My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.
Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.
My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.
Quebec City Day 1
image from Wikipedia
1. Aquarium du Quebec
We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species.
1675 Avenue des Hôtels
Ville de Québec
Photo from TripAdvisor, GenClavet
2. Samuel Champlain Walkway
This is near the aquarium. The park, which connects to a path leading to the Old City, is a great place for cyclists and walkers. I have to find out how long the walk is to the Old City. It doesn’t look like there are many places to eat near the Aquarium though it might have a restaurant within it. If it’s not too far, it would be nice to take this path to the Old City to walk around and eat.
image from unesco.org
3. Quebec City Old City
This part of Quebec City — the Old City — is why I wanted to come. I loved the Vieux Montreal but this is supposed to be much larger.
We need to check this out:
Nearby at the Place d’Armes, a small park, step into an open carriage for a horse-drawn ride around the old city, a particularly pleasing treat for young kids. To reach the oldest section of the historic area, the Lower Town, ride the funicular, an enclosed car that descends at a 45-degree angle or walk the Breakneck stairs (casse-cou), called that for their long-ago loose stones. The Royal Square (Place-Royale) features centuries-old stone buildings that rate amongst Vieux-Quebec’s most appealing. At the Place-Royale Interpretation Centre (Centre d’interpretation de Place-Royale) learn about Champlain an early Quebec via a 3D film. From Family Vacation Critic
Image from Meetings Canada
4. Image Mill
The Image Mill is a sound and image show projected after dark onto the row of massive grain silos in Quebec’s harbor. This is also near the aquarium. If we are not too tired and there are not too many bugs out, I think my kids would like this.
Quebec City Day 2
Image from Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
1. Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec
We always visit the art museum in any city we go to for Grasshopper and Sensei. Her little brother gets impatient in art museums so we tend to race through it in less than two hours.
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a museum in Quebec City with approximately 25,000 works essentially produced in Quebec, or by Quebec artists, some of which date from the 18th century.
179 Grande Allée Ouest
image from Wikipedia
2. The Battlefields Park: Abraham’s Bus and the Odyssey experience at the Plains of Abraham
Jodi Grundig at Family Travel Magazine said that this was the highlight of their trip with kids. It’s only 45 minutes so it seems worth it. I like how this experience sneaks in history in a fun way for kids.
The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within The Battlefields Park in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Image from Wikipedia
3. Montmorency Falls
Not sure if we will have the energy to make it here, but it sounds great. If we have three days, this seems worth exploring. We are only here for two nights though.
Situated in Beauport, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Quebec, these falls cascade 272 feet, making them about 99 feet higher than well-known Niagara Falls. Ride the cable car up, take in the view from the bridge and if you want, walk down the 487 steps. The park has easier trails.The site has a restaurant, so you can make an all-day visit out of this attraction. From Family Vacation Critic
Where to Eat in Quebec City with Kids
We are all about the food when we visit a new place. High on the list is crêpes, PickyKidPix’s favorite snack. She has converted her siblings into crêpe lovers too. I told her that I found the best place for most authentic crêpes but she was unimpressed. She wants to eat the place known for best crêpes.
Crêperie Le Billig for Most Authentic Crêpes
Charming neighborhood eatery specializing in sweet & savoury crêpes, coffee & wine.
481 Rue Saint-Jean
Ville de Québec
Next on the list is French food. We like casual rather than fancy so a bistro sounded perfect. I found the one that sounds like a well priced option.
Le Clocher for Most Bang for Your Buck Bistro
Elegant-yet-comfy eatery bistro fare made from locally sourced ingredients, with a wine list.
203 Rue Saint-Joseph Est
Ville de Québec
image from Buffet de l’Antiquaire
Traditional Quebec cuisine is also a must try. This restaurant comes up again and again as a top choice.
Buffet de l’Antiquaire for Traditional Quebec Cuisine
Long-time diner with big plates of classic Canadian eats, including breakfast from morning to night.
95 Rue Saint Paul, Québec City
If we had an extra day, we’d try First Nations cuisine so we probably won’t make it here. There are also sugar shacks that run nearly year round. We have sugar shacks where we live in Massachusetts and my kids have been there for school field trips. They don’t love sugar shacks so we are skipping that but if we lived in California, I’d put it on my list.
La Traite for First Nations Cuisine
Dishes inspired by First Nations cuisine prepared with what has been hunted, fished or gathered. In the summer, enjoy your meal on our terrace while you contemplate the beautiful outdoor setting.
5, place de la Rencontre ‘Ekionkiestha’
Books for Kids About Canada
I couldn’t find much in the KidLit department set in Quebec City but I like to have some related reading material to whip out at night when the kids are a tad bored. It makes the trip a full experience for me. The Eric Wilson book looks like a Hardy Boys type of mystery. The Kids Book of Canada might be a good choice for an overview. Ru might appeal to my high school kids.
The Kids Book of Canada by Barbara Greenwood
Cold Midnight in Vieux Quebec by Eric Wilson
Tom Austen and Dietmar Oban roam through old Quebec, where leaders of the world’s superpowers meet to get rid of chemical weapons. In their quest for peace, the two friends face powerful opponents who want nothing to do with eliminating war. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]
Ru: A Novel by Kim Thúy
My Vietnamese friend Nathalie gifted this book to me. I’ll read it in Quebec City!
At ten years old, Kim Thúy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors. The family arrived in Quebec, where they found clothes at the flea market, and mattresses with actual fleas. Kim learned French and English, and as she grew older, seized what opportunities an immigrant could; she put herself through school picking vegetables and sewing clothes, worked as a lawyer and interpreter, and later as a restaurateur. She was married and a mother when the urge to write struck her, and she found herself scribbling words at every opportunity – pulling out her notebook at stoplights and missing the change to green. The story emerging was one of a Vietnamese émigré on a boat to an unknown future: her own story fictionalized and crafted into a stunning novel. [adult fiction]
This is the guide book we are using. All the restaurant recommendations came from it.
How about you? Anyone visited Quebec City? I’d love your suggestions, especially for restaurants, and books! Thanks!
p.s. Thank you to Dee for her recommendations:
Paillard. Accueil. And it’s the 1097 rue Saint-Jean location in the Old Quarter. The manager is Jimmy. Paillard makes a great stop on its own. They have pastries and croissants, quick service sandwiches and soups, and gelato.
Have a meal at the Parliament building. We went there for breakfast and the eggs were super creamy, but going is about the building and not the food. You will need passports to get in. It’s kind of like the executive dining room for the members of Parliament, which is neat! Beautiful old building. Lovely stained glass vestibule. Very…dignified. There are portraits, too, with information on the way out. Well worth it. Oh, and the gardens around it are gorgeous. In fact the gardens throughout Quebec are amazing!
We went to The Battles at the Plains of Abraham. It was interesting, but could have been better and more interactive, I think.
Montmorency Falls are well worth it, but Ste. Anne Canyon is even better I think. That is also near Ste. Anne Basilica, which is beautiful (upstairs and down), and the Copper Museum of Albert Gilles. The kids (and adults!) got to make their own copper “repoussé.”
The Morrin Centre is in the old quarter and DEFINITELY worth it. The kids would love it. It’s a former prison (now a library) and the tour is given by “jailors” to the “prisoners.” Very interactive and entertaining.
Onhoüa Chetek8e is a Huron Village outside of Quebec. Also DEFINITELY worth it. This was my favorite thing. Tour of an authentic Native American village by an authentic tribe guide. They have a restaurant, too, where we at bison burgers.
The Musée de la Civilisation is a wonderful museum that you may want to include. When we were there they had an exhibit on Nanotechnology, one on First Nations, and an Australian art exhibit. I got to see the first two but not the last one. There were 2 or 3 other exhibits, too.
You won’t have time for it, but we also went to Ecole de Cirque de Quebec – Circus School! The kids got to jump on trampolines, do the trapeze (low down), do balance work, juggle, etc. They LOVED it!
We had crepes at Au Petit Coin Breton. I was not impressed. We also went to the Cabane a Sucre quite a ways outside the city. Interesting but VERY crowded. You have a lumberjack’s meal there which is meat, meat, and more meat, followed by making your own maple candy. It was okay, but for 3 days I wouldn’t push it to go there at all. Most of our other meals were ordinary tour meals. Nothing particularly Quebecois.
We didn’t get to do it, but definitely go to the Chateau Frontenac. They have a Starbucks so your excuse to go inside could be to get a beverage! The Old Quarter is great for shopping and just walking around.Look for the beautiful trompe l’oeil mural near Notre Dame Church (there’s a neat square there but I forget what it’s called). The Funiculaire is SHORT! But fun for the kids. There is a ferry and you can ride across and back. We did that our last day before our fight home.
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