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20 things to do in Montreal if you hate the holidays

DH Montreal Staff Dec 12, 2016 8:55 pm 459

And a Bah Humbug to you, too.

Not a fan of the holidays? We’ve got you covered. Though it might seem like Montreal is currently exploding with tinsel and ribbon, there are several activities for all those people who just aren’t into the holiday season.

From catching a Habs game at the Bell Centre to seeing a classic tale brought to life at Theatre Saint Denis, check out 20 things to do in Montreal if you hate the holidays.

Watch a Canadiens game at Centre Bell

Indulge your inner Habs fan and buy a ticket to an upcoming Canadiens game at the Bell Centre. Grab your favourite player’s jersey, and look forward to a night of action-packed sports.
When: Click here to see the Canadiens schedule
Where: Centre Bell, 1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal

Fragments of Humanity, Archaeology in Quebec

The first major exhibition dedicated entirely to Quebec archaeology, Fragments of Humanity features over 350 artifacts and tracks 50 years of archaeological discovery in the province. Combining items from museums all over Quebec, the exhibition highlights the history of the region through each individual artifact. We promise you’ll never look at Montreal the same way again.
When: Until January 8, 2017
Where: Pointe-a-Calliere

Mary Poppins

See the classic tale of Mary Poppins brought to life at Theatre Saint Denis. With showtimes through December and January, don’t miss your chance to see the story live.
When: December 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 2016 and January 3-7, 2017
Where: Theatre Saint-Denis, 1594 Rue Saint-Denis

La Biennale de Montreal: The Grand Balcony

An international event, The Grand Balcony, inspired by Jean Genet’s The Balcon, is a major exhibition comprised of 150 works of art created by 50 artists across the globe. For a sneak peek of what to expect, one of the exhibit’s featured artists is Kerry James Marshall, an American artist whose work explores the representations of African Americans in society, culture, and art history. He created portraits, interiors, nudes, and landscapes for The Grand Balcony.
When: Until January 15, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

World Junior Hockey Championship

The juniors are back! Hosted jointly by Montreal and Toronto, the 41st World Junior Ice Hockey Championships are happening in Canada for the 12th time in a row. Though Toronto will host the first round for the Canadian team, Montreal will host the medal round, meaning things are about to get pretty exciting for all the Montreal hockey fans out there. Be sure to grab your tickets before they’re gone!
When: December 26-January 5, 2017
Where: Bell Centre

Political Cabaret Antics

Celebrate the holiday season with a few laughs. Just for Laughs is hosting one of its final events of the season, Political Cabaret Antics. Presented by, the show will be a collection of politically incorrect skits and songs covering everything from Quebec to international news. Need to laugh after this ridiculously awful year in world politics? This is the place to do it.
When: December 20-22, 26-28
Where: Club Soda, 1225 Boul St-Laurent

Montreal S’allume

In honour of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the city is launching a variety show this December. The must-watch television program, airing December 11th at 8pm, will discuss the city’s planned birthday festivities. In addition, there will be an array of performers on hand to dazzle viewers and pay tribute to Montreal through music, comedy, and dance.
When: December 11, 8 pm
Where: Anywhere

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine

Titled, “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” the exhibit explores the fantastical series through the lens of Renaissance period, claiming that much of the series’ magic was rooted in Renaissance traditions. Touching on scientific concepts like alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy, this unique exhibit is sure to provide insight and background information J.K. Rowling’s beloved wizarding world. The exhibition is free to attend.
When: November 21 – January 7, 2017
Where: Westmount Public Library, 4574 Rue Sherbrooke O

The Thousand and One Faces of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace

To celebrate the city’s upcoming birthday, the Maison de la Culture de NDG, Maison de la Culture de CDN, and the Nouveau Centre Culturel de NDG are hosting a unique art exhibition titled “the Thousand and One Faces.” The project will be divided into three areas: mediation and exchange, collective photographic creation, and exhibition. Taking place in the three cultural centres, as well as selected public space, don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of these two Montreal boroughs.
When: December 1, 2016-December 2017
Where: Maison de la Culture de NDG, Maison de la Culture de CDN, and the Nouveau Centre Culturel de NDG

Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ latest exhibit, Focus: Perfection

Titled “Focus: Perfection,” this temporary exhibit focuses on Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential photographers of the 21st century. The exhibit hails all the way from Los Angeles and was curated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. “Focus: Perfection” will track Mapplethorpe’s work from the beginning of his career in the 1960s to his tragic death in 1989. See this exhibition for free on the last Sunday in December!
When: Tuesday 10 am-5 pm, Wednesday 10 am-9 pm, Thursday to Sunday 10 am-5 pm
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Snow Tubing on Mount Royal

Slide down the snow atop Mount Royal on the designated snow tubing trails near Beaver Lake. Rent an inflatable inner tube or bring your own, and enjoy an afternoon of gliding down the mountain at high speeds. Rentals are $9 for adults and $5 for kids.
When: December 17-March 6, 2017
Where: Beaver Lake, Mount Royal

Drink s’mores hot chocolate

Impress your date with this tasty (not to mention Instagram-worthy) hot chocolate. Available at Chocolat Favoris Montreal, the delectable s’mores hot chocolate is made of creamy cocoa, graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, and melted chocolate. Concocted using their own homemade chocolate fondues, of which there are several flavours, both of you will instantly fall in love with the s’mores hot chocolate.
When: Anytime
Where: Click here for locations

Snowshoeing at the Morgan Arboretum

Take your date on an enchanting snowshoeing tour through the trees of the Morgan Arboretum. The 5km trail starts from behind the Arboretum’s Pine Cottage and takes you all around the centre’s grounds. Prepare for a day of snow-filled fun. Snowshoe rentals cost $7. Alternatively, if you’d love to snowshoe closer to the downtown core, snowshoeing is possible on Mount Royal and snowshoes can be rented from the Beaver Lake Pavilion.
When: December 2016-March 2017
Where: Morgan Arboretum, 150 Ch des Pins, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

Take some Instagram pics of Montreal

Montreal is pretty damn Instagram-worthy. Whether you’re at a hipster coffee shop or shopping on Sainte Catherine, it’s hard to resist pulling out your smartphone, snapping a pic, and publishing it on the famed picture-sharing app. From a Habs game at the Bell Centre to the Notre Dame Basilica or Palais du Congres, there are plenty of places to nab that picture-perfect Insta photo.
When: Anytime
Where: For a list of the 15 most Instagrammed spots in Montreal, click here

Take a self-guided tour of Montreal murals

Before it gets too cold, go out and explore Montreal’s famous street art scene. Take a self-guided tour and stare in awe at all of the incredible urban art on the streets of Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood.
When: Any day of the week
Where: The Plateau

Check out Barbie Expo

In case you hadn’t heard, Montreal is currently home to the Barbie Expo, the largest permanent collection of Barbie dolls in the world. Montrealers have the chance to see and Instagram over 1,000 one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls. The Barbie dolls on display are not your average Barbie dolls, however. Rather, Barbie Expo is an exhibition of haute couture with Barbie as the model. As the website states, “This is Barbie seen at her fashionable best, a stunningly beautiful collection chicly modeled by the 11½-inch fashion icon.”
When: Open Monday to Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays from noon to 5 pm.
Where: 1455 Rue Peel


Think of Luminotherapie as the 21 Balancoires of the winter months. Set up in Place des Festivals every year, Luminotherapie is an interactive art installation with featuring bright and twinkly holiday lights. Comprised of thirty seesaws that light up and play music, the event invites Montrealers to take part in their very own winter playground.
When: December 8, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Where: Place des Festivals

Saint Joseph’s Oratory

Before the fall foliage completely disappears, head over to Saint Joseph’s Oratory, a Roman Catholic Basilica that was completed in 1967. While it might not be Canada’s oldest church, it is Canada’s largest and most impressive church. Set on Westmount Summit, the views from the top are breathtaking.
When: Open everyday from 7:45 am to 9 pm
Where: 3800, chemin Queen Mary

Notman: A Visionary Photographer Exhibition at the McCord Museum

The McCord Museum just opened a new exhibition this month. Titled, “Notman, A Visionary Photographer, the photo exhibit offers “ a new perspective on the career of William Notman (1826–1891), who became the first Canadian photographer with an international reputation during the nineteenth-century.” Though the vintage photographs are the biggest draw to this exhibit, they are complemented by interactive multimedia installations and contextual information about life in the nineteenth century. Admission to the McCord Museum is free every Wednesday after 5pm!
When: November 4, 2016-March 26, 2017
Where: 690 Rue Sherbrooke O

Enjoy free admission to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Visit our city’s best museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, for free this holiday season!
Thanks to our friends at the MMFA, Montrealers can stroll amongst the museum’s impressive collections free of charge between December 26, 2016 and January 2, 2017.
That’s one full week of free entry! Take advantage while you can.+
When: December 26-January 2
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

DH Montreal Staff

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