34 things to do in Montreal this December

Nov 29 2018, 8:21 pm

FEATURED EVENTS IN YOUR CITY

December in Montreal is magical.

There’s a plethora of events for you to check out in the city all month. From holiday events, to concerts and shows, there’s a little something for everyone and a big something for everyone.

And then, before we know it, it’ll be 2019. Cheers, to the last month of the year.

Village du Père Noël

Santa

The Christmas season just isn’t the same without a visit to see Santa. Besides, why take a chance of bumping into the big fella on Christmas Day without getting in some face-time beforehand?

Everyone leaves Santa cookies. Go see him, he misses you.

There’s an entire village dedicated to Santa about an hour away from Montreal.

Village du Père Noël is the perfect place for a holiday family getaway. Plus, it’s North of Montreal so in some ways, you’re heading towards the North Pole.

Located in Val-David, the village’s summer activities are transformed into a magical Christmas experience.

Activities include ice skating, tubing, sledding, a petting zoo, and a mini train. And of course, Santa and his elves are on site.

When: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22 – January 6 (closed on the 25 for deliveries)
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 987 Route Morin, Val-David
Price: Adults (individuals two years old and older): $18; Grandparents: $16

Puppy Meetup

Le Doggy Cafe is hosting a puppy meet-up where guests are urged to bring their puppies and dogs so that both canines and people can make new friends. The cafe features an enclosed environment where the newly acquainted puppies can run around (you could too).

When: Saturday, December 1
Time: 11 am – 2 pm
Where: Le Doggy Cafe, 4701 St Denis
Price: Free

The Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre

shea weber canadiens

Image: Montreal Canadiens / Twitter

After a surprising start to the season, the Habs dipped off a bit in November as a result of losing 5 straight.

They’ll look to turn things around in December and checking them out at the Bell Centre during the holidays is quite the spectacle, especially with their new captain Shea Weber back.

The Habs will host the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and their rival Boston Bruins.

When: December 1,2,4,13,15,17
Time: Varies from 7 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Bell Centre, 1909 avenue des Canadiens de Montreal
Price: onlineVaries per date and seat selection, available

Christmas Concert at the Chalet

Two musical ensembles, Montreal Welsh Male Choir and Village Ringers of St. Lambert United Church, set the holiday tune with festive melodies and traditional Welsh songs under the musical direction of Jérôme Savoie.

When: Sunday, December 2
Time: 2 pm
Where: Mont Royal Park
Price: Free

Village de Noël de Montréal

Christmas village

magicbeam/ Shutterstock

Montreal’s iconic Atwater Market is being transformed into a Christmas village.

Did you honestly expect anything less for the holidays?

The 3rd edition of the Village de Noël will feature “twice as many kiosks as years past,” vendors, concerts, light shows, a giant, decked out evergreen tree, holiday treats and outdoor screenings of classic Christmas movies.

As a bonus, the big man himself, Santa Claus, will be on site every Saturday until Christmas.

When: From now until December 23
Time: Weekends from 11:30 am – 9 pm
Where: Place du Marche, corner of St-Ambroise and Atwater
Price: Free

John Jacob Magistery Concert

One of Montreal’s grooviest bands are kicking off December with style, funk, folk, hip hop and rock. The band is headlined by the trio of Johnny Griffin, Mackenzie Myatt, and Tony Lombardi and any time you get a chance to check JJM out for a toonie, hop on it. That type of deal won’t happen often the way these guys play.

When: Tuesday, December 4
Time: 8 pm – 9 :15 pm
Where: Maison de la culture Notre-Dame de-Grâce, 3755 rue Botrel
Price: $2

Alight at Night

outdoor light

Upper Canada Village/Facebook

Lights (a lot of them), camera… action Christmas! One of the country’s biggest outdoor light festivals is ready for you and the holidays.

Now that the Gardens of Light festival has packed up for 2018, Instagrammers need to get their lighting fix somewhere else so why not make a day of it?

From the enchantment of horse-drawn wagons, to a life-size toy train, this holiday road trip will take you down the 401 to a magical place. There will be carolling, festive dining, and of course, Santa will be making a visit to take in all your Christmas wishes.

If you get cold, warm-you-up beverages will be for sale at the outdoor Carousel Corner Café, where two new holiday huts offer a cozy shelter to snuggle up in.

When: December 2, December 5 -9, 13-16 ,20-23, 26-31
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm, 4 pm to 10 pm on Saturdays
Where: Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, On
Price: $12 – $16, depending on age

Kompany Concert

Kompany has emerged from the shadows of anonymity to present one of the more promising bass music projects. Having perfected his craft in the esteemed halls of Icon Collective, Kompany is now bringing his music to a global audience, and specifically, Montreal on December 7.

When: Friday, December 7
Time: 10 pm – 3 am
Where: Le Belmont, 4483 Boulevard Saint Laurent
Price: $15, available online

Montreal Bach Festival

The Bach Festival honours Bach and other composers in more than 20 concerts hosted at some of the most beautiful spots of Montreal: Quartier des spectacles, Mont Royal, Le Plateau, Westmount Park.

Hundreds of musicians, singers, and conductors from Quebec and Europe pay tribute to the famous German composer.

It’s enough to make you say, “I’ll be Bach.”

When: From now until December 7
Time: Varies per selection
Where: Various venues around Montreal
Price: $15 – $42, available online

Dave Matthews Band

December

Dave Matthews Band/Facebook

Dave Matthew’s Band is an American rock band that was formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. Fronted by Dave Matthews, the band may not have the most original name, but their sound certainly is.

They’ll be at (a probably sold-out) Bell Centre in early December.

When: Saturday, December 8
Time: 8 pm – 11 pm
Where: Bell Centre, 1909 avenue des Canadiens de Montreal
Price: $85.25 – $151.25, available online

Make Space

Make Space is an all-female pop up market that will be selling local goods, all sustainable and handmade, just in time for the holidays.

The market will offer locally made goods, vintage clothes, books, skin-care products, plants, an onsite tarot reader and much more.

The space will be giving out free mulled wine and will be selling hot chocolate, chili and snacks.

Make time for Make Space.

When: Sunday, December 9
Time: 11 am – 7 pm
Where: The Space, 617 rue St. Remi
Price: Free admission, varying prices

The Nutcracker Market- Montreal

Every holiday season, the Nutcracker Market brings together hundreds of local artisans for a magical shopping experience.

The market started in 2010 in support of The Nutcracker Fund for Children, the country’s first charity Christmas market symbolizes the kick-off of the holiday celebrations.

10% of all exhibitor’s sales go towards the Fund that each year gives disadvantaged children a unique holiday experience that includes a free performance of The Nutcracker, animated creative workshops and gifts.

When: From now until December 9
Time: 11 am – 7 pm (Monday – Wednesday), 11 am – 8 pm (Thursday and Friday), 11 am – 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Palais des congrès
Price: Free

Natrel Skating Rink

montreal old port skating rink

Old Port Skating rink

A skating rink with Montreal’s Old Port as the backdrop – talk about picturesque.

Known for its outstanding quality of ice, excellent facilities, and breathtaking views of the city and the Saint Lawrence River, this is the place to go skating in Montreal.

There’s no better way to stick it to winter than bundling up and hitting the ice.

The chilled 2,500 square metre rink features a cozy village right in front of the ice and is a puck’s throw away from Bistro Bonsecours for a little post-game refresher.

Natrel’s Skating Rink plays rock, classical and jazz music on large outdoor speakers to add to your soundtrack of whizzing down the ice.

When: December 8, 2018 – March 10, 2019
Time: 10 am – 9 pm (Mondays – Wednesdays), 10 am – 10 pm (Thursdays – Sundays)
Where: Natrel Skating Rink, Bonsecours Basin
Price: $6.95 general admission, $4.90 kids aged 6 – 12, free for children under 6

Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s

Discover how fashion styles dating back to 1867 are still in vogue 150 years later. The exhibition showcases elegant Victorian decor and styles, hot drinks by the fireplace, a Christmas card workshop, and champagne.

When: From now until December 21
Time: 10 am – 5 pm on weekdays, 9:30 am – 12 pm on weekends
Where: Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site
Price: $7.80

IQ Trivia Night with HQ’s Matt Richards

One of the hosts, Matt Richards, from everyone’s favourite daily mobile trivia game, HQ, will host a live show in Montreal.

Based on the popular HQ app played by millions of people around the world, participants will connect via their smartphone or tablet to a livestream of questions. Of course, fantastic prizes will be awarded to the best and brightest throughout the night.

When: Monday, December 10
Time: 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Rialto Theatre
Price: $36, available online

Elf Jr. the Musical

thursday

Elf / IMDb

Students from grades 4,5, and 6 are channeling their inner-Will Ferrell and are learning a revamped script, songs and choreography to the 2003 classic film.

Elf Jr tells the story of Buddy the Elf, who years ago ended up in Santa’s sleigh and travelled to the North Pole where Santa and his Elves decided to raise him. Fast forward to present time when he discovers he is not an elf, but rather a human and travels to New York City to find his father. Along the way he meets many characters, and gets himself tangled up in a bit of trouble.

When: December 12 and 13
Time: 7 pm
Where: Howard S. Billings High School, Chateauguay
Price: $12, at the door

Christmas on Mont-Royal Avenue

Mont-Royal Avenue will be getting a holiday makeover, featuring a slew of Christmas activities this month.

The festival will kick off with the Marche de Noël aux flambeaux, an illuminated Christmas market.

This year, 10,000 people are expected to take part in the Marche de Noël. The march starts off at des Compagnons (corner of Mont-Royal and Cartier) and the walk continues through La Fontaine Park. Marchers will be given an illuminated candle while walking to music by three different choirs, Les Voix ferrées, Montréal Gay Men’s Chorus, and la Clique vocale.

When: December 8 to 23
Time: 10 am – 8 pm
Where: Mont-Royal Avenue
Price: Free admission

Dream Land

Christmas display

Sami Hajjar’s Christmas Display/Facebook

Not to be confused with Dave Matthew’s Band, this is Dream Land.

Once the ‘Christmas Display House’ gets going, it’s officially the holidays. Sami Hajjar of the West Island will be continuing his ‘Christmas Display‘ house again this holiday season, but he’s upping his game.

Compared to last year’s ‘Frozen Land,’ the upcoming ‘Dream Land’ will feature 250,000 lights, inflatables and synchronized music to five Disney songs, four times a day.

When: From now until December 25
Time: 6 pm – 9 pm (Every hour)
Where: 9035 Jean-Bourdon Avenue, West Island
Price: Free

Snow Tubing on Mont Royal

Take advantage of the pride of Montreal by snow tubing down it.

Discover the exhilaration of snow tubing down reserved lanes next to the toboggan hill overlooking Beaver Lake.

When: December 15 – March 10
Time: 10 am – 4 pm (until 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: Mont Royal Park
Price: $5 for 4 – 11 year olds, $9 for 12 years old and up

Vegan Christmas Market

Buddhi Bistro is launching their first-ever Vegan Christmas Market in Montreal.

On Saturday, December 15, Montrealers will have an opportunity to discover a variety of vegan products offered by local merchants in an enchanting Christmas atmosphere.

When: Saturday, December 15
Time: 11 am – 4:30 pm
Where: 50 rue Ste. Catherine Ouest, Maison du développement durable
Price: Free admission

Le Marché de Noël chez Maison Pepin

alleyway

tfsmarchedhiver/Instagram

Maison Pepin has channelled their inner-Harry Potter and have transformed their charming alleyway into a breathtaking rustic Christmas market.

The market itself will feature a variety of locally-made products for sale and DIY workshops from gift packaging to wreath making.

Think about all the Instagramable moments this alleyway presents.

When: From now until December 24
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 378 Rue St-Paul Ouest
Price: Free

Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight is a highlight of the Christmas season at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. This traditional service of Lessons & Carols takes place in near-darkness, creating a sense of great beauty and peace. Go check out your favourite Christmas carols in a gorgeous setting.

When: Sunday, December 16
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
Where: Musique à St.Andrew & St.Paul Sacred Music, 3415 rue Redpath
Price: Free

Le Village du Vilain Sapin – Ugly Christmas Tree Launch

Ugly Christmas tree

shaunethompsonphotography/Instagram

It’s important to laugh at yourself. And, that’s exactly what this year’s ‘Ugly Christmas Tree Village’ in Whoville Montreal will be doing this holiday season, literally.

The second edition of Le Village du Vilain Sapin will feature more than just an ugly, Charlie Brown-esque tree as this year’s evergreen will be ticklish.

Yes. A ticklish Christmas tree.

Motion detectors and built-in loudspeakers will be incorporated into this year’s Frankentree that will bellow out laughter when guests shake the bottom branches to tickle it.

When: Every day in December
Time: 5 pm, illumination of the laughing tree at 6 pm
Where: 57 rue Prince Arthur Est
Price: Free

Cirque du Soleil : Corteo

Cirque du Soleil

Corteo is coming home. The Cirque du Soleil touring production premiered in Montreal in April 2005 and it’s back for 11 dates at the end of the month.

Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.

When: December 19 – 30
Time: 1 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Centre Bell, 1909 avenue des Canadiens de Montreal
Price: $62.50 – $171.50, available online

Montreal Symphony Orchestra – Les Cowboys Fringants

More than 8,000 people applauded their four-concert run last September, so, at the public’s request, Montreal’s Symphony Orchestra is bringing two new performances by Les Cowboys Fringants and conducted by Simon Leclerc. Talk about a perfect event right before Christmas.

When: December 19 and 20
Time: 8 pm
Where: Maison symphonique de Montréal, 1600 Saint Urbain
Price: $46, available online

Luminothérapie

Place des Festivals

Quartier des Spectacles

Place des Festivals is fusing dominos, music and lights in bringing Montreal the holiday cheer.

The 9th edition of Luminothérapie, Quebec’s largest temporary public art installation, is called “Effet domino” by Ingrid Ingrid. The installation will feature 120 giant dominos spread out across several different stations. The public is invited to play with them, each creating different music and luminous effects in the process.

The dominos are all topple-able as a musical orchestra of dominos illuminate in a rainbow of pastel hues and sounds.

When: December 11 – January 27, 2019
Time: 12 pm – 10 pm (Monday, Wednesday and Sunday) 12 pm – 11 pm (Thursday – Saturday)
Where: Place des Festivals, Jeanne Mance
Price: Free

Slava’s Snowshow

Slava’s Snowshow is a stage show created and staged by Russian performance artist Slava Polunin. The show won the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.

Hosted by Just for Laughs at the timeless Théâtre St-Denis, the show will run for 15 dates, a variety of which have two or three shows per day.

When: December 19 – January 6
Time: 3 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm
Where: Théâtre St-Denis, 1594 St-Denis
Price: $46 – $93.50, available online

Noël Nights

The legendary Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright’s Christmas show, “Noel Nights,” has entertained audiences all across North America. Described by The New York Times as “typical Christmas-time family gathering motley, convivial, multigenerational, jokey, affectionate and tinged with both skepticism and faith,” the Christmas show has been a family tradition since 2005 when Kate and Anna McGarrigle released their classic album, “The McGarrigle Christmas Hour.”

When: December 21 and 22
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: MTELUS, 59 rue Ste. Catherine
Price: $81.50 – $270, available online

Natrel Skating Rink Fireworks

holiday fireworks

Old Port Winter Fireworks/ Facebook

The Old Port is about to get lit in December. Actually.

On four select dates this holiday season, the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink will fuse ice with fireworks.

The 2,500 square metre rink, just off Promenade des Quais, will be open to the public and will host a firework display overhead. The rink costs money to enter, but standing outside and watching the fireworks is as free as it is delightful.

When: December 15, 22, 29 and January 5
Time: 8 pm
Where: Old Port, Rue de la Commune Ouest
Price: Free

Christmas Mass at Notre-Dame Basilica

Few things in the city can compare to Christmas Mass at the Notre-Dame Basilica. Celebrate Christmas and Faith at one of the city’s most respected and gorgeous landmarks.

When: Monday, December 24
Time: 7 pm, 9:30 pm, 12 am
Where: Notre-Dame Basilica, 110 rue Notre Dame
Price: $4 for children, $8 for adults

One More Time – A Tribute to Daft Punk

Club Soda will host a variety of artists all playing tribute to Daft Punk for an entire night. The club will be decorated in a very Daft Punk-esque way as fans will get the feel of the French electronic music duo, one more time.

When: Friday, December 28
Time: 10 pm – 3 am
Where: Club Soda, 1225 Boulevard St-Laurent
Price:$25, available online

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker/Goh Ballet

For the 55th year, the full-length rendition of Les Grands Ballet’s magical The Nutcracker returns to Montreal.

Choreographed by the late Quebecer Fernand Nault and based on German author ETA Hoffman’s original tale, the theatre play embodies the spirit of Christmas with its graceful entertainment, magical scenery and stunning costumes, to Tchaikovsky’s irresistible musical score.

The story tells the tale of Clara, who receives a beautiful nutcracker for Christmas. The young girl is then swept into a fairytale world in which the nutcracker becomes a prince, while mice and rats battle an army of toy soldiers.

When: December 13 – 30
Time: 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
Price: $99 – $144, available, online

Merry Montreal

Old Montreal

montrealenfetes

Merry Montreal hosts a massive, outdoor New Year’s Eve party in the Old Port and it’s totally free, what a way to end the year.

Along with the Old Port’s historical cachet, restaurants, boutiques and renowned hotels, Merry Montreal features the Nordic Place, Music on the Docks, and collection of live, local bands, DJs, a midnight countdown and alcohol.

When: December 31
Time: Site opens at 10 am
Where: Montreal’s Old Port
Price: Free

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