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Things to do in Montréal: October 7 to 13

Enjoy the long weekend in Montréal as the leaves begin to fall and we turn our thoughts to big family dinners, apple picking, pumpkin pie and, because this is Montréal after all, a new season of arts and culture activities, from contemporary dance to Drake. Fall family time Canadian Thanksgiving stands for food, family and autumnal chilling out – read about all kinds of things to do and where to eat in our Thanksgiving Weekend guide. With a warm, sunny day in the forecast, why not start the weekend at the delightful and delicious First Fridays : fill up on food truck fare, drink local brews and listen to live music, Oct. 7 at Olympic Park. Nearby, explore the Botanical Garden’s Great Pumpkin Ball and beautiful Gardens of Light lantern exhibition, or tour the universe in animated film We Are Stars at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montréal Space for Life. Downtown, discover urban public art in a walk among the skyscrapers. Watch the Montréal Allouettes take on Edmonton on Oct. 10 or Disney on Ice’s Dare to Dream at the Bell Centre, Oct. 12-16. Or go apple picking with Labonté. All that plus more free things to do this fall. Film and art Hundreds of excellent feature films and shorts – along with performances and parties – make the 45th Festival du nouveau cinéma a must for… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 30 to October 6

It’s finally fall in Montréal, and we’re celebrating the change of seasons with outdoor activities (from garden walks to Oktoberfest), a city-wide weekend cultural event, new art, film, theatre and dance, and live music for classical afficianados to late-night dancers. Action and adventure Explore exotic greenery lit by the soft glow of 1000 lanterns at the Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light exhibition – the Chinese Garden features the Forbidden City while the Japanese Garden provides a contemplative setting. Or discover urban public art in a walk among the skyscrapers. The graceful power of figure skating hits the ice as top athletes compete at the 2016 Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. The on-ice action continues at the Bell Centre as the Montréal Canadians take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 6. Show your true colours in 5K The Color Run Night at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Oct. 1. Tour the universe in animated film We Are Stars on the 360° dome at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montréal Space for Life.  And seek out new tastes by sampling craft beer from Québec microbreweries at Oktoberfest at Atwater Market, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. It’s also Litty Italy Pizza Week Oct. 3-9! Art and culture Free… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 12 to 18

Relax the way Montrealers do in August with outdoor classical music concerts and film screenings, set your kids free at family-focused events, or party like a Montrealer at Montréal Pride and the Fashion & Design Festival. And definitely eat like a Montrealer – we’ve got recommendations. Music for all ages Classical music enthusiasts of all ages will love the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Couche-Tarde Classical Spree, August 10-13: 30 affordable concerts at Place des Arts starting with Kent Nagano conducting the OSM in Chariots of Fire, plus matinée shows for kids, free activities and two free outdoor concerts: Mozart’s Magic Flute opera on Aug. 12 at 7 pm, and four orchestras performing in Spotlight on Youth on Aug. 13 at 10:30 am. Make your own music just by swinging: outdoor art installation 21 Swings is back until Sept. 5 outside Place des Arts. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts transforms a side street into Toulouse-Lautrec’s Belle Époque on Aug. 13 at noon, featuring Cancan dancers and music by the Alex Francoeur jazz trio. La Tohu circus centre hosts FALLA, a free event of world music, circus acts and kids activities, Aug. 11-13. And the Olympic Park hosts kids event Carnaval estival on Aug. 13. Montréal Pride… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 18 to 24

As the snow melts away in Montréal, urban sugar shacks serve up delicious meals, spring break activities continue, film festivals and art events grant new perspectives, dance and theatre move us, and live music sets the weekly soundtrack. Spring starts Welcome spring with thousands of Montrealers at the city’s boisterous 193rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade, taking place downtown along Ste-Catherine Street starting at noon on March 20, and keep on celebrating the luck of the Irish at the city’s best Irish pubs. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Flames on March 20 and the Ducks on March 22 at the Bell Centre. Whether you’re on Spring Break or not, check out our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has kids covered. And if the warmer weather has you itching to paint the town red – whether that means sampling local microbrews or going late-night dancing – Montréal’s nightlife has it all. Seasonal food If you’re in Montréal in March, you must experience the Québecois tradition of the sugar… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 19 to 25

Montréal’s downtown sparkles with free entertainment this week at the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, while indoors you can go butterfly spotting, play games at the games festival, watch hockey, and see stars of dance, theatre, film, art and live music shine. Snowy celebrations Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season is in full swing: MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s free outdoor site fills downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while the festival’s indoor performances highlight musical performances and theatre – let our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE lead the way. Go for a scenic skate next to the Saint-Lawrence River at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Talk a walk through nature right in the city in Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau parks. And make it all easier with these Montreal-specific apps. Indoor activities Spring is truly in the air at the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free event at the Space For Life (also home to the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium) – this year butterflies share the spotlight with furry caterpillars. Game lovers of all ages can play board games,… / Read More →

Spring Break for families

Whether your kids want to get out in the snow or play games indoors, find fun, memorable and even free things to do for every kid at every age during Spring Break in Montréal, February 27 to March 6. Free for the whole family Downtown Montréal sparkles during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, February 18 to March 5, especially at the winter festival’s free outdoor site outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des spectacles – ride an illuminated ice slide and Ferris wheel, play games and activities, roast marshmallows over fire pits, see music and circus performances and much more. On February 27, let the kids stay up late for all-nighter event Nuit Blanche, with indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment for all ages. Check out the art brightening up underground passageways linking downtown Montréal skyscrapers and malls (Complexe Desjardins, Place Ville Marie, Place Montréal Trust, Centre Eaton) during Art Souterrain. Outdoors, walk, run, snowshoe or cross-country ski in the city’s big parks – Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau – on March 2 watch the world’s top cross-country skiers compete in Ski Tour Canada 2016, with Mount Royal’s Beaver Lake Pavilion the start and finish point. And explore nature beyond the city centre at the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 1 to 7

A new year, a new week – welcome to 2016 and welcome to Montréal! The genuine joys of the holiday season continue into this week at excellent restaurants and bars, outdoor markets, museums and music venues, and out on the streets and ice rinks of the city. New Year’s eats We could technically still call this “the holidays,” and many of the restaurants in our guide to holiday menus in Montréal do! From six-service table d’hôtes to classic French fare, welcome in the New Year with an excellent meal or two. Celebrate your love of wine and good food at these 10 wine-devoted restaurants. Get your fill of Peking Duck and dumplings on New Year’s Day at these Chinese food restaurants open over the holidays. If a burger and fries is your comfort food, get back to basics with these 5 must-try burgers. And since a vacation isn’t enough time to try everything Montréal’s cuisine scene has to offer, bring these made-in-Montréal treats home and pack a bottle of celebratory Québec-made alcohol, whether it’s gin or sparkling cider. Rewarding resolutions If you’re prone to making New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to follow through on the fun ones in Montréal: skydive… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 25 to 31

During Christmas week, Montréal slows down, a peaceful quality permeating the air – of course, restaurants and bars still serve up fantastic fare, art and cultural activities abound for kids and adults alike, skating rinks and winter villages bustle, and by New Year’s Eve everyone is ready to party like it’s 2016. Dazzling food and drink Montréal knows that the pleasure and comfort of excellent meals and marvelous drinks is essential to the holiday season. Our guide to holiday menus in Montréal takes you around the city to discover the best in seasonal eating, from six-service table d’hôtes to classic French fare. Also peruse our guide to Restaurants open on Christmas Day for more first-rate feasting options. Add the unique quality of Québec-made alcohols to your holiday cocktails: try gin, vodka, ice wine, ciders and more made by Canadian distilling experts with a flare for flavour. And wine lovers should get cozy at these 10 wine-devoted restaurants. If you’re dining with a big family or friends, look into a private dining room experience. And if your holiday tradition involves Peking Duck and dumplings, let us show you where to eat Chinese food on Christmas and New Year’s. On the other hand, sometimes you just need a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 18 to 24

In the week leading up to Christmas a lot of us are either rushing around getting things done or winding down at last – whether you need to go gift shopping or just want to relax at a show, there’s plenty to do in Montréal right up to Christmas and beyond. Merry days and nights Celebrate the season in season in Montréal style at Merry Montréal throughout Old Montréal where you can warm up at fires, drink free hot chocolate, see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more. Over at downtown’s Place des festival, let the kids loose and your inner child play at the glittering Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal outdoors on the Esplanade of Place des Arts. Also outdoors at Place des Arts, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie, on until January 31 along with animated digital art projected onto nearby buildings and throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. And Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) with activities and music on weekday evenings and in the afternoon and evenings on weekends to December 25. More holiday fun For hours… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal December 11 to 17

This is the week when it really and truly begins to feel a lot like Christmas – whether snow falls or not, the streets are aglitter with seasonal festivities. Go shopping for gifts, play on interactive public art, see The Nutcracker and more on stage, and hear music from choirs to rock bands. Sparkling streets Follow the glittering lights and happy people to Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, a colourful new outdoor winter market right downtown at the Place des Arts Esplanade, December 12 to January 2, where not only can you find great presents but plenty of activities, entertainment and food and drink for the whole family. Montréal celebrates the season all around the city: Merry Montréal turns Old Montréal into a winter wonderland with fires to warm up by, free hot chocolate, Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, Christmas-themed films and more; in the Plateau at the Marché de Noël Prince Arthur along Prince Arthur Street starting at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent see performances, watch films, shop and sample treats; Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) and Parc Lahaie (Saint-Laurent Boulevard at Saint-Joseph) with activities and live… / Read More →