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Free things to do this winter in Montréal

Montréal knows how to do winter right, from indoor entertainment to outdoor illuminations – and in celebration of Montréal’s 375th anniversary this year, even more free activities fill the calendar from December into March. December festivities Outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal transforms Sainte-Catherine Street at Place des festivals into a winter village – find locally made goods and goodies, an activity area for kids, live music and, of course, Montréal’s first giant Christmas tree. Nearby, the 13,000 lights of the Place Ville Marie Christmas tree structure light up the business district. In Old Montréal, drink hot chocolate around a cozy fire and wander through a Christmas market at Merry Montréal at Place Jacques-Cartier. Walk down Mount-Royal Avenue for Noël sur l’Avenue and experience Noël dans le Parc at Place Émilie-Gamelin downtown and in Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Indoors, the Complex Desjardins Magic Kingdom makes the mall delightful with a mini train, carousel and the multimedia Fontaine Boréale show. Winter wonderlands Take a whirl spinning fairy-tale images in giant zoetropes at this year’s Luminothérapie interactive-art playground at Place des Festivals to Jan. 29. Look towards Mount Royal (“The Mountain” to Montrealers) to see Aurores Montréal, a new 15,000 square metre light projection by artist Marc Séguin and multimedia company 4U2C…. / Read More →

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE offers another sparkling edition of delicious food and fun

Each winter, Montréal sparkles with light, entertainment and gourmet goodness during the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Festival. And this year, our favourite winter mood-booster is an official event on the program of Montréal’s high-profile 375th anniversary celebrations, offering even more brilliant ideas on how to spark up your life with fun, food, light and music. Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 edition, and why it makes sense to head north this coming February 23 to March 11. Fébrilité dans l’air dans l’attente du dévoilement de notre programmation gastronomique. On vous dit tout très bientôt ! #MTLenLumiere | Photo : Frédérique Ménard-Aubin Une photo publiée par MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE (@mtlenlumiere) le 28 Nov. 2016 à 9h08 PST Treat your taste buds to the fine cuisine of Lyon For the festival’s gourmet component, we’ll be lionizing the fabulous cuisine of Lyon, France. The festival’s grand featured city, home of an impressive 21 Michelin-starred chefs and some 4,200 restaurants, will lavish us with its lovely gastronomy, thanks to an impressive contingent of its chefs, including Jérôme Bocuse and Christopher Muller, the two honorary co-presidents. In restaurants across Montréal, the creativity will be flying off the charts as our guest chefs and local… / Read More →

ILLUMINART lights up Montréal’s 375th anniversary

In 2017, the spotlight will be on Montréal as the city celebrates its 375th anniversary. Once these celebrations are in full swing and the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival gets underway, ILLUMINART will present the first edition of its outdoor display. From February 22 to March 11, this luminous 3.6-kilometre (over 2-mile) circuit of 25 technological works is sure to dazzle, amaze and chase away the winter blues. For the past 15 years, the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE (MEL) festival has been investing its energies in creating immersive interactive activities focused on light to brighten its outdoor site. MEL introduced the first giant projections and video mapping effects on Montreal buildings, as well as events integrating new technologies with onstage performances. ILLUMINART will enhance MEL’s growth, development and reputation. S & Y – It’s magic #montreal #opticalfiber #blue #nuitblanche #nuitblanche2016 #activity #fun #brillant #city #mtl #514 #mtllife #landscape #scenery #photooftheday #igersmontreal #beautiful #night #nightout #nightlife #light #amazing #instagram #instapic #like4like #mtlenlumiere #instaart Une photo publiée par S & Y (@simple_and_young_x) le 4 Mars 2016 à 11h25 PST “Combining art and innovation, this free event will showcase the technological know-how of our creators. We’re proud to be encouraging local talent and expertise with… / Read More →

Les Hivernales kickstarts an exhilarating 375th Montréal winter

When snow falls in Montréal this winter, it’ll be a cause for commotion – the good, fun, go-play-outdoors kind. A major event for Montréal’s 375th anniversary, Les Hivernales proves that this city loves to party all year round, no matter what the weather. Montréal has held plenty of winter events over the years, from the Montréal Snowshoe Club’s 1882 carnival to much more recent MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and Fêtes des Neiges, but Les Hivernales takes winter traditions to new heights in an all-out celebration of Montréal’s 375th anniversary. From January 6 to March 11 in Old Montréal, downtown’s Quartier des spectacles and Parc Jean-Drapeau, you’ll find activities for all ages – from pond hockey to late-night outdoor parties – that blend tradition with high-tech artistry, extreme sports and the city’s unique urban culture. In true Montréal style, Les Hivernales begins with a serious bang: the Barbegazi winter action sports festival transforms downtown’s l’îlot Clark into a wild (and free) obstacle course for two weekends, January 6-8 and 13-15 – hike through a forest, walk over a replica of the Jacques Cartier Bridge and more. Then see how you handle snowskating (yes, skateboarding on ice), fatbiking, wood cutting and Christmas-tree throwing… / Read More →

Where to find Wi-Fi when travelling in Montréal

Travel is fun. Roaming fees, not so much. Fortunately, Montréal is a destination with plenty of Wi-Fi options. This means that in various corners of the city, visitors can access wireless networks — most of them free — to send an email, post a picture or even capture that darn elusive Pokémon. Here are some of our favourite Wi-Fi options in Montréal. Old Montréal. Launched last year as part of the Montréal’s Smart and Digital City Plan, the majority of Old Montréal is now a Wi-Fi zone. Simply select MtlWifi on your wireless device and start surfing — no hoops to jump through! While you’re wandering through Old Montréal, use the network to view the Cité Mémoire exposition, the largest outdoor video-projection installation in the world. The Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. After your flight lands in Montréal, you might have a few moments of wait time for your luggage. Use the airport’s free Wi-Fi to post an official “I’m in Montréal” selfie! (Just don’t forget to tag it #MTLmoments.) The Entertainment District. The Quartier des spectacles (as it’s formally known en français) is the cultural heart of Montréal. Throughout the year, the district is home to massive outdoor live performances during such events as the Montréal… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 4 to 10

Where better to be in winter than in Montréal? Immerse yourself in the entertainment and culinary arts of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, the city’s all-ages Spring Break activities, hockey games and Barbegazi sports, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. Brighten up MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE keeps downtown bright and bustling until March 5 with music and theatrical performances, extraordinary meals (including pay-their-age prices for kids), and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals featuring multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, a zip line, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. Art lovers can do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art throughout the underground city during winter exhibition Art Souterrain. Consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas. On the glittering ice at the Bell Centre, watch the Canadiens play the Stars on March 8 and the Sabres on March 10. And make your visit even smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Delightful menus Along with the many fine dining options at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, sit down to a gourmet meal during restaurant festival Relâche Gourmande, highlighting special table d’hôte menus… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 26 to March 3

This week everyone’s talking about Nuit Blanche, Montréal’s city-wide all-nighter event with free music, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and more, part of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival. Add to that Spring Break activities for all ages, butterfly spotting, the games festival, dance, theatre, film, art and live music. All night long Spend the night of February 27 out of the town with thousands of jubilant Montrealers – and do it just right with our Nuit Blanche Survival Guide, letting you in on what it’s all about and what not to miss, from circus acrobatics and African dance to YouTube battles, NFB documentaries, the Karnival dance party and must-see contemporary art event Art Souterrain throughout the underground city. Nuit Blanche highlights Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, featuring music and theatrical performances, culinary feasts and workshops, and a free outdoor site at downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more – get the inside scoop with our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE. And if you’re technically inclined, make your visit smoother with these Montreal-specific apps. Urban outdoors Whether you’re outdoors or having an indoor day, find something… / Read More →

Your Montréal Nuit blanche Survival Guide

Calling all nighthawks, night owls and burners of midnight oil. The once-a-year, all-night, nearly citywide arts, culture and performance party that is Nuit blanche is nearly upon us. It’s a vast undertaking with almost innumerable options and opportunities, and with that in mind, we offer you this guide to one of Montreal’s brightest winter nights. THE EVENT The 13th edition off Nuit blanche, part of the annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at locations all over downtown Montréal and surrounding neighbourhoods, starting on February 27 and ending in the wee hours of February 28. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO One of the highlights of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the always illuminating, always epic Nuit blanche all-nighter. Nuit blanche (“white night”) invites all comers to partake in upwards of 200 (mostly free) activities this year, including live music, film, dance, performance art, interactive installations, storytelling, digital and visual art, and great food to match a great night. IT’S WHERE EXACTLY? Almost everywhere MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s family-friendly free outdoor site in the downtown Quartier des Spectacles is the central hub from which all the action radiates. The site features a giant outdoor stage, interactive installations, dining areas, numerous fun activities (we don’t need… / 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 →

Your MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Survival Guide

Cold weather festing hath no fury like the ever-strengthening MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival, which brightens moods and sets downtown Montréal alight with excitement each and every year. A blizzard of entertainment and activities awaits visitors at both indoor and outdoor locales, so let this be your guide to navigating the storm. THE EVENT The 17th edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at various locations in downtown Montréal from February 18 to March 5, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Over the course of 17 days, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will enjoy some 1,300,000 visits from fearless fun seekers at what has become one of the largest winter festivals in the world. The annual happening hosts an expansive, eclectic and high-powered program of performing arts (live music, theatre, dance, circus arts and more) at many of the city’s best venues. There are also almost innumerable gastronomic options (some 500 chefs, wine producers and culinary experts have participated over the years) and a lively range of events and activities on the action-packed outdoor site that visitors can participate in. THE LAY OF THE LAND Where everything’s happening The almost 200 paid indoor performances and… / Read More →