Holiday magic in the Quartier des Spectacles

December 1, 2015

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Bursting out laughing – or sobbing – on Santa’s knee. Being moved by heartwarming, joyous carols. Revisiting childhood with a magical ballet. Playing with an amazing interactive installation. When you time in the Quartier des Spectacles this holiday season, you know you’re in for a full range of emotions!

Here are some activities you’re sure to enjoy.

Feel that sense of amazement


December 10 to January 31

In the Place des Festivals, play on seesaws that produce a sound and lights as you bounce up and down on them. Watch mesmerizing architectural video projections on nine sets of building façades throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. This is Impulsion, the sixth annual Luminothérapie event, inviting Montrealers to come play outside and keep themselves warm during the cold weather.

The Nutcracker

December 5 and 6, Centre Pierre-Péladeau
December 11 to 30, Place des Arts

Montrealers have their pick of two versions of this classic ballet this season. Ballet Ouest presents a reimagining of the tale, complete with multimedia projections. Later, at Place des Arts, the dancers of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will don their colourful costumes as they carry on a tradition going back more than 50 years.

Feel childlike joy all over again

The real Santa Claus

Complexe Desjardins
Until December 24

Every December, the Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins becomes an enchanting Christmas village. From story time with Mrs. Claus to music, the little train and the carousel, kids will be thrilled – and so will their parents! Not to mention that Santa Claus (the one and only) will be there to share precious moments with everyone who’s been nice.

Nicolas Noël – La magie de la poussière d’étoiles

Théâtre St-Denis
December 19, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Through his songs and stories, Santa Claus shares a few of his secrets with his young audience. There’s just one condition: he needs to find the stardust that allows him to visit all the children of the world in a single night.

Laugh and smile

Le Potter Comédie Show

Club Soda
December 19, 9 p.m.

A fine line-up of comedians including Katherine Levac, Mehdi Bousaidan and Yannick De Martino invite you to Harry Potter’s Christmas Ball! After a series of hilarious sketches inspired by the famous wizard, the ball will continue with several DJ sets. Don’t forget your costume – you might be named King or Queen of the ball. A highly original Christmas celebration! (In french only)

Le petit Noël and Décembre de Québec Issime

Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts
December 10 to 30

Under the Christmas tree, the village’s inhabitants come to life and burst into song, with a selection of Christmas classics and original tunes. For the 13th year in a row, the company presents this musical show that has become a true family classic. Le petit Noël (December 13, 20 and 27) is a version especially for kids from 3 to 10, where the children will dance with elves, or maybe even Santa Claus himself!

Warm your heart

Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noël Nights

Maison symphonique
December 5 and 6, 7 p.m.

The Wainwrights keep the tradition alive with their magical Christmas show, accompanied by members of their talented musical family, plus Robert Charlebois, Jorane, Kid Koala, Daniel Bélanger (December 5) and Louis-Jean Cormier (December 6). All profits will go to the Kate McGarrigle Fund of the Cedars Cancer Foundation and the McGill University Health Centre.

Christmas Oratorio

Maison symphonique
December 16 and 17, 8 p.m.

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal plays Bach’s most inspirational works. Conducted by John Nelson, four soloists – Kathryn Lewek, Robin Blaze, Julian Prégardien, Gordon Bintner – and the OSM choir will perform holiday masterpieces as part of the Montreal Bach Festival.

Nostalgia and sharing

Christmas Party

December 11

A traditional German start to the Advent season, complete with lebkuchen and mulled wine. The Opera de Camera company will perform excerpts from the operas Cinderella and Xerxes. The event includes a non-perishable food drive for Sun Youth.

Christmas Market

Place des Arts
December 12 to January 2

Inspired by European Christmas markets, the Place des Arts Esplanade will become a beautifully illuminated square full of tents, booths, play areas and cafés. The festive village will present plenty of free shows and activities for all ages.