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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Holiday Activities for All
Montreal Christmas Events: 2017 Parades, Carols and More
The holiday season in Montreal is filled with family-friendly, Christmas-themed activities in Montreal, from special museum exhibits to carols, theatre and several free happenings perfect for a tight budget.
Is Christmas Season Good Time to Visit Montreal?
The more I think of it, there's no real "best time" to visit Montreal. Every season has its perks, notably summer and its myriad festivals and events taking over city streets. With that in mind, and with everything I know about the city's ins and outs, there's something to be said about Montreal come Christmastime. There is so much to do at every price point that, provided you dress the part, you could have the winter holiday vacation you've dreamt of for years, whether it's a romantic getaway for two or a family affair.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: The Tree to Beat Them All
If there's an event that marks the beginning of holiday season in Montreal, it's the lighting of Place Ville-Marie's Christmas tree, a downtown tradition since 1962 when the downtown shopping destination first opened its doors.
Made in New York, the "tree" is composed of 13,000 lights, measuring 19.20 metres high (63 feet) and 7.92 metres in diameter (26 feet). It's located just outside Place Ville-Marie at the southern end of McGill College Avenue. You can't miss it if you're passing by on Ste Catherine Street anytime after early November through the first week of January.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: The Shopping
Christmas shopping. It's never too early to get started. And it doesn't have to be a dreadful experience! So here's your stress reduction shortlist. It features, in my humblest opinion, Montreal's best Christmas sales, bazaars, and annual craft fairs of the season.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: The Freebies
Because that wallet's been taking a beating, am I right? Here are some choice free things to do in Montreal come Christmas holidays.Continue to 5 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Santas at the Stewart
From November 15, 2017 to January 7, 2018, Santas take over Montreal's Stewart Museum. Figurines, a doll castle and photos are part of the exhibit. As for activities, a scavenger hunt is set up for ages 3 to 10, storytelling is scheduled at 11 a./m. in French and 1 p.m. in English on weekends, and animated short films are available for screening. Admission $5 ages 13 and up, free for ages 12 and under.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Luminothérapie
Illuminating Place des Festivals every December and January with a series of light installations, Luminothérapie is an antidote to Montreal's shortest and darkest days on the year, a sort-of light therapy that coincides with the holiday season.
In 2017-2018, it runs November 30, 2017 through January 28, 2018 and features lit-up seesaws. More info here.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Santa Claus Parade
Montreal's most popular parade of the year is typically held the third Saturday of November. Kids love it, provided they get a good view. Find out more about this year's Montreal Santa Claus Parade.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Défilé des Rêves
Missed the Montreal Santa Claus Parade, either unwittingly or by choice? Those crowds do get a little overwhelming, don't they.
Worry not. Usually a week later is the Défilé des Rêves. That's French for "parade of dreams." And this Christmas parade is definitely less hectic. It's great for kids too.Continue to 9 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Christmas Mass
Some of the most gorgeous churches west of the Atlantic Ocean are right here, in Montreal. And Christmas Mass can get so packed at some of them that tickets are required to rein in the lineups. Here's my round-up of Montreal Christmas Mass venues which are especially spectacular.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Soups and Stockings and Sweet Bread
Château Ramezay proposes an assortment of holiday-inspired activities for the whole family from December 2, 2017 to January 7, 2018, from free sweet bread baking workshops to offering little ones the chance to receive a stocking stuffer from Santa. Details here.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Who Is the Real Santa Claus?
Running December 2 to December 31, 2017 is Pointe-à-Callière's annual event, Who Is the Real Santa Claus. Holiday characters Befana, Saint Nicholas, Saint Lucy and Santa Claus introduce children to how the holidays are celebrated in their neck of the woods.
English tours are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. whereas French tours are held at 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. every weekend in December as well as December 26 through December 31, 2017. Tours last about 45 minutes. Activity is included with admission. Sign up ahead of time at the admissions counter. Pointe-à-Callière admission rates and opening hours.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree
When was the last time you headed out to the country, spotted the tannenbaum of your dreams and chopped it down on the spot? Probably never, right? Well here's your chance. These Christmas tree farms 30 to 90 minutes from Montreal are ripe for the picking. And some of them include kid-happy perks like one-on-ones with Santa, tractor rides, baked goods and other surprises.Continue to 13 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Christmas in the Park
A Christmas tradition in Montreal's Plateau/Mile End neighborhood is Noël dans le Parc (that's French for Christmas in the Park), a December-long series of outdoor events, shows, and activities perfect for the whole family.
Also a convenient spot to pick up a cut Christmas tree. Noël dans le Parc's hub is at both Parc Lahaie and Parc des Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent. And as with last year, organizers have tacked on family activities at Place Émilie-Gamelin, just west of the Gay Village.
Noël dans le Parc debuts December 1 and wrap ups programming by December 25, 2017 with over 100 free shows and activities planned. Here's the schedule.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Stars & Nativity Scenes
Saint-Joseph's Oratory, the highest point in all of Montreal exceeding the height of even Mount Royal, makes it a tradition every year to showcase the birth of baby Jesus via a variety of nativity scenes on display.
The Oratory is open on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Access to the Oratory is free however there is a modest admission fee to enter the museum, which is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: regular admission $4, $4 seniors and students, $2 ages 6 to 17, free for kids under 6; $12 family rate (2 adults, 2 youth under age 18). Hours of operation and other details here.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Skate!
Winter sports. My absolute favorite winter perk, tied for first place with sipping on winter drinks wrapped in a blankie. Now if I had to pick the most accessible if affordable sport of the bunch, it would be skating. Some popular Montreal outdoor skating rinks, like the Old Port's Bonsecours Basin and Mount Royal's Beaver Lake, open early in the season, by late November or early December. But for the most part, skaters have to wait until mid-December to lace up and glide.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Topsy Turvyland
Every year since 2010, McCord Museum has been putting together exhibits tailor made for children.
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."
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Santa Claus Exhibit
An annual tradition at the World Trade Center, aka Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal, is its Santa Claus Exhibit which usually runs from early November until early January. Eight larger-than-life Santas from around the world are scattered throughout the complex, life-sized figures representing the iconic Claus as dressed by time period and as seen by different cultures. If you're in the area, it's a nice way to spend say 20 or 30 minutes of your time taking in the gorgeous interior of the Trade Centre while checking out a few inanimate Santas. A nice little freebie to add to your day.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Santa's Kingdom
Complexe Desjardins comes alive during the Holiday season, welcoming Santa to his kingdom as early as November 18, 2017. In addition to a slew of free shows and activities, kids can sit down with Santa, catch a live orchestra performance, and enjoy fountain lights smoke, and water jet shows. And the weekend of December 16 and December 17, 2017, dance troupes from across Quebec put on free recitals throughout both afternoons.
Important Note: Santa is very popular on Saturdays and Sundays. On these days, you must make an appointment with his secretary as soon as you arrive, starting at 9:30 a.m. (except on Saturday, November 18, 2017). Also note that Santa takes breaks from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m, and from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Photos cost extra.
Santa Claus Appearances: Schedule from November 18 to December 10, 2017
Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Santa Claus Appearances: Schedule from December 11 to 23, 2017
Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Santa Claus Appearances: Schedule for December 24, 2017
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Public Markets
Technically, Montreal's public markets aren't holding any major holiday events to my knowledge. But visiting them IS an event. At least to me it is. Locals? Stock up on the best cheeses, homegrown veggies and meats in town. Visitors? Make a bee line for the Jean-Talon Market.Continue to 21 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Village du Vilain Sapin
Come for Village du Vilain Sapin's for "world's ugliest Christmas tree." Stay for the Christmas market ambiance, complete with outdoor heaters and music. Picking up where Prince Arthur's Le Petit Marché de Noël left off last year after two consecutive runs, anticipate a source and supply of Christmas trees, foodie treats, artisan goods, and more, running November 24 through December 23, 2017 on Prince Arthur near the corner of Saint-Laurent.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Les Choralies de la Chapelle
Les Choralies de la Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours are an annual tradition in Montreal's oldest chapel. Catch a different choir every Saturday and Sunday from December 2 to December 23, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours in Old Montreal. Each of those shows lasts 45 minutes and is donation-based.
The series also features, on December 22, 2017, an 8 p.m. concert finale featuring Ensemble Da Capo singing select Bach cantatas. Admission $23. Buy tickets.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Urban Tales
Good cheer, jingly bells and season's greetings getting to you? Sounds like you need a dose of Centaur Theatre's Urban Tales. Count on dark, cynical takes on the season December 7 through December 16, 2017. Theme in 2017 is Immigrant Songs: First Xmas in Montreal. Tickets $16 to $22 plus taxes and/or service/shipping/box office charge. Buy tickets.Continue to 25 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Christmas Parade Marche de Noël
On December 9, 2017, anyone can join Montreal Christmas parade Marche de Noël au flambeaux.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: ONE17
On December 9, 2017 at 8 p.m., two amazing local choirs join forces for ONE17: A Christmas Celebration held at Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church. Tickets to catch Jireh Gospel Choir and Montreal Gospel Choir in action are $35 plus taxes and/or service /shipping/box office charge.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: CBC Christmas Sing-In
Ever wanted to sing in a choir? Now's your chance. On Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 3 p.m., catch the CBC Christmas sing-in "featuring seasonal music for choir, organ, brass and percussion, special guest artists, CBC personalities and an audience of over 1,500 singing along." Held at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' neighboring Bourgie Hall free of charge. Details here.Continue to 29 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Traditional Christmas Concert
Montreal Christmas events in 2017 include St. Joseph Oratory's traditional Christmas concert.
Catch the St. Joseph's Oratory's annual Christmas concert this December 17, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. with organist Vincent Boucher and Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal boys' choir. Donations welcomed.
Additional Sunday concerts are held on December 10, 2017 (''Christmas in Italy with Giorgio Revelli'') and December 31, 2017 (''Impromptu Noël with Jean-Michel Grondin, organ and Pierre Rancourt, baritone''), both at 3:30 p.m.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: The Nutcracker
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Olympic Winter Village
Opening December 15, 2017 is the Olympic Park's winter village. It's free admission, but if you want to try out its giant slide and expanded skating rink -in other words, do anything while you're there- you'll have to cough up a few bucks.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Fireworks
Great news. Montreal's annual Christmas fireworks series Fire on Ice returns in 2017-2018 as of December 16, 2017.Continue to 33 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Miracle Montreal
Nothing quite like an evening topped off with a Christmapolitan, a Jingle Bell Nog, and shots of mulled wine served by one of Santa's elves, just two of a handful of holiday-themed drinks on offer at Montreal pop-up bar Miracle Montreal open every day until 3 a.m. December 1 through December 31, 2017 in the Latin Quarter.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Andy Kim Christmas
Montreal native Andy Kim returns home to host a Christmas benefit concert for the Starlight Children's Foundation featuring a few friends, including Ron Sexsmith, Platinum Blonde, Michel Pagliaro, Danny Michel, Sam Roberts, and more.
Think you don't know Andy Kim? Ahhh, but you do. He cowrote "Sugar, Sugar," that ubiquitous, uber-catchy 1969 tune that still makes it into commercials and media the world over even though it was sung by a cartoon band, The Archies.
Catch Kim and friends December 16, 2017 at Corona Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. Admission $33 plus taxes and/or service/shipping/box office charge. Buy tickets.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Xmas in Old Montreal
From December 21, 2017 to January 1, 2018, Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montreal turns into a Christmas hub complete with Christmas market.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2016: Orchestre Métropolitain
Admission ranges from $114.98 to $193.16 plus taxes and/or service/shipping/box office charges. Buy tickets.Continue to 37 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Things to Do Christmas Day
You might think the city shuts itself down on Christmas Day (and on New Year's Day for that matter). But one look at my ridiculously exhaustive Montreal holidays open and closed list will change your mind.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017, Find a Restaurant Open Christmas Day
It's an event in itself finding Montreal restaurants open Christmas Day. But they're out there! It took a whole lot of phone calls to find them too.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Montreal Christmas Village
From December 1 to December 24, 2017 consider dropping by the Montreal Christmas Village located on Place des Arts' esplanade. Free karaoke as well as food and drink (including mulled wine) and the Christmas market pretty much round out on-site activities.
You're also footsteps away from Montreal's chief contemporary art museum, you're a five- to 10-minute walk from Montreal's major downtown shopping malls and my favorite pizza in the city, you're across the street from Complexe Desjardins, a shopping destination in its own right with its own series of holiday season events too and you're also seconds away from Luminothérapie. And if you're hungry for some French bistro, I've got just the recommendation for you.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017: Plan New Year's Eve
Name your pleasure. An all out club night? An elegant dinner? Something outdoorsy? Plan a New Year's Eve in Montreal to remember.Continue to 41 of 41 below.
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Montreal Christmas Events 2017