18 Bucket List Things To Do In Montreal In January

Happy new year! 🥳

Staff Writer
The ice skating rink at Esplanade Tranquille. Right: Illumi Laval.

The ice skating rink at Esplanade Tranquille. Right: Illumi Laval.


It's time for a new calendar, and hopefully, twelve months full of joy and new opportunities in the Quebec metropolis. 2023 is just starting and Montreal is already setting the bar high with tons of fun activities despite the freezing temps.

No winter blues allowed on our island. From concerts to comfort food, art exhibitions, big parties and festivals, the city has something to cheer everyone up.

So how will you mark the first month of the new year?

Play Arcade Games for Free

Cost: Free on January 1. Play cards usually cost $1, with games varying from $1.25 for the basic arcades to $5 for virtual-reality games

When: Open every day of the week.

  • Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: 48C, boulevard Brunswick, Pointe-Claire, QC (inside the Sources Mega Center)

Why You Should Go: Montreal's West Island has a giant new arcade with over 65 machines. All visitors can get a complementary play card granting them two free games from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on January 1.


Visit Illumi Laval


  • Online:
    • $21.75 for general pedestrian admission
    • for cars: $31.75 for the driver and $21.75 for a passenger
  • In-person:
    • $26.75 for general pedestrian admission
    • for cars: $36.75 for the driver and $26.75 for a passenger

When: Until January 29, 2023

Where: 2805, boulevard du Souvenir, Laval, QC

Why You Should Go: This month is your last chance to visit Illumi Laval, the festival of lights crafted by Cavalia. It consists of 20 different thematic zones complete with a giant luminous Christmas at its centre. It's an approximately 16-minute walk from Montmorency metro station.



Go See an Exhibition at OASIS Immersion 

Cost: General admission for Van Gogh Distorsion or Transformé is $32.19 or $25,87 for students.


  • Van Gogh Distorsion: January 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28 and 29.
  • Transformé: January 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29

Where: Oasis Immersion (inside the Palais des Congrès); 301, rue Saint-Antoine O.

Why You Should Go: You have until March 5, 2023, to experience the lights and the colours of the emotional Van Gogh exhibit. Plus, from January 19, you can discover a new immersive walkthrough inspired by real-life events.


'The Water of Life' Immersive Whiskey Tasting

Courtesy of Lindsey Soper PR

Cost: $30 per ticket

When: January 25 at 6 p.m.

Where: Corona Theatre – 2490, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: Bruichladdich, a distillery on the Rhinns of the isle of Islay in Scotland, brings The Water Of Life experience to Montreal. The Water Of Life focuses on the craftsman, chemists, and renegades at the heart of the whisky revolution. Viewers will take in stories of those who have dedicated their lives to mastering a craft proudly and exclusively from the isle of Islay, all while enjoying a live tasting experience and Q&A with the film's director.


Dine in a Magical Outdoor Bubble Dome


  • Laval: Depends on the chosen restaurant
  • Old Montreal: $125 per person for a five-course dinner (alcohol not included; two hours long) and $55 per person for a three-course brunch (alcohol not included; 90 minutes long)


  • Laval: Zibo! from January 9 to January 22; Les Enfants Terribles from January 23 to February 5.
  • Old Montreal: Wednesday to Saturday for dinner; Saturday and Sunday for brunch.


  • Place Centrale, Centropolis, Laval, QC
  • Old Montreal: Terrasse William Gray, 421, rue Saint Vincent, Old Montreal

Why You Should Go: Laval's Centropolis has erected dining domes for you to enjoy meals from nearby restaurants on its winter terrasse. You can also try out the bubble domes on Terrasse Willian Gray for beautiful views of Old Montreal.




Play with Luminothérapie in the Quartier Des Spectacles

Cost: Free

When: From December 1, 2022, to March 5, 2023, every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: The Quartier des Spectacles, from Square Phillips to Place des Arts.

Why You Should Go: This winter, you can discover the new route including six interactive and enlightening art installations downtown without spending any money.


Do Some Shopping at a Mega Vintage & Self-Care Pop-Up

Cost: Free to attend

When: January 28 and 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Saint-Jean-Berchmans Church, 5945, rue Cartier, Montreal, QC

Why You Should Go: From retro home decor and furniture to jewelry, beauty products, plants and warm clothing, you'll find plenty of little gifts at this vintage market. Plus, the huge pop-up is a monthly event so you can renew the experience a few times this year.


Chill at Igloofête

Cost: Free to attend. Drinks and food for purchase.

When: January 21 and 28 and February 4 and 11, 2023. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Quai Jacques Cartier in Montreal's Old Port

Why You Should Go: Igloofest is bringing back its free festive gatherings. You can expect activities such as art performances, DJs, an archery game workshop, a volley-pong, a photo booth and even a marshmallow distribution.


Party At Igloofest's Après-Ski Events

Cost: Prices vary by night but Igloofest attendees get a discount.

When: Every Friday and Saturday from January 20 to February 11, 2023

Where: Auberge Saint-Gabriel, Center PHI, Francesco's, Soubois or the Société des arts technologiques (SAT)

Why You Should Go: After Igloofest, you can head to one of the after-parties downtown or Old Montreal and dance the night away. At least three Après-Ski events will be open to party animals every Friday and Saturday night for the duration of the festival.



Go Ice-Skating at the Esplanade Tranquille

Cost: Access to the ice rink is free and skates are available for rent at $11.96 per adult.

When: The ice skating rink is open every day:

  • Sundays to Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: the Esplanade Tranquille on rue Sainte-Catherine O. in the Quartier des spectacles

Why You Should Go: Au bord du lac Tranquille is an interactive video projection creation by Mirari and Normal Studio. For 30 minutes, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. every day, the massive rink at Esplanade Tranquille becomes host to virtual aquatic animals who follow skaters along their paths. Alternatively, there are tons of other skating rinks in Montreal this month.


Go Tubing for Free

Cost: Free

When: Open from January 1 to 8, then every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in January.

Where: Parc Ignace-Bourget, 5925, avenue de Montmagny

Why You Should Go: This month, you can sled down a huge hill at Montreal's Parc Ignace-Bourget and it's totally free. You can book your time slot and tube online for a maximum of two hours or bring your own equipment.


Try a Trendy New Restaurant

Cost: You can check the menu with prices here.

When: Tuesday to Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: 1170, place du Frère Andre

Why You Should Go: The team from the popular Flyjin and Jabota restaurants just launched Nomi with the aim of combining fine cuisine and boozy 5à7s in an intimate modern space.


Attend a Candlelight Concert

Cost: Tickets start at $30.

When: Several themes with different dates in January.


  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste Catholic Church, 4237, avenue Henri-Julien
  • Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, 400, rue Saint-Paul E.
  • Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs Church, 4155, rue Wellington

Why You Should Go: For an intimate date night of classical and acoustic performances in candlelit churches.


Admire the Light Show at Notre-Dame Basilica

Cost: General admission is $32.

When: January 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28 and 30.

Where: 110, rue Notre-Dame O.

Why You Should Go: The mesmerizing Aura light show inside the famous basilica isn't just for tourists.


Discover the Works of Basquiat at the MBAM

Cost: $16 for 21 to 30-year-olds. $24 if you're 31 or older. Free if you are 20 years old or younger.

When: From October 15, 2022, to February 19, 2023

Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380, rue Sherbrooke O.

Why You Should Go: This multidisciplinary exhibition explores Jean-Michel Basquiat's relationship with music and the way it impacted his artworks. If you love the neo-expressionism movement, this one is for you.



Go See a Daft Punk Orchestral Rendition by Alternative Symphony

Cost: $59.25 per person

When: January 6, 2023, from 8 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.

Where: Club Soda, 1225, boulevard Saint-Laurent

Why You Should Go: The Daft Punk era isn't over yet! Alternative Symphony will perform the funk, techno and synthpop songs that won the French duo international critical acclaim in the 2000s.


Party at Dômesicle


  • One night: $20 for regular admission and $18 for pre-sale.
  • Pass for two nights: $25.50 in presale.

When: January 4, 21 and 28, 2023, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Where: Satosphère, Société des arts technologiques (SAT), 1201, boulevard Saint-Laurent

Why You Should Go: The Dômesicle series at Montreal's Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) is returning with five more immersive parties where you can let loose and be hypnotized by delightful visuals.




Try An All-Nighter With Extended Alcohol Service

Cost: General admission for Exposé noir is $39 and $32.49 for Nuit AEX.


  • Exposé noir: January 14, 2023, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Nuit AEX by MAPP_MTL et SHIFT RADIO: January 21, 2023, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.


  • Exposé noir: Fonderie Darling, 745, rue Ottawa
  • Nuit AEX by MAPP_MTL et SHIFT RADIO: Club Soda, 1225 boulevard Saint-Laurent

Why You Should Go: Montreal gave the green light for extending alcohol sales after 3 a.m. at some upcoming 2023 parties. This means you'll be able to purchase drinks all night long as part of a project aiming to give a boost to downtown nightlife.

More info


Charlotte Hoareau
Staff Writer
Charlotte Hoareau is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused in things to do in Montreal and Montreal weather. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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