Since the snowfall last weekend, the best things to do this weekend in Montreal are full to burst with a lot of wintry fun. Outdoor Montreal festivals and events are starting to kick into gear with the don’t-miss Igloofest full of DJs and snowy playgrounds; it’s a bit of a theme this month when you look at the nightlife available in places like Jet Night Club and its Montreal Snow Festival or Les Jardineries’ first-ever outdoor winter biergarten. If you’re looking for even more things to do in winter in Montreal, nothing beats taking advantage of the weather with ice skating or going skiing near Montreal.
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Best of the city under one roof
You’ve probably heard us rattling on about the Time Out Market Montréal for weeks, but we’ve finally got something to show for it. The market is officially open and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to check it out. Stop by for lunch, grab dinner at one of 17 restaurants run by a star-studded roster of chefs before heading out to a show downtown or stick around here and party at one of our three magnificent bars. The Time Out Market Montréal is located in the heart of the city at the Centre Eaton.
Things to do in Montreal this weekend
Chilling at the club is nothing compared to this annual festival. Billed as the coldest outdoor music festival in the world, Igloofest returns for its 14th edition to deliver Canadian and international DJ sets—think Kaytranada, France’s THE BLAZE or Belgium’s Charlotte de Witte—and wintry playgrounds to Montrealers in Old Montreal. Starting on January 16th and lasting until February 8th, every weekend is packed with performances to warm us up with dancing at the main stage or hanging out at an Igloovillage featuring costume contests, toasty food, amusement park-style rides or just grabbing a drink by the fire.
On Saturday, Jet Night Club (2020 Crescent) is keeping up its reputation for crazy parties with its Montreal Snow Festival. Hit the dancefloor while the club spins everything from Top 40 hits to EDM, hip hop and reggaeton while mounted ‘snow blasters’ plaster you in artificial snow from the ceiling (no worries, it won’t ruin your threads). There will be deals on bottle service starting at 10pm when the club opens. Oh, and ladies? If you grab a ticket in advance for this one, you can drink at the open bar for free from 10pm to 2am. Stay frosty.
Since 2017, Flohmarkt Pop Ups has been putting together this monthly market of 20 vendors selling vintage streetwear from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. This month’s session goes from Saturday to Sunday, noon to 6pm each day. If you’re looking to equip your closet with anything from padded shoulders, spandex and high waisted jeans to high tops, flannel or a tracksuit for when you want to look like a total G? This is where you want to go.
Winter tends to mean it'll be a slow season for restaurants in town—you're swearing off booze for January, you spent all your savings on X-Mas gifts—so food festivals start to pop up. Happening Gourmand's one of the better coordinated efforts in town to get Montrealers out and dining, and for good reason: From January 16th to February 9th, 10 restaurants from around Old Montreal are offering table d'hôtes for as cheap as $25 to $35 (and weekend brunches for $17!). It's a good way to get out for date night or keeps things cheap, especially when it's followed up with ice skating in Old Port.
This outdoor biergarten made popular by its summer sessions of live music, drinks, food and urban farming by the Olympic Stadium begins its very first winter session this weekend. This first event of its kind for the organization begins on Saturday from 5pm to 10:30pm, featuring bocce on ice, a chalet serving mulled wine and chocolate and a performance by the DJ collective Pull-Up Selecta. Foodies should take note there’s some crazy churros and a ‘Fon-Dog’ (fondue hotdog) promised as well, plus blankets and fireplaces for the food coma afterwards.
Got a need for speed? Beginning this weekend on January 17th, the International Montreal Auto Show is up and running and humming at Palais des congrès. It’s going to be 10 days full of 500 cars spread out over 360,000 square feet with experience like the Black Box to view luxury cars like $1.5 million McLaren Senna or the $4.5 million Pagani Huayra Roadster, a showcase of young Quebeckers’ modiefied rides entitled Expose Ton Char, an exhibit focused on modern electric car developments, and test drives galore. At $17 for general admission per day and a close proximity to Chinatown, it’s the perfect event for autophiles.
There’s nothing like carb loading to stave off those winter blues. This Thursday, the Rialto Theatre will be host to a baguette festival where eight bakeries will putting their hats (or loaves) in the ring to be judged by a selected jury at the festival. While you wait to find out who wins the grand prize, enjoy a full range of meats and cheeses meant to accompany the baguettes available. The only catch is that it’s $20 for admission ($5 for 18 years and younger, free for kids under 5), but when you’ve eaten excellent baguettes with cheese and charcuterie for several hours, the price tag’s nothing.
More great things to do in Montreal
Maximize your dime and time with the best cheap things to do in Montreal, from arts and culture to food and drink. Here’s our list of our favourite ways to spend time in Montreal without spending too much of your hard-earned cash.
Here’s your list of essentials for the best things to do in Montreal, from fantastic attractions to cultural powerhouses.