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 Top Ten List of Summer Family-Friendly Activities Around Montreal

Top Ten List of Summer Family-Friendly Activities Around Montreal

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Top Ten List of Summer Family-Friendly Activities Around Montreal

  • The annual Just for Laughs festival (July 10 to 20) will be hosting children’s activities at the Just for Kids space, located next to the UQAM church bell tower on St. Denis St. (between St. Catherine St. E. and de Maisonneuve Blvd.). Non-stop entertainment will be available for children, including puppet shows, clown workshops and treasure hunts. These activities will be offered from Monday to Friday, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and weekends from 2:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 514.845.2322 or visit www.hahaha.com.

  • Going down the Lachine Rapids has long been described as “the best tourist attraction around Montreal.” Not only do participants get a thrilling ride through the waves (plan to get wet, even under raincoats) but they also get a brand new perspective on the city including unusual and breathtaking skylines. Two companies presently offer such trips, these being Sauté moutons (www.jetboatingmontreal.com) which leaves in jet boats from the Clock Tower Pier in Montreal’s Old Port and  Descentes sur le Saint-Laurent (www.raftingmontreal.com) which primarily uses rafts to go down the rapids from its put in on LaSalle. Blvd. Reservations are required for both.

  • Tree top obstacle courses are becoming increasingly popular around Montreal. Minimum ages vary, but participants must usually be able to lift their arms up at least six feet (1.8 metres). Youths under 16 years must generally be accompanied by an adult. A certain degree of coordination and athletic ability are required for these tree-top obstacle courses. My 10 and 12 year-old had a blast doing the Drummondville course in 2007. The various companies involved include: Acrobranche; Arbre en Arbre (www.arbreenarbre.com); Arbraska (www.arbraska.com/); and Arbre Aventure. Reservations are required and these sites are difficult to access without a car.

  • The two big zoos near Montreal, Granby Zoo (www.zoodegranby.com/) and Parc Safari (www.parcsafari.com) both offer good summer fun. Here you can view exotic animals, including many from Africa. Granby is a more rational style zoo whereas Parc Safari lets you drive your car through the animals’ habitat where my kids enjoy feeding the animals. Parc Safari sometimes even offers the chance to ride the elephants. Afterwards, you can jump in the aquatic park at either site. The water parks are typically shut down in the event of thunderstorms, however. Car access is essential for both sites.

  • The Biodome (www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/biodome/site/site.php?langue=en) is a good rainy day destination. This large indoor zoo features bioclimatic zones from the Amazon rainforest, the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the world’s Polar Regions. Nearby are the Botanical Gardens (www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin/en/menu.htm), which incorporates the Insectarium—a bug museum almost unique in the world. While the Botanical Garden is popular with all ages, some programming is also offered for younger children (generally in French only). The stadium used for the 1976 Olympics is also adjacent. Access is by car (pay parking), by public transit (Viau metro) or by bike.

  • The Quays of the Old Port (www.quaisduvieuxport.com/en/) remain one of the most popular tourist destinations for all ages in the Montreal area. (Montreal Science Centre, Pointe a Calliere Museum, quadricycle rental, Shed 16 Labyrinth, step aboard a three-masted barque from the last 19th century, look at the ships, or just go for an ice cream... This site is best accessed by public transit (Champs de Mars metro) or by bicycle.

  • Mount Royal Park (www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/en_index3.html) covers the mountain that gave Montreal its name. This popular park has long been a favourite destination of Montrealers and today features a large playground, woodland trails, paddle boating, nature watching and views of the downtown. Bring a picnic or eat in the restaurants there. Access is by car (pay parking) or by public transit (bus 11 from Mont Royal metro) or by bike.

  • Jean Drapeau Park (www.parcjeandrapeau.com) is situated on two islands in the St. Lawrence River. Here you can find la Ronde (a major amusement park with roller coasters), a swimming beach on Ile Notre Dame, the Stewart Museum (a 19th century fort built to protect Montreal from an American invasion), the Biodome (a museum dedicated to water and housed in the former American pavilion from Expo ‘67), beautiful gardens, swimming pools, playgrounds, boat rentals and more. Despite its close proximity to downtown, parts of the park remain remarkably quiet, making this a great spot for a picnic. The park is easily accessible by public transit (Jean Drapeau metro) and by bicycle from Montreal.


Thanks to Annika Melancon, author of Parents, Babies and Children, for her contribution in helping to prepare this list. Annika’s websote link is:



Last Updated on Saturday, 20 November 2010 10:05  


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