Holiday season activities at the Stewart Museum

From December 7, celebrate the arrival of winter in the warm surroundings of the Stewart Museum. The magic of the holidays will be the focus of an array of activities appealing to both young and old. In addition to the exhibition Nights and a special activity about the night of imagination of children’s author Dominique Demers, families will also have an opportunity to discover Swedish and Scottish Christmas folk tales told by actor Sylvi Belleau and to tackle various challenges in The Story Factory, such as build Santa Claus’s ideal vehicle. Daring visitors may be brave enough to confront the ghosts that haunt the Stewart Museum in the escape game Phantoms of the Island.

As a holiday gift, between December 7, 2019, and January 5, 2020, the Museum will be offering a special rate of just $10 on individual (age 13 and over). The Museum is free for children 12 and under.


A wonderful mix of museum display, literature and theatre staging, the exhibition Nights will give families a fabulous experience filled with enchantment during the holiday season. Guide booklet in hand or standing at a listening station, visitors will have a chance to explore the nocturnal worlds inspired by the original stories of Simon Boulerice, Dominique Demers, Eric Dupont and Heather O’Neill. Children will especially enjoy author Dominique Demers’s night of imagination thanks to a special activity catering to them, Toys World.


In parallel with the exhibition, a range of activities are being organized for visitors. Beginning November 20, on the occasion of the opening of the Salon du livre de Montréal, the Stewart Museum will be launching a writing contest for children, teenagers and adults. Contestants will be asked to go through the same creative process as the authors of Nights, drawing inspiration from historical objects in order to write a story. A jury of experts will determine the winners in each category. Besides having their stories exhibited in the Museum’s citizen gallery, winners will receive prizes offered by the Salon du livre de Montréal, Renaud-Bray, Gallimard and other sponsors. On Sunday, December 1, at 2 p.m., as part of the Nights Revealed series, author Simon Boulerice will be giving a public reading of his story The Living Past, which will be followed by a discussion about the unusual creative process of his involvement in the exhibition.


On December 22 and 29, The Story Factory will welcome storyteller, author and actor Sylvi Belleau, who’ll be telling the Swedish folk tale Christmas with the Trolls and the Scottish tale Robin Redbreast and the Little Christmas Tree. The challenges of The Story Factory will also be adapted for the holiday season. Visitors will be able to write their imagined version of the story that lies behind some of the objects in the collection, like the Santa Clauses or a table setting that triggers memories of wonderful family meals. Those who love tinkering or prototyping will have their creative skills put to the test trying to build Santa Claus’s ideal means of transport, so he can deliver presents in time to all the children on the planet. Mediators will be on hand to help in the creative space from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, from December 7 to January 4, as well as on weekdays from December 23 to January 5.


In an activity that requires a combination of resourcefulness, curiosity and team spirit, you can try to outwit the ghosts of the new escape game Phantoms of the Island, designed by the Stewart Museum and developed in partnership with Randolph. The Stewart Museum is known for being one of the most haunted places in Montreal, and its staff seem to have lost control of one of its most sinister rooms. Shut away in that space, contestants aged 9 and up have to find clues and solve historical puzzles to free the phantom of the island and restore order. This adventure is offered in French and English, at set times, and you’ll be given some historical background information at the start. For the holiday season, the game will be offered every Saturday, from December 7 to January 4, as well as on December 26 and 27, and January 2 and 3.

  • Capacity: 4 to 10 players
  • Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour


Spread over two floors and displaying close to 500 objects from the Museum’s collections, the exhibition ushers you through five centuries of Quebec history, from the arrival of Europeans in the Americas and life in New France through to Canadian Confederation. To make sure children have fun, the exhibition includes a dress-up trunk containing period costumes and an interactive model illustrating the history of Montreal. At all times, families can explore the Museum at their own pace using the discovery guide, designed to foster learning and discussion about objects in the collection. Short tours guided by Museum mediators will be offered on weekends from December 7 to December 22 and everyday from December 23 to January 5.


For the winter season and spring break, the Stewart Museum will be adding the outdoor activity Snowshoeing on St. Helen’s Island to its programming. Led by a Museum guide, this activity will give families an opportunity to explore the trails on Mont Boullé and discover the island’s rich past. Mediation about the history of snowshoeing will also be offered throughout the day. Snowshoes are supplied by the Museum.


The Stewart Museum will be open exceptionally on December 23, 24, 30 and 31 but will be closed on December 25 and January 1. The regular opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stewart Museum is a private, non-profit history museum that was founded in 1955 by philanthropist David M. Stewart.

—Stewart Museum


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