Every time I close my eyes and think of deep winter in Montreal, it brings me a nostalgic sense of childlike excitement which tugs me back to the days when winter meant magical mornings building snowmen and playing in the snow instead of begrudgingly shovelling it off your car.
You don't have to be 8 years old to re-live magical winter moments in Montreal. Participating in any winter activities makes you feel like a kid again, and It get any better than a quintessential Montreal holiday season. Montrealers know that these long months ahead can and will get kind of blue, so there is no shortage of activities, festivals, shows and events to attend throughout these coming months to keep you sane until spring.
For free activities, click "NEXT"
1. If you're into the independent magazine and publishing scene check out the 2017 Expozine in the Plateau
Hosted by Arcmtl, Expozine 2017 will be an opportunity to network and meet those individuals involved in independent magazine, editing and publishing in Montreal within the Anglophone and Francophone community. See the Facebook invite in the link below!
2. Check out a festive Christmas Market in the Old Port at Chez Maison Pepin
December is a crazy month for Christmas Markets. Various schools, community centres and local boutique are hosting these Holiday Markets around the city. Check out this one in the Old Port hosted by Maison Pepin. See the Facebook invite for more info!
3. Check out the 5th installment of the African Christmas Market on Beaubien East
Interested in catching a glimpse of what local African artisans have to offer? Check out the 5th edition of the Marche De Noel Africain. A great way to support local community and find some unique gifts at the same time. Facebook invite below for all the details!
4. Visit Souk @ SAT for emerging local artist and holiday shopping
Souk @ SAT has a little something for everyone. Wether your interested in artisanal spices, hand-crafted leather goods, or local fashion designers, there will be gift ideas and inspiration in every form. Check out the Facebook events for dates and times!
5. Visit Mont-Royal for a day of Tobogganing or winter wonderland viewing
Mont-Royal is bursting with potential for those quintessential- and of course, free winter activities in Montreal. My personal favourite is to dust-off that old toboggan and hit up Parc Janne Meance for a afternoon of Tobogganing. Check out the mountains official site for inspo.
6. Spend an afternoon nerding out at the 2017 Holiday Pop-Up Book Fair in the Plateau
The Quebec Writers Federation is hosting a holiday book fair and encouraging book-lovers of all ages and interest to come and browse, buy and get their books signed. More info check out the Facebook invite below!
7. Visit the iconic Ogilvy's holiday window and stroll down St.Catherine
Visiting the iconic holiday is yet another quintessential Montreal Holiday activity. Every time I see look at that window I instantly feel a sense of childlike excitement come over me.
8. Check out a FREE local vernisage- Le Montrealer- featuring illustrations of our beautiful city by locals for locals
Maison De La Culture Du Plateau Mont Royal is hosting a vernisage paying homage to the iconic New Yorker covers; featuring the works and visual stories of local artists and illustrators interpretations of urban living in Montreal. More details in the Facebook invite below!
9. Visit the 2nd Edition of Petit Marche De Mimi & Cie
Hosted by local fashion brand Mimi and August the 2nd edition of their Christmas Market will be held downtown Montreal, right near Mcgill. All kinds of great gift ideas will be found, including jewlery, clothing, illustrations, and more! Details in the Facebook invite below!
10. Check out a FREE Vernisage at Citizen Vintage in the Mile-End
Citizen Vintage is a curated vintage finds shop in the Mile-End, they will be hosting a "self-love" themed Vernisage November 30th featuring the works of young and emerging local artists. Music and drinks will be available! See the details linked in the Facebook event below!
For romantic dates, click "NEXT"
1. Indoor ice skating in Downtown Montreal at Atrium Le 1000
Do you want all the cute and romantic parts of an ice skating date without all the cold and shivering, then check out the biggest indoor skating ring in Downtown Montreal. A great - and inexpensive- winter date idea. Link below for the details!
2. Visit the Montreal Biosphere, which will be illuminated as of December 11th
As part of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, the city is illuminating some of it's most iconic and historically significant structures and sites throughout the year. The Biosphere will be fully illuminated as of December 11th. A wonderfully romantic date idea. Link below for the details!
3. Build your own Ginger Bread house for a cozy date night in
Cozy date night in that doesn't involve Netflix. Yes, it's possible. Building your very own ginger bread house, or even better Ginger Bread house competition makes for a very cute and romantic winter date night idea. Kits are available at Costco and Walmart, and other local grocery/speciality stores across the city.
4. A heart-warming and comforting romantic brunch at Le Bon Vivant in St-Henri
A romantic brunch date in the winter involves eating all the typical - and extra fatty - comfort foods of winter. Check out Le Bon Vivant in St-Henri, serving up elevated brunch classics.
5. Spend an afternoon sipping a warm cap and shopping at Jean Talon Market
Nothing is more romantic than lazing an afternoon away in a coffee shop getting lost in conversation with your significant other. A great place to do this in the winter is at no other than the Marche Jean-Talon in Little Italy.
6. Warm up fast with a big hot bowl of fragrant Pho at Pho Lien in Cote-Des-Neiges
Pho Lien is a little hole in the wall Pho place located right in the heart of Cote-Des-Neiges. This family-run joint has quickly become the place to go for the best pho in town. Great date night for a cold winter night.
7. Indulge your sweet tooth and split a treat at La Bete A Pain in The Plateau
You and you're main squeeze both have a sweet tooth? If yes, this is a great romantic date idea. Sample some delicious sweets and pastries at La Bete A pain. More info at their Facebook page below!
8. Get your spice on, Plan a date night at La Maison De Seoul in NDG
Spicy food is absolutely key in winter. Almost makes you forget you're freezing your butt off. Take your date to La Maison Seoul in NDG for a little taste of Korea. More info below !
9. Plan a coffee date at the lovely Cafe Pista in Little Italy
With a relaxing atmosphere and list of tasty treats to try, Cafe Pista - located in Little Italy, is a great place to spend an afternoon - wether you're on date number 1 or number 50. Check out their Facebook page below!
10. Experience a seasonal themed Cirque Du Soleil on ice performance for a romantic winter date
Cirque Du Soleil is producing a very unique on ice show that will make for a great romantic winter date night activity. Check out the Facebook event page below for all the info!
For outdoor activities, click "NEXT'
1. Enjoy an afternoon of Snowshoeing in Parc Nature Du Cap-Saint-Jaques
Just a 35-minute drive from downtown Montreal you find a beautiful nature get-away right on the island. Boasting over 20 KM of hiking trails, this park is perfect for mystical outdoor winter activities such as snowshoeing. Rentals available!
2. For those couples that can brave the cold, the Old Port has a stunning outdoor staking rink overlooking the water
For a truly romantic and New-York type outdoor skating experience check out the Natrel Skating Rink in the Old Port. It's located right behind the Beautiful Marche Bonsecour and if you bring your own skates, it only costs a couple of bucks to get in.
Snow tubing is quite possibly the most exhilarating outdoor winter activity. Perfect date idea, too. It's also great for all you lazy bones out there because there is a lift that brings you and your tube back up the hill. Just sit back and enjoy the slide.
4. Head outside of the city to Parc Omega to catch a glimpse of beautiful Quebec Wildlife
Can you think of anything more magical than an unplanned deer sighting? Hmm, don't think so, right!? Parc Omega is just a short distance outside of Montreal and is a nature and wildlife adventure where all kinds of animals can be spotted. You can fork out a bit of extra cash and rent a cabin and stay overnight.
5. For Cross-Country skiing and other outdoor activities head to Bois-De-Ile Bizare
There are so many scenic nature get-aways right outside the city. This one is located on the edge of Ile Bizare to the north of the island. Here you will find all kinds of outdoor winter activities to enjoy, and rentals are available for a fee, of course. See website for details!
6. Try something different and channel your Canadian ancestors by going on a dog sledding date this winter
Dog sledding is a once in a lifetime kinda experience, so why not try it out with your main squeeze. It does, however, take a full day and you will have to leave the comfort of the city. But you will most definitely walk away having experienced something unique and obviously very instagram-worthy.
7. The best winter activity is in our own back yard. Drive up to the Laurentians for a day of skiing or snowboarding
The Laurentian's is a region right outside the city and home to several hills that are great for day and night skiing. The great thing about the Laurentian's is that these hills are great for beginners and the prices are more reasonable than the bigger mountain in the area. Check out the official site below!
8. Bring the whole fam to annual Fetes Des Neiges at Parc Jean Drapeau
Just because it's snowing, doesn't mean the fun has to stop. Fetes Des Neiges is an outdoor winter festival hosted every year at Parc Jean Drapeau with tons of fun activities for the whole family. Check out the official site for all the details!
9. Visit and plan an overnight stay and rent a cabin at Parc National Du Mont Tremblant
Quebec boasts some of the most beautiful national parks in the country. The great part is that Parc Du Mont Tremblant offers beautiful accommodations at varying price ranges. All kinds of outdoor activities are offered during the winter season. Check out the Quebec National Parcs official site for all the info!
10. Go tree shopping outside the city and head to a Christmas Tree Farm
Shopping for your very own real Christmas tree is a yearly holiday tradition. There are a few Christmas Tree Farms located right outside the city. Some will even let you cut your own tree down. Check out Arbes De Noel Hadley for more info!
For Groupons/Getaways, Click "NEXT"
This romantic hotel is nestled within the historic walls of Old Quebec. Take horse drawn carriage rides through the square, explore all the historic sites in the city, and shop the local boutiques.
2. Enjoy a 4 course dinner for two at the House of Jazz
A romantic way to experience amazing food, music and a lively and fun environment right here in the city.
3. Enjoy 2 VIP tickets to a New City Gas event
MaRLo, Emma Hewitt and Ben Gold will be performing at New City Gas on Saturday, December 2nd. Receive 2 VIP tickets and receive a dedicated entrance, access to the VIP bar, and an elevated viewing area.
4. Take a dogsledding adventure just outside of Montreal
Laforce Expedition is offering reduced pricing on their dogsledding rides for 1, 2 or 4 people. This fun adventure is located just 40 minutes from Montreal and is the perfect winter activity.
5. Take a 3-4 day vacation to New York City for a huge New Year's Eve celebration from Montreal
This Groupon offers a 3-4 day trip to NYC leaving from either Montreal or Quebec City. Stay at Hotel Voyages Sinoma and celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square!
6. Take a guided snowshoeing tour through amazing winter hiking trails
Take a guided snowshoe tour for 1, 2, 4 or 6 people with Eco Plein Air. End the exciting adventure with port wine and chocolate tasting by a roaring fire.
7. Enjoy a relaxing bed and breakfast minutes from the Quebec City centre
Auberge Amerik is an adorable 19th century building located just minutes from Quebec City's historic city centre. Enjoy a 1-2 night stay including breakfast with the option of a spa experience and dinner.
8. Experience a realistic escape room at Impasse Escape Rooms
This escape game involves a realistic experience where players are on board a ship fleeing pollution and war on Earth in the year 2501 and they must avoid a fatal collision.
8. Be adventurous and jump from a plane in a tandem parachute
Experience an adventure all adrenaline junkies need to try, with an experience professional by your side, of course. Take a leap and fall at 200km/hr and land gently on the ground with a parachute.
9. Enjoy a relaxing staycation near Montreal's Chinatown
Hotel Travelodge is offering an amazing deal for a 1 night stay including breakfast, just minutes from the hottest areas in Montreal. Enjoy a cheap staycation in the city.
10. Enjoy a 2 hour game of bubble soccer with your friends
Have the funniest time of your lives playing soccer in massive bubbles. Get as rough as you want for the ultimate game. The game with last 2 hours and you'll have an experienced coordinator helping out.
1. Check out Groove Nation for a Hip-Hop Night catered to the ladies
This local bar is celebrating women in Hip Hop by hosting a showfeaturing local female artists artists. Cheap entry and good music to be expected. Check out the Facebook event for more details!
2. Check out American electronic artist Com Truise playing a DJ set at Newspeak
If you're thing is electronic music, you should already know about Newspeak - a intimate downtown venue/bar hosting many of the electronic and house music artist passing through town. Com Truise will be playing a DJ set in the coming weeks. Check out the link for ticket and info!
3. LCD Soundsystem will be playing a show at Place Bell
NYC-based dance-rock group LCD System will be playing a show at Place Bell this December. Check out the page below for all the ticket and other info!
4. Support Canadian artists - check out Bahamas playing at L'ion Dor
Toronto-based folk artist is playing a show in Montreal this coming month. If you're into soft guitars and poetic lyrics, check out the show! More info in the link below!
5. Check out OVO Sounds rising stars Majid Jordan playing at MTELUS this month
Hailing from none other than the 6 - Majid Jordan is playing a show in Montreal, this time downtown at MTELUS - the former Metropolis. Check out the link for more info and ticket details!
6. Check out U.K tech-house duo Swayzak live at Newsspeak
London-based minimal techno duo Swayzak will be playing a show- again at Newspeak Montreal - if you're into a night of swaying and trippy sounds. Check out the link for all the ticket info and details!
7. Check out a new generation of rap -Yung Lean playing at MTELUS this winter
No, it's not a typo, you read it right. It's spelt "Yung Lean" - this Swedish rapper will be flying in for his North American tour, and he's stopping by Montreal to play a show at MTELUS this February. Link below for all the details!
8. For the family - or a cute date - check out one of the many Disney on Ice performances this winter!
The Bell Center will be hosting several Disney on Ice performancesthroughout Winter 2017/2018. Check out the link below for all the details!
9. Tyler, The Creator is playing a show with Vince Staples this February at MTELUS
Self-made Cali-born rapper/producer is playing a highly anticipated show with rising rap star Vince Staples at MTELUS this February. Get your tickets now, they won't last long. More info on how to get 'em below!
10. Check out headliner KAYTRANADA - and others - at IGLOO FEST this winter!
Igloo Fest is the holy-grail of Montreal Winter parties and shows.Basically the Osheaga of winter. The line-up for this year is officially announced. Buy your tickets now, they are going fast! More info at the official site below!