Your kids are guaranteed to have a blast while visiting this kid-friendly city. Rain or shine, there are plenty of activities to thrill the children, including some very fun museums where you can learn more about the natural world and ecosystems in the area. Visit the fun penguins at the Biodôme de Montréal or weird, wonderful bugs at the Insectarium.
Ride roller coasters at the Six Flags La Ronde park, watch fireworks in Old Montreal, or take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage. You can even get some hands-on lessons about science and conduct experiments at the Centre des Sciences. You'll find it a challenge to pack everything into one day, so start off picking your kid's favorite activities and go from there.
The east end of the city has three kid-friendly attractions. Save a bundle when you buy a Nature Pass that gets you into all three for one price. Start off visiting the colorful bugs and creepy crawlies at the Insectarium. There's naturalized insects from around the globe that you can watch in action, stunning photos, and interactive exhibitions.
Next door is the Botanical Gardens with its colorful plants and displays. Adjacent to the Botanical Garden is Parc Maisonneuve, a large green space with plenty of room for a picnic, a pleasant walk, or cross-country-skiing and snowshoeing during winter.
[PHOTO_136737] Across the street is the Biodôme de Montréal, essentially an indoor zoo with interactive info-terminals and showcase replicas of four ecosystems: the Laurentian Forest (a representation of the North American wilderness), the Tropical Forest, the Saint Lawrence Marine ecosystem and Polar World. The playful penguins are sure to please.
[PHOTO_136735] Take a step back in time by visiting Vieux Montréal. The kids will enjoy taking a Calèche (horse-drawn carriage) tour through the cobblestone streets. There's also an Old Montreal Ghost Walking Tour – an old-fashioned ghost hunt through the streets.
You could also visit the original settlement and archaeological dig in the deep basement at Pointe-à-Callière museum. A few blocks away, there is a fun and entertaining Centre des Sciences with interactive displays and exhibits, and be sure to check what's playing at the IMAX theatre. Those who enjoy history will want to learn about life in the 1700s at Château Ramezay Museum. Housed in a building constructed in 1705, it's one of the oldest buidlings in North America.
Fireworks over the Jacques Cartier bridge — Photo courtesy of Tourisme Montreal If you're looking for some thrills, take the subway over to La Ronde Six Flags in Jean Drapeau Park. There's plenty of rides ranging from massive coasters to the tamest of teacups. Goliath is the newest coaster, standing 175 feet at its highest, with an initial drop of 171 feet. There are eight other coasters as well (standing, steel, wooden, suspended, looping – you name it), each with its own thrills.
Also in the park is the Biosphère, one of the largest geodesic domes in the world; its interactive exhibition displays the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and Saint-Lawrence River regions. The Discovery Hall houses a 16-foot globe that details the importance of water to the world's ecosystems. Stay until dark and enjoy fireworks over the Jacques Cartier Bridge during the International des Feux Loto-Quebec fireworks competition.
Fun at Beaver Lake — Photo courtesy of Tourisme Montreal Parc Mont Royal is a 165-acre playground for locals and visitors. In summer, picnickers come to laze around Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake), or enjoy a snack at the Chalet du Mont-Royal and take in the view. In the winter, cross-country skiers and snow-shoers fill the many trails laid out for them. Hit the hills with toboggans for some fast-paced fun.