The magic of the holidays
at the McCord Museum

With enchanting mechanical Christmas window displays and many other family activities

November 5, 2019

In the eyes of both young and old, toys and games are inseparable from the magic of the holidays. Nothing is more infectious than the joy of children and the memory it evokes in grownups. With this in mind, the McCord Museum is offering special holiday programming from November 16, 2019 to January 5, 2020.

There will be entertainment for the whole family including Ogilvy’s magnificent mechanical window displays, guided activities for the children, musical performances and, in its 10th year, the McCord’s traditional toy exhibit. These will entertain the whole family and create lasting memories! Admission to the Museum is free for children twelve and under.

“This time of the year is very special for us as we welcome parents and children seeking wonder and entertainment, and cherished family moments. Visitors of all ages will find something to enrich their knowledge and spark their imagination. Everyone should feel at home in our museum ” says Suzanne Sauvage, President and Chief Executive Officer of the McCord Museum.


Ogilvy’s Mechanical Holiday Window Displays
November 16 to January 5 (General public)
Presented by IÖGO nanö

Thanks to Holt Renfrew’s donation of their iconic window displays to the McCord Museum in 2018, visitors of all ages will be delighted to see The Mill in the Forest on Victoria Street (free) and The Enchanted Village inside the Museum.

These dazzling displays, a holiday tradition that goes back to 1947, feature handmade animals that come to life in a Bavarian setting. The displays, originally commissioned by the owner of Ogilvy, John Aird Nesbitt were designed by German stuffed toy manufacturer Steiff which were intended to be displayed in stores that wanted to entertain children and attract shoppers.

Similar to those of other large department around the world including Macy’s in New York and the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, these window displays are among the last of their kind in North America. Thanks to the support of IÖGO nanö, the McCord Museum is able to revive the magic and wonder of yesteryear by presenting the mechanical Christmas window display, The Mill in the Forest, outdoors.


Board games: Larger than life
December 8 to March 8 (Families and children aged 3 to 9)
Presented by Télé-Québec, in collaboration with Randolph

On the occasion of its tenth annual toys exhibition, the McCord Museum invites families to enter the world of board games, that are more popular than ever with both young and old. Three colourful, vibrant worlds will lead families on an adventure where they will tackle many challenges together. Games of chance, strategy, and challenge are the focus of this fun-filled, interactive exhibition featuring items from the McCord’s collection.


Creative workshop
Sundays, from November 17 to December 15, 11 am to 4 pm (Ages 3 to 9)
Every day, from December 21 to January 5, 10 am to 4 pm

As part of this workshop for the exhibition It’s Your Move! Board Games: Larger Than Life, children are invited to design a world and imagine themselves inside it. Create a giant world or a mini world—you decide!

Saturdays and Sundays, from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15, at 11:30 am in French and 3:30 pm in English
Every day, from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5, at 11:30 am in French and 3:30 pm in English (Ages 2 to 9)

Everyone knows that children love stories where anything can happen: all they have to do is let their imagination run wild. To do this, the Museum is offering a reading of tales and legends, featuring props from the Museum’s exhibition.

December 15, from 10 am to 1 pm (Ages 3 to 6)
Presented by Télé-Québec

A karaoke session for the young and the young at heart will feature famous nursery rhymes from the television show Passe-Partout. Télé-Québec invites families to come sing and have fun with the nursery rhymes Les beaux légumes, Bedon bedondaine and Brosse, brosse, brosse, a song that Quebec families know well. All children will receive with a Passe-Partout party bag.

Reading and meeting with the author
December 27 and January 3, at 2 pm (Ages 3 to 9)
Presented by Gallimard

To celebrate the Museum’s tenth toys exhibition, the publisher Édito is releasing a children’s book inspired by the toys in the collection. During this activity, children’s author, speaker and host Marie Barguirdjian, who is passionate about childhood, art, and education, will tell the story of Adèle, a young girl who forgets everything when she’s playing. The story is beautifully illustrated by Mügluck.

Every day, ongoing (Families)
Presented by Hydro-Québec

The Adventure at the Museum invites families to explore the Museum and its vast collections. Young explorers will receive a free backpack1 filled with materials for a successful outing [while supplies last].



with I Musici de Montréal
December 21 and 22, at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
Price: $20. Free for children aged 12 and under and Museum Members. Reservation required.

The famous chamber music ensemble is back at the J.A. Bombardier Theatre, where listeners will relive the magic of its legendary Tudor Hall concerts at Ogilvy. The ensemble will perform winter songs and holiday classics.


Every Saturday, from November 16, 2019, to December 14, 2019, at 11 am
Outdoor near The Mill in the Forest (free). Indoor in case of bad weather.

  • Chœur Ciné-Jazz, November 16: One of the few Quebec ensembles with a repertoire dedicated to the music of movies, musicals, television series, video games and jazz.
  • Jazz pop et talons hauts, November 23 and December 7: Founded in 2009 by conductor Jean-François Trudel, this choir composed of nine women performs a varied repertoire that should please everyone.
  • Sympholies vocales, November 30: This choir performs classical music under the direction Julie Dufresne.
  • Ensemble vocal Ganymède, December 14: Under the direction of Yvan Sabourin, this ensemble comprised exclusively of male voices covers all styles and eras.


November 16 to January 5

In collaboration with the Centre social d’aide aux immigrants (CSAI) and for a second year in a row, the McCord Museum invites Montrealers to donate a new or used toy to a family that has recently settled among us. To participate, simply drop off your donation, along with a memory it evokes in the Welcome! Want to play? box inside the Museum. The donated items will be given to families served by the CSAI during an event in February 2020, at which time they will also be invited to visit the Museum for free.


Until April 26, 2020

Explore the sources of inspiration of this great Montreal designer, who marked the world of ready-to-wear in Montreal and Canada, from the 1970s to the 2000s. The exhibition is organized jointly by the McCord Museum and the Musée de la civilisation.

Until January 12, 2020

This exhibition, created in collaboration with Momenta | Biennale de l’image, explores the historiographic charge of objects in the creation of photographic stagings.


This permanent exhibition enables the public to explore the complex heritage of the First Peoples of Canada and learn more about how their dress has helped define their rich cultures and identities.


Until December 22, 2019:
• Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
• Wednesday: 10 am to 9 pm
• Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm

December 23 to January 5:
• Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
• Thursdays Dec. 26 and Jan. 2: 12 to 6 pm
• Saturday and Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
• Wednesdays Dec. 25 and Jan. 1: Closed

• Family: $38 (2 adults + 3 children aged 17 and under or 1 adult + 4 children aged 17 and under)
• Adult: $19
• Senior (65 +): $17
• Student (aged 13 to 30): $14

• Children aged 12 and under
• Members of the First Nations
• Museum members

For everyone: Wednesdays after 5 pm and the first Sunday of the month, except for the exhibition Jean-Claude Poitras: Fashion and Inspiration.

Free on Wednesday evenings thanks to BMO Financial Group, and for children thanks to the Fondation J.A. De Sève.

The holiday programming is presented by IÖGO nanö. Full details available on the Museum’s website.

The McCord Museum is grateful for the support of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Accès Montréal, CAA, and its media partners.

Images courtesy of McCord Museum

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Read also: Jean-Claude Poitras retrospective at the McCord 

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The McCord Museum is the museum of all Montrealers, a social history museum that celebrates life in Montreal, both past and present—its history, its people and its communities. Open to the city and the world, the Museum presents exciting exhibitions, educational programming and cultural activities that offer a contemporary perspective on history, engaging visitors from Montreal, Canada and beyond. It is home to over 1.5 million artifacts, comprising one of the largest historical collections in North America, organized into the following departments: Dress, Fashion and Textiles, Photography, Indigenous Cultures, Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Material Culture, and Textual Archives. McCord Museum: Our People, Our Stories.

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