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Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now. THE EVENT  The 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from… / Read More →

Free things to do this December in Montréal

We anticipate December’s holiday shopping, gift giving and celebratory meals and parties long before the first snow falls, yet Montréal also offers a flip side that doesn’t cost a thing and can often be just as glamorous. Read on for free and easy December fun! Merry making Old Montréal’s December-long winter extravaganza, Merry Montréal, adds shine to the Old World edifices and glitter to the cobblestones – drink free hot chocolate and coffee, watch Christmas-themed films like Home Alone and Elf on an outdoor screen, warm up around fires, bring kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, call the North Pole, broadcast holiday wishes on “Wish-a-Phones,” and top it all off at the end of the month with the Merry Montréal New Year’s Ball. Outdoor illumination Become a kid again – or just join the kids at play already – at this year’s edition of Luminothérapie, an interactive-art playground filled with 30 seesaws emitting sound and light at Place des Festivals, beginning December 10. Also watch for state-of-the-art video projections on nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve and UQAM’s President–Kennedy building as well as the Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM bell tower and five more looming facades. Winter in the parks… / Read More →

5 art shows to see in Montréal before the holidays

Late fall in Montréal is a prime time for art gallery hopping, letting us bask in artistic genius as warm days and daylight wane. In addition to several Must-see Autumn 2015 museum exhibitions, the following five exhibitions on display in November and December offer a glimpse of the depth and quality of art in Montréal’s galleries year round. Begin your art tour with a solo show by Paris-based designer and Montrealer Rad Hourani at Arsenal, located in the Griffintown/Little Burgundy/Saint-Henri area of the city around the corner from several renowned restaurants, bars and stores on Notre Dame Street. In his solo exhibition Neutralité/Neutrality, Hourani uses painting, print, sculpture and video to expand on ideas in his unisex fashion line, challenging divisions of sex, gender, race, nationality and other social segregators. While we can’t touch the art despite its welcoming tactile nature, an on-site pop-up shop entices us to wear Hourani’s gorgeous fall fashions. While there, visit Galerie Division in the same massive industrial building just blocks from the Lachine Canal. On the western edge of Old Montréal, the factory-turned-gallery Darling Foundry greets visitors with Mirador, a public art mountain of scaffolding and other materials created by collective Acapulco, while in… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 13 to 19

Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music. On-screen adventure Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 6 to 12

November warms us up with gourmet food and drink at MTL à TABLE, La Grande Dégustation and more delicious events, along with the thrills of this week’s high-energy hockey and dance, innovations in film and art, and joyous fun of theatre and live music. Go gourmet Eat well and often as the city’s best restaurants participate in MTL à TABLE, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, a celebration of food and drink with special prices to match. Until November 8, food lovers can enjoy table d’hôte menus at reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE for details and feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Not only that but month-long event Happy November adds to the festivities, including La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, November 6 and 7, showcasing 200 wine producers, distillers and brewers and their fabulous wares at Place Bonaventure. And if you’re vegan or simply vegan-curious, check out the 2nd-annual Montréal Vegan… / Read More →

Jake & Dinos Chapman Question Art and Life

Two of the art world’s biggest and most controversial stars, British sibling duo Jake and Dinos Chapman, descend on Montreal with their exhibition Come and See, installed in all its disturbing, thought-provoking and darkly humourous glory at Old Montreal’s DHC/ART  until August 31…