For three weekends in January or February, Québec City throws one of the biggest winter parties in the world. Each year, an Ice Palace is built as the center of the festivities, which include dog sled races and several parades. Ice bars are plentiful on the Grande Allée and the streets fill with families and visitors singing songs and blowing into trumpets.
Carnaval de Québec. A flurry of activity, mainly on the Plains of Abraham but also on several of the city's main drags, surrounds Carnaval de Québec, which occurs over three weekends every January and February. Snow and ice sculpture contests, dog sled relays, and canoe races in the St. Lawrence chase away winter doldrums. Visitors brave the cold to get a glimpse of Bonhomme, the friendly Carnival Master, and tour his Ice Palace, which is rebuilt each year. Caribou, a strong mixture of red wine, hard liquor, and maple syrup, is a popular libation during the festivities. Québec City, QC. www.carnaval.qc.ca.