Cold is upon us! It might be getting icy outside but it's also the most wonderful time of the year, right? December is full of lights and festivities to enjoy. Although, we know that the budget in December can be tight, so we've put together a list of free events and activities for to inspire your winter itinerary.
The city of Montreal is especially generous during the colder months, as they know that it can be a pretty grim time for us locals. This year they have really outdone themselves with the 375th anniversary and worked especially hard to organize and coordinate many winter-themed expositions, events, concerts for all locals to enjoy - absolutely free - throughout the chilly month of December. Read on for all the events happening close to you!
For Free Things To Do From December 1 - 8, click "NEXT"
1) Check out Souk @ SAT Market the first week of December
Souk @ SAT is a yearly holiday market featuring all types of local artisans works, from artisinal preserves to leather goods, there will be a gift for everyone on your list. Check out the Facebook event for all the details!
2) Check out Atelier Augusts Christmas Market for adorable gift ideas
Local clothing and accessories company - August, is hosting their second edition Christmas Market at their atelier/office in the Old Port. Check out the Facebook event for all the details!
3) Check out Tiger Distribution Sample Sale this December
Based out of Montreal, Tiger Distribution is hosting a winter collection sample sale this December. This is a great opportunity to pick up a winter jacket at a great deal. Check out the Facebook event for more info!
4) Go to the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal for "Les Nocturne Du MAC" even this December 1st
The MAC museum will be open until 2AM for the December instalment of Les Nocturne Du MAC. This is the best occasion to visit the highly anticipated Leonard Cohen expo. See the event page for details!
5) Visit Gallery Never Apart for a unique - and free - exposition
Gallery Never Apart in collaboration with MAPP Montreal is hosting an exhibit that will be running throughout the month of December. Check out the event page below for the dates and time.
6) Attend local magazine Dossier's launch party for free!
Local mag - Dossier - is hosting a launch party for the release of their second edition. The Theme is technology. Check out all the details in the Facebook event below!
7) Visit Le Salon Des Metiers D'Arts At Place Bonaventure
This event is totally free and running throughout the month of December. A great way to support local artisans, not only from Montreal, but also from around the province. See the event page below!
8) Check out Puces POP Winter Fair - which will be running all throughout December
The Puces POP Winter Fair 2017 Edition will be running throughout December, and each weekend will be presenting different vendors. Check out the Facebook event for all the details!
9) Attend an evening of Native Arts and Culture hosted by 375th MTL
The 375th anniversary of the city will be hosting this special native arts and culture event for free! Check out all the details on the Facebook invite below!
10) Check out a free show in St-Henri at Bar De Courcelle on Notre Dame West
St-Henri spot Bar De Courcelle is hosting an intimate rock night fiesta this December with some very special guests. Check out the Facebook event for all the info.
For Free Things To Do December 9 - 15, Click "NEXT"
1) Check out a Strange Christmas Sale for some out of the box gift ideas
The Old Cavern Boutique located in the Plateau is hosting a Christmas sale event on December 9th. They will be selling all kinds of unique items such as taxidermy, skulls and more! Check out the Facebook event below.
2) Attend the opening of Old Port's Patinoire Natrel
The Natrel skating rink is back! A true Montreal winter tradition, with a gorgeous view of the city, don't miss it! All the details below in the Facebook event.
3) Attend a foreign free film screening at the Montreal Holocaust Museum
The Montreal Holocaust Museum will be screening award-winning French foreign film "Un Sac De Bille" (with English subtitle) - totally free! Check out the Facebook event for details!
4) Check out the illumination of the Montreal Biosphere this month
This iconic Montreal structure will be illuminated on December 11th to honour the 375th anniversary of the city. Check out all the details on the city's special event page below!
5) Attend a unique art and cultural event at L'autre Montreal
Montreal has always opened it's arms to immigrants families. For it's 375th anniversary, the city will be hosting this special art event - "Draw Me A House" to tell the story of immigrant families in Montreal. See event info below!
6) Visit "Le Grand Marche De Noel De Montreal" Christmas Village in the Heart of Downtown
Inspired by the charming Christmas traditions from around the world, this event offers a magical Christmas village in the heart of downtown Montreal with local craftsman and animation for the whole family. See the page below for details!
7) Spend an afternoon outside sledding on the mountain for free!
We have a hill in the middle of our city, which can be a huge pain sometimes, but in the winter this should be seen as an opportunity for fun. Spend the afternoon sledding down the mountain is a quintessential - and free - winter activity.
8) Check out Le Marche De Leon at Complex Dejardins
Shop the Marché de Lëon, a place to find the perfect Holiday gifts for everyone on your list. This even will be on going throughout the month of December. Check out the page below for all the details!
9) Check out a fountain show - Fontaine Boreal will be on at Complex Dejardins throughout December
For the second year, the Fontaine Boreal show will be presented at the Complexe's Grande-Place during the Holiday period. Check out the event page below for all the info!
10) Stay home and bake & custom decorate Christmas cookies and treats with friends
Super fun and mom-approved winter activity, stay home pop open a bottle of wine and decorate Christmas goodies with friends. Enjoy the season the classic way!
For Free Things To Do December 16 - 23, click "NEXT"
1) Attend a "Museum of the Future" visual art exhibit at VOX Centre De L'image Contemporain
This new machinima—an animation-style movie produced on the virtual reality platform Second Life—is the core of this children’s exhibit at the VOX Centre de L'image Contemporain.
2) Go for a winter walk and visit the unique art murales throughout the "Cartier Latin" of Montreal
You can download a special app on your phone which will guide you throughout all the murales throughout the neighbourhood. visit the link below for more details on the app!
3) Check out a Disco / Mo-Town party for funky jams at Theatre Rialto
Visit the Rialto Theatre on December 22nd for a night of disco and funky live music. Check out the Facebook event for all the details!
4) Step outside of the centre of the city to see some beautiful Christmas lights for Frozen Land 2017
A great family activity, Sami Hajjar's yearly Christmas display with lights and music will definitely put you in the holiday spirit and is totally free! Check out the event below!
5) Visit the Old Port's Marche Des Eclusier for seasonal treat and goodies!
Located in the Old Port, Marché des Éclusiers is dedicated to showcasing the best products Quebec has to offer. They will be open throughout December but close after until Spring. Check out the site below for the details!
6) Check out a magical POP-UP holiday boutique, hosted by Salon Laurette
All kinds of hand-made local goods will be available to browse and purchase at this holiday pop-up boutique hosted by Salon Laurette in Point Saint Charles area. Check out the even below for all the details!
7) Stay in for an evening of DIY Christmas gift and decorations creation
You don't have to spend a fortune on gifts or decorations, all these things can be created in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price. Also, makes for a great way to spend some quality time with friends and family.
8) Check out this free holiday choir show in the Old Port
Throughout the month of December and in collaboration with Choir Alliance Quebec, The Old Port will be hosting free outdoor choir performances. Check out the Facebook event for all the details!
9) Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor winter activities in Parc La Fontaine
Parc La Fontaine is the heart of the Plateau, and it's a beautiful park if you're looking to spend an afternoon outside in the winter. You can do everything, from ice skating to tobogganing - or just making good ol' snow angels - it's a great option for a inexpensive winter date.
10) Get out of the centre and visit le Marche Publique De L'ongueil for cute shops and unique Quebec products
You know that there is life outside the center of the city, so why not visit one of Montreal's heritage neighbourhoods - L'ongueuil. Their public market is a great place to bring the whole family, they even have farm animal for petting! And all kinds of local artisan products to browse and sample.
For Free Things To Do December 24 - 31, click "NEXT"
1) Sample Quebec holiday specialities at Marche Bonsecour in the Old Port for Le Banquet Populaire
Treat your taste buds to some Quebec Winter specialities such as tourtiere and a warm bowl of pea soup. First come first serve until food runs out! Check out the event link below!
2) Attend a free NYE celebration hosted by the city
The Clock Tower Quay and Place Jacques Cartier will be the location of the cities NYE party starting at 6pm on December 31st. Music and fireworks to be expected. Check out the event page for all the info!
3) Bring the family to visit Santa at Place Dejardins
Visiting Santa at the mall is a quintessential (and free) Holiday activity. Check out Santa's schedule for his appearances at Complex Desjardins. All the info in the link below!
4) Visit the Montreal Basilica for a special holiday mass
This event has a small entry fee, in other words - it's practically free, but totally worth it. The Notre Dame Basilica is one of the most beautiful sights in the city. Check out the Facbeook event below for the details!
5) Attend a MTL 375 Christmas Party at the Village-Au Pied-Du-Courrant
Village-Au-Pied-Du-Courrant is a public event space located in at the edge of the Saint-Laurence River, Very Montreal. The city is hosting a holiday party for the whole family to check out! Check out the info below!
6) Visit Nordic Square event - totally free - at Place Jacques Cartier
From December 21 - 31 the city will be hosting a Nordic-inspired holiday event at Place Jacques-Cartier. Interactive instillations, musical performances and more to be expected. Visit page below for all the details!
7) Check out Music On The Docks for an outdoor winter show in the Old Port
Check out the outdoor stage at Place Jacques Cartier for this outdoor music event being hosted by the city on December 29th and 30th. Local artists will be performing for free! Check out the event page below.
8) Get out of the city and go for a winter hike in Oka Park
Escaping the city is a great way to unwind and leave the worries of the week behind. Take a winter hike or drive to Parc National d'Oka. They have some beautiful hiking trails and other outdoor winter activities to enjoy. Check out the official site for info below!
9) Make a day trip to Saint-Agathe-Des-Mont for a Quebec winter wonderland experience
This region is beautiful and is the perfect place to take in all the small-town Quebec charm in the winter. To get the full experience, take a slow weekend drive after a big snowfall and stop at a local coffee spot for some hot chocolate after. Pure romance.
10) Escape winter and visit La Petite Floride outdoor event space in the Plateau
La Petite Floride’s assembles culinary culture, winter games, and art, all in one unique outdoor space. Get your holiday vibes on and visit this local space for food, drinks, art and more. Check out their Facebook page below!