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Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Romance for all in Montréal

Beautiful views, European charm, award-winning dining, entertainment that never sleeps… Montréal has got all the markers of a winning romantic weekend for any type of couple. This Valentine’s Day, whether you like things sporty, luxurious or classic (because long-stem roses never go out of style), here are five getaway ideas from us to you – with love. A classic kind of love Wining and dining is a sure way to pretty much anyone’s heart. With hotel specials like the Valentine’s Day package at the beautiful Le Germain in Old Montréal, you’re already half way there. After picking up some chocolates at Maison Christian Faure and some flowers at the stand in Square Victoria, grab a horse-drawn carriage tour of Old Montréal across the street from Notre-Dame Basilica, where Céline Dion got married (it’ll set the mood). Next, book a tête-à-tête to sample the special V Day offerings at 400 Coups (a five-course meal featuring crab ravioli and foie gras mousse), Le Quindici (short ribs braised in wine, anyone?) or the warm, European flavoured Branzino. If you can’t choose, how about one on Friday, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday? Then stroll up from Old Montréal to downtown for… / Read More →

Montréal winter nights are bright with activity possibilities

Nighttime is always the right time for both family fun and slightly more adult-oriented activities and entertainment in Montréal during the winter season. Gliding on ice under night skies is a sublime pastime at the Old Port’s idyllic Bonsecours Basin skating rink, a huge open-air surface renowned for its exceptional ice. It features some of the most striking views of Old Montréal and the city skyline in an extremely fun-friendly environment. Each day has a different music theme: classical Mondays, world music Tuesdays, urban sounds Wednesdays, and so on. The ice is open Monday to Wednesday until 9 pm, and Thursday to Sunday until 10 pm. Skate rentals and lockers are available. Many of Montréal’s most beautiful parks also feature night skating along with music, warming stations and/or places to eat and, er, lubricate. The picturesque Parc Lafontaine, Parc Maisonneuve and Beaver Lake on the summit of Mount Royal are all examples of top-tier blading places that typically stay open on the weekends until 10 pm. For locations, skating conditions and other info, please go here. Speaking of the mountain, Mount Royal Park is an outdoor winter sports enthusiast’s dream. In addition to skating, sledding and cross-country skiing – there… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 22 to 28

We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music. Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH…. / Read More →

Winter thrills at Fête des neiges 2016

Whether you welcome winter with freshly sharpened skates or prefer sipping hot chocolate by the fire, Fête des neiges de Montréal helps us all celebrate snow days in the best ways, turning Parc Jean-Drapeau into a playground for all ages, every Saturday and Sunday from January 16 to February 7. Active entertainment Hand-in-hand with the urban winter fun of Luminothérapie, Igloofest, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and more, Fête des neiges de Montréal is all about brightening up your winter days and nights. Not only can you go skating, snowshoeing, skiing and sledding around the sprawling, picturesque park, but access to the Fête des neiges site and the majority of activities is free. See live musical performances and ice sculpting; play boot hockey and soccer; become a player in a human-sized foosball game; climb into a plastic battle bubble; ride the 16-metre ice slide; try curling and snow-yoga, and more. Winter adventure Add to all that a few choice pay activities well worth their ticket price. If happiness means sledding down a snowy hill all afternoon or you can’t resist the admittedly irresistible view of the city from the top of the ferris wheel, get the most out of Fête des neiges… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 27 to December 3

With December officially here this week, there’s something seasonally appropriate and festive to do every day of the week: see Santa and sip hot chocolate, go to a hockey game, shop and shop some more, see a show or a film or a choir, and drink wine and eat well. Santa, hockey and merry making  The city’s biggest Santa Claus parade was last weekend, but if you missed it there’s still more Santa to see at the Plaza St-Hubert Santa Claus Parade on November 27 at 7 p.m. on St-Hubert Street between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon. Also find Santa at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Stewart Museum, packed with handmade Santa figurines and free all month, while toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. Whether it snows this week or not, Merry Montréal makes Old Montréal feel like a winter wonderland – warm up around fires, drink hot chocolate, bring the kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more, starting December 3. And, of course, there’s plenty of hockey: The Canadiens play on home ice at the Bell Centre three times this week, taking on the Devils, the Blue Jackets… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

10 (more) wonderful ways to explore Montréal

A second (or third or fourth) visit to Montréal is a time for really getting to know the city and its people – but where to start digging deeper? We’ve compiled a top-ten list that’s all about going beyond the main attractions – check our 10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors first so you don’t miss any of those! See a Show at Place des Arts Live music, theatre, dance and more is all under the roof of Place des Arts, the city’s biggest theatre complex, right downtown in the Quartier des spectacles. Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain play classical favourites and new music in the new Maison Symphonique, Opéra de Montréal stages lush opera productions, Danse Danse brings international dance stars to the Montreal stage, and rock stars and Broadway shows make appearances at PdA throughout the year. Shop the Plateau Find speciality stores and Canadian and Quebecois designers’ boutiques as well as bookstores, furniture and more on the streets of the Plateau neighbourhood, especially on Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard north of Sherbrooke, Mont-Royal Avenue in the several blocks east and west of the Mont-Royal Metro station, and along Laurier Avenue west of Saint-Laurent. and if… / Read More →

The loudest must-see shows at Heavy Montréal

The heavyweights of metal, rock and punk descend on Montréal as Heavy Montréal shakes Parc Jean-Drapeau August 7-9. The 7th edition of the festival once known as Heavy MTL may be its weightiest yet, with three days of music from over 60 bands. Where the August 1 weekend’s massive Osheaga festival teems with brightly-hued youthful enthusiasm, Heavy Montréal spans five decades of music and prefers to dress in black – at the same time, it’s more approachable than ever. With headliners such as spectacularly entertaining Slipknot, iconic Iggy Pop, 90s metal-fusion populists Korn and Faith No More, post-hardcore Alexisonfire and Heavy Montréal headliner veterans Lamb of God mainstaging as some of the most obvious must-see shows over the three days of the festival, several others carve niches of their own in the program. Die-hard metal fans all have their favourites in a music scene replete with sub-genres. Revered French metal band Gojira rallies the darkening crowds as Swedish extreme metal maniacs Meshuggah prove their continued might. Influential doom metalists Neurosis blow minds, British black metal originators Venom reboot as Venom Inc., founder of Norwegian black metal band Immortal, Olve Eikemo, returns solo as Abbath, while devotees of black metal underground… / Read More →

Your 2015 Osheaga survival guide

With stages every few feet and programming so richly packed there are always two acts you want to see at the same time, Osheaga is a frenzy of a festival – especially on this, its 10th anniversary! Ergo, you need a survival guide. From where to take a breather to what (not) to bring to what type of clothes to wear, read further for all the deets and insider tips you’ll need to get the most out of your festival experience. EVENT Osheaga, July 31 to August 2. Doors open at 11 am, and performances begin at noon. Performances end at 11 pm. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal, put on by Evenko to unite some of the world’s best acts in an open-air site. From Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2, get ready to party to live performances by Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, NAS, Interpol, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, The Kills, Run the Jewels, First Aid Kit, A Tribe Called Red, Young Fathers, Sza, Milk & Bone and Cri – and sooo muuuuch mooore. Truly, it’s a never-ending gold-plated, chewy-centered… / Read More →