As kids grow, their tastes evolve and they begin to develop interests beyond those of their younger years.
I am always searching for travel options for teens and tweens. As kids grow, their tastes evolve and they begin to develop interests beyond the sandcastles, amusement parks and french fries of their younger years. This can mean more “me” time for mom and dad and more all around enjoyable family time when a vacation is planned and researched correctly. However, having two very different older kids myself I know how pleasing everyone can be a challenge. So, sometimes when I travel I opt to have special time with just one of my children who I think will enjoy the spot more than the other. This is a great way to spend one-on-one time outside of the sibling dynamic as well as getting to enjoy your destination along side someone who enjoys it too.
One certain way to a teenage boy’s heart is through his stomach!
This past weekend was one of those times. I was headed to Quebec City and I knew that my teen son would be the perfect travel partner. Not only is he adventurous when it comes to food but he is a lover of history and he has been in the Extended French program at school for the last 3 years. His tastes were becoming more and more sophisticated so I knew I could rely on him to be open to new things.With a beautiful, sunny forecast on our side everything fell into place and we had an incredibly memorable weekend. I savoured our afternoon “chilling” on the patio of a cafe sipping cold drinks and people watching. I loved his enthusiasm as we explored the historic city, local shops and museums.
So, what was it about Quebec that made it a perfect weekend away for mom and teen son?
The Food – One certain way to a teenage boy’s heart is through his stomach! My son’s mission for the few days we were in Quebec was to try as many poutine spots as possible. He managed four and of them one of his favourites would have been the non-traditional poutine at the trendy and casual Chic Shack in Old Town. We both enjoyed the wonderful cheese fondue dinner at Le Pain Beni just steps away from Chateau Frontenac.
The Location – So much of how you feel about a place has to do with where you stay. We were fortunate enough to stay at the beautiful and perfectly situated Auberge St. Antoine in the Old Port area. Whichever way we walked we found sites worth seeing. We explored Place Royale and the local Museum of Civilization for hours. We strolled the quaint streets of the Petit Champlain district indulging in gelato and riding the Funicular to Old Town Quebec. Just outside our hotel were quaint little cafes, art and antique shops.
The hotel itself is worth a visit even if you aren’t staying there. Built on the site of one of Quebec’s oldest archaeological sites it displays artifacts and the historical walls of the original building, Auberge St. Antoine offers a window into Quebec’s past. Much of the original building has been preserved in the luxurious Panache restaurant attached to the hotel.
The Activities – The great thing about a city like Quebec is that there is something for everyone. There is history everywhere and many local museums and historic sites to visit. The city is also a great place to shop. With gift shops and boutiques mixed in with everyone’s favourites, if shopping is your teen’s thing, you can’t go wrong.
One of our favourite spots was actually just a short drive outside the city centre. Montmorency Falls were a great surprise! 30m higher than Niagara Falls these are definitely worth checking out. You can ride up in the gondola or take the path and hundreds of stairs up to the top (I chose the gondola despite my son’s request). Once there you can get right up close to and above the falls on walking paths and bridges. It is truly spectacular!