24 things to do in Montreal this weekend: March 3 to March 5

Mar 3 2017, 10:10 am

Go all out for the first weekend of March by partaking in any one of the city’s exciting events!

There are hundreds of activities happening all over Montreal this weekend due to Nuit Blanche. In addition to the most anticipated night of Montreal en Lumiere, Montreal has a live butterfly exhibit, a cider festival, two film festivals, and a sneaker convention going on right now.

Take full advantage of what the city has to offer by checking out any one of the 24 events below.

Friday, March 3

Mondial des Cidres

Less than two weeks after Montreal’s free cheese festival, Montreal en Lumiere has confirmed that SAQ will be hosting their annual cider festival this March! Known as Mondial des Cidres, the event will take place between March 3rd and March 5th at Complexe Desjardins. Part of the official Montreal en Lumiere 2017 programming, Mondial des Cidres will feature products and tastings from local cider breweries in Quebec.Whether you want to know more about how apple cider is made, or just want to try out different ciders from throughout the province, Mondial des Cidres is the place to be. The event is open to the public (18 years and older) and free to all.
When: March 3, 4-9 pm, March 4, 12 pm-12 am, March 5, 12 pm-5 pm
Where: Complexe Desjardins

Butterflies Go Free

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

SAT Fest

Screening a selection of “immersive short films,” this is SAT Fest’s fourth year in a row. On now until March 3rd, Montrealers have the chance to watch a wide range of international short films in 360 degrees thanks to SAT’s unique Satosphere venue. This domed projection room will make everything you watch seriously mesmerizing. Seven films have been selected in total, all with their own innovative audiovisual components and narrations. A few favourites from this year’s festival? Escape, Isometric, and Transparent Machine.
When: Until March 3, 2017
Where: SAT, 1201 Boul St-Laurent

Montreal En Lumiere Free Outdoor Site

One of the largest winter festivals in the world, 2017 marks the 18th edition of Montreal En Lumiere. The festival showcases everything that a Montreal wintertime has to offer, from the performing arts to gastronomy to outdoor activities.
When: February 23-March 12, 2017
Where: Various Locations

Village Mammouth

This winter festival right in the heart of the Olympic Village is one of the biggest attractions in the city. Featuring ice skating, snow tubing, an outdoor bar, and plenty of restaurants, there is tons of fun to be had at this snow-filled paradise.
When: Until March 12
Where: Olympic Park

Combat d’Archers

You can play the hottest new recreational game right here in Montreal. Known as Archery Tag (or Arc Tag for short), Combat d’Archers is the place to spend a Saturday afternoon in Montreal. This new, hybrid sport is a mix of paintball and archery. It sees players running around a room of over 10,000 square feet, using airsoft weapons to tag their opponents. Each session is one hour in length, excluding 20 minutes of training which is required before every game.
When: Monday to Friday 12 pm-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-11 pm
Where: 3955 Rue de Rouen

Air France Ferris Wheel

The giant Air France Ferris Wheel will be taking up residence in Place des Festivals between February 23rd and March 11th.In addition, the Air France Ferris Wheel is by no means your typical ferris wheel. While it does go round and round and will offer great views of downtown Montreal, it also happens to be illuminated making it that much more magical. Lit up with all sorts of neon colours and designs, it is guaranteed to be nothing short of mesmerizing. Even better, it will be completely free to ride so grab your partner, family, and friends, and enjoy an exhilarating trip on Montreal’s own urban ferris wheel.
When: Thursdays and Fridays from 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm between February 23 and March 11
Where: Place des Festivals

Virtual Reality Garden: Animation Series

The Phi Centre has yet another cool exhibit happening right now. Titled Virtual Reality Garden: Animation Series, the exhibition showcases a collection of internationally-acclaimed short films including Henry, Eagle Flight, and Minotaur. The programme “juxtaposes animated film and virtual reality,” thus making it one of the most innovative and exploratory art exhibits on display in Montreal.
When: Until March 12
Where: Phi Centre

Saturday, March 4

Nuit Blanche

2017 marks the 14th edition of Nuit Blanche, and just as the city and country are celebrating anniversaries this year, Nuit Blanche has also decided to celebrate an important year for the city: 1967. Happening for one night only, Nuit Blanche 2017 will take place on the night of March 4th and will channel the spirit of Expo 67. On that one night, the festival has planned over 200 mostly free events happening all over the city. In other words, you won’t be able to miss it! Ranging from family events at the Goethe-Institute, where children are invited to “create fascinating games from light and shadow,” to Espaces des Arts where adults have the chance to “discover the incredible allure of rope bondage arts,” it’s going to be a pretty wild night. While the central hub of Nuit Blanche remains Quartier des Spectacles, there will be events taking place all over the city both indoors and out, such as at the Phi Centre, the McCord Museum, and the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.
Be sure to get a good night’s sleep on March 3rd!
When: March 4, 2017, 12 pm-3 am
Where: Various locations (for a map of locations, click here)

Bang Bang The Boogie

Scarlet is hosting a pop up dance party event this Saturday that is not to miss! This ultra exclusive party features DJ Jojoflores and Cesar spinning some authentic house music. Grab your dancing shoes!
When: 10 pm
Where: Scarlet, 139 Saint-Paul St W

Sneakpeak Montreal

In the market for a new pair of kicks? Dubbed the “largest sneaker/apparel convention in Montreal history,” Sneakpeak MTL offers Montrealers the chance to buy, sell, and even trade sneakers and clothing. There will be hundreds of brands represented so be sure to bring your wallet and expect to find some mighty great deals. If the event’s Instagram page is any indication, guests can expect to see Air Jordans, Jordan 8’s, Adidas Superstars, and more.
When: March 4, 2017
Where: La Plaza, 420 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

SnowFood Saturdays

Attention Montrealers! Your beloved Friday Fridays (aka food truck Fridays) are returning to Olympic Stadium, this time in the form of SnowFood Saturday. As part of Village Mammouth, Montreal’s awesome wintertime festival, Olympic Stadium will be home to a plethora of food trucks every Saturday afternoon between January 28th and March 4th, 2017. Between 3 pm and 10 pm each Saturday, you can expect to see tons of yummy food trucks lining the perimeter of Olympic Village. The official description reads, “You’ll find all the delicious fun of street food during our amazing evenings.” These “amazing evenings” also include live music and DJs, as well as snow sports like ice skating and snow tubing.
When: Saturdays 3 pm-10 pm between January 28 and March 4, 2017
Where: Olympic Village

Drift After Dark

As if Nuit Blanche (and its 200+ free activities) isn’t already exciting enough, Spa Bota Bota has recently announced it will also have a special event for the magical night of lights and art. Titled Drift After Dark: White Night 2017, the after hours event will see Spa Bota Bota transformed into an Expo 67 themed party. While 2017 marks the 14th edition of White Night, it is the first of its kind to “throw you back in time to the famous Expo 67 era.” As the spa’s location was used as a show boat back in 1967, it will be returning to its roots. Boasting a DJ, a relaxed atmosphere, and incredible views of Habitat 67 and Old Port, don’t miss your chance to visit Montreal’s best spa and partake in the city’s Nuit Blanche fun. Tickets cost $30 per person and include access to the water circuit for 2.5 hours, a bathrobe, a towel, a locker, and access to a photobooth and Expo 67-themed room.
When: March 4-5, 9-11:30 pm or 12:30-3 am
Where: Spa Bota Bota, Entrée McGill Coin De la Commune et McGill, Promenade du Vieux-Port, Montréal, QC H2Y 2E2

La Petite Floride

In an effort to revitalize vacant land along the Mile End railway, a hangout spot in an abandoned parking lot has popped up in recent weeks. Featuring a school bus-turned-cafe, picnic tables, lights, and a skating rink, this newest late night joint is called La Petite Floride. Open every Saturday night from December 2nd until the end of March, this is the place to be in winter. Grab some mulled wine, sit by the fire, skate around the manmade rink (featuring paintings by local artists), and enjoy a relaxing night in this urban oasis.
When: Saturdays 9 pm-1 am, from December 2nd until the end of March 2017
Where: 5705 avenue de Gaspé

Place Ville Marie Observatory

See Montreal like you’ve never seen it before. Montreal en Lumiere recently released its 2017 Nuit Blanche schedule and we couldn’t be more excited. One of the 200 free events happening all over the city on March 4th is none other than free entry to the Place Ville Marie Observatory. Titled Observation 360 Degrees, this official Nuit Blanche event will take place between 8pm and 1am, and will offer Montrealers a breathtaking view of the city. In addition to the view, the Place Ville Marie Observation deck has an interactive exhibition called #MTLGO that will take visitors on a “special urban mission.” As admission into the Place Ville Marie Observatory typically costs $19 for adults and $14 for students, this Montreal en Lumiere promotion is a major deal.
When: March 4, 8 pm-1 am
Where: Place Ville Marie Observatory

Animals Inside Out

The Montreal Science Centre is currently hosting an insane exhibition that allows the public to see exactly what lies inside the body of an animal. The Body Worlds exhibit, aptly titled Animals Inside Out, “sheds light on what lies beneath the skin of more than 50 animals.” Through a technique called plastination, experts have removed the skin from various animals, providing a never-before-seen glimpse of the muscular, skeletal, nervous, and digestive systems, as well as the blood vessels and internal organs of different animals.
When: Until March 12, 2017
Where: Montreal Science Centre, 2 Rue de la Commune O

RBC Tyrolean Zip-Line

Montreal en Lumiere recently released their 2017 schedule, and in and among the hundreds of exciting activities is none other than the RBC Tyrolean Zip-Line. The second zip line operating in Montreal this winter (the first being MTL Zipline in Old Port), the RBC Tyrolean Zip-Line is an annual staple of Montreal en Lumiere. Set up in Place des Arts between February 23rd and March 11th, this exhilarating ride will see Montrealers getting high up in the sky and travelling eastbound between Balmoral Street and St Urbain Street. As you soar through the sky, be sure to look down and spot the illuminated ferris wheel, lit up slide, and plethora of food trucks and stalls set up in Place des Arts.
When: February 23-March 11
Where: Place des Festivals

Sunday, March 5

Art Souterrain

Taking art out of artistic institutions and integrating them into daily life, Art Souterrain is hands down one of the coolest art festivals Montreal has ever hosted. Art Souterrain is a non-profit organized founded in 2009 that is dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, artists, and the “cultural heritage of Montreal’s underground city.” Thus, we can expect art installations to centre on concepts of pleasure, relaxation, sharing, and leisure. Specific forms of play mentioned include video games, theme parks, game rooms, sports, television, and the internet. The best part? Each installation will be set in a different underground tunnel in Montreal.
When: March 4-26, 2017
Where: TBD

Port Symphonies

Pointe-A-Calliere is hosting their annual Port Symphonies event this winter. The event is comprised of a series of special musical shows that utilize urban sounds such as those by the ships and locomotives in Old Port. 2017 marks not only the 23rd edition of Port Symphonies but also the 375th anniversary of Montreal. As such, the performance will be inspired by Jeanne-Mance et Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve’s arrival in Montreal back in 1642. Composed by Quebecoise-European singer and songwriter, Sonia Paço-Rocchia, this is sure to be one for the ages.
When: Sundays at 1:30 pm, February 26-March 12, 2017
Where: Pointe-a-Calliere, Old Port

Art Matters

Concordia is back at it again. Montreal is undoubtedly an artsy city. We love public art, fine art, and even underground art. Thus, it’s no surprise that 2017 is welcoming yet another art festival. Art Matters is unique in that it is a student-run festival, organized entirely by Concordia University students. The event is the largest of its kind in North America and has taken place annually every March since its inception in 2000. Just like previous years, the 2017 edition will showcase 10 exhibitions created by students, spread out over 3 weeks. There will also be parties and special events. In the past, the festival has incorporated different art workshops and all types of art installations including contemporary art exhibits, audiovisual components, and even live music.
When: March 4-27, 2017
Where: Various locations

Visit a Sugar Shack

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 International Children’s Film Festival

Calling all Disney fans! Montreal is set to host the 20th edition of the Montreal International Children’s Film Festival, otherwise known as FIFEM. Taking place between March 4th and March 12th, 2017, this is by far the best way to spend Spring Break in the city. The festival boasts over 100 film screenings from around the world, ranging from documentaries and shorts to animated and fictional films. In addition, the festival will feature workshops on animation and filmmaking, and talks from some of the creators of the films showcased. Screenings and events will be happening all over the city during the first week of March, including Cinema du Parc, Cinema Beaubien, Pointe-a-Calliere, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Tickets cost just $9 per person, however $75 passports can be bought which gets you into 10 films.
When: March 4-12, 2017
Where: Various locations

MTL Zipline

Old Port has decided that they will be opening the MTL Zipline all winter long, which means you can soar through the air any weekend you like. This is the first time ever that MTL Zipline has opened during the winter and we can’t wait to take advantage of this momentous occasion! One trip on the MTL Zipline costs $19.99 for adults or $16.99 for children. Located at the Clock Tower in the heart of Old Port, don’t miss your chance to fly like Superman and marvel at the scenic wintery landscape beneath you.
When: Every weekend this winter, 11 am-5 pm
Where: Clock Tower, Old Port

Chagall: Colour and Music

Starting January 28th, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will open a brand new special exhibition on world-renowned painter, Marc Chagall. The exhibit, titled “Chagall: Colour and Music,” explores the importance of music in Chagall’s life. It will be multidisciplinary, featuring over 400 works ranging from sculptures and paintings to photographs and films. In addition, puppets, costumes, stained glass windows, maquettes, and gouaches will be on display. According to the official site, “Music was a constant source of inspiration” for the Russian-French artist. “A favourite subject for his creations, it served as an internal rhythm and driving force for his compositions, and a key to the intensity and range of colour in his work.”
When: January 28-June 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

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