30 things to do in Montreal this weekend: December 9 to 12

Dec 10 2021, 2:00 pm

How crazy is it that by the end of the weekend, we’ll be less than two weeks away from Christmas?

Where is all the time going?

If you’re looking for the weekend to zoom by just as quickly in Montreal, there are a bunch of great things to keep you busy.

We’re talking plenty of free art, food, decorative Christmas alleyways, music, book sales, and everything in between.

Enchanted Alley Photobooth

Montrealers can get their portrait taken by a professional photographer at an enchanting Christmas-themed alleyway.

On Saturdays and Sundays until December 19, photographer Caroline Perron will be on-site taking pictures in front of the alleyway’s Christmas set-up.

The alleyway features a fireplace, comfy red armchair, lanterns, and (obviously) a Christmas tree.

When: From now until December 19
Where: Between Palco and Dollarama (4023 Wellington Street, Verdun)
Price: $75 – $125, reservations online

Free Museum of Fine Arts


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The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is getting into the spirit of giving by allowing the general public free access to its permanent collections and three discovery exhibitions.

The deal is part of the museum’s Gift of the Holidays promotion, available until December 24.

Check out which exhibitions are free to check out right here.

When: From now until December 24
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: 1380 Sherbrooke Ouest
Price: Free

Kenny vs Spenny


Fans of this frenemies comedy series from the early 2000s might be happy to know a live version of the popular show is coming to Montreal this week.

Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice go at it live at the timeless Theatre Fairmount.

When: Saturday, December 11
Time: 7 pm (doors), 8 pm (show)
Where: Theatre Fairmount, 5240 avenue du Parc
Price: $48 – $112, available online

Amis de BAnQ Christmas Book Fair

book sale


Cozy up to a new read for the winter at this massive book fair that has over 30,000 items up for grabs, ranging from $1 to $10.

When: From now until December 11
Time: Friday, 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm
Where: 475 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est (room M-425)
Price: $1 – $10

Polo & Pan

Polo & Pan is a French music duo consisting of Paul Armand-Delille and Alexandre Grynszpan. Their music style incorporates a mixture of electronic music influenced by tropical sounds and world music from all over the world.

The duo has released two studio albums and is embarking on a huge world tour, Laval being the fourth stop of the 11-month tour.

When: Saturday, December 11
Time: 8 pm
Where: Place Bell, Laval
Price: Starting at $59, available online

Les Soupis


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A group of mice has infested Old Montreal.

But cute ones.

Les Soupis, a quartet of illuminated mouse puppets, will appear every Friday and Saturday at Le Saint-Sulpice Hotel in the Old Port.

When: Friday and Saturdays until December 18
Time: 5:15 pm
Where: Le Saint-Sulpice Hotel
Price: Free

Christmas tree shopping


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Once December comes around, you might want to think about your tree setup, if you haven’t already.

If that’s the case, two of Montreal’s enchanting holiday markets are now selling Falsam, Fraser, and Balsam Firs, ranging between $50 and $80, depending on size.

Both markets have also simultaneously launched Christmas Villages, so you get two fun Christmasy events at one stop.

When: From now until December 25
Time: 8 am – 5 pm
138 Avenue Atwater & 7070 Henri Julien Avenue
Price: Varies

Champagne Box


If you’re looking for a place to pop some bubbly as 2021 winds down (or as 2022 ramps up), a private luxury suite at the recently W Hotel Montreal might be calling your name.

Along with a bunch of friends.

The W Hotel has partnered with the iconic French champagne house Moët & Chandon and is hosting a glass-enclosed room dubbed the “Champagne Box” that you are your pals can reserve for private parties.

When: From now until February 2022
Time: 5 – 11 pm
Where: 901 rue Square Victoria
Price: $95 per person, reservation required 



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Laval just got a whole lot brighter.

Illumi, the outdoor light show, has officially deemed it the start of the holiday season and has 25-million LED Christmas lights to prove it.

Check it out on foot or by car.

When: From now until January 3 (closed December 14, & 15)
Time: 5 – 9 pm
Address: 2805 Boulevard Du Souvenir, Laval
Price: $15.75 – $21.74, free for kids under 4 (available online)

Tiramisu/Caffé Misu


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When: Open every day
Time: 8 am – 9 pm
Where: 989 Boulevard Saint-Laurent

Dave Hemstad – The Comedy Nest

As seen on Just For Laughs and in his own special on The Comedy Network, Dave Hemstad will touch down at The Comedy Nest this week for jokes about his attention deficit disorder, company softball games, parenting tips, and more.

Featuring opening acts and comics from Montreal, go have yourself some laughs this week.

When: December 9, 10, and 11
Time: 8 pm on Thursday, 8 pm & 10:30 pm on Friday & Saturday
Where: The Comedy Nest, 2313 rue Saint-Catherine (third floor)
Price: $12 for student, $15 general admission


The 12th edition of Luminothérapie has lit up the Quartier des Spectacles, featuring an illuminated 55-foot whale, giant icebergs, musical seesaws, and more.

When: From now until February 6, 2022
Time: Friday – Sunday, 10 am – 11 pm; Monday – Thursday, 12 – 10 pm
Where: Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free

Fontaine boréale

Considering Christmas is usually associated with snow and ice, it might be time for a little element change.

A giant Christmas fountain, known as “Fontaine boréale,” is returning to the Complexe Desjardins for the holiday season, and it splashes off on Saturday.

The immersive multi-sensory experience features the Complexe Desjardin’s Grande-Place water fountain, completely decked out in the Christmas spirit.

When: December 4 – 31
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Where: Complexe Desjardins
Price: Free

Miracle Montreal


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This year, Miracle Montreal has taken over Parliament in the Old Port, bringing a sleigh-full of festive feels to the stone-walled pub.

Christmas-themed cocktails include the Christmapolitan, Christmas Carol Barrel, Snowball Old-Fashioned, Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!, Jingle Balls Nog, Nice Shot, and Naughty Shot.

When: From now until December 26
Time: 2 pm – 2 am
Where: 351 Place d’Youville

Continuum – Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

Journey to space and study the infinitely small to the unfathomable large at this exhibition that connects humankind to the rest of the universe.

When: Daily
Times: Sunday – Wednesday, 9 am – 5:30 pm; Thursday – Saturday, 9 am – 8:30 pm; closed Monday
Where: 4801 Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue
Price: $17 – $22, available online

Grand Marché de Noël


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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Montreal.

After taking a hiatus last holiday due to you-know-what, Noël Montréal has announced it is returning to the Quartier des Spectacles, offering cultural, festive, and culinary events downtown.

Along with festive atmospheres, each market will be selling local products from maple syrup to toys, decor, clothes, sweets, food, trees, and drinks (great for gifts). It will host Christmas events and seriously beautiful photo opps.

When: From now until January 2
Time: 11 am – 9 pm
Where: Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free admission

New Exhibits at Phi Centre


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This fall, the PHI Centre is offering completely free programming.

New exhibits include an augmented reality tour, a new musical listening room called Living Sound, a multimedia installation on the windows of the PHI Centre featuring Innu poet Josephine Bacon, and a series of new film screenings by Montreal’s emerging Black artists.

When: Daily
Times: Monday – Tuesday, 9 am – 5 pm; Wednesday – Friday, 9 am – 7 pm; Saturday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm
Where: 315 Saint-Paul W
Price: Free

Alight at Night

If you’re looking to take a little family road trip, why not check out Ontario’s largest outdoor light festival, Alight at Night?

Located about 140 km outside of Montreal, Upper Canada Village will be undergoing its winter transformation, as the historic location will be decorated with over one million lights.

When: December 2 – 5, December 9 – 12, December 16 – January 1 (closed December 24 & 25)
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, ONT
Price: $15, free for kids under 4

Craft Beer Tour

Take a guided three-hour walking tour and try some of Montreal’s best craft beers.

The tour stops at three different Montreal breweries, and guests can sample six artisanal beers paired with food.

Get a walking view of the city AND have a couple of pops.

When: Saturday, December 11
Time: 2 pm
Where: Starts at Le St-Bock at 1749 St. Denis Street
Price: Starting at $72, available online

The Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre

It’s been a tough two months to start the season but it’s still always an experience to check out the Habs at the Bell Centre.

This week, they welcome the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks.

When: December 7 and 9
Time: 7 pm
Where: Bell Centre, 1909-avenue-des-Canadiens-de-Montreal
Price: Various prices, available online

Jean-Talon Christmas market


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As if the Jean-Talon Market isn’t beautiful enough as is. The annual Christmas Market has taken over the site. There’ll be plenty of seasonal delights that are sure to make you feel like a kid again.

When: From now until December 23
Time: 8 am – 8 pm
Where: 7070 Henri Julien Ave
Price: Vary depending on products

Enchanted Worlds 

Musée McCord Museum

If you’re a regular window shopper, this exhibition was made for you.

Since 1947, Ogilvy’s department store, now known as Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, has been treating passersby to several delightful holiday-themed mechanical displays. Over the years, these miniature displays have transported locals to captivating winter wonderlands with their plaid-draped animals, snow-dusted pines, and busy villagers.

The McCord Museum has recreated the store’s whimsical holiday scenes, granting viewers the opportunity to rejoice in the holiday spirit.

When: From now until January 2
Time: 24/7
Where: 690 Sherbrooke Ouest

Echoes – a voice from uncharted waters

It’s a whale of a time at the Quartier des spectacles throughout December.

A magnificent 55-foot-long illuminated whale structure has breached at Place des Festivals as part of the borough’s 12th edition of Luminothérapie.

The installation is part of artist Mathias Gmachl’s “Echoes – a voice from uncharted waters” project. According to the Quartier des spectacles, the free exhibit is an interacting “sound-and-light work that invites to look and listen closely.”

The installation – a massive, colourful representation of a whale – symbolizes the planet’s flora and fauna. “It asks us to consider the impact of our everyday activities on nature and the environment, making us more aware of their fragility,” says the Quartier. The installation is a meditation on our harmful invasions of Earth’s ecosystems.

When: From now until February 6, 2022
Time: 24/7
Where: Place des Festivals
Price: Free


iSaute is a massive venue that has over 30 giant trampolines, trampoline basketball, wall climbing, and a trampoline jungle gym. You pay by the hour and literally jump around. It’s actually a fantastic workout and a soaring good time for the kids.

It’s fun for all ages.

When: Every day
Time: 9 am – 9 pm, Monday – Thursday, 9 am – 11 pm, Friday and Saturday; 9 am – 8 pm, Sunday
Where: 3220 Jean Yves, Kirkland
Price: $18 – $25, available online and in-person

RECHARGER/Unwind – Oasis Immersion


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Housed inside the Palais des congrès, RECHARGER/Unwind is a stunning new digital world that aims to reenergize guests at Oasis Immersion, Canada’s biggest immersive indoor attraction.

RECHARGER/Unwind is an immersive walkthrough experience composed of 10 works by some of Quebec’s (and the world’s) most prominent digital artists.

When: From now until January 30, 2022
Time: 10:20 am – 8:20 pm
Where: Palais des Congrès de Montréal, 1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle
From $19 to $25, available online

DodgeBow Archery

Have you ever felt like shooting a friend with a bow and arrow? Because you totally can (completely safely).

DodgeBow, the only one of its kind in Montreal, is exactly what it sounds like — dodgeball fused with bow and arrows. They have a wide variety of activities, including running around with a bow and arrow. Accuracy and agility are put to the test!

When: Daily
Time: 9 am – 9 pm
Where: 4767 Dagenais Street
Price: Starts at $25.95, available online

A/Maze: Montreal Escape Game

You escaped the workweek. now try your hand at an escape room.

A/Maze includes four exciting themed escape rooms: Prison Break, Laboratory, Military Facility, and Secrets of the Lachine Canal.

Do you have what it takes?

When: Every day
Time: 2 pm – 10 pm
Where: 3550 rue Saint-Jacques
Price: $13 – $25 per person, varies per adventure

Miracle Montreal Drag Brunches


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How about a little Christmas spirit and drag brunch fusion?

Miracle Montreal, the Christmas pop-up bar that opened at Parlement in the Old Port, is hosting drag queen brunch performances every Sunday for the rest of the month, the first of which takes place this weekend, December 5.

Weekly shows will be performed by Miss ButterflyWendy Warhol, and Rainbow while Miracle Montreal serves up cocktails (including bottomless mimosas) and brunch in a seriously festive atmosphere.

When: Every Sunday from now until December 26
Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Address: 351 Place d’Youville
Price: $25



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Montreal’s Biosphère has reopened to the public for the first time since you know what.

The large dome-shaped museum dedicated to the environment was initially constructed to house the United States pavilion during Expo 67. At the time encased in an acrylic bubble, the dome caught fire in 1976, leaving just the steel structure intact. It has remained a unique city icon since then.

When was the last time you checked out the interior of the Biosphère?

When: Open daily, but closed on Mondays
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Where: 160 Chem. du Tour de l’isle, Parc Jean-Drapeau
Price: From $8.25 to $21.50

Go Karting – K1 Speed Montreal


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Zip through this speedway in Dorval and feel like you’re actually part of Mario Kart.

When: Open daily
Time: Friday, 11 am – 11 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 12 am; Sunday, 10 am – 9 pm
Where: 2080 Rte Transcanadienne, Dorval
Price: $65, available online

DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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