Travel Blog

27 Dec

Things to do in Montréal: December 23 to 29

Montréal slows its pace this week for the holidays yet there’s still so much to do – go gift shopping or ice skating, see The Nutcracker or a hockey game, warm up by a fireplace or dance late into the night. However you celebrate, Montréal wishes you a happy holiday season.


Downtown’s Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal stays open throughout Christmas Eve –  find gifts, food and drink, kids activities, live music and Canada’s tallest Christmas tree on Sainte-Catherine Street outside Place des Arts. Right around the corner, art lights up when you push levers in the 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie. Listen to live music, eat, drink and roast marshmallows over open fires at Noël dans le Parc at Place Émilie-Gamelin, Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie, open right up to and including Christmas Day. Go ice skating at the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink or at Village Mammouth, turning the Olympic Stadium Esplanade into a winter fun zone with a refrigerated rink, tube sliding, food trucks and a market. See our round-up of winter activities for all ages for more things to do, including tropical adventures at the Botanical Garden and Biodôme, hosting Christmas for the Animals on Dec. 26.


Outdoors, in beautiful Old Montréal there’s a market, entertainment, fire pits and warm drinks courtesy of Merry Montréal open until New Year’s Day. Dress stylishly for the weather with our guide to buying winter wear in Montréal. If you haven’t found every  perfect gift on your list yet, give the gift of chocolate: melt-in-your-mouth sweet creations in fun shapes and sparkling boxes await at Montréal’s best chocolate shops. Or bring home some Montréal spirit in the form of locally-made spirits – namely, Québec gin. We’ve also got the scoop on where to buy actually cool Montréal souvenirs and where to shop for foodies in Montréal.


Enjoy a festival holiday meal at Montréal restaurants, from prix-fixe special menus to Christmas Day brunches. Have drinks, dinner and a jolly good time at Montréal’s coziest fireplaces and browse our round-up of new bars and restaurants in Montréal for recommendations on the latest and greatest things to eat and drink. The Casino de Montréal glitters during the holidays with seasonal feasts, holiday cocktails, incredible jackpots and top-notch entertainment. Hanukkah starts on Dec. 24, but the time is always right to experience Jewish food and culture in Montréal, from bagels and smoked meat to the Museum of Jewish Montréal. Or dip into a big bowl of pho! Warm your body and soul at the spa, from Bota Bota on the St-Lawrence River to luxurious hotel-spa treatments. Stomp your feet and cheer on Canada and players from around the world at the World Junior Hockey Championships at the Bell Centre, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Check out more local hockey lore in our guide to Montréal’s hockey hotspots. And find seasonal solace at some of the city’s most stunning churches and other sacred sites.

Holiday classic Les Grands Ballets’s The Nutcracker entertains and entrances all ages at Place des Arts, to Dec. 30. While the creative circus antics of Les 7 doigts de la main astounds and delights in new show Reversible, for all ages, to Dec. 30 at La Tohu circus centre. Cartoon characters Toopy and Binoo bring their adventures to the stage, Dec. 22 to Jan. 3 at Salle Pierre-Mercure. Storyteller Michel Faubert tells Québecois Christmas story Le Loup de Noël in French with live music by folk band Bon Débarras, for children ages 5-9, at Place des Arts, Dec. 28-30 – while there, see free interactive storytelling exhibition Quand les lutins s’en mêlent, to Jan. 8. And in these times when comedy is called for, there’s plenty to be had in Montréal: laugh along with Andrew Albert’s Holiday Review at Comedyworks on Dec. 23, also where “That Canadian Guy” Glen Foster headlines Dec. 29-31, while at The Comedy Nest Just-For-Laughs veteran Neil Janna and more local comedians toast (and roast) the year on Dec. 23 and Jamie Lissow headlines Dec. 29-30.

#mbamtl #montrealmuseumoffinearts MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS DE MONTRÉAL / PAVILLON POUR LA PAIX Par Bernard Bujold- Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal a officiellement inauguré pour le public son magnifique édifice PAVILLON POUR LA PAIX. Un édifice qui deviendra un incontournable et d’une qualité exceptionnelle et d’une envergure mondiale. J’ai beaucoup apprécié la visite où l’on retrouve des oeuvres d’art pour tous les goûts. La collection Napoléon, de mon ami Ben Weider (1923-2008), y retrouve une salle de prestige et il faut voir le miroir magique pour découvrir la déesse qui se retrouve de l’autre côté… L’entrée est gratuite jusqu’au 15 janvier 2017. Pour me combler, il ne manquerait qu’une casquette de Donald Trump en exposition… VOIR ALBUM PHOTOS

Une photo publiée par – Bernard Bujold (@bernardbujold) le 20 Nov. 2016 à 13h27 PST

While all museums are closed on Christmas Day, most have extensive holiday-season hours. See thought-provoking art of the BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon biennale at the Musée d’art contemporain de MontréalGalerie de l’UQAMMontreal Museum of Fine Arts and more venues. Along with its vast permanent collection, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hosts must-see special exhibition Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe until late January. The McCord Museum presents Notman, A Visionary Photographer and, free for kids, storytelling and scenographic installation Alfred’s Adventures. Also free and fun for kids: the Stewart Museum’s the Santas Are Coming and Curiousities shows. The history of the east comes west in Pointe-à-Callière museum’s From the Lands of Asia. The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. Look for art throughout the “underground city” pedestrian network. Or find it in the great urban outdoors: follow Art Public Montréal’s itineraries for art-focused walking toursAnd warm right up again with a movie at the Montréal Science Centre’s IMAX theatre or art-house Cinema du Parc, playing Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, chef Massimo Bottura doc Theater of Life and more throughout the week.

Québécois folk-rock favourites Les Cowboys Fringants play songs from their new album Octobre – Dec. 28-31 at Metropolis. Cabaret dinner-and-a-show meets Parisian style at Le Balcon in downtown Montréal:  on Dec. 29, see live show The Best of the ‘60s, an hommage to the Beatles, Temptations, Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder. Dance your way through these last days of 2016 at New City Gas, hosting the Absolut Lumen Festival Dec. 28-30 with producers Zedd, Tritonal and more. St-Laurent Boulevard trifecta of cool venues Casa del Popolo, La Sala Rossa and La Vitrola host live music, film and dance nights throughout the week. Or chill out at some of Montréal’s best blues and jazz clubs.

Up next:Celebrate the season with these festive holidays meals


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