- Below is a winter bucket list of 39 things to do in Quebec.
- La belle province makes the most of its long, long winters, so there will never be a dull moment.
- This is your definitive resource for all things winter in Quebec!
Winter is a long season in Montreal... perhaps the longest. So luckily for us, there is a lot to do. Instead of hibernating like a bear during the winter months, Montrealers use the season to explore new winter activities, find new favourite spots in the city and make some magical winter memories. But with all the Christmas markets, villages of light, opportunities to rub elbows with Santa, and other things to do in Quebec it can be hard to keep track of everything. That's why we've created this epic Montreal winter bucket list so that you can check back and check off all the fantastic activities you've experienced this winter.
Of course, there are a handful of Christmas-themed activities that you have to try in Montreal this 2019. From the Miracle pop-up bar to the various Christmas markets, December is jam-packed and has already begun, so you'll want to get started.
But winter will obviously stretch into 2020, and so you'll want to be sure you've got lots to do as you kick off the new year and... wait until spring finally decides to roll around.
Whether you use a sled, toboggan or a tube, there's nothing quite like sliding down an icy hill.
Check out our list of the best free places to go tobogganing in Montreal.
Attend Nuit Blanche
The Montréal en Lumière festival takes over Place des Festivals every February. The highlight of the event is Nuit Blanche when festival-goers can immerse themselves is art displays, try some festival food, and enjoy carnival games and rides.
Feed Some Reindeer
At Parc Omega, you can see tons of wildlife in its natural habitat... and if you bring some carrots you might make a friend, too. You can find reindeer in their Boreal zone.
Experience Illumi, The Village Of Lights
The largest village of lights in the world is just outside Montreal, a free shuttle away from Montmorency station, in Laval. Plus it's got a Christmas market and a tree of lights as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
Go For A Skate
There are tons of places to skate around the city that are free, plus some magical places outside of the city that will lead you through an enchanted wintery forest.
And, of course, there's always the Old Port skating rink which is open all season and will have fireworks and DJs.
Visit Montreal's Pop-Up Christmas Bar
Sip some seasonally-inspired cocktails in a space that looks like Santa's elves just went wild. Plus, food and photo-ops aplenty.
Visit A Christmas Market
There is no shortage of market choices in and around Montreal this holiday season, so if you like idyllic strolls through snow-covered markets with the opportunity to buy some artisanal and locally-made products, you're in luck.
Cheer On The Habs
Sure, the Habs aren't doing so hot right now... but isn't that all the more reason to go cheer them on? Plus, even if they lose you can still get a massive 5 pound, $50 poutine at the Centre Bell to drown your sorrows.
Go To Igloofest
Dance the cold away at Montreal's outdoor electronic music festival that takes over the Old Port every winter.
Make A Gingerbread House
Of course, you can get everything you need to make a gingerbread house at home...
But this Montreal bakery also offers a full-day workshop where you get some quality ingredients and instructions on how to make a masterpiece.
Relax In A Winter Wonderland Spa
There are so many wonderfully relaxing spas in and around Montreal, including the soon-to-open Forëna spa in Saint-Bruno.
Buy A Christmas Tree
Many of the public markets that sell veggies in the summer also sell Christmas trees in the winter. You can find public Christmas tree markets at the Marchés Publics website here.
And don't forget you can always go out and cut one down yourself!
Have Some Fun At Luminothérapie
The annual art display in the Quartier des Spectacles will take the form of "five fantastical creatures who love to party" this winter, according to the Quartier website.
"They’re waiting for you to entice them to leave their mysterious luminous monoliths for an electrifying fiesta that will bring joy and light to the depths of winter. Gather in front of them, and your collective energy will awaken the whole gang. They have quite a surprise for you!"
Take Advantage Of All The Holiday Decoration Sales
Many public markets that will be selling Christmas trees will also be selling decorative branches, wreaths, garlands and more.
There's also that year-round Christmas shop in Old Montreal.
Get your Christmas lights at LED Montreal here.
Go Skiing Or Snowboarding
One of the absolute best parts of living in Quebec is the unreal ski season that really can't be found anywhere else east of the Rockies.
Take An Idyllic Winter Train Ride
The Train de Charlevoix takes a beautiful route from Quebec City and will bring you right to the adorable Marché de Noël de Baie-Saint-Paul.
Snowshoeing is pretty much the OG way to explore the snow-covered world that Canada becomes in the winter, and there are a ton of places to give it a go.
Les amis de la montagne offer several tours on Mount Royal, with the opportunity to also have a hot chocolate or mulled wine when you're done.
Sépaq also has endless options across the province, though keep in mind that not all locations offer rentals.
Rent A Cozy Airbnb Chalet
Even if you're the type who really just likes to enjoy the winter from indoors, you can still take a little adventure and make the most of the snowy season.
Save On Your Holiday Shopping South Of The Border
With no sales tax in New Hampshire, there is no better place to get some of your holiday shopping done while saving a buck.
Check out our list of the best places to shop south of the border.
Stay Warm With A Winter Movie Marathon
In the same vein as renting a chalet, sometimes it's nice to just cozy up with a hot chocolate and give in to the season... y'know, channel your best Will Farrel in Elf.
Check Out HideSeek, The Adult Playground
The playground designed to stimulate your nostalgia and bring out your inner child is a series of rooms with plenty of opportunity for play (and Instagram photos)
Sing Christmas Carols
"Let yourself be carried away by Christmas carols in the magical atmosphere of the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel," at this free event that takes place eight times over the course of December.
Ride A Mountain Coaster Through The Snow
Sommet Saint-Saveur's year-round mountain coaster is especially magical in the winter when you get to fly through the snow-laden trees.
Be Amazed At The Winter Carnival In Quebec City
No Quebec winter bucket list would be complete without giving the Winter Carnival a mention. Explore ice castles, electric outdoor concerts, a parade of fantastical creatures, and, of course, the incomparable views of the colonial city in the wintertime.
Sip An Eggnog Latte
Lots of Montreal cafés will be serving up eggnog lattes, including Starbucks, but you can always just grab some from the store for yourself.
Or if you feeling more like an eggnog cocktail, instead, check out this list of egg nog cocktail recipes you can make at home.
Explore The World Of Van Gogh
Another one-of-a-kind event that we are lucky enough to host in our fair city is Imagine Van Gogh, a 3D experience of over 200 works by the famous painter.
Go See The Nutcracker Ballet
A classic Christmas show that never gets old thanks to the timeless and incomparable music of Tchaikovsky.
The Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montréal is putting on several shows throughout December, find out more or buy tickets here.
Take A Polar Plunge
There are a couple ways to do this. I choose to dunk into a freezing cold river when I know there's a hot tub to jump into next, like at some of the spas on this list.
But, you could also jump into the St. Lawrence River and raise money beforehand that will go to a great cause. Both noble acts.
The Polar Bear Challenge or the Défi de l’ours polaire is happening on February 22, 2020 and you can register solo or as a team here. Money goes to the Special Olympics Québec.
Celebrate The New Year At The Old Port New Year's Eve Party
Dance to live music and take in a fireworks show in the picturesque Old Port to ring in 2020 with a bang!
The Super Glissades in Saint-Jean-de-Matha are some of the fastest tubing tracks in the province. Plus, the park also offers skating, snowshoeing, and a bunch of other activities on this bucket list... sounds like you could get a couple birds with one stone!
Try Cross-Country Skiing On Mount Royal
You can rent everything you need at the Beaver Lake Pavillion to enjoy the mountain by cross country skis. They also offer snowshoeing, skating, and more!
There are tons of places to go dogsledding around Quebec, so finding a place is just a matter of deciding where in the province you want to go. Aventure Quebec has compiled a great resource to help you find the best place for you!
Do The Plateau Candle Walk
Noël aux Flambeaux, the Candle Walk in Montreal's famous Plateau neighbourhood is a great way to hang out with your neighbours, enjoy some street performances and see some fireworks all in one magical night.
Visit The MMFA For Free
Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts will be free to visit for two weeks this holiday season, so if you've got time off and are looking for something free to do, the MMFA has multiple exhibits you can visit.
Visit The Old Ogilvy Christmas Window
The iconic Ogilvy window is a Montreal staple come Christmas time. It's no longer in the store but has been preserved and presented as its own piece of Christmas history at the McCord Museum
Watch A Free Holiday Movie On The Big Screen
Sure, you can stay home and snuggle up on the couch to watch a Christmas movie... but have you ever seen Elf on the big screen? Because Cineplex will be showing it for free this holiday season, along with 4 other holiday movies.
Find A Little Piece Of Wintertime In NYC Right Here In Montreal
Montreal abounds in spots that capture the charm of New York during the winter months.
From snazzy restaurants to flea markets, to tree-lined parks, check out the 11 Montreal locations that will make you feel like you're in the Big Apple!
Help An Old Person Through The Snow
This winter bucket list item is free to do and will leave you feeling like a million bucks. For us young folk out there, the icy sidewalks are little more than an inconvenience.
But for some people, of all ages, the winter conditions throughout the city can pose insurmountable challenges when it comes to getting around.
It costs you nothing to keep your head up and be on the lookout for people that could maybe use a helping hand during this tough winter months.
A snow mound or a patch of ice that you can hop over is like a death trap for others, so keep it in mind when you're out and about, and don't be afraid to take one headphone out and ask every once in a while, "Est-ce-que je peux vous aider?"
It is the reason for the season, after all.
Go On Vacation
When all else fails and the seasonal depression is too real, there's nothing more Canadian than going south.
Take after the snowbirds and book a little getaway to somewhere sunny and warm... you won't regret it.
That's your 2019/2020 Montreal Winter Bucket List, y'all!
I hope it inspired you to make the most of our city and this great season.