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26 Jan, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Holiday events abound at Espace pour la vie attractions

There’s no shortage of things to do, see, and explore this Holiday season at the five museums of Espace pour la vie.

At the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan

Starting December 14 at the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan, there’s a dazzling 360° immersive experience into the world of ice and the role it plays in our lives and in the universe. Worlds of Ice, a film by Philippe Baylaucq and produced by the National Film Board of Canada in cooperation with the Planetarium and the City of Montreal will cast viewers into the frosty substance, whose properties have had such a big impact on biology, ocean sciences, astronomy, anthropology, culture and the arts. Viewers are invited to sit back in the cozy seats of the Planetarium and journey to the farthest reaches of the solar system, travelling through the many dimensions of ice—from the territories of the Arctic to a scientific complex nestled under the South Pole. The 30-minute film also features narration and Inuit throat singing by Beatrice Deer, a popular figure in Inuit culture.

Starting December 14 | Length: 30 minutes | For ages 7 and older

Black ice in the heart of Neptune
Credit: Image from film – Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada, 2022

At the Biosphère

The Biosphère will be introducing a futuristic meditative virtual reality experience starting December 17. Plastisapiens will transport spectators to an ecofuturistic world where organic beings and plastic become one. Throughout the 15-minute interaction, users shift from observer to participant, as they witness the origins of organic and plastic life; explore their relationship with bacteria, viruses and fungi; and watch in amazement as their (virtual) hands turn into waving tentacles, and then into new mutant appendages.

Starting December 17 | Length: 15 minutes | 13 years and older

Over the holidays, the Biosphere will also have two special events. On Dec. 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., visitors can take part in a Bioplastics Tasting with edible plastic cooked in a lab. And on Wednesday, January 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., there is a Bioplastics Cooking Workshop using agar agar and gelatin.

At the Biodome

Giant animals will be taking over the Biodome starting December 26. Oversized puppets made of eco-friendly materials and inspired by our native animal species will wander through the spaces surrounding the ecosystems and interact with visitors. The schedule varies so make sure to check before heading out.

While at the Biodome, make the most of your visit by taking part in a playful search-and-find activity in the company of an educator and the animals of the Laurentian Maple Forest and Tropical Rainforest. A bird’s eye view of the ecosystems will give you a better understanding of the importance of animal well-being.

The giant animals will be on site starting December 26 | Length: 3 to 10 minutes | For the general public, especially 3-to-8 year olds

At the Botanical Garden

If you’re looking to warm up, The Botanical Garden’s greenhouses are the perfect spot for a nature getaway. Discover 36,000 plants and 12,000 species, varieties and cultivars and surround yourself with the beauty of plants. Guided tours are also offered for free, with an admission ticket, in cooperation with the Friends of the Montréal Botanical Garden.

At the Insectarium

Reopened last April, the Insectarium offers a one-of-a-kind experience with an intimate, multi-sensory circuit that literally lets visitors become an insect for a while. Imagine yourself as a fly on the wall in the topsy-turvy alcove, or as an ant crawling through its tight tunnels. A visit to the Grand Vivarium, which houses a hundred species of free-ranging insects, including butterflies will delight. And the Dome, which boasts a collection of 3,000 naturalized specimens, is an enlightening look into the evolution of insects.

Espace pour la vie (Mélanie Dusseault)

Holiday gifts

The gift shops at the Biodome, Botanical Garden, and Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan stock a huge selection of products in line with Espace pour la vie’s mission and values. Discover the collection of Indigenous art at the Biodome, choose from planet plushies and vintage Dow Planetarium posters from the 60s and 70s at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan, or shop for your budding gardener at the Botanical Garden. An Espace pour la vie Passport provides one year’s unlimited access to the five museums.

Pluto and Charon plush toys, $39.

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