Travel Blog

25 Dec

Things to do in Montréal December 30 to January 5

Ring in the New Year in Montréal with fabulous gourmet dinners and glamorous parties, ice skating under a firework-filled sky, cabaret shows or hockey games, or simply a relaxing walk along snowy streets. Happy New Year!


In the city that parties hard no matter what the weather, New Year’s Eve might be the biggest, wildest party night. Expect fun before and after midnight at Montréal’s family-friendly and free New Year’s Eve Party in the Old Port with fireworks and live music from Alex Nevsky, Bernard Adamus, Klô Pelgag and more. Dance the night away with Gogol Bordello at L’Olympia, in the SAT’s immersive audiovisual dome or at Île Soniq’s Ceremonie 2017 with Dirty Audio and Jason Ross. Some of Montréal’s best hotels throw their own swanky, champagne-flowing events, as does the Casino de Montréal and almost every bar in the city – find out where to be on NYE in our New Year’s Eve Guide and make your New Year’s resolutions Montréal-style.


Take a winter walk through beautiful Old Montréalwhere Place Jacques-Cartier features a market, entertainment, fire pits and warm drinks courtesy of Merry Montréal until New Year’s Day. Step inside the art-filled 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie outside Place des Arts. Rent skates and take a turn on the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink or at Village Mammouth on the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, where you’ll also find tube sliding, food trucks, music and more. See our round-up of winter activities for all ages for more outdoor adventuring. And dress stylishly whatever the weather with our guide to buying winter wear in Montréal.


Enjoy a festival holiday meal at Montréal restaurants, from prix-fixe special menus to New Year’s Day brunches. Have a drinks, dinner and a jolly good time at Montréal’s coziest fireplaces and browse our round-up of new bars and restaurants in Montréal. Warm up with locally-made Québec gin and chocolate – or a big bowl of pho! It’s officially Hanukkah, but any time’s a good time to discover Jewish food and culture in Montréal, from bagels and smoked meat to the Museum of Jewish Montréal. The Casino de Montréal glitters during the holidays with seasonal feasts, holiday cocktails, jackpots and entertainment every evening. 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 to Jan. 5. And check out more local hockey lore in our guide to Montréal’s hockey hotspots.

Enjoy the classical song and dance of Les Grands Ballets’s The Nutcracker in these last days of 2016, at Place des Arts to Dec. 30. Or feast your senses on the creative acrobatics of circus company Les 7 doigts de la main 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. In these times when comedy is called for, there’s plenty to be had in Montréal: laugh along with “That Canadian Guy” Glen Foster at Comedyworks Dec. 29-31, while Jamie Lissow headlines The Comedy Nest Dec. 29-30. And shake and shimmy into the new year with Broadway musical Kinky Boots, at Place des Arts Jan. 3-8.


While museums are closed on New Year’s 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 tours. 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. And find seasonal solace at some of the city’s most stunning churches and other sacred sites.

nouvel an new city gas montreal

Dance your way through these last days of 2016 at New City Gas, hosting the Absolut Lumen Festival on Dec. 30 with producer Travis Scott, followed by a New Year’s Eve Dom Pérignon blowout party on Dec. 31 and an afterparty with Dada Life on Jan. 1. Québécois folk-rock favourites Les Cowboys Fringants play songs from their new album Octobre – Dec. 28-31 at Metropolis. London based production and DJ duo Stööki Sound bring good vibes to Newspeak on Dec. 30. Cabaret dinner-and-a-show meets Parisian style at Le Balcon in downtown Montréal: on Dec. 30, it’s an evening of soul, motown and disco with Kim Richardson, while on Dec. 31 Le Balcon’s New Year’s Eve Party taps into that soul-music vibe too, and on Jan. 5 hear the music of Édith Piaf sung by Claire Garand. Or chill out at some of Montréal’s best blues and jazz clubs. And on New Year’s Day, over 75 musicians, European singers and dancers perform Strauss waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts in A Salute to Vienna at Place des Arts.

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