It’s no secret that every winter, the temperature in Montréal gets colder, the sweaters get thicker, and the drinks get warmer. But, thankfully as the temperature gets cooler, so do the events around the city. There’s something about Montreal in the winter that turns everything into a special holiday experience, which is why we’ve rounded up #TheFastFive Winter Activities so that you can make the most of the snow and ice!
Christmas Market in the Old Port at Chez Maison Pepin
Nestled in a quaint Montréal alley, you might just stumble into what feels like a picture perfect holiday postcard. This unique Christmas market transforms into a winter wonderland every year from November 23rd to December 24th and is filled with one of a kind sculptures and decorative pieces and experiences. Included in this magical alley are lots of DIY stations to make personalized holiday decorations and workshops on how to properly gift wrap (because let’s be honest, that is a talent!) You can purchase a small Christmas tree to re-plant nearby or make your own natural wreath. This quaint holiday experience is open 7 days a week and hosted by the iconic Pepin Shop.
Fête de Neiges
Running for 4 whole weekends between January 14th and February 5th, this snow festival showcases great outdoor activities. From skiing, snowboarding to dog sledding and ice fishing, Fête de Neiges is the winter sports enthusiast’s dream. You can slide down life-size ice sculptures or take part in a tubing ride. This winter wonderland takes place every Saturday and Sunday and is perfect for children and adults alike. If the ice and snow get a bit too chilly there are warming tents where you can grab a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine and a holiday treat.
Known as Montréal’s biggest winter party, Igloofest has become a staple in Quebec when the temperature drops. This combination of electronic music, striking visual architecture and icy décor runs from January 18th to February 2nd in Montréal’s historic Old Port, which is conveniently just steps away from ILSC-Montréal. The festival brings together music fans, bundled up in toques, scarves, and parkas, to see 40+ local and international DJ’s and producers. In addition to the music, there are endless amounts of food vendors, booths, and even carnival rides to make sure there really is something for everyone.
Le Petite Floride
A very unique kind of winter market that runs from December to March is Le Petite Floride, or, Little Florida featuring urban design, local artists, mulled wine and ice skating (to name a few!) The mission of the event is to turn urban spaces into creative hubs for the community. This specific event features a school bus café (that’s right, a school bus that has been turned into a small restaurant) where guests can “escape” the cold winter nights for a while – hence the name “Little Florida,” the perfect place for warming up with family and friends.
Each year, more than one million people come out to attend the Lumière Festival that takes place in a combination of sights and venues around Montréal. Initially starting in the UK, the Lumière Festival can be found in cities across the world every winter. Some attend it as a gourmet destination, as the festival has seemingly endless amounts of workshops, tastings, and conferences. There are also multiple musical and performance programs including theatre, circus, arts, and dance. If that’s not enough to get you put on your snowsuit, there is a Ferris wheel, zip line, and curling rink. Between the 600 artists, 225 shows, and 40 venues, we have a feeling you just might find something to take your mind off of the cold.
So whatever memories you’re looking to make this season, from winter sports to winter festivals to winter snacks, you’ll be sure to find them in this city. It may be freezing cold at the time, but winter is proving to be home to some of Montréal’s hottest events.