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Things to do in Montréal January 8 to 14

The year is already off to a bold start in Montréal with snow-bright outdoor entertainment to play with and dance to, the Happening Gourmand restaurant fest, internationally acclaimed dance, theatre and film, and live music from Tchaikovsky to Mark Farina. Snow days With memories of 2015 fading it’s time to make some new ones. Montreal brightens up your winter with all kinds of activities and entertainment in the coming months. Play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31, with animated digital art projections throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. If you love to dance and love being outdoors, get yourself to Igloofest, Montreal’s biggest winter electronic music festival, at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, opening January 14 with music by Bonobo, Lunice, Heron Preston and more. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, or skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, with happy hour every evening. On the ice at the Bell Centre, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Penguins on January 9 and the Blackhawks on January 14. Seek out warmth and art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and Galerie… / 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 →

Must-see 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions

Several blockbuster exhibitions will be on display at Montréal museums in 2016. Here are some choice picks: The much-anticipated POMPEII: A Roman City exhibition chronicles the life and death of Pompeii and neighbouring town Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the spectacular eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. By that time, Pompeii had become a wealthy playground for some of Rome’s most influential citizens. When the city was buried under several metres of volcanic rubble and lava, the city’s treasures were protected from the ravages of time. Some 250 years after Pompeii’s rediscovery, this exhibition features nearly 200 archaeological artifacts – statues in bronze and marble, mosaics, frescoes and decorative arts – that offer an extraordinary glimpse into daily life at the height of the Roman Empire. POMPEII: A Roman City runs at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts from Feb. 6 to Sept. 5. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts will also present the massive Rethinking Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition about the iconic and controversial American photographer famous for his homoerotic male nudes and celebrity portraits, including Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and his great friend Patti Smith. This exhibition features 250 works, mostly Mapplethorpe’s highly stylized black-and-white photographs, but also colour… / 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 →

Festive fun for kids this holiday season in Montréal

If you’re visiting Montréal with your family in December, expect to find entertaining seasonal festivities with all the trimmings: Christmas trees and illuminated interactive art, outdoor games and activities, hot chocolate and good food, and, of course, Santa. Treats and presents Lights glitter, friends and family gather, and kids play at Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, a new outdoor winter market right downtown at the Place des Arts Esplanade, December 12 to January 2. Not only a great place to find last-minute locally-made gifts but a joyful event featuring entertainment, music, karaoke and other playful activities for all ages – and plenty to eat and drink, from beaver tails to maple candy. Not far away from Le Grand Marché, see performances, watch films, shop and sample seasonal treats at the Marché de Noël Prince Arthur. And when it’s time for a full sit-down meal, consult our extensive list of kid-friendly restaurants. Winter wonderlands Old Montréal turns into a warmer version of the North Pole during the Merry Montréal celebrations – there’s free hot chocolate, Christmas-themed films, cozy fires and even see Santa Claus at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier. Peer into the window of Ogilvy department store… / Read More →

Your 2015 Halloween guide to ghoulish good times in Montréal

Montréal is a ghost town. No, really. Spectres and spooks, shades and wraiths: whatever your flavour of phantom, Montréal comes alive in the spirit of the dead when it comes to Halloween. Indeed, there’s no shortage of Halloween hijinks in Montréal again this year, so let the following be your guide to the many tricks and treats being offered. For the little monsters The 30th edition of The Great Pumpkin Ball, at Montreal’s Space for Life (comprised of the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens and Planetarium, which are hosting many Halloween-themed events), is in full celebratory swing at the Botanical Gardens. Esmeralda the witch watches over the 800-plus decorated pumpkins, and invites curious munchkins to check out her giant new hat house and other activities. The Great Pumpkin Ball takes place daily, 9 am to 9 pm, until November 1. The most frightening real-life vampires for many, spiders are also among the most fascinating. Fearsome and amazingly diverse hunters, the Insectarium will be putting the spotlight on these incredible creatures this Halloween season as part of a daily guided activity, until November 1. Partake in pumpkin treats with all the animals of the Biodôme. Visitors are invited to see how mammals,… / Read More →

Must-see autumn 2015 Montréal museum exhibitions

There are several hot-ticket exhibitions on display at Montréal museums this autumn. Here are some choice picks: The George S. Zimbel: A Humanist Photographer exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has plenty of star power: The exhibition features seventy images from Zimbel’s collection and covers three years of his career: 1953, 1954 and 1955. The result of photographic commissions for magazines and personal projects, some of these photos have become iconic, such as his series on Marilyn Monroe shot in 1954 during the production of the film The Seven Year Itch by director Billy Wilder. With a camera in his hand since his teenage years, Zimbel’s New York street scenes reflect the social and economic climate of postwar America. “1953, ’54, ’55 — those were tense years,” says Zimbel, who has lived and worked in Montréal since the early 1980s. “I was in the U.S. Army in Germany working on the Rhine River, but on leave I was seeing Europe for the first time. Then back to New York to freelance for magazines, industry, any assignment, anywhere — New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Texas — I was on my own, shooting all the time, had to make a… / Read More →

Deals and steals at Montréal museums

Montréal Museums’ Day is a great way for art-lovers on a budget to visit Montréal’s 38 museums for free in late May each year. But the city’s major museums also have many deals year-round to see blockbuster exhibits as well as their permanent collections. Here are some choice activities and deals for solo visitors as well as families on a budget: Family deals The oldest and busiest museum in Canada, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts schedules Family Weekends with children’s drop-in workshops and interactive tours of the collections, as well as lectures and film screenings in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium. MMFA admission for children 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MMFA’s popular Museum Day Camps for children. The Musée d’art contemporain admission for children aged 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MAC’s popular Museum Day Camps for children.  The MAC also charges a flat-rate $30 admission for families (2 adults with children). The McCord Museum admission and activities are free for children aged 12 and under. On arrival at the McCord’s admissions desk, kids will get a free backpack (as long as quantities last) containing everything they’ll need for… / Read More →