Montréal in the fall is a beautiful sight, and taking it all in can easily be done on a budget – free stuff abounds! Summery weather usually lasts through September and early October, meaning outdoor events and activities are plentiful. It’s always free to see the changing leaves, but Montréal’s got even more no-cost entertainment in store right through November.
Take a walk from Parc Avenue into the relative wilderness of Mount Royal Park – climbing the stairs to the top is absolutely worth it for the view of downtown and the Saint Lawrence River. Even easier, a stroll through beautiful Parc La Fontaine, or hop on the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau where riverside trails await – the park is also home to the Stewart Museum, free for kids 12 and under, and Biosphère Environment Museum, free for youth 17 and under.
Explore Old Montréal at nightfall through multimedia smartphone tour Cité Mémoire, where images come alive on building facades. And walk around downtown and the Plateau to discover murals and more street art around every bend. Throughout September, find activities and entertainment at outdoor markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, and, until November, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port. On Sept. 11, watch athletes ride in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal at Mount Royal Park. And if you’ve got your own bike, borrow a friend’s or rent one, check out our guide to bike paths, bicycle Rentals, Bixi and all things biking in Montréal.
Une photo publiée par OUMF (@oumfmtl) le 5 Sept. 2013 à 16h07 PDT
Free festival fun
Eat, drink, play games and listen to live music at outdoor festival OUMF on St-Denis Street, Sept. 7-10. Dance in the streets to EDM beats by DJs Sander Van Doorn, Cazzette and a dozen more producers at new festival Villa Paradizo, Sept. 9-10 on Crescent St. downtown. Meanwhile, Festival Quartier Danses brings contemporary dance outdoors starting Sept. 6-17 with free 12:30 pm and 5 pm performances at Place Émilie-Gamelin and Place des Festivals, along with indoor showcases.
The 15th edition of ever-popular music and arts festival POP Montréal includes plenty of free stuff, including indoor and outdoor shows (and BBQs!), artist talks and exhibitions, and lots of activities for kids. Enjoy even more live music during the First Fridays food truck event at Olympic Park on Oct. 7 – the final one of the year! While mid-November’s M for Montréal music festival often features free afternoon showcases and other events.
This autumn’s international film festivals – Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Oct. 5-16, RIDM documentary festival, Nov. 10-20, and Cinemania Francophone film fest (with English subtitles!), Nov. 3-13 – offer some free film screenings, talks and great parties. The Arab World Festival of Montreal, Oct. 28-Nov. 13, showcases Arabic and Western culture and features several free events, from film and art to live music. And the Bach Festival, Nov. 18-Dec. 4, includes a few free concerts at Saint Joseph’s Oratory and historic churches.
Une photo publiée par Centre d’histoire de Montréal (@chmmtl) le 1 Sept. 2016 à 7h52 PDT
Galleries and museums
During the 20th anniversary of Les journées de la culture, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, the city’s numerous galleries, museums and cultural spaces offer free activities for all ages, from painting workshops to chamber music concerts. Throughout the fall, almost all art galleries are free for the browsing – including virtual reality exhibitions and short films at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal (co-presented by Red Bull Music Academy and the Phi Centre), the work of Yann Pocreau at Galerie de l’UQAM and new contemporary and classical art in the many galleries of the Belgo Building, Old Montréal and the Plateau. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts main collections are free to anyone 30 and under and to everyone on the last Sunday of each month, and the Musée d’art contemporain – presenting the BNL MTL Le Grand Balcon starting Oct. 20 – is free to kids 12 and under and half-price on Wednesday evenings – and both offer free activities and tours for kids.
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