There are many things to do in Montreal with kids, the second biggest city in Canada after Toronto. However, before we get to the kids’ activities, let us get to know Montreal better.
Montreal is located in the Canadian province of Quebec City and occupies roughly three-fourths of Montreal Island (Ile de Montreal). In 2022, its current metro area population is 4,277,000, a 0.71% increase from 2021.
French is the predominant language here. While Paris is the world’s first largest French-speaking city, Montreal ranks second.
French fries, smoked meat sandwiches, and poutine are some of the must-try dishes, and the cost of living is also much more affordable than those in other large Canadian cities.
The climate in Montreal is semi-continental. The summer months are very warm and humid, whereas the winters are very cold.
You can notice a lot of construction repairs done during the summer season.
Overall, it is a city with lots of places to explore, and it will be double fun as you will find many things to do in Montreal with kids and even solo. Let’s delve deeper into every one of them without further delay.
1. Montreal Science Centre
Do you want a place where your kids can enjoy and learn simultaneously? Then Montreal Science Centre is your go-to place.
This is a science museum situated on the Quai King Edward (King Edward Pier) in the Old Port of Montreal. Established in 2000, it was originally called the iSci Centre and had its name changed to the Montreal Science Center in 2002.
What are the specialties of this Montreal Science Center? The place boasts an interactive exhibition on science and technology. They use interactive devices in an innovative environment so that kids learn and have fun. Young kids can explore and have hands-on experience due to its interactive settings.
Speaking of exhibitions, who doesn’t like one? Let’s find out what the exhibitions have in store for the kids. The Montreal Science Center has permanent and featured exhibitions. It’s time to explore permanent exhibitions.
1.1 Permanent Exhibition
1.1.1 Mini Mondo
This exhibition is for kids in the age groups under seven. But hold on! Parents can enjoy this too. Want to know how? Young kids and their parents are introduced to new languages, and they can learn and identify words in these languages. Creole, Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese translations are available all over the room.
There is more for kids. They get to put all their sense organs to use – different smells, sounds, many things to see, and objects to touch. As for adventure, they can follow animal tracks in the forest and experiment with bark and pebbles. They also learn to grow vegetables in the garden.
To make people more comfortable, Mini Mondo has a lactation room and a washroom that a whole family can use.
1.1.2 Explore – Life-Sized Science
Both young and older kids can enjoy this exhibition. As the name suggests, you can explore science here – motion, air, water, light, matter, geometry, and even coding.
Motion lets you witness the working of machines such as pulleys, gears, and levers that are quite big.
Air allows you to experiment with air pressure and feel the tornado effect.
Water allows you to build water circuits, generate electricity, and kids can enjoy splashing water around two water tables.
Geometry and mathematics will trigger your creativity and makes you build a bridge, then communicate with parabolic antennas.
Matter lets you know the secret behind magnetic attraction, and guess what? You can learn the technique to shape matter into a giant bubble.
Coding is more fun. You can compose music, make a robot dance to your tunes, and create animation sequences.
1.1.3 Fabrik – Creativity Factory
This exhibition puts your creativity to the test. You can work on challenges requiring you to be innovative and assemble different random pieces.
Fabrik consists of many fun things to do and experiment on and is suitable for people of all age groups. You can work individually or as a team while doing these activities.
There are more fun interactive exhibits that are not to be missed.
The Human exhibition is the newest entrant to the Montreal science center’s permanent exhibition. This gives detailed information about human evolution, and the environment is interactive and energetic. You can also glimpse what the future has in store for humans.
1.1.5 Water in the Universe
This exhibition is really fun. Guess why? Because you go on a water quest and get to be in awe of new objects such as lunar rocks, the very first one to be available in Quebec.
You can also have a glimpse of outer space in the space exploration at a glance zone, where you will go on a journey from Earth to the Moon and Mars. It will not just be a journey but also a chance to investigate unique objects from NASA, the Canadian space agency.
1.1.6 The Windmills of the Imagination
Two world’s first transformers were created during Montreal Science Center’s inauguration. Want to know them? They are PTEEM (electricity-to-water transformer) and PTEVM (water-to-wind transformer). You get to know them in detail when visiting this exhibition.
Now comes the most exciting part of the featured exhibition.
1.2 Featured Exhibition
1.2.1 Dinosaurs Around the World
Dinosaurs? In the current world? Unbelievable, right? Kids are going to have real fun here. They see not one but twenty huge dinosaurs that move and even make sounds. They can ride giant dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Apatosaurus, and Mojoceratops.
Wait! The Montreal science center has more to offer. They have an awesome IMAX®TELUS Theatre, which boasts a giant screen. They feature family-friendly documentary films, each about a duration of 45 minutes.
With such a plethora of information on the Montreal Science Center, isn’t it necessary to know their visiting hours?
Visiting hours on the weekdays are from 9 AM to 4 PM, and on weekends, they are open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
2. La Ronde Amusement Park
What is the fun of a family vacation without taking your kids to an amusement park? La Ronde Amusement Park is Quebec’s largest amusement park. It is located on the Île Sainte-Hélène at Parc Jean-Drapeau, near downtown Montreal.
Six flags family manages this park, which is completely entertaining and can be enjoyed by people of all age groups.
It contains exciting rides that can be filtered into categories such as family rides and thrill rides.
2.1 Family Rides
2.1.1 Autos tamponnEuses
When you board this ride with a mild thrill level, you will be seated in a beautiful, colourful butterfly with large benches suitable for adults, kids, and children. You will get a nice view while flying in the insect airline, Air Papillon.
This ride has a moderate thrill level. You have to board a giant circular disc, and you will be spinning at an increased speed as the ride progresses.
2.2.3 DISCO Ronde
Another one with a moderate thrill level is especially for party music lovers. Two persons can board each disco ball and wait for the party to begin grooving.
The best time to try this is at night, as all the lights will come to life and dazzle this ride.
2.2 Thrill Rides
2.2.1 Bateau Pirate
This maximum thrill pirate adventure ride will let you board a fast-sailing wooden ship, and your voyage starts across the ocean and through the seas.
What starts as smooth sailing initially will toss you high and low as you progress. You will reach a point where the ship becomes vertical and will leave you hanging in the air for a moment before you resume again. Quite an adventure indeed.
Get ready for the next maximum thrill ride – Goliath, the roller coaster. You will be taken to the hilltop and then dropped steeper and steeper while dropping. No wonder the ride justifies the name.
The new entrant to the maximum thrill ride is Titan – the giant swaying pendulum. You go soaring and spinning above the park till you don’t feel your weight at all.
This ride can accommodate 40 passengers and has a swinging rate of 45m in the air with a speed that can go up to 112 km/hr.
La Ronde also has many restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines. You don’t have to search for food after a long adventurous day, as you can enjoy it in the amusement park.
La Ronde also holds events such as L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, an international fireworks competition conducted every summer.
Pyrotechnic artists compete in this event, and Montreal’s sky is a sight to see with all these firework lightings.
Make sure to go on a family vacation to Montreal with the kids, and don’t miss La Ronde, as there are many fun things in this park.
3. Montreal Biodome
There are many things to do in Montreal with kids, and visiting Montreal Biodome is one of them. It is located in the Olympic park in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve – a neighbourhood of Montreal.
This place boasts five ecosystems of America in the same place and has a lot of family-friendly activities too. It provides a learning environment for both young and adults alike. With all these ecosystems, Montreal Biodome will make you love nature.
3.1 Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
Montreal Biodome has more to offer for kids. Yes, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, near the biodome, is all set to make your visit to Montreal with kids more memorable with its exhibition and interesting shows. A wonderful adventure awaits kids and the whole family as you witness breathtaking images, animations, and even multimedia games.
This Insectarium in Montreal is one of the largest in North America. You can witness live and naturalized insects, a butterfly house, anthills, etc., which will transport you to the natural world.
3.3 Jardin Botanique De Montréal
This place is just minutes from downtown Montreal and near the Biodome and Olympic park. This is a plant museum and houses 22,000 plant species, ten exhibition greenhouses, treehouses, and thematic gardens that are more than twenty in number.
3.4 Tropical Rainforest
An apt place for kids, this forest boasts various animals and tropical mammals, including a variety of birds such as callistas, ibis, and macaws. There are reptiles too.
The vegetation includes fig trees, creepers, and palm trees.
3.5 Laurentian Maple Forest
This place is absolutely fun. Get ready and start your adventure by finding the lynx in its habitat and getting wooed by the skills of the raccoon. There are also river otters, beavers, and even a porcupine.
4. Mount Royal (Mont Royal)
Mont-Royal is fun. This is a large hill ranging 234m and is Montreal’s highest point. It is the green jewel of Montreal and affectionately known as the mountain. Mont Royal is also the house of the popular park Parc du Mont-Royal.
This place can be enjoyed during a visit to Montreal with kids in summer and winter.
The Camillien-Houde lookout in Parc du Mont-Royal allows you to look at the captivating view of the Eastern side of Montréal. From this spot, you can also look at Montreal Tower at the Olympic Stadium, the Jacques-Cartier bridge, and the St. Lawrence River.
That’s not all. Are you a fan of cross-country skiing? Then you are at the right place. The trails are suitable for both beginners and intermediates. Another fun winter activity is ice skating in Beaver Lake. Kids in Montreal consider ice skating an important sport. The Quays of the Old Port and Mount Royal Park are the famous meeting places for players to enjoy skating.
Another specialty here is the Tam-Tam Jams. What is it exactly? This takes place in summer every Sunday, when the Montréal locals gather to witness a large crowd of people sitting around playing hand drums, totally enjoying the sun.
Saint Joseph’s oratory is also located on Mount royal on the northwestern slope. One of the best places for tourists to visit and has its architecture in the Beaux-Arts style.
You can pay a visit to Mont Royal with your vehicle or even through public transportation or board a metro from the metro station.
5. Old Montreal
Why the name Old Montreal? It is the oldest neighbourhood in Montreal yet full of life. Old Montreal is famous for its historical and architectural beauty. While every place is a must-visit here, there are a few special things to do in Montreal with kids. Let’s take a look at them.
5.1 Notre-Dame Basilica
Notre Dame Basilica is a beautiful Gothic Revival church thronged by millions of visitors each year. You can’t forget the beauty of its interior due to its dazzling blue colours, scintillating gold-leaf ornamentation, intricate woodwork, religious paintings, and colourful stained-glass windows.
5.2 La Grande Roue De Montréal
If you are visiting Montreal with kids, never miss this. Situated on the Old Port, this Ferris wheel is the tallest observation wheel in Canada. It gives the visitors a whopping 360-degree view.
La Grande Roue de Montréal also has a Cafe, a bistro, and a juice bar, and you can enjoy your food from the options available here after the ride.
6. Old Port
This old port of Montreal is the house of various wonderful attractions we saw above, like the Science centre. It is the proud owner of the alluring skating rinks in the country. It also has a rich history and is situated next to Old Montreal. Hold on. There is more here.
7. Voiles en Voiles
There are also family-friendly activities in old port Montreal, like Voiles en Voiles adventure park. You can have a fantastic time in its aerial courses, archery tag arena, inflatable games, etc. This place also has an immersive 3D movie theatre.
Your kids will have a fun-filled adventure when they come aboard the life-size pirate ships of Voiles en Voiles.
8. Clock Tower Beach
It is situated at the Clock Tower base and has wonderful blue lounge chairs, bright-coloured parasols, and a wooden boardwalk. The sands are very soft, and there are also misting stations. One more place to add to your list of things to do in Montreal with kids.
9. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Established in 1860, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is Canada’s oldest museum. It has a rich heritage collection of roughly 43,000 works. There are also some exceptional permanent collections such as international arts, decorative arts and design, and Quebec and Canadian arts.
10. McCord Museum
This is a mid-sized Montreal museum and is rich in social history. Situated near McGill University, it contains 1.5 million artifacts under categories like fashion, photography, etc. It also conducts many temporary exhibitions each year.
There are also other art museums in Montreal apart from MMFA. Kids will love museums, so don’t fail to visit them.
Overall, Montreal in the Quebec province is a place not to be missed. The amusement parks, museums, a science centre with interactive fun activities, and many more places in Montreal are quite enjoyable. Hence, rightly said, there are many things to do in Montreal with kids on a family vacation.
Also, check out, Best Things About Canada