Montreal Holiday Events
17 Nov 2018
Holiday Events in Montreal
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The snow is falling and the holiday season has finally arrived. It’s time to take advantage of the festivities of this time of year, from singing Christmas carols, sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace, meeting Santa and his elves, skating amongst beautiful Christmas décor, buying unique goods at the Christmas market, and more! There are plenty of holiday-related events happening right here in Montreal, and most of them are free and family-friendly! Put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and join in on the festivities!
Free Outdoor Events
Santa Claus Parade
Santa Claus is coming to town! Meet Santa and his friends at this popular annual Christmas Parade for its 68th edition. The streets of downtown Montreal will be bursting with music, magic, and fun! It’s a great kick-start to the holiday season for children and the young at heart. There will be over 20 floats with dancers, artists, street performers, musicians, and of course, Santa and the Christmas Fairy! There will also be new features this year, such as a float inspired by winter sports, and a snowmobile float (which was actually invented in Québec). If you can’t attend the event, the parade will be broadcasted on the TVA network and the Yoopa channel on Sunday, November 18 at 5:00 PM. It’s a magical time that brings back old memories and creates new ones with your loved ones!
Location: Saint-Catherine West, between Du Fort and St-Urbain
Time: November 17, 11:00 AM
Christmas in the Park
It’s impossible not to be in the holiday spirit with all the fun happening during Christmas in the Park! With over 100 free entertainment and performances including artists, jugglers, storytellers, clowns, huge puppets and more, this will surely keep you and the youngsters entertained. You can also sip hot chocolate, roast marshmallows and sausages by the bonfire, buy a Christmas tree, take a carriage ride, see Santa Claus, and many other cheerful activities. This event is free and will be taking place at 3 different parks in the Plateau.
Location: Parc Émilie-Gamelin
Parc Des Compagnons de Saint-Laurent
Time: December 1 – 25
Merry Montreal in the Old Port
Immerse in the magic of the season by celebrating holiday celebrations in the Old Port! Place Jacques Cartier becomes La Place Nordique with numerous free activities for families, musical performances, street art, festive animation, a winter beer garden, local food stations, resting zones with fireplaces, fireworks, and more! Admission is free; all you have to do is show up and get into the holiday spirit!
Location: Place Jacques-Cartier, Montréal, QC, Canada, H2Y 3A9
Time: December 20 – 31
Watch the CP Holiday Train
Canada’s most festive holiday train will be stopping in Montreal! For 20 years, this Christmas train has been bringing holiday cheer to thousands of people with a goal of collecting food and raising money for food banks across North America. Since 1999, they have raised $14.5 million dollars and 4.3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. The train, which is decorated with bright lights and holiday shapes, will stop safely in front of a crowd and a stage will be revealed. A band will entertain the crowd and perform a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs in exchange for food and/or monetary donations. Donations made in Montreal will stay in Montreal, and the same thing applies to the other cities. Healthy food options are encouraged, and you can check your local food bank to see what their wish list includes. The event is free and last about 30 minutes. It’s a fun-filled day full of joy and cheers that benefits a good cause!
Location: EXO station Montreal-Ouest, Chemin Broughton
EXO station Beaconsfield
Time: November 27, 7:00 PM (Montreal-Ouest) & 8:30 PM (Beaconsfield)
Natrel Fire on Ice – Skating & Fireworks
Enjoy a magical evening while skating in the Old Port under sparkling fireworks! During the wintertime, the Natrel Basin turns into Montreal’s most popular skating rink. Watch the sky become beautifully lit with fireworks in a magical setting while you skate your way around. You will also be surrounded by the vocals of the greatest female singers. It’s a free event that’s great for a date, with family, or with friends! You can bring your own skates or rent them on site, but you also have the option of just watching the fireworks without skating.
Location: Natrel Basin in the Old Port
Time: Saturdays, December 15, 22, 29, and January 5 at 8:00 PM
Luminothérapie at Place Des Arts
It’s easy to feel more down and unmotivated this time of year as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. However, it is important to keep your spirits up, get yourself out there and make sure you are increasing those happy endorphins in your brain! For this reason, Place des Arts hosts Luminothérapie, which is a display of lights and sounds. This year in its 9th edition, the event is called Effet Domino, and it is a fun and entertaining experience to engage in. There will be 120 giant dominos across different stations that will produce lights and music when you play with them. You can even topple the dominos to enjoy illuminated, colourful hues and a musical orchestra. This event will surely beat the winter blues and keep your positivity up!
Location: Jeanne Mance St, Montreal, QC H2X 3X5, Place des Festivals
Time: December 11, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Monday to Wenesday: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Thursday & Friday: 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Saturday: 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Montreal’s Christmas Village at Atwater Market
This is a four-weekend-long winter festival held at the Atwater Market. This event welcomes over 70 local artisans and chefs, which makes it a magical and gourmet holiday event in one! You can also get into the holiday spirit with the Santa Claus workshop, the Elves’ Kingdom, the Enchanted Forest, various shows and animation, and an outdoor cinema! Whether you are looking for a gift, high-quality products, a culinary adventure, or just a fun and festive day, this free event is a must!
Location: 138 Atwater Ave, Montreal, QC H4C 2H6, Atwater Market
Time: November 30 – December 23
Friday: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Etsy Holiday Market
This year, Etsy will be hosting a holiday market at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier. There will be over 100 makers from Montreal and surroundings. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop for handcrafted goods to give to your loved ones this holiday season – plus you’ll be supporting a community of artists, creators, and designers!
Location: 4353, rue Ste-Catherine Est, Montreal, QC H1V 1Y2
Time: December 15th from 10 PM to 6 PM
December 16th from 10 PM to 5 PM
This is an authentic German Christmas market right here in Montreal held at St John’s Lutheran Church! Come and shop for a variety of German goods, from homemade baked delicacies like stollen, preserves, famous handmade noodles, fair trade coffee, Glühwein (mulled wine), and handmade crafts like silver jewelry and soap. They are also offering a hot lunch, which includes authentic German sausages and roasted potatoes.
Location: 3594 Jeanne-Mance St, Montreal, QC H2Z 1L7
Time: December 1, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
December 2, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Vintage Christmas Market
This beautiful church in Verdun transforms into a vintage Christmas market for a day! There will be 25 exhibitors selling tons of vintage, antique, retro and local goods. It’s a great opportunity to find the perfect unique gift for a loved one (or for yourself!)
Location: 4155 rue Wellington, Verdun, QC
Time: December 8th, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Marché Artisanal Montreal
This is a lively market held at St-Jean-Berchman’s Church. There will be over 65 local exhibitors who will be showcasing their talent and selling handcrafted goods. From handmade soaps, jewelry, accessories, clothing, treats, and more, it’s the perfect place to a find creative and unique gift made with passion and quality. There will also be scheduled activities, like a Christmas village, playroom, Mrs. Claus and her elves, gift bags, animation, food tastings, and more! It’s a great Christmas market to bring your kids for a day filled with fun!
Location: 5945 Cartier, Montreal, QC
Time: December 8 & 9, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Visit Exporail for the Christmas-themed Museum
Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, will be decorating the Grand Gallery where visitors will be transported to a magical holiday wonderland! There will be trains filled with toys, illuminated locomotives, an elves’ sled, a railroad car filled with reindeers, an electric model train under the tree, and stockings hidden throughout all the vehicles for you to hunt! You can also engage in some family-friendly activities, such as a craft workshop where you can showcase your talent by creating your own Christmas tree decoration, and a cookie decorating activity. You can even mail letters to Santa from their mail car and meet him on Saturdays and Sundays from Sunday, November 24 to December 22, 2018, from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM and from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Best of all, you don’t have to just look at the decorated trains; you get to ride on it too! You can board to Exporail Christmas train at the Hays Station, where children will have a chance to meet Santa. The train leaves at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM, on Sundays, November 25 and December 2, 2018. The cost for the ride is $2 per child and $3 per adult plus taxes. Make sure to book in advance, as the seats are limited! Ho, Ho, Ho, all aboard!
Location: 110 Rang Saint Pierre, Saint-Constant, QC J5A 1G7
Time: November 23 – January 6 (Time varies depending on activity)
Meet different Santa Clauses at Pac Musée
Who is the real Santa Claus? Find out at the Pac Musée with this family-friendly exhibition! While discovering the archeological remains, children will meet 4 different characters that will explain how Christmas is celebrated in their part of the world. You will meet Babushka, Melchior, Black Peter, and Santa Claus. There will be interpreter-guides accompanying you during this holiday tour. It’s a fun and informative holiday activity!
Note: This is a free activity included with admission to the museum.
Location: 350 Place Royale, Montreal, QC H2Y 3Y5
Time: December 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31 (check website for times)
See The Nutcracker at Place Des Arts
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to watch an enchanting performance of the Nutcracker? In its 55th year, this beautiful ballet, presented by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, captures the magic of Christmas with its beautiful costumes, elegant choreography, enchanting scenery, and Tchaikovsky’s music with Les Grands Ballet Orchestra. From colourful characters like the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Snow Queen, this winter tale will surely warm the hearts of both the young and old. If you attend this performance, you will be supporting a great cause; for each ticket sold, $2 will be donated to The Nutcracker Fund for Children. This allows sick and disadvantaged children to see the Nutcracker performance for free, as well as attend educational workshops. You can also help support funds by checking out the Nutcracker market from November 29 to December 9 on the ground floor of the mall of Palais Des Congrès. There will be over 100 exhibitors selling jewelry, kids toys, gourmets’ treats, and more. It really doesn’t get any more magical than this!
Location: 175 Saint-Catherine St, Montreal, QC H2X 1Y9, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
Time: December 13 – 30, 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
CBC Christmas Sing-In
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Sing along to your favourite Christmas carols with 1500 voices for the 39th annual CBC Christmas Sing-In! The choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul will be putting on a concert, along with the Sing-In brass and percussion ensemble, organist Jonathan Oldengarm and conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée. Tickets are available to purchase online as of November 24 (max. 4 per person), and although it is a free event, donations will be collected for CBC Montreal's annual charity funding drive. This year, the proceeds are going to West Island Community Shares. This is a group that distributes funds to 41 different non-profit organizations in the West Island. CBC Montreal’s Sean Henry and Julie Nesrallah, host of CBC Music’s Tempo, will host the event. If you can’t make it, they are streaming the concert live on their website and on Facebook Live starting at 3 PM on Sunday, Dec. 9. Fa la la la la!
Location: 3415 Redpath St, Montreal, QC H3G 2G2
Time: Sunday, December 9, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Holiday Performances at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
There are many holiday concerts taking place at the MMFA. From winter serenades by the New York Polyphony, to a jazzy Christmas concert by Dave Miles, these holiday concerts will be sure to put you in a festive, musical spirit! Check out the official website to see the various concerts taking place and to purchase tickets.
Location: 1380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3G 1J5, Bourgie Hall
Time: December 7 - 20
Christmas Jazz at Complexe Des Jardin
Of course, it would be great if Michael Bublé would be here signing his songs from his jazzy Christmas album while we sip on hot chocolate and enjoy the festivities of the holidays, but that would probably cost a pretty penny. Luckily for us, the Montreal Jazz Ensemble will be performing at La Grande Place at Complexe Des Jardins, where you will hear a jazzy version of several characteristic pieces of this wonderful time of the year. Best of all, it’s free!
Location: 150 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal, QC H5B 1E9
Time: December 9, 3 PM – 4 PM
Noël Sur L’Avenue – Marché de Noël aux Flambeaux
This is another outdoor event filled with many holiday-related activities that take place in Mount Royal Park. This is its 14th year where they will recreate a small village with many concerts and activities in the heart of Mount Royal. They are known for their famous Marché de Noël aux Flambeaux, which is a musical event and fireworks with over 10,000 people. Several choirs will be singing Christmas carols. This event will take place on December 8, at 7:00 PM at Parc Des Compagnons de Saint-Laurent.
Location: Du Mont-Royal Avenue
Time: December 1 - 31
Other Holiday-Related Events
Meet Santa Clause at Complexe Des Jardins
Santa Clause is coming to town! Jolly old Saint Nick will be making his grand entrance on December 1st at Complexe Des Jardin’s La Grande-Place. The day starts at 10:00 AM with lots of fun, laughter, and dance to celebrate the arrival of Santa. Kids can share their wish list and have their photo taken with him. It costs $10 for a photo with a decorative frame, $6 for an additional photo, and $18 for a high-resolution photo. Check out the website below for Santa’s schedule, and make sure to check out other holiday-themed events taking place at Complexe Des Jardins during the month of December.
Note: Santa is very popular during the weekend. For this reason, you must make an appointment with his secretary as soon as you arrive, starting at 9:30 AM.
Location: 150 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H2X 3Y2
Time: December 1 – 24
Attend a Christmas-themed Bar presented by Miracle
This is the perfect opportunity to whip out your ugliest Christmas sweater! Miracle, a company that hosts Christmas-themed cocktail pop-up bars across the world, is coming to Montreal and this year the event will take place at The Coldroom Bar in the Old Port. This company goes all out to give the ultimate holiday experience and is sure to put “even the grouchiest Grinch in a cheerful mood!” This festive-themed bar has over the top décor and seasonal drinks in a cheerful setting. Let the magic of Miracle warm your soul with this fun, holiday-themed bar! Make sure to check out the Coldroom’s Facebook page for updates.
Location: Rue Saint Vincent, Montréal, QC H2Y 1G8
A Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s
A classy holiday event to attend this holiday season! Here you will discover the styles from 1867 and how they’re still in trending today. Be charmed by the elegant Victorian décor and discover the origins of current holiday traditions. The program includes a costume presentation in the Victorian house where you will discover how the bourgeoisie in Montreal prepared for Christmas in 1867, how they decorated their homes, what they ate, traditions, and more! In addition, there will be short videos explaining the origins of the tradition of gift giving and the history of Santa Claus. Other activities include sampling sweet champagne from the 19th century during a history presentation, enjoying old-fashioned hot drinks by the fireplace, such as Taste wassail (a hot mulled English drink) and the new Victorian Christmas tea, a Victorian clothing exhibition, a workshop where you can make handmade Christmas cards, and more! It’s Christmas with a touch of elegance.
Location: 458 Notre-Dame St. East, Montreal, QC H2Y 1C8
Time: December 1 – 23, Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
December 26 – 30, Daily, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM