The Winter Village at Montréal's Olympic Park

© Parc olympique, JF Hamelin - Esplanade Financière Sun Life of the Olympic Park

© Parc olympique, JF Hamelin - Esplanade Financière Sun Life of the Olympic Park

December 19, 2014 The annual Olympic Park Winter Village is once again spreading out across the Esplanade Financière Sun Life (which is in section 100 just outside the western walls of the architecturally magnificent Olympic Stadium, and directly behind the Pie-IX metro station, so easy access is assured). Every day until March 8, 2015, the Esplanade will play host to an entertaining array of winter events and activities for the whole family and, as always, admission is free.

The sprawling, temperature-maintained skating rink is the centrepiece of the site, and a popular draw for those who enjoy partaking in winter sports and activities in Montréal. Village visitors should take note that while it’s free to skate, there is no skate rental available, so please bring your own blades (lockers are, however, available to store personal belongings). When done skating, feel free to pass by the Winter Village’s Exalto Park Kiosk where upon presentation of your OPUS bus and metro transportation card, you will receive a pass giving you free access to the Olympic Park’s famous 45-degree, 165-metre high tower, the tallest inclined tower in the world.

Following that, avail yourself of several warming stations in the Winter Village including the heated chalet where you are invited to roast marshmallows over an open fire. An enormous 15‑metre Christmas tree will also add to the ambiance, which will be augmented by an impressive selection of high-calibre live music performances during afternoons and evenings, also all free.

Previous Winter Villages have featured petting zoos, sleigh rides, fun food options and lots of entertaining recreational activities that vary from day to day. Suffice it to say, it’s never boring. And there’s even something catering specifically to adults: L’Hivernale is a festive outdoor space located within the Village that on Fridays and Saturdays offers, among various other activities, a bar, a culinary lab and Bavarian curling. Weekend nights feature DJs, and for those looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve in Montréal, a special night of dancing, skating and curling with a full complement of DJs is planned starting at 8 pm. And once again, admission is free.