We had 3 lovely weeks in Quebec city with our kids between July and August 2017. It was warm and sunny and full of tourists. Except when it wasn’t. Even so, it was still beautiful. Quebec city is just so beautiful it’s hard to believe it’s real.
We spent our days in this house. It’s an actual family home, which they rent when they are traveling, and we love this type of houses because they have what we used to have at home, making life a lot easier. It’s also within walking distance to the Old Quebec (though it is a 30-minute walk), and close to many restaurants, small shops, and parks.
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People said that Quebec City is super small, and we’d get bored as 3 weeks is a lot of time, but we actually didn’t. We didn’t really have the time to do all we wanted to, so, we could’ve spent a lot more time around. But we do things slowly, and when we like something, we always do it more than once, so… We do take longer to see the places than the normal people.
Below, the list of all the family friendly things we did in our time in Quebec City
Great things to do and see in Quebec City with kids
Vieux-Quebec, or Old Quebec
Well, it’s a classic and everyone must see it. Beautiful as it is, it’s also very touristy, incredibly full, and expensive. It’s actually quite difficult to walk around due to a number of tourists there. All the shops and restaurants are always crowded, when there are buskers, it gets really hard to pass because everyone around is trying to film or take photos. There are many souvenir stores there, though, so for souvenir shopping, it’s great.
The walls surrounding the old city are amazing. I loved walking over it. It was also very less crowded than the Old town itself, and the views were incredible. It’s free, and it’s great, very worth doing.
We were at the port, so we took the funicular to the old town and climbed the stairs (they said over 300 steps). It was still worth it. That would be one of the things I’d love to do again.
We tried to watch the sunset from there but didn’t manage. There are too many buildings blocking the sun.
I was quite scared because I don’t really like funiculars either, but this one felt more like an elevator than a funicular, and it was quite fast, so I had no problems. It cost C$ 3 per person, and Coral wasn’t charged. It’s handy, but not necessary. It’s a path easily walked.
It takes people from the lower parts of Quebec City to the beautiful Citadel.
Aquarium du Quebec
We received free entry to the Aquarium, but the opinions here are 100% ours.
It was a Friday afternoon during school holidays, so we figured it’d be full. And it was. The Aquarium is very different from others we’ve visited, and we liked it. First of all, there’s a huge outdoor area, where we could have a picnic, just sit and enjoy the lovely summer afternoon, play at the playground, take photos with the mascots. There were also the sea mammals: seals, walruses, and polar bears. It was sad, I hate seeing the mammals in captive, but they are super cute, the kids loved them, and they did seem to be well taken care of.
There are 2 different buildings, and inside them were the fish tanks. They were smaller than the ones we saw in Toronto, but there were different creatures and we had fun looking. The jelly fish area is stunning, we loved them.
There are many touch tanks, the usual ones (starfishes, rays, and sharks) and we got the chance to touch anemones and feed the rays. They ask for a donation of CAD$2 or more for the chance to feed a ray, and Coral and Jose LOVED the experience. They got a bit scared, but it’s safe and they did it. The older 2 didn’t even get near the tanks.
Besides the poor mammals there, we found it to be a pretty good experience. João had fun answering the questions in a booklet they offer there (he said he got only one wrong). Coral absolutely fell in love with the seals and the polar bear and she and José had a great experience feeding the rays.
Visit it during a sunny day, get a Beavertail, and enjoy all it has to offer!
It’s a toy store. I could leave it at that, but I can’t.
SO BEAUTIFUL! We visited it twice just because. Amazing collection, there were so many board games there I couldn’t believe. We couldn’t buy anything as we downsized our bags, but it’s still incredible just to wander around that shop. They also have an amazing candy store there, and it’s pretty cool. There’s a little café there as well, simple, and cheap. Not the best food in the world, but quick, healthier than regular fast food, and inside the shop.
Marchet Vieux Port (or Old Port Market)
The building is pretty, and there’s just so much there! Lovely fresh produce – cheaper than anywhere else! Lots of stalls selling everything, from strawberries to postcards, to South American stuff, to chocolates, maple goods, and so much more. Very worth the visit.
This takes us to the best places to eat with kids in Quebec City
Cuisine du Marchet
This is a restaurant inside the Marchet Vieux-Port. It was the biggest if we saw it correctly, and it was quite empty when we were there so we decided to sit there and eat.
Well, the BEST POUTINE we’ve ever had was there! Worth going just for the poutine, though everything else was also great. Simple and great!
We had lunch there a couple of times and the poutine was good but not great as many people said. I felt the chips were a bit soggy and although Angelo liked the burgers, the rest of the family didn’t.
It’s in located in the lower part of the Old Quebec and it has some delicious fudge there. We tried the salsichón there and fell in love. Bought to eat at home. Well, a few family members complained that it got too sweet to eat a lot, I felt it was just perfect. It was the coffee fudge. Yum!
Queue de Castor
The old and known Beavertail. Yummy deep fried dough in the shape of a Beavertail with delicious toppings. They lack the salty option, but their poutine is reasonable and Coral liked the ice cream. The smoothie, though, isn’t good.
It is very Canadian and worth having it wherever you are
Maple, anyone? Anything maple? Well, I LOVED the maple taffy on snow (on the ice, more literally, as it was summer, but anyway) and the tea. Must try! Must try everything! The one at the Old Quebec has a little museum to show the production of maple syrup.
A chocolate shop in Old Quebec. It’s pretty, smells so good, but it’s so full. We bought some fondue chocolate (too sweet, but delicious anyway), and ice cream with chocolate for the kids. They liked it.
It happens on Saturday mornings. We went there to see what was it about and, aside from a couple of produce stands, there were many food stands and the smell was delicious. Great place to enjoy a summer brunch!
A ramen restaurant, and although they’re rarely good outside Japan, this one was. Their dumplings are delicious! Very worth a visit! It is rather crowded, though, so go early!
Yummy bakery goodness. The sweets are perfect, from meringues to eclairs and cakes. The bread… oh, we forgot to try the bread. Well…
It closed late July until mid-August so we only had a few days to eat there. A bit sad, really. There was a lot I didn’t have the chance to try.
Chocolate heaven. Seriously. Everyone talks about their ice cream but everything else was perfect. So good. I could spend the whole day there eating. They even have a small chocolate museum, but we were too busy eating to visit it. And it was rather crowded too, with tour groups coming and going.
I don’t really know if this was the name of this restaurant, but we went there around once a week. It was super close from the house and the food and the service were top notch. If you like Indian food, go. But I’ve never really tried any bad Indian food, so maybe I’m not really a good judge here.
We had dinner there on one of our last days and it was delicious. Imagine you being able to make up your own poutine. That’s the place. It was delicious, and it was highly customisable. Couldn’t be more fun.
A day trip from Quebec City: Levis
Levis is just a 10-minute ferry away from Quebec City port. We decided to visit it on one of our last days. It was a sunny day, so it’d be perfect for a day trip.
We walked to the port (around 30 minutes) and took the ferry. The round-trip cost CAD$14 for the whole family, which is super cheap. We rarely pay only that, even more in Canada. From the ferry, we had some awesome views of both cities, and I really think it’s worth taking the ferry even if it’s just for the views. They’re very frequent throughout the day, so there’s no need to buying ahead or checking the time schedule. Just arrive, purchase your ticket and wait.
Levis is small. Pretty, but small. The port is super cute and there was something going on that day for sure as there were people sitting and waiting for something to happen.
Well, we found that we had to climb a few stairs to get somewhere, so we did. There were some restaurants by the port, but we decided on eating at the town center. Silly mistake.
After 15 minutes climbing stairs, we had 15 more minutes walking uphill between houses. Sure, the views were pretty but the climb wasn’t easy. It was nearly 3 pm and we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast.
Most restaurants were closed. There were a few cafés open, but they were full.
We ended up having sushi in a restaurant. The food was good, but it came covered in fish eggs which the kids refused to eat and I’m allergic to them. Angelo had to eat most of it.
After that fiasco, we went to have an ice cream at Chocolat Favoris. It was good. So good. Melissa had the Barbe du Papa (cotton candy) ice cream, so pretty. We also bought a few bars for the trip and it was very worth it. The ice cream was good too.
We were super grumpy and not enjoying that trip, so we cut it short and took the ferry back.
It’s a nice day trip, Levis is beautiful, but choose a good day to go, and don’t go on an empty stomach like we did. It’s an easy climb, but it’s long and tiring, so not a good idea to climb while hungry!
Overall, we LOVED Quebec City! What a stunning place it is! We found only 2 problems there: the number of tourists is unbelievable, and the language. OK, the language is our problem, not Quebec City’s, but we felt a bit of difficulty communicating there. Some people do speak English, but some don’t. It was very different from the rest of the Canadian cities we visited, a lot more European than North American really. We did learn the basics, like please and thank you, table for six and stuff like that, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
One thing that blew our minds was the pedestrian crossing sensor. There were no buttons. We just passed our hands underneath or in front of it and it lit a small light telling us that they got it. So cool. But it was a really long wait for a really short time to cross. Well, to be fair, on most crossings we could cross any way we wanted when it opened, so it may end up being the same waiting time of waiting to cross 2 lines.
If you’re unsure about Quebec City, do visit it. It’s a lovely place to be. Quebec City is a family friendly destination, and the whole family can enjoy a holiday in the walled city!
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