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Winter holiday activities for families in Montréal

In excited anticipation of Montréal’s 375th anniversary, this winter holiday season feels even brighter and more festive than usual, with activities for kids – and parents – in ever corner of the city. Noël à l’intérieur @complexedesjardins #Christmas #ChristmasLights #Montreal #MTL #MontrealLife #Quebec #Canada #Pvtistes #OnePictureADay Une photo publiée par Marion (@marion.lafon) le 28 Nov. 2016 à 5h33 PST Holiday sparkle Gather ‘round the massive, illuminated natural Christmas tree at outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal while eating locally made goodies – there’s also an activity area for kids, live music and more outdoor activities, December 2 to 24. Nearby, peer into the window of Ogilvy department store on Sainte-Catherine Street to behold a miniature winter wonderland. The 13,000 lights of the Place Ville Marie Christmas tree structure glitter among downtown’s skyscrapers. And in Old Montréal, the Merry Montréal festivities mean hot chocolate, cozy fires, Christmas-themed films and a Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier. Join in Mount-Royal Avenue’s annual Noël sur l’Avenue celebrations all month long – hear music and take carriage rides – or at Noël dans le Parc at Place Émilie-Gamelin downtown and in Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau neighbourhood, Dec…. / Read More →

Your guide to a wicked Halloween 2016

For those of us possessed by fear during the Halloween season – a profound fear of missing out, that is – Montréal has a witches’ brew of solutions for your All Hallows aspirations. Whether it’s fun stuff for the little monsters in your life, hair-raising thrills and chills, rollicking onstage entertainment or raucous Halloween parties, the following options will provide the healing potion for your FOMO. Not-so-frightful family fun It’s kooky for kiddos at the Botanical Gardens (part of Montreal’s Space for Life, which also includes the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium), which invites you and yours to be the honoured guests of the good witch Esmerelda for the 31st celebration of The Great Pumpkin Ball. And you can truly have a ball in the company of the urban farming Esmeralda, Pépo the Pumpkin and some 800 wildly and wackily decorated squashes and pumpkins. The Ball rolls every day, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., until October 31. While there, be sure to mosey on over to the aptly titled, outdoor Little Monsters Courtyard where the wee ones can conquer The Tricky River, The Shaky Bridge, a straw maze, tunnels and monkey bars (for kids 10 and under). Over at the Insectarium,… / Read More →

Free things to do this fall in Montréal

Montréal in the fall is a beautiful sight, and taking it all in can easily be done on a budget – free stuff abounds! Summery weather usually lasts through September and early October, meaning outdoor events and activities are plentiful. It’s always free to see the changing leaves, but Montréal’s got even more no-cost entertainment in store right through November. Outdoor life Take a walk from Parc Avenue into the relative wilderness of Mount Royal Park – climbing the stairs to the top is absolutely worth it for the view of downtown and the Saint Lawrence River. Even easier, a stroll through beautiful Parc La Fontaine, or hop on the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau where riverside trails await – the park is also home to the Stewart Museum, free for kids 12 and under, and Biosphère Environment Museum, free for youth 17 and under. Explore Old Montréal at nightfall through multimedia smartphone tour Cité Mémoire, where images come alive on building facades. And walk around downtown and the Plateau to discover murals and more street art around every bend. Throughout September, find activities and entertainment at outdoor markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, and, until November, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port. On Sept. 11, watch athletes ride… / Read More →

Spring Break for families

Whether your kids want to get out in the snow or play games indoors, find fun, memorable and even free things to do for every kid at every age during Spring Break in Montréal, February 27 to March 6. Free for the whole family Downtown Montréal sparkles during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, February 18 to March 5, especially at the winter festival’s free outdoor site outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des spectacles – ride an illuminated ice slide and Ferris wheel, play games and activities, roast marshmallows over fire pits, see music and circus performances and much more. On February 27, let the kids stay up late for all-nighter event Nuit Blanche, with indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment for all ages. Check out the art brightening up underground passageways linking downtown Montréal skyscrapers and malls (Complexe Desjardins, Place Ville Marie, Place Montréal Trust, Centre Eaton) during Art Souterrain. Outdoors, walk, run, snowshoe or cross-country ski in the city’s big parks – Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau – on March 2 watch the world’s top cross-country skiers compete in Ski Tour Canada 2016, with Mount Royal’s Beaver Lake Pavilion the start and finish point. And explore nature beyond the city centre at the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 29 to February 4

Montréal prevails as a bustling winter wonderland this week with the fun of outdoor festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest, food celebrations La Poutine Week and Happening Gourmand, and a bounty of opera, dance, theatre, art and live music. Winter action Go play in the snow at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau’s family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. Also ice skate in the Old Port at Bonsecours Basin or head to Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH – or try curling in the courtyard of the Stewart Museum. Nighttime stays bright city-wide, starting downtown at Place des Festivals where you can play on 30 illuminated teeter-totters at Luminothérapie until January 31. Dress in your warmest winter gear and for massive outdoor dance party Igloofest at the Old Port – this Friday it’s Detroit techno legend Carl Craig and British producer Heidi followed on Saturday by Sébastien Léger, Gina Turner and Poirier, and the following Thursday by Modeselektor. Fight fans will be at the Bell Centre on January… / 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 →

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 →