Montreal in the Winter: Festivals, Carnivals, and Winter Activities

Things to Do in Montreal in Winter: Activities and Festivals

Louise Roy

Montreal in the winter gets darn right cold (Our average temperature in January and February is below 0°C!), but you won’t find us locked inside hibernating! Montreal winters are packed with plenty of festivals, carnivals, and winter activities to entertain tourists and locals alike.

Montreal Winter Festivals Can Really Pick You Up!

Just because the temperature is dropping, Montreal winter festivals can really pick you up during the cold, dark winter months.

montreal winter festival Things to Do in Montreal in Winter: Activities and Festivals

And there’s nothing like the Igloofest to get your heartbeat racing and your body warm on a cold winter’s day. Over the course of four weekends in January, this electronic music festival transforms Montreal’s Old Port into the dance capital of the world with local and international DJs throwing down beats designed to cut through the chill of the air.

If you’re of the opinion that anything is good as long as it’s made of chocolate, then you won’t want to miss the Montreal chocolate show Je t’aime en chocolat, which takes place the weekend before Valentine’s Day in Old Montreal. Chocolatiers from all around Quebec descend on Montreal, providing lectures, demos, and even a chocolate fashion show, which are all absolutely wonderful, but we love tasting the samples the most!

Cutting through the darkness of late February is the Festival Montréal en Lumière in Downtown Montreal, which combines food and wine tasting events, art performances, and free outdoor illuminated activities. The festival ends with an all-night party called Nuit Blanche, which features over 180 activities from 10pm to 6am as long as you can keep your eyes open.

Montreal Winter Carnival

One of the biggest events in Montreal during the winter is the Fete des Neiges carnival in Parc Jean-Drapeau.

During four weekends from January through February, the carnival offers a wide variety of winter activities including a skating path, cross-country skiing trails, snow tubing, a Ferris wheel, dog sledding, horse-drawn sleighs, and traction snowboarding. Locate just across the St. Lawrence River from Old Montreal, the events provides many free, family friendly activities as well as live music, professional dancers, ice sculptors. If you want to experience some signature winter moments in Montreal compressed into one place, then the Fetes des Neiges carnival is absolutely perfect.

Montreal Winter Activities

If those festivals don’t appeal to you, there’s still plenty of other things to do in Montreal during the winter. For example, you can ice skate at many of the city’s parks, usually for free if you have your own skates but rentals are usually available as well. Parc La Fontaine and Bonsecours Basin in Old Montreal are two of our favorite outdoor ice-skating rinks in Montreal. Montreal also offers about 200 km of cross-country skiing trails, and plenty of snow shoeing trails as well. You can also snow tube at the Parc du Mont Royal and Parc Jean-Drapeau during the Fetes des Neiges festival.

If you’re looking for a downhill skiing adventure, Quebec offers over 80 ski resorts, and many are less than a two-hour drive from Montreal, such as Mont Tremblant, which has been voted the top Ski Resort in Eastern North America by Ski Magazine. Some of the more popular ski resorts just outside of Montreal are Mont Saint-Sauveur and Mont Orford.

So if you want to truly experience a winter wonderland, come to Montreal and enjoy our winter festivals and activities. And if you’re looking for a place to stay, consider staying with Enville at one of our luxurious furnished apartments, which provide more space and comforts that your average hotel just cannot provide. So plan your escape this winter and contact us today.

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