If you’re searching for a family-friendly vacation spot, Montreal might be just what you’re looking for.
Rich in art and culture, this Old-World city offers festivals, museums, attractions, music, shopping, and surprises around every corner – the perfect place for family fun!
We’ll get you started planning your trip with this list of 20 things to do with kids in Montreal, including kid-approved places to shop and eat and our favorite family-friendly hotels.
- Montreal has frosty winters and hot, humid summers. There are many tourists that aren’t afraid to brave the winter months as there are plenty of activities to do. However, the summer months are the busiest, so you’ll want to make sure you make your bookings far in advance.
- If you’re planning to drive around the city, make sure you get familiar with the traffic rules. For example, you can’t make a right turn on a red light. Plus, all of the traffic signs are in French. So, save yourself from fines and do a little research before your trip.
- For those travelers who live outside of Canada, you’ll want to keep enough exchanged money on you or visit an ATM on your trip to avoid hefty bank fees.
- Montreal is a bilingual city, but learning a little bit of French won’t hurt. It’s the second largest French-speaking city in the world, so knowing some basic words to help with communication can only benefit you on your trip. Get prepared by brushing up on your French beforehand.
- Montreal is a very walkable city, and you can easily find an Uber or taxi. The city also offers a vast metro system with subways and buses that can take you anywhere you need to go.
- The Montreal Passport is a great way to make the most of your vacation by offering access to up to 28 different attractions as well as unlimited transportation.
- Winters are quite harsh, so you’ll want to come prepared with heavy jackets, a warm base layer, and of course hats, gloves, and other winter gear. Keep cool in the summer heat by packing light layers. Fall and Spring offer the best weather, but you’ll still want to pack layers as the weather can go from warm to cold quickly.
- Because the city is so walkable, you’ll need to pack comfy, lightweight walking shoes for every member of your family. You’ll also want to bring along a roomy daypack or tote bag to hold all your essentials as well as any treasures you might find.
3 Family-Friendly Hotels in Montreal
If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay during your trip, take a peek at three of our favorite family-friendly hotels.
- Hotel Place d’Armes – This charming hotel is the perfect blend of historic and modern. The rooms are comfortable and offer all the amenities. In the morning you can enjoy a cafe au lait and a continental breakfast at the Brasserie 701. Kids will love the chocolate croissants and the selection of cereals.
- Chateau de l’Argoat – This hotel is not only budget friendly, but also offers spacious rooms perfect for families and kids. Located in the heart of the city, you can get where you need to go without much trouble. If you’re looking for no frills and just the basics, this is the place for you.
- Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth – Close to everything, your stay is sure to be both comfortable and convenient. Get cozy in the coffee lounge, splash in the indoor pool, or shop in the urban market. And what makes this hotel so special is that it is directly connected to the underground city (see below).
6 Kid-Approved Places to Shop & Eat
No trip is complete without delicious local food and fun places to shop!
- The RÉSO – This underground city is a subterranean network of walkways, restaurants, shopping, and movie theaters, as well as métro (subway) stations. This labyrinth offers the perfect spot to get warm in the winter or stay cool and dry during the summer months.
- Argo Bookshop – If you have some bookworms in your family, you’ll want to stop by Montreal’s oldest English-language bookstore. You’re guaranteed to find some hidden gems from among every genre, including children’s books. It’s a great place to spend a little time and relax.
- Fou D’Ici – This urban marketplace offers all different types of organic produce, dry goods, and gourmet treats. Put together a picnic basket of goodies for a day of exploring or grab one of their takeaway meals prepped by their in-house chef.
- Schwartz’s Deli – Famous for their huge smoked-meat sandwiches, this deli is one of the oldest in Canada. The large portion sizes are perfect for sharing. Avoid the long lines by going between the lunch and dinner rush.
- Jardin Nelson – This restaurant in Old Montreal welcomes you with a unique atmosphere, delicious food, and live jazz music. They are known for their savory crepes and desserts, and they also offer a menu of kids favorites.
- Fairmount Bagel – The first bagel shop in Montreal, it has been around for over 100 years. They offer Montreal-style bagels that are handmade and wood-fire baked, with options from sweet to savory.
14 Things To Do with Kids in Montreal
Ready to have some fun? Check out our list of 14 things to do with kids in Montreal.
- Mount Royal Park – Your kids will love being able to have the space to run free or watch the bright orange koi fish swim in the small lake. This beautiful park offers things to do year-round, including bird watching, concerts, biking, snowshoeing, tubing, walking trails, ice skating, and more. Be sure to check their website for any events happening during your stay.
- Montreal Museum of Archeology and History – This is the spot to learn all about Montreal’s history and archeology. Kids will love the incredible interactive exhibits and multimedia shows as well as exhibitions that showcase everything from pirates to Vikings to an archeological dig.
- Montreal Science Centre – There are plenty of activities for kids who love science and technology. They’ll enjoy exhibits and interactive games including discovering the mysteries of the human body, designing their own models, and operating simple machines.
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – The oldest museum in Canada is home to over 44,000 works of art. Enjoy paintings and sculptures, some centuries old, both local as well as international. You can also catch rotating exhibitions that focus on music, fashion, cinema, design, and fine arts.
- iSaute – This indoor trampoline park is made for kids who have energy to burn! In addition to jumping, they can try their skill on the ninja course, climb on play structures, test their balance on a slackline, play some dodgeball, or try some trick shots on the basketball court.
- SOS Labyrinthe – The world’s largest indoor maze is a great spot no matter the weather. As you go through the maze, you’ll face several different obstacles including tunnels and slides. The goal is to solve the mystery behind who is responsible for a series of forgeries and art thefts, and you’ll be given riddles to solve along the way.
- MTL Zipline – See Montreal from an entirely different vantage point. Adults and children alike will get a thrill as they fly through the sky and get a bird’s eye view of the city below. You’ll receive a quick training session before you depart on your 30-minute ride.
- Voiles en Voiles – Aargh matey! This pirate-themed amusement park has activities set up inside life-size pirate ships. Your kids will enjoy aerial bridges, rope bridges, and wooden planks while they swing and rappel their way across 10 different courses. There’s also an inflatable playground that’s perfect for the little ones, as well as a movie theater and archery arena.
- Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – This is the place for space lovers and future astronauts. There are plenty of hands-on and walk-through exhibits including the planetarium. Make sure to purchase your tickets for the planetarium shows in advance because they can sell out.
- Montreal Biodome – This indoor recreation spot contains recreations of five different ecosystems, including the Tropical Rainforest, Laurentian Maple Forest, Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Labrador Coast, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Explore a variety of animal and plant life including birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.
- Montreal Botanical Garden – Themed gardens and greenhouses are spread across 190 acres. It’s the perfect place to explore flowers, nature, and art. Made from flowers and shrubs, the sculptures are incredibly beautiful and detailed. You can also travel the world while you visit the cultural gardens.
- Le Bateau-Mouche St. Lawrence Sightseeing Cruise – Grab your tickets for this 1 ½ hour cruise upon the St. Lawrence River and enjoy panoramic views of the city. A guide will share interesting facts about Montreal’s history, while you see the sights including the Clock Tower, the Biosphere, and the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
- La Ronde Amusement Park – Part of the Six Flags family of parks, it’s the largest amusement park in Quebec. You can spend an entire day enjoying shows and thrilling rides, as well as plenty of shopping and dining experiences. Before your visit, be sure to check the website for height and weight restrictions.
- Festivals – Attending festivals is one of the best activities while you’re in Montreal. With dozens of different festivals happening throughout the year, you’re guaranteed to find at least one that your family will enjoy. Be sure to check out the calendar before your visit to find out what’s happening during your stay.
With so many fun things to do, it’s hard to get bored in this fantastique city!
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