March 27, 2017

Quebec City: To Take the Kids or Not Take the Kids?

I’ll be honest, I probably would not take my kids back to Quebec City. We spent a few days there over the summer during our three-week road trip. I had wanted to visit Quebec City for quite some time and we were going to be in town over Canada Day. I was very excited.

Quebec City with Kids

I will tell you that Quebec City did not disappoint. It was all that I hoped it would be. I loved the outdoor cafés, the adorable streets and storefronts, and of course, the Chateau Frontenac, a hotel that is likely the most recognized landmark in all of Quebec City. However, if I were to do it again, I’d just go with my husband (during this part of road trip, it was only me and the kids).

We stayed at the Hotel Palace Royal Centre-Ville. I had no idea where to stay when I found and booked this hotel on Travelocity. It was perfect and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. It was just a block from Old Quebec, so it was so easy to walk out of the hotel and explore the Upper and Lower Town.

Quebec City with Kids

Inside the hotel, you’ll find the Beffroi Steak House, a nice restaurant with a pretty wide selection of kid-friendly meals. When we checked in, we also got a 10% off coupon to use at the restaurant, so of course, we had to try it out one night. For quick meals, there’s also a Subway across the street and a McDonald’s about two blocks away (my kids loved using the touch screen kiosk there to order our food).

Okay, so back to Quebec City. There’s a lot to see and do, just not a lot to do in Old Quebec that is especially great for kids. One day we went to the Aquarium du Quebec and another day we checked out Montmorency Falls. The kids loved both and both were not far from Quebec City, but we had to go by car.

Quebec City with Kids

I would have liked to see and do more things in Old Quebec on foot with the kids. Truth be told, I would have liked to just sit in one of the outdoor cafés and people-watch all day. Now that would have been perfect. However, if you go, whether with a partner or with your kids, here are a few things you must do:

1. Wander About the Petit-Champlain District. In the Lower Town section of Old Quebec, you won’t find a more adorable area to spend a few hours exploring than Petit-Champlain. Look for cute restaurants, cobblestone streets and flower boxes on every window.

Quebec City with Kids

2. Take the Funicular to Lower Town. You could walk from Upper Town to Lower Town, but it’s very, very steep, so the Funicular railway is a perfect idea. Even better, you’ll be right in Petit-Champlain when the doors open up at the bottom of the hill.

Quebec City with Kids

3. Take a Selfie with the Chateau Frontenac. Go inside or simply take in the Chateau Frontenac from the outside. It’s a beautiful hotel that dominates the landscape of Old Quebec. Pretty much every photo you’ll ever see of Quebec City features this hotel, so it’s worth it to check it out for yourself.

Quebec City with Kids

4. Celebrate Canada Day. Sure, Canada Day (July 1) comes just once a year, but it’s worth it to be in Canada for this special day. I’m sure other cities, like Ottawa and Toronto, do it up even better, but we loved every part of Quebec City’s fireworks, parade and seeing Batisse, the Royal 22e Regiment’s goat mascot.

Quebec City with Kids

5. See 360-Degree Views of the City. One afternoon while in Quebec City, my 9 y.o. and I took in the 360-degree views from the Observatoire de la Capitale. Travel + Leisure even says this is the place to go for the best views in Quebec City.

Quebec City with Kids

These are just a few of my favorite parts about Quebec City. It’s definitely a city that’s just right for taking your time to explore, pop into shops and take a break in a sidewalk café for an hour or two. Not all of these are easy to do with kids who are ready to go-go-go. So just something to keep in mind.

I’ll definitely go back to Quebec City one day. I really did love it and visiting Old Quebec in summer was an absolute delight. The weather was perfect and there was nothing better than wandering the city, but next time I’ll probably just go with my husband. Those cafes were calling my name. I must heed the call. 🙂


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