18 Unusual Date Ideas to Try in Montreal
Old Port, Montreal | © abdallahh / Flickr
Whether it’s your first date or a celebration of your first decade together, there are plenty of fun and unusual activities for couples in Montreal. Get to know each other and the city better through these date ideas that cover all of Montreal’s intense seasons.
Get your adrenaline pumping on the Tyrolienne MTL Zipline
In the Old Port, thrill-seeking couples can enjoy an exhilarating zipline ride across Île Bonsecours close to the St. Lawrence River. This is the first urban zipline circuit in Canada, and it gives a bird’s eye view of Montreal. You can continue the sky-high theme by going for a drink at one of the nearby rooftop bars in Old Montreal.
Go cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a fun winter sport that doesn’t even require leaving the city. Equipment (and a lesson, if needed!) is offered on Mont Royal by Les amis de la Montagne.
Explore the Montreal Botanical Gardens
During the late spring and summer, and even well into the autumn, the Montreal Botanical Gardens are a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. Wander arm-in-arm through the well-tended grounds, or attend one of the events put on through the Espace pour la vie complex.
Try your hand at an unusual sport together
Channel your inner lumberjack by trying out some axe throwing at Rage Montreal, an indoor range that offers different axe types and tips (and safety instructions!) from professionals. There is also Tir du Soleil, the only sport and recreational air-gun range in Montreal. Here, you can fire real guns, from rifles and revolvers to combat pistols and even semi-automatic weapons, at either moving or stationary targets.
Glimpse the stars at Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Near the Botanical Gardens you will also find Montreal’s Planetarium, which combines creativity and technology to offer a closer look at the stars and planets. Check ahead for special events and productions.
Go on a walking tour
You can make your nightmares come alive by taking a ghost walking tour in Old Montreal, the city’s historic district. If spooks aren’t your thing, there are other kinds of tours that can be enjoyed as a couple: check out a Montreal craft beer tour or a local food tour to experience some of the best that the city has to offer.
Relax at floating spa Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau
Also in the Old Port you’ll find one of the most unusual spas in Montreal, a converted river ferry now known as Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau. Relax together in the partly outdoor Nordic-style water circuit, or indulge in a couples massage—all while enjoying a great view of the city skyline.
Wander through Mont Royal Park together
No matter the season, Mont Royal is a nice spot to explore as a couple: the winding, sloped, wooded paths are perfect for strolling hand-in-hand or for scaling breathlessly by bike. At the top, the belvedere offers a beautiful view that overlooks the downtown area, as well as a glimpse of the St. Lawrence River beyond. It’s beautiful at any time of year, and especially on certain nights during the summer, when the city puts on impressive fireworks that are presented by different countries.
Attend a festival
Montreal comes alive with festivals in the summer. From the International Jazz Festival to Just for Laughs, weekly outdoor techno concerts to a mural show, there are plenty of reasons to spend an afternoon or evening together.
Get classy at a secret speakeasy
There are a few “secret” bars around Montreal that are inspired by the classic speakeasies of the 1920s. With their often difficult-to-spot locations, well-dressed waiters, low lighting, and jazz-bluesy soundtracks, they’re the perfect opportunity to get a bit dressed up and pretend you’re in a different era.
Check out La Ronde Amusement Park
Amusement Park, Park
La Ronde, Montreal’s only amusement park, is open from mid-May to late October. Operated by Six Flags, it’s the largest amusement park in Quebec, and the second largest in Canada. It’s the perfect date for a weekend afternoon, where you can enjoy roller coasters and other rides together.
Laugh until you cry at a comedy show
Every summer, Montreal hosts Just for Laughs, one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world. For the rest of the year, you can have a fun date at The Comedy Nest. Tucked away near downtown Montreal, this place has been in operation for 30 years, and has been named one of the top 15 comedy clubs in North America. With a variety of intimate shows throughout the week, including Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it’s a great option for a light-hearted date night.
There are many natural areas around the island of Montreal where you can enjoy a nature walk. The Morgan Arboretum, for example, is a peaceful nature conservation area in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, on McGill University’s Macdonald Campus. Criss-crossed with easy forested hikes, you can enjoy a nature retreat within a stone’s throw of the city together, and then go for dinner along the waterfront. It’s especially beautiful during the autumn, as the leaves start to change.
Enjoy some water sports
During the summer months, you can go paddleboating, kayaking, or canoeing together at a few different locations around the city, including Beaver Lake on Mont Royal, Parc Jean Drapeau, the Old Port, or the Lachine Canal.
Play games at Arcade MTL
Love video games? Head over to Arcade MTL on Rue St. Denis. With an entry fee of $7, you can explore around 20 machines and retro video game consoles. Enjoy a microbrewery beer or thematic cocktail as you play games like Mortal Kombat II, Ms Pac-Man, Tetris, and many more.
Enjoy some outdoor theatre
Shakespeare-in-the-Park gathers over 12,000 people in green spaces in and around Montreal every summer. Bring a blanket or fold-up chair and curl up together for a magical performance on a warm summer night.
Enjoy a dance party on ice at Natrel Skating Rink
A fun winter date that involves braving the cold together is to head to the ice rink in the Old Port for some skating. Every winter, the Natrel Rink hosts themed nights with a festive atmosphere, turning the rink into something more like a dance floor.
Have a picnic with the Tam Tams
The Tams are a beloved Montreal tradition, bringing together hundreds of drummers, dancers, vendors, performers, and picnickers around the George-Étienne Cartier Monument in Mont Royal Park every Sunday afternoon during summer. Stop at a nearby shop for some snacks, bring a blanket, and enjoy the summer sun and laid-back yet festive atmosphere together.
These recommendations were updated on May 26, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.