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10 most exciting things to do in Québec for family summer vacations

Last updated 15th March 2024

Spend five minutes reading about the best things to do in Québec this spring and summer. If you’re planning a family vacation it’s time well spent.


One of the flightiest things to do in Quebec

One of the best things to do in Québec is see it from above

With its great swathes of forest, scattered with no less than 150 lakes, not to mention waterfalls, pools and rivers, Parc National de la Mauricie is an amazing family adventure on the ground. But nothing on earth is quite as stunning as the overview of this quintessential Québec landscape from aboard one of the fantastic local seaplanes.

Catch a flight with the experts at Hydravion Aventure and glide over the woodlands and waterways of La Mauricie, watch the legendary St Lawrence River valley unfold beneath you, spot shy residents of wildlife reserves, and glimpse tantalising hints of Québec’s magnificent northern wilderness in the distance. It’s an unforgettable experience for kids, and flights range from a fun 30 minutes right up to the expansive 75 minute voyage: complete with in-flight narration and personal headphones.    

Stay at Sacacomie Hotel & Spa, Saint-Alexis-des-Monts


Whale watching, Baie-Sainte-Catherine

Meet the whales in Baie-Sainte-Catherine and Tadoussac

No less than 13 species of large marine mammals make their home in Québec’s waters and enchanting belugas are in permanent residence, year round, in the St. Lawrence River. When the province says it’s one of the best places in the world to watch whales, there’s no argument.

For the best of the best, catch a zodiac cruise from Baie-Sainte-Catherine in summer. Piloted by a naturalist captain and with as few as 24 passengers on board, these legendary dinghies bring you as close as can be to the legends of the deep, in complete safety and comfort. Cruises last for two hours and sightings of anything from humpbacks whales to dolphins are as good as guaranteed.

Alternatively, fit a great Québécois road trip into your holiday and follow the Whale Route stretching along the St Lawrence river banks from Tadoussac to Blanc-Sablon. It’s marked by blue and white signs and has over 25 whale-centred destinations to aim for so even the shortest drives are big on rewards.   

Stay at Hotel Tadoussac, Tadoussac Bay


The magical Foresta Lumina

Foresta Lumina: find yourself spellbound in Parc de la Gorge Coaticook

Leave any cynicism you have about ‘magical’ experiences at the entrance to Foresta Lumina, it’s spellbinding. Imagine a night-walk through one of Québec’s dense and mysterious forests in the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook, illuminated by fireflies and fairy lights, illustrated with myths and legends, and accompanied by ethereal music every step of the way. The trail follows the footsteps of a young girl called Margaret who lived near the forest of Coaticook decades ago and was blessed with an uncommon gift; she could see what others could not see. Today, her soul still breathes in these woods.

The entire route is just under three kilometres, but it’s scattered with interactive fun so leave at least a couple of hours to let kids try everything from playing instruments with their feet to drawing on vast walls with luminous chalk, daring across mist-wreathed bridges, and gazing in awe-struck wonder at the fantastic characters who make their home in this curious and captivating, one-of-a-kind, forest.

Stay at Manoir Hovey Relais & Châteaux, North Hatley 


Sea kayaking, Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay

Sea kayaking: sail the Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay 

Québec does scenic grandeur as easily as breathing, but even here, few places are quite as spectacular as Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay: heartland of immense glacial fjords, dramatic cliffs, silent bays and sea kayaking.    

Naturally, if you want to kayak alone, you need experience and good navigational skills. But this gloriously wild park is amazingly accessible too, and guided kayaking expeditions round stunning Baie-Éternité are awesome for first timers, and reassuringly safe and comfortable, without compromising on the local scenery. They’re also a great way to respect one of Québec’s finest traditions: low-impact adventuring for all.   

Stay at Centre de Vacances 5 Étoiles Family Resort, Sacré-Coeur-Saguenay

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Ziplining in Mont Tremblant

Mont-Tremblant: head for the ziplining capital of Canada

Québec could well lay claim to being the ziplining capital of Canada, so when you want the lengthiest lines, incredible 360˚ views, awesome technology and expert guides, this is where to find all that and more.   

One of the many ziplining highlights of the province includes Ziptrek Ecotour conveniently located within the quaint pedestrian village of Tremblant. An awe inspiring journey that allows you to soar high above the trees and experience one of the most spectacular zipline courses in the world. It’s the ultimate zipline tour experience – zipping from the summit of Mont-Tremblant back down to the pedestrian village. Featuring five distinct and spectacular ziplines that total almost 4km in length, this epic experience caters to both youngsters and adults, converting even the timid into daredevils. With excellent equipment and amenities as well as friendly and professional staff, this experience is a must when in the Laurentians region.

Stay at Le Westin Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant


Bioparc de la Gaspésie

Bioparc de la Gaspésie: one of the wildest things to do in Québec

Spotting wildlife in nature takes patience and, since that’s not a trait most kids are known for, Bioparc de la Gaspésie is the perfect solution. Here, animals from over 40 different species live in natural environments, divided into five unique eco-systems, all explored on one fascinating 1.5km long trail. Every wild resident is native to Québec, so kids can expect encounters with black bear and bobcats, mighty moose, grey wolf, river otter, raccoon, beaver and woodland caribou, to name but a few.

Leave plenty of space in your plans for the famously good fun animal feeding events, along with time to visit the Insectarium and Reptile Pavilion, as well as the charming Little Farm. And during summer, you can even go wild after dark as the Bioparc stays open until 9pm on full-moon evenings.   

Stay at Hôtel Le Francis, New Richmond


Exploring historic Val-Jalbert

Val-Jalbert: a fun take on history with some spectacular falls too  

Way back in the 1920s, Val-Jalbert was a model ‘company town’ and one of the first in the Province of Québec to have electricity and running water. Today it’s a beautifully restored heritage village, packed with tales of the past, along with pretty buildings, traditional trolley buses, and old fashioned businesses, still working as hard as ever.

Take one of the entertaining guided tours, catch fun theatrical performances, tuck into hearty local cooking, and don’t forget to bring your walking boots: not only is Val-Jalbert a charming, time-stood-still town, it’s surrounded by well marked hiking trails. Make it your mission to climb up to at least one of the five famous viewpoints, and don’t miss the spectacular Ouiatchouan Falls – they’re taller than Niagara.  

Stay at Village Historique de Val-Jalbert, Chambord


First Friday Food Trucks, Montréal

First Friday Food Trucks: hang out and eat up in Montréal

Québec doesn’t have a cut-off point when it comes to summer festivals. We particularly like the idea of celebrating at the 11-day long Festival d’été de Québec  in Québec City, one of Canada’s largest outdoor music events and definitely one of the things to do in Quebec in summer.

And don’t miss First Friday Food Trucks: it’s the country’s biggest food truck event, now in its fifth year, and held on the first Friday of every month in the heart of Montréal. Go for the fabulous eats, hang out for the live music, and stay late to soak up the incredible atmosphere. Family-friendly and fun for kids, from toddlers to teens.  

Stay at Le Centre Sheraton Montréal in downtown


Riding the treetops in Glen Sutton

VéloVolant: cycle the world’s highest tree canopy route

Québec loves cycling: 12,000km of cycle paths criss-cross the province, the 5,000km long Route Verte network of bike paths is the longest in North America, and you can even cycle through the treetops here, on VéloVolant: Canada’s only tree canopy bike route, and the highest in the world.

Stretching for 1,000m over the spectacular Missisquoi River Valley, VéloVolant lets you soar above leafy maples and majestic pines on fun, recumbent cycles. The bikes only go as fast as you pedal, so you can zip along, or sit back and admire the view. And from vast waterfalls and immense ravines to the glorious Green Mountains of Vermont, there’s always something astonishing to admire.

Stay at Hotel de l’Horizon, Sutton


Thrilling La Ronde Amusement Park, Montréal

La Ronde: one of the most thrilling things to do in Québec

Not only is La Ronde one of the biggest amusement parks in Canada, it’s one of the best things to do in Québec and part of the fabulous Six Flags family, so you can look forward to a combo of good old fashioned family fun, glittering shows, and plenty of record breaking white-knuckle action.

It’s only a short bus journey from the centre of Montréal, but sits on an island, which only adds to the excitement. Not that 40 plus rides, including the mammoth Goliath rollercoaster, really need any extra help on that front. Teens can expect thrills on a minute-by-minute basis, toddlers have heaps of pint-size attractions to keep them happy, and year-round events work the magic for everyone from Grandparents Day in June to Fright Fest for Halloween.

Stay at Hôtel Le Germain Montréal

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