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2012 is here. Now what? by Erjy Kolaskin

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Why wait? Plan your New Years early.

A cool 9 to 5 job.
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Let me assure you: the world isn't about to end. Now that the winter vacation is officially over, and the winter has truly gripped Montreal, the city is coming to life but in its winter-incarnation.

And Montreal is a rich winter city. Even when the mercury drops to temperatures that outsiders would consider inhumane, we Montrealers always find the latest craze to see, do or drink.

The message is clear and simple: don't get complacent, don't get stuck indoors. Come out and let yourself be amazed by everything there is to do, even during the winter. Here are just some of our (golden) suggestions.

Freeze-dance at the Igloofest

With names like (Montreal's own) A-Track, Diplo (who made music for M.I.A) and Green Velvet (an old school electro artist), the Igloofest is back with a vengeance.

Say whatever you want about our millions of summer festivals, but it's quite clear that Montreal has cemented it's hard-core status. Considering that the Igloofest brings out thousands of people for an outside rave-like event, with drinking and dancing at the height of the January colds, no one can doubt Montreal's winter creds anymore.

If you're bored on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night during the last 3 weeks of January, you have only yourself to blame, as the dance-floor will be opened and cool (literally) at the Igloofest.

The Carnival, Quebec style

Rio might have thousands of barely dressed dancers at it's carnival, well we have thousands of very very well dressed dancers at the Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec as it is known in French).

What is there to do at the Winter Carnival? That's now quite clear. We usually just stumble along in the old city drinking Caribou (which is a particularly damaging warm wine drink). You can get some more info on the carnival's schedule on their website.

Regardless, Quebec city is beautiful, has a pretty wild nightlife and the Winter Carnival is a perfect excuse to "sample" some of that capital-crazy life style.

A Nuit Blanche

The sleepless Nuit Blanche is back in Montreal on the 25 of February. For those who haven't been to event in the past, la Nuit Blanche is an all night party and cultural event, with a live outdoors spectacle and tons of arts and cultural activities. Galleries, museums and artist's spaces are open to visitors all night long, and you can spend the night exploring the depths of Montreal.

Winter wonders

Finally, a part from dancing and drinking, the winter offers some other golden opportunities for entertainment.

You can play outdoors ice hockey, on the numerous ice rinks that populate Montreal's parks during the winter. My two favourite rinks are in Parc Jean Mance and in Parc Jean-Brillant, where the quality of the hockey is crazy. It seems that kids there also happen to play in the junior leagues. You can check the conditions of the city's ice rinks here.

Or you can take your skis/snowboard and head to any of the numerous ski mountains around Montreal. Again, my two favourites are Sutton and Bromont. If you can, go during the week, because the mountains get crowded during the week-end.

That was it; you can't say that we didn't give you enough ideas for enjoying the winter. It's up to you now to make the best of these frigid conditions.

Image credit: Igloofest

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It's your turn now. So speak-up.

Last week end for the Winter Carnival
Just a quick note, you better hurry, as this week-end is the last one for checking out the Quebec winter Caival.
Written by Erjy on 2012-02-09.

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