In Montreal marks a major shift of seasons as the city stretches into springtime with spring-break fun and the return of cycling season, plus traditional Quebecois sugar shack meals, easter weekend relaxation, a celebration of all things Scottish, new art and more. Check out our 10 oh-so Montréal things to do in April.
1. Make the most of your spring break
If your spring break happens to be in April, Montréal happens to be ready to entertain, whether you’re with family or with friends.
- Family activities at museums, Place des Arts, outdoors and indoors, all over the city, including incredible Cirque du Soleil show Under the same sky from April 23 to June 21 under the big top in the Old Port of Montréal.
- Skill-testing, friendship-building escape games and other adrenalizing activities.
- Food and drinks to remember at casual restaurants, food halls and microbreweries.
- Live music, dance clubs and more for a memorable spring break in Montréal.
2. Enjoy a delightful Easter weekend
The Easter long weekend in Montréal is all about welcoming spring with garden walks, relaxing brunches and more from April 10 to 13.
- Check out Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal either for mass or immersive multimedia show AURA and make a visit to beautiful Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal for mass and music concerts.
- Green buds on trees and more signs of spring at the Montréal Botanical Garden – or walk through its greenhouse for a taste of the tropics.
- A visit to a sugar shack, also known as a cabane à sucre, is an unmissable Québécois tradition for brunch, lunch or dinner: try Sucrerie de la Montagne and Maple Apple Shack of Labonté de la Pomme in the nearby countryside or Un Chef à l’érable in the city until April 12.
- Or simply kick back and relax at Montréal’s best spas.
3. Dig into seasonal Montréal cuisine
Montréal’s many food and drink offerings also make the transition from winter to spring this month.
- Authentic Québécois classics like poutine, bagels, smoked meat and other musts for foodies.
- Premium wines from California’s top 150 wine producers at the California Wine Tasting event, on April 8 at the Grand Quai Du Port De Montréal. And sample cocktails at cozy bars and seasonal beers at inventive microbreweries.
- La Fête du Croissant‘s celebration of the classic French pastry at local bakeries on April 25, when croissants are only $1 each!
- Downtown’s new food halls delight: Time Out Market, LE CENTRAL – MANGER MONTRÉAL and Cathcart Restaurants et Biergarten.
4. Ride through the streets
As the weather warms up, locals and visitors alike hop on bikes in Montréal, whether to get from A to B or explore the city on two wheels.
- Montréal’s shared bike system, BIXI, is easy to use, has stations in almost every corner of the city and opens for the year on April 15.
- Rent a bike here or bring your own to explore the city on Montréal’s extensive bike path system – try these bike rides perfect for visitors.
- Whet your appetite on Montréal On Wheels’ culinary tour Montréal Bike and Bites, and other great bike tours guiding you through the city’s unique neighbourhoods.
5. Explore Scotland in Montréal
Scotland takes the spotlight in Printemps écossais, at Place des Arts in downtown Montréal from April 16 to 26.
- Québec traditional music group Le Vent du Nord reunites with Scottish folk music group Breabach on April 18, Scottish 21st-century folk music groups RURA and Talisk perform on April 22, plus sporadic Blackwatch performances.
- Renowned Scottish author and playwright Irvine Welsh (perhaps best known for Trainspotting) in discussion on April 24.
- Family-friendly dance performance Four Go Wild in Wellies on April 19 and 20 and a free celebration with dance, film and music on April 26.
- Paysages de Montréal : le grand héritage des Écossais photo exhibit of Montréal’s Scottish heritage since the 18th century and digital experiences Nearer Future and L’invention de Brewster.
6. Shift your perspective
On canvas or paper, in video or performance, art in Montréal’s museums and galleries is an experience to savour this spring.
- Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism, showcasing 19th and 20th century Paris as seen by Post-Impressionist masters, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
- The Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain presents group exhibition RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting, exploring the complex and multiple meanings of diaspora, from April 23 to September 13.
- The Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) brings together Indigenous artists from across America and showcases recent creations in Indigenous contemporary art, from April 23 to June 21.
7. See the world on screen
Montréal shows off its future-leaning visions and international perspectives in immersive experiences and film festival screenings.
- Annual event Montreal Digital Spring opens our eyes to the possibilities that abound when art meets new technologies.
- The world shift between realities at the Phi Centre’s Mirages & miracles interactive virtual reality and augmented reality exhibition, exploring the relationship between nature, technology, the human body and art until April 5.
- Festival international de cinéma Vues d’Afrique screens films from Africa, the Caribbean and the African diaspora and features roundtables with guest artists and more from April 17 to 26.
- Nine documentaries focused on the environment and climate, as well as discussions with the directors, at Ciné Vert from April 15 to 19 at Ausgang Plaza.
8. Catch some major league action
Cheer on top-tier athletes – and dare-devil monster truckers – this month in Montréal.
- Major League Soccer stars the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on April 18. Catch them – and the season’s biggest sports – on the big screen at great local sports bars.
- Three hours of monster trucks and freestyle motocross at Monster Spectacular XXV on Saturday, April 4 at Olympic Stadium.
- The Senior Pan American Judo Championship at Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, from April 16 to 19, where over 250 athletes from 25 countries compete for possible selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
9. Get your thrills at the theatre
Captivating plays and contemporary dance are set to stun on Montréal stages.
- Darkly funny, fast-paced, Tony Award winning political thriller Oslo on stage from April 19 to May 10 at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts
- August Wilson’s play Fences, a 1950s snapshot of a family in blue-collar America, from April 21 to May 10 at Centaur Theatre.
- National Ballet of Canada choreographer Guillaume Côté‘s Crypto, a reflection on beauty and our need to control and transform it, at Place des Arts from April 1 to 4.
- Rhythms of contemporary Cuban dance by Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in three works by leading Cuban choreographers, at Place des Arts from April 29 to May 2.
- And for families with younger kids, Peppa Pig’s Adventure! at Théâtre St-Denis on April 21.
10. Let the music move you
From classical music to classic rock stars and high-energy electronic dance music, live music in Montréal doesn’t take a break this month.
- Outdoor musical swings at downtown’s 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) from April 13 to May 26.
- Conductor Kent Nagano in his final season with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in performances at the acoustically superb Maison symphonique de Montréal.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in Concert at Place des Arts on April 3 and 4.
- The Casino de Montréal brings the heat with its Destination Cayo Casino event from March 5 to April 12, featuring Latin music, beach parties, games, and even dance lessons.
- Among April’s must-see concerts in Montréal, Elton John brings his farewell tour to the Bell Centre on April 2 and 3, hometown indie rock heroes Half Moon Run play L’Olympia on April 22 and 23, and James Taylor & His All-Star Band and guest Bonnie Raitt enthrall at the Bell Centre on April 29.
11. Explore Illumi
Illumi is extending its stay in Laval, this time boasting the country’s largest light-and-sound outdoor show.
With the curfew pushed back to 9:30 pm in Laval, soak up over one million lights full of Easter colours, themes, and backgrounds, starting at 5:30 pm every night.
12. Easter Mass
Easter weekend is the holiest observance day of the year for Christians. Take part in a beautiful mass at any of the city’s most celebrated churches: Notre-Dame Basilica, St. Joseph’s Oratory, or Mary Queen of the World.