Christmas time with the whole family can be très joyeux, especially in Montreal. This French-speaking island is the second-largest city in Canada and the largest in the province of Quebec. Revelers can expect a village-style Christmas loaded with merriment, fireworks, twinkling lights and fabulous free activities.
In fact, every Saturday night in December the sky lights up with spectacular fireworks, set to holiday music, over the Quays skating rink and the St. Lawrence River by the Old Port. The TELUS Fire on Ice, an annual tradition, is free and takes place every Saturday at 8 pm in December and on January 8th.
Another yearly tradition, also free, is the Christmas tree display at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts. From now through January 2nd you can view more than 35 trees decorated by volunteers from various ethnic groups.
If you’re in the mood for a little music, stop by the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel and listen to some Christmas carols. Historic vignettes on the origins of the music, songs and customs of Christmas will add a special touch to each performance, there’s complimentary admission every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. through December 31st.
And of course, no Christmas trip is complete without Santa. At the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum children are invited to solve the mystery of exactly who is the real Santa. While visiting archaeological remains, children will encounter four Christmas characters who will explain how the holidays are celebrated in their parts of the world. Remaining dates:
December 18th and 19th, December 23rd, December 26th, and December 28th to December 31st.
There are many free and inexpensive ways to spend your days while in Montreal. Here are some family-friendly inns near all the action, where breakfast is also on the house:
Good Enough to Eat. Located the edge of the Plateau, one of North America’s hippest neighborhoods is the Gingerbread Manor B&B, a Victorian manor, circa1885. Romantic couples, vacationers and families will enjoy daily gourmet breakfasts at the inn and modern amenities. Nearby restaurants and cafés offer plenty of tempting choices. Close to the village, the Latin Quarter and Montreal’s famous underground city, the inn is also steps from BYOB (bring your own bottle) restaurants.
Studio-Style Stays. Situated in Montreal’s east Village is a 100-year old stone house known as B&B Le Cartier. The inn offers double and queen studio suites or standard rooms with cable TV, High speed Wi-Fi, and a guest kitchenette to prepare meals whenever you’d like. A self-serve continental breakfast is available each day. This B&B is about a 20-minute walk to main city attractions and less than a minute to the subway.
Holiday Home. Le Gîte Bed & Breakfast Inn is in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal– the most dynamic neighborhood in Montreal. Just steps from shops, pubs and restaurants, the inn is also walking distance to movie theaters, art galleries and museums. Perks at the B&B include a beautiful terrace, free WiFi, complimentary use of the laundry room, and gourmet breakfasts daily.
Holiday activities in Montreal are plentiful – restaurants, galleries, events and exhibits are in full swing though the city is always bustling with things to do. To find more Montreal bed and breakfasts visit our Montreal page. If you’re traveling elsewhere in Canada check out our bed and breakfasts in Canada search feature to find an inn that fits your criteria.