Written by: Helen Baginsky
Most of us get caught up in our daily routines – “métro, boulot, dodo”. This famous French expression reminds us that we spend most of our lives on three things: métro – commuting to work, boulot – working, and finally dodo – sleeping. On top of these three we have errands to run, personal responsibilities to attend to and our health to upkeep. With so little leisure time at our disposal, it’s important to invest it wisely. Next time you have a few hours to spare, live through actual experiences instead of binge watching another show on Netflix.
New experiences make you much happier than new things. Trying a new activity, exploring a new cuisine, learning a new skill will make you feel fulfilled. Experiences are key to happiness and you are lucky to live in the city that can offer you so many fun things to pick from. Here are a few ideas to start with.
Apple picking season is upon us. There’s something very satisfying about getting your food yourself, this sense of accomplishment when you see the fruits of your labor in your basket. There are many orchards to choose from around Montreal. We suggest you try Verger Labonté.
Did you know that making macarons is ridiculously simple? Just like many other absolutely delicious sweet things apparently. We didn’t know either until we tried Jessica’s baking classes at The Lincoln Apartment Bakery. Learning baking in small groups (usually fewer than 10 people) is a lot of fun! You get to learn something new, meet new people and enjoy a nice and friendly environment. Head to her website and check out the schedule and some awesome pics to get inspired.
Get on the bike and take a beautiful bike ride along Lachine Canal. If you own a bike you’re good to go. If not, there’s Ma Bicyclette, a bike rental place around Marche Atwater where you can rent a bike for a day or just a few hours. We suggest you ride from Marche Atwater all the way to the Lachine Sculpture Park (Musée plein air de Lachine). It is a 10km ride one way, so it should take you around 30-40 minutes to get there. Plan enough time to rest and enjoy a breathtaking view of the St Laurence River before heading back. You can definitely do it on a weekday after work. It will help you to relax, unwind and feel completely zen.
Hiking in the fall has many advantages. It’s the most beautiful hiking season, there are absolutely no bugs and it’s not too hot. Hiking is great for your physical and mental health and it’s a fun and rewarding experience. Mont Saint Hillaire (under 1 hour drive) is a beautiful place with a few hiking trails to pick from. The mountain’s elevation is 414m and almost any trail you pick will lead you to the summit with a stunning view. The mountain is surrounded by cute apple orchards that are definitely worth visiting after the hike. Make sure you come relatively early to get parking.
Paint Nite offers live painting events at the local restaurants and bars. It’s a great activity that will help you to channel your creative energy and create something amazing. They provide canvas, paint, 3 brushes and an instructor that explains everything so well that it’s impossible to fail. The events are accompanied by wine, beer and cocktails that you can order from the bar. Head to their website and pick a date, restaurant and painting you want to create.
About the author: Helen Baginsky from MTL Ideas is in love with Montreal. Having travelled a lot, Helen is convinced that Montrealers are very luckyto live in such a beautiful and vibrant city. In her spare time Helen organizes events, meetups and various activities in and around Montreal. She is active in the community and has sampled much of what our beautiful city has to offer. Helen runs a blog to share her experiences with other Montrealers like herself and she is excited to be a regular contributer to the Montreal Therapy Centre blog team.