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26 Nov, Saturday
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Montreal Families

Santa Claus parade back on for 2022

Mark you calendars as the Santa Claus parade is coming back to the streets of Montreal on Nov. 19, 2022.

The annual event has been cancelled for the past two years due to the pandemic. In 2019, it attracted 400,000 people.

The parade will start at 11 a.m and take place along Ste. Catherine Ste. W. between Du Fort and Clark streets. This tradition marks the official start of the holiday season in downtown Montreal. Families are encouraged to take public transportation. For more information about the parade, click here. 

Here are a few tips on how to make any parade a successful outing for kids (& parents):
Over prepare for chilly weather

Parades are great when the weather cooperates and it is not too cold. But come November, it is likely to be on the chillier side. We went to the Santa Claus Parade on a cold day a number of years ago and left very quickly because the kids not dressed warmly enough. Unless you’re really well equipped to be standing outside in the cold for a while, it’s not going to be fun for you or the kids.

Take notes from the parade pros

When we arrived at the parade, it was clear we were not of the same organizational echelon as many of the other parents. There were those who had prime, edge-of-the-curb spots, brought their own collapsible chairs, blankets, Starbucks coffees, as well as Santa hats and reindeer-shaped earmuffs. No, I am not kidding. While the seasonal accessories and coffee are luxuries, bringing seats (strollers or child carriers) for the kids could make a huge difference to your experience. Better not to leave the event with numb arms and back spasms from holding the kids up so they can see the parade.

Know the parade route

If you have young kids with little patience, consider getting as close as possible to where the parade begins, or plan to catch the end of the parade. This way they’ll get to see a lot of the action, and not have to wait much between floats. On our first parade visit, we figured that showing up on any corner of Ste. Catherine St. would be fine, but our 2-year-old wasn’t impressed by the “leisurely” pace of the event.

What’s your getaway plan?

Think ahead about possible eateries or other child-friendly distractions that are in the vicinity of the parade. That way, if it does end up being too cold or crowded to stick out, you have a convenient getaway plan. A few years ago, we ended up at La Cage aux Sports restaurant in the Bell Centre because it was the closest place to where we parked the car. What would normally be a last-resort restaurant choice turned out to be a child-friendly haven. There were baskets of free popcorn, kids’ place mats with crayons, a kids’ menu, and about 400 TVs showing various sports.

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