Sad to say that I won’t be there this year – I keep planning to take my family and “stuff” gets in the way.  But it is such a spectacular event, it’s worth mentioning anyway.  I visited a couple of years ago and for me, a  beach and warm weather traveler, to say that being bundled up, snow tubing, sleeping on a bed of ice and tromping around in 5 degree weather was fun, you better believe it!  There is a constant festive vibe in the city throughout the festival.  Everyone is out – kids, babies, adults, elderly and tourists.

To look like you belong there, here are a few tips:

  • Dress in layers – nylon next to skin, NOT COTTON. If you sweat, the cotton holds the moisture, keeping you cold. This goes for hands and feet too. I wore a nylon fitted tee under a thin IceBreakers merino wool  pullover under an average ski jacket and I was very warm.
  • Buy a wrap
  • Bring a Buff – it looks cool and will keep your neck, face and/or head warm.  IT’s also good for hat hair – you can use it as a headband or head cover if it’s really bad.
  • BonHomme is a hero so when you see the Pilsuby looking holiday snowman wave frantically – he is important
  • Visit Hotel De Glace, even if you don’t want to sleep there. It’s living art and it will be gone in April.  IF you have already seen it, go again – the design is different every year.
  • Drink maple whiskey and caribou. Don’t ask, just drink it. It will keep you warm.
  • Try everything. I don’t ski and I don’t love heights but the snow tubing at Villages Vacances is spectacular and not to be missed
  • Dip into the Turkish baths even though it’s really really cold.
  • Eat poutin, beaver tail and crepes.