When choosing a destination for an upcoming event, it is important to consider the seasonal aspects of the host city, particularly if you are aiming to hold an off-site activity for networking or team-building sessions. A location that benefits from the four seasons gives you tremendous flexibility and creativity to craft an attendee experience that is second to none. The key, however, is to align your event’s overall objectives and attendee profile to ensure that the off-site activity you plan fully maximizes its potential.
With a focus on business tourism, Québec City definitely knows how to organize an off-site activity in any season; the city is the quintessential canvas for truly discovering and being immersed in winter, spring, summer or fall. Here are our top ideas for amazing off-site and team-building activities—thanks to Mother Nature!
FALL FASCINATION Fall engulfs Québec City in the stunning colors of the turning foliage, crisp fresh air, and sense of coziness. Event-goers will revel in cycling, horseback riding, canoeing or golfing in scenery fringed with red, orange and gold hues. The season is also perfect to organize tours for aspiring bird watchers and nature lovers: the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area and Marais du Nord, less than half an hour from Québec City, are breathtaking spots to observe the region’s exceptional wildlife, including snow geese! In addition, the city’s many urban parks, such as the historic Plains of Abraham [pictured above], are great bets to gets some fresh air and admire nature’s spectacular fall display.
Agritourism is big in Québec City. There are several nearby gourmet routes, guest farms, cheese factories, chocolate stores and bakeries that are all a foodie’s dream come true—and great places for pre- and post-conference programs and social programs!
You can plan a day trip for apple-picking, with an afternoon tasting of fresh apple butter, apple pastries and cider from Île d'Orléans. Local vineyards, such as the Domaine de la Source à Marguerite, present an attractive choice for budding oenophiles by offering visitors to pick grapes and learn about grape harvesting and wine making.
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier - Steve Deschênes
WINTER ENCHANTMENT Are your attendees used to summertime weather and activities? Shift gears and organize a wintertime event. Québec City is renowned for its pristine winters. Organize a walking history tour with David Mendel in the snowy streets of the city’s many picturesque neighborhoods, such as the Petit-Champlain district, which are home to one-of-a-kind restaurants and boutiques.
Options abound for off-site activities that are centered on sports or relaxation. Right in the center of town, you can ice skate at the Patinoire de la place D'Youville, which is just a few steps away from the Québec City Convention Centre, or toboggan on Dufferin Terrace. You can also organize some downtime at the Plains of Abraham, near the centre of town, or a half-day trips for attendees to experience for the first time downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling.
Looking for something a little more laid back? After a conference or business meeting, you can organize a half-day session in one of the city’s many outdoor Nordic spas or a cocktail at Québec City’s award-winning ice hotel. Undoubtedly, attendees are sure to get extremely excited if you hold your event during the Québec Winter Carnival, the world’s biggest annual winter celebration that has brought together winter sports, snow sculptures, canoe races and parades for over 60 years!
Place D'Youville - Photo by Yves Tessier
SPRING SURPRISES The first stirrings of spring take place around mid-March. With the days becoming warmer, the great outdoors transition into a new backdrop for fun and enchantment. Nothing says Québécois more than taking part in the sugaring off season—when the sap from Québec’s maples starts to ooze out of the trees. Many sugar shacks are located near the city, where you can hold a brunch with copious amounts of traditional Québec home cooking; attendees will savor typical breakfast fare: tourtière (meat and pork pie), oreilles de crisse (crisp salt fried pork), and a Québec’s famous tire—hot taffy poured on snow and eaten with popsicle sticks when hardened.
SUMMER SENSATIONS A stark contrast from its fascinating winter, Québec City is a summer playground brimming with opportunity. For more outdoorsy attendees, take event goers hiking, kayaking, zip lining, canyoneering or mountain biking in one of the region’s many parks and wildlife areas.
Craving to give event attendees some time to cool off? Québec City has many pools, beaches and spray parks located downtown—and around town! Baie de Beauport, situated only 15 minutes from downtown, offers refreshing activities for an off-site or team-building sessions: beach volleyball, catamaran, windsurfing and paddle board rentals. Want to tap into the inner kids of your attendees? Depending on your event and attendee profile, go big with Village Vacances Valcartier, which is just a quick drive outside the city; this uber-popular waterpark features a massive wave pool, over 30 slides, and water games. You are sure to make a splash with event goers!
If you are looking to organize an off-site activity that allows event goers to embrace Québec City’s unique culture, the region offers many venues, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Plains of Abraham, Onhoüa Chetek8e Traditional Huron Site and Citadelle de Québec, that can play host to an exceptional team-building session.
There is no shortage of remarkable activities for a memorable off-site in Québec City—in four truly different seasons.
Photo of Plains of Abraham - Luc-Antoine Couturier
Québec City Business Destination was established to showcase Québec City as a meeting destination, regardless of venue choice and meeting size. By creating a single entity with Québec City Tourism’s business travel team and the Québec City Convention Centre, the destination now offers meeting planners a single, stress-free stop for all their questions and needs.