14 of the best things to do in and around Montreal this summer

Add these to your bucket list! 🍹⛱️

​Drinks on board the Canal Lounge. Right: Someone stands on a long wooden walkway at a Quebec ecological park.

Drinks on board the Canal Lounge. Right: Someone stands on a long wooden walkway at a Quebec ecological park.

Ascending

Leases are ending, a heat wave is coming and it seems like all the rues are barrée... can you feel it? Montreal summer is in the air.

As Quebecers, we know how quickly these precious months go by — we don't have long before temperatures drop and the leaves fall, making way for yet another frigid winter. On the flip side, we're experts at squeezing every possible morsel of fun out of June, July and August.

With the summer season officially kicking off on June 20, it's time to power up into high gear and start knocking items off our summer bucket lists.

There's so much going on this time of year that it can be overwhelming, so here's a little guide to the best things to do in Montreal this summer to help get you started. Let's f**king gooo!

Become a ninja warrior on Aquazilla's floating obstacle course

Price:

  • Children ages 6 to 13: $17 for an hour, $34 for the day or $85 for a season pass
  • Adults 14 and up: $22 for an hour, $38 for the day or $85 for a season pass
  • Family (4 people): $70 for an hour, $133 for the day or $280 for a season pass

When: June 22 to September 2

Address: Jean-Doré Beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau – 151, circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Why You Need To Go: This 30-by-35-metre structure is a cross between a floating bouncy castle and an obstacle course, turning you and your friends into ninja warriors as you slip, slide, bounce, swing, splash, and cool down. With all of that (and more) in one place, Aquazilla is the true epitome of summer fun wrapped up into a big, inflatable package.

More at parcjeandrapeau.com

Attend as many festivals as you can

Price: Varies, but there are a lot of free festival events

When: All summer long, baby!

Why You Need To Go: Whether you want to stuff your face full of 150 types of tacos or line dance your heart out to country western hits, there is sure to be a festival that speaks to you this summer. In fact, there are so many festivals happening simultaneously right now that it's hard to walk down the street without accidentally attending three of them. The cherry on top? Many feature free shows and events so you don't have to spend a dime to get in on the action.

More details on upcoming Montreal festivals

Escape the city with a road trip (or day trip)

Why You Need To Go: There's nothing better than summer in the city. And, yet, summer in the city wouldn't be the same without taking a little road trip or day trip to escape. You could drive to one of Canada's best beaches, get directly shuttled to a nearby nature reserve or plan the ultimate hike. Whatever avenue you pursue, you'll likely have a blast and then return to Montreal feeling grateful to be back, more in love with it than when you left.

More ideas for road trips under three hours from Montreal

Try a new restaurant with super summery vibes

Why You Need To Go: True foodies like yourselves need no excuse when it comes to trying new restaurants. So the fact that it's summer is reason enough to find a place with summery vibes, secure some good company and make a reservation to chow down. From Bazart's bohemian decor to India Rosa's colourful cocktails to Sabrosa's fresh papaya salad and grilled shrimp, summer isn't just a list of things to do — it's also an experience that can be found on your plate and in your glass. Bon Appétit!

More summer restaurant recommendations

Play tourist in your own city by taking a street tour

Price: From $39.95 to $89.95

Why You Need To Go: It's easy to get complacent about your hometown. But when you remember that millions of tourists flocked to Montreal last summer, it puts things into perspective: we live in an amazing place with amazing attractions so get off your butt and go see them. One simple way to do this is by taking a tour. Fitz Montreal, for example, offers bike tours and walking tours with a little something for everyone. There's a street art e-bike tour, a walking tour of off-the-beaten-path sights in Old Montreal, a hidden gems bike tour of the Plateau and Jean-Talon Market and more. We guarantee you'll learn things you never knew about the place you call home.

More on fitzmontreal.com

Pick your own bouquet of flowers or fruit

Price: 24 for one adult and a bouquet, $37 for two adults and a bouquet

When: July 19 to 21, July 26 to 28, and August 2 to 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address: La Belle de Coteau-du-Lac, 75 QC-201, Coteau-du-Lac

Why You Need To Go: Pick-your-own-tulip season may be over, but there are still opportunities to pick your own flowers, fruits and vegetables in the coming months. At La Belle de Coteau-du-Lac, less than an hour's drive from Montreal, you can create a stunning bouquet made from zinnias, rudbeckia, gomphrena, daisies, lavender, dianthus, lisianthus, and marigolds — and, later in the season, sunflowers and dahlias. There are also strawberry-picking fields with gorgeous and delicious berries ripe for the taking. As Sofia Misenheimer put it in an Instagram post, "The photo ops are as ubiquitous as the sunshine and fresh air!"

More details about the U-pick flower and strawberry festival

Catch a killer view and/or sunset

Why You Need To Go: Some of the best days of summer are spent treating the park like your living room and the sun like your clock while looking out at a stunning skyline. Which Montreal park is your favourite? Where can you catch the most beautiful sunsets and see the most incredible views? You have a whole summer ahead of you to try them all and find out.

More on Montreal's most spectacular views, best places to catch the sunset and underrated parks

Party at the beach

Price: Free before 7 p.m., $5 after

When: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from June 13 to September 21, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Address: 2380, rue Notre-Dame E.

Why You Need To Go: Beach parties are back at Village au Pied-du-Courant complete with top DJs, electrifying beats, food trucks, art installations, dancing, sand, sun and, later in the season, fireworks. If you're looking to have an unforgettable summer evening, what more could you ask for?

This summer also marks Beachclub's final season before owner Olivier Primeau changes things up, so you'll want to make the most of the North Shore's resort-style open-air club while you still can.

More on Montreal beach parties

Watch a free open-air film by the Lachine Canal

Price: Free

When: July 14 to August 18

Address: Square Saint-Patrick, 1335, rue Saint-Patrick

Why You Need To Go: Film Noir au Canal is bringing free screenings of noir cinema classics and modern thrillers to Square Saint-Patrick every Sunday night beginning mid-July. Selected movies aren't announced until a week in advance, but past hits have included Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Scorsese’s The Departed so it's safe to say the organizers know what they're doing. Even if you don't love the film you see, the summer breeze hitting your face and the view of the canal should more than make up for it.

More on Film Noir au Canal

Chill (or do free yoga) with sheep

Price: Free

When:

  • Parc Armand-Bombardier from May 21 to June 24
  • Parc Maisonneuve from June 25 to October 13

Address:

  • Parc Armand-Bombardier - boulevard Perras and boulevard Armand-Bombardier
  • Parc Maisonneuve - 4601, rue Sherbrooke E.

Why You Need To Go: For the eighth year, you'll find a gang of sheep roaming around certain Montreal parks this summer as part of an eco-grazing project that uses sheep as natural lawnmowers. Not only can you pet the sheep (with volunteer permission) if they come up to you and ask for a pat, but you can also do free activities like yoga with them. Not a baaaad way to spend a day.

More on the Biquette Écopâturage program

Walk along pedestrian streets

Price: Free

When: Varies depending on the street

Address:

Why You Need To Go: For most of the year, cars rule the road. So why not take advantage of the few months when we can walk the streets without having to worry about noise pollution, tailpipe fumes or getting injured. Take a stroll down one of Montreal's 11 pedestrian-only streets for the summer of 2024 and enjoy everything the city has to offer — on foot this time. In addition to pedestrianizing streets, the City is also transforming certain public spaces into what it calls "festive mode" — adding things like picnic areas, outdoor furniture, open-air exhibitions and giant games. So dust off your sneakers, turn on your step counter and get moving!

More on Montreal's 2024 pedestrian streets

Drink at a floating bar 

When: Tuesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Address: Quai Atwater, 151, ave. Atwater

Why You Need To Go: "Montreal's floating bar is docking in the Lachine Canal with sea-themed drinks to sip and snacks to savour below deck," wrote Sofia Misenheimer in an article about the Canal Lounge. If none of your friends own their own yachts and you want to sip refreshing beverages aboard a watercraft soon, this may be your best bet.

More on the Canal Lounge

Find love (or a lover)

Why You Need To Go: Whether you want a significant other to join in your summer adventures or a new lover for a month-long fling (those are so much more fun when warm weather hits), this is a great time to turn up the heat on your dating life. From speed dating to seasonal activities to classes you can take, Montreal is crawling with eligible singles. You just have to know where to find them.

Summer dating advice from a local dating coach

Ride a water taxi

Price: $6 for a one-way ticket but free between Boucherville and East Montreal

When: May 18 to October 27

Why You Need To Go: Ahoy, mateys! Montreal's river shuttle system not only serves as a full-fledged commuter service, allowing you to skip construction and traffic while taking public transit, they're also an affordable way to take a scenic boat ride along the Saint Lawrence River.

More on Montreal water taxis

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