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Photograph: © Freddy Arciniegas - @arcpixel - Tourisme Montréal

The best things to do in Montreal for November 2020

We're in lockdown, but we're not locked up—these are the best things to do in Montreal during November 2020

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Written by
JP Karwacki
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As if the last month of fall in the city couldn't get any weirder: People find themselves asking what is open and what they can and can't do in Montreal as they wait for the red zone restrictions in the city to (hopefully) lift by November 23. Until then, despite what the mood in the city may tell you, there are a lot of things to do in Montreal during November 2020. Best to get out while the weather's still good enough for walks in parks with hot lattés from the best cafés, explore the always-increasing takeout and delivery options around you, plan recipes with farmers markets, and more.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal

Dine on dishes from some of the city's best chefs

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If you're planning on hunkering down until the next red zone lockdown deadline comes—or you're thinking enough time has passed for the lines at the new UNIQLO to have died down and now you can check it out—then order up some food from some of the best chefs in the city at Time Out Market Montréal. It'll get colder this month, so the spicy Caribbean eats of Paul Toussaint, curry and ramen from Marusan, bowls of pho from Le Red Tiger and carbloading on Il Milgio are your best friends. Pick up some hot cups of coffee and say hi to Tunnel Espresso while you're there!

The best things to do in Montreal during November 2020

Starting November 17 and lasting until December 17, SOUK MTL will be launching an all-new online platform to gather the work of dozens of locals that range from painters and jewelers to bespoke maple syrup makers and pottery artisans. It's the swankiest Christmas market of its kind, and it's the perfect place to get a jump on some handmade and lovingly crafted goods from Montrealers directly.

While you could stick to your old haunts in your neighbourhood, we recommend that you mix up your takeout and delivery game this month by ordering up brunch baskets—we recommend Le Bistrot La Fabrique , Restaurant Well , Maison Boulud or Les Brunchs de Mathieu for a good taste—or DIY dessert kits (with flambée options!) from places like Ratafia (pictured). Nothing says "we'll get through this month together" like setting a dessert on fire for the loved ones or roommates you live with.

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It's official: Following its huge reformatting for Halloween that lasted until November 1, Laval's giant light show Illumi is now selling tickets until January 2021. That means a massive light show to go check out and get into the holiday spirit with as many as 15 million individual lights shining across hundreds of thousands of sculptures in a 1 million square-foot lot. They'll likely be shifting out the pumpkins and ghosts for smoething a little more festive and hivernal.

We're keeping things high-class 'n' educated this month by revisiting one of our original lockdown aspirations: Visiting a museum on the other side of the planet. From the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and the Van Gogh in Amsterdam to the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, there's a bunch of museums to visit from the comfort of your armchair, and it's all absolutely free.

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While a lot of us are going off about how we've been able to cook up storms at the beginning of the lockdown, we know some of you out there aren't the best home cooks. That's ok! Now's the time to get out there and chat it up with this city's best farmers markets, find out what's in season and try out recipes you've never attempted before. Seize the month!

Get your home ready for Christmas
Photograph: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

6. Get your home ready for Christmas

Putting up Christmas decorations during the month of November have been proven to make people happier and bring some joy to our hearts. Given the current situation in Montreal, this is one more reason to show off your decorating skills and wow the neighbors: Get out there are pick up some lights and baubles in preparation for when the trees start arriving—no shame if you want to start dipping into the nog a little early either.

 

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Since the beginning of Montreal's lockdown on March 14th, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra been helping us class up our days and nights by offering free online performances that can be viewed on their website. Past performances have included the likes of John Adams, Richard Strauss, Ravel and Dukas, as well as solo and duet performances by members of the orchestra and the occasional post on the OSM's social media where we can check in with what artists are up to.

The month of November is definitely one of those better months to have some movie nights (or watch the US election unfold). Take out some leftover Halloween candy, pop some popcorn, bundle up under a blanket and off you go. Since it's getting darker earlier, you can play two films without even cutting into your sleep cycle. We've got tons of movie recs for you to check out, and even if the forecast at the time of this list going out suggests temperatures will be going up, it'll undoubtedly be getting colder this month—don't shoot the messenger!

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Go outside while the weather's still good
Photograph: Mono Sourcil, 2017 - Photo by Anne-Marie Pellerin - Spade & Palacio Tours

9. Go outside while the weather's still good

Obvious, right? But make no mistake, if you're one of those Montrealers who likes to avoid the cold and snow of the winter, then now's a good time to get outdoors. Enjoy the last autumn leaves or the first snow while walking the city, and take the opportunity to take a thematic tour of the city's public works of art, or look at the results of this past summer's Mural Festival. Whatever you do, make sure to maintain some social distancing if you go with anyone else and don't get fined!

If you've haven't noticed, there's no tourists in town. Surprise, surprise. The thing is, this is a chance for all Montrealers to take advantage of some massively low room prices right now in fancy places that are sporting spas with massages and super attentive room service. If you can't afford a weekend away, take advantage of our city's hotels? Treat yourself to a little extra something-something with a dinner delivered straight to your room from your favorite restaurant in town, turn on the TV and put down your phone. Just forget all your worries for a day or two.

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Level up your home (bar) game
Photograph: Alambika

11. Level up your home (bar) game

From embroidery and your early evening cocktails to candles and ceramic painting, going DIY this month is more than one nice wat to help reconnect with yourself and decrease any stress you might be feelings. There's a Montreal company that offers a monthly DIY box that includes a project to do at home, and as for learning a thing or two about mixology and new flavour combinations, check out the cocktailboxes from Crowd Bar and Alambika.

Don't get us wrong, it's not recommended for anyone to leave a red zone, and it's definitely not encouraged by the provincial government. However: Mental health is also a major concern as our province's lockdowns continue, and getting out of town is a great form of self-care. Plan a getaway now, or (if you want to wait until you're given the green light by the government), book a stay at one of these gorgeous cabins during a later month when you'll feel more comfortable doing so. We've selected the best of the best right here. 

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Montreal's annual French film festival Cinemania is going live tomorrow with an all-new digital platform this year. Beginning November 4 and running until November 22, it's a new hybrid edition that will feature as many as 50 feature films, documentaries, 30 short films, masterclasses, conferences and special events, along with some virtual reality experiences for anyone packing the appropriate gear. It's cheap too: $8 for a single feature, $1 for short films, or $65 for an all-access pass.

14. Play an escape game at your own pace

, or even explore the city in a different way with an adventure game offered by Adventure City Games.

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Get out and see it while you can: Since September, the projection festival MAPP_MTL has an ongoing projection on the side of the BAnQ where over 30 migrant children and their parentshave contributed to a grand project by artists Charlotte Risch and Thaïla Khampoto present drawings brought to life. The creations are screened from Thursday to Saturday between sunset and 11 p.m. until January 30, 2021.

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