Does Santa know how to skate? at the Esplanade Tranquille © Rémi Hermoso

This winter, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the Alliance du centre-ville are transforming downtown Montréal into a friendly and festive playground. From December 1 to March 5, 2023, as part of the Luminous Moments of the Heart of the Island initiative, Montrealers, tourists and guests from all over the city are invited to enjoy bright and creative experiences and take part in many sports and cultural activities that make downtown a must-see and magical destination during the holiday season.


Luminothérapie, 13e édition

Route on Sainte-Catherine Street West and at the Esplanade Tranquille
Until March 5, 2023

With Luminothérapie, downtown is dressed by the bursts of colour from light installations and makes it the perfect place to marvel, move and have fun in the great outdoors with your family with a unique experience of Montreal’s nordicity.

The interactive on-ice experience Au bord du lac Tranquille, created by Mirari and Normal Studio, the starting point of the tour, reveals the richness of northern biodiversity through a dreamlike journey to the heart of Quebec’s vast bodies of water. Every day, for 30 minutes, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., the largest refrigerated outdoor skating rink in Montreal becomes home to fascinating aquatic wildlife, who enjoy following in the footsteps of skaters.

Then, young and old are called upon to wander through the structures of the interactive works and discover their secrets on Sainte-Catherine Street West.

Illuminations du Square Phillips © Eva Blue

Winter illuminations and projections
Several locations in downtown Montreal

journey of half a million lights through the downtown territory and highlighting the unique architectural heritage, public spaces and commercial arteries of the territory illuminate the city with an enchanting brilliance. These include the interactive work INSITU screened at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on the Esplanade side of Place des Arts starting December 19, and a new painting City Memory TIOHTIÀ:KE VILLE-MARIE projected on the Esplanade PVM at Place Ville Marie, the digital winter projection on the façade of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, or the illumination of The Ring, a work by Claude Cormier in the heart of the Esplanade PVM by Ivanhoé Cambridge.

Chinatown lights up
Until March 2023.

Montrealers and visitors are invited to discover, Dragons in pursuit of the Moon, a suspended outdoor art installation by artist Karen Tam. Described by the artist as ” joyful and light “, the installation consists of a multitude of floating panels, inspired by Chinese cut-outs, which wrap around the streetlights of De La Gauchetière Street, in colours associated with the Lunar New Year, namely pink, yellow,  orange and red. Tiger, rabbit, snake and other Chinese lucky symbols unfold above passers-by. 

Special Holiday Programming at the Esplanade Tranquille

free and varied program combining music, literature, talk and sports will be offered until January 6 at the Esplanade Tranquille. A multitude of original and unifying activities inspired by the spirit of the holidays promise joyful moments for young and old in the cultural heart of Montreal! In a magical and warm setting, Montrealers, visitors and tourists are invited to fully experience the winter season with a host of activities on the rink, in addition to enjoying the sweetness of the cottage with literary meetings by the fire every Tuesday.

Consult the detailed schedule and programming on:


The Kingdom of Christmas
Complexe Desjardins
Until December 24

The atmosphere at Complexe Desjardins until Christmas Eve is magical. And for good reason! The real Santa Claus has deployed his kingdom and welcomes children in an enchanting setting. On the Grande-Place, you will find the inspiring Lëon Market and you can attend the performances of the impressive multimedia show Fontaine Boréale.

he Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal © Rémi Hermoso

The Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal
Place des Festivals
Until December 31

Let yourself be guided by the scent of wine or hot chocolate and come and discover the thirty chalets of local and regional artisans as well as animations that will delight the whole family  !

Christmas in the Park
Place Émilie-Gamelin
Until December 31

For its 29th edition, the Festival Noël dans le Parc offers a program of free activities and shows every day at Place Émilie Gamelin. Sale of fir trees, activities designed for the family, musical shows, snack kiosks and guinguettes make up the extensive program.

Consult the schedule and programming on:

The Odyssey
Sainte-Catherine Street West
Until January 6, 2023

To celebrate the magic of the holidays in the heart of downtown Montreal and spread the holiday spirit on Ste Catherine Street, presented by XP_MTL, The Odyssey will host Cree artist Jason Carter’s giant masterpiece, The Legend of the Bears, a symbol of strength, hope and comfort.

Enchanted Universes
McCord Stewart Museum
Until January 8, 2023

Ogilvy’s famous mechanical Christmas display cases are on display at the McCord Stewart Museum. Indoor exhibition and free activities for children.


Why not celebrate the arrival of the new year outdoors in the Quartier des spectacles?

New Year’s Eve Party at Montreal’s Grand Marché de Noël
Place des Festivals
From 7 pm – Free

For the first time, the Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal offers its own party for the New Year! Starting at 7 p.m., on the Place des Festivals, not one, but TWO stages will host a special program. The Market adapts and gives way to the party; DJ sets, concerts and lightning performances will be at the rendezvous to set the mood and electrify the crowd.  A countdown is of course scheduled for midnight, highlighted with scenic special effects. The evening will be free and accessible to all. In short, the perfect opportunity to end the holiday season in a grandiose way!

Christmas in the Emmanuel Crombez Park ©

A 31 December in music with Christmas in the Park
Place Émilie-Gamelin
From 3:30 pm – Free

The Christmas Festival in the Park will welcome many artists and musicians on December 31 at Place Émilie-Gamelin for the first time. The festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. with Katam’s youth shows and Tam-Tams Bon débarras until 7 p.m. Then, starting at 7 p.m., Place Émilie-Gamelin will be transformed into a unique outdoor nightclub with new performances by DJ Millimetrik, Les Frères à ch’val, Mélisande and Bran Van 3000 to close the year in the most beautiful way!

Welcome the New Year by skating!
At Esplanade Tranquille and on Sainte-Catherine Street West
Until 1am

Exceptionally, the skating rink of the Esplanade Tranquille and the course of works Luminothérapie will remain open until 1 am. Visitors are invited to celebrate by staying active with skates on their feet! A wonderful opportunity to enjoy the continuous musical atmosphere of the ice rink but also to appreciate On the shores of Lac Tranquille before strolling along Sainte-Catherine Street to admire the route to Phillips Square.

Several outdoor and indoor activities will be offered on December 31 downtown and in the Quartier des spectacles. For the different initiatives and schedules: