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Montreal With Kids: Fun Activities for the Whole Family

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Whether you know Montreal well or not, it’s sometimes hard to find inspiration to keep the kids entertained. Fortunately, Montreal’s dynamic and friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for families. The city is known for its interactive museums that make learning a fun and engaging experience. Imagine a city where every neighbourhood offers a new adventure and the warm welcome creates an atmosphere of discovery. Whether your family is passionate about culture, nature or thrills, Montreal has something for kids of all ages, whatever the season!

And Montreal’s public transportation system is not only efficient, but also easy to use, making getting around a breeze! From Old Montreal to the Plateau Mont-Royal, the metro and buses allow you to get from one attraction to another quickly and comfortably, without the stress of traffic and parking.

Is Montreal kid friendly? Check out Old Montreal to find out!

Pirate or privateer? This permanent exhibition, designed for children aged six to twelve, wonderfully concludes a visit to the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, which never ceases to amaze. It’s an interesting and playful way to understand Montreal’s history.

Nearby, the Montreal Science Centre is also a sure bet. It’s impossible to get bored in the halls where you can carry out a multitude of scientific experiments! The films presented at the IMAX cinema are always of high quality and worth considering.

Otherwise, Old Montreal and the Old Port are brimming with fun activities:

  • If the weather’s good, young thrill-seekers should have a blast at Voiles en Voiles, which offers ten aerial adventure courses on life-sized replicas of a pirate ship and a royal ship.
  • For a breathtaking panoramic view, hop aboard the Montreal Ferris Wheel (la Grande Roue), and admire the city and the St. Lawrence River from a height of 60 meters.
  • As an alternative, Montreal Zipline lets you see Montreal from above, Superman-style.
  • With family or friends, SOS Labyrinthe, a two-kilometer treasure hunt in a maze, is perfect for summer.
  • For water activities, you have a choice between Saute-Moutons, a descent through the Lachine Canal rapids, Le Petit Navire, a non-polluting electric boat, and the Bateau-Mouche, a much more relaxing cruise. For a more budget-friendly option, you can take the shuttle on the St Lawrence River for just $6 per person.

For a day of relaxation, head to the Clock Tower Beach, where you can enjoy the sand, the sun, and an exceptional view of the St. Lawrence River and downtown by the water.

Finally, don’t miss Kurios by Cirque du Soleil, set up in the Old Port. This breathtaking show takes spectators into a world of curiosities and wonders, with incredible acrobatics, magnificent costumes, and enchanting music. Perfect for the whole family, Kurios is a magical experience that will transport young and old alike into a world of dreams and imagination.

Fun places for kids in Downtown Montreal

Near McGill University, the Redpath Museum showcases dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, and Quebec minerals. Perfect for young explorers! Activities for children are also regularly offered.

On weekends, free thematic workshops are offered to little ones at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Versatile, Esplanade Tranquille in the Quartier des Spectacles transforms into an outdoor ice skating rink in winter and a vast event space in summer. A must-visit during festival season! It’s the ideal place to enjoy the joys of visiting Montreal with your family, meet Montrealers and create unforgettable memories of your time here.

On a rainy day, discover the hidden treasures of the world’s largest underground pedestrian network. With a map, explore part of the 33 kilometers of tunnels and galleries, paying special attention to the artworks scattered throughout the network. Suggested itinerary: start at Bonaventure Metro and make your way to McGill. A cool free activity!

Plateau Mont-Royal, one of the best places to visit in Montreal with kids

Designed by the same landscape architect who created Central Park in New York, Mount Royal Park is worth a visit. In addition to hiking its trails and playing in the children’s areas, you can take a rowboat ride on Beaver Lake or rent a small remote-controlled boat. Les Amis de la montagne also organize occasional activities. Every Sunday in the summer, near the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument, the now-classic Tam-Tams drum circles delight both locals and tourists.

Here, you’ll find some of the best poutine restaurants in the city…

Further east, Parc La Fontaine remains one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces. Perfect for a picnic or some reading under a tree. If you visit Montreal with children this summer, the Théâtre de Verdure offers interactive outdoor storytelling. A dreamy lineup of cultural events, including performances by the highly respected Orchestre Métropolitain.

Just north of the Plateau Mont-Royal, you’ll find the puppet shows at Théâtre Illusion. These creative performances at this hidden gem of a theatre tackle social issues in a sensitive and meticulous manner, specially designed for children. An experience not to be missed!

Science nerds: kids attractions in Eastern Montreal…

museums montreal with kids - Biodome - musées pour enfants montréal
Photo credit: Bonjour Québec/Jeanne Rondeau-Ducharme

Are you parents to nerdy kids who love animals, space, biodiversity and creepy crawlers? The Espace pour la Vie complex in Montreal is a unique ensemble of four major attractions dedicated to nature and science.

  • The Biodôme transports you through five ecosystems of the Americas, allowing you to observe an impressive diversity of animals in recreated environments.
  • The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium offers total immersion in the universe of astronomy with its 360-degree shows and interactive exhibits.
  • The Botanical Garden, a haven of peace in the heart of the city, showcases a spectacular collection of plants arranged in several themed gardens such as the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden. The best times to visit are late spring, when the flowers are blooming, and autumn, when the light show is on.
  • The Insectarium fascinates both young and old with its collection of live and naturalized insects, highlighting their ecological role and behavior. Finally, the Grande Serre offers temporary exhibitions on environmental themes.

Passports are available to visit these five museums at a reduced price, providing an enriching and economical experience for the whole family.

… and even West of the island!

Thirty minutes west of downtown, the Ecomuseum Zoo allows families to meet Quebec’s animals without leaving the island. With a mission to preserve local biodiversity, the zoo offers a variety of unusual educational activities. Among them: breakfast with the animals, becoming an animal keeper for a day, and observing nocturnal animals in the evening.

This museum is one of the best places for kids in Montreal, and one of the more underrated. The best time to visit in either in winter or in summer, where you’ll get the most fun animal interactions.

Things to do in Montreal with kids: day trips to consider

Montreal is ideally situated for venturing into Quebec’s great outdoors, whether it’s the lush valleys of the Eastern Townships or the boreal forests of the Laurentians. Whatever direction you choose, your kids will love it!

  • Say hello to the animals at Parc Safari.
  • Take one of the 15 easy hikes near the island.
  • Take the metro to Île Notre-Dame to enjoy the rides at La Ronde, visit the Biosphere or splash at the water games at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
  • Visit La Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud for a year-round sugar shack and maple syrup experience.
  • Explore the new 40-meter high wooden structure at Sentier des Cimes with panoramic views of the Laurentian maple forest, complete with evening circus performances.
  • Tour the Village Québécois d’Antan to see Moment Factory’s new sound and light exhibition.
  • Check out the Foresta Lumina night walk in Coaticook.

Cover photo credit: Redpath Museum

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