Easter weekend fun for all
This article was updated on March 11, 2019.
With the kids or as a couple, with your friends or as a group – 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, feasts, artful explorations and games for all ages.
The Holy Week seems like a good opportunity to experience some of Montréal’s rich religious heritage. At the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, the city’s most visited tourist attraction, cultural creators Moment Factory have created a stunning light and sound performance called AURA. Time your visit for one of the performances (every day except Sunday). Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal presents special masses throughout the week, including on Easter Sunday, when the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal boys’ choir will help animate the event.
Feasts at every meal
Montréal’s restaurant scene is notorious. Brunch is an event most days of the week in Montréal, but the options multiply on long weekends! If you’re looking for a quick lunch between adventures, we’ve got a list of exciting lunch spots. But if you want to make food itself an adventure, check out one of the many food tours – a tasty, intimate way to get to know this beautiful town.
Free art in the city
There’s art all over Montréal, whether it’s public masterpieces you can visit sporadically or as a circuit, or festivals like Art Souterrain, which turns the Underground Pedestrian Network into a contemporary art gallery. 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.
Child’s play of all sorts
If you’ve already gone skating, tobogganing, walking and playing in the last remains of snow, there’s tons of indoor activities for kids to warm up with. The Montréal Science Centre entertains as kids learn with awesome interactive activities, exhibitions and awe-inspiring IMAX movies. Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology and History Complex brings history to life with projections and interactive installations. At the Montréal Botanical Garden, the Butterflies Go Free event continues until April 28, while space is the realm that awaits discovery at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. And that’s just the beginning!
Sweeeet sugar shacks
Never experienced a Québec sugar shack? Get started with this essential guide. You can’t come to Montréal in the spring without getting a taste of maple, whether you do it by renting a car and venturing off into the woods or by staying right here in the city to explore some urban sugar shack options. Events like chef Laurent Godbout’s Un Chef à l’érable or La Cabane Chez Jean – a stone’s throw away from downtown Montréal at the Beach Chalet of Parc Jean-Drapeau – all seek to sweeten your life.
Fun by night
All hail Montréal’s nightlife! If the rhythm of the city has gotten into your bones, you’ll find a great selection of places to get your dance off. Live music is a favourite here any day of the week, and there are lots of amazing shows this long weekend. Any night out will be romantic if you start it on the Grande Roue de Montréal, the highest observation wheel in Canada, which is both heated and open until 11 p.m. every night right in the Old Port of Montréal. For other high spots, try one of these rooftop terrasses, open year-round! They all serve delish drinks and yummy snacks.
There’s always something fantastic to see in Montréal’s many museums, especially this highly-anticipated long weekend. At the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, take in the world-premiere exhibition on fashion icon Thierry Mugler, accompanied by a spotlight on Montréal designers and lots of activities for kids. Among the exhibitions at the McCord Museum, you’ll find a stunning exhibition of paintings by the culturally critical and hilarious Kent Monkman. But there are also natural history museums, train museums, even an Olympic museum – head to the Canadian Olympic Experience to learn all about the world’s athletic elite.
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. 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.
Isa Tousignant, blogger
Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.