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Hello Old Man Winter!

The five essentials of the winter season

There are no two ways about it. Here winter is king for almost five months a year. Since we’re not heading off to warmer climes any time soon, we’ve decided to live winter to the fullest and totally enjoy each snowflake that falls miraculously from the sky.

If you’re big fans of the cold season like us, you’ll undoubtedly find what you’re looking for in these few essential escapades that make winter one of the four best seasons of the year. (Editor's note: HANG ON A SECOND! Haven’t we already said that about the fall?)

Réserve faunique des Laurentides Réserve faunique des Laurentides
Réserve faunique des Laurentides Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq

Reason # 1 – Respect the classics: hot chocolate, fondue and vino

Whether at home or in a cabin, there are culinary classics that come back without fail, winter after winter. After a day playing outside, we bring out the fondue pot, prepare the refined sauces (i.e. a perfect combination of ketchup and mayonnaise) and sit down for a fondue that’s simply divine. While the kids are sipping their hot chocolate, the adults unearth an excellent bottle of wine, the luscious liquid reward for the efforts of the day. And for dessert? More fondue! Chocolate this time, so as not to waste the precious leftovers from Valentine's Day.

Reason # 2 – Recreate a scene from "Home Alone"

Winter is also the season for getting in touch with one’s inner child. We take out the shovels and make booby traps in the snow, worthy of that winter-time movie classic “Home Alone.” While the older “children” imitate Old Man Marley with a snow shovel and cite famous passages from this cult movie, the youngsters will be busy preparing snowballs to ward off the burglars.

You’ll also be able to live the ultimate cinematic experience at Station Duchesnay, which offers an entertaining recreation of a famous scene from the legendary Québec film La Guerre des Tuques, known in English as The Dog Who Stopped the War. Why not take part in the fun with colleagues, family, or friends?

Reason # 3 – Take on the airs of an Olympic athlete

After watching Canadian athletes at the Olympics, it’s your turn to play. Whether you like to imitate a veteran Olympic athlete while out on your cross-country skis, or you prefer to try a “triple toe loop” on your skates, there’s every excuse to go play outside. Armchair sports enthusiasts who screech like banshees while snow tubing are accepted as well. Wimps or otherwise, we don’t judge here. We just have fun!

Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs
Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs Mathieu Dupuis | © Sépaq
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq
Réserve faunique des Laurentides
Réserve faunique des Laurentides Steve Deschênes | © Sépaq
Fokus Productions | © Sépaq

Reason # 4 – Thaw out that spaghetti sauce

A culinary tip for winter: always keep a pot of spaghetti sauce in the freezer. Because the beauty of winter lies in enjoying your day outdoors rather than slaving over a hot stove. After your cross-country skiing, snowshoeingfat-biking or skating outing, it's easy to organize an improvised dinner by inviting friends around your table and defrosting that famous sauce. In addition to reliving the high points of the day spent together in the forest, you can kill two birds with one stone by sharing the secrets of your heavenly recipe.

Reason # 5 – Revive the competitive spirit without climbing out of your pajamas

Even if we’re not put off by the cold, there are still some winter days where we simply prefer to stay comfortably near the fireplace to relax. This is the ideal time to dust off the old Monopoly or Scrabble board and to fish out a pack of cards. The family will gather around the table to indulge in some high-level competition.

As a bonus, we give ourselves the right to stay in pajamas all day long! This is clearly among the privileges of living in a country where Mother Nature makes every effort to keep us quietly inside. Looking ahead to your next stay at one of our lodges or cabins, don’t forget to make room in your luggage for a good pile of pjs. They’ll be very useful indeed. P.S. Don’t worry, we even accept those tacky one-piece pajamas!

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