27 things to do in Montreal this January
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Big things are happening this month.
Don’t let the fact that the holidays are over get you down. There are so many ways to have fun in Montreal this winter!
From free exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to a plethora of outdoor winter fun like dog sledding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, and more, check out 27 things to do in Montreal this January.
The Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace
Signaling the start of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace is a massive art exhibition being featured at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Free to the public until January 15, 2017, the exhibit includes 750 works of art ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day.
When: Free until January 15, 2017
Where: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Part of Montreal’s 375th birthday celebrations, Barbegazi is presented by Tribu Experientiel and will be taking place on Ilot Clark between Friday January 6th and Sunday January 15th. The people at Tribu Experientiel are creating an outdoor course unique to Montreal. The description reads, “Get pumped for some high-energy thrills on an obstacle course that winds through an urban pine forest and across a snow-topped replica of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.” For those who aren’t looking to get their blood rushing, Barbegazi will also feature a slew of family-friendly activities in the vicinity, including snow skating, woodcutting, arm wrestling, glittering light shows, Christmas tree throwing, food trucks, giant screen presentations, and live DJs.
When: January 6-8 and 13-15, 2017
Where: Ilot Clark
Try Nutella crepe sushi at C’ChoColat
C’ChoColat has done it again. A few months ago, it came to our attention that Montreal’s premiere dessert restaurant, C’ChoColat, was serving up a chocolate bomb. Just like the chocolate bomb, their latest creation is a definite crowd pleaser and it is none other than the Nutella Sushi Crepe. Comprised of nutella, banana, a soft crepe, and three different chocolate dips in the form of white, milk, and dark, chocolate, the Nutella Sushi Crepe looks seriously delicious. The plate comes with 8 pieces of sushi for $15 and is perfect for sharing with a group of chocolate-addicted friends.
When: Sunday to Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-12am
Where: 1255 Rue Bishop
Thanks to Parc Jean Drapeau’s annual Fete des Neiges, Montrealers can go on an exhilarating dog sledding adventure just 5 minutes from downtown Montreal. Happening from January 14 until February 5, 2017, Parc Jean Drapeau will be turned into a winter wonderland. The 2017 program of events includes a wide range of activities, but our personal favourite? “A dog sled ride.” Accompanied by a guide, 2 or 3 people can sit in a sled and be pulled by a team of gorgeous huskies. It appears you don’t have to trek further north for a little dog sledding fun.
When: January 14-February 7, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
Okay so this one is a little bit outside Montreal but still totally worth the trip. Located in Montebello, Omega Park is a safari park situated along 12 kilometers of lakes, meadows, forests, and hills. At the park, visitors are invited to marvel at moose, elk, bison, bears, and even wolves in their natural habitat. Divided by region, The Meadow, The Forest, The Mountain, The Lake, and The Boreal Region, the public can choose to either take a driving tour or a walking tour on the specially designed boardwalks. Whether you’re feeding carrots to cute deer or snapping an Instagram pic with a bison in the background, you’ll love this unique wildlife experience.
Where: Parc Omega, 399 Route 323 North, Montebello, QC
The hippest new yoga trend: wall yoga. And guess what? Montreal’s own Naada Yoga Studio is hosting wall yoga classes you’re sure to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a little variety in your yoga routine, or just love trying the latest new exercises, wall yoga is for you. Labelled YogaWall, these unique and relaxing Naada Yoga classes challenge yogis to discover how gravity can deepen your practice. The description goes on to read, “Build on the essential poses with the aid of the yoga wall and prepare your body’s breath and endurance to include more advanced poses.” YogaWall is an intermediate class, available to those with some yoga experience.
When: Various times, see the schedule here
Where: Naada Yoga, 5540 Casgrain Avenue
Get a ramen burger at Orange Cafe
A hybrid between the quintessential American burger and the Japanese noodle-based dish, the ramen burger is available at Orange Cafe. Orange Cafe is casual eatery specializing in Canadian fare and located on Decarie. Though everything is pretty darn yummy, we must say if you love hip foods then you have to try their ramen burger. It comes with salad and french fries, and is made with grilled ramen noodles, a beef patty, egg, sambal mayo, and arugula. It doesn’t get much better than that.
When: Monday to Wednesday 6 am-3 pm, Thursday and Friday 6 am-10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7 am-10 pm
Where: Orange Cafe, 4011 Bd Décarie
City Lights Snowshoeing Excursions
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 6pm
Where: Meeting place is the Beaver Lake Pavilion
Wildside Theatre Festival
The Centaur Theatre’s indie festival is back. On for ten whole days from January 5th until the 15th, the Wildside Theatre Festival showcases 7 plays from the acclaimed Australian show, Hootenanny, to Outta Here: An Original Musical. Don’t miss your chance to see some excellent and inexpensive live theatre!
When: January 5-15
Where: Centaur Theatre, 453 Rue Saint-François-Xavier
Table d’hote at reduced prices? Yes, please. Eat like a king for less courtesy of Happening Gourmand, one of Montreal’s best culinary festivals. Taking place in Old Montreal between January 5th and February 5th, the festival has partnered with top-notch Montreal restaurants to deliver high quality meals at a fixed price (ranging from $23 to $30). Some of this year’s participating restaurants including Suite 701, Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Bevo Bar + Pizzeria, Modavie Bistro, and Kyo Bar Japonais.
When: January 5-February 5, 2017
Where: Various locations
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is going on tour once again. With stops in Quebec all winter long, you won’t be able to resist seeing one of these fantastic, adventurous, and outdoorsy films. They are being screened in both English and French in Montreal, and the screenings begin at Cinema Imperial on January 24th.
When: January 24-28
Where: Cinema Imperial, 1430 Rue de Bleury
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 January!
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
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
The highly acclaimed Broadway musical is making its way to Montreal in January 2017. From January 3rd until January 8th, Kinky Boots will be taking over Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts for 8 consecutive shows. Kinky Boots made its Broadway debut in 2013, only to receive 13 Tony award nominations and 6 Tony wins in the 2013 awards season.
When: January 3-8, 2017
Where: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
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
Montreal’s coolest (get it?) winter music festival is back. Happening four weekends in a row in the dead of winter, Igloofest will be taking over Old Port with their incredible lineup of electronic musicians. The 2017 lineup includes Kim Ann Foxman, Grand Theft, Tiga, and Vakuum to name a few.
When: Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between January 12 and February 4, 2017
Where: Old Port
Fete des Neiges
Get active with your date and take them to Montreal’s biggest winter festival, Fete des Neiges. Taking place between January 14th and February 5th, Parc Jean Drapeau will host a myriad of snow-themed events and activities. On this year’s schedule? Everything from evening dance parties to dog sledding. Outdoor activities include snow tubing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, snow archery, an icy pirate ship, a special simulator at the Biosphere, ice skating, ice sculptures, ziplining, a ferris wheel, a Village of Penguins, a Polar Circus, snow scooters, an inflatable bouncy castle, and a mini igloo play area. Though some activities will cost you, many are free. Plus, walking around the grounds on its own is enough of a fun time.
When: January 14-February 5, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
Ever wanted to participate in a massive game of pond hockey? Well now you can. Thanks to the Classique Montrealaise, Montrealers are invited to attend a huge outdoor hockey tournament in honour of the city’s 375th anniversary. 2017 marks the very first year of this unique event. Taking place at Parc Jean Drapeau on January 28th and 29th, hundreds of hockey lovers will head to Olympic Basin for the hockey tournament of the season. Whether you’re a seasoned hockey veteran or a newbie, there will be a level for everyone! Divided into four categories: die-hard, recreational, ladies, and 50 and over, Montrealers far and wide are invited to participate in this two-day hockey extravaganza.
When: January 28-29, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau, Olympic Basin
Take part in Montreal’s 375th anniversary Les Hivernales
We’ve already reported on the lighting up of Place Jacques Cartier and the pedestrian-friendly changes coming to Sainte Catherine Street, however, now MTL 375 has released the official schedule of events starting in December 2016 and going until December 2017. After looking at the lineup, we can tell you that the winter months have an incredible program in store for Montrealers. From a giant game of pond hockey courtesy of Classique Montrealaise and an urban winter obstacle course in Barbegazi to magical winter moonlit bike ride and curling like you’ve never seen it before, MTL 375 is guaranteed to keep you active from January until March.
When: January-March 2017
Where: various locations
No Pants Subway Ride
Our favourite winter event has returned. Happening on January 8, 2017, the international No Pants Subway Ride will be taking over the Montreal metro all afternoon long. Participants are invited to meet at Station Mont-Royal at 2:30pm. From there, hundreds of pants-less riders will make their way through the city’s metro system. The event is scheduled to last for 3 hours until 5:30pm. The International No Pants Subway Ride started in New York in 2002 and has since become a global event with celebrations taking place all over the world. As per usual, the event is a “celebration of silliness and nothing more. It is absurdity for absurdity’s sake.”
When: January 8, 2017 2:30-5:30 pm
Where: Station Mont-Royal
Skating in Old Port
Boasting perhaps the most picturesque rink in all of Montreal, the Bonsecours Basin outdoor skating rink will be up and running this December. Bring your own skates (and a hot date) and enjoy a magical night of skating under the stars to holiday tunes.
When: Early December 2016-March 12, 2017
Where: Old Port
Ice Pirate Ship
This year, in honour of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, Fete des Neiges is going to be bigger than ever. Their 2017 programme, though not yet fully released, includes a range of brand new events and activities including snow archery, the Pat’Patrouille Academy for kids, Le Simulateur Genial at the Biosphere, and none other than an ice boat. What exactly is an ice boat, you may ask? Ice Boat is an interactive pirate ship made out of ice. From the pictures, the ship looks absolutely massive and will be open for kids and adults to not only marvel at but to walk on top of. The description reads, “Come and meet Captain Criniere and the crew of this huge pirate ship! Young and old, get on board and slip into this majestic setting.”
When: January 14-February 5, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
Who says food truck meet-ups are just for summer? Reviving the beloved Food Truck Friday experience is SnowFood Saturdays. Presented as part of Village Mammouth, each saturday between January 28th and March 4th, Montreal food trucks will congregate at Olympic Stadium between 3pm and 10pm. Top top off the delicious street food, there will be live music and international DJs playing tunes every Saturday night.
When: Saturdays between January 28-March 4, 2017, 3-10pm
Where: Olympic Village
Attend a scientific lecture at the Redpath Museum
McGill’s own Redpath Museum hosts free scientific talks, called “Cutting Edge Lectures,” for the public every month. Though you might worry the science is over your head, it’s presented in such a way that even someone with no scientific background will understand. Afterwards, you can even take a walk around the dimly lit museum and explore everything from dinosaurs to mummies. This month’s talk is on January 12th.
When: January 12
Where: Redpath Museum, 859 Rue Sherbrooke O
Olympic Stadium’s Village Mammouth is the place to be this winter. The festivals boasts an ice skating rink, snow tubing slides, a winter fair, food trucks, live music, and more. Village Mammouth is open all winter long, until March 12, 2017. Admission is completely free, though ice skating or tubing will cost you.
When: December 9-March 12, 2017
Where: Olympic Village
Go on a tobogganing adventure
Take your date on a classic winter adventure: tobogganing down one of the city’s many hills. Whether you’re more of a plastic disk, magic carpet, or wooden sled kind of person, there are plenty of places to enjoy an afternoon whizzing down Montreal’s natural slopes. Mount Royal, Parc Lafontaine, and Westmount are great places to go tobogganing this winter. Note: if you have your own sled, this activity is free, and if not Dollarama typically sells magic carpets for as little as $2.
Where: Various locations
Grab a Nutella milkshake at Tella’s
Tella’s Cremiere et Bar A Desserts is a little dessert spot on Beaubien Street that has become known for their unbelievable Nutella milkshakes. Similar to C’ChoColat’s freakshakes, Tella’s milkshakes are absolutely massive. Smothered in whipped cream, Nutella drizzle, and plastered with pretzels, you won’t be able to get enough of these sweet and salty treats.
When: Sunday to Thursday 12pm-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-11pm
Where: Tella’s, 6589 Beaubien