Where? What? How?
When I tell people here, we are going to Saint-Côme their first reaction mostly is: St-Côme where is it? I´ve never heard about it. To be honest, I wouldn´t have neither, if our friend wouldn´t have a condo there.
St-Côme is about 120km North of Montréal. Next to Parc régional de la forêt Ouareau and closed by the East end of Parc national du Mont-Tremblant. It is a parish municipality in the Lanaudière region and just celebrated it´s 150th birthday.
We first went 1,5 years ago. That time only with one child. Last weekend we have been there for the 3rd time. Each trip we did during a different „season“ of the year. I can assure with a clear conscience that it is a year around getaway for the whole family.
Winter fun – Festival St-Côme en glace
Let me take you back to our first trip there in winter! It was February 2016 and it was one of the weekends of the festival St-Côme en glace. At that time of the year you will find gorgeous ice sculptures all over the city. Didn´t come out of wonder about their beauty. Real masterpieces!
Besides the sculptures the festival includes music, local food and drinks and much fun for the kids. Like a very big slide made of ice. It was so much fun, that we spend at least an hour sliding. But when you do so, please put your little ones a helmet on!!!
To recover and warm up hands and nose, we had a snack at Le Petit Café d’Antan. Nice, cozy and homemade food. Lucky you – here they speak English, if it is needed.
Our friends completed this great winter fun weekend and took us for a winter-wonder-land-walk, which ended at a kind of community meeting point in the middle of the forest. It was a public fire place where we could warm up. They spoiled us with some of the best doughnuts we´ve ever had and a warm tea.
You wanna know where to get those delicious treats? Here in St-Côme at Boulangerie St-Côme. Don’t be surprised by the long waiting line, but it is worth it!
Besides all this you will find a few places to ice skate. Many trails to go for cross country skiing or snowshoeing, there is a rental station at the the center of town. Doing winter sports you’ll have fun with your whole family and prepare your kids for a good sleep. St-Côme also has it’s own ski-lift and you will find more down-the-hill-ski options closed by. As you you see it is almost impossible to run out of options, as long as the kids and you love winter sports and activities! Come to St-Côme and have fun!
St- Côme second take – Festival des couleurs
Just to anticipate – my favorite one so far. On time for Indian Summer our friends offered us to go there alone and we didn’t refuse this opportunity!
I remember we were very happy but a little scared at the same time. It was meant to be our first trip all four of us! I gave birth to little J only a few weeks before. Of course we had our experiences to travel with big J, but two of them? A toddler and a baby, 5 years & 5 months? Uff. Kind of a challenge, that’s how it felt. Never the less we accepted the challenge, packed the bags and went off.
I remember it as it would have been yesterday. The moon was very bright. We almost had a full moon. First hour driving now behind, suddenly little J started screaming like crazy! We stopped, we changed and fed her, but she wouldn’t stop! Hubby’s nerves weren’t the best and he wanted turn and go back right away as he was assuming not to have a relaxed weekend. A short discussion later we moved on, direction St-Côme! What her calmed? I switched on the indoor lighting – yep that easy. Arriving at the condo, putting on the fire place and we all started relaxing immediately.
Waking up the next morning a perfect sunny fall day was expecting us. Only a couple of minutes by car and we reached the official site of the Festival des couleurs in St-Côme. It takes place at Val de St-Côme where the ski pistes are. This place turned out to be the perfect location to enjoy the Indian Summer with all it’s intensive colors. Activities are provided for young and old. Such as face painting, bouncy castle, food, drinks and music. During the festival the ski-lift is open. Take your chance to get a lift up and walk down. We did and really enjoyed it and had a lot fun.
Doing the like big J was busy to collect all the colorful leaves, jumping and rolling down the hill. At the time she started complaining, what kids to from time to time, we spotted Santa Claus. Seriously, I am not kidding you! Believe it or not, the time she started niggling we all saw him behind the trees. He was sitting in his chair in front of his house with Mrs Santa. He was wearing his read jumper and the long white beard, taking a sunbath. We guessed he was recharging batteries for the work to come. Me and my hubby looked at each other with just to make sure it wasn’t a mirage. Kind of quirky but it worked and big J turned back to normal. This was one of the moments you will never forget!
Little J seemed to enjoy being carried by daddy all day long.
The big one and I went off to another highlight that day – a helicopter flight! It was gigantic! Having the bird’s eye view and all the intense colors below, made me speechless. Almost can’t describe it. Stunning! Gorgeous! Incredible! Do it, if ever you get the chance! Of course it is a short flight and a bit costly, but worth it! Maybe on your turn the windows are clean, so your pics won’t be as blurry as this one. I somehow like it, so I share it.
After so much activity we were really hungry. We followed the online recommendations and went to Restaurant-Traiteur-La-Marguerite. A buffet style – all you can eat – family friendly restaurant in St-Côme. It was a good decision, as there are a lot of kids, nobody complains about noise and the buffet offers pizza and pasta besides beef and fish. All in all a great day!
Sunday did it’s name credit! So we fast cleaned up, prepared the pick-nick and off we were to Parc regional de la chute a bull.
What a beautiful location. There are different little hiking trails, we choose the shortest. Walking through the forest, the leaves crackling under our feed and the sun kissing our faces, what more to ask for?! The chute (waterfall) you will reach by walking down stairs at the end of the trail. Water was clear and we did a little Kneipp cure treatment. Climbing back up is a great exercise for legs and bum. Arriving back at the top, we choose a rock to have our pick-nick on.
Great view and accompanied by singing birds. As time was running fast we had to go back and driving home. Knowing that we will be back!
All of us were happy, that we didn’t give up at the beginning. Faced our fears and found a solution! There is a way if you want to! We drove back happily!
St-Côme in between festivals
Last weekend we did it again. We went to St-Côme for the third time. It was time to recharge batteries, relax and enjoy nature. So far so good. Few traffic, happy kids, no forced breaks so we arrived on time for dinner. Only one stop to make on the way, to grab our Friday-junkfood-night-pizza. Starting the fire, making ourselves comfortable, sitting together and having pizza. A perfect way to start the weekend!
The next day we started easygoing. There were no special activities going on in St-Côme. The weather was cloudy and little J had a temperature, so we only went for a little hike around the corner. We had no plan, no map, only water and a snack. Hiking strait up to get a great view. To be rewarded by the sun. She came out when we reached the top, so we had a clear view for a moment. Just taking the same way back because of missing out real hiking trails? Nope. We choose the cross country version to get down. We had to change directions every now and than, but it was fun though.
The underground was kinda soft and slippery and the „trail“ bold. Big J became our leader and went forwards, always warning us if there was a hole, a loose rock or a very slippery spot. We had to stabilize ourselves by hold on to the trees or rocks, but it wasn’t dangerous, just adventurous. I stepped in two invisible holes, but hey that happens. 2,5 h after start we were back home safely.
When I looked back the route we choose, I was happy I did’t realize how truly bold it was while climbing down.
Getting back we made a fire, put the little one in bed and learned big J poker. Her wish, but loosing a game is not her strength. I wanted her to stop screaming and promised her, that I will take her to a casino once she is old enough. The following night was pretty short though, but those things happen when you have kids. This will never hold us back from travel again. So come and check out St-Côme.
St-Côme definitely is a worthwhile all year around family destination. It became one for us! Surrounded by trees and trails, different parks and ski resorts, rivers and lakes it is perfect for a couple of relaxed and active days with your family. We missed summer yet, but I am sure we will arrange something for next summer! Highly recommended destination – do yourself a favor and prepare some French!
S – like skiing region
A -like all year around getaway
I – like ice sculptures
N – like nature
T – like trails to hike & bike
C – like Chute-a-bull
Ô – like prepare some French
M – like my family loves it
E – like endless possibilities