Oh how I love Montreal. Museums that cater to kids, old world charm, space to explore and discover, amusement parks, and outdoor adventures abound; there’s no lack of choice when it comes to family outings in Montreal. Sometimes it’s best to just put on your shoes and go outside, letting the adventures come to you while other times a plan helps cultivate the best experiences during your stay. Regardless of how you discover Montreal, these experiences are worth adding to your Montreal bucket list.
Montreal Bucket List
Number One: Explore La Ronde
La Ronde is an amusement park built as the entertainment complex for Expo 67, the 1967 world fair. Today, it is owned and operated by Six Flags. From thrilling coasters like Goliath to rides for kids like Air Papillon, La Ronde has it all. You could fill an entire page of your Montreal bucket list with activities at La Ronde alone.
Number Two: Gardens of Light Festival
A footpath in the Botanical Gardens leads through the Chinese, Japanese, and First Nations Gardens in the annual festival of lights. From September 8 to October 31, brilliant colors and delicate silk lanterns are set ablaze in this work of art.
Number Three: Embark on a Pirate Adventure at the Musée Point-à-Callière
Discover the sailors that ventured the St. Lawrence River in the days of the New France and embark on an adventure that takes place on a privateer ship at Musée Point-à-Callière. The Pirates or Privateers? exhibit tests children’s physical and intellectual skills all while letting them live out their wildest dreams. Musée Point-à-Callière is also home to other permanent exhibitions showcasing Montréal’s history and archaeology as well as three to four temporary exhibits every year. It’s extremely interactive and family-focused.
Number Four: Play Outdoors at Mount Royal Park
Located in the heart of Montreal, Mount Royal is a classic destination to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or winter biking. For an added dose of family-fun, you can also go tubing right by Beaver Lake. Athena and I chose a short hike to the lookout for spectacular vistas. We couldn’t leave without tubing at Beaver Lake either. It was Athena’s favorite day in the city.
Number Five: Hone your Artistic Skills at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts comprises paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects displayed in four pavilions: the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion (international art), the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion (world cultures), the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion (decorative arts and design) and the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion (Quebec and Canadian art). It’s the most visited art museum in Canada and we can attest to why. Not only does it house stunning works of art, but there are a variety of programs and activities that offer unique experiences for the whole family. Athena and I participated in a drop-in watercolor art class where we created our own pieces of art that we could take home.
Number Six: Test Your Aerial Course Limits at Voiles en Voiles
Voiles en Voiles is a family adventure park offering aerial courses, climbing, and many other outdoor activities in the world of pirate ships located in the Old Port of Montreal. Regardless of age, Voiles en Voiles offers something to test your aerial course limits. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, give one of their Double Black Diamond courses a try. I guarantee you’ll be challenged.
Number Seven: Go Skating in the Old Port of Montreal
The weather isn’t always cold during winter in Montreal and when you want an activity that will keep you moving, skating around the beautiful old port hits the spot. Don’t have skates? You can even rent your skates at the rink. They keep this rink in top shape and its location provides tons of after-skating activities.
Number Eight: Learn a New Skill at Sports de Combats
Sports de Combats is a recreational sports and entertainment facility offering massive NERF and archery battles, a Rage Cage, a knife and axe throwing range, and archery lessons. The archery lessons are available for beginners who have not had any formal archery training so it can be fun for the whole family and the Combat Archery uses bows and foam-tipped arrows in an arena of inflatable obstacles. It’s a healthy does of fitness and competition. While there are higher age restrictions for some of the more dangerous options like axe throwing and the Rage Cage, Sports de Combats offers a unique, active way to enjoy a family day.
Montreal is a bucket list destination for families regardless of their interests. It’s a city full of diversity, culture, and adventure. Even when it gets dumped on with snow, it becomes a winter wonderland. Don’t forget to pack your lip balm and winter boots and discover all that Montreal has to offer for families.
What’s on your Montreal bucket list? Now that we live here, we’ll be adding more and more on a regular basis.