As Montreal's trees turn fiery hues, the city buzzes with a unique blend of fall festivities and romantic rendezvous. It's not just about pumpkin patches and cozy scarves; it's a whirlwind of haunted date spots, colourful outdoor views, and hearty harvest celebrations.
Just remember your scarf, a warm cup of cider, and your sense of adventure, and you'll be all set for a memorable Montreal autumn. Here's where to start:
When: September 29 to October 1
Where: Place des Citoyens, 999, boul de Sainte-Adèle, Sainte-Adèle, QC
Cost: Free entry, $5/tasting glass
Reason to go: Check out hundreds of beers, food trucks, restaurants, live music, games, and rides in scenic Sainte-Adele. The 12th edition of this festival features over 20 microbreweries from all over Quebec, and live music covering the Beatles, rock, and blues as the carnival lights up strongman competitions and the changing leaves.
Montreal Vegan Festival
When: September 30 and October 1
Where: Palais des Congrès, 1001, pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Reason to go: You'll get the chance to meet and hear from famed vegan chefs and authors, entrepreneurs, animal rights ethicists, and sustainability advocates, as well as sample tons of delicious plant-based treats and try out interactive cooking tutorials.
Matinee movies at a hidden theatre
Where: Montreal Art Center and Museum, 1842, rue William
Reason to go: This Old Montreal art center and museum has cheap afternoon movie screenings seven days a week within a stone's throw from downtown. They also offer private movie nights, letting groups rent out their intimate theatre for $400 including 15 drink tickets and museum tours.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
When: October 19 to 21 and October 26 to 31, 8 p.m.
Where: Mainline Theatre, 3997, boul. Saint-Laurent
Cost: $30/advance; $35/door
Reason to go: Time warp back to the 1970s at a screening of this Halloween cult classic. Audience participation makes a unique experience and if you haven’t been before, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a costume contest and open auditions to act out the characters on stage during the show.
Haunted Montreal ghost tours
When: October 1 to 31
Where: Various locations
Reason to go: You can take a spine-tingling walk through the city's haunted history with expert guides that give you a spooky take on Montreal's past. They also offer a haunted pub crawl and a paranormal investigation at a cemetery you can do with your friends, just make sure they don't ghost you.
When: October 19, 8 p.m.
Where: MTelus, 59, rue Sainte-Catherine Est
Reason to go: Show off your fancy footwork to the funky tunes of Montreal’s nu-disco duo Chromeo as part of their "Funk Yourself Tour." The opening act is none other than Ric Wilson, a funk-rap artist climbing the charts from Chicago. They made a song together and you can check it out here.
Todrick Hall’s Velvet Rage Tour
Image from IG: https://www.instagram.com/p/CxS7spFLfU9/
When: October 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Rialto Theatre, 5723, ave Park
Reason to go: American Idol star, Ru Paul’s Drag Race judge and popular YouTuber, Todrick Hall, has choreographed a tour coming to Montreal. The performer is sure to show off all of his moves and turn Rialto into a real dance "hall."
First Fridays food truck festival
When: October 6, 4 to 11 p.m.
Where: Montreal Olympic Park, 4545, ave Pierre-de-Coubertin
Cost: Free entry, varied food prices.
Reason to go: Every first Friday of the month, dozens of food trucks and street food stalls serve a taste of some of the best eats in the city. Featuring live music and performances, the atmosphere comes alive with colourful lights and dancing under the Olympic Stadium. If you've missed all of the First Fridays (Les Premiers Vendredis) since June, now’s your chance to go to the last First Friday of the year.
World Mountain Bike Series (& afterparties)
When: October 5 to 9
Where: Mont Sainte-Anne, 2000, boulevard du Beau-Pré, Beaupré, QC
Reason to go: You can catch some world-class downhill cyclists ripping through the trees, then catch an after-party with electro, funk, hip-hop, and house DJs playing each night. There are camping sites and hotels nearby if you want to stay the whole long weekend.
Ramen Ramen Festival
When: October 9 to 22
Where: Agora du Coeur des sciences (CO-R500), Coeur des sciences pavilion, 175, avenue du Président-Kennedy
Cost: Free entry
Reason to go: Fill your belly with some of the best ramen Montreal has to offer. You can enjoy a perfect hot soup as October’s chill sets in, and watch a movie screening at the UQAM Agora as part of the Nouveau Cinema 2023 festival while you’re there.
Halloween corn maze and pumpkin picking
Where: La Belle du Coteau-du-Lac, 75, route 201, Coteau-du-Lac, QC
When: Various dates
Reason to go: Creep your way into a night of fright at this farm's Domaine Maudit events. You might jump out of your boots in the corn labyrinth or haunted house of clowns. There are also pumpkins, squash, corn and flowers to pick, and a less frightening version of the maze for the faint of heart.
Wu-Tang Clan & Nas
When: October 2, 7 p.m.
Where: Place Bell, 1950,r ue Claude-Gagné, Laval, QC
Reason To Go: Grab the rare opportunity to see god-tier Wu-Tang Clan performing with hip-hop legend Nas. De La Soul and DJ Scratch, other huge influences on hip-hop are playing alongside them. You won’t want to miss some of the biggest names still touring, the energy at this show will be on a whole 'nother level.
Chinese Lantern Workshop
When: Every Friday and Saturday in October, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Botanical Garden, 4101, rue Sherbrooke Est
Cost: Free, with entry to the Botanical Gardens
Reason to go: Customize your own Chinese lantern and learn the art and history of calligraphy. Animators will guide you through brush strokes whether you're a novice or a calligraphy connoisseur so you can decorate and light up the night with your own creation.
When: October 25, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Centre Bell, 1909, av. des Canadiens-de-Montréal
Reason to go: Canada's queen of country will showcase over 20 tracks on her setlist featuring new songs and her biggest hits from the 90s and onwards. If that don't impress you much, Robyn Ottolini is performing the opening act as part of the "Queen of Me" tour.
SAT Halloween dome party
When: October 28, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Where: 1201, boul. Saint-Laurent
Reason to go: The iconic SATosphere comes alive with a dazzling audio-visual extravaganza, amplified by the beats of DJs Lëef, Djima, Nu/m, and Isotone. With 157 loudspeakers and pioneering visuals, it's a unique, high-tech celebration that sets it apart from any other Halloween festivity in town.
Gutta Zone Krump Festival
When: October 3 to 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI), 3680, rue Jeanne-Mance
Cost: $22 to $28
Reason to go: There's not much like the raw, pulsating energy of Krump, a dance style where every move tells a story through fierce, expressive movements (picture mime dancing to music). Featuring Canada's biggest Krump performances at this festival, the movements tell a story through the artist's struggle that words cannot describe.
Golden Girls homage show
Courtesy of Cabaret Mado.
Where: Cabaret Mado, 1115, rue Sainte-Catherine Est
When: October 18
Reason to go: It's your golden opportunity to see 'St. Olaf' stories meet Montreal glam with Tracy Trash, Lana Dalida, Marla Deer, and Prudence. Be there or be square (pants) — because darling, this isn’t your average night in 'Miami'!