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The 6 Best Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Montreal in 2023

The 6 Best Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Montreal in 2023

A Montreal Christmas makes the downtown lights sparkle even brighter as the city fills with families enjoying incredible holiday celebrations and beautiful Christmas decorations. With events beginning as early as November and running through the New Year, there is no better place in Quebec to celebrate the holidays.

Whether gathering for stunning performances, doing some Christmas shopping, or taking part in outdoor seasonal fun, these are the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Montreal. Updated for the 2023 season!

Montreal Christmas 2023

The Santa Claus Parade (the Défilé du Père Noël)

Christmas in Montreal

Christmas in Montreal kicks off with the annual Santa Claus Parade (the Défilé du Père Noël). For over 70 years, Montreal has celebrated the holidays with floats, bands and of course Santa himself. This event is a hit with families but make sure to bundle up against the cold to be able to see Santa as the final float.

To watch the Santa Claus Parade, grab a spot on Sainte-Catherine Street on November 25, 2023. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m.

Christmas in Montreal’s Old Port and Old Montreal

Christmas in Montreal includes Merry Montreal
Photo by Aindigo / Shutterstock

Meander through the weekend festivities at Christmas in the Park which include theatrical performances and traditional Christmas Markets in charming Old Montreal. 

In nearby Old Port, families can enjoy the stunning fireworks displays, launched from Bonsecours Island, during Montreal’s New Year’s Eve bash.

The Great Montreal Christmas Market

The Great Montreal Christmas Market
Photo by Caroline Dufour – Tourisme Montréal

From November 25th until December 30th, 2023, Sainte-Catherine Street is transformed into a magical Christmas Market. This is a perfect place to head after catching the Santa Clause Parade.

At The Great Montréal Christmas Market, families can shop at 30 different chalets featuring 61 local artisans from Montréal and throughout Quebec. As you wander, enjoy musical and theatrical programming and indulge in a glass of mulled wine or other Christmas delicacies.

Les Grand Ballet Canadiens de Montréal’s The Nutcracker

Christmas in Montreal must include the Nutcracker
Photo by Sasha Onyshchenko

From December 14th through December 30th, 20223 dancers joined by Les Grands Ballets Orchestra perform the holiday favourite, The Nutcracker.

Choreographed by Fernand Nault, Les Grand Ballet Canadian de Montréal’s performance of The Nutcracker is a colourful and magic-filled rendition of the Christmas Classic. Performances include a 2:00 pm matinée and a 7:30 pm evening show, making it easy for families to enjoy an afternoon or evening at the ballet.

Santa’s Kingdom

Christmas in Montreal
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

Visit with the big man himself on weekends at Complexe Desjardins. Santa sits under a unique 3D-printed Christmas tree. Take photos with Santa, ride on the little train and participate in Christmas activities and crafts.

Railway Christmas

Sharing the best Christmas Events in Montreal with Kids.
Photo by Exporail

Head just outside of the city to explore Railway Christmas at ExpoRail. The Canadian Railway Museum, features holiday crafts, storytelling, and writing letters to Santa to be sent from the mail car.

All around town, you’re likely to stumble upon beautiful holiday decorations and entertaining activities for the entire family this season!

Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across North America.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:

Christmas and Holiday fun for families in Montreal

 Featured photo by: Shutterstock

Thanks to Cindi Brothers for contributing to earlier versions of this article.

Sarah Pittard