Exploring Montreal with Kids | Découvrir Montréal avec les Enfants

What do we do with the kids this weekend? | Qu’est-ce qu’on pourrait bien faire avec les enfants cette fin de semaine?

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Home News Spring break ideas 2015; Activities around Montreal

Spring break ideas 2015; Activities around Montreal

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Most Montreal area school kids are out of class March 2-6. So parents and other child-minders should have a few possible outings up their sleeves for things then. Fortunately, many local museums, parks, amusement centres and more have responded by putting on special shows, increasing hours of operation, hiring extra staff, and sometimes lowering admission prices over the spring break. Here is a selection of possible activities and outings to do with kids around Montreal during this time.

What’s New


SkyVenture in Laval gives visitors the chance to simulate parachute jumping inside a 60-foot vertical wind tunnel. Kids four and over are welcome; the maximum age limit is 104! Certain health conditions preclude flying; including pregnancy, excessive weight, and dislocated shoulder problems. Jumpsuits, helmets, goggles, and instruction are supplied. Prices start at $71 for two “jumps” and reservations are recommended.


Maeva Surf in Laval features a “blend of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding,” with a specialized indoor wave pool. This place is not like a wave pool; the water is less than 10 cm (4") deep and the wave is stationary. Powerful jets shoot the water at 40kmh up and over the stationary wave that is covered in a trampoline-material surface. A 90-minute initiation might be how to start. Participants must measure at least 105cm (42") high. More information at 450.934.6238. www.maevasurf.com

The Centre d'interprétation de l'eau (CIEAU) is a relatively new museum (housed within a water treatment plant) dedicated to informing the public about how tap water is collected and purified. From this author’s experience, the exhibits here will interest both children and adults. This site is also adjacent to Laval’s Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles where ice fishing, skating, cross-country skiing, sledding and walking are offered on the frozen river and its shores. For children aged 5-12, there is a day camp offered from Mar. 2-6. Information presented at CIEAU is largely in French only. 450.963.6463 www.cieau.qc.ca

The downtown Grévin Wax Museum is probably the best location in town for a `selfie` posing with your favourite musician, athlete, politician, or actor. The 120 or so life-size characters include a very large Quebec and Canadian contingent, most of who are from the 1980s to present. Many of the mannequins are stunningly realistic and some museum visitors might not even realize that “the employee” standing in the replica Belmont Amusement Park is also part of the collection. I recommend this site for kids 6 years and older. 514.788.5210 www.Grévin-montreal.com

My picks:

The Butterflies Go Free Exhibit, featuring thousands of multi-colored butterflies and moths, goes from Feb. 19 to April 26 this year in the Main Exhibition Greenhouse at the Botanical Garden. The butterflies are most active on sunny days. It can get quite hot inside the greenhouse and visitors are advised to check their coats at the entrance. This site is suitable for pushing baby strollers or wheelchairs.  514.872.1400 http://espacepourlavie.ca

If winter has your family longing for summer sports like baseball, perhaps drop by at Coup Sûr, the largest indoor baseball facility in Canada. Here you can find six batting cages with 24 ft ceilings, a boutique, and everything you need to swing at the ball. 450.688.2687


Outdoor sites:

The Ecomuseum Zoo in Ste Anne is a small outdoor zoo on the West Island with some 125 animal species, all native to the St Lawrence River Valley. Hardy species such as porcupines, foxes, wolves, caribou, snowy owls, otters, etc. are actually more active at this time of year. The Ecomuseum will give special presentations (reptiles at 11: 30AM; mammals and birds at 1:30 PM) everyday during the March break. In addition, there will be rallies and special games organized. A day camp will also operate here during the March break where children aged 7-12 can be registered for the “Zookeeper for a Day program.” Open daily from 9AM to 5PM (gates close at 4PM). Dress warmly for this largely outdoor site; picnic boxes are allowed in the lunch room. 514 457-9449 www.zooecomuseum.ca

Cap St. Jacques Nature Park in Pierrefonds features an ecological farm where kids can get close to sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens, and rabbits. Nearby is a sledding hill, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a sugar shack where you can get the first sweet taste maple syrup on snow (tir), pancakes, and pea soup.  This is the closest sugar shack to Montreal and also one of the least expensive. There are also some 30km of cross-country ski trails here as well as walking trails and bird watching. You can catch great vistas of para-skiers on the frozen lake. 514. 280.6871  http://ville.montreal.qc.ca

Some other nature parks around Montreal offer day camps during the March break including: Parc des Rapides (LaSalle); Mount Royal; Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies (Pointe aux Trembles); and Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse (St Laurent). Call 311 for info or visit http://ville.montreal.qc.ca

Mt Royal Park is always a great family destination. When my kids were younger, they used to enjoy climbing up the big staircase (above Peel Street) and counting all 256 steps before enjoying a hot chocolate at the chalet. The park also has sledding and tubing, 16km of cross-country ski trails, walking trails, guided evening snowshoe walks, and skating (including night skating on a refrigerated rink). As always, there are great views of downtown, bird watching, and lots of hungry squirrels (but authorities discourage feeding them). Fees apply for some activities. 514.843.8240  www.lemontroyal.qc.ca

So far, this winter has been consistently cold, but if we hit a warming trend, other refrigerated outdoor rinks can be found at: The Old-Port (Bassin Bonsecours), Parc Jean Drapeau, Notre Dame de Grace (MacDonald Park), St. Michel (François-Perrault Park), Verdun (Willibrord Park)  LaSalle (Hayward Park) in Laval (Centropolis) and in Montréal Nord (Carignan Park). The Times believes that access is free to all these rinks.

Special deals: Showing an Acces Montreal card or similar often gets the holders discounted or even free access to many family-friendly destinations around Montreal; CAA cards sometimes work, too. Also note that kids aged 6 - 11 years old travel for free on STM buses and metro from March 2-6 when accompanied by an adult; kids under 6 years travel free all year with the STM.  www.stm.info/en/info/advice/families



Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015 13:41  


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