Festive Montreal: Food, markets and holiday shows to fill the calendar

Interested in a traditional German Christmas market? Or seeing a decorated CP train stopping to put on a show at your commuter station? Here are some festive events to get you in the holiday spirit.

Bundle up and head out to catch the city's abundance of holiday offerings

The Ogilvy department store Christmas window, that has been around since 1947, is now up to the McCord Museum on Sherbrooke Street. (McCord Museum/Handout)

Festive events, foodie gatherings and holiday craft fairs are going to dominate Montreal's calendar into the New Year but with so many options, deciding which direction to go in can be overwhelming.

Here are a few options happening around Montreal that always draw big crowds. 

For foodies

Weihnachtsmarkt (Traditional German Christmas market): This food-focused market will help shoppers stock up for winter with frozen meals like soups and stews, along with traditional foods like tortes and Stollen. Handmade crafts will also be on sale. Glühwein (mulled wine) and a hot lunch of German sausages, sauerkraut and pea soup is being served. At St-John's Lutheran Church in the McGill Ghetto neighbourhood on Dec. 1 and 2.

Montreal's Christmas Village: The Atwater Market is hosting its third edition of Montreal's Christmas Village. Since the market is all about food, this is a hot spot for marshmallow roasting, a Raclette theme night, and chalets with 70 local artisans and chefs. There are also Christmas trees for sale. Over four weekends starting Nov. 30

Outdoor holiday spots

Noël dans le parc: This Christmas fair sets up in Place Émilie-Gamelin and includes a market, more than 100 free shows and events, and of course, toasty bonfires. Dec. 1 to 25.

Marche de Noël aux flambeaux (Torchlight Christmas Walk): More than 10,000 people take part in this annual walk down Mont-Royal Avenue to La Fontaine Park. Costumed characters join people carrying small candles and choirs fill the streets with music. Bring a candle, or buy one at the starting point, Compagnons Park (corner of Mont-Royal and Cartier avenues), for $2. Funds raised go to the food bank Moisson Montreal. Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

Fireworks are the grand finale of the annual Christmas walk. (Marche de Noël aux flambeaux/Facebook )

Ogilvy's holiday window in its new location: Don't head to the landmark store to check out the annual mechanical Christmas window (where it had been since 1947) — its new home is up on Sherbrooke Street at the McCord Museum. The scenes feature dozens of handcrafted animals working and playing. One window is installed outside the museum and another is inside. Until Jan. 6.

Indoor markets

Salon des metiers d'art du Quebec: This annual market started in 1955 and is still going strong. More than 400 artisans come from around the province to take part in it. At Place Bonaventure, from Dec. 6 to 16.

The Nutcracker Market: This market also features thousands of items from local artisans, including food and handmade soaps. At Palais des congrès de Montréal, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 9

Puces POP: This indie craft and food fair has been growing steadily over the past decade. Items such as crocheted earrings and cheese-making kits are typical finds here. Église Saint-Denis (5067 Rivard Street) from Dec. 7 to 9 and 14 to 16.

Souk @ SAT: This increasingly popular local artisan fair features high end items, like jewlery and handmade hats. It's spread over two floors in the trendy Society for Arts and Technology on St-Laurent Boulevard. There's a café and restaurant on site for when shoppers run out of steam. Nov. 28 to Dec. 2. Event page.

Hanukkah Market: The Jewish Museum on St-Laurent Boulevard at Duluth Avenue is bringing its market back by popular demand. Local artisans take over the small museum space and the adjoining café, Fletchers, promises special Hanukkah treats during the event. Dec. 2 and 9Event page


The Nutcracker: This is the 55th edition of the annual ballet at Place des Arts. Up to 70 musicians in the orchestra play Tchaikovsky's music. Tickets are $74 to $149, children under 17 get 40 per cent off. Dec. 13 to 30

CBC Christmas Sing-In: It's the 39th edition of the Sing-In, an event where an audience of 1,500 people sings along with the choir at the historic Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul on Sherbrooke Street. The concert will be streamed live on our website and on Facebook Live starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. 


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