Montreal may be know for its more grown up delights, but quelle surprise! There are some wonderful things to beguile families too!
Montreal is a city unlike any other. Canada is happy to claim it for our own, but there is that je ne sais quoi that sets it apart. It’s modern and historical, pastoral and cosmopolitan, sexy and exciting and, perhaps surprisingly, family friendly for a city with such notoriously liberal nudie bars. Here is a sample of some of the magnificent things to do in Montreal with your kids this summer
Voiles en voiles: or be a pirate for a day The history of the port of Montreal is storied indeed! Now you can be a pirate for a day too on these ships that have been decked out in obstacle courses and rigging to help you hone the pirate scramble! Suitable for all ages 3 and up.
Aquazilla Feel like getting wet? Take a bounce, climb, splash and slide at Aquazilla! New in 2015, this giant inflatable obstacle course was brought in to celebrate 25 years of the beautiful beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Every silver anniversary should be this fun! To enjoy the Aquazilla, you must be at least 6 years old and 110 cm (43.3″) tall.
MTL Zipline Ever wonder what the city of the Habs looks like to the birds? You don’t have to wonder anymore when you strap yourself in on the MTL Zipline! Suspended high in the Montreal skyline, you can do your best superhero impression as you zip across the sky! Riders must be at least 7 years old and weigh between 23 and 113 kg (50-250 lb.)
Montreal Science Centre For a slightly more educational take on physics and the other sciences, head to the Montreal Science Centre. The centre welcomes more than 700 000 visitors each year to its many interactive permanent exhibits and interesting touring displays!
Open Air Markets The world class shopping in Montreal is tough to ignore, but in the summer it really shines in the open air markets! Families will enjoy the weekend Le Marché des Possibles in Mile End, with live entertainment and family programming (plus a beer garden!) Also be sure to check out Les Jardins Gamelin a gathering space whose delights include food and drink, music, dance lessons, karaoke, and fascinating art like Janet Echelman’s stunning and ethereal suspended sculpture, 1.26.
Summer Festivals Care for a festival? Almost any week you visit, Montreal has a festival happening! And the truly fabulous part is that many of the fests have family friendly offerings. There’s the Montréal International Jazz Festival (June/July); Montréal Cirque Festival (July); International Percussions Festival (July); Just for Laughs (July); and the Fantasia International Film Festival (July/August), to name a few!
Le Espace pour la vie The Montreal Space for Life is made up of four spaces: Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Insectarium, and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. Each space holds something new and cool, you’re going to need at least a day! If you only have a few hours, you may want to check out the suggested “Kids Favourite Outing” itinerary.
Exalto Park Near the Space for Life you will find Exalto Park, which bills itself the first park of its kind; with ropes and aerobatics courses to test your athleticism and fear of heights. There are even two junior courses suitable even for two year olds (less athleticism and fearlessness required!)
La Ronde Six Flags Did you know, more flags, more fun? Find out how true it is at Montreal’s own Six Flags Amusement Park. It’s the largest amusement park in Eastern Canada, with over 40 rides plus a family section.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Any time is a good time to visit the masterpieces at the MMFA, but weekends are just for families! Take part in a workshop or take in an interactive gallery tour!
BONUS TIP Book at a participating hotel and receive a free Family Pass! This pass is good for two children’s admissions with the purchase of an adult admission at several Montreal attractions, including: The four zones of Le Espace pour vie, Olympic Park Tower, Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, Montreal Science Centre and Imax TELUS Cinema, Atrium le 1000, Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts! See the Tourisme Montreal website for details.