14 Best Things to Do During Fall in Montreal

Fall in Montreal

Philippe Renault / Getty Images

Fall is one of the best times to visit the southern Quebec city of Montreal. While summer tourists are waning off, the city takes on a new mood of coziness as the air turns crisp and the leaves crunch underfoot. Treetops are bursting with color and Montreal's social calendar is packed with festivals, longstanding traditions, and artistic spectacles. Read on to learn about the best things to do during a fall trip to Montreal.

01 of 14

Go Leaf Peeping

Montreal festivals in October 2015 include a must for the season: leaf peeping.
Vision of Our Land / Getty Images

Montreal falls into North America's sweet zone when it comes to the fiery colors of the changing season. Starting in mid-September you can see the city's foliage in parks like Mount Royal, the Morgan Arboretum, and the Botanical Garden. However, you'll also see plenty of beautiful trees walking through the city's Old Port or along the river at the Floralie Gardens. For a grander scene and a city escape, consider renting a car and taking a fall road trip through Quebec to see nearby vistas and regions that light up with color during the Autumn season such as La Mauricie National Park and Charlevoix.

02 of 14

Attend a Film Festival

Young woman enjoying watching movie at the cinema

MixMedia / Getty Images

If you're the type that likes to brag about having seen this year's Oscar nominees before they've officially been nominated, you have to make time to attend one of Montreal's many film festivals that typically take place in the fall. With so many festivals happening at this time, it would be hard to miss an opportunity to see at least one or two films during your trip. The most popular festival is the Montreal Independent Film Festival, which takes place in the spring and fall, but it's also worth going out of your way to check out the International Black Film Festival in late September, the International Documentary Festival in November, and image + nation, an LGBTQ+ film festival also held in November.

03 of 14

Get in the Autumn Mood at the Biodome

Montreal fall foliage colors are stunning at Parc Jean-Drapeau, especially in the Floralies Garden.
RENAULT Philippe / Getty Images
Address
4777 Av. Pierre-De Coubertin, Montréal, QC H1V 1B3, Canada
Phone +1 514-868-3000

The Montreal Biodome is an indoor ecosystem that mimics different climates and environments throughout the Americas, including the Laurentian Forest, which replicates the ecosystem of Montreal's surrounding wilderness. Visiting at this time of year is an especially wonderful way for young children to learn about why leaves change colors. Adults and kids alike can also ooh and ah at the exhibit's adorable river otters, beavers, and porcupines.

04 of 14

Share Experiences at the Intercultural Storytelling Festival

Festival Interculturel Du Conte de Montreal

Festival Interculturel Du Conte de Montreal

Montreal's first and largest storytelling celebration, Festival Interculturel Du Conte de Montreal, features dozens of events over 10 days in October at venues across the city. The rich and varied program of the Intercultural Storytelling Festival offers audiences everything from traditional tales, myths, and legends to autobiographical stories and contemporary creations about modern life.

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05 of 14

Celebrate the Arts at POP Montreal

Theater during POP Montreal
POP Montreal 

POP Montreal is a music festival, visual art exhibit, film event, open-air flea market, and workshop series all wrapped into one. Above all, though, it's a celebration of creativity that has grown continuously since its first event in 2002. Attracting roughly 10,000 people per day, the five-day Montreal International Music Festival dares to combine emerging talents with commercial success stories.

06 of 14

Go Apple-Picking

Apple orchards near Montreal
Garbriela Tulian / Getty Images

The arrival of fall in Quebec symbolizes the harvest season for U-pick apple orchards around Montreal. Anyone visiting between mid-September and November would be remiss not to make an afternoon jaunt to Dunham Fruit Paradise (Au Paradis des Fruits) or Domaine De Dunham in Dunham, Apple Heart Orchard (Au Coeur de la Pomme) in Frelighsburg, Vergers et Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau, or Mountain Orchard (Verger de la Montagne) in Mont-Saint-Grégoire—all within an hour's drive from the city. Check with individual orchards for opening information and safety procedures.

07 of 14

Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving

Montreal botanic garden at Halloween

Brigitte MERLE / Getty Images

Much like Thanksgiving in the U.S., but with less fanfare, Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October to commemorate the country's colonization. It is widely referred to as Action de Grâce and is a much quieter affair than America's November counterpart, but it is also centered around family gatherings, turkey dinners, and gratefulness. If you're visiting Montreal over Thanksgiving weekend, you'll find plenty of the city's top restaurants offering traditional holiday meals for lunch and dinner.

08 of 14

Sample Wines at La Grande Dégustation

La Grande Dégustation

La Grande Dégustation

La Grande Dégustation is Montreal's largest wine event, featuring more than 200 wine producers, distillers, and brewers at a three-day expo. Including more than 1,500 wines, beers, and spirits from 20-plus countries—many not found in Quebec's SAQ stores—La Grande Dégustation is a fantastic place to shop for some delicious gifts for the holidays.

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09 of 14

Get Spooky for Halloween

Montreal ghost hunts 2017 walks walking tours hunts old montreal
Les Fantômes du Vieux-Montréal

Canadians celebrate Halloween in the same style as Americans: by dressing up in extravagant costumes, eating candy, and seeking out thrills. Montreal has many spooky ghost tours and other popular Halloween happenings include the Club La Voûte Halloween Ball on Halloween night and the Spasm Film Festival, which is dedicated to the horror genre. If you really want a good scare, check out the Malefycia Haunted House, an immersive horror experience that's not for the faint of heart.

10 of 14

Discover New Music at M for Montreal

Pianist during M for Montreal

M pour Montréal / M for Montreal

Scouting local and international acts since 2006, M for Montreal is both a music festival and conference that showcases more than 100 artists and breakout bands from all over in various venues across Montreal. When attending, you can expect to find outdoor concerts, large venue attractions, nightclub events, panels, workshops, networking activities, cocktail receptions, and other exclusive events. Programming covers the latest trends in music, from the business of TikTok to new musical technology.

11 of 14

Shop for Deals at Braderie de Mode Québécoise

Marché Bonsecours in Montreal

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

While Black Friday may not be acknowledged north of the U.S. border, Canada instead has The Great Quebec Fashion Sale (La Grande Braderie de Mode Québécoise), a biannual event featuring samples and inventory surplus sales of up to 80 percent on locally and designer-made clothing and accessories. In Montreal, Braderie de Mode takes place over four days, typically in October, at Marché Bonsecours, close to the Champ-de-Mars metro station.

12 of 14

Join in on Culture Days

Montreal festivals in September 2015 Culture Days

Les Journées de la Culture

What began as a relatively small cultural event in 1997 has grown exponentially into a movement of cultural democratization featuring thousands of free activities over three days across Canada. In Montreal, those Culture Days—known in French as Journées de la culture—typically take place over the last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in September. At this time, more than 3,000 activities, from free dance classes to glass-blowing demonstrations, will commence.

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13 of 14

Get Glamorous at the Burlesque Festival

Pole athlete Ivory Fox performing on February 7, 2015 at the U.S. Aerial Championship at Rose Nagelberg Theater in New York City.
Ray Tamarra / Getty Images

Club Soda, located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles on Saint Laurent Boulevard, hosts a prestigious festival each fall dedicated to glamour, humor, and the art of burlesque. The Montréal Burlesque Festival features exceptional cabaret and burlesque performances by male, female, intersex, and non-binary artists alike.

14 of 14

Indulge Your Tastebuds at MTLàTABLE

MTLàTABLE

 MTLàTABLE

With more restaurants per capita than any other metropolitan area in North America, Montreal is an ideal destination for foodies. The best of the best is brought forth by the biannual Montreal Restaurant Week—known as MTLàTABLE—during which more than 150 restaurants serve up their most epic three-course brunches and dinners across the city. Montreal Restaurant Week typically takes place the first two weeks of November each year and features dinner menus at reasonable prices.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, TripSavvy believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.

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14 Best Things to Do During Fall in Montreal