With a winning combination of abundant outdoor activities and cultural events, Montreal thrives during the fall season. The McGill Tribune has compiled a list of seven ways to enjoy the city this autumn—none of which include pumpkin spice lattes.
1. Go apple picking
Though there will be no apple picking at Macdonald campus this year, other farms nearby offer this same iconic fall experience. Among these are Dunham Fruit Paradise in Dunham, Apple Heart orchard in Frelighsburg, and Verger Denis Charbonneau orchard in Mont-Saint-Grégoire, all an hour out from Montreal. When you get home, bake your apples into a delicious pie and pair it with a delightful autumnal recipe.
2. Explore the Gardens of Light
Though the Botanical Gardens are breathtaking at any time of the year, the same location houses the breathtaking Gardens of Light until October 31. Featuring hundreds of colourful silk lanterns in the Chinese garden, this attraction provides the perfect atmosphere for a fall walk.
3. Have a fall picnic
With the leaves changing colour and filling the city with golden hues, fall is a great time to explore Montreal’s parks. If you’d like a more active walk, hike up Mont Royal. Consider climbing to the top to watch the sunrise at the observatory or the sunset from this lookout point. Other beautiful spots to visit include Parc La Fontaine or Parc Jean Drapeau, where you can look out over the city. Bring along a blanket, some snacks, and some sweet apple cider or this rich mulled wine for the ultimate picnic experience.
4. Attend a spooky event
Spooky season is officially upon us, along with a multitude of Halloween-themed events. If you don’t mind driving, visit La Ferme Forget’s corn maze in Laval, which is open at night from 6 to 11 p.m. For those who prefer to stay in the city, a Haunted Montreal ghost tour is sure to give you chills. Alternatively, head over to St. Helen’s Island for La Ronde Fright Fest, a festival that takes place every weekend from October 2 to 31, to delight in haunted houses, plays, and rides.
5. Get ready for Halloween at a local thrift shop
If you’re looking for a unique Halloween look but don’t want to break the bank on a costume, try shopping for your costume at a thrift store. Lots of thrift stores close to McGill and offer a wide selection of vintage items. Eva B also notoriously stocks up on Halloween costume items close to the end of the month. However, if a traditional costume doesn’t appeal to you, try out one of these McGill-themed choices, or an even more obscure costume option from the Tribune archives.
6. Stock up on pumpkins
If you’d like to add a splash of seasonal decor to your apartment, consider going pumpkin picking. Les Citrouillards is a pumpkin patch in Saint-Eustache, only a 35-minute drive from McGill. Carve out creative designs or whip up a pumpkin pie. Funk and Pumpkins, running from October 1 to 31 at the Botanical Gardens, also showcases a large variety of plants from the squash family, and hosts a variety of other spooky activities.
7. Bask in fall flavours at a local market
Take the metro or BIXI to Jean Talon Market to get your fix of fall produce and other seasonal foods. If you’re keen to head in the other direction, check out Atwater Market. Or, if you’d like to stay close to campus, pay a visit to McGill’s very own farmer’s market. Vegetables in season include squash, turnip, and rutabagas, among others. When you get home, try out one (or all!) of these nine creative takes on squash recipes.