10 Things To Do In Montréal With Kids

I get e-mails on a weekly basis from readers asking what to do in Montréal and I really want to get better at resourcing people who are coming to my beloved city, so here's my first step! Tourist season is coming up so I thought it would be a good time to give you some ideas if you're coming here with kids in tow. 


First of all, may I compliment you on your excellent choice of Montreal for your family vacation? You know whats up.  Montréal is the largest French-speaking city, other than Paris, in the world, and is absolutely wonderful for families.  You’ll feel like you’re in Europe, but with all the comforts of staying in North America. Walking the cobblestone streets of Old Port or taking in the historic architecture of the city satisfies wanderlust, while maintaining a sense of home, which is priceless when traveling with children. If you’re lucky enough to visit Montréal with your little ones, here are our top ten things you cannot miss, in no particular order.

1. Enjoy Mount Royal 
Mount Royal is where the city gets its name, and has a day’s worth of activities for the whole family. Montréal families love hiking up the mountain in all types of weather. In the winter, it’s the best place to go cross-country skiing and sledding in the city, and there’s a lovely ice rink at the top. In the warmer months, families love hiking to the beautiful outlook for the best view in the city and enjoying the futuristic playground and Beaver Lake. If you're there on a Sunday you can join the thousands of locals drumming at the Tam Tams, too. 

2. The Science Centre
This is an excellent activity for kids of all ages. There are various rooms for each age group, full of hands-on activities and experiments. Children age five and under will love the first two rooms where you can build houses with enormous blocks, explore magnetic attraction, light, shapes, color, and more. You can also pay for special, temporary exhibits and visit the IMAX theatre. Plus, it's in Old Port, so you could do this the same day as
Voiles en Voiles!

3. Montréal Museum of Fine Art
This is a great option year round. On top of housing some of the most celebrated art, this museum is a great place for kids. Particularly on Saturdays, when the museum hosts workshops at 11am and 1pm for children, free of charge. Kids can create their own masterpiece and learn from museum curators, art teachers, and artists!

5. Botanical Gardens
The entire Botanical Gardens is a terrific outing, but specifically the Cultural Gardens. In the Autumn these gardens host lantern festivals, including jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. The succulent-obsessed (aren't we all?) will love the indoor dessert gardens. Kids can explore uninhibited while parents take in the beauty. Don’t miss the annual Butterfly Exhibit!

Montreal has some serious ice cream joints and it's always a fun summer outing with kids. The best part is that my top three places all offer a  99 cent baby cone that's perfect for the under-3 crowd. Hit up Noble Café, who serve Les Givrés and soft serve, la Diperie who are famous for their dipped cones and crazy toppings, and Kem Coba (if you can brave the line, which is so big it has it's own twitter feed, it's awesome!). 
The famous Kem Coba line on a Sunday afternoon.

6. The Biodôme
The Biodôme is magical. Brad had an annual membership before we even had kids! Haha! kids get to explore four major ecosystems in the Americas, that are set up as unique rooms to travel through and experience. It’s educational and very tactile as you walk through the freezing air of the arctic, and then the muggy climate of the rainforest. The penguins are very popular, particularly with Clover!

7. Spend a day at the park!
Montréal families live outdoors in the warmer months (and brave the cold in the winter, too!). Each major neighbourhood has a large park, a kin to New York’s Central Park, as well as smaller playgrounds and public spaces throughout the city. Spend an afternoon at Parc Lafontaine or Parc Laurier (our stomping grounds!) Pack a picnic, and enjoy free admission to the beautiful swimming pools, too. 

Parc Laurier - baseball diamonds, outdoor gym, pool, kiddie pool, play ground, public washrooms, everything free, except the pool on weekends.
8. Red Path Museum
This free museum is within the beautiful campus of McGill University. Some of the content might be over your kids head’s but there’s also plenty to excite them! Kids love the massive taxidermy and the dinosaur bones and fossils. This museum is also on the same street as the Museum of Fine Art, so you could do them both in one shot. Closed Saturdays, but don’t miss the fun workshops for kids of all ages on Sundays.

9. Voiles en Voiles
A huge pirate ship located in the historic Old Port district where kids, ages 3 and up can complete various obstacle courses and climbing activities. The whole family can compete together in this idyllic setting where all the action is. B and I really want to do this with the kids this summer! or maybe a date night? Open April-November only!

10. Explore the markets!
Montréal is a foodie city through and through. Take a break from the typical grocery store and enjoy one of the outdoor markets that Montréal is famous for. Marché Jean-Talon and Marché Atwater are the two best known, and are conveniently at either end of the city. Both markets also have lovely cafés that you must visit! Kids love running through the stalls and sampling the fresh produce, straight from the farmer’s hand, and parents will love the impressive selection of seasonal produce, meats, and cheeses.

Jean-Talon market in Little Italy.


  1. Love your guide! And these are my favourites too, although we've never done Voiles en Voiles, so definitely will next time.

  2. Just shared this with a mom from TO who is visiting this summer. Great guide!