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Photograph: Shutterstock / Time Out

Top 5 ways to enjoy Montreal without snow

No snow, no problem! Here are the best ways to make the most of the city without the white stuff.

Laura Osborne
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Laura Osborne
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It’s rained and poured for weeks and now parts of the city are covered in ice, but that doesn’t mean Montreal isn’t still a good time.

With all the amazing things to do in the city this winter, from an après-ski themed winter terrasse to the free events at Montreal's coolest outdoor festival (plus a visit to the biggest new arcade in the heart of downtown in between) we’ve rounded up the best activities—no snow required!

1. Visit the giant new arcade downtown

Centre Playbox
Photograph: Centre Playbox

Cheap thrills await! With games starting at $2.50, Centre Playbox is home to more than 80 machines and attractions in a space that’s over 18,000 square feet. With some of the best arcades in the city to choose from, this one needs to be at the top of your list. Bonus? It's across the hallway from Time Out Market Montréal, home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in the city.

2. Chill out on the city’s coolest winter terrasse

Le Belvu Hors Piste
Phootgraph: JF Galipeau | Le Belvu Hors Piste

This winter terrasse is bringing all the alpine vibes—toasty fireplaces, blankets and spiced mulled wine included. Inspired by the Alps, the terrasse at Belvu Hors Piste (and exterior of the hotel it's home to) has been transformed into a winter wonderland, no snow necessary. 

3. Discover the city’s light installations after dark

Luminothérapie
Photograph: Tilt | Luminothérapie

As part of the 14th edition of Luminothérapie, a new series of six luminous works on the theme of the cosmos have appeared along Sainte-Catherine Street West, lighting up the downtown core with splashes of vivid colours. Time Out tip: The giant light and sound installations are even more epic after the sun goes down.

4. Dance under the stars at the city's biggest outdoor festival

Igloofest
Photograph: Eva Blue

Featuring a lineup of the best local and international nightlife artists, an Igloovillage and Tackiest Snowsuit contest, Igloofest—the Burning Man of the north—is one of the city’s most popular winter activities. Don't miss Igloofête, a free event taking place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays between January 21 and February 11, 2024. Expect DJ's, slides, volley-pong, a photo booth, vocal choir performance and free marshmallows.

5. Go for a whirl on the gigantic free skating rink

Esplanade Tranquille
Photograph: Ludovic Jacome

Double the size of the The Rink at Rockefeller Center, the refrigerated ice rink at the Esplanade Tranquille—located at the intersection of Sainte-Catherine Street West and Clark Street—is 1,500 square metres of winter fun, and can accommodate up to 400 people.

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