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 activities 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.
To read more about Voiles en Voiles, check out our post Voiles en Voiles Is A Family Adventure
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.
To read more about Sports de Combats, check out our post Rage Against Normality – Sports de Combats
Number Nine: Flying Like a Superhero over Old Port, Montreal
MTL Zipline is located next to the Clock Tower Dock in the Old Port of Montreal. They’re beside Hangar 16 and in Front of the Bonsecour Island. You can purchase your tickets onsite or buy in advance online for a few dollars cheaper. It’s only $20 and the entire experience takes about 15-20 minutes, but it’s a worthy thrill to get your adrenaline pumping while giving you lovely views of Old Port, Montreal.
Consisting of two zip lines side by side, MTL Zipline gives you the opportunity to enjoy and share your experience with another person at the same time.
Number Ten: SkyVenture Montreal
Have you ever had a dream where you’re flying and it feels so unobstructed, freeing, and beautiful? You can make that dream a reality at SkyVenture Montreal. SkyVenture Montreal offers a recirculating indoor free fall simulator where you can enjoy the thrill of indoor skydiving in the wind tunnel. No experience is necessary to fly and almost anyone can do it; all you need is the desire to defy the law of gravity! It is possible to start indoor skydiving from as early as 4 years old making it an adventure for the whole family.
To read about our experience with SkyVenture Montreal, check out Flying at SkyVenture Montreal.
Number Eleven: Escape Before it’s Too Late at A/Maze.
A/Maze is a real-life escape game that offers unique and immersive escapes. You can test your deductive skills and problem solving capabilities while journeying through A/Maze escape rooms.
Number Twelve: Road Trip to Coaticook for Foresta Lumina
Foresta Lumina is a multimedia nighttime experience along Coaticook’s Canyon, about 2 hours away from Montreal. Seven beautiful manuscripts introduce the cast of fictional characters presented through sophisticated lighting, mapped media, and original sound tracks. Foresta Lumina invites you in a variety of theatrical effects that create a magical setting. Visitors enter an imaginary heritage of the region and capture the mythology of the Quebec forest.
Number Thirteen: Lighting the Richness of Notre-Dame Basilica’s Heritage with AURA
The richness of exquisite works at Notre Dame Basilica are illuminated during AURA. The experience begins with a path of lights, revealing the Basilica’s wealth of exquisite works. Then, light, orchestral music, and architecture combine to create a unique, three-act multimedia spectacle.
Number Fourteen: Celebrate Science at the Montreal Science Centre
In addition to its many exhibitions and educational programs, the Science Centre presents the latest, biggest IMAX movies in its seven-story theatre. Permanent exhibitions include: Water in the Universe, The Human Body, Fabrik – Creativity Factory, Science 26, Clic! The Zone for Curious Young Minds, and Windmills of the Imagination. The interactive museum holds something for all ages.
Montreal is a bucket list destination regardless of 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.
What’s on your Montreal bucket list?