Yes, it’s technically spring, but for some of us it doesn’t exactly feel like the season has started yet.
After all, it’s not yet warm enough for us to see blossoming flowers or wear shorts outside. That being said, there are a few ways to speed up the spring season. We’re talking about butterfly exhibitions, local farmers’ markets, outdoor art installations, the return of Bixi bikes, and more.
If you’re in need of a springtime pick-me-up, check out 12 ways to celebrate the start of spring in Montreal.
While there’s no bad time to do some shopping at Marche Jean Talon or Marche Atwater, we’re partial to the spring and summer months when the markets are filled with outdoor vendors. Stroll through the market while sampling some fresh fruit, or peruse the garden centre for some spring plants, either way you’ll definitely feel like spring is in the air as you wander through one of Montreal’s enchanting markets.
Where: Click here for a list of Montreal farmers’ markets
The Montreal Botanical Garden’s annual “Butterflies Go Free” exhibit is back for another year. Taking over the Main Exhibition Greenhouse from February 23rd until April 30th, 2017, visitors can step into a humid tropical oasis that will make you forget all about winter. As you take in the fragrant flowers and diverse greenery, hundreds of stunning butterflies will fly around you. Feel them as they lightly brush your arm mid-air or examine them up close while perched on a flower.
When: February 23-April 30, 2017
Where: The Montreal Botanical Garden
Defy gravity and scale a building like Spiderman courtesy of Old Port’s ultra fun adventure, Decalade. The Decalade challenge is happening at the Conveyer Key Tower in Old Port right now! Participants can choose from a variety of challenges, from the 1-hour “dizzying trip”, to the 3-hour “controlled vertical descent facing the ground like Mission Impossible.” This activity is sure to get your blood pumping as you put yourself in the shoes of all the action hero greats. Sessions are by appointment only and range from $89.99 to $149.00. You can also pay $39.99 for a panoramic selfie as you descend from the roof.
When: By appointment only
Where: Conveyer Key Tower
Although the bustling urban city of Montreal is not home to any sugar shacks, you won’t have to travel far to get an authentic Quebec experience. Whether you love the horse-drawn carriage rides or the plethora of maple treats, there are plenty of reasons to visit a sugar shack this winter. Typically open from late February to April, some of the best (and closest) sugar shacks to Montreal include Sucrerie de la Montagne, Cabane à Sucre Au Pied Cochon, and Cabane à Sucre Bouvrette.
When: End of February to mid April
Where: Various locations
Montreal’s beloved 21 Swings (or 21 Balancoires) is returning to Promenade des Artistes this spring! Officially scheduled to open April 10th, is there any better sign that spring has arrived? The interactive, music art installation will have us all feeling like children again as we swing back and forth while a beautiful melody plays. Created by Daily tous les jours, in collaboration with animal behaviourist Luc-Alain Giraldeau and composer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, this fun and colourful urban playground will be over 24 hours a day between April 10th and May 28th.
When: April 10-May 28
Where: Promenade des Artistes
Walk up Mount Royal
The weather has finally turned so why not take advantage? Go for your first spring walk up Mount Royal! Explore the flora and fauna, wander a new trail, or even have a picnic at Beaver Lake. There is so much to explore at this Montreal landmark.
Where: Mount Royal
As of April 15th, Bixi Bikes are back on the roads which means it’s time to start exploring our city’s beautiful bike paths. With bike paths all around the city, cycling in Montreal has never been easier. And if you know where to go, you’ll find that Montreal boasts some pretty magical bike paths – so magical in fact, they may give you a whole new perspective on your favourite city. So hop on your bike, borrow one from a friend, or take advantage of the city’s Bixi bikes and get pedalling! For a little inspiration, check out the most beautiful bike paths in Montreal.
Where: Various locations
Quartier des Spectacles is hosting a unique digital art festival all season long. Throughout the months of March, April, May, and June, Quartier des Spectacles will see all sorts of events pertaining to the digital arts. These include a media lab, live musical performances, and sculptures. Be sure to check out what’s going on in Quartier des Spectacles every weekend in the spring.
When: March 21-June 21
Where: Quartier des Spectacles
Celebrate Earth Day with the Redpath Museum. Titled “Toby and the Toads: You’re Never too Young for Natural History,” the event is free to attend and is perfect for both children and adults. This special event will teach guests all about the behaviour of a tropical toad. There will even be an outdoor nature walk where people can learn about Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Wild Family Nature Clubs.
When: April 23, 2:30-4:30 pm
Where: Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke St W
Everyone knows that Montreal’s coffee scene is on fire. Whether you prefer Mile End institution Olimpico, or newly opened Pigeon Espresso Bar, you can’t deny that Montreal is a great place to get a cup of joe. Luckily, J’aime Mon Cafe is making coffee that much more accessible by hosting a $1 coffee week in Montreal. So far, the company has partnered with 30 independent coffee shops across the city, all of which have agreed to sell coffee for a mere loonie between April 24 and 29, 2017. As of right now, participating Montreal cafes include Cafe Osmo, Coffee Perko, Barcelona Bar Espresso, My Little Cup Montreal, Yes But No, and many more.
When: April 24-29
Where: For a map of participating restaurants, click here.
Tam Tams will soon be returning to our fair city and we couldn’t be more excited. After all, is there any better sign that spring has arrived? Taking place every Sunday during the warmer months, Tam Tams is one of the city’s best and most popular unofficial events. It is a magical outdoor festival where Montrealers far and wide gather in Parc Mont Royal for an afternoon of food, fun, and music. Though the drum circle is located at the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument, vendors and entertainment spread throughout the park, all the way from Avenue Mont-Royal to Duluth. Mark your calendars because the first weekend has been announced and is set for May 7, 2017.
When: Sundays beginning May 7
Where: Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument
The sun is out, the grass is green, so you know that means…it’s time for a picnic! Grab your sangria kits and some cheese and crackers and head to your favourite park for a day of fun and relaxation in the sun. Don’t forget your picnic blanket!
Where: Any of Montreal’s beautiful parks