Montreal is a city located in the province of Quebec in the southeastern part of Canada. It is a popular place to take a vacation and the second most populated city in the country. Montreal first began as a missionary community but later became a fur-trading settlement, and it expanded greatly thanks to its location on the Saint Lawrence River. Today the majority of the population are French Canadian, although English is spoken regularly.
The city is modern with lots of fun activities to enjoy, although much of its history can still be seen in the Old Port and other historic areas around town. If you are traveling to Montreal with children then you are sure to find many places for family fun, and you can follow this guide to find the best things to do around the city with kids. While you are going from place to place in the city, leave your bags at a luggage locker in Montreal. Seeing the sights hands-free is the best way!
Montreal Science Centre
For an interactive family fun experience visit the Montreal Science Centre. There are lots of permanent exhibits and regularly scheduled temporary attractions that can teach kids about life and how things work.
Your kids can try mixing different colors, designing houses or roller coasters in the Clic! Zone for Curious Young Minds or try crafting things like parachutes, cars, catapults, boats and more in the Fabrik Creativity Factory. All kids will enjoy watching movies in the IMAX Telus Theater or getting hands-on in the science museum.
Montreal Biosphere Environment Museum
This museum was built for the Montreal Expo '67 and is a good place to stop by while you are out and about in the city. The huge glass dome building is hard to miss and pretty impressive. It was constructed by a talented architect named Buckminster Fuller.
They offer lots of kids' activities and the museum provides fun opportunities for the young ones to interact with the exhibits and learn about different issues with our environment. Admission is free for anyone who is under 17 so you can save some money if you are traveling with kids.
Mount Royal Park
One of the most famous places to view the city from above is at the top of the peak in Le Plateau Mont Royal. This small mountain found in downtown Montreal has some nice green spaces and exploring it is a great thing to do with the family while getting some fresh air.
The park is located close to the city's McGill University and if you don't feel like walking then you can rent a Bixi bike using the city's bike sharing system. There are kids bikes and adult bikes with kids seats too so the whole family can ride around together.
Granby Zoo is a great place to bring the kids during your visit to this city. Here you can see some amazing animals from places like Asia, Africa, Oceania and South America. Zebras, yaks, white rhinos, meerkats and owls are just some of the animals that live here.
The zoo is open all year round so feel free to come by anytime. The animals will love to see you and your kids are sure to have a blast. Granby Zoo is a non-profit organization that is passionate about animal welfare and nature conservation, so rest assured that the animals are well taken care of.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
This museum, which is also called the Musée des Beaux Arts, is a great place for the family to go see some of the best art that the city has to offer. Here you can find Egyptian exhibits, Roman artwork displays and even contemporary pieces so there is definitely something to keep the whole family entertained.
A huge bonus to this Montreal museum is that a big portion of it offers free admission. It is located in the downtown area of the city which is where lots of other activities and local restaurants are found. Make sure to check it out while you are here.
La Ronde Amusement Park
On Saint-Helen's Island near downtown Montreal is the locally loved amusement park of La Ronde. It is part of the six flags family so if you have been to any similar amusement parks then you know what you are in for. The park is pretty big and there are lots of roller coaster options for both young kids and adults alike.
Those who are looking for a thrill can ride on the Slingshot which will send you flying 245 feet above the ground or the Vampire, which takes you on a trip backward and runs at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Guests who are looking for a calmer experience can have fun on the Ferris wheel or in the bumper cars ride. Keep in mind that the park is closed during the winter season because of all the snow and ice, and cold temperatures which make the rides unsafe.
If you are visiting in the winter then don't worry because there are just as many activities available in the winter as there are in the summer. If you are visiting during maple syrup season then you just have to visit a sugar shack to try some of the favorite Canadian treats.
There are lots of other outdoor activities to do with kids in Montreal during the winter, like going ice skating at Beaver Lake or snowshoeing at Parc Jean Drapeau. These winter sports are popular in Montreal and you can find somewhere to try them out all over the city. Don't worry if you don't have your own equipment since most places offer snowshoe or skate rentals on site.
The Old Port
The Old Port is a popular area of Montreal and it has been named a Historic Site by the local government. It has been home to many important milestones throughout Montreal's history and has a played a large role in its development.
The area is now a popular location for tourists and a great place to bring kids since there are so many fun things to do. It is home to the largest zipline in Canada, a fun adventure course set up on a pirate ship, a 3D movie theater, an inflatable playground, an archery tag arena and is also where lots of events take place.
Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium
If your family has any space enthusiasts or if the kids are interested in learning more about our universe then the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is the place to go. Here you will find two separate theaters showing films that will introduce you to space, the different planets and how things have come to be.
Visitors can learn a lot here and it is a nice thing to do on a cloudy day. The seats in the planetarium theater are comfortable and there are bean bag chairs for kids to get cozy in too.
Montreal Museum of Archeology and History
This museum, also known as the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, offers an array of interesting displays and interactive exhibits that children are sure to enjoy. While you are here you will have the opportunity to watch a short half-hour long film that explains the history of the city over the past 375 years.
Your kids can try digging for artifacts in sand during an archeological workshop or participate in other fun activities. It is a great place for them to learn in a hands-on way that is sure to keep them engaged and interested. Museums are always a blast for kids.
Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica is an incredible sight; the building's architecture is impressive and even more beautiful are the stained glass windows. The statuary of the church and its interior is made out of wood which has come all the way from France, and once you step inside you will be intrigued by the incredible design and detailing.
The basilica was constructed in the 19th century to replace the old chapel from the 1600s which stood there before. The building follows an English Gothic Revival style and the stained glass panes tell the story of how Montreal was founded.
Montreal Canadiens Hockey Game
Hop on the subway and head to a hockey game! It is probably no surprise how much Montrealers love their hockey and they are quite passionate when games are on. If you are in the city during the hockey season then grabbing tickets to a Habs game is highly recommended.
On game days the city streets are full of locals wearing the jersey of their favorite hockey team and games can get really energetic. If you have any small sports lovers then they will definitely enjoy sitting in the stands and watching the game play out live.
You can visit an independent model of our natural world within the Montreal Biodome. This place has a couple of different biospheres all displaying different ecosystems like a rain forest, a cold polar climate area or nearby areas like the Saint Lawrence River of the Laurentians Mountains.
Within these areas, you will find a total of 4,000 different kinds of plants and animals for you and the kids to see. Some of the local creatures that live here include the lynx, beavers, and a group of penguins. You will find the Montreal Olympic Stadium in the same complex, which is where the Olympic games were held back in 1976.
Cirque du Soleil
The Cirque du Soleil live shows are a family friendly activity that will be unforgettable for children and parents alike. The incredible stunts and circus arts are sure to amaze you and curious minds will stare in awe wondering how it is all done.
This entertainment company performs for large audiences all over the world and puts on regular shows in Montreal too. Every performance is perfectly choreographed and tells a story accompanied by interesting costumes, fancy lightwork and music.
What are the Best Family Activities in Montreal?
The Best Activities for Younger Kids
This activity is perfect for small kids since they will get to see amazing animals up close and in person.
Montreal Science Center
This is a great spot for younger children because of all the interactive activities offered.
The Best Activities for Older Kids
Montreal Canadians Hockey Game
The hockey games can be great fun for everybody, but because of the loud noises and cheering they might be better suited to older kids.
La Ronde Amusement Park
Everyone is welcome at La Ronde park but keep in mind that your choices for rides will be quite limited if you bring younger kids.
Free Things to do With Kids in Montreal
Mount Royal Park
You can visit this Montreal park for completely free all year round.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Although some exclusive exhibits require a ticket, the majority of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is free to enter.
Exploring Montreal as a Family
There is so much to do in Montreal all year round and if you are flying into Montreal Airport with kids then be prepared to have a great time while here. Thanks to the impressive metro system that connects the underground city it is easy to get around, so you can hit most of the places on this list during your vacation.
This town in the Quebec province is known as Festival City because of all the different events and celebrations that happen annually, so make sure to do some research to see what is happening while you are here. Although many festivals happen during the summer the city also has lots of options for some winter fun. Grab your ice skates and get to the nearest rink to do some skating! Just make sure to dress warmly during your next family vacation to Montreal if you are traveling in fall or winter.