Discover top family-friendly attractions and activities in Montreal for a memorable summer vacation with kids.

Montreal is a vibrant city that offers a fantastic mix of cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, and family-friendly activities. Whether you're visiting for a weekend or an extended stay, Montreal has plenty to keep kids entertained and parents relaxed. Here’s your guide to making the most of a family vacation in Montreal.

What to Do

1. Explore Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)

Take a step back in time as you wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal. Visit the Montreal Science Centre, which offers interactive exhibits and an IMAX theatre. Don't miss the historic Notre-Dame Basilica, where kids can marvel at the stunning architecture.

2. Visit the Montreal Biodome

Located in the Space for Life district, the Montreal Biodome replicates five distinct ecosystems, from a tropical rainforest to the subpolar regions. Kids will love seeing the diverse range of animals and plants in a setting that mimics their natural habitats.

3. Enjoy the Montreal Botanical Garden

Just next to the Biodome, the Montreal Botanical Garden is one of the largest in the world. It features thematic gardens and greenhouses. The Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden are particularly enchanting for children, with their exotic plants and serene settings.

4. Head to La Ronde Amusement Park

La Ronde, located on Île Sainte-Hélène, is a hit with families. With over 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters and kid-friendly rides, it’s a great place to spend a fun-filled day.

5. Discover the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The museum offers family workshops and activities designed to engage children with art. The museum's collection is diverse, and the interactive family tours make art appreciation fun for all ages.

6. Spend a Day at Jean-Doré Beach

On hot summer days, Jean-Doré Beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau is the perfect spot for families. The beach offers safe swimming areas, pedal boats, and canoe rentals, as well as plenty of space for picnics and relaxation.

Where to Go

Oratoire de St Joseph (Mont-Royal)
1. Mount Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal)

Designed by the same landscape architect who created New York's Central Park, Mount Royal Park is ideal for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying panoramic views of the city. In the winter, the park is great for sledding and ice skating.

2. Ecomuseum Zoo

Located just outside of Montreal, the Ecomuseum Zoo is a wonderful place to see native Quebec wildlife up close. The zoo focuses on education and conservation, making it both fun and informative for kids.

3. Montreal Insectarium

Part of the Space for Life complex, the Insectarium is home to thousands of fascinating insects. Kids will enjoy the live displays and learning about the various species.

What Not to Do

1. Avoid Busy Downtown Areas During Rush Hour

Montreal’s downtown can be hectic during rush hour, making it challenging to navigate with kids. Plan your visits to popular downtown attractions during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds.

2. Don’t Overlook the Weather

Montreal’s weather can be unpredictable. Make sure to check the forecast and pack appropriately, especially if you’re planning outdoor activities. Winters can be particularly harsh, so dress warmly and prepare for snow if visiting during the colder months.

3. Skip Long Wait Times

Kids can get impatient with long waits. To avoid this, try to visit popular attractions early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Purchasing tickets in advance can also help skip the lines.

Dining with Kids

Montreal is a foodie paradise, and there are plenty of family-friendly dining options. Check out La Banquise for poutine, a Quebec specialty, or head to St-Viateur Bagel for some of the city’s famous bagels. For a sweet treat, don’t miss Juliette & Chocolat, where you can indulge in delicious chocolate desserts.

Final Tips
  1. Use Public Transportation: Montreal’s public transportation system is efficient and easy to navigate. Kids will enjoy the novelty of riding the metro.
  2. Take Breaks: Plan for downtime between activities to avoid burnout. Montreal’s many parks and cafes offer great spots to rest.

Montreal is a city that welcomes families with open arms. With its rich history, diverse culture, and array of activities, you're sure to create lasting memories on your family vacation. Enjoy your trip!