5 Things To Do in Montreal in October
Visiting Montreal in October? As most travelers to Montreal and locals in the city know, there is always something going on in Montreal – especially during the summertime. Montreal is known for its summer festivals (the International Jazz festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, the Just for Laughs comedy festival even Formula 1 at Parc-Jean-Drapeau). But what happens when the weather cools down and the leaves change colour? What happens to Montreal in autumn? The good news is there is still a TON to do in Montreal in October. Let’s get into it!
Image by Claude Lafond for Espace pour la vie
Gardens of Light at the Botanical Gardens
Spend an evening at the Botanical Gardens during the Gardens of Light event (Jardins de Lumière in French). This unique event runs from the beginning of September until the 1st of November, from 9 am to 9 pm. I recommend visiting once the sun has set (around 7 pm in October) when you can really appreciate the beauty of the illuminated paths throughout the gardens, the enchanting light show and multi-coloured lanterns. You can even take a tour of the lanterns with a guide to learn more about the stories and legends of the Chinese New Year.
Oktoberfest at Atwater Market
This weekend in Montreal, from Friday October 2 to Sunday October 4, Atwater Market will be hosting their annual Oktoberfest. This fall event features artisanal, Quebec-made beer from more than 40 microbreweries. For a complete list of breweries and more event details, visit their website.
Image by Bottega Pizzeria
Pizza Week in Little Italy
From October 5 to October 10, Little Italy and the Jean Talon market have organized Pizza Week in Little Italy. This will be the fourth edition of the pizza festival. What can you expect during Pizza Week? Free pizza workshops and tastings (must be booked in advance), exclusive pizza toppings and promotions on meals/pizza at certain restaurants. See the full details here.
If you’re visiting during the second weekend of October, visit the Jean Talon market and Atwater market to take part in the Pumpkin Festival. On Saturday October 10 and Sunday October 11, you can partake in a Jack O’Lantern workshop, a pumpkin mini-putt, pumpkin ring toss game and more.
Image by Kim Meier via Thrive
Apple picking is somewhat of a tradition in Quebec and Montreal. Most children have gone apple picking at least once while growing up and it is a very popular school field trip. Quebecers are very proud of their apples (seriously – our apples are delicious!). If you’re spending a little more time in Montreal and are seeking refuge from the city, take a drive to any one of the numerous apple orchards just outside the city. I like the Maniadakis Organic Orchard in Franklin, Quebec. Maniadakis is an organic orchard and very affordable. You can even treat yourself to some of their organic apple cider. The orchard is about an hour outside of Montreal.
Image by Kit via Seek New Travel
Bonus: See the changing colours of the trees at Mount Royal Park.
Montreal is beautiful in autumn – the weather gets cool and crisp, and the trees are brilliant shades of reds, oranges and yellows (and even some stubborn greens stay well into October). What better spot to appreciate the changing colours of the trees in Montreal than Mount Royal. Talk a walk (or run) through the park and finish off by taking in the panoramic views of the city (and the changing leaves) at the lookout point. Fun fact: Mount Royal park was designed by the same landscape architect, Frank Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City.
For places to eat while you’re in Montreal, you can consult my latest post on where to eat vegan in the city.
Over to you! Have you experienced October in Montreal? What are your favourite things to do during the autumn months?
Because this post is time sensitive, if you are revisiting this post in October 2016, please visit the relevant websites to be sure that these annual events are still in action and take note of the event dates. Thank you! Enjoy autumn in Montreal.