Winter fun at Fête des neiges
This article was updated on January 2, 2019.
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, dogsledding, musical 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 classic winter activities (and food and drink to match!), the 36th edition of family-friendly Fête des neiges happens every Saturday and Sunday over four weekends, from January 19 to February 10 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Go snowshoeing, sledding and sliding in the picturesque park set on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Watch ice sculpting, theatrical circus shows and live music by local artists. Try out ice slides, parent-kid snow scooters, boot hockey, a giant game of foosball and more – all for free!
With over 20 free activities, Fête des neiges will have kids playing for hours. Go sliding down the sides of a pirate-themed Ice Ship, play hide and seek in snow forts, bounce in inflatable play structures, and learn how to ice sculpt in the Handy Beavers workshops. There's even a space just for younger kids to play in the Penguins' Village, whereas older kids can try axe throwing and other activities. On the main stage, comedy and circus shows keep kids laughing and polar bear 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.
If winter happiness means sliding down a snowy hill all afternoon, then buy a Sliding Pass for this year's newest activity, Frosty Slides! The affordably priced pass gives individuals and families unlimited access to eighteen ice slides of various speeds and sizes – plus free admission to the Biosphère Environment Museum and the Stewart Museum. The only other Fête des neiges activity that comes with a price tag is dogsledding – but seeing the park while being pulled by a team of high-energy huskies is worth it!
Food and fire
Several 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.
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