This page was updated on January 20, 2022.
NOTE: Government and public health authorities recently announced new sanitary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We strongly recommend that you call or consult the websites of the businesses mentioned in this article before making plans.
Sparkle in the streets
Catch the final days of holiday season in Montréal in early January.
In January and all winter long, discover uniquely Montréal activities and entertainment, including Luminothérapie at Place des Festivals until February 27: an interactive art playground filled with illuminated art like giant seesaws, a field of “wheat” and a huge audiovisual whale installation, joyful new projection artwork Adventures of the Night on the façade of the Grande Bibliothèque and more.
Adventures for all ages
Old Montréal in winter is a sight to behold, from its snow-covered cobblestone streets to the frozen Saint-Lawrence River. Go ice skating to music at the Old Port of Montréal Skating Rink; visit the peacefully illuminated square outside Notre-Dame Basilica – inside, see gorgeous multimedia show AURA.
Explore Montréal's many parks this month to reconnect with nature on winter walks and hikes or go sledding and snowshoeing in the snow. Go for a walk and see incredible city views from Mount Royal Park, or ride the Observation Wheel (temporarily closed) in the the Old Port of Montréal.
Visit the Montréal Science Centre (temporarily closed) for hands-on science activities and interactive experiments. Climb aboard Exporail museum’s Railway Christmas event.
New year’s shopping
A new year calls for a new look, whether for your wardrobe, your home or even your bookshelf! Go shopping in Old Montréal’s boutiques, downtown along Sainte-Catherine Street and in the underground city malls, or head to the Plateau and Mile End for unique finds. Keep your eye out for items made by Montréal designers, relaxing self-care staples and plenty of home decor. Add sparkle to your life at the coolest Montréal jewelry stores. Shop local and eco-friendly at the most fabulous vintage boutiques in the city. Pick out the perfect new books for friends and family from Montréal’s bookstores and a wide world of music from Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.
January exhibitions and experiences
This month's exhibitions excite and inspire at Montréal’s museums and art galleries. Visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to see themed exhibition How long does it take for one voice to reach another?, highlighting major works in the Museum's permanent collection that touch on subjects that have affected us all over the past year, as well as Ecologies: A Song for Our Planet and work by legendary photographer Yousuf Karsh and Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.
The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal reopens with Terror Contagion: Forensic Architecture with Laura Poitras, a temporary exhibition at Place Ville Marie featuring narration by Edward Snowden and a sonification by Brian Eno. At home, explore immersive online exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, a recreation of the MAC’s monumental show.
A massive immersive experience in surround sound and laser light, Oasis Immersion’s RECHARGER/Unwind and other sensory installations take over the ground floor of Palais des congrès. Surround yourself in the wonderful world of Imagine Monet at Arsenal Contemporary, featuring over 200 immersive projections of Monet’s paintings.
In collaboration with MOMENTA Biennale de l’image, the McCord museum presents the work of Caroline Monnet and Laura Ortman, two Indigenous artists who live more than 600 kilometres apart, in the exhibition Exquisite Score (runs to February 27).
Among many free things to do this season, see new exhibitions at Never Apart in Little Italy, Bradley Ertaskiran in St. Henri, Hugues Charbonneau, Galerie B-312 and Elephant downtown, at Oboro and MAI in the Plateau, Centre Clark in Mile End and many other amazing art galleries in every neighbourhood – find out more in our Montréal guide to gallery hopping and these affordable places to buy contemporary art. Go on a Portrait Sonore sound walk downtown and on the Mountain. And hunt for more public art everywhere in the city.
History past and present
History buffs of all ages will love Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex whether in person or online: see fantastical and fun new exhibition It’s Circus time! and join workshops for all ages, don’t miss Italian Montréal, tracing the journey of Italo-Montrealers from the early 20th century (on until January 9), kid-friendly interactive display Come Aboard! Pirates or Privateers?, and more.
Go to the McCord Museum for radical fashion exhibition Parachute: Subversive Fashion of the ‘80s, Exquisite Score by Caroline Monnet and Laura Ortman, works by cartoonist Chapleau (only until January 9), and new permanent exhibition Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience – in celebration of the museum’s 100th anniversary, visitors can enjoy free admission to the Museum until January 19, 2022!
See exhibitions Middleground: Siting Dispossession and The Design of Carpets That Design Us at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Or go back in time in Old Montréal as you tour the rooms of Château Ramezay and historical site Chateau Dufresne. Take a historic walking tour, like Beyond the Bagel Food Tour and Making their Mark, a tour of Jewish Montréal, with the Museum of Jewish Montreal. And discover the vivid history and present of Québec ceramics at the Musée des métiers d'arts du Québec.