As you are surely aware, Montreal En Lumiere is in full swing, but the true highlight of the whole festival has got to be the grand finale, Nuit Blanche! Where Montreal stays up all night to celebrate our culture, our food and our art, with a whole bunch of fun places and activities thrown into the mix to keep you warm.
As the experienced Nuit Blanch-ers that we are, we are familiar with the temptation to look at all the amazing things going on and dare to do them all. But trust us, that never works out, unless of course, you like freezing your ass off waiting in long line ups and then end up just wandering around aimlessly all night.
With an overwhelming amount of options to choose from, we thought we'd give you a little help by curating a small list of some of our top picks for places to check out during the 12th Edition of Montreal's Nuit Blanche, so you won't be left out in the cold.
Parc Cité, Montreal's modern all-inclusive residence that offers flexible leases on fully-furnished suites, is hosting a Nuit Blanche Hot Spot. Stop in to warm up, get cozy in their sofas, play a bit of pool, and drink some free hot wine in their stunning Social Lounge. There will also be live DJ's, live art by Les Hommes de Lettres and score some free hot pads to keep you warm on your way to the next destination.
The Olympic Park
Find a whole Winter Village at the Big O with an outdoor skating rink, games, DJ's, and performances of all kinds. Parc Exalto, the urban acrobatics park will be open to the public and you definitely don't want to miss the Le Snow food truck festival.
Quartier des Spectacles
At the center of it all, the Quartier des Spectacles is pretty much ground zero for Nuit Blanche. Okay, so everything is outdoors, but all the bright lights and fun activities are sure to keep you warm. Among the multitude of free things to do at the site is ride the giant Swiss Ferris Wheel, play on the interactive illuminated disk of The Pool installation, and of course, ride down the 110-meter MILK Urban Slide.
More info here.
The Phi Centre
La Nuit Tribe is back this year at the Phi Centre for all kinds of fun and excitement with a plethora of free entertainment. A Tribe Called Red, AfrotroniX, and Arthur NOM DE PLUME Comeau will be putting on music sets, Restaurant Manitoba will be serving up a delicious menu to warm up our bellies, and there will be live street art and video installations on display all under one roof.
More info here.
Photo cred - Atrium 1000
If you're looking for a fun indoor activity, Atrium 1000 will have its enchanting skating rink open for Winter Wonderland. Enjoy live entertainment including live ice sculpting, and discover the Arctic Flora Exhibition put on by the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The Belgo Building
Once you've had your fun at the Quartier des Spectacles and it's time to warm up again, head over to the Belgo Building. The multi-floor cultural institution opens its doors for dozens of strange and interesting exhibitions and performances presented in its various galleries, art collectives and studios.
Complete listing here.
There's no better way to beat the cold while enjoying all the festivities than by hitting up Art Souterrain. A Nuit Blanche tradition, explore the vast network that is the Underground City and discover over 75 contemporary and live art performances. A good starting point is either Place des Arts or the Complexe Desjardins.
Complete circuit here.
For all you gamers out there, as part of the Montréal Joue festival, Excentris is hosting a huge indie video game session where you can try your hand at the latest titles from 15 local developers. It's also a good opportunity to show the world what you're made of by pwning multi-player games on the big screen.
More info here.
Silent Disco Squad
If you've never experienced a Silent Disco before, here's the perfect chance. Download the exclusive dance mix on your smartphone and join hundreds of other Montrealers for a shared music experience exploring the city. The dance mob meets up at the "High Fiving Angel" (Sir George-Étienne Monument at the Tams) and will be grooving all the way down to Place des Arts and the Quartier des Spectacles.
Photo cred - Festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE
Cinema du Palais
Everyone's favourite Plateau burger dive bar, Nouveau Palais will be screening a bunch of local and international short films from the comfort of its wonderfully kitchy booths. There will also be Dj sets between screenings and the kitchen will be open for delicious food and drink to wash it all down.
Photo cred - Club Soda
Last but not least, if you're looking to heat up the dance floor, Karnival is the place to be. The 6th edition will feature amazing performances from Pierre Kwenders and Face-T, both with their live bands, and event host Dj Poirier will keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning.