DAY TRIPS, WEEKENDS, WEEK LONG ESCAPES FROM NEW YORK CITY by NYC Sidewalker
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Québec Winter Carnival: Day 2
Québec Winter Carnival is fun! There's so much to do and see at Place Desjardines where the festivities are held. It's a huge outdoor winter amusement park on the Plains of Abraham with many activities on site. International Snow Sculpture Event, The Natrel Ice Slide, West Jet Zip line, Arctic Spas Village, Children's Village, Dogsled Rides, Giant Table-Soccer Game, KRAFT Snow Rafting, METRO Outdoor BBQ, SAQ Bistro, Sleigh Rides, Sugar Shack, TELUS Interactive Zone, Parades, Dance Parties and Concerts. It's a snowy playground!
The International Snow Sculptures lined the park as if in a massive outdoor museum. The sculptures were being worked on daily throughout the Winter Carnival until completion. The sculptures are made completely of snow by artists and teams from around the world and were masterpieces in their own right.
Bonhomme is the Carnivals mascot. He is well loved by the festival's revelers and is a quite a character. Bonhomme’s Palace is an impressive ice display that illuminates the park. It is an Ice Palace which is made by deoxygenating water and freezing it to produce substantially clear ice.
Desjardines is definitely family friendly. There are events and fun for everyone. Children enjoy the introduction to Alpine skiing, snow slides, sleigh rides, even skating with Bonhomme! Children are everywhere having a winter wonderful time! Babies are seen being pulled around on there sleds by their parents who are also exploring their inner child enjoying all the festivities too. New this year is Club Penguin Ice Garden, a fantasy world made of ice and snow displaying beloved cartoon characters illuminated with lights recreating adventurous scenes and enjoyable by kids of all ages.
The great 400-foot ice slide, snow rafting and the zip line will ensure you get your speed fix. Here are some pointers. Choose to ride Super Mega Round Raft that fits 8 of your friends and spins as you descent the snow slide. It's a blast! Also a word of advice, if you zip line too fast, you will bounce off the net and repel backwards causing the attendant to lose his balance and his glove trying to catch you. (not that that happened to me or anything...okay it did!)
Once hunger strikes, don't fret! There's food everywhere sold on premises. You can choose to eat at the outdoor winter bar-b-cue where you can get chargrilled European hot dogs. Bar Saq provides a comfortable indoor space to get warm and enjoy a cocktail from the bar like a Caribou. A delicious libation of port, brandy, vodka and sherry served hot. It's a perfect drink to warm your bones and start happy hour early. Bar Saq also sells paninis and other snacks. The Kraft Tent houses a food court with pizza, hot dogs, meat pies and egg rolls.
If it's a sweet tooth you need to satisfy? Make sure you high-tail-it towards the Beaver Tail hut! Where the fresh fried dough is being served savory or sweet, powdered with sugar and topped with bananas, chocolate, caramel...whatever you want! Also tempting is the Sugar Shack, where sticky maple syrup is poured on fresh snow ready for you to twirl-it-up with your Popsicle stick and lick away! Hot chocolate and coffee is also a good way to keep you warm in the evening when the temperature drops further.
When it's finally time relax, the Arctic Spas Village awaits. Yes! Imagine it's 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside and you're in your bathing suit soaking in a steamy hot tub watching carnival goers walk by. Saunas are also available on site. In the evening the Arctic Spas Village lights-up exhibiting a rather alluring mood. Ooh-la-la!
At night "The Carnival Makes You Dance!" Desjardines lights up and stage comes alive with live band playing. On this night, a folk rock band played while spectators do-si-dos with their partners. In fact, I believe that may have been the name of the band, at least in translation. It was a lot of fun and a great way to keep warm.
One last walk through snow sculpture row showed the sculpture teams still hard at work on their art pieces. I stopped to chat with the team Mexico whom explained their sculpture represented Lovers in a vortex of space-time continuum. He also mentioned, that he's so cold, his nose hadn't stopped running since he arrived to Quebec!
Québec Winter Carnival will return for its 57Th Year Anniversary January 28Th to February 13th 2011.