It’s Never Too Late: 9 Activities to Get Every Montréaler into the Holiday Spirit

If your halls aren’t decked with holly and the chestnuts you picked up are nowhere near an open fire – chances are you’re not as ready for the holidays as you’d like to be.

Yeah, yeah…we know. Everyone’s busy, though. And Santa doesn’t care much for excuses. 

So to get you on your way to enjoying a holly jolly Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah, Yule, Festivus, or anything else this month, here are some very merry things going down around town in the last weeks of 2014.

Check out the Holiday Fireworks in the Old Port
Who says firework-filled evenings should only be reserved for summer nights?

Start the holiday season off with a bang as the Montreal skies come to life in a pyro-musical show of epic proportions.

Telus Fire on Ice kicks off this Saturday at 8pm and will continue to light up every Saturday night sky in explosively magical style until January 3rd.

Taking in this musical lightshow won’t cost you a penny, and if you’re looking for the best seat in the house, grab your skates and hit the rink at the Bonsecours Basin.

Saunter Through Noel Sur L’Avenue
If you plan on taking a stroll down Mount Royal Avenue, prepare to hit a 2.5 kilometre stretch brimming with holiday cheer. 

From elves on bikes and carriage rides, to an awesome wood art installation and Idée-O-Rama’s 100 illuminated comic book images tacked onto lamp posts, if there’s one strip you’ll want to hit to boost your spirit it’s this one.

Get your Christmas Wonderland on at Noel Dans le Parc
We’ve got four words for you: Christmas in the park.

Bonfires, mulled wine, hot chocolate, good eats, live music, and acrobats await.

Happening in various parks on the Plateau through December 25, go ahead and take in the sights and sounds of these festive wonderlands and feel free to pick up a tree or wreath while you’re at it.

Drop by the MMFA’s Christmas Tree Display
If you’re in need of some decoration inspiration, you’re in luck because the museum’s Volunteer Association and Education and Community Programmes have gone ahead and decorated a beautiful set of spruces for your viewing pleasure.

Whether you’re there to catch the Van Gogh to Kadinsky exhibit or just strolling down the Golden Mile on your lunch break, take a minute to pop into the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion and enjoy a collection of Christmas trees promoting cultural diversity.

Pick Your Own Christmas Tree
If plastic trees don’t tickle your fancy, take a drive and find a real one to pluck from the ground.

There are a ton of Christmas tree farms located just outside the city, so finding the perfect one for your home should be a cinch for any grinch. We suggest checking out Plantation J.L.S, Les Plantations Fernet, or Quinn Farm.

And for the young professionals out there looking to revisit their childhood, you might just find Santa hanging out on the grounds.

Word to the wise: go in for a handshake or hug and forego the whole lap sitting session.

Get Some Shopping in at the Botanical Garden Christmas Fair
Come December, it’s safe to say that downtown holiday shopping gets pretty intense.

If you’re one to pride yourself on gifting loved ones with unique and interesting finds, the Botanical Garden Christmas Fair is a must.

Over 20 exhibitors are currently displaying unique plants, toys, soaps, jewelry and various gift sets for all the quirky people on your list.

But it doesn’t end there. 

The Main Exhibition Greenhouse has been transformed into a gigantic candy store filled with oversized sweets, gingerbread houses, and all sorts of other things that can rot your teeth.

Shopping and sugar highs? Where to do we sign up?

Catch a Holiday Flick at Place D’Youville
Yes, we’ve all seen Home Alone more than once.

Seriously, turn on your TV right now ‘cause there’s a good chance it’s on. However, the true question here is whether you’ve gotten a chance to watch it en Français?

If you haven’t yet crossed this off your bucket list, the Merry Montreal has organized a free Holiday Flicks series, where holiday classics will be screened at Place D’Youville every weekend at dusk through January 4th.

Though you’ll be welcomed with a stack of free blankets and hot chocolate, make sure to bundle up.

And for those less comfortable with the French language, don’t forget to pack a dictionary. Though we’re pretty sure this sounds the same in any language.

Hit the Ice at the Olympic Stadium’s Winter Village
We know Christmas fairs, flicks, and trees aren’t for everyone.

But sometimes all it takes is a nice breath of fresh air to fill up on holiday joy, and if you want to do it for free, hit up the Olympic Stadium’s Winter Village.

With musical performances, a huge free skating rink to carve up, and fun activities galore, you’re sure to get into the winter spirit, which technically counts as holiday spirit in our books.

Holiday haters beware – if you look up, you’ll find a massive Christmas tree glaring down at you so keep your eyes on the ice.

Get Your Nutcracker On
This year marks Les Grand Ballet Canadien’s 60th performance of the holiday classic, making this one heck of a lengthy Montreal holiday tradition.

Choreographed by ballet master Fernand Nault, the Nutcracker’s World is being performed throughout the month at Place des Arts and promises to wow audiences of all ages, as it has done for more than half a century now.

Over 100 dancers are set to grace the stage, offering up a magical mix of ballet, music, and impressive stage design.

And if a few bars from Tchaikovsky can’t get you in the holiday mood, we don’t know what will. 


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Cover image from: Les Grands Ballets Montreal

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