The Old Port is a choice destination for those looking to enjoy Montreal’s wintertime festivities.
What to do at the Old Port this winter
This year, winter has arrived at our doorstep in Quebec sooner than anticipated. And while the frigid weather brings its fair share of inconveniences, it also marks the beginning of our holiday celebrations.
Whether you’re looking for something to do with your children or a way to impress a date, the Old Port is an ideal place to take advantage of the joys of the cold season.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Old Port of Montreal has to offer you this winter.
As a family
The first heavy snowfall undeniably adds to the festive atmosphere that takes hold of Old Montreal each year.
If you feel like giving those who share your life a special treat, we invite you to consider the following family recreational activities and events:
- Fire on Ice: every Saturday from December 14 to January 4, there are brilliant pyrotechnical displays that your loved ones will be sure to appreciate. Before, during or after the free fireworks shows, there’s nothing stopping you from putting on your ice skates and enjoying the Old Port skating rink.
- Les Grands Ballets’ Nutcracker Market: from November 28 to December 8, 2019, the Nutcracker Market will take place at the Montreal Palais des Congrès, not far from the Old Port. There, more than 100 exhibitors will be manning their booths, selling gourmet food, jewelry, clothing, toys and more in benefit of sick and disadvantaged children.
- The IMAX Theatre at the Montréal Science Centre: an opportunity parents running short on ideas won’t want to miss, the IMAX®TELUS Theatre offers programming in keeping with the season. This winter, the cinema is showing films about rescue dogs and a mythical white bear, among others.
As a couple
The Old Port isn’t only an ideal place to take part in family activities, but also an excellent place to take that special someone when you want to make an impression.
Here are a few of our suggestions for romantic places and pastimes to visit and indulge in at the Old Port this winter.
- The Old Port skating rink: located just a stone's throw from La Grande Roue de Montréal, the Old Port skating rink offers you an opportunity to stretch your legs while enjoying an exceptional view. Open from December 7 on, this ice skating rink regularly serves as a theater for other large-scale events, including Fire on Ice, DJ on Ice (Thursday evenings) and Karaoke on Ice.
- The Aura spectacle at Notre-Dame Basilica: produced in collaboration with the studio Moment Factory, Aura offers you an immersive experience in light and sound. You and your significant other will rediscover the immense beauty that lies within Notre-Dame Basilica, just around the corner from the Old Port
- La Grande Roue de Montréal: night and day, La Grande Roue de Montréal will take you 200 feet up in the air, where you can admire the silhouette of the city below. What’s more, the comfortable, heated capsules allow you to enjoy the view with no need to worry about the weather outside.
There’s no shortage of opportunities for celebration at the Old Port of Montreal. For a successful outing filled with holiday spirit, we recommend checking out the following events, scheduled to take place shortly:
- Nordic Square: located in Jacques-Cartier Square in the heart of Old Montreal, Nordic Square offers you wood-burning fireplaces, public art exhibitions and a performance space.
- New Year's Eve Party: what better way to ring in 2020 than with your closest friends? That’s exactly what you can expect to do at the New Year’s Eve Party that will take place on Jacques-Cartier Pier at 6:00 p.m. on December 31. You can also expect fireworks and performances from some of today’s most popular artists.
For history buffs
The Old Port and Old Montreal aren’t only known for the festivities that take place there, but also for their rich historical background.
If your interests veer more toward culture and learning, this corner of the metropolis is fully capable of accommodating you.
Among the more cerebral offerings to explore this winter in Old Montreal, you’ll find:
- The Who Is the Real Santa Claus? exhibition at the Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex: certainly a family activity, but also ideal for the curious of all ages, this interactive tour explores the various mythical characters that have been associated with Christmas over the centuries.
- Victorian Christmas at the Cartier’s: from November 30 to December 29 at the Victorian home of Sir George-Étienne Cartier, you’re invited to enjoy the famous staging of a Christmas Eve dinner. Adorned with sumptuous period decorations, the home of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and its resident troupe of actors will help you immerse yourself in the atmosphere that characterized the holiday season of that era.
The Old Port in winter: festive activities to suit every taste
Whether you’re a visitor to Montreal or an adoptive Montrealer, the Old Port is filled with life as Christmas approaches.
And if the winter months make you want to stay indoors, Old Montreal gives you plenty of reasons to get out of the house.
Need some ideas to help you figure out where to start exploring? La Grande Roue de Montréal offers you a panoramic view of up to 28 kilometers.