Making the most of life in Montreal and having some fun in your spare time doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds of dollars. Likewise, if you’re having to closely manage the finances at the moment, it doesn’t mean spending every night staring at the TV or reading a book. Whether it’s a date night with your significant other, fun times with the kids or simply treating yourself to some entertainment, there are more options than you might think that will cost you little or even nothing. So don’t just sit there, let’s get started!
Hit the slopes in style
There’s no sense trying to deny it, winter is in the air. While that means some open-air attractions are less attractive, there is one that comes in to its own when the temperature drops below zero. Mount Royal is the volcanic outcrop that gives Montreal its name, and there is always plenty to do there in the winter months. It’s $15 per head to rent skis or snow shoes. However, for the ultimate family fun on a budget, $5 gets you an inner tube in which to fly down the dedicated slippery slope.
Take a virtual train ride
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train has become an established part of the festive season over the past 20 years. This year, the train itself will not be running for obvious reasons, but the organisers have instead taken the program online for 2020. A virtual train will roll through cyberspace and an online concert has been organised to raise money for the food banks that usually benefit. It’s a great cause to get involved with, and even a small donation will make a difference to someone’s Christmas. Keep watching this space for details of who will be playing.
Seek out some Montreal treasures at The Word
If you’re a book lover, the major retailers in the city are a great place to spend an hour or two browsing. But buying anything might be another matter if cash is tight. Instead, head for The Word on Milton Street. This second hand bookstore has been run by the same family for the past 45 years, and is a genuine treasure trove. While the main emphasis is on literature, poetry and philosophy, there are sections of books covering every topic, and fiction of all genres. Walk in with $20 in your back pocket and you’ll walk out with enough reading material to see you through winter – and change for a coffee.
Host your own casino night
The Casino de Montreal is one of the city’s top night spots. However, when you factor in food, drinks and some gambling money, an evening there will run into three figures. If the past few months have taught us anything, it is that staying in can be the new going out, so why not host a casino night from home instead? Crack open a beer or two, put some pizzas in the oven, fire up the PC and you are good to go. Do your research and you don’t even have to deposit any money, just visit a site that has a no deposit bonus promotion running – how lucky can you get?
Laugh your socks off at Comedy Nest
Montreal’s number one comedy club is one of the city’s favourite night spots. There’s an ever-changing blend of established comedians and emerging talent, as well as some fantastic food and drink. Yet it is not as expensive as you might think. Visit on a Monday or Tuesday night, and admission is just $5 per person. All assuming we will be able to go inside together soon.
During COVID-19 level red the Comedy Nest is closed but hopes to have a virtual option shorty.
Follow Celine’s heart to Basilique Notre-Dame
The Notre-Dame Basilica is a truly spectacular church at the centre of Old Montreal. It certainly holds a special place in the heart of Quebec’s unofficial queen and most famous export, Celine Dion. It was here that she married her long-time manager René Angélil in 1994. And tragically, it was also here that she buried him 22 years later. You don’t need to be religious to be completely blown away by the majesty and the unique atmosphere of the place.
Depending on the COVID-19 levels – here is the virtual link to an online tour of this beautiful church.
Pop up to Montreal’s Expozine
Finally, a suggestion that might be expressed as “any other business.” Expozine is an art fair that comes to Montreal every November, yet it is also so much more. You’ll find pop-up shops selling anything and everything under the sun, and all at great prices. It’s a fabulous place to simply wander and drink in the atmosphere. And you never know what treasures you might find.
Depending non the COVID-19 levels here is the link to the virtual experience.