Make the Most of Montreal – February
February has started already, so here are some new ideas to warm your life up during this winter month and to remind yourself for few hours that life is not only about work.
– Sport in great company
I know I have mentioned the idea of going skating before, but wouldn’t it be even nicer if you could share that experience with other graduate students, get to meet new people and possibly make friends? PGSS has organized two skating events, one in Ottawa on the 18th of February and one in the Old Port on the 23rd. If you have never been to the Capital, I would highly recommend joining them, there might also be very original ice sculptures close to the canal.
In addition, you should check out the events that PGSS organizes, they are way more than you expect. For example, if you want to keep fit in company, you can sign up for zumba classes for a more than reasonable price! Keep an eye on the PGSS events webpage!
– Cross country skiing at the Botanical Garden
As an international student, I have always admired how Montrealers know how to make the most of their city at any time of the year. One example is skiing in the city’s parks: you can go to the Mont Royal of course, but you have the chance to access the Botanical Garden for free and ski there. Just make sure you bring your skis (there are no rentals at the Garden) and respect the flora by following the indicated paths, to avoid damaging those plants that rest under the snow.
– Montreal en Lumiere
The yearly event starts on the 23rd of February this year, and it’s one of the biggest winter festivals in the world. Montréal en Lumière takes place, as usual, in the Quartier des Spectacles, and it will delight you with games of lights, visual arts, music and food. What better way to shake some snow off?
-Relaxing at the spa
Outdoors activities are exciting, but some of us just have a hard time standing the cold. What if I propose a winter activity en plein air that will also make you forget about the low temperatures? I personally believe this is the best time of the year to enjoy an outdoor hot tub, whether it is in Montreal or somewhere in the beautiful surroundings of the city. If you don’t plan on leaving the town, I recommend Bota Bota, rigorously at night: it’s an old ship anchored in the Old Port, from which you can enjoy a stunning view of one of the nicest parts of the city and its lights. Keep warm in the best possible way!
Are you a wildlife lover? Do you love butterflies, but find that they are too shy to satisfy your curiosity? If that’s the case, you might want to pay a visit to the internal areas of the Botanical Garden after the 23rd of February, for the exhibition Papillons en Liberté. You won’t believe how close you will be able to get to these amazing creatures! There might be a line to get in (don’t worry, you will not wait in the cold), but it’s totally worth it.
I hope these ideas will be enough for a few weeks. Although many among us are looking forward to the end of the winter and the beginning of the good season, making the best out of those activities which can only be done in the cold or that are definitely more enjoyable in winter (a.k.a. spa) is always a good way to get away from our monthly routine for a bit and to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Remember it’s #selfcarechallenge time at McGill, and if you fear you might feel guilty spending time not working, I guarantee you will be way more productive once you start taking time for yourself and your well being!