We all know that the cold weather sucks. There’s no other word for it. Everything is just better when it is warm out and you can wear and do what you like without shivering all day long.
However, growing up in Montreal requires you to accept the cold weather. Ice storms are real. Snow days don’t exist. Winter lasts forever. Okay, not actually forever but it feels like it when you live at -30 degrees Celsius for a month straight (February, I hate you).
When you’re forced to deal with the snow, you eventually find ways to make the winter months pass faster. I used to take the form of hibernation, but I’ve recently stopped letting myself do that. There are a few good things about winter in Montreal – and many of them will keep you active!
This one is kind of obvious, cuz like… snow. Montreal is in a great location for heading to a ski hill. The closest one is about 40 minutes away by car. The better ones are a bit farther, but not more than 1.5 hours away. This means you can head there for a day trip or you can get cozy at a country house for a weekend away. The prices at the larger hills are a bit intense, but the smaller hills are pretty tolerable (Rigaud is where I learned to ski!). The best thing about ski hills is that you can rent equipment so even if you only go once, you don’t need to buy a whole new set of gear.
I personally haven’t gone skiing in 11 years, but we’ve been invited by two separate couples to join them this winter so we just might.
I might be the only Canadian who doesn’t know how to skate. I blame my mother, because who else would I blame for that one? You can easily spot me on an ice rink because I’m the only grown woman holding on to those giant cone-walkers.
There are actually a huge number of skating rinks across the city, many of which can provide magical nighttime stargazing if you happen to fall on your bum. Many of the rinks also have skate shops where you can rent your blades and a helmet (please, please wear a helmet). If you’re a tourist in Montreal, I’d suggest indoor Atrium 1000 or outdoor Parc Lafontaine. If you’re local to Montreal, I’ll let you figure out where you want to go on your own.
Sledding is still a thing for adults, I promise. It’s actually like, really, really fun. I have a much younger brother so I’ve gone sledding for longer than most of my other friends and GUESS WHAT! Whenever I invite someone my age, they have a blast because sledding IS a blast.
Sledding is also an intense workout. Going down the hill is all fun and fear, while going up the hill is all sweat. Like, completely just sweat and lactic acid buildup.
Is it just me or do people start snowshoeing only once they get older?
If sledding wasn’t really your thing, then maybe you can try what I consider to be one of the most ‘adult’ winter activities. I think cross-country skiing is about the same, too. If you’re looking for a new activity to learn while keeping active – this is definitely a great option. Getting used to those snowshoes its a workout in itself.
Probably the main reason to enjoy Montreal winters is IGLOOFEST! Ever wanted to party outside in -30 degree weather with thousands of drunk strangers? Igloofest has you covered. Get your activity from dancing the night away under the frozen stars. Seriously, if you haven’t been to Igloofest you really should. I go every year, at least once and I always have a good time. It’s part of what makes winter tolerable. Get on your vintage snowsuit and go party! (Just make sure to bundle up really well first).
6. Hot Yoga
If the cold weather is really wearing you down, then there is one last wonderful warm indoor activity that can help you escape from the cold: hot yoga! If you’ve enjoy the sensation of sweating then you are going to enjoy working up a few steamy poses. I have to be honest and say that I’ve never tried this but BikramYoga Mtl is around the corner from me so it is on my list for 2017! I’d personally recommend bringing your own yoga mat because you know that everyone is in full-sweat mode (and germs… *shudder*).
See – winter doesn’t have to be totally lame! You just need to find activities that don’t only involve trekking to and from the subway to head to work. Let me know if you enjoy any of these or if you’re planning on trying something new! Or let me know if I missed an important winter activity! Always make sure to stay warm and hydrated! Have fun!
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