kim’s Background Kim, a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, holds degrees in finance and entrepreneurship and has deep experience in developing and running businesses. Her previous work includes developing and running communications workshops and overseeing document management for corporations. SheBuysTravel hits a sweet spot where Kim’s two loves of travel and entrepreneurship meet. “The longer I work in this field, I only want to do more,” she says. “I find the travel world so exciting – not just the trips, but the whole online world of travel. There are still so many opportunities.” The World Awaits “The ‘best trip ever’ probably won’t be the same for an empty-nester or mom of three versus a single woman celebrating a bachelorette party with her friends,” Kim says. “We want to keep it real for traveling women, no matter what their age, life stage, where they came from or where they’re going. “We want to inspire women to travel in any shape or form.” In her free time, Kim enjoys visiting her adult kids, creating trips and traveling with her BFFs to explore the world. Her most recent adventures can be found on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.
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