A roaring fire, Christmas lights and the soft glow of the tallest inclined tower in the world illuminate Montreal’s Olympic Park throughout December as the park’s vast outdoor Esplanade Financière Sun Life transforms into a winter wonderland of activities, entertainment, food and drink until January 5…
Located in the city’s east side, right next to Pie-IX Metro station, Olympic Park’s Winter Village features an outdoor ice skating rink, sleigh rides and free concerts this year. The park joins Parc Lahaie, Parc Compagnons de Saint-Laurent and Parc Garneau for the city’s annual Noël dans le Parc events. Each park becomes a sparkling haven for warming up by a fire, enjoying a hot drink and a snack, listening to live bands and storytellers, and even choosing a Christmas tree. True to its large scale, Olympic Park boasts a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree of its own and invites everyone to help decorate it. The park also welcomes wooly sheep to a cozy petting-friendly pen, and features exciting circus performances and a giant swing. Arrive with your own ice skates after 4 p.m. on weekdays and the skating is free, just as it is all day during the weekends.
One of the most happening foodie events of the summer, First Fridays, gets a winter twist with First Saturdays at Olympic Park. On December 7, January 4, February 1 and March 1, the city’s gourmet food trucks roll up to the Esplanade Financière Sun Life and open their windows for business. Choose from a variety of gastronomic creations, including locally-sourced artisanal sausages, fois gras, Quebec cheese dishes, tacos, crepes and more.
Even after the Winter Village closes its doors in January, the Olympic Park still makes the most of snowy days by giving a boost to outdoor winter sports with its Winter Triathlon and extreme-sports event Barbegazi. Watch the triathlon on February 7 or take part in the relay with a team of four people. On February 15-16, Barbegazi brings some of the best skiers, boarders, snowmobilers and lumberjacks to the site for competitive events and demonstrations and even welcomes non-pros to try their hand, all to a live soundtrack by local DJs. And on March 1, Olympic Park participates in one of Montreal’s favourite events of the winter: Nuit Blanche, a rollicking night of city-wide entertainment, art and other activities.
Winter at Olympic Park, December 1-January 5, 2013
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