18 free things to do in Montreal this April

Mar 30 2017, 5:12 pm


April is bursting with exciting activities. We’re talking about literary festivals, free ice cream, political talks, outdoor art installations, a massive record sale, and much more.

Don’t miss out on all that our fair city has to offer this month

Check out 18 free things to do in Montreal this April.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

We all scream for ice cream! Ben & Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day is back for yet another year. Happening on April 4, 2017, get ready to head to your nearest Ben and Jerry’s location for a free scoop of their delicious ice cream. This is the company’s way of showing you just how much they care. Taking place all across Canada, be sure to visit your local Ben & Jerry’s between 12pm and 8pm on April 4th. Whether you have a soft spot for chocolate fudge brownie, cinnamon buns, chocolate chip cookie dough, chunky monkey, or another one of their delectable flavours, make sure to grab your well-deserved cone of ice cream free of charge next month. To find a location near you, click here.
When: April 4, 2017, 12-8pm
Where: Various locations

Shock and Stupor: The reactions of the American public after the first 100 days

UQAM has announced they will be hosting a talk analyzing U.S. President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the office. Titled, “Shock and Stupor: The reactions of the American public after the first 100 days,” the event will dissect the policies and decisions made by the Trump administration during its first 100 days in office. It is said that a president has the most power during this time, and as we’ve seen so far, Trump has not been shying away from his power, already having implemented a variety of controversial measures. Thus, the participants in this political science debate at UQAM will attempt to answer and grapple with such questions as: “What is the status of US domestic policy 100 days after the change of custody in Washington? How does the United States behave on the international stage? Are Americans satisfied with their president? What should be monitored for Donald Trump’s remaining term?”
When: April 27, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: Room A-2860, Pavilion Hubert-Aquin (A), 400 Sainte-Catherine Street East

21 Swings

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

Blue Metropolis Festival

One of the city’s best literary festival returns for yet another year this April. This year’s festival features all sorts of events, ranging from workshops to readings. In addition, a multitude of literature will be represented including graphic novels, poetry, and both fiction and nonfiction. Read more about the 2017 programming here.
When: April 24-30
Where: Various locations

Montreal Record Convention

Time to dust off your old record player because Montreal will soon be hosting a massive record sale. Officially called the Montreal Record Convention, this annual event sees hundreds of Montrealers flocking to Mile End church, Église St-Enfant Jésus. Hosted by Aux 33 Tours and Discs Beatnick, the Montreal Record Convention has nearly 50 vendors selling all sorts of records. The vendors will be made up of independent merchants selling records from their personal collections. Thus, you can expect many rare vinyls. In addition to the vendors, the event will also feature live DJs who will be playing music all day long.
When: April 29, 8 am-4 pm
Where: 5035 Rue St-Dominique

Earth Day @ the Redpath Museum

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

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.
When: Anytime
Where: Mount Royal

National Career Event

Free to attend, this national career event will feature major companies in all sectors, ranging from IT and engineering to banking and finance. Meet potential employers and attend workshops about all aspects of the job hunt including CV-building tips and interview preparation.
When: April 5-6
Where: Palais des Congres

Barbie Expo

In case you hadn’t heard, Montreal is currently home to the Barbie Expo, the largest permanent collection of Barbie dolls in the world. Montrealers have the chance to see and Instagram over 1,000 one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls. The Barbie dolls on display are not your average Barbie dolls, however. Rather, Barbie Expo is an exhibition of haute couture with Barbie as the model. As the website states, “This is Barbie seen at her fashionable best, a stunningly beautiful collection chicly modeled by the 11½-inch fashion icon.”
When: Open Monday to Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays from noon to 5 pm.
Where: 1455 Rue Peel

Sirop Urban Shack

Quebec eco-entrepreneur permaculture community, Terra Perma, has just announced they will be hosting a popup sugar shack in Montreal between March 18th and April 30th. Sirop Urban Shack will be set up in Montreal neighbourhood, St. Henri, and will feature an all-you-can-eat menu filled with maple goodies courtesy of Terra Perma’s artisanal small batch syrup. Dishes include pea soup, home-style potatoes, smoked bacon, pancakes, sugar pie, and more. Plus, the atmosphere is said to be both fun and enchanting, with a mixture of laid back and gourmet vibes. Tickets cost $20 each so be sure to get yours before they’re gone! This is one of the best opportunities you’ll get to experience a sugar shack without leaving the city.
When: March 18-April 30
Where: 3580 Notre-Dame W

Explore a new bike path

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.
When: Anytime
Where: Various locations

Papier 11

Papier 11 is a paper art fair that takes place annually in Montreal. Attracting thousands of people from all over the city, this event specializes in contemporary art creations made out of paper (drawings, engravings, photographs, collages, etc). Many local galleries and artists are represented including Studio 21 Fine Art, Pangea Project, Gallery Nicolas Robert, and many more. As this is the festival’s 10th anniversary, it will feature nearly 300 artists from 39 galleries.
When: April 21-23
Where: TBA

Montreal Digital Spring

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

Virtual Reality Garden: Felix and Paul Studios

Step back into the Phi Centre’s virtual reality garden, this time showcasing the works of Felix and Paul Studios. This “eclectic and powerful” collection boasts 7 of the studio’s best virtual reality creations, including many curated in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. Prepare to be amazed by everything from fire and acrobats to President Obama and amphibious characters.
When: March 22-May 29
Where: Phi Centre

International Festival of Films On Art

Montreal is hosting yet another exciting art festival this film, the International Festival of Films on Art. The 2017 theme of the festival is Play & Distraction, and will explore the connection between fun and human nature. A unique festival that recognizes the films created on art and media arts, the International Festival of Films on Art (or FIFA) seeks to promote the work of artists, increase knowledge of this art among the public, and encourage the film community to produce more films based on art. 2017 marks the 35th year of the event and in the past, over 200 films have been shown from over 25 countries around the world. The festival has even toured other cities, including New York, London, Brussels, Boston, Helsinki, and Paris.
When: March 23-April 2, 2017
Where: Various locations

Refugee Rights Day

The Montreal Jewish Museum is hosting a special event in honour of Refugee Rights Day. The Museum invites all Montrealers to learn about the experience of refugees who have fled their homes. Three women, Rivka Augenfeld, an advocate for refugee rights, Rena Schondorf, a Holocaust survivor, and a third who recently arrived in Canada, will all be speaking about their personal experiences. The event is free to attend and begins at 7pm.
When: April 4
Where: Montreal Jewish Museum, 4040, boul. St. Laurent

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Free on the last Sunday of each month, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the city’s top museum completely free of charge. With everything from graphic and contemporary art to Latin American and First Nations art, there is plenty to see at this gorgeous museum.
When: April 30
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Never Without Our Children Screening

The Montreal Holocaust Museum is screening the documentary Never Without Our Children, which tells the story of two Quebec sisters who saved over 50 children from the Cambodian genocide. The film’s director,Yves Bernard, along with one of the children saved by the sisters will be present to answer questions about the documentary. The screening will be in French only.
When: April 19, 7-9:3pm
Where: 5170 ch. Of the Côte-Sainte-Catherine