Spring Break 2020February 21st, 2020
Choices abound during spring break in Montreal. If you attend a few of the many special events scheduled on that week—from outdoor activities, to games of all kinds, to cultural events—you’ll have no time to be bored. Here are our suggestions.
For its 8th edition, from February 22 to March 8, the Montreal Joue Festival will organize more than 300 activities. The festival aims to please curious, enthusiastic people of all ages. More than 60,000 festival-goers are expected to attend activities in different locations across the city, including 45 libraries. Here is a brief overview.
The festival will hold its Big Event, Grand événement, on March 7 from 10 a.m. to midnight and on March 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Théâtre Paradox (5959 Monk Boulevard). Board games and video games will combine for a weekend of entertainment, with special activities and surprises. Participants will have the opportunity to meet video game creators and will be able to play over 500 board games.
In the Quartier des Spectacles from February 20 to 29, the Faux-Semblant project will explore the fun side of fake news. Three installations depicting this contemporary phenomenon have been produced by UQAM Communication students.
As part of La Nuit Blanche, a treasure hunt will take place on February 29, from noon to 1 a.m., starting from the auditorium of the Grande Bibliothèque (475 De Maisonneuve Boulevard East). Highlighting cultural, historical and commercial riches in the Quartier Latin, this fun investigation, to complete as a pair or in a group, immerses players in a love story between Joseph and Rosalie. See the official program to register. Also at the Grande Bibliothèque on February 29, a free activity called Une nuit blanche pour jouer will invite young people to play video or interactive games—some connected to the library’s archives—and to improvise, dance, and compose, as well as perform in an interactive reading.
SPACE FOR LIFE
The Planetarium will host several sessions of its popular robotics workshops during the break. The activity will be offered every day between February 29 and March 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the company of a facilitator, participants (ages 10 to 15) develop a base camp on planet Mars using LEGO® Mindstorms®.
There’s a lot to see at the Planetarium. Shows for all age groups will be presented: Aurorae, Night Sky, Continuum, The Secrets of Gravity, Mice and the Moon, Passport to the Universe, Planet Nine, and Polaris, as well as two exhibitions: Origins, and EXO—Our Search for Life in the Universe.
At the Botanical Garden, an event for youngsters called The Odd Plants of Mrs. Z will take over the Great Exhibition Greenhouse from February 26 to April 26. The clandestine tour of the greenhouse of the enigmatic Mrs. Z is a sensory experience tinged with fantasy. Tickets for the tour are sold at fixed times in limited numbers to give visitors enough time and space to enjoy the experience.
OLD PORT OF MONTREAL
At the Bonsecours Basin, the refrigerated skating rink beside the St. Lawrence River is open every day until March 8. The site includes relaxation areas around outdoor fireplaces, the Bistro Bonsecours for snacks, and skate rentals.
Close to the rink, MTL Zipline offers thrills with an aerial course and its Quick Jump, which allows the more adventurous to launch into the void from a height of almost 80 feet.
Open every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., La Grande Roue de Montréal provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city, daytime or nighttime, in a heated cabin from a height of 60 metres.
MONTREAL SCIENCE CENTRE AND IMAX® TELUS THEATRE
At King Edward Quay, the Montreal Science Centre and the IMAX® TELUS Theatre offer several interactive and exciting exhibitions about science and technology. Current shows include A Journey to Space and two IMAX films in 3D: Great Bear Rainforest and Superpower Dogs.
From February 29 to March 7, Pointe-à-Callière comes alive with special outdoor and indoor activities for spring break. Every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the outdoor site changes to the colours and rhythms of Peru. Inside a pyramid, there will be a series of cultural and historical events linked to the temporary exhibition The Incas, Treasures of Peru. A historic workshop introduces the richness of Inca history and culture, their way of life, their clothes, and their mysterious funeral ceremonies. Participants will be able to manipulate reproductions of artefacts. Visitors will also be able to see real alpacas, the symbolic animals of Inca culture. An activity will teach about alpaca wool, from shearing to spinning.
MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
For spring break, from February 29 to March 8 (except Monday, March 2), the MMFA offers a variety of free activities for the whole family. The museum will give free access to exhibitions and collections for visitors 20 years and under, both permanent collections and featured exhibitions, including Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives, as well as the new Stephan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for the Arts of One World. From Tuesday, March 3 to Friday, March 6, the Mash-up Fun drop-in workshop will be offered every day from 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES
The Luminous Pathway: this project highlights the richness of the Quartier des Spectacles. Over thirty public and cultural sites are lit up for special effect. Artistic architectural video projections, shared light signatures, and individualized architectural lighting of 20 buildings are used to draw in the visitors.
The heart of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival, located in the Quartier des Spectacles, will continue to beat until March 1 with its Ferris wheel, long slide, and its many other attractions.
La Tohu has put together a comprehensive spring break program. The venue is transformed into a circus track with several initiation stations for circus disciplines, such as juggling and acrobatics. Toddlers accompanied by their parents can participate in workshops specially designed for them. For fresh air and exercise, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are practised in adjacent Frédéric-Back Park. Every day during spring break, a film from the Festival international des films pour enfants (children’s film festival, fifem.com) will be screened at la Tohu.
The Electrium will host free scientific workshops from March 2 to 8. The electricity interpretation centre will present an introduction to sciences around several themes. Other exhibitions on site will present the secrets of Watson, electric eels, and a Van de Graaff generator that will make your hair stand on end. Reservations are required.
Elsewhere in the region’s Hydro facilities, the Beauharnois hydroelectric plant offers free guided tours. From February 29 to March 8, 2020, a special visit schedule offers four tours daily: 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.
From February 28 to April 26, the Canadian Railway Museum of Saint-Constant invites you to discover locomotives kept at Exporail, which have been used as locations in such films as Maurice Richard, Ma vie en CinemaScope, Brooklyn, and La Bolduc. After your visit, apprentice railroad conductors can test their driving skills aboard the museum’s brand-new train simulator.
At Ski Saint-Bruno, the Spring Break Festivities will be in full swing March 2 to 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Outdoor activities will include inflatable games, slides, a treasure hunt, entertainment in the Enchanted Forest, and mascot shows. From March 1 to 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., evening skiing will come alive with light shows in the Enchanted Forest.
Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno is a great place for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or simply hiking in the snow. From March 1 to 8, each morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at a kiosk near the service centre, a park warden will explain the winter adaptation strategies of animals in the park. From 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., beside a bonfire near the toboggan hill, story-time will reveal the park’s mysterious forest.