Enjoy winter at an outdoor base!

Published on December 12 2023

Winter is for playing outside. At the Base de plein air Air-EauBois, you can even sleep on site to extend the fun! To make the most of it, our family booked a cabin for a weekend getaway.

A real family expedition

After work on Friday, we jump in the car. Destination: a little family paradise not far from the city! We can’t wait to get there.

As evening falls, we carry our luggage to our cabin. Even though it’s only a short walk, I feel like a real explorer. Carrying a suitcase. And a My Little Pony castle. I do have a headlamp, though!

When we finally arrive at the rustic and comfortable cabin, the children are surprised to learn that there’s no electricity. This is a good opportunity to point out how privileged we are to have this resource at our fingertips every day. As for us parents, we’re relieved to find that the heating is gas—our explorer skills are pretty much limited to stoking the fire at night. 

Picture the scene … We go to bed early, under a starry sky (there are no curtains on the windows), and wake up with the first rays of the sun, filled with wonder at our new surroundings. The children are quivering with anticipation, and we’re eager to start our day. After breakfast by the fire, we’re ready to start our activities.

Lots of activities within walking distance—that’s a yes!

We start with the activity we’re most excited about: Hok skiing. And let me tell you, Hok skiing is the best. Much easier than snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (especially for kids!) and much simpler technically. The synthetic sealskin—which replaces the traditional scales or wax—lets you move forward and prevents you from slipping back. We love the feeling of gliding along the trail, which is already broken, another plus.

After this great activity, we swap our skis for tubes. The whole outdoor centre must have heard the kids’ laughter and shrieks of delight on the snowy slope. This is their favourite part of the trip!

Next, we spend about 30 minutes on the skating rink, but you know how children are. Their little stomachs are clamouring for the classic s’mores over the fire. Who could resist?

No matter which activity you choose, you’ll get a warm, friendly and attentive welcome. There really is an impressive choice of winter activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Novices and experts alike will be pleased, whatever their age. We could try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or hiking, but our little explorers are already feeling a little overwhelmed by the day’s activities.

Did you know that you don’t have to sleep on site to enjoy the activities? Air-Eau-Bois is ideal for families who want to get away from it all and spend some quality time playing outdoors!

Several places to spend the night

We meet some young outdoor enthusiasts who are going winter camping. Their plan is to do some climbing in the forest, maybe on the ice wall, and then set up their tent for the night. A cozier option, if we were to return as a couple, would be the cabin converted to a loft, with our own warm pillows and blankets. And as of March, a dreamy new form of accommodation will be available: igloo-shaped domes with bay windows. Waking up in the morning is sure to be simply magical!

The children have adapted very well to the absence of electricity, and they love trying different activities within walking distance. With their need to be constantly entertained, it’s really ideal. In this 100% natural environment, it’s easier to let go than I imagined … 

It’s your turn to try the cabins at Air-Eau-Bois and other unusual accommodations in the Outaouais!

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