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RécréoParc
Photograph: RécréoParc / Facebook

There are plans to open a free illuminated winter playground next week south of Montreal

The camping and summer activity site RécréoParc in Sainte-Catherine is creating its first-ever winter attraction site, opening for a month next week.

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Written by
JP Karwacki
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As of next week, Sainte-Catherine's RécréoParc won't be known only for its camping and beach opportunities in the summer; they are creating a new winter attraction called Rendez-vous polaires within its grounds that's opening on January 16 and running for a month until February 14th, and admission is free.

Never been? RécréoParc can be accessed by foot via islands in the Saint-Lawrence (the longest trip), by public transportation within an hour, or in 30 minutes by car if you're travelling from the downtown core.

For now until further notice, the plan for the site so far is to be open every day from 9am to 9pm, a site big enough for 1,000 people to safely socially-distance can access a new illuminated snow slide, a half-kilometer skating trail equipped with lights, a cross-country ski trail that's over 10 kilometers long and a 2.5km snowshoe trail. 

If visitors don't have the equipment they need for a certain activity, there's a rental center for skates, snowshoes, and snow tubes for around $5 to $7. However, if you bring your own equipment to enjoy the site, that means that it can be enjoyed completely for free.

That includes food and drink as well: You could bring your own, but the site promises to offer food and beverages as well. If that's not enough, the site plans to host a DJ on Saturdays and Sundays, and there's been hints of adding fireworks to its programming.

All this comes from RécréoParc's general manager Dominic Guinta, who has said in a past interview that the site is intended to replicate the Fête des neiges at Parc Jean-Drapeau—something that's become a winter playground with activities right now in lieu of cancelling its usual winter festival.

The government of Québec is expected to renew, extend and expand the province's lockdown measures as of tomorrow in a press conference with Premier François Legault. However, even the more strict of lockdown measures the province has seen didn't limit outdoor gatherings—that said, it's a good idea to check with RécréoParc and its social media for updates about how the site will proceed.

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