Monday, July 4, 2016

Our July 4th Weekend at Montreal's International Jazz Festival

Happy Independence Day! We've been in Montreal since Saturday night and are heading back home after a few more adventures today, but yesterday we spent the day at Montreal's International Jazz Festival. Since we had already experienced July 4th in our new city of Portsmouth last year, we decided to switch it up a bit this year. We didn't realize the Jazz Festival would be taking place when we first booked our trip, and I was a bit nervous it would be too much, but it worked out for the best!

Our hotel's roof terrace where I escaped for a sunrise mommy-break
Our hotel situation was a bit rocky when our initial reservation was cancelled due to the hotel being oversold, but the agency we used re-booked us upgrading our hotel from one just outside the city to right downtown walking distance to everything. We were originally going to drive in from our hotel, but I'm so glad we didn't have to bother with our car during our stay. 

Now onto the festival . . .

There are so many events for the kids including a family village with a splash area, playground, bounce house and scheduled crafts including puppet-making. It wasn't overcrowded, the weather was a pleasant upper-70s and low humidity making it comfortable for the kids. We slathered on the sunscreen and kept up with frequent water breaks!

The Jazz Festival has several stages with a wide range of free programs as well as paid shows you can see at private venues. We opted for the free shows while the kids had fun dancing and being silly. Food was a bit pricey within the venue, but we let the kids indulge in a petal mango snack ($4/each, yikes!). They looked adorable eating them though!

We used the festival's app to know what was going on and having used many event apps in the past, I found it well organized but was a bit annoyed that you couldn't save just one specific act's performance time but instead it'd save all the acts performance times resulting in alerts each time they were hitting the stage. There was public wifi that was OK, but when it wasn't working I used the festival pamphlet to guide us. 

In time for lunch we made our way outside the festival for Korean food at Kantapia and like our breakfast experience at Cora, we found restaurants to be very kid friendly and accommodating. They didn't even make us take down our stroller!

We took a break after lunch to head back to the hotel to swim before showering for dinner. Rain started moving in and we got sprinkled on, but grabbed some coffee (Uka and I were fading!) then made it back over to the festival to catch the gospel choir Jireh's 9p.m. performance. I didn't realize how the crowds grow at night - there were thousands there to see Jireh! They were so good, dressed all in white and sang many of my favorite gospel songs including Ride on King Jesus and Oh Happy Day. We weren't able to go to church yesterday, but Jireh really took us there

Here's a little video I made to recap our Jazz Festival experience:


The kids crashed hard last night, and today we're looking forward to a visiting couple more local attractions before heading home to New Hampshire - it's just under a 5 hour drive so not too bad. 

Have a Happy 4th!