When traveling with children during the holidays, finding something fun and age-appropriate for them to do can be a challenge. Fortunately, Quebec's largest city, Montreal, has many Easter activities that children can enjoy.
While many of Montreal's restaurants, shops, museums, and other kid-friendly attractions are closed over Easter weekend, there are still a number of great events and establishments that cater to families celebrating the holiday. From Easter egg hunts at area attractions like the Ecomuseum Zoo or the Grèvin Wax Museum to an extra sugary meal at one of the area's famous Sugar Shacks, Montreal offers a wide variety of activities and events geared toward children.
If you're planning your family Easter vacation to Montreal, be sure to phone ahead, make reservations, and check the venues' websites for up-to-date information on special holiday hours of operation.
Now an area tradition, the Ecomuseum Zoo hosts an annual Easter egg hunt where kids are invited to hunt for treats and meet the "real" Easter Bunny, who will be doling out hugs and chocolates.
During the event, this combination museum and zoo also offers assorted Easter-themed games as well as a chance for kids to be transformed into their favorite animal courtesy of an on-site makeup artist. Management insists that no child leaves empty-handed and recommends that families buy tickets online to avoid on-site ticket booth lineups.
Easter at the Ecomuseum Zoo will take place on Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Another family-friendly museum in Montreal, the Grévin Wax Museum in the Montreal Eaton Centre, will host special Easter workshops throughout the holiday weekend that feature behind-the-scenes looks at how exhibits and wax creations are made.
Now an annual tradition, the Grévin Wax Museum workshops also include exclusive egg hunts in the exhibit halls, which can be a great way for your kids to interact with these lifelike figures. However, you can also just wander through the wax sculptures and take pictures with replicas of some of the country's biggest celebrities.
Open every day throughout the Easter holiday weekend, Atrium Le 1000 is an indoor ice-skating facility that's also located in downtown Montreal. Although it can get rather crowded on holidays and weekends, the skating rink is a great way for your kids to get some exercise this holiday weekend.
As an added bonus, staff members at Atrium Le 1000 hide Easter eggs in random lockers at the facility throughout the holiday weekend, so your kid might get a special surprise. Also, if you're hungry, some of Montreal's best pizza is about a five- to 10-minute walk from the Atrium.
Although Ouimet Farm is an hour and 40 minutes outside of Montreal in Ontario, the annual holiday celebration makes for a great day-trip on Easter Sunday. While its famous corn maze won't be open, Ouimet Farm will offer a variety of activities great for kids.
Families can enjoy a tractor wagon ride with the Easter Bunny, hunt for eggs on the farm, and explore a variety of mazes that are on site for kids to enjoy. Boots and warm clothing are recommended given that all activities take place outdoors and April can still be quite chilly in the Canadian countryside.
Similar to Ouimet Farm, Quinn Farm on Île Perrot offers an outdoorsy egg hunt experience. Also, you'll still need a car to get there, but the trip only takes 20 minutes.
During the Easter festivities, you and your family can check out Quinn's animal farm, hop on a tractor or wagon, and be on the lookout for eggs scattered throughout the grounds. Every participating child gets an Easter basket, the eggs they collected, and a bonus chocolate lollipop.
Quin Farm egg hunts run every day from Friday to Sunday of Easter weekend, and tractor rides start up every 30 minutes throughout the day.
There's nothing quite like a sugar rush on Easter weekend to get the kids in the mood for an egg hunt or other holiday activity. Fortunately, Montreal is famous for the many sugar shacks in and around the city.
Montreal has its fair share of urban sugar shacks, but most are fairly basic and only include hot taffy on snow. Still others like the high-end Scéna's Un Chef à l'Érable in Montreal's Old Port neighborhood offer an extravagant sugar shack meal experience.
The Dufresne-Nincheri Museum is hosting an Easter egg hunt in its French garden on both Saturday and Sunday of Easter Weekend. During these special hunts, families will also get to decorate cupcakes.
Reservations are required to guarantee your kids a spot on the 10 a.m. to noon hunts or the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. hunts, and admission also includes a tour of the museum and Château Dufresne, the 1915 Parisian building that once served as the residence of Marius and Oscar Dufresne, two French Canadians who were pivotal to the foundation of the nearby city of Maisonneuve.
Roughly 10 minutes from the Dufresne-Nincheri Museum, the Montreal Botanical Garden might not host a special Easter event, but it is open over the holiday weekend.
All day Easter Sunday, your kids can walk amongst thousands of newly transformed butterflies as part of the annual "Butterflies Go Free" exhibit. While you're there, you can enjoy a picknick in the gardens or tour a variety of other unique exhibits.