Free Things to Do in Montreal: Christmas Holiday Events 2017-2018

  • 01 of 20

    Save Some Cash and Experience the Best of Montreal's Holiday Season for Free

    Free things to do in Montreal during the 2016-2017 Christmas holidays? LOTS.
    ••• RENAULT Philippe / Getty Images

    Christmas is a beautiful time to visit Montreal. It's also a great excuse to stay in the city and enjoy holiday festivities should you happen to be a resident. And while there are loads of activities happening during the holidays, finding free things to do in Montreal come Christmas-time can go a long way in giving those overactive holiday-maxed credit cards a break.

    So I put together a list of free things to do in Montreal during the Christmas Holidays in 2017-2018 with your budget in mind, a list featuring the best free things to do in Montreal come Christmas time. And do check out my Montreal Christmas events calendar as well. It might tempt you to splurge a little.

    Continue to 2 of 20 below.
  • 02 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal During Christmas: Window Shop

    La Baie Store Front and Xmas Decorations on Ste-Catherine Street during a Christmas Shopping Rainy Night
    ••• aetb / Getty Images

    It's gonna cost you if you buy something at one of these Montreal Christmas shopping destinations, all temporary pop-ups. But no one's ever paid to window drool ;-)

    Continue to 3 of 20 below.
  • 03 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal During Christmas Holidays: Santa Claus Parade

    Santa Claus Parade
    ••• Luis Medina/Flickr/Creative Commons

    Montreal's biggest parade of the year, the Montreal Santa Claus Parade typically heralds the beginning of holiday shopping season. In 2017, it runs November 18. 

    Continue to 4 of 20 below.
  • 04 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal come Christmas Holidays: Défilé des Rêves

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays include Christmas parade the Défilé des Rêves.
    ••• Courtesy of Plaza St. Hubert

    The first Friday of December isn't exactly Christmas holiday season. But I had to bring up Montreal Christmas Parade Défilé des Rêves. It's a family favorite.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal on the Christmas Holidays: Marche de Noël

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays includes parade Marche de Noël des flambeaux.
    ••• Courtesy of L'Avenue Mont-Royal

    Marche de Noël des flambeaux is a choice free activity for families. Or anyone, really. You can buy a candle on location for $2 of which the proceeds go to worthy local charities like local food banks and to help families in need.

    But candles aren't mandatory if you want to participate in the candlelit walk, a unique Montreal Christmas parade happening the evening of December 9, 2017. Instead of paying $2, organizers also accept plushies, children's book, toys and non-perishable food items as a donation in exchange for a candle.

    Continue to 6 of 20 below.
  • 06 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal on the Christmas Holidays: Fireworks

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays 2016-2017 include fireworks.
    ••• Preserved Light Photography / Getty Images

    The Old Port's annual Christmas fireworks? It's official. They're back for the 2017-2018 holiday season starting December 16.

    Continue to 7 of 20 below.
  • 07 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal on the Christmas Holidays: Luminothérapie

    Free things to do in Montreal during Christmas holidays includes Luminothérapie's Impulsion.
    ••• Courtesy of Quartier des Spectacles

    Luminothérapie has been a tradition every December and January for years now. While you're in the neighborhood, consider crossing the street for a peek at Santa's Kingdom in Complexe Desjardins or checking out the nearby Christmas Market held on the outdoor grounds of Place des Arts.

    Continue to 8 of 20 below.
  • 08 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal on the Christmas Holidays: Alfred's Adventures

    Free things to do in Montreal during the Christmas holidays 2017-2018 include McCord Museum's Topsy Turvy Storyland exhibit.
    ••• Courtesy of McCord Museum

    Free for ages 12 and under, McCord Museum proposes The Topsy Turvy Storyland, a made-for-kids exhibit exploring the universe of fairy tales. Children are challenged to find ten lost characters to gain access to an "enchanted library."

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal come Christmas Holidays: Santa's Kingdom

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays in 2015-2016 include Santa's Kingdom at Complexe Desjardins.
    ••• Courtesy of Complexe Desjardins

    You've got from November 18 until December 31, 2017 to check out Complexe Desjardins' free family programming via its annual Santa's Kingdom.

    Continue to 10 of 20 below.
  • 10 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal come Christmas Holidays: Skate!

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays in 2015-2016 include ice skating.
    ••• Linda Raymond Photography / Getty Images

    Easily the most accessible and affordable winter sport you can do in Montreal, ice skating at most of these top outdoor Montreal skating rinks is free of charge IF you bring your own skates.

    Continue to 11 of 20 below.
  • 11 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal come Christmas Holidays: Family Weekends

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays 2015-2016 include the MMFA's Family Weekends.
    ••• Courtesy of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

    The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Family Weekends workshops are in full force throughout the holiday season. As per usual, they are free of charge and first-come, first-serve. Here's the schedule.

    Continue to 12 of 20 below.
  • 12 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal come Christmas Holidays: CBC Sing-In

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas season include the CBC Christmas Sing-in.
    ••• Courtesy of CBC

    Held at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' neighboring Bourgie Hall free of charge on December 10, 2017, the CBC Sing-In is your opportunity to sing in a choir. No audition needed. Details here.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Les Choralies

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays this 2015-2016 include Les Choralies de la Chapelle.
    ••• The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours at sundown. If you think its silhouette is breathtaking, wait until you see what it looks like inside. Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

    La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bonsecours, Montreal's oldest chapel, makes a point to feature free if donation-based choir concerts every December. In 2017, Les Choralies are held every weekend afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. December 2 through December 23.

    Continue to 14 of 20 below.
  • 14 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Salon des Métiers d'art

    Free Montreal Christmas events include the Salon des Métiers d'Art.
    ••• Courtesy of the Salon des Métiers d'Art

    The juggernaut of Montreal craft fairs, the Salon des Métiers d'art is free admission at all times, a fun excuse to see what Quebec artisans are up to, even if you don't have the budget to buy anything just yet. Collect a few business cards on-site and keep track of your favorites online. You can always score them outside of holiday season, some time down the line.

    Continue to 15 of 20 below.
  • 15 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Christmas in the Park

    Free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays 2015-2016 include Noël dans le Parc.
    ••• Courtesy of Noël dans le Parc

    From December 1 to December 25, 2017, catch over 100 free musical performances while sipping on hot cocoa, roasting marshmallows and sausages by a bonfire courtesy of Noël dans le Parc.

    Parc Lahaie in the Plateau is the holiday fest's main hub, but festivities are spread out across three Montreal parks, including Place Émilie-Gamelin near the Gay Village.

    Continue to 16 of 20 below.
  • 16 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Mass

    Free things to do in Montreal include attending Christmas Mass.
    ••• Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

    Christmas Mass in Montreal is particularly enchanting when you factor in how grandiose some of the city's basilicas and churches are, ornate interiors speaking to a time when the Church in Quebec was practically the State.

    Save exceptions and basket-passing donations, Mass is free.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Le Grand Marché

    Free things to do in Montreal during Christmas holidays include checking out market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal à la Place des Arts.
    ••• Courtesy of Place des Arts

    From December 1 to December 24, 2017, Place des Arts' esplanade turns into a Christmas Market, aka Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, complete with shopping options, live choirs, foodie goods, mulled wine, whiskey tastings and free entertainment, including a karaoke igloo. Check the schedule before heading out. It varies significantly by day.

    Continue to 18 of 20 below.
  • 18 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal Come Christmas Holidays: Village Mammouth

    Free things to do in Montreal this Christmas season include scoping out Montreal winter village Village Mammouth as located in the Olympic Park.
    ••• Courtesy of Parc Olympique de Montréal

    The Olympic Village got the perfect face lift in time for Christmas holidays. Opening in mid-December 2017 is its newly christened Village Mammouth and its giant slide and expanded skating rink. Admission to the site is free. Activities cost extra.

    Continue to 19 of 20 below.
  • 19 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal During Christmas: Merry Montreal

    Free things to do in Montreal during Christmas 2016-2016? Check out Old Montreal's Christmas programming.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Merry Montreal

    From December 1, 2017  to January 1, 2018 is Merry Montreal, a series of mostly free holiday-inspired activities held in Old Montreal. Highlights? Everything from a Christmas Market to New Year's Eve fireworks to Christmas karaoke and Santa meet-and-greets on select days.

    Continue to 20 of 20 below.
  • 20 of 20

    Free Things to Do in Montreal During Christmas: Santas at the Stewart

    Free things to do in Montreal Christmas 2016 include Santas at the Stewart Museum.
    ••• Courtesy of Stewart Museum

    Santas at the Stewart has been a holiday tradition for years at the Stewart Museum at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Figurines, a doll castle, and photos are part of the exhibit. Whether it returns for the 2017-2018 holiday season remains to be seen.