December is here, and that means the holiday season is in full swing in Montreal! The snow is falling and the weather is definitely starting to look frightful, which can only mean winter has finally arrived. Don’t worry though, these activities are sure to make braving the cold weather worth it.
We’ve compiled a list of standout activities that deserve a the top spots on your list for the holiday break. Get ready to dive into the holiday spirit with Christmas markets, epic skating rinks and light shows that are too good to miss.
With the arrival of the holiday season, means the gift of the Great Christmas Market, back at Quartier des spectacles for yet another exciting holiday season. This classic market features 30 charming wooden chalets, each showcasing the work of local and regional artisans. It’s a heartwarming experience for all, including your four-legged companions! Why not get ahead of your holiday shopping and explore all the handcrafted treasures?
This holiday market is a highly anticipated event for Montrealers, and the sight of these picturesque chalets never fails to ignite the festive spirit. And here’s the best part – entry to the market is free, but with such delightful finds, you’ll likely be tempted for a holiday shopping spree. After all, ’tis the season to share and discover the wonderful offerings of the Great Christmas Market!
Date: Ends December 30th, 2023
Photos via Noel Montreal
The Montreal Christmas Village at Atwater Place du Marché has become a staple in holiday celebrations for seven years. From November 30th to December 24th, 2023, visitors can delight in beautifully crafted products from local artisans while enjoying free family-oriented programs. This year introduces the Kingdom of the Elves, an enchanting addition offering various activities centered around discovering the secret recipe of the Golden Cookie to aid Santa in saving Christmas.
With over 54 exhibitors in the village, you won’t have any trouble finding some incredible Christmas gifts. Grab your favorite person and make your way to this picturesque village this holiday season.
Date: Ends December 24th, 2023
In its 14th edition this year, Luminothérapie transforms Quartier des Spectacles into a mesmerizing display of radiant lights. Illuminating the night sky with six captivating installations, this free event offers a unique and immersive experience in Montreal. Visitors can marvel at Astera from Tilt, a vibrant night flower emitting multicolored beams, wander through Solstice by Iregular—an interactive installation inspired by celestial movements, or dive into Gravitation by Féline B and Rodeo FX, a stunning video projection that resonates with the elements.
As the days grow shorter, this dazzling showcase provides an extra touch of brightness to your holiday season. Known for drawing crowds, Luminothérapie offers the perfect opportunity to embrace the city nights.
Date: Ends March 10th, 2024
Among Montreal’s diverse skating rinks, the Old Port Skating Rink stands out as a must for your holiday season checklist. Imagine gliding across the ice with your partner amid a fresh snowfall, the twinkling lights of the majestic Grand Roue de Montreal and the perfect musical backdrop setting the scene. Located in the heart of Old Montreal, this incredible rink offers an unforgettable night out.
Apart from the great skating sessions, expect special appearances by Santa Claus, DJs on the ice, and live shows on Saturdays. It’s not just a typical skating affair; it’s a delightful journey into a winter wonderland filled with magical moments. The Old Port Skating Rink is an incredible way to really make the most of this holiday season.
Date: December 9, 2023 – March 10, 2023
Photos via Old Port of Montreal
Miracle Montreal is back, and it’s bringing the holiday magic to Bar 132 Vintage in Montreal. This Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar creates an unforgettable experience with its quirky holiday decor, expertly-crafted cocktails, and an atmosphere that screams festive celebration. With the charm of a spirited office party and a dash of nostalgia,
Miracle captures the essence of the season perfectly. But hurry, this merry event only runs until December 26th, making it a must-visit for those seeking a dose of joy and happiness. Sip on their specialty holiday cocktails and let Miracle Montreal enchant you—it’s the ideal spot for a delightful holiday date night.
Date: Ends December 26, 2023
Photos via Miracle Montreal
Embrace the holiday spirit with a cherished tradition—the timeless Nutcracker ballet presented by Les Grands Ballets in Montreal. Since its start in 1964, this captivating performance has remained a beloved part of the city’s festive celebrations. Choreographed by the late Fernand Nault (1920-2006), The Nutcracker is a dazzling spectacle of bright colors, enchanting magic, and sheer beauty. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, performed by Les Grands Ballets Orchestra, the ballet weaves a magical tale that captivates audiences of all ages.
Whether you’re a seasoned ballet aficionado or a newcomer to the arts, this show promises an unforgettable experience that epitomizes the essence of the Montreal holiday season.
Date: December 14th-30th, 2023