50+ Free Things to Do in Montreal in July 2018

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    Free Things to Do This July 2018 in Montreal

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include concerts, outdoor events and more.
    Above: on the quays of Montreal's Old Port. Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

    July in Montreal is ridiculous in the best possible sense of the term. There isn't just one free thing to do every day. Or even two. Or three. Instead, there are dozens of free events, activities, concerts, performances, and workshops happening every single day throughout July 2018 in Montreal. We're talking hundreds if not thousands of freebies in the span of one month.

    So somebody had to narrow down the insanity to these 50+ best bets. Naturally, free is a bit of a misnomer because taxpayers indirectly pay for the brunt of them. So if you're a law-abiding tax-paying local, by all means, get out there and enjoy the madness. After all, you paid for it. As for first-timers to Montreal, be prepared to experience an ambiance unlike anywhere else in North America. Your dream vacation (or staycation) starts now.

    Full Disclosure: no one paid their way onto this editorial list compiled by Evelyn ReidTripSavvy experts are subject to a strict ethics and full disclosure policy, a cornerstone of the network's credibility.

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    Sidewalk Sales

    Free things to do in Montreal June 2018 include walking through sidewalk sales.
    Photo by Flickr user Matias Garabedian (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    Folks never tire of Montreal's numerous sidewalk sales, street fairs that pop up all over town as soon as the weather heats up.

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    The Jazz

    Free things to do in Montreal June 2018 include attending the Montreal Jazz Festival's free concerts.
    Photo courtesy of the Montreal Jazz Festival © Benoit Rousseau

    The Montreal Jazz Festival has a tradition of featuring free shows every day of every edition. And 2018 is no different. Check out the "Montreal Jazz Festival 2018 Free Concerts Hit List" or show up in the vicinity of Place des Festivals anytime from June 28 to July 7, 2018.

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    Canada Day

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include celebrating Canada Day.
    George Rose / Getty Images

    Celebrate the birth of a nation this July 1, 2018, via a slew of free Canada Day activities in Montreal, from parades to fireworks.

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    The Fireworks

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include catching the International Fireworks Competition.
    Photo by Flickr user WarOnTomato (CC BY 2.0)

    Catch the Montreal International Fireworks Competition this July 2018. Either buy tickets to see them up close timed to music, or catch them for free

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    The Village

    Free Things to Do in Montreal in July 2018 include going to Gay Village's annual open-air art exhibit.
    George Rose / Getty Images

    Don't miss the Montreal Gay Village's annual open-air art gallery running June 27 through July 1, 2018. 

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    First Fridays

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include Frist Fridays, a monthly food truck tradition.
    It doesn't cost anything to show up and hang at First Fridays, a monthly food truck tradition. Photo by Flickr user Andre Vandal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    First Fridays, Montreal's chief food truck gathering held at Olympic Park every spring and summer month, is on July 6, 2018. Count on street eats and big crowds as of noon. Live music is part of the package. Free admission. Food costs extra.

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    Cycling

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include going for a bike ride.
    Above: a view of Montreal's Old Port from Parc Jean-Drapeau, one of my favorite cycling destinations in Montreal. Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

    Have a bike? Do travel. It doesn't cost a thing if you have your own. Check out these Montreal cycling destinations.

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    Campbell Concert Series

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include free concerts with Concerts Campbell.
    Photo courtesy of Concerts Campbell

    Fast becoming a summer staple in Montreal, 24 free concerts were scheduled July 4 through August 17, 2017, in various Montreal parks courtesy of Concerts Campbell. Loads of free shows are again available in 2018

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    The McCord

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include visiting the McCord Museum.
    Above: inside the McCord Museum. Lonely Planet / Getty Images

    Everyone gets into the McCord Museum free as of 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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    The Hubert

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include the Plaza St. Hubert sidewalk sale.
    Photo by Alex Drainville (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    Catch Plaza St. Hubert's "Atmosph'Air on the Plaza" July 4 through July 8, 2018.

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    The Circus

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2016 includes Montréal Complètement Cirque
    Above: giant bubbles at Montréal Complètement Cirque's free outdoor events on St. Denis. Photo courtesy of Montréal Complètement Cirque

    From July 5 to July 15, 2018, runs Montréal Complètement Cirque, a circus festival that features several days of free performances across the city. Jardins Gamelin and Rue St. Denis between Stainte Catherine Street and Sherbrooke have something during every day of the fest. Complexe Desjardins also features free shows.

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    The Carnival

    67 free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include Carifiesta.
    Free things to do in Montreal this July? Put Carifiesta at the top of your list. Andy Gural / Getty Images

    Attend the Montreal carnival Carifiesta this July 7, 2018. Details were not yet available on the official website as of late May.

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    Festival of India

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2017 include the Festival of India.
    Photo courtesy of Festival of India

    The Festival of India ran in Jeanne-Mance Park on the edge of ​Mount Royal Park last year and repeats again this year on July 7–8. Dance, theatrical performances, live music, exhibits, activities for kids, yoga workshops, and a free vegetarian meal are part of the festivities.​

    There will also be Indian Chariot Parade (Ratha-yatra) on boulevard Saint-Laurent on July 7 at noon, heralding the fest.

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    The Dragon

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include watching Quebec Cup dragon boat racing live, in person.
    Joanne Levesque / Getty Images

    Parc Jean Drapeau hosts the International Dragon Boat Montreal Challenge & Cultural Festival July 6–8, 2018.

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    The Weekends

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include checking out Les Weekends du Monde.
    Above: a Brazilian style carnival parading through Les Weekends du Monde. Gilles Proulx - Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (Groupe CNW/PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU)

    On July 7, July 8, July 14, and July 15, 2018, Parc Jean Drapeau sets the stage for Les Weekends du Monde, a two-weekend multicultural event featuring family-friendly entertainment and activities. Free admission.

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    Shakespeare

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include catching Shakespeare in the Park.
    Image courtesy of Repercussion Theatre

    The 2018 season of Shakespeare in the Park runs July 5–August 8, 2018, with Repercussion Theatre's outdoor "gender-bent" rendition of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet: Love Is Love" in various Montreal parks. Canceled in case of rain. Free admission.

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    The Tams

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include the Tam Tams.
    Olivier Cirendini / Getty Images

    Anyone and everyone is welcome at the Tam Tams, Montreal's weekly drum circle in the park. Sprawl out on Parc Mont-Royal's surrounding park space and have a picnic or join in the drum circle, whether dancer or drummer. 

    Find out how you can dance your summer away free of charge.

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    The Darling

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include seeing Fonderie Darling's Place Publique.
    Photo courtesy of Fonderie Darling

    Darling Foundry has free art performances every summer in its Place Publique. ​Dates and details for the 2018 season can be found on its website.

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    The Biggest Street Fair

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include visiting the Sainte-Catherine Street sidewalk sale.
    Montreal sidewalk sales in 2018 include the biggest one of all, the Ste. Catherine Street sale. Photo © Clint Lewis

    July 13–July 15, 2018, sees Montreal hosting what organizers have been claiming for years is Canada's "biggest street fair" with more than 300 merchants and restaurants selling their wares, dozens of performers entertainers amusing the crowd, and 300,000 people taking it in.

    This year, the Ste. Catherine street fair extends its annual event to three days.

    Insider tip: Spent the day shopping and you're starving? Try Montreal's best pizza. It's near the eastern tail end of the fair. There's also ​a favorite secret poutine spot in the area featuring the swankiest gravy for the best price.

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    The Cars

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include checking out cars at the Orange Julep.
    For decades, the Orange Julep has been hosting informal sports, muscle and vintage car gatherings most spring and summer Wednesdays. Spyros Bourboulis / Getty Images

    Like muscle cars? Vintage gems? Modified rides? Then you're gonna love the Orange Julep on Wednesday evenings.

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    The Laughs Festival

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include the Just for Laughs street festival.
    Photo by Flickr user Phil Roeder (CC BY 2.0)

    Head to Quartier des Spectacles the last two weeks of July where comedy festival Just for Laughs presents a plethora of free pranks, weird costumed people, performances, activities, and comedy gigs on the streets of Montreal.

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    The Bouffe

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include eating at Bouffons Montréal.
    Photo courtesy of Bouffons Montréal

    Running July 18–29, 2018, is Bouffons Montréal, an "open-air gastronomy village." It has free admission to get in and some food and drink samples might be free, but you'll have a hard time not spending money on the food being served up, from poutine to foie gras sandwiches to beaver tails and vegan fare. Bouffons Montreal's temporary boardwalk will be at De Bluery and Ste. Catherine Street and has been around since 2016. 

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    African Music

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include 30 Nuits d'Afriques concerts.
    Above: Congolese-Canadian singer-songwriter Pierre Kwenders regularly performs at Nuits d'Afrique. Photo courtesy of Pierre Kwenders

    Nuits d'Afrique unites some of the African's continent's finest musicians under one festival banner, hosting 13 days of indoor and outdoor concerts, with the festival's free concerts roster usually running the third week of July (this year set for July 10–22) at the Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles, right by Place des Festivals.

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    Promenade Fleuve-Montagne

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include walking down the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne.
    Map courtesy of Ville de Montréal

    Montreal's new Promenade Fleuve-Montagne has a 2.3 mile (3.8 km) walkway lined with public art and select attractions starting from the edge of Parc Mont-Royal and ending at the Old Port.

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    Chinatown

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2017 include Chinatown's June sale.
    Photo courtesy of the Ville de Montréal

    Montreal Chinatown always has a July sidewalk sale. Dates for summer 2018 will be announced as we close in on July.

    Insider tip: Pick up these buns while you're there.

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    The Nightlife

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include checking out Jardins Gamelin's free nightlife events.
    Photo courtesy of Jardins Gamelin

    Jardins Gamelin always features free nightlife events, stuff like live music and DJ sessions. Check the Facebook schedule to see who plays next.

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    The Twins Parade

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include catching the Twins Parade.
    Don't be surprised if you see double, or triple, on July 23. Montreal comedy festival Just for Laughs has been pulling this annual prank for years. Roger Lemoyne / Getty Images

    Only the Just for Laughs comedy festival could think of parading a bunch of twins for public amusement in the downtown core. Just head down to Place des Festivals on July 21, 2018, at 4 p.m. You couldn't miss The Twins Parade if you tried. Twin-related activities start as early as noon.

    Are you a twin? A triplet? A quadruplet? Sign up to join the parade here.

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    The Redpath

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include dropping by the Redpath Museum.
    Above: inside Montreal's Redpath Museum. Ron Levine / Getty Images

    From a handful of dinosaur fossil replicas to Ancient Egyptian mummies, the Redpath Museum might be small, but its natural science collection is mighty. Drop in for free for an entertaining and educational time.

    Tip: Doing some downtown shopping? Consider tacking on a visit to the Redpath. It's barely a five-minute walk from both Place Montréal Trust and the Eaton Centre.

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    Barbie Exhibit

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include visiting the Barbie Expo.
    Photo by Flickr user Andre Vandal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    Like Barbie? Then you'll love Cours Mont-Royal's free permanent Barbie exhibit on the second floor of the upscale mall. Said exhibit is composed of 1,000 ''entertainment industry Barbies,'' ''movie character'' Barbies, and Barbies ''dressed by leading fashion houses.'' 

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    The Fontaine

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include catching Parc La Fontaine's free cultural events.
    Photo courtesy of Accès Culture

    Parc La Fontaine hosts a slew of cultural events and activities from​ June through August near Théâtre de Verdure. Dance, music, theatre, film screenings... here's the schedule

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    The Possibilities

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include the Marché des Possibles.
    Above: Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler DJing under the moniker DJ Windows 98 at Marché des Possibles last June 24 as part of the market's St. Jean activities. Photo courtesy of Marché des Possibles

    Every summer since 2016, Marché des Possibles' open-air market in the Mile End neighborhood has had a beer garden, a farmer's market, artisanal crafts, food truck and pop-up restaurant fare, free film screenings, and family-friendly musical performances and activities for kids. Organized by POP Montreal. Open weekends only, June 22–July 29.

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    The Free Terrace

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include visiting this free terrace.
    Above: I'd be lying if I said this was the free terrace I'm going on about below. However, this particular patio offers a sensational view of the fireworks competition running all month long. Photo by Flickr user Raging Wire (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    The problem with Montreal's best terraces (like the one in the above photo) is you can't exactly linger on them without buying something. There is one exception to that rule, however. Jardins Gamelin is free for all, a public square ripe with free performances and events as well as a charming patio setup.

    Reminder: Attention Smokers

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    The Beach

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include swimming in Montreal's beaches.
    Photo by Flickr user abdallahh

    Montreal's beaches are open by mid-June. And one of them is always, always free of charge.

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    Movie Extras

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include looking for movie extra work.
    Above: extras dressed as German civilians running during a scene of the film Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise being shot on August 18, 2007 in front of the German Finance Ministry, which during the war was the Nazi Air Ministry, in Berlin, Germany. Incidentally, Old Montreal has been used by blockbusters as a production stand-in for the Old World, notably as Paris for the films 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

    Sticking around Montreal for the mid- to long term and need a job? Have you tried the movie extra route? It's not as glamorous as it looks, but there are worse ways to make a buck. And it doesn't cost anything to look into it.

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    The Oasis

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include attending a free Oasis Musicale concert at Christchurch Cathedral.
    Philippe Renault / Getty Images

    L’Oasis Musicale is the name of Christchurch Cathedral's free Saturday afternoon classical music concerts. Shows start at 4:30 p.m. Sandwiched between downtown Montreal's malls, the cathedral is a five-minute walk from Place des Festivals and an even shorter stroll from a favorite pizza joint in Montreal.

    And on Sundays, fellow downtown Anglican church St. George's hosts Sunday afternoon Oasis Musicale concerts at 2 p.m. ​See here for details.

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    The Mount

    Mount Royal Park, aka parc du Mont-Royal, is one of Montreal's top attractions.
    Photo by Flickr user Eduardo Zárate

    Mount Royal is one of Montreal's top tourist attractions for a reason. Free admission doesn't hurt.

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    Haiti Festival

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2017 include Haïti en Folie.
    Photo courtesy of Haïti en Folie

    A celebration of Haitian culture, Haïti en Folie traditionally features free outdoor fun as part of its annual programming. In 2018, Haïti en Folie will run from July 25–29. In 2017, there were several free events and activities held in Jardins Gamelin and Parc La Fontaine.

    Dates for the 2018 edition of Haïti en Folie were to be revealed June 5.

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    The BIXI

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include trying BIXI for free.
    Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

    Since 2016, Montreal's public bike service has hosted Free BIXI Sundays, a chance to try out Montreal's public bike service free of charge the last Sunday of every summer month. ​Read more details here

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    Dance Lessons

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include dancing at the Verdun Greenhouses.
    Photo courtesy of Verdun Greenhouses

    Learn how to social dance for free at the Verdun Greenhouses nearly every day of summer. 

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    The Miracles

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include visiting the St. Joseph's Oratory.
    Above: don't be fooled by this photo's play on perspective. St. Joseph's Oratory is huge. naibank / Getty Images

    The site of thousands of alleged miracles, it's always free to visit the St. Joseph's Oratory. Usually open every day, even on statutory holidays.

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    The Kid Swim

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include Parc Jean-Drapeau's
    Photo by Flickr user carophoto (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    An annual tradition, Parc Jean-Drapeau's Jean-Doré Beach and Aquatic Complex both have Free Wednesdays all summer long for ages 12 and under with the purchase of one adult ticket. Up to three children are allowed per adult.

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    Fine Art

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
    Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

    Seniors get free access to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' permanent exhibits every Thursday. As for everyone else, the last Sunday of the month is the permanent exhibits' official free admission day, which in the case of this month is July 29, 2018. Just keep in mind that you'll still have to pay to see temporary exhibits.

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    The Canal

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include exploring the Lachine Canal.
    Nino H. Photography / Getty Images

    The Lachine Canal is one of Montreal's free crowning jewels to visit.

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    Yoga in the Park

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include Yoga in the Park.
    Photo courtesy of Ville de Montréal

    Yoga in the park summer sessions in Montreal include weekday sessions downtown, near the Gay Village and Sunday sessions on the Plateau. Bring your mats.

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    The Underground

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include exploring the underground city.
    Emmanuel Joly / Getty Images

    Some people say Montreal's underground city is just a glorified mall. Explore it and make up your own mind.

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    The Queen

    Free things to do in Montreal this June 2018 include visiting a replica of Rome's St. Peter's Basilica.
    Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

    Mary Queen of the World is a Montreal cathedral replica of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. And it's free to check it out.

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    Wednesday Concerts

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include Wednesday concerts.
    Photo courtesy of McCord Museum

    McCord Museum has Wednesday noon concerts in its adjacent outdoor Urban Forest every Wednesday through the end of August. This year they are running in conjunction with the exhibition "Shalom Montreal: Stories and Contributions of the Jewish Community."

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    The Centre for Architecture

    Free things to do in Montreal in July 2018 include visiting the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
    De Agostini / W. Buss / Getty Images

    The Canadian Centre for Architecture opens its doors to the public free of charge every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Assorted talks and screenings are often scheduled.

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    Lesbian Flicks

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include Lesbian Movie Nights.
    Photo courtesy of Lez Spread the Word

    Every Tuesday all summer as of sundown Lesbian Movie Nights have taken place in the Montreal Gay Village for at least two summers now. Organizers will confirm if the tradition continues in 2018 as we close in on the summer season.

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    Casino Freebies

    Free things to do in Montreal this July 2018 include visiting the Montreal Casino.
    Roderick Chen / Getty Images

    Gambling, food, and alcoholic drinks aren't exactly free, but admission to Casino de Montréal sure is.

    Look for the self-serve drink area on every floor, usually near the penny slot machines where free juices, coffee, tea, milk, and soda is available. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you could technically spend the afternoon (or the middle of the night) observing locals betting the farm. Or find the casino dance floor and bust a few moves. No payment required.

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    The Boardwalk

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include visiting Village Au Pied-du-Courant
    Photo courtesy of Village Au Pied-du-Courant © Jean-Michael Seminaro Photographe

    Featuring free entertainment all summer long, Montreal boardwalk Village au Pied-du-Courant is a local favorite, a grassroots experiment that quickly became a choice summer destination.

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    Movies in the Park

    Free things to do in Montreal July 2018 include movies in the park.
    Photo courtesy of Sebastião Salgado

    One family-oriented outdoor movie night is hosted by Promenades Hochelaga-Maisonneuve on Fridays from June 29 to August 17, 2018. Screenings include free popcorn and a dangerously close proximity to Dairy Queen's hot and frozen treats given the movie-viewing site is in the DQ parking lot. All screenings are in French. Bring a lawn chair if you can, or get there early to score a complimentary seat.