Museum of Civilization (Musée de la Civilisation) in Quebec City has an extensive interactive exhibit on the history of video games, running now through March 16, 2014. We visited last weekend on a quick getaway trip, and I guarantee you if we told the boys we were making the 5+ hour drive again tomorrow they'd be in the car before I finished the sentence. Also it helps that I still haven't unpacked.
Montréal might be chicer and more cosmopolitan, but Quebec City is the beautiful classic Grande Dame of the province. Walking around the streets of the Old Town listening to the unfamiliar sounds of Québecois could easily have you thinking you've stepped back in time. It's hard to believe the only walled city in North America is also home to a thriving and highly successful video game industry.
Showing off the primitive graphics of what we all grew up with was incredibly amusing, and the exhibit is grouped into seven different time periods. I'd forgotten how simple the original Pac Man and Donkey Kong looked, nothing like their arcade versions you see nowadays. The little C&Gs ran from station to station, following the well-written and bilingual instructions at each terminal to play a few rounds of each. Who even knew there was a Miami Vice game, circa 1986?
I'll write up more on our trip to Quebec City next week (hoping to inspire you as you plan your long weekend or holiday travel), but of course I can't post a museum without a good nearby lunch place. A five minute walk will bring you to La Piazzetta, where you can get delicious thin crust pizza to go with your croque of French onion soup and vin rouge. Order your pizzas as deluxe or as plain as you want, Little C&G and I skipped the escargot topping in favor of simple cheese, but Big C&G ordered his with ham and leeks and declared it magnifique!
The Museum of Civilization is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 to 5:00, and is located in the Old Town on Rue Saint Pierre. Admission for adults is $15CAD, children under 12 are free, and from ages 13-17 admission is $1CAD. Everything in the museum is presented in both English and French, but because I'm taking French Mr. C&G handed me the French audio guide for the Paris exhibit. I understood only half of it, but thoroughly enjoyed the French background music!