Montreal en Lumière brightens up winter nights

This festival features gourmet dining events, free children’s activities and more than 100 shows featuring music, dance, circus arts and theatre artists

Montreal en Lumière returns for a 21st year this February, bringing gourmet experiences, illuminated art installations, family-friendly activities, live music and more to brighten up the long winter nights.

The festival, which runs from February 20 to March 1, 2020 includes gourmet dining events, free children’s activities, and a program of 120 shows featuring music, dance, circus arts and theatre artists.

During this festival, Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles is transformed into a free, outdoor winter playground with super slides, a Ferris wheel, a zip-line, music and circus shows, illuminated artwork, and children’s activities.

Another highlight of the festival is Nuit Blanche, with more than 200 (mostly free) activities — including some specifically for kids — linked by a free shuttle service.

One family event will be taking at Place des Festivals between Jeanne Mance and Balmoral Sts. An illuminated diorama, or a full-size, 3-D miniature model called Habitat, will be up and running throughout the festival. Families can find out how plants, animals and humans coexist in this miniature universe, which can become giant if you look at it closely. The event is free.

La Fête du Fromage d’Ici is also back at the festival this year from Feb. 20-22 at Complexe Desjardins. Festival goers can meet some of Quebec’s cheese makers and sample (and purchase) their products.

For all the coffee-lovers out there, Quartier Gourmand will be hosting two sessions on Feb. 22 and on March 1, from 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Édika, a Montreal-based coffee import-distribution company. Two specialists will be there to give advice on how to choose a good coffee.

Are you vegan? Well, you won’t be left out, as there will be many vegan-themed events for you to check out at this year’s event. On March 1, from 4:15 p.m. until 5 p.m., for example, you can learn how to cook vegan food with MJ Guertin of Mimi & Jones, a Montreal vegan diner.

At Restaurant Europea from Feb. 20 to March 1 after 5 p.m., Chefs Jérôme Ferrer and Jean Soulard are offering a free brunch for children under 15 when a parent buys a three-course meal for $35 (or $60) or a five-course meal for $75.

Complete programming information for the outdoor site and Nuit Blanche activity details will be released later in February 2020.

For more information, visit montrealenlumiere.com.