Easter weekend fun for all

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

As a family, a couple of solo, a long weekend in Montréal is a guaranteed good time, especially on this heavenly break! Easter weekend is when the city stretches its legs after a long winter and comes out to play in the shimmering spring sun. It’s the perfect time for strolls, take-out feasts, hotel and spa staycations, artful explorations and, with many Montréal venues open again by early April, entertainment for all ages.

City sights and sugar shacks

Why not be a tourist in your own town this Easter weekend – you might discover something new! Take a guided city tour to see spring coming into bloom and explore different neighbourhoods’ culture, art and history on foot, by bicycle or even on a scooter. See the entire city from above on the Grande Roue de Montréal, the highest observation wheel in Canada, climb high in the Voiles en Voiles adventure park, or zip over the Old Port on the Tyrolienne MTL Zipline.

Explore Old Montréal’s streets, shops and restaurants to see historic sights and find Easter weekend specials like new Québec maple syrup products at Délices, Érable & Cie on St. Paul E.

In Verdun, Cabane Panache 9.5 also helps us celebrate sugaring-off season with their Cabane Panache Brunch, sourced from top Verdun restaurants. Old Port restaurant La Scena launches home-delivery of its famed Un Chef à L’érable sugar shack menu. And even more maple experiences await from the best sugar shacks in and around Montréal!

Easter staycations

Montréal’s hotels make this a long weekend to remember too. You can order a Maple Brunch with a seasonal playlist from Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth and Marché Artisans right to your home until April 18, or take a break and book your maple brunch with a Fairmount staycation.

In Old Montréal, Le St Sulpice Hotel’s Easter family package includes an in-room Easter egg hunt with Juliette&chocolat treats, breakfast, parking and late-check out, or opt for a fabulous Easter brunch in a room with a view at the InterContinental Montréal, or a delicious brunch from restaurant Au Festin de Babette delivered to your room at Hôtel Gault. Check in to see what's happening for Easter at many more of the city’s hotels, from the most luxurious to the most family-friendly.

Saintly experiences

The Holy Week seems like a good opportunity to experience some of Montréal’s rich religious heritage. Take a walk in Old Montréal to see Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, the city’s most visited tourist attraction – if you’d like to attend mass, make your reservations in advance as the limit is25 worshippers.Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal also presents special masses throughout the week, including on Easter Sunday with attendance limited to 25 (get your ticket on site) or watch the Easter masses online.

Feasts at every meal

Montréal’s restaurant scene is notorious, even when limited to serving up take-out and delivery only – and this year's Easter weekend special meals are ready to delight all tastes and cravings. Enjoy Easter brunch take-out from some of your favourite  weekday and weekend brunch restaurants in Montréal’s many neighbourhoods,  and don’t forget about the exquisite weekend brunches at downtown restaurants! If you’re looking for a quick lunch between adventures, we’ve got a list of exciting lunch spots. Order Easter feast from the restaurant of your choice for take-out or delivery.

And for gourmet chocolate rabbits and other melt-in-your-mouth desserts, pick up something from Montréal’s best chocolate shops and Montréal chocolatiers who deliver Easter treats right to your home!

Free art in the city

Among the many free things to do this spring, there’s art all over Montréal, whether it’s public masterpieces you can visit sporadically or as a circuit. If you’re looking for an artful intro to Old Montréal, explore it through the lens of the light-and-history walking tour Cité Mémoire. There are tons of other light-filled installations to enjoy for free, starting with the light show of Jacques-Cartier Bridge, illuminated for Living Connections, an interactive display that reflects the city’s rhythms.

Visit the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art to see the Canadian premier of solo exhibition Lee Bae: UNION and walk over to the Phi Centre to see multi-artist exhibition Parallel Lines. Don’t miss this year's Festival Art Souterrain 2021 online now and throughout the underground city starting April 10. And explore more amazing art galleries in our Montréal guide to gallery hopping and these affordable places to buy contemporary art – many galleries are welcoming visitors in limited numbers to see new exhibitions.

Child’s play of all sorts

If you’ve already gone skating, tobogganing, walking and playing in the last remains of snow in the parks, then head indoors for kid-friendly fun. Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology and History Complex brings history to life with projections and interactive exhibitions about pirates, railroads and more. At the Montréal Botanical Garden, the grounds are spring to life and the greenhouses are in bloom, while space is the realm that awaits discovery at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium (experience the universe in ultra-HD thanks to new technology!) – just be sure to book your tickets ahead of time since spots are limited. 

Museum explorations

There’s always something fantastic to see in Montréal’s many museums , especially this highly-anticipated long weekend. At the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts see Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures as well as Manuel Mathieu: Survivance and more – the museum is also open on Easter Sunday and Monday, April 4 and 5. At the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal see the work of several incredible Montréal artists in exhibition La Machine qui enseignait des airs aux oiseaux and don't miss virtual exhibition Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything for at-home viewing.

Among the exhibitions at the McCord Museum, see over 50 classic designs in gorgeous exhibition Christian Dior. And kids can go on a hunt for Lionel the hare (and other Easter surprises) at Château Dufresne museum and historic site, from March 31 to April 4.

Relaxation nation

Sometimes all you need out of a long weekend is a whole lot of nothing, am I right? Get your fill of peace, quiet and indulgent self-care at Montréal’s spas. Book a solo or couples massage or (starting just before Easter) spend a few hours at the spa, whether you’re in the mood for a dry sauna session on a boat, a water circuit experience followed by a massage, a next-level facial in a hotel spa or a romantic spa day for two on Île-des-Soeurs, our vibrant spa scene has got all the aaaahs you need.

 

Happy Easter!

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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