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This Christmas Market Trail Outside Montreal Winds Through 3 European-Style Festivals

Three Christmas markets for the drive of one!

If you're the type of person who is already pinning Christmas tree pics from Pinterest, or who has had just about enough of fall and its freakin' foliage, or you look at everything as potential wreath decorations, want to paint the world with snow and light it up with colored bulbs, then do we have the Christmas event for you.

It's the Lanaudière’s Christmas Market. The name may be misleading as there is not one, not two, but three Christmas markets all beginning at the end of November. It's actually a Christmas market circuit that takes you to the towns of  L’Assomption, Joliette and Terrebonne.

Not even an hour and a half drive from Montreal, the three Christmas markets are only a few kilometers from one another and they usually all run at the same time making it easy to hit all three on the same day.

Between all three markets, you can expect nearly 200 artisans and vendors, parades, lit up villages, horse-drawn carriage rides, storytellers, choirs, and of course Santa and his elves. 

Even if you don't feel like buying anything and just want to take in the holiday spirit, the entrance to the markets is totally free.

The Marché de Noël de Joliette — which runs from November 29 to December 23 — is a charming homage to all things traditional at Christmas. The streets are illuminated with thousands of lights, there are cultural and foodie tastings, mulled wine samplings, and you can even visit the rather unique home of Santa. 

After you leave Joliette, head over to Marché de Noël de l'Assomption for a little shopping. It starts a day earlier than the one Joliette — November 28. Inspired by European Christmas markets, the event in l’Assomption's has the most vendors, with over 70 local artists and farmers. If you need some creative local gifts, this is the market just for that.

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When you want to relax with a beer or wine in a Christmas cottage head to Marché de Noël de Terrebonne. It's festive, it's lit (by 25,000 tree lights), and there are horse-drawn carriage rides. It's got a little of everything for that holiday spirit.

This market is playing coy this year and has yet to announce opening dates, so keep an eye on its site. 

These towns are cute at any time of year, but come the holidays they really go above and beyond to make sure your holiday cheer is alive and well. 

When one Christmas market isn't enough for you and you need to cover all your bases, then head on over to Lanaudière’s Christmas Market.

Lanaudière’s Christmas Market Circuit

When: Late November through December

Where: Lanaudière (Joliette, Terrebonne, l'Assomption)

Cost: Free!

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