Skate, snack and start it all over: our top picks for Montréal winter fun

Laure Juilliard

Laure Juilliard has been written for over 10 years. She specializes in lifestyle, tourism, travel and food, she writes as much for the media as for companies, agencies, freelancers or associations. Always in search of innovative concepts and good addresses, she is also constantly preparing her next trip.

Come wintertime, Montréal parks are home a veritable treasure trove of ice rinks. Skaters young and old can stretch their legs and get lungfuls of fresh air on well-maintained frozen or refrigerated ponds around the city. After you’re rosy-cheeked and hungry from the effort, why not reward yourself with a gourmet bite to eat? Here are some great spots that are perfect for an après-skate snack. Ready, set, let’s get out there!

Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink – Old Montréal

Under the winter sun or stars, two magnificent ice skating rinks – one refrigerated, one natural – await you at the foot of the Grande Roue de Montréal. After paying to get in, you can merrily glide and spin in an enchanting ambiance of twinkling lights and music as you soak in panoramic views of historic Old Montréal buildings and the St. Lawrence River. If your legs are tired and you’re ready to unlace, enjoy a gourmet treat that includes delicious pastries and superb coffees at one of these locations:

Parc La Fontaine ice skating rink – Plateau Mont-Royal

Parc La Fontaine’s pond offers you an incredible fairy-tale setting of sparkling lights and soft music to enjoy absolutely free of charge. Not only this, but your festive and frosty outing includes skate rentals and sharpening services if you need it. There are tons of great spots in this lively corner of the Plateau Mont-Royal to grab a snack of olive or cheese ciabatta, honey raisin bread, viennoiseries, vanilla, pistachio or Nutella bombolini, vegan brownies and more. Here are our recommendations for your sweet stop-off:

 

Parc Maisonneuve ice skating rink – Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie

Montréal’s east end is home to the city’s biggest free outdoor skating rink. Bring your blades and get ready to carve on this great oval surface, which is far away from the urban hustle and bustle. There’s even a designated area to help beginners build their courage, or kids to practice their twirls. If you’re feeling hungry after your skate, make your way down to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to these handpicked eateries, where you can warm up with a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a delicious pastry.

 

 

Skating in superb natural settings

Head up the mountain to Mount Royal Park (Beaver Lake) skate to your heart’s content on a 2500 m2 smooth icy surface that’s ideal for all skaters, from beginners to seasoned twirlers, which also offers skate rentals. Worked up an appetite from all that exercise? You can pick up some nibblies at Café des Amis in the Beaver Lake pavilion right next to the rink. For another outdoor escape, try Radio-Canada's Skater's Trail in Parc Jean-Drapeau, a magical 500-metre-long path only a few minutes from downtown Montréal. After all this outdoor time, you deserve a hot chocolate or a coffee and a yummy snack from Ste-Hélène Bistro-Terrasse.

 

You might like: Where to rent winter sports equipment in Montréal.

Laure Juilliard

Laure Juilliard has been written for over 10 years. She specializes in lifestyle, tourism, travel and food, she writes as much for the media as for companies, agencies, freelancers or associations. Always in search of innovative concepts and good addresses, she is also constantly preparing her next trip.

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