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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 13 to 19

Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music. On-screen adventure Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening… / 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 →

Indoor family activities in Montréal

No matter what the weather – but especially in winter – indoor activities are a must for kids and adults alike. Montréal’s many inside attractions, games, sports and skill-testing challenges keep families active and having fun together year round. The glow-in-the-dark mini-golf at Putting Edge proves you don’t need chipping skills or even green grass to play golf. Walk off Sainte-Catherine Street downtown and right into the colourful, musical 18-hole course – a journey through oceans, forests and jungles, each with its own challenges. Have more high-energy fun in the dark at downtown’s Laser Quest, where hide-and-seek turns into a laser lit game of hit-or-miss. Play together at the Montréal Forum’s bowling alley, games centre and billiards room – and when everyone’s tired out, catch a film at the Forum Cinema multiplex. Engage older kids (13 and up) with mind games as you work together to get out of tricky A/maze Montréal scenarios: three reality-based tests of survival and problem solving – Prison Break, Mad Scientists and Lost Temple stories – challenge each team to come up with their own solutions in a white-knuckle countdown situation. No matter what their age, kids will be wowed by the wonders of the… / Read More →

Fun things to do with kids in Montréal

It’s August and whether we’re kids or adults, we’re all trying hard not to count down the last days of summer. Thankfully Montréal’s late summer and early fall festivals, live music, games, sports and more family-friendly activities make it easy to stay holiday-minded and carefree. Set butterflies free at the Monarch Odyssey this September, when monarch butterflies are labeled and released on their migratory journey south, and learn more about fireflies in the Bearers of Light exhibition at the Insectarium at Space for Life, also home to the Botanical Garden, Biôdome and Planetarium. And walk through the illuminated the Botanical Garden in September during the Gardens of Light event, a brilliant array of lanterns in the Chinese and Japanese gardens. More outdoor playtime is in store at Parc Exalto, an acrobatic park and obstacle course at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park, and at the Old Port of Montréal where kids can ride a zip line, a French carousel, mini-train or boat, explore the huge SOS Labyrinthe, play video games at Game On or the Peur Dépôt live game or play at pirates at the Voiles en Voiles, obstacle courses set on high-seas sailing ships. Or become an… / 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 →

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 →

Things to Do with Kids this Spring and Summer in Montréal

With so much going on in Montréal during the warm-weather months, it’s easy to experience the best of the city through the eyes of children – free outdoor activities, indoor entertainment and much more keep everyone amused. Parks and Rec Run and play in Mount Royal Park mere minutes away from downtown, featuring children’s playgrounds and wading pools, picnic grounds, walking and cycling trails, paddle boat rentals at Lac aux Castors and an incredible view of the city and beyond from the top of the mountain. A short Métro ride from downtown, Parc Jean-Drapeau boasts a huge amount of green space, an outdoor pool, a lake and sandy beach, the Biosphere ecological museum, a view of the city, flower gardens, and summer events such as July’s Week-ends du Monde. Next to the Parc Jean-Drapeau is Six Flags’ La Ronde, open all summer long, with plenty of rides just for kids and families – in July, kids who can stay up a little later will love the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Find the best swing set in the city in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles: the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation and instrument… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: March 19 to 25

As Mother Nature tries to decide which way to go out there, huddle indoors with a few dozen good movies thanks to the International Festival of Films on Art this week, or lose yourself in the masses of programming for Digital Spring. There’s also tons of family activities, theatre, ballet, music, and the exciting kickoff of the sugaring season. (Be sure to warn your dentist.) All about arts The 2015 edition of the International Festival of Films on Art presents some 60 films about art this year, running from March 19 to 29, in cinemas all over the downtown core. You can see films on everything from architecture to dance to animation; goodies like Escape From Moomin Valley, all about the fantastical world of comic artist Tove Jansson, or The Man Who Saved the Louvre, about the heroic efforts of Louvre director Jacques Jaujard during the Second World War. Read more here. Theatre lovers won’t want to miss their last chance to catch The Goodnight Bird, at Centaur, a play about a vagrant who lands on a middle-aged couple’s balcony. It runs until March 22. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal premiere their latest opus on March 19: The Little Prince, chorographed by Dutch… / Read More →

Montreal at your fingertips with the Family Pass

This holiday season, soaking up the beauty, culture and fun of Montreal as a family has never been so easy. Introducing the Family Pass, a specially designed travel package that makes all of Montreal’s family-oriented activities accessible and affordable…