Enjoy The Holiday Spirits As The Merriest Montrealers Would
Montreal Christmas glitters with lights, bustles with shoppers, and ringing to the tuneful sounds of musicians and carol singers. If you’re coming down to Montreal, you will certainly feel the city’s unique holiday spirit. Montrealers start thinking about the holiday season early, with the grand Santa Claus parade taking place in November. Following is craft fairs and artisan markets all over the city throughout November and December. If you aren’t arriving in Montréal until later on in December, don’t worry. There are plenty of markets open up until 24th.
MONTREAL AT ITS MERRIEST
The Big Christmas Market fills the Places des Arts with activities throughout the day and evening with a magnificent 25ft tall artist-decorated Christmas tree and choirs singing carols. Wander around marquees and log cabins and treat yourself to tasty refreshments. The kids can let off steam in the play areas or learn new skills at the art and craft workshops. If you are looking for gift inspiration, there are all sorts of interesting ideas. You can find alpaca wool tuques, cosy socks, hand-crafted jewellery, handmade soap, intriguing magnetic wooden boxes, toys and games. Delicious delights include exceptionally opulent Vanilla extracts, edible seaweeds, organic beer, artisan bread, hot sandwiches, beaver tails (pastries that look like beaver tails – not actual beaver tails!), delicious chocolates, maple confections, fine wines, and – of course – turkey.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
Not to be outdone, the Old Part Market turns Place Jacques-Cartier into a Nordic fair which showcases local musical and artistic talent, with the chance to sample and buy lots of local goodies, as well as activities to join in. Family events at Chateau Ramezay offer seasonal fun in a historic setting – kids can leave a stocking by the fireplace and come back in the new year to see what Santa has left for them. A Victorian Christmas is being celebrated at the Sir George-Etienne-Cartierhistoric site, with wassails, Victorian costumes, and Christmas card-making workshops. Meanwhile, on Rue St Paul, Maison Pepin has created an enchanting market in its alleyway. You can find all sorts of stylish and unusual decorations here.
FESTIVE ALL SEASON LONG
Christmas in the parks fill three of Montréal’s parks with stalls and activities – two are up on the Plateau, so a little way out of the city centre, but Place Emilie-Gamelin is next to Berri-Uqam metro. You’ll find log cabins, fires, sheep pen, circus artists, fire jugglers, clowns, and so much more. Hop on a giant seesaw, mulled wine and food you can toast on the fire yourself! Up on the charming street of Prince Arthur, which runs from the fashionable Rue St Laurent to the beautiful Carré St Louis, you can find the Village of the Ugly Christmas Trees with stalls, food and drink, entertainment, and a party on the evening of Thursday 21st.
If all the shopping is leaving you in need of a cheery drink, there are two Christmas “Miracle” pop-up bars. One is at the Teddy Bar (323, Rue Ontario Est), in the Latin quarter, and the other offers wonderful views from the rooftop of the William Gray Hotel – you could even see the New Year’s Eve fireworks from there.
We hope this piece has given you the spirit of enjoying the holidays during your in Montreal!