29 free Montreal events worth checking out this March

Feb 27 2020, 10:23 am

March on, Montreal.

March is an exciting time of year because the snow is supposed to melt and the weather should start getting warmer.

What’s even better is there’s a ton of great events going on in Montreal this month for free.

To make sure you save up some cash for the spring, here are 29 things to check out in the city this month while keeping your wallet behind.

Québec Maple Ferris Wheel

Montreal en Lumière

@erableduquebec/Instagram

What: Presented by Maple from Québec, the giant illuminated Ferris wheel cozies up to the Quartier Gourmand sector of the festival, offering guests authentic Quebec-made maple syrup samples.

It’s tough to miss the giant, neon-lit wheel that offers gorgeous vantage points of the festival site if you want to go camera heavy.

When: Sunday, March 1
Time: 2 to 11 pm
Where: Quartier des Spectacles

Dynamo

montrealenlumiere.com

What: The Dynamo show at the Énergir stage will feature a mini-circus of acrobats performing what the Montreal en Lumière website describes as a “mind blowing show.”

When: Sunday, March 1
Time: Varying hours. Visit the Montreal en Lumiere website for specific times
Where: Quartier des Spectacles

Urban Slide

@wmontreal/Instagram

What: Montréal en Lumière is in full slide swing and its giant urban slide shines bright at the Quartier des Spectacles, zigzagging its way across the outdoor party.

The 110 metre-long slide starts at the illuminated launch tower and glides its way around the site at full speed, screaming with cheers and photo opportunities.

The slide is “completely revamped” this year, according to the Festival of Lights website, offering sliders a multicoloured light show.

When: Sunday, March 1
Time:  2 to 11 pm
Where: Quartier des Spectacles

RBC VOLTIGO

Montreal en Lumière

montrealenlumiere.com

What: You’re probably not down to dive into a swimming pool in the dead of winter, especially from such great heights.

Luckily, Canadian haut-vol diver Lysanne Richard is.

She’ll jump off a 25-metre high diving board into a 3-metre deep pool. As if that’s not enough, she’ll be performing acrobatics in between.

When: Sunday, March 1
Time: Varying hours. Visit the Montreal en Lumiere website  for specific times
Where: Quartier des Spectacles

Montreal Robotics Festival

Festival de robotique

What: The ninth edition of the Montreal Robotics Festival, presented by Bombardier, Hydro-Québec, and the Government of Quebec, is being held at the Université de Sherbrooke from March 5 to 8 and the Olympic Stadium in April.

When: March 5 – 7
Time: 9 am – 6 pm
Where: Université de Sherbrooke

Pente à Neige

ski hill Montreal

@andrewbohz/Instagram

What: No offence, Mont Tremblant, but we might hit the slopes a bit closer to home this winter as La Pente à Neige has constructed a man-made ski hill at Parc Ignace-Bourget.

The edition of the urban hill is big enough for up to 250 people along with a mini slope that can accommodate up to 50 mini-skiers.

The hill welcomes skiers, snowboarders, tubers, and sledders of any age and features a cozy heated yurt, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and music. Guests can bring their own equipment or it can be rented on site.

The slope is 300 metres long and has professionals on-site to teach people proper skiing/snowboarding/falling down techniques.

When: From now until March 29
Time: Thursday and Friday, 4 to 9 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm; Sunday, 9 am to 7 pm
Where: Parc Ignace-Bourget

Cité Mémoire

levieuxmontreal/Instagram

Head to Old Montreal to admire 25 of the world’s largest projection circuits. Montreal’s history will be displayed on buildings and streets throughout the Old Port. Download the free “Montreal en Histoires” app for destinations, details, and schedules.

When: March 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28
Time: From nightfall until 11 pm
Where: Old Montreal

Honey Martin Trivia

Honey Martin/Facebook

What: Honey Martin is a cozy Irish Pub in NDG that hosts a phenomenal pub trivia every Tuesday. They do six rounds of 10 questions and a winner is rewarded each round with either a round of drinks or a round of shots. A round for a round – solid deal.

The questions are all general knowledge and the trivia host is interactive and funny.

Buy him a shot and you just might get that European geography question right after all.

When: March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
Time: 9 pm to 1:30 am
Where: 5916 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

POP Yoga Neige

outdoor yoga

POP Spirit/Facebook

What: Montreal-based fitness company POP Spirit is hosting a series of outdoor snow yoga sessions all month.

Aptly titled POP Yoga Neige, classes will take place every Sunday from now until March 29 at Parcours Gouin.

All classes are free to the public and boast top-notch, professional instructors. All you have to do is bring your own mat and dress warm (really warm).

Grab your toques, thermal leggings, gloves, scarves, neckwarmers, and more. Your mind and body will heat up but it’s still chilly outdoors.

When: March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
Time: 10:30 – 11: 15 am
Where: Parcours Gouin

McKibbin’s Pub Stumpers

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

What: Test your trivia knowledge at McKibbin’s Irish Pub every Monday.

The pub’s trivia has five rounds, general knowledge multiple-choice, short answer, a picture round, and a music round. The winner of each round receives free drinks or a round of shots.

When: March4, 11, 18, and 25
Time: 7:30 to 10 pm
Where: 1426 Rue Bishop
Price: Free to play (with purchase of a beverage)

Bleu, Blanc et Bouge

chcfondation/Instagram

What: The Montreal Canadiens foundation has six outdoor, refrigerated rinks around the island. The professional-level rinks provide the opportunity for hockey players to develop their skating skills on exceptional quality ice.

The program is divided into six sessions of approximately 45 minutes each.

The rink is free to use but a simple registration is required to access the rinks.

Rinks can be found at the following spots around Montreal:

  • Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension : François-Perrault Park
  • Montréal Nord : Carignan Park
  • Verdun : Willibrord Park
  • LaSalle : Hayward Park
  • Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce : Confederation Park
  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville : Mésy Park
When: From now until end of March (weather permitting)
Time: Varies per rink
Where: Various locations around Montreal

Casino de Montreal

free

Casino de Montreal/Shutterstock

What: It’s tough to associate casinos without money, but it’s true.

The Casino de Montreal is free to enter. If you don’t feel like blowing money at the blackjack table, head to the Casino de Montreal and simply take in the sights and sounds. It’s quite spectacular. The casino offers free refreshments and coffee. Maybe you’ll find a loonie on the ground and even win big!

The Casino is decorated beautifully for the wintertime and is worth the trek off-island just to marvel in its beauty.

When: Every day in March
Time: The Casino de Montreal is open 24/7
Where: 1 Avenue du Casino

Galerie MX

Galerie MX

What: An art gallery is always appealing, especially during March’s wet days.

Galerie MX seeks to give greater exposure to contemporary artists, primarily from Canada, but from all over the globe as well.

The gallery is located in the heart of the Quarter international, the cultural epicenter for arts in Montreal in a sleek 6,000 sq. ft. exhibit space.

When: Every day in March
Time:
Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday to Friday, 10 am to 9 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: 333 Viger Avenue Ouest

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St Patricks Day

Les sociétés irlandaises unies de Montréal

What: Downtown’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a celebration of Irish heritage and a pretty decent reason to drink in the streets.

St. Patrick’s Day itself falls on Tuesday, March 17 this year but the annual parade will take place on Sunday, March 22.

The United Irish Societies of Montreal, the organization behind the giant street party, announced that the 197th edition of the city’s parade will take place along its usual route on Ste. Catherine from noon to 2:30 pm.

When: Sunday, March 22
Time: 12 pm
Where: Rue Fort and Ste. Catherine until rue Metcalfe and Ste. Catherine

Cabane Panache 2020

maple syrup Montreal

Promenade Wellington

What: This month will be a good time to channel your inner lumberjack because a maple syrup festival is on its way to Montreal.

Officially called Cabane Panache, all the sugary goodness of a Quebec cabane à sucre will be coming to Promenade Wellington between March 19 to 22.

The 10th annual urban cabane à sucre will feature four days of square dancing, woodcutting, festive dancing, tasty treats, and oodles of maple syrup.

When: March 19 to 22
Time: Thursday, 5 to 9 pm; Friday, 5 to 10 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Promenade Wellington, Verdun

Montreal ToyCon

Montreal ToyCon

What: From Funko pop to action figures, statues, plush toys, high-end collectibles, comics, and cosplay, the Montreal ToyCon convention returns to the city at the end of the month. Admission is free but that rare Thanos gauntlet might knock you back a few bucks.

When: Sunday, March 29
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Where: Courtyard Marriott Hotel, St-Laurent

Notre-Dame Basilica

Mozart concert

A G Baxter (Shutterstock)

One of Montreal’s most-viewed structures is filled with hundreds of wooden carvings, several religious statues, and gigantic stained glass windows. Take a self-guided walking tour or visit the church every Sunday at 11 am to hear a 25-person choir accompanied by the organ.

When: Every day in March
Time: 8 am – 4:30 pm on weekdays, 8 am – 4 pm on Saturdays and 12:30 pm – 4 pm on Sundays (mass starts at 11 am)
Where: 110 Rue Notre Dame Ouest

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

@s.s.neves/Instagram

If you want to expand your knowledge this month, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has got you covered. The MMFA offers free admission to all of their Collections and Discovery exhibitions to people under 20-years-old.

When: Every day in March
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Where: 1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Jean Talon Market

jean talon market

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

What: The highlight of Little Italy is undoubtedly the Jean Talon Market. The Jean Talon market has been supplying Montreal with fresh Quebec products and specialty items from around the world since 1934.

The market is free to enter and is open every day. Visitors can find a wide variety of produce, flowers, fish, meat, and specialty ice cream for sale. The area is also a great destination for lunch. Barbeque lamb, pork, and chicken sandwiches, as well as bison on a stick, are all available for a few bucks.

It’s a Montreal landmark.

When: The Jean Talon Market is open every day in March
Time: Monday to Wednesday, 7 am – 6 pm; Thursday and Friday, 7 am – 5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 7 am – 5 pm
Where: 7070 Avenue Henri Julien

Barbie Exhibition

barbie expo

joshuajacobs81/instagram

What: The world’s largest permanent exhibit of Barbies is happening at Montreal’s Cours Mont-Royal. The upscale mall hosts over 1,000 entertainment industry Barbie dolls, all dressed by leading fashion houses.

When: Every day in March
Time: 10 am – 7 pm
Where: Cours Mont-Royal, 1445 Rue Peel

Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral

@krishna_saraiya91/Instagram

What: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral is a 19th-century church modelled after the famous St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The church opened in 1894 and is an absolutely stunning visual.

When: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral is open year-round
Time: 8 am – 4 pm
Where: 1085 Rue Cathedrale

Grande Bibliothèque

bedbug

BAnQ, Bernard Fougères

What: The Grande Bibliothèque is a Montreal’s biggest public library. Its collection is part of Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Quebec’s national library.

The Grande Bibliothèque is an absolute spectacle to see. Its winding staircases will make you feel like you’re at Hogwarts and it hosts an unbelievably impressive collection of books, magazines, records, CDs, and film.

It’s one of the most visited libraries in North America.

Membership is free to all Quebec residents.

When: The Grande Bibliothèque is open year-round
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: 475 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Est

Mont Royal Belvédère Kondiaronk Park

What: Hiking Mont Royal has its rewards besides the view. The winter’s snow fused with the skyline are totally Instagram worthy and Mont Royal’s chalet has some nice historical elements as well.

You get to see the entire city lit up – especially in March’s chilly weather. A 15-minute hike is totally worth it.

When: Mont Royal is accessible year-round
Time: 6 am – 12 am
Where: 1196 Voie Camillien-Houde

Murray Hilly Tobogganing

@rougeandrew/Instagram

What: Embark on a classic winter adventure: tobogganing down one of the city’s most gorgeous hills.

Whether you’re more of a plastic disk, magic carpet, or wooden sled kind of person, Murray Hill has plenty of natural slopes that include padded walls in case you really get going.

When: Every day in March (or until the snow melts)
Time: 7 am – 10 pm
Where: Murray Hill, Westmount

Atwater Market

Jean Gagnon

What: The Atwater Market is a massive farmers’ market located in Saint-Henri that’s been running since 1933. The market features both indoor and outdoor vendors from a vast variety of local options: meat, bread, cheese, fruit, vegetables, flowers, candy, pizza, and ice cream.

The market is free to enter and a lot of outlets hand out free samples. Take a stroll through the market. It’s lovely.

When: Every day in March
Time: 7 am – 8 pm
Where: 138 Avenue Atwater

Promenade Fleuve-Montagne

What: You can experience two of Montreal’s most stunning landmarks in one trek: the St. Lawrence River and Mont Royal Park. Stroll from one to the other on a beautiful 3.8-km promenade that features wide sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, rest areas, greenery, and access to various restaurants along the route. The multimillion-dollar investment from the city’s 375th birthday celebrations is a site and a sight to see.

When: Every day in March
Time: The path is open 24/7
Where: Rue de la Commune Ouest and Place Royale to Avenue des Pins and Rue McTavish

Redpath Museum

free

Musée Redpath Museum/Facebook

What: Founded in 1882 at McGill University, the Redpath Museum aims to further the understanding and appreciation of biological, geological, and cultural heritage.

The comfortable, little museum has a variety of ancient Canadian artifacts.

When: Every day in March
Time: 9 am – 5 pm during the week, 1 pm – 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Where: 859 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Outdoor Hockey Rinks

hockey rinks

Musée Redpath Museum/Facebook

What: It’s crisp and cold in Montreal which means it’s the prime time to show off your Canadian pride and hit the ice at any of the city’s collection of outdoor hockey rinks.

If you’re going for a leisurely skate or you want to wire a few clappers, these spots around the city offer not only the best ice and maintenance but have warm rooms to lace up, long hours, lights, nets, boards, and open-skate areas for the mini-skaters.

Be sure to check out the Ville de Montreal’s skating rink site to check out rink locations and ice condition details, which are updated daily.

When: Every day until mid March (or until the weather warms up)
Time: Varying hours per rink
Where: Various areas around Montreal