I don't know about you but I am so excited for October! It's one of my favourite months of the year and I have a feeling a lot of Montrealers can relate to this sentiment.
October is inherently romantic. It's the perfect time to swaddle yourself in a cute chunky sweater and leather jacket and head outside to take advantage of the great weather while it lasts. Is it just me or does the air smell amazing in the fall, too?
Needless to say, fall is a fantastic time to discover and explore Montreal and there are tons of fun and interesting free activities around the city.
You can also just say inside and watch Netflix all month – that is a legitimate option. However, if you're looking to get out – whether to visit museums, go to a food festival, book fair, or take a slow fall drive through the country – there is something to do in Montreal that will not break the bank.
Check out some of the top activities and events we scoped out for the month of October and enjoy!
1. Check out these Montreal museums for FREE!
Where: Participating museums
When: Sunday, October 7th
If you're a resident of Quebec, you will have free access to several museums on the first Sunday of every month. On October 7th, it will be 100% free to attend these museums: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal Holocaust Museum, McCord Museum, Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal, Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec, and the Écomusée de la Maison du fier monde.
2. Attend the Montreal "vegan festival" this month
Where: Palais Des Congres
When: October 20th & 21st
Calling all vegans and wellness lovers. A massive vegan festival is coming to Montreal and you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that entry to the festival at Palais de Congres is 100% free! This is quite rare for a festival of this scale, so take advantage!
3. Attend the last weekend at Les Jardineries for FREE
Where: Les Jardineries // Parc Olympic
When: October 5th at 4 p.m.
Les Jardineries is an open-air public event space that opened this summer in the Olympic Park in the east end of the city. Needless to say it's been a hit all summer. The space hosts all kinds of events with food, entertainment, drinks, all the good stuff. Check out the last weekend of "Scene Overte," their reoccurring Friday evening party on October 5th.
4. Check out YATAI MTL at the last "First Friday" food truck event of the season
Where: Montreal Olympic Park
When: October 5th // 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
First Fridays is a massive gathering of food trucks that happens every first Friday of the month. Entry is 100% free! On October 5th, Montreal will be hosting the very last first Friday of the season and it will go out with a bang in a special collaboration with YATAI MTL.
5. Attend an outdoor photo exhibit for FREE downtown
Where: Jardin Gamelin // Berri UQAM
When: Anytime, until October 14th
Right next to Berri Uqam metro there's a massive park that transforms into an outdoor event space every summer. It's called Jardins Gemelin. I'm sure you've seen it walking down Saint-Catherine East. The Jardins is hosting a photo exhibit which will run from September 19th to October 14th, so don't forget to stop by because it's 100% free!
6. Check out Moksha Yoga NDG hosting FREE yoga for their 10 year anniversary
Where: Moksha Yoga NDG
When: October 13th & 14th
Moksha Yoga NDG is celebrating their 10-year anniversary and to celebrate, they are going to be offering FREE yoga classes all day on the 13th and 14th of October. If you love yoga or you support the studio check out the schedule and see if you can make a class!
7. Check out the seasonal "farmers market" at Marché Des Éclusiers
Where: Marché Des Éclusiers
When: Every Saturday at 3 p.m. until October 27th
There's nothing better than checking out a farmers market in the fall. It's the best time to take advantage of the good weather. Check out this pop-up seasonal market at Marché Des Éclusiers, which will be hosted throughout the month of October.
8. Check out this pop-up "Mini Souk" at Boho Lab in the old port
Where: The Boho Lab // Rue Notre Dame West
When: Saturday October 13th
A "souk" is an Arab marketplace with vendors selling all kinds of goods. This mini souk is being hosted in at Boho Lab in the Old Port and will feature all kinds of unique local products for you to browse and coffee and teas to sip on as well.
9. Check out a huge "Street Art" exhibit in the Quartier Des Spectacles downtown
Where: Quartier Des Spectacles // Place Des Arts
When: Until 28 October, from Monday-Sunday
The Quartier Des Spectacles at Place Des Arts is hosting a recurring free event and outdoor exhibit until October 28th. Don't forget to stop by throughout the month to check out some of the amazing art!
10. Attend Concordia's epic used book fair this fall
Where: EV Building // Concordia Campus
When: October 29th & 30th
Of course, entry is free to this used book fair hosted by Concordia University. The books aren't free, but prices are so low, they are practically giving them away! Also, the event is open to the public, not just Concordia students.
11. Take a relaxing fall drive on Senneville Road
Where: Senneville // Quebec
There's nothing more romantic than a long and lazy weekend drive on a beautiful road. Driving to good music always makes the conversation flow so naturally. A beautiful road for lazy Sunday driving can be found in the North Western part of the island in the town of Senneville. Not only will you find beautiful trees and waterfront views, but also some of the biggest mansions in all of Montreal!
12. Check out the most beautiful 5@7 in the city at Café Suspendu!
Where: Café Suspendu Du Mont-Royal
When: Every Friday until October 31st
Café Suspendu hosts a 5 @ 7 "happy hour" every single Friday with musical guest and good vibes. It's 100% free to attend. The drinks cost extra but it's very reasonable for the beautiful view that's included. Make sure to check it out this October because it's you're last chance! The café closes on October 31st.
13. Check out a fall vernissage for FREE at Never Apart
Where: Never Apart // 7049 Rue Saint-Urbain
When: October 11th
Never Apart is an awesome multi-purpose event space and gallery that hosts all types of parties centered around art and community. The best part: most of their parties are 100% free. Oh, and they have a bar. This October they are hosting a fall opening party that is guaranteed to be an amazing time.
14. Attend the McGill Book Fair for a good cause
Where: Redpath Library // Downtown
When: October 16th, 17th, 18th
Every fall, McGill U hosts a massive book fair at the Redpath Library. It's open to the public, not just for students, and the best part is that new and used books are super cheap and all proceeds from the Fair provide scholarships and bursaries for McGill students.
15. Check out the fall colours at the most underrated but beautiful parks in the city
Where: Rene Levesque Park // Lachine
If you want to appreciate fall in Montreal but you think Mont-Royal is totally overrated, head down to south-east of Montreal to the beautiful waterfront Rene Levesque Park. This quiet park is a hidden gem of the city. It's perfect for biking, walking, and running all year round, but fall is especially beautiful in this waterside park. Also, the quickly gentrifying area of Lachine is full of fun local restaurants and coffee shops to discover and explore afterward.
16. Get in the Halloween mood and watch a scary movie on Netflix
Watching Netflix is probably the best "free" activity. Get in the Halloween mood and watch a scary one! One of my new favorite scary movies is Train To Busan, this is hands-down one of the best zombie movies I've ever seen. There's also horror series The Haunting Of Hill House coming on October 12th. The options are endless!
17. Take a long romantic walk around Summit Circle in Westmount
Where: Summit Circle // Westmount
There's a smaller and lesser-known look-out point right in the center of Montreal. This one is a very top of summit circle in Westmount, where you will find some of the most beautiful homes in the city and amazing views of downtown Montreal. If you're short on time or don't have a car, this is the perfect spot for a romantic fall walk or drive.