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HOLIDAYS IN MONTREAL

The holiday season is special everywhere but, though we’re a bit biased here at the Montreal Buzz, we’re pretty sure it doesn’t get much more special than this. From skating on the The Quays Skating Rink to the wonderful Christmas village found at the Old Montreal Extravaganza Festival, from Mile End’s Noël dans le Parc to shopping on St-Denis, McGill & Sainte-Catherine, and finally the wonderful night sky artistry of TELUS Fire On Ice, if this video doesn’t put you in the festive spirit then you’re probably a grinch. But you’re not, so enjoy.

HOLIDAY CONCERTS IN MONTREAL

What is the sound of the holiday season? Traditional Christmas hymns, carols and compositions sung by a choir in an opulent church? Ubiquitous jazzy muzak renditions of the same through mall speakers? Well, Montreal’s got both, but we’ve also gone several steps further, with eclectic choirs, gospel goings-on, orchestral arrangements, Hanukkah shindigs, jazz interpretations and more than a few nights of good old-fashioned, possibly mulled, rock n’ roll…

FREE THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: DECEMBER

December can be a pricey month, what with all the gift-buying, celebratory dinners and holiday parties. Yet in Montreal there are still plenty of ways to avoid the cash drain – and not all of them involve being outside, though cross-country skiers and skaters take note: we’ve got what you need too. Art abounds at craft and artisanal fairs, outdoors and indoors, and in the sky during weekly fireworks events, and public spaces around town filled with people, music and dance performances, and even a parade or two…

3 GREAT MONTREAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS

It’s that magical time of year, the holiday season is upon us. It’s time to deck the halls, string the lights, trim the tree… and do all that shopping before you can finally kick back with some eggnog. This year it’s easy to do your Christmas shopping with Montreal Christmas markets in full swing, markets that reflect the ingenuity and creativity of the people in Montreal who are always ready to celebrate and have a little fun during the holiday season…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: DECEMBER

With summer’s frenzy of activity behind us, Montrealers are ready for the slow, sweet pace of December – of course, slow is a relative term here, as holiday parties, gift shopping, music, dancing, theatre, art shows and all sorts of merry-making abound throughout the month. It’s a busy time, but with sparkling lights in the streets and plenty of warm places to cozy up, Montreal’s atmosphere is nonetheless relaxed and welcoming…

HOLIDAY SEASON HITS THE MONTREAL STAGE

The holiday lights are officially on in the streets of Montreal and I can’t help but feel a warming in my heart too. It’s the sense that we’re all in this together – in a collective celebration of the holiday season. This feeling of ineffable shared experience is one of the reasons why people are drawn to the theatre at this time of year…

COOL CHRISTMAS GIFTS AT MONTREAL’S EXPOZINE

Expozine, which boasts over 270 vendors and roughly 15 000 visitors, is the largest small press fair in Canada and a November highlight for many Montrealers. If you’re looking to give “alternative” gifts this holiday season, then consider giving people Soundgarden CDs. But, if that’s not “alternative” enough for you, then head down to Expozine (November 26-27) and check out what’s hot off the small presses…

TOYS EXHIBIT KICKS OFF CHRISTMAS AT THE MCCORD MUSEUM

It’s almost that time of year and, as always, toys are at the top of many Christmas lists. TOYS 2, the exhibit at Montreal’s McCord Museum from November 18 to March 11, is a delight for both the young and young-at-heart. I followed the path of tiny cat paws painted on the museum floor and they led me to this charming new show…

THANKSGIVING TURKEY AND BLACK FRIDAY IN MONTREAL

American friends, lend me your ears. On November 24, long after us Canadians, you celebrate Thanksgiving. But here in Montreal, we’re not above feting the holiday twice. Montreal is a quick and easy getaway where you can still enjoy the comforts of home, albeit in a hip Canadian way. Come on up for your traditional dysfunctional family dinner, then work off your turkey coma scoping out some Black Friday sales…

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S MENUS

Stay and Eat over the holidays in these elegant downtown hotel -restaurants Old Montreal is gussied up to its finest, with snowy streets and twinkling lights and all the romance you could ever want. So hunker down in one of the city’s glam hotels and check out the holiday menus at some of the city’s best restaurants, that you can slip into without weathering the wind outside… If I were coming to Montreal for the holidays, I would want to stay at the Hotel St-James, and I would want to eat Christmas dinner at XO, one of Montreal’s top-rated restaurants. The St-James is old-world elegant at any time of year, but over the holidays, the soaring 19th-century roo is in its element.