Just because it’s called “Reading Week” doesn’t mean you should be spending seven days straight sitting in the library or finishing your term paper. If you weren’t able to make plans for the week and are looking for some entertaining ways to pass the time, look no further—here are five last-minute ideas for how to spend your week of freedom.
1) Delve into the Montreal music scene
There is never a shortage of musicians and concerts in Montreal. Reading Week is the perfect time to make the rounds and check them out. For those into alternative music, Under the Snow Music Festival runs from March 4-9 and showcases emerging Quebec musicians and bands. Alternatively, Imagine Dragons are performing at the Bell Centre on March 3, in addition to various musical performances that take place throughout the week for Montréal en Lumière. For all other Montreal concert listings, check out blueskiesturnblack.com.
2) Embrace Canadian stereotypes
March is Maple Month in Quebec, which means there will be no shortage of tire d’erable, maple syrup, and other maple-based foods. Sugar shacks are the perfect places to not only try these maple treats, but also to see how they’re made.
Cap Saint Jaques, on the west side of the island, offers the traditional sugar shack experience. Located in one of Montreal’s largest nature parks, it will actually make you feel as if you are in the middle of a forest. If the rustic charm of a sugar shack doesn’t appeal to you, many local Montreal restaurants are offering maple-themed menus. For instance, Les 400 Coups, located in Old Port, offers maple menus every Tuesday and Wednesday of March.
3) Visit another university
The upside to having reading week two weeks later than almost every other Canadian university is that during our break, you can visit your friends from home at their own schools. Getting to experience how different—or similar—student life is at another school is always interesting and can be a welcome change from routine Montreal living. Megabus and Via Rail both offer reasonably priced tickets to most major university cities in Ontario.
4) Plan a Mount Tremblant ski trip
Despite everyone’s hopes and wishes, the weather on our ‘spring break’ usually isn’t all that spring-like. While that leaves a nice bike ride in the park out of the question, it means that we can continue enjoying our winter sports. Mount Tremblant is currently offering 50 per cent off five-day ski passes until March 16, which is ideal for those on a student budget. Located only an hour and a half out of the city, it is the perfect place for a last minute getaway.
5) Explore Old Montreal
Old Montreal, located a fairly short walk away from campus, is one of the most interesting parts of the city, with buildings dating back to the age of New France. Reading week is the perfect opportunity to explore this historical area and see all that it has to offer. The Notre-Dame Basilica puts on a light show, Tuesdays to Saturdays, that highlights the Basilica’s cultural and archeological history. If history presentations aren’t your thing, the Montreal Science Center in Old Port is featuring the “Truth or Lie?” exhibit until March 9, which delves into the world of magic, illusions, and pseudoscience.