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02 Oct, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Quartier des Spectacles kicks off holiday festivities

There’s always something happening at the Quartier des Spectacles. So, during the holidays, there will be no shortage of festivities to celebrate the ‘most wonderful time of the year’. From the twinkling of lights to the sounds of music, this downtown destination will be a buzzing hub of Christmas cheer.

As usual, Ste. Catherine St.  will be decked out in dazzling Christmas decor, setting the scene for snowy walks with hot chocolate or a family day out at the Great Christmas Market. After a hiatus from Montreal’s annual holiday festivities, the market reopened Nov. 20 and promises a fresh, new look. Meandering shoppers will be able to explore 30 chalets offering local and regional artisanal products. The market will be open until January 2 and will be closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day.


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Fun holiday activities for the family

Luminothérapie, the Quartier’s annual interactive light installation, will be back on December 2 for a 12th edition. This year, there will be added dimensions from local artists that will combine art, sounds, and light for a fun activity for the whole family. 



XP_MTL will also be adding its touch to the Quartier’s holiday aesthetics with giant nutcracker installations between de la Montagne St. and McGill College. A perfect backdrop for a Christmas family selfie.

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will give performances of the Nutcracker from December 9 to December 28. at Gesù amphitheatre.


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Jean-Duceppe Theatre will also be welcoming little theatregoers for their showing of Nicolas Noël – Les livres des enfants du monde on December 29 and 30. Kids will get a chance to see Santa perform songs and ask him questions. 

The sounds of music

The Quartier will be a destination for music lovers to relish the sounds of the holidays. The Christmas in the Park Festival will be on Thursdays through Sundays from December 3 to 23 in Place Émilie-Gamelin. Families can pick out a Christmas tree and enjoy live music from local artists. 

Other musical offerings will include  the Imani Gospel Singers who will be performing at Le Balcon on December 2,  Québec Issime with their latest work 12 voix, un piano, from December 9 to 19 at Théâtre Maisonneuve, the symphonic Christmas story, La poste du paradis from December 15 to 18 at Place des Arts and the Temps fort choir performing Noel lyrique on December 19.

Getting there

Montreal is hoping to entice visitors to the downtown core this year by offering free parking in the Ville-Marie borough. The aim is to attract families to enjoy the festive atmosphere and activities on offer downtown and to encourage shoppers to visit local shops. Free parking is in effect Dec. 3 to Jan 2, weekdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and all day on weekends.

Another inexpensive way to head downtown is by metro or bus. And don’t forget that the STM offers free public transportation for kids under the ages of 11 at all times.

For more information about Quartier des Spectacles, click here.

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