What’s On in the Outaouais in December
In December, the magic of the festive season begins to unfold: the streets twinkle with holiday lights and Christmas markets beckon. It’s also a time to get together with family and friends and enjoy activities that will become cherished memories. Check out our December suggestions!
Winter outings galore
Here are 100 activities to add to your bucket list so you’ll never run out of ideas for winter fun! Rediscover winter classics, whiz down the snowy slopes of the region’s ski centres, visit enchantingly gorgeous places, or go winter camping or glamping. On your own, as a couple or with your family, there’s something for everyone. Zip up your snowsuit!
At Champboisé de L’Ange-Gardien, venture into the forest and breathe in the fresh air along the 5-km trail network. Rent snowshoes on site and explore this beautiful setting. A little further on, head for the Sentiers les Renards Blancs for an excursion in the sparkling snow. Here, you can cross-country ski on 20 km of marked and groomed trails. If your energy flags, take a break at the rest area or at the shelter with a wood-burning stove.
At Vorlage Center, go alpine ski touring all the way to the top of the mountain. The T-bar whisks you to the summit so you can make more runs, while the Grand Climb offers a longer, more progressive workout. These two new official trails are just waiting for your ski tracks! If you prefer downhill skiing, take to the 18 runs and try out the renovated snow park for a blast of adrenalin. Looking for even more exhilarating activities? This winter, the mountain bike trails will be open for fatbiking and snowshoeing. Vorlage is your one-stop shop for tonnes of fun!
Explore the depths of the Laflèche Cave, the largest visitable cave in the Canadian Shield. Learn about the cavern’s history and admire the ice stalactites and stalagmites. You might even see some bats! Extend your stay at the Chalet de la Colonie, where you’ll be wrapped in a warm and cozy atmosphere. Drink hot chocolate by the fire, play table hockey, and unwind in the hot tub. The next day, head to the Sommet Edelweiss tubing park.
In December, Tout culture invites you to discover the Minotaure‘s program for your next outing. From themed evenings such as Tuesday quizzes and Thursday karaoke, to concerts featuring legendary band Karkwa and local Quebec rap group Isotope, there’s something for everyone!
Before the show, book a table at the Meule et Caquelon restaurant. Enjoy a Swiss fondue, a Chinese fondue or an island surf ‘n’ turf raclette, and end your meal on a sweet note with a decadent chocolate fondue with fruit.
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
If you’ve got your holiday celebrations all organized, it’s time to get down to business. Check out our local Christmas gift guide to find fabulous boutiques stocked with products proudly made in Quebec.
Habitude Design is one great place to find local products. Delight your loved ones with a sweatshirt from the #OutaouaisFun collection, a beauty treatment, a book by a Quebec author, a gift box of gourmet products, and more. You’ll find a wide range of original gift ideas!
Every weekend in December, La Fée des Bois Christmas Market welcomes you to the farm for a flurry of special activities. Choose your own wild fir tree with your family, sample herbal teas from the apothecary, visit the sheep and chickens, and stock up on handcrafted products to give as gifts.
From December 1 to 3 and December 8 to 10, find your local gifts at the Montebello Christmas Market. Visit some 40 local artisans and producers, and enjoy free shows and entertainment for the whole family. On the main street, discover nearly a dozen boutiques, including Lavandine et Cie and La Belle Pâtissière.
On the weekend of December 1 to 3, celebrate A Magical Christmas in Chelsea. On Friday evening, join Santa and his guests for the lighting of the Christmas tree. The next day, admire the floats in the illuminated parade, attend the music concert and go skating in the evening; and on Sunday, admire (and buy!) creations by over 30 local vendors and artisans at the Christmas market.
For even more places to experience the magic of the festive season, consult the Outaouais Christmas markets calendar for information about the many markets throughout the region.
EVENTS FOR ALL TASTES
Register now for the Canadian Ski Marathon (February 9–11), North America’s oldest cross-country ski event. Register before December 18 to save with the early bird rate. Share your passion for the sport with other cross-country ski enthusiasts.
You have until December 3 inclusive to take advantage of the lowest fee for your Gatineau Loppet registration. This major cross-country ski event will be held from February 16 to 18. Hours of outdoor fun await you on the snowy trails of beautiful Gatineau Park. Are you ready for the various race challenges and the “winter wonderland” scenery?
From December 7 through January 7, take part in Winter Lights Across Canada. Stroll along Confederation Boulevard to admire the hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights that form the Pathway of lights.
The 2023 Gatineau Playground Festival runs from December 27 to 30 at the Branchaud-Brière Complex. Encourage your children to burn off some energy in 6,200 square metres of games and fun activities!
For even more suggestions, check out the full program on our Events and Festivals page.
MORE TO DISCOVER IN THE OUTAOUAIS
Treat yourself to the Asian flavours of Souche-i restaurant, located in a century-old house in the picturesque village of Montebello. Pair your meal with a rich, refreshing beer from Les Brasseurs de Montebello. In Gatineau, grab a bite to eat at Café Cognac. Get together with friends on Thursday evenings for all-you-can-eat mussels and fries! This is definitely the place for fans of bistro-style comfort food.
Book an Experience Outaouais package and explore what the region has to offer in December.