21 things to do in Montreal this weekend: December 13 to 15

Dec 13 2019, 5:00 am

Montreal is bursting with great events to check out all weekend, December 13 to 15. From plenty of holiday-based activities, art, skating, comedy, and concerts, you deserve to spoil yourself this weekend.

Friday, December 13

Luminothérapie

Place des Festivals

Quartier des Spectacles

Place des Festivals is lit.

The Quartier des Spectacles’ public square is hosting the 10th edition of Luminothérapie through Pop!, a celebration of five fantastical creatures that aim to light up the city during the dark days of winter.

Because if anything can lighten up our bleak winter, it’s Luminothérapie, Quebec’s largest temporary public art installation.

When: From now until January 26
Time: 12 to 11 pm
Where: Place des Festivals
Price: Free

The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker

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‚Äôs 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: From now until December 30
Time: 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Where: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts
Price: $99 Р$144, available, online

Imagine Van Gogh

Van Gogh

@fernwehbebe/Instagram

Montreal has been coated with an exhibition of the works of Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch post-impressionist painter who is among the most famous figures in the history of the art world.

The exhibition, Imagine Van Gogh, which opened last week, takes guests through the world of colours and emotions of Van Gogh’s works through gigantic murals and an immersive soundtrack.

When: Friday, December 13
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Arsenal Contemporary Art Contemporain
Price: $26 – $36, available online

Natrel Skating Rink

Old Montreal skating Old Port

@vieuxportmtl/Instagram

A skating rink with Old Montreal as the backdrop ‚Äď talk about picturesque.

The Natrel Skating Rink in Old Montreal opened to the public last weekend and it’s 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.

When: Friday, December 13
Time: Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 9 pm; Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm
Where: Natrel Skating Rink, Bonsecours Basin
Price: $5.22 for kids six to 12; $7.83 general admission, free for kids under six.

Emo Philips – The Comedy Nest

As seen on The Late Show, The Late Late Show, CBC’s Just For Laughs, Comedy Central, and the list goes on,

Emo Philips was once described by Jay Leno as ‚Äúthe best joke writer in America,‚ÄĚ some pretty high praise.

As seen on Meet the Parents, Philips will set up shop at the Nest all weekend along with Montreal-based comedians Mike Paterson, Joey Elias, Derek Seguin, and Wassim El-Mounzer as the featured acts.

When: December 13 and 14
Time:  8 pm and 10 pm
Where: The Comedy Nest
Price: online$10 Р$15, available

Mamma Mia

Evenko

One of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Mamma Mia, is making its way to Montreal this weekend.

Mamma Mia has been playing for 17 years and has travelled across 80 different countries.

Based on the songs of ABBA, you‚Äôll be humming along to hit singles like ‚ÄúDancing Queen,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúMoney, Money, Money,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúMamma Mia‚ÄĚ all weekend long.

When: December 13 to 15
Time: 7:30 pm on Friday and Sunday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday,
Where: Theatre St-Denis
Price:$72.40 Р$141.75, available online

Saturday, December 14

Village de No√ęl de Montr√©al

@themonthofjune92/Instagram

As if the Atwater Market isn’t magical enough, it’s been transformed into a ‘Christmas Village’ for its fourth edition of Village de No√ęl.

The village, which can be found on the outskirts of the Atwater Market, includes 40 local craftsmen and restauranteurs, concerts, choirs and shows, a sugar shack, an outdoor fire pit, creative activities, a Christmas tree sale, and face painting.

As a bonus, the big man himself, Santa Claus, will be taking time out of his very busy holiday schedule to be on site every weekend until Christmas.

When: December 13, 14, and 15 (until the 22nd)
Time: 11:30 am to 9 pm
Where: Place du Marche, corner of St-Ambroise and Atwater
Price: Free

Montreal Canadiens vs the Detroit Red Wings

Habs

@samyboy16/Instagram

After a tough stretch that ended November and started December, the Habs have won three in a row and host the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

When: Saturday, December 14
Time: 3 pm
Where: Centre Bell
Price: Various prices, available online

No√ęl dans le Parc

Christmas festival

@majordomemusique/Instagram

Celebrating its 26th edition,¬†No√ęl dans le Parc¬†is a month-long outdoor Christmas festival spread out among three popular parks in Montreal, and it’s ready for its third weekend.

The festival offers free music shows and events, holiday-themed drinks and bites, outdoor fire pits, and Christmas trees for purchase.

Because if there’s ever a place to nab a tree, it’s in a park devoted to Christmas.

Once again this year, the festival will host francophone music by renowned local artists, all of whom will perform on a gorgeous cabin stage, built specifically for the No√ęl dans le Parc.

When: December 14 and 15
Time: Varies per park
Where:¬†Place √Čmilie-Gamelin, parc Lahaie, and parc des Compagnons
Price: Free admission

Tim Baker – l’Astral

Tim Baker is a Canadian singer-songwriter from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The longtime lead singer of the indie rock band Hey Rosetta!, Baker will be rocking out the gorgeous l’Astral on Saturday.

When: Saturday, December 14
Time: 8 pm
Where:¬†l’Astral
Price:$41.37, available online

Le March√© de No√ęl chez Maison Pepin

Christmas alleyway

@lysannepepin/Instagram

Maison Pepin has channelled a little bit of Harry Potter by turning its charming alleyway into a breathtaking rustic Christmas market.

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

Without taking away from the local artisans, the alleyway is one of the most picturesque Christmas-time spots in the city. The narrow walls, dim lighting, light snow, and wreaths are begging to be shared all over Instagram.

This is the market’s third weekend and it runs until the end of December.

When: From now until December 22
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: 378 Rue St-Paul Ouest
Price: Free

Village du P√®re No√ęl

Santa

alina.reynbakh.photo/ Instagram

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?

An entire village dedicated to Saint Nick, located about an hour away from the island of Montreal, opens this weekend.

Village du P√®re No√ęl is the perfect place for a holiday family getaway. Plus, it’s North of Montreal so you’ll actually be closer to 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 14, 15 and from December 21 to January 5 (closed on the 25th)
Time: 10 am Р5 pm
Where: 987 Route Morin, Val-David
Price: Adults (individuals two years old and older): $18; grandparents: $16

Natrel Skating Rink Fireworks

Old Port of Montreal

Aside from offering 2,500 square metres of refrigerated ice, the Natrel Skating Rink will be hosting firework displays this weekend.

Soak up a little mix of fire and ice this month.

When: Saturday, December 14
Time: 8 pm
Where: Old Port, Rue de la Commune Ouest
Price: $5.22 Р$7.83, available on site and online

Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s

Parks Canada

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 29
Time:¬†10 am ‚Äď 5 pm on weekdays, 9:30 am ‚Äď 12 pm on weekends
Where:¬†Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier National Historic Site
Price: $7.80

Sunday, December 15

Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight/Facebook

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 15
Time: 7 pm Р9 pm
Where: Musique à St.Andrew & St.Paul Sacred Music, 3415 rue Redpath
Price: Free

Illumi Cavalia

@jean_lowsey/Instagram

The dark days of winter need to be brightened up a touch and that’s where Cavalia’s Illumi comes in.

Check out a world of magical, captivating, and gorgeous lights in an extraordinary outdoor show created from thousands of light sculptures, characters, and designs.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Where:¬†Illumi Cavalia — 2805 Boulevard du Souvenir, Laval
Price: $14.50 – $18.50, available online

Miracle Montreal – Christmas Pop-Up Bar

Miracle on de la Commune/Facebook

Miracle Pop-Up has taken over The Coldroom and transformed it into a beautifully festive Christmas bar.

If you aren’t in the holiday spirit yet, this might help you get there.

Miracle pops up in over 80 cities around the globe, partnering with local bars to inspire the Christmas cheer through festive decorations, quirky parties, ugly X-Mas sweaters, and of course, seasonal cocktails and grub.

For the second year in a row, Miracle will join forces with The Coldroom to bring on the festive feels, every day until December 26.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time: 5 pm to 3 am
Where:¬†The Coldroom — 131 de la Commune
Price: Free admission

Enchanted Worlds – McCord Museum

Ogilvy's Christmas window display

McCord Museum

Ogilvy’s old Christmas window display,¬†a holiday fixture at the corner of Ste. Catherine and rue de la Montagne since 1947, can now be found on Sherbrooke Street.

Last year, the annual scenes of stuffed animals interacting in mechanical settings, was donated to the McCord Museum and it is now on display until January 5, 2020.

Ogilvy’s old display has been split into two exhibits, “The Mill in the Forest” and the “Enchanted Village.”

The Mill in the Forest can be seen outside, 24 hours a day, at the corner of Sherbrooke and rue Victoria and the Enchanted Village is in a room on the McCord’s second floor.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time: 10 am to 6 pm (Enchanted Forest), 24 hours a day, outside (The Mill in the Forest)
Where: McCord Museum
Price: $14 Р$19 (Enchanted Forest), free admission (The Mill in the Forest)

La Grande Roue de Montréal

@asrai972/Instagram

Hit up Canada’s largest observational wheel and take in some absolutely breathtaking views of the city in all its festive glory.

Not to mention, some primetime photo ops that’ll make your Instagram crowd jealous.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time: 10 am to 11 pm
Where: 362 rue de Commune Est
Price:¬†$14.79 ‚Äď $25

Fontaine boréale

Christmas fountain

@amazing.views/Instagram

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

For the fourth consecutive year, the Christmas fountain known as “Fontaine bor√©ale” has returned to the complexe Desjardins for the holiday season.

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

Every hour, the fountain lights and shoots up to the shopping mall’s ceiling, accompanied by music, lights, and special effects.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time: Every hour from 4 to 10 pm
Where: Complexe Desjardins, 150 rue Ste. Catherine Ouest
Price: Free

Notre-Dame Basilica

Mozart concert

A G Baxter (Shutterstock)

Celebrate Sunday mass at Montreal’s most viewed structure at 11 am and hear a 25-person choir accompanied by the organ. Or, take a walking tour of the basilica which is an absolutely gorgeous spectacle. It is filled with hundreds of wooden carvings, several religious statues, and gigantic stained glass windows.

When: Sunday, December 15
Time:¬†12:30 pm ‚Äď 4 pm on Sundays (mass starts at 11 am)
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
Price: Free