Winter fun at Fête des neiges
Montréal winter event Fête des neiges celebrates snow days in the best ways, turning Parc Jean-Drapeau into a playground for all ages, with ice slides, snow tubing, music and entertainment and more outdoor winter activities for all ages.
Experience the height of winter like a real Montrealer – out in the snow at Fête des neiges de Montréal. Among the many free things to do this winter in Montréal and featuring several classic winter activities (and requisite food and drink to match), the 35th edition of family-friendly Fête des neiges happens every Saturday and Sunday from January 20 to February 11 at beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau. Go skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding around the picturesque park set on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Watch ice sculpting, theatrical circus shows, live music and games of boot hockey (featuring players from CWHL team Les Canadiennes de Montréal on Feb. 11). Try out archery and ice slides, parent-kid snow scooters, a giant game of foosball and more – all for free.
If winter happiness means tubing down a snowy hill all afternoon or a ride around the park on a dog sled, add those choice activities to your Fête des neiges experience with the ACCROPASSE. The affordably priced pass gives individuals and families unlimited access to the massive tube slide, downhill zip lines, and new this year, the Big Jump from a 50-foot tower – plus discounts on dog sledding, skate rentals, restaurants and other activities as well as free admission to the Biosphère Environment Museum and the Stewart Museum. History buffs can also take a free tour around the park's Mont Bollé and the Tour de Lévis.
Kids can play for hours in activity zones created just for them, featuring an icy pirate ship, snow forts for Capture the Castle snowball fights, inflatable play structures, a forest labyrinth, art activities and games, and a Penguins' Village play area just for younger kids. On the main stage, comedy and circus shows keep kids laughing and mascot Boule de Neige and his friends keep us warm with aerobics dance parties and hugs. For the full program of shows and activities see the Fête des neiges site.
Food and fire
Over a dozen food trucks and restaurant cabins offer comfort food and gourmet treats along with classic winter staples like maple syrup taffy on snow, marshmallows for roasting, sugary beaver tails, hot chocolate and mulled wine. Warm up zones and an indoor rest area for parents with babies provide comfortable places to take a break. Gather family and friends, dress warmly and experience Montréal winter at its best at Fête des neiges.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.