2016 may be coming to an end (and let’s be real, we’re all pretty thankful for that), but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the last 6 weeks of the year.
From museum exhibits available for a limited time only to holiday parades and fairs, check out 28 things to do in Montreal before the year is over.
Musee Grevin just opened their brand new Nintendo-themed exhibition, Super Mario and Friends: The Exhibit. Running from October 7th until January 8th, Super Mario and Friends: The Exhibit welcomes some of Nintendo’s most iconic characters to the museum. Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems will be on display, as will classic Mario Bros. video games, and some that have yet to be released to the public. The show ultimately traces the Nintendo phenomenon, highlighting the past, present, and future of the gaming institution.
When: Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
Where: Musee Grevin, Centre Eaton de Montréal, 705 Rue Sainte-Catherine O
Located in the heart of the Plateau, Tacos Tin Tan is one authentic taqueria you’re going to want to visit ASAP. While the menu is simple, everything on it is executed to perfection. From the unique appetizers like the ensalada nopalitos made with cactus, to the unbeatable taco menu filled with options like sirloin beef, chorizo, and grilled octopus, you’ll be tempted to try everything on the menu. They even offer a Montreal taco made with beef, bacon, cheese, and veggies.
When: Monday to Thursday 12 pm-10 pm, Friday 12 pm-12 am, Saturday 2 pm-12 am, Sunday 2 pm-8 pm
Where: 3828 Rue Saint Denis
The Puces Pop Fair is coming to Montreal this December for their annual Winter Edition. The 2016 Winter Edition will take place over the course of two weekends, December 9-11 and December 16-18. This arts & crafts fair arrives just in time for the holidays so you can get your Christmas shopping on. All of the vendors will be local and they will be selling everything from soap and teacups to clothing and maps.
When: December 9-11 and 16-18, Fridays 3 pm-9 pm, Saturdays 11 am-7 pm, Sundays 11 am-5 pm
Where: Eglise Saint-Denis (5075 Rivard, corner Laurier – Laurier Metro)
Head to Old Port this holiday season and enjoy a slew of free activities, ranging from a New Year’s Eve party to outdoor yoga. Stroll through the market, set up in Place Jacques Cartier, and you’ll find gourmet food, warm drinks, artisanal crafts, and local art. If you’re a movie buff, be sure to attend the Outdoor Holiday Cinema in which festive family films will be screened.
When: December 1-24
Where: Old Port of Montreal
When it comes to trendy foods, Montreal is king. That’s why it’s no surprise that after welcoming the rainbow bagel and the freakshake, Montreal is now home to the sushi burrito. The sushi burrito is the perfect fusion between a zesty Mexican burrito and a delicious piece of Japanese sushi, and it’s available now in our wonderful city. Where can you find this mighty meal? None other than Moushi. Moushi is a Japanese eatery on Decarie serving up exactly 8 items. Each of the items on the menu can be “rolled or bowled” depending on what you’re in the mood for. Feel like poke? You’ll want the bowl option, if you’re in the mood for a burrito, then you’re going to want to roll it up.
When: Monday to Saturday 11 am-8 pm, Sunday 11 am-4 pm
Where: 5209 Boulevard Décarie
Three Montreal parks will be turned into a holiday paradise this December thanks to Festival Noels Dans Le Parc. Taking place from December 1st until Christmas Day, each of the three participating parks will be filled with holiday activities like marshmallow roasting, bonfires, gift stands, Christmas tree stands, and of course, Santa-sightings.
When: December 1-25
Where: Place Emilie Gamelin, Parc Lahaie, Parc Parc Des Compagnons De Saint-Laurent
Montreal has been called Hollywood Northeast, and this year has truly lived up to the name. From chart-topping artists to Academy Award-winning actors, Montreal has and is currently hosting a slew of the world’s most beloved celebrities. Keep your eyes peeled for Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, and more who are all filming in Montreal.
When: Any time!
Where: Various locations
Never been to Tibet? Not a problem! Fortunately for you, Montreal is bringing Tibet to you at the Tibetan Cultural Fair happening this November. For one day only on November 26th, the Santa Cruz Church in the Plateau will become a Tibetan Bazaar. Organized by the Canada Tibet Committee, the Tibetan Cultural Fair will feature traditional arts and crafts, dance, cuisine, and music from Tibet. Show your support for Tibet while eating some delicious food!
When: November 26, 10 am-7 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Church, 60 Rachel Est
Attend the annual Christmas parade at Plaza St-Hubert. On Friday, December 2nd, Caisse Desjardins De Lorimier-Villeray presents the Magic of Christmas. The 12th edition of this family-friendly parade, this year’s event will feature fire trucks, marching bands, floats, dance groups, and of course, Santa and his elves.
When: December 2
Where: Plaza St-Hubert
Dalla Rose, the hip new ice cream spot that opened in Montreal’s St Henri neighbourhood this past summer, has swapped out the ice cream for vegan ramen. In the best turnaround of the century, Dalla Rose has closed up shop for the winter, and a new eatery, Ramen 9000, has stepped in to fill its place. Described as a pop-up restaurant, Ramen 9000 serves up a menu of delicious ramen options – but only for a limited time each day. Despite the pop-up’s vegan branding, non-vegans have the option of adding pork or eggs to their dish.
When: Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm
Where: 4609 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
The Stewart Museum’s magical Christmas exhibit opens on November 16th. The exhibition will showcase 30 Santa figurines and a Szalasi doll castle that comes to life when music plays. Admission to the museum and the special holiday exhibit are free. Exhibition at the Stewart Museum November 16
When: November 16, 2016-January 8, 2017
Where: 20 Chemin du Tour de l’isle
Hosted by Les Grands Ballets, the Nutcracker Market is a fun and festive Christmas shopping market that will take over Palais des Congres starting November 26th. Nearly 100 exhibitors will be participating at this year’s market, all of which have agreed to donate 10% of their proceeds to the Nutcracker Fund for Children. If you’re in a need of a gift for the foodie in your life, look no further. There will be a whole gourmet foods section selling everything from French macarons and candy to olive oil and popcorn.
When: November 26-December 6
Where: Palais des Congres
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
Calling all classical music lovers! The Montreal Bach Festival returns for the 10th year in a row. In honour of the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, the Bach Festival attracts some of the greatest artists in the world. The Bach Festival will be happening over a two-week period from November 18th until December 4th. During this time, there will be 12 conferences, 123,000 visitors, and 193 concerts held in 36 different venues. Though most performances will cost you a pretty penny, there are a few free events including Sacred Gates at St. Joseph’s Oratory and a conference on the inspiration of sonata for the violin at the Pavillon Lionel Groulx.
When: November 18-December 4
Where: Various locations
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.
Where: For a list of the 15 most Instagrammed spots in Montreal, click here
Join a holiday-themed guided tour from Kaleidoscope Tours and learn everything there is to know about Christmas in Montreal. There are three walking tours available, one in downtown, one in Old Port, and one that combines the two. Prices vary but tours will be running on Saturday and Sunday between November 26 and December 17
When: November 26-December 17
Where: Old Port and downtown
The second edition of Le Grand Marche de Noel is coming to Montreal this December. Taking over Place des Arts for the entire month, this German-style Christmas market will feature food trucks, a Santa’s Cabin, Elves Workshop, and Santa’s Sleigh. There will also be carol singers, karaoke, storytime, and an all-night party on New Year’s Eve. Finally, the market part will feature a range of locally produced gifts available for purchase including arts, crafts, jewelry, artisanal cheese, alcohol, clothing, chocolates, baked goods, and toys.
When: December 12, 2016 until January 2, 2017, for more scheduling info click here
Where: Place des Arts
Future Memories is a unique exhibition reflecting on technology as a narrative and shared space. Lead by four artists, this interactive exhibit will feature different forms of media to demonstrate what separates the private from the public. The event is part of the HTMLLS festival and will be running from November 5th until December 4th.
When: November 5-December 4
Where: Articule, 262 Rue Fairmount Ouest.
Back for its second year, the Fontaine Boreale show will take place at Complexe Desjardins. This immersive and multi-sensorial experience combines water and light to bring you regularly scheduled shows that are sure to mesmerize.
When: November 19-December 31 at 4:30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm
Where: Complexe Desjardins
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
Presented by Hera Bell, H2O Canada is a photographic journey of Canada’s water sources in all their forms. Known for her edgy photos, Bell’s exhibit will be featured all month long at the Centaur Theatre. Head on over to this free art installation and marvel at Canada’s natural beauty.
When: November 6-30
Where: Centaur Theatre, 453 Rue Saint-François-Xavier
Enjoy the crisp winter air, listen to some rockin’ live music, and wave at Santa as he goes by courtesy of the CP Holiday Train in Beaconsfield. This annual holiday fundraiser is one of the best in the city and features North America’s longest rolling food bank. Over a three week period, 150 musicians will play from stages set up on the travelling train. When the train rolls through Montreal, be there to cheer on the bands and donate cash or food items.
When: November 26, 8 pm
Where: Beaconsfield Train Station, 104 Elm St.
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 will be the biggest draw to this exhibit, they will be complemented by interactive multimedia installations and contextual information about life in the nineteenth century.
When: November 4, 2016-March 26, 2017
Where: 690 Rue Sherbrooke O
It’s never too late for a little holiday shopping. On December 10th and 11th, the Etsy community in Montreal will be hosting a special holiday market at the Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve. In addition to a plethora of goodies from local Etsy craft-makers, there will be a craft shows running throughout the day. Support local talent and get your shopping done all in one go!
When: December 10-11
Where: 4200 Rue Ontario Est
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
As if plain hot chocolate weren’t good enough, the geniuses at Chocolat Favoris Montreal have come out with a s’mores hot chocolate. That’s right, delicious and creamy hot cocoa, featuring graham crackers and topped with toasted marshmallows and a melted chocolate drizzle. Concocted using their own homemade chocolate fondues, of which there are several flavours, you will instantly fall in love with the s’mores hot chocolate (available for a limited time only).
Where: For a list of locations, click here
In case the increase of moustaches on your male friends wasn’t enough of an indication, this month marks the beginning of Movember. An annual fundraiser to raise awareness for prostate cancer, the Movember Foundation, as well as others, holds events around the world in an effort to “change the face of men’s health.” Canada is always a major participant and thus it’s no surprise that Montreal is set to host a myriad of Movember-themed events this month. From comedy nights to barbecues, Montreal is hosting plenty of fundraising events this month.
When: At the end of November
Where: Various locations
Go out with a bang by hosting the party of the century this winter. After all, flowing booze, endless appetizers, and awesome DJs, are just a few of the perks of a holiday party. From elegant dining halls to industrial warehouses, there are a myriad of venues perfectly suited to a Christmas blowout. For a little inspiration, check out 11 spots to host a holiday party in Montreal.
Where: Various locations