The winter village opens at Olympic Park
Does the idea of visiting Montréal in winter make you go brrrr? Banish that thought, because it’s a blast! When the cold weather comes calling, everyone can enjoy an array of activities city-wide. At the foot of the iconic Olympic Stadium, the Village d’hiver V will be back to thrill outdoor enthusiasts once again. Located next to the Pie-IX métro station, it will have the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood buzzing from December 15, 2017, to March 11, 2018.
Located on the Esplanade Financière Sun Life, the winter village will include a brand-new frozen trail where you can dazzle skatersby with your Lutzes and triple toe loops. Bit of a Bambi on ice? No worries: experts will be on site to give you free introductory skating classes. Later, you can warm up inside, grab a snack or check out the pop-up shops where you can discover artisanal products from the neighbourhood.
The opening ceremonies heat things up
The temperature may drop, but it’s going to be hot, hot, hot on the opening weekend. On Friday, December 15 at 4 p.m., you can come sip some free hot chocolate around braziers while watching the sizzling artistry of fire breathers from the troupe Cirque Hors Piste. There will be special programming the entire weekend that includes free skate rentals, DJs and door prizes. On Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17, kids can even meet Santa Claus (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.).
Entertainment from December to March
All winter long, you can enjoy a refrigerated ice trail and pop-up shops, but there will be lots more going on at the Esplanade. If you like to groove, Music Thursdays will rock your world weekly with genres that range from pop to disco and 80s to rock. You can limber up to the sounds of Latin music with a Zumba course on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Also, every Sunday at 1 p.m. kids and the kids at heart can listen to a storyteller spin tales. Lastly, during January, the BARBEGAZI festival will return to Olympic Park – hear that, winter action sports enthusiasts?
Nuit blanche and Spring Break
On March 3, the Village d’hiver V will wrap winter up with a unique program for Nuit blanche à Montréal. Night owls can flock to a wide range of nocturnal happenings, which will be announced at a later date. And in a fitting send-off to Spring Break, Financière Sun Life will be offering free skate rentals on March 10 and 11, giving families, sweethearts and friends the chance to take advantage of the village fun one last time. We bet it will leave you longing for winter to return with haste.
Rebecca Sellers, blogger
Hailing originally from the big country skies of Manitoba, Rebecca adopted Montréal over 20 years ago after living in Québec City and France as a student. When she is not writing, translating or teaching English, she can be found pedaling the city’s bike paths, strolling the streets in search of hidden gems, and striking up conversations with local merchants, creators and folks in the neighbourhood.