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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 →

Fun with Kids this Summer in Montréal

It’s summer and the kids must play – Montréal keeps kids happy, entertained and active all day and into the night with festivals, music, games, swimming, sports and more throughout July and August. Many of the city’s famed festivals not only welcome families but feature outdoor shows and activities made just for kids. Step into the Place de la Famille kids zone at Just For Laughs at Place des Festivals, full of amusement park rides and games, laughter workshops and performances, open afternoons and evenings July 11-25, while street buskers amuse us at every turn and the Twins Parade on July 18 delights with wild costumes and music. Hot air balloons may be the heart of the International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, but the festival also boasts a variety of kid-focused activities and performances, August 8-16. With more activities than ever, it’s easy to spend a day or two in the Old Port of Montréal: from a sky-high zipline ride to an authentic French carousel, mini-train adventures to a Bateau-Mouche boat ride on the river, the SOS Labyrinthe‘s biggest indoor maze in the world and the skill-testing, all-ages Peur Dépôt live game. Kids can play pirates for hours at Voiles… / Read More →

Your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals

As July approaches, Montréal continues to be flooded with an almost overwhelming array of musical options. So you don’t miss out on any of the excitement this month, here’s your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals! The Montréal International Jazz Festival, from June 26 to July 5, needs little introduction, but heck, we’ll do it anyway: the planet’s greatest, grandest jazz fest turns 36 this year with hundreds of concerts representing numerous genres including some 300 free outdoor shows that inundate downtown Montréal with a flood of music-loving merriment. From moving music to moving to the music, the International Percussion Festival turns 14 down in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3-12. A participative event (spectators are encouraged to get in on the playing and dancing action), the festival is also multidisciplinary, uniting music, dance, visual arts, film, food, workshops and conferences in the company of over 500 artists. The summer heat will begin to peak with Montréal’s vibrant and lively Nuits D’Afrique world music festival, July 7-19. Boasting the best of African and African-influenced music from some of the biggest names in the game at numerous indoor and free outdoor shows, Nuits D’Afrique is a guaranteed… / Read More →

Montréal’s most scenic bike paths

[Updated on June 23, 2016] Rated “North America’s premiere biking city” by the Copenhagenize Report (2013), Montréal boasts 730 kilometres of bike paths. Itching to explore the city on two wheels? Here are our picks for Montréal’s prettiest urban routes, pedaled carefree and car-free. The Lachine Canal bike path Ranked third on Time magazine’s Top 10 Urban Biking Trips in 2009, the nearly 15-kilometre-long Lachine Canal bike whisks cyclists alongside a canal that is operated by modern locks, open to small pleasure craft and bordered by old 19th-century factories. Starting from the Old Port, up to the Atwater Market, until the Chemin du Musée, in Lachine, where a stop-off at Parc René-Lévesque is recommended, this pretty circuit winds you through natural spaces and industrial parks alike. On the way back, follow the Berges Ouest bike path along the St. Lawrence River to Verdun and LaSalle, where you can watch surfers or kayakers navigating the rapids. De Maisonneuve Boulevard bike path Ideal for exploring downtown by bike! If you start from the Grande Bibliothèque (near the Berri-UQAM métro station), you can ride past skyscrapers right up to the sweet boutiques and museums of downtown Montréal, and get a glimpse of Place des… / Read More →