Summer is around the corner and it makes you want to get into exploration mode, but you’re planning to stay in Montreal? You don’t have to go far to feel like you’re on vacation when the city offers so much fun summer activities! Culture, history, relaxation and gastronomy, the choices are endless with our 10 ideas to spend a fabulous summer in Montreal!
1. Outdoor escape game with A/Maze
If you are an escape game lover, you probably know A/Maze, one of the pioneers of its kind in Quebec. The Atwater branch has created an outdoor escape game that allows you to discover St-Henri’s district by foot, along the Lachine Canal and the mysterious history of John Redpath. Once a leader of Montreal’s industrial revolution, he supposedly hid a treasure for one of his noble descendants and you’ll have to try to find it during this adventure.
It’s the kind of perfect activity that combines culture and sunbathing in one of the most charming neighbourhoods of Montreal. The game lasts between one hour and a half to two hours and a half and can be played by two to seven players. It’s different from traditional escape games and it’s a great way to learn more about Montreal’s history! A must try! And if you love it, stay tuned for their next outdoor game, Secrets of a Shipping Empire.
2. Travelling across time in Pointe-à-Callière
If you want to travel back in time, go to the Pointe-à-Callière museum and visit their new exhibition about three millenia on the Nile to dive into the world of the pharaohs and Egyptian culture. Until October 15th 2023, you can admire more than 320 authentic pieces from the Museo Egizio’s collection, presented exclusively in North America. In an immersive journey, you’ll be led to rediscover the daily life of the peoples of ancient Egypt as well as the importance of animals in their beliefs.
In addition to the exhibition, some lectures will be given in May and October by experts in Egyptology. Every Sunday, from July 9th to August 20th, the museum also offers free family activities related to the exhibition to learn more about the culture and history of ancient Egypt.
3. Have a drink on Montreal’s most beautiful terraces
If there’s one thing we miss during the colder months, it’s to be able to eat on a terrace! While the one at Bagatelle Bistro is our favourite for brunch, those in Old Montreal are where we prefer to go for a romantic dinner while admiring the sunset.
Among the prettiest terraces and those that offer the best view, we recommend you Perché as well as William Gray and Hotel Nelligan. They all offer exquisite and distinct menus as well as exceptional service so you won’t run out of options for your romantic evening in the emblematic Old Montreal. And if you want to experience the fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine, stop by Carla’s rooftop terrace, one of our favorite addresses in town, on the 6th floor of the Hampton Inn Hotel.
4. Have a picnic on the water with the Bateau-Mouche
In June, the Bateau-Mouche launched its new summer season with the return of several festive events, including the signature picnic on the water. Including a 90-minute cruise in a renewed decor and a gourmet box filled with local products, it’s definitely one of the top activity to try if you want to discover Montreal differently!
A unique itinerary through the islands of Montreal, the sea breeze, a panoramic terrace and a tasty meal, what more could you ask for? Available every weekend from June 11th to October 15th, 2023, it’s also the perfect idea to celebrate summer with family, friends or your significant other while sailing on the St. Lawrence River.
5. Flying over the Old Port
While you’re in the area, continue your escapade in the Old Port by enjoying a ride on the Grande roue de Montreal to admire the city from a completely different angle.
If you’re more of the active type, you can also opt for a zipline course. The Old Montreal urban circuit is the first to have been designed in the heart of a Canadian city. Flying over Bonsecours Island is the ideal activity for thrills and heights lovers.
6. Explore what’s new at the Biodome
Strolling through the Biodome’s five ecosystems is a bit like touring all the Americas in an afternoon! Since its reopening in 2020, several new features have made their debut and are worth rediscovering their different natural worlds. While the old route was rather linear, the new atrium allows you to create your own route in the order you want so you’ll be able to move more easily from one ecosystem to another.
The new mezzanine also allows you to observe the Tropical Forest, the Laurentian Maple Forest and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as the animals that inhabit it, from a whole new perspective. If some species hide higher up, it’s now easier to see them and thus enhance your visit. An optimized mobile application also makes it possible to learn more about the animals that interest you and to go beyond the informative panels thanks to augmented reality videos.
Nearby, the Montreal Insectarium is also reopened to visitors, the perfect activity for a rainy day! A range of new features, including butterflies in the wild, are now accessible at all times.
7. Grab a bite in the most beautiful parks of the city
One of the easiest ways to get away from your obligations this summer is to go picnic in the most beautiful parks of the city to enjoy happy hour (and golden hour)!
Among our favorites, we recommend the idyllic Parc Lahaie, the verdant Parc Maisonneuve, Parc du Portugal or Square Saint-Louis to grab a bite on the grass or immerse yourself in a good novel. In addition to being an activity that you can easily do, it’s the perfect opportunity to taste local products and make new local gastronomic discoveries! Stock up at your neighbourhood merchants or get a ready-to-eat box from your favorite restaurant and you’re good to go.
8. Celebrate the return of Montreal’s best festivals
For music and public art fans, summer 2023 marks the return of many festivals that we love! In June, MURAL, the Francos and the International Jazz Festival will take over the city, then make way for Osheaga and Île Soniq next August at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Are you as excited as us?
9. Fill up on relaxation at the beach
Whether it’s for a little tanning session, for a picnic at sunset or for a front row seat to admire the fireworks, the Quai de l’Horloge beach is one of our favorite places to spend a fabulous summer in Montreal.
Already equipped with deckchairs and pretty blue umbrellas, admission is free and a bistro is available on site if you want a drink or if you have an ice cream craving! Yoga sessions are also available if you dream of relaxing to the sound of the waves. Stay tuned for their social media posts to know the news about all the summer events at our favorite urban beach!
10. Attend a candlelight concert with Fever
For a romantic summer night in Montreal, candlelight concerts by Fever are certainly among our favorite activities. Whether you’re a fan of movies soundtracks, classical music or iconic bands like Queen, Coldplay or Fleetwood Mac (especially if you’re into Daisy Jones and the Six), you’re sure to find a concert you’ll like in the most emblematic places of the city, candlelighted.
We hope our recommendations will help you have a magical summer in Montreal! Don’t hesitate to share your favorite activity with us!
*Some items have an affiliate link that allows us to receive a small amount if you make a purchase, but rest assured that everything you’ll find in our list of activities as obviously been tested by us first! In short, only our favorites!
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