Montréal is a city that embraces Christmas and gets into the spirit of celebrating. If you find yourself in town during the holidays and want to join in the fun, here are some events to get you into the spirit.
Skate under a brightly lit night
Head down to the Old Port in Vieux Montréal on Saturday for the TELUS Fire on Ice fireworks display. The whole port is lit up with displays by internationally recognized firework artists. Each week there is a different theme. Rent skates at the Bonsecour Basin skating rink and be on the pond while the pyro-musical lights up the holiday sky. From 5pm to 9pm, kids can skate alongside their favorite life-size cartoon characters. Show up a early on January 7 for the fire-dancing spectacular. No fee. December 24, 20, 8 p.m, Alice in Wonderland, December 31, 2011, midnight, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve’s 400th birthday. January 7, 2012 8 p.m., The Little Mermaid.
Sugar plum fairies and mice
The Nutcracker is another beloved holiday classic performed by Les Grands Ballets. This year there are over over 150 sparklingly costumed characters to enjoy along with the magnificent choreography and Tchaikovsky’s ravishing score. Les Grands Ballets have become equally famous for their wonderful sets and costumes as well as for their exquisite dancing. Come to a pre-show reading of Hoffmann’s tale with your children for “Mouse of the Day” where a child is chosen to appear on stage during the show’s first act. Place des Arts, December 11 until Dec 30.
Make nice with Scrooge
The Plateau’s Rialto Theatre is producing Charles Dickens’ classic novella, A Christmas Carol in a live theatre format with 16 traditional songs added to the script. The theatre is one of the last art deco theatres in Montreal, the perfect backdrop to this classic tale. Proceeds to the show are being donated to the community charities. 5723 avenue du Parc, December 20 until Dec 30. Check website for times and ticket prices. The show has both an English and French version.
Join the revellers
Brave the cold and come experience Noël dans le Parc (NDLP), a celebration of music, dance and theatre enjoy in Montreal’s Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Enjoy live music and street entertainers, buy some comfort food and warm up by the bonfire. There are 40 free concerts being performed by 34 musical artists. A great way to experience a Québécois Christmas. From December 1 until December 25th.
Catch an Xmas circus
Dralion is Cirque du Soleil’s newest show fusing the 3,000 year old Chinese acrobatics with the modern style of this Quebec circus. The show features four characters who represent Fire, Air, Earth, and Water looking to the Dralion (combo of the Eastern dragon and the Western lion) for harmony between humans and nature. Look for the gravity defying stunts and feats of amazing acrobatic and gymnastic routines. A bit of circus magic for the holidays. Bell Centre, December 11 until December 30th.
Star and flower gazing
Montréal’s Botanical Gardens offers a magical display of flowers for the holidays seasons. This year the Main Exhibition Greenhouse will be full of some inventive creations by recycling artists amidst the flowers. Carolers wander the gardens and perform in the main lobby. In the evening amateur astronomers from the Société des Amis du Planétarium set up telescopes so you can peer at the sky and search for the Christmas star. December 8 until January 8, 2012.