What to do this February in Montreal
Having grown up in Montreal I often take for granted how freakin’ cool this city is. I mean – there is always something happening in Montreal and this coming February won’t be any different. From free activities to month-long festivals, there’ll be no shortage of things to do this February in Montreal. Get your planner out – you’re about to add a lot of fun to your calendar.
First up: outdoor skating
Winter in Montreal would not be complete without an outdoor activity or two. Skating is great because you won’t need to lug yourself and 50 pounds of equipment to a mountain (although, skiing and snowboarding have always been on my bucket list). Instead, grab some friends and hit one of the many free outdoor skating rinks throughout the city. In winter, many parks in Montreal become skating rinks. And the best news? Outdoor skating is free (so long as you have your own skates – and a helmet too, please!) and runs all winter long. At Parc de la Petite-Italie you can even rent equipment for free. At Parc Molson in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, you can skate around the romantic, lit-up gazebo. You can even skate on Beaver Lake at Mount Royal Park.
Photo by ConceptNU2 via jetaimeenchocolat.com
Je t’aime en chocolat
February 5 to 7
An event dedicated entirely to chocolate? I’m so there – who doesn’t love chocolate? This will be the 4th annual Je t’aime en chocolat event. The event will run from Friday, February 5th to Sunday, February 7th. There will be tastings (chocolate ice cream, chocolate macaroons, chocolate cookies, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate…) and even a chocolate fashion show, complete with – get this – chocolate fashion accessories. If all this weren’t unbelievable enough, the event is completely free and will be held in the heart of Old Montreal, in the beautiful Bonsecours Market.
Montréal en Lumière
February 18 to March 5
Montreal has one of the largest winter festivals worldwide – Montréal en Lumière. Running from February 18 to March 5, Montréal en Lumière boasts outdoor activities, music and fascinating theatre and dance performances. This year I’m excited about the Flamenco Ballet from Andalucia (ah, I can just picture myself in Sevilla again) and a unique play about Anne Frank – Anne Frank survived the war and is living in NYC, hoping to publish her diary – wow.
Photo by Matias Garabedian via Creative Commons
Nuit Blanche à Montréal
Saturday, February 27
During the last weekend of February, Montreal hosts Nuit Blanche. On Saturday, February 27, downtown Montreal becomes one giant, all-night party. Nuit blanche means sleepless night – but why? Because the museums, the underground city, the free outdoor site (created by Montréal en Lumière), the buses and metros… everything, all open and running until the wee hours of the night (about 3 am).
Photo by Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan
All month/February 18 to March 4
Okay, so not the real aurora borealis – you’ll have to go a little bit more north in Canada to catch those lights. However, in February, Montreal is bringing the Northern Lights to you at both the planetarium and the SAT (Société des Arts Technologiques). At the planetarium you can experience the aurora borealis under the 360 degree domed projection. Aurōrae will be featured month long (with the exception of February 26 and 27). Another way to experience the Northern Lights in the city? Pianist Roman Zavada will play alongside the colourful northern lights, projected under the SAT’s satosphere (their 360 degree dome). Résonances Boréales runs through February 18 to March 4.
Cover image and above image both by Matias Garabedian via Creative Commons.