Montreal's Best Events This Winter

Experience Montreal's Best Winter Events

Montreal's most epic winter events? This city is on fire in the dead of winter! From outdoor raves in subzero temperatures to restaurant week, to festivals honoring snow, lights, or whatever else organizers can pinpoint as a celebratory fixation, this is not the season to stay home and sulk. Au contraire.

Below are a series of sure bets, crowd-pleasing Montreal events that also happen to be affordable and more often than not, free!

  • 01 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Christmas and holiday season must sees.
    ••• Andy Teo akak Photocillin / Getty Images

    Whether you love or loathe the holidays, celebrate with or without family, it can be a really fun time of the year, even solo! Tailor a Montreal Christmas, or humbug season, that suits you and your lifestyle with a little help from your Guide to Christmas in Montreal.

    When: November and December

  • 02 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Montreal Restaurant Week Le Happening Gourmand.
    ••• Photo © Clint Lewis

    Montreal has a few restaurant weeks, notably Old Montreal's Le Happening Gourmand which functions in the same vein as New York Restaurant Week and Toronto's Winterlicious, but on a much smaller scale. 

    When: January, usually the last three weeks

  • 03 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Montreal forest treks.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Les Amis de la montagne

    By foot, snowshoe, or cross country skis, Montreal forest treks are an affordable activity for families, solo nature enthusiasts or even for couples looking for a dose of outdoor romance.

    When: January through March

  • 04 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Le Chop.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Le Chop

    Three-course dinners discounted at a handful of restaurants for six weeks in the dead of winter is par for the course with Le Chop, an annual Montreal restaurant event featuring a handful of generally downtown locales.

    When: January through February

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Igloofest.
    ••• Photo © Frederika Wellett

    A new tradition was forged in the Old Port in Montreal in 2007, courtesy of the boys behind Piknic Electronik. It's called Igloofest and it's the most anticipated outdoor rave of the season, attracting thousands of electronic music fans every night.

    When: January, usually the last three weekends

  • 06 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Montreal snow festival Fête des Neiges/
    ••• Montreal snow festival Fête des Neiges typically runs for four weekends in January and February on the grounds of Parc Jean-Drapeau. RENAULT Philippe / Getty Images

    Every late January to early February, Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a winter wonderland, a childhood delight that features activities to entertain kids as well as adults though the festival's focus is on family. Admission is free as are several events, but equipment rentals are not.

    When: End of January through beginning of February, usually three weekends

  • 07 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Montreal Chocolate Show Je t'aime en chocolat.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Montreal chocolate show Je t'aime en chocolat

    Montreal chocolate show Je t'aime en chocolat, which first debuted at Old Montreal's Marché Bonsecours in winter 2012, is the largest event in Quebec devoted entirely to chocolate, attracting in the upwards of 10,000 visitors over the course of its annual three-day run.

    When: Usually the weekend before Valentine's Day

  • 08 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include cheese festival la Fête des fromages d'ici.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Spectra © Benoît Rousseau

    Like cheese? You'll freak over the Fête des Fromages d'Ici. Spend the day ingesting some of the best made-in-Quebec lactose-infested (and lactose-free) products free of charge. There's even raw milk cheese on the menu.

    When: Usually the third week of February

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include attending Montréal en Lumière.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Montréal en Lumière

    Every year since 2000, Montréal en Lumière lights up Montreal with free outdoor events, culinary delights, beautiful light shows, and displays throughout the city.

    When: February, usually the last two weeks

  • 10 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include Nuit Blanche.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Montréal en Lumière © Marie-Claire Denis

    Sure, Montreal stays up 'til the wee hours of the morning all the time, but only one night a year features close to 200 mostly free cultural, musical, culinary, and sports-oriented activities available to the public starting in the afternoon and evening all the way through to 6 a.m. It's called Montreal Nuit Blanche, it's the Montreal High Lights Festival finale, and it's a blast.

    When: Usually either the last Saturday in February or the first Saturday in March

  • 11 of 11
    Montreal winter events in 2017-2018 include the Montreal St. Patrick's Day parade, Irish breakfasts, pub crawls, and more.
    ••• Above: children spotted participating in the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Flickr user jpmpinmontreal (CC BY 2.0)

    The oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in Canada, the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade has been held every single year since 1824, and no circumstance, from snowstorms to wartime to economic depression, has stopped the parade from marching on.​

    When: March, either the Sunday before or the Sunday after March 17