The weekend is finally here!
Whether you have big Valentine’s plans, or are just looking for a way to get through the last few weeks of winter, Montreal has got you covered.
From benefit concerts and chocolate festivals to an ice canoe challenge and a free Igloofest show, check out 21 things to do in Montreal this weekend: February 10-12.
Friday, February 10
Pop Montreal is hosting a benefit concert for the families of the victims from the attack in Quebec City late last month. The concert will take place at the Rialto Theatre and will start at 8pm. Headlining performers include BearWitness, Wake Island, Narcy, Socalled, Dishwasher, Tali Taliwah, and more. Tickets are $20 and doors open at 6:30pm.
When: February 10, 8 pm
Where: Rialto Theatre, 5723 Av du Parc
Calling all chocoholics! Je T’aime En Chocolat 2017 marks the sixth edition of this ultra sweet chocolate festival. This year’s event will features a chocolate market complete with tons of vendors from all over the world, as well as many local vendors from Montreal (La Maison Gourmande, Juliet et Chocolat, Sugar Lady, Douce Soeur, and Gascogne, to name a few). Of course, the vendors present will be selling their products and giving away free samples so be sure to arrive on an empty stomach! In addition to the market, there will be a series of chocolate workshops and exhibitions, the former teaching you everything from how to grow a cacao plant to how to bake with chocolate in the kitchen, the latter showcasing an array of chocolate sculptures.
When: February 10-12, 2017
Where: Marche Bonsecours
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
Starting January 28th, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will open a brand new special exhibition on world-renowned painter, Marc Chagall. The exhibit, titled “Chagall: Colour and Music,” explores the importance of music in Chagall’s life. It will be multidisciplinary, featuring over 400 works ranging from sculptures and paintings to photographs and films. In addition, puppets, costumes, stained glass windows, maquettes, and gouaches will be on display. According to the official site, “Music was a constant source of inspiration” for the Russian-French artist. “A favourite subject for his creations, it served as an internal rhythm and driving force for his compositions, and a key to the intensity and range of colour in his work.”
When: January 28-June 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
It may be cold out, but at least you can eat well for next to nothing in Montreal! Participating restaurants in this year’s 4th edition of LeChop MTL will be offering three course meals for just $25 and will be putting their own spin on a specific dish each week of the festival. The festival is going on until March 4th, 2017 and features four incredible restaurants: Weinstein & Gavino’s, L’Atelier d’Argentine, and Decca 77.
When: Until March 4, 2017
Where: Weinstein & Gavinos (1434 Rue Crescent), L’Atelier d’Argentine (1458 Rue Crescent and 355 Marguerite D’Youville), and Decca 77 (1077 Rue Drummond)
In addition to free shows, 2 extra weeks of programming, and a killer lineup, Igloofest 2017 also marks the return of the Nordik Slide. A winter tradition dating back over 100 years, Igloofest’s Nordik Slide has been wowing Montrealers for several years in a row. Presented as a contemporary update on a winter carnival classic (with an Igloofest touch), there is surely tons of fun to be had on the Nordik Slide. It will be set up in Place Jacques Cartier all festival long, meaning you have between January 12th and February 19th to check it out.
When: January 12-February 19, Thursdays to Sundays
Where: Place Jacques Cartier
Discover the secrets of Montreal by snowshoe on one of Les Amis de la Montagne’s City Lights Snowshoeing Excursions. Happening at nightfall every Friday and Saturday evening between January 6th and March 4th, tour guides will lead brave snowshoers on a 90-minute expedition through Mount Royal. There will also be hot chocolate along the way!
When: Fridays and Saturday between January 6 and March 4, 2017 at 6 pm
Where: Meeting place is the Beaver Lake Pavilion
Saturday, February 11
Stay active this winter with a little help from the 5th annual Montreal Ice Canoe Challenge. Hosted in Old Port, this unique winter event will see forty ice canoeing teams making their way down the frozen Saint Lawrence River. This is an extreme action sport that is not only fun to participate in, but also to watch. The race will make a loop between the Clock Tower, Alexandra Basin, the Cite du Havre park, and Ile Sainte Helene. Happening on February 11 and 12, 2017, you’ll want to dress warmly.
When: February 11-12, 2016
Where: Old Port of Montreal
You can now attend Igloofest 2017 for free! Courtesy of Off-Igloo, Montrealers who can’t afford to pay for Igloofest this year can still enjoy the EDM music festival’s awesome atmosphere with two free shows. For the city’s 375th anniversary, Igloofest added two whole weekends to its programming, remaining in Old Port for an astounding six weeks in 2017. In an effort to make Igloofest even more accessible to the public, and to celebrate the city’s upcoming birthday, they are offering two free Off-Igloofest nights. The shows will both feature local artists so be sure to stop by Quai Jacques Cartier on February 11th and 18th. It is guaranteed to be a party to remember.
When: February 11 and 18, 7 pm-11:30 pm
Where: Quai Jacques Cartier
In honour of Black History Month, Montreal is hosting a unique photographic exhibit titled Women of Haiti. The art exhibition will take visitors on a “photographic journey through spectacular pictures where sand dunes meet the ocean, sensuality and warmth of Africa and the Caribbean.” In addition to stunning scenery, the photos will depict the daily lives of Haitian women to increase cultural understanding of the island’s population. 10 artists are participating including Radu Juster, Clode de Guise, Patric Saad, Magdoline Youcef, Laetitia Jourdan, and more. The event is free of charge and will take place in Espace Vego Saint Denis (between Rue Ontario and Blvd Maisonneuve E).
When: February 1-28, 2017
Where: Espace Vego St-Denis, 1720 Rue Saint-Denis
Attention Montrealers! Your beloved Friday Fridays (aka food truck Fridays) are returning to Olympic Stadium, this time in the form of SnowFood Saturday. As part of Village Mammouth, Montreal’s awesome wintertime festival, Olympic Stadium will be home to a plethora of food trucks every Saturday afternoon between January 28th and March 4th, 2017. Between 3 pm and 10 pm each Saturday, you can expect to see tons of yummy food trucks lining the perimeter of Olympic Village. The official description reads, “You’ll find all the delicious fun of street food during our amazing evenings.” These “amazing evenings” also include live music and DJs, as well as snow sports like ice skating and snow tubing.
When: Saturdays 3 pm-10 pm between January 28 and March 4, 2017
Where: Olympic Village
In an effort to revitalize vacant land along the Mile End railway, a hangout spot in an abandoned parking lot has popped up in recent weeks. Featuring a school bus-turned-cafe, picnic tables, lights, and a skating rink, this newest late night joint is called La Petite Floride. Open every Saturday night from December 2nd until the end of March, this is the place to be in winter. Grab some mulled wine, sit by the fire, skate around the manmade rink (featuring paintings by local artists), and enjoy a relaxing night in this urban oasis.
When: Saturdays 9 pm-1 am, from December 2nd until the end of March 2017
Where: 5705 avenue de Gaspé
Montreal-based fitness company, POP Spirit, is hosting a series of outdoor yoga sessions this winter. Aptly titled POP Yoga Neige, classes will take place between January 7th and March 12th in Parc Lafontaine and Parc Wilfrid Laurier. All classes are free to the public and boast top-notch instructors. All you have to do is bring your own mat and dress warmly (and we mean, really warm). Happening every weekend until March 12th, classes start at 10:30am sharp and last for roughly 40 minutes. Saturday mornings sessions will be held at Parc Lafontaine and Sunday mornings they will be held at Parc Laurier. Time to start practicing your downward dog in sub-zero temperatures!
When: Sundays between January 7 and March 12, 10:30 am
Where: Parc Laurier and Parc Lafontaine
Slide down the snow atop Mount Royal on the designated snow tubing trails near Beaver Lake, or head to Olympic Park’s Village Mammouth for the ride of your life! There are plenty of places around the city to go for a spin, from Parc Jean Drapeau to the Laval Nature Centre. Rent an inflatable inner tube or bring your own (and pay nothing!), and enjoy an afternoon of gliding down the mountain at high speeds.
When: December 17-March 6, 2017
Where: Various locations
Sunday, February 12
Cinema du Parc are the proud hosts of an Oscar-nominated film festival happening this February. Starting February 10, 2017, Cinema du Parc will be screening all of the Oscar-nominated movies in the following categories: Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short. Ten films will receive a prestigious Academy Award nomination in 2017, and we can’t wait to find out more so we can grab our tickets to this awesome local film fest!
When: February 10, 2017
Where: Cinema du Parc, 3575 Av du Parc
Montreal’s first-ever Velo sur Glace event is taking place this February at Parc Maisonneuve. Organized by local non-profit Honesca, the event will take place on February 12th and will be comprised of two races. The first, The Honesca Race, will feature several rounds of 6 competitors and bikes will be equipped with an ice skate blade in the front. The second race, the Race of Givres, is for all those who have studded tires on their bikes already.Spectators will watch as cyclists go round and round the ice ring of Parc Maisonneuve.
When: February 12, 9 am-8 pm
Where: Parc Maisonneuve
Check out the lanterns in Chinatown
As Montreal’s Chinatown just celebrated the Lunar New Year, the neighbourhood has put up a ton of gorgeous decorations, most notably stunning Chinese lanterns. In addition to the lit-up Rooster (in honour of the Year of the Rooster) that is in the centre of own, there are also several colourful lanterns strung up on the streets. Be sure to visit before they’re taken down and remember to snap a few photos for you Insta feed!
Where: Chinatown, Montreal
The Christmas markets may be gone, but Igloofest’s free winter village is in full swing. Village Nordik is back for another year of action-packed winter fun, setting up shop in Old Port for six whole weeks (January 12th until February 19th, to be exact). This year’s Village Nordik is an interactive play area curated by seven local design firms, each of which have been asked to present their vision of winter living. In the past, visitors have seen everything from igloos and ice sculptures to warm fire (featuring roasted marshmallows) and giant reindeer statues
When: January 12-February 19
Where: Place des Vestiges
Old Port has decided that they will be opening the MTL Zipline all winter long, which means you can soar through the air any weekend you like. This is the first time ever that MTL Zipline has opened during the winter and we can’t wait to take advantage of this momentous occasion! One trip on the MTL Zipline costs $19.99 for adults or $16.99 for children. Located at the Clock Tower in the heart of Old Port, don’t miss your chance to fly like Superman and marvel at the scenic wintery landscape beneath you.
When: Every weekend this winter, 11 am-5 pm
Where: Clock Tower, Old Port
This winter festival right in the heart of the Olympic Village is one of the biggest attractions in the city. Featuring ice skating, snow tubing, an outdoor bar, and plenty of restaurants, there is tons of fun to be had at this snow-filled paradise.
When: Until March 12
Where: Olympic Park
The Montreal Science Centre is currently hosting an insane exhibition that allows the public to see exactly what lies inside the body of an animal. The Body Worlds exhibit, aptly titled Animals Inside Out, “sheds light on what lies beneath the skin of more than 50 animals.” Through a technique called plastination, experts have removed the skin from various animals, providing a never-before-seen glimpse of the muscular, skeletal, nervous, and digestive systems, as well as the blood vessels and internal organs of different animals.
When: Until March 12, 2017
Where: Montreal Science Centre, 2 Rue de la Commune O