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Things to do in Montréal: February 3 to 9

Winter’s feeling fine as Montréal settles into February by going dancing in the snow, digging into La Poutine Week (perfectly paired with the Superbowl) and doing a little freestyle snowmobiling – with some opera, art, live music and speakeasy cocktails on the side. Montréal turns 375 From Montréal’s first winter carnival to this winter’s Les Hivernales events, the city has been celebrating winter like a a pro for 375 years. This weekend keeps the party going by day with free and family-friendly Fête des neiges at Parc Jean-Drapeau (complete with games, an ice-sculpted pirate ship, snow tubing, a Ferris Wheel and more), and at night with electronic music festival Igloofest in the Old Port – dance to music by Green Velvet and more artists on Friday and Dave Clarke and other beat-droppers on Saturday, plus incredible visuals. Day or night, try Igloofest’s Nordik ice slide on Place Jacques-Cartier or visit the Nordik Village next to Quai Jacques-Cartier. Freestyle snowmobiling is way up there on the list of extreme winter sports: see world snowmobiling champions perform unbelievable aerial tricks this weekend at free event Motoneige MTL Xtrem at Philips Square. On the other end of the e-sports spectrum: Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Invitational gaming event at Usine C. And hear campfire songs and stories at Feu, feu, joli feu, un karaoké… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 6 to 12

Montréal officially kicks off celebrations for its 375th! The city marks its momentous anniversary this week – and all year – with seasonal activities and events, including a winter action sports festival, a giant ice slide and winter villages, an outdoor electronic music fest, all kinds of art and more. It’s January at maximum fun! Winter activities Les Hivernales events kick off Montréal’s 375th anniversary, beginning with the free Barbegazi winter action sports festival, Jan. 6-8 and 13-15 downtown – try the skill-testing obstacle course, snowskating, fatbiking, wood cutting and Christmas-tree throwing. Montréal has even more free things to do this winter – go ice skating at Mount Royal Park’s Beaver Lake or Park La Fontaine and at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth where there’s also a tube slide, food and drink, and an activity area for kids. In Old Montréal, take a ride down the Nordik ice slide on Place Jacques-Cartier, opening Jan. 12 – and when you get to the bottom, visit the Nordik Village next to Quai Jacques-Cartier – both built by electronic music event Igloofest. Spin fairy-tale images in giant zoetropes at this year’s Luminothérapie art playground at Place des Festivals. And now that the World Junior Hockey Championships has finished a stellar series at the Bell Centre, watch the Montréal Canadiens return to home ice on Jan. 9… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 9 to 15

The festive season truly fires up this week in Montréal – the city celebrates with outdoor events and markets brimming with local treats, Santa’s doing photo-op visits, The Nutcracker ballet graces the stage, along with Christmas concerts, a Leonard Cohen tribute and more. Festive fun outdoors In the heart of downtown, outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal glitters alongside Canada’s tallest Christmas tree outside Place des Arts – find locally made gifts and goodies, activities for kids, live music and more. While there, take a turn on the colourful 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive outdoor art. Merry Montréal adds entertainment, a market, fire pits, films and warm drinks to the ambience of Old Montréal, and fireworks light up the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink on Dec. 10. Live music and circus, food and drink, weekend visits with Santa – and with friendly sheep and amusing elves too! – make Noël dans le Parc a must at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Over at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth go ice skating and tube sliding, snack on food truck fare and shop at the winter market. Find Santa and more seasonal things to do in our round-op of winter activities for… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 16 to 22

Mid-September eases between summer and fall in Montréal – the sun keeps shining on open-air markets and outdoor performances while a major Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition and Opéra de Montréal’s AIDA wow and POP Montréal keeps Montréal nightlife wild. Outdoor time Beautiful day and night, the Botanical Garden hosts its annual Gardens of Light lantern exhibition – walk through the Chinese and Japanese gardens after sunset in a soft glow. Montréal’s favourite terrasses stay open for meals, drinks and revelry – don’t miss the FoodLab terrasse at the SAT, where the Omnivore World Tour offers one-of-a-kind feasts, workshops and more, Sept. 16-19. You’ll also find excellent food, drink and entertainment at markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port and Les Jardineries at Olympic Park. Take a cruise along the Saint-Lawrence River with Croisières AML for a laid-back brunch or gourmet dinner. For more activities, see our guide to Free things to do this fall in Montréal.  City-wide POP entertainment The 15th edition of POP Montréal starts its engines on Wednesday night with dozens of music shows along with talks, art exhibitions, the professional-level Puces POP craft fair, film screenings, kids events and more until Sept. 25 – get the low-down in our Survival Guide to POP Montréal and… / Read More →

Free things to do this fall in Montréal

Montréal in the fall is a beautiful sight, and taking it all in can easily be done on a budget – free stuff abounds! Summery weather usually lasts through September and early October, meaning outdoor events and activities are plentiful. It’s always free to see the changing leaves, but Montréal’s got even more no-cost entertainment in store right through November. Outdoor life Take a walk from Parc Avenue into the relative wilderness of Mount Royal Park – climbing the stairs to the top is absolutely worth it for the view of downtown and the Saint Lawrence River. Even easier, a stroll through beautiful Parc La Fontaine, or hop on the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau where riverside trails await – the park is also home to the Stewart Museum, free for kids 12 and under, and Biosphère Environment Museum, free for youth 17 and under. Explore Old Montréal at nightfall through multimedia smartphone tour Cité Mémoire, where images come alive on building facades. And walk around downtown and the Plateau to discover murals and more street art around every bend. Throughout September, find activities and entertainment at outdoor markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, and, until November, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port. On Sept. 11, watch athletes ride… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 5 to 11

Montréal takes the chill off February this week with food festivals that celebrate poutine, chocolate and full-course meals, alongside winter festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest and a glittering array of opera, art, dance, theatre, film and live music. Winter fun Whatever the weather, head to scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau for the final weekend of family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. The winter sports action continues at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium). Nighttime stays bright as massive outdoor party Igloofest – also in its final weekend – gets people dancing in their parkas at the Old Port – this Friday dance to Michael Mayer, Tale of Us and more artists, while Saturday brings Brodinski, Swindle, Laura Scavo and more to the festival’s two stages. And the Montréal Canadiens try to get back on top of their NHL hockey game in three home rounds at the Bell Centre this week, facing the Oilers on Saturday, Hurricanes… / Read More →

10 things under 10 minutes from Place-des-Arts metro station

Place des Arts, on the green line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and the epicentre of entertainment during festival season. It’s also home to a stunning open-air museum thanks to the ephemeral interactive installations that crown the Place des Festivals throughout the year, such as Luminothérapie, 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) and others. In this new series of guides, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station, which combines a love of the arts with the art of dining. The must: Place des Arts Walking time: 4 minutes This impressive complex is the meeting site of some of Montréal’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Its six concert halls showcase the latest creations by the Jean‑Duceppe theatre company, the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Danse Danse and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, to name just a few. If you want a taste of Québec culture, it all starts here. Gourmet snack: Brasserie T! and Taverne F Walking time: 2 minutes and 1 minute Nestled in the Place des Festivals, these two modern architectural jewels dazzle the eyes and tantalize the taste buds. Brasserie T!, the little sister of the award-winning Toqué! restaurant, offers scrumptious treats like… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montreal: November 1-7

The city pulls out all the stops for Halloween, with wild and eerie entertainment and parties all weekend, while still attending to another of life’s necessities: food, courtesy of TASTE MTL. Once Halloween ends, the food fun continues along with innovative theatre, dance, art and live music… (restaurant hopping) Montreal holds its own version of restaurant week with TASTE MTL, November 1-11, inviting over 100 restaurants to prepare affordable 3-course meals, giving culinary tours around the city, and offering wine tastings, cooking classes and workshops with master chefs and gastronomy experts. Restaurants Tasso, Au Cinquième Péché and Le Continental on St-Denis Street even host Opéra de Montréal singers on select evenings, and, as an enticement to sample restaurants on Mont-Royal Avenue, on the evenings of November 1-2 and 8-9 see several hundred candles light up in an art installation outside Mont-Royal metro station. (fright nights) Halloween happens all weekend in Montreal, so expect to see costumed hoards aplenty. Celebrate the season outdoors at the Montreal Botanical Garden, where the Great Pumpkin Ball and the Insectarium’s Spiders Unmasked shows entertain all day, or go on a ghost tour of the city with Fantômes Montreal. Of course, night time is when the real… / Read More →