Montreal family events, activities, attractions, and museums with exhibits that appeal to children and teens are not hard to find when you know where to look. The following recommendations are suitable for both Montreal families and visitors from out of town.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: This Month
Get a head start on family activity planning by consulting this month by month guide of Montreal's hottest events. It includes shout-outs of every major festival and links up to monthly events and free things to do calendars with dozens of suggestions.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: This Weekend
Interested in homing in on specific events and attractions happening next weekend? Try this Montreal weekend events guide.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: This Season
Naturally, activities vary by season. In colder months, these Montreal winter activities delight all ages, from toddlers to teens.
Come summer, these Montreal summer events are crowd favorites. And what kid doesn't love a day at the beach. Consider Montreal's beaches for a family-friendly day trip. Or spend the day cycling through these beautiful Montreal destinations.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: Science and Museums
The last thing you want to do is choose a museum that will bore your kids into a tantrum. Avoid that agony with a visit to the extremely interactive Montreal Science Centre IMAX or Montreal Biosphere. Both are practically defined by their preponderance of hands-on activities geared specifically toward children.
The Montreal Insectarium is fabulous for kids as well. Think about it. Who isn't intrigued by creepy crawlies? Even teens risk experiencing interest here. North America's largest bug museum is located on the grounds of the Montreal Botanical Garden which also holds family appeal courtesy of annual attractions like Gardens of Light and Butterflies Go Free.
And stick around the neighborhood to see the Montreal Biodome, the city's answer to a zoo recreating five distinct ecosystems for its animals to live in, from a tropical rainforest to Antarctica.
Also near the Biodome is the Montreal Planetarium. Kids and young teens love the Planetarium's immersive shows on the stars and the inner workings of the universe screened on its two dome-shaped theatres.
And to continue on the topic of zoos, Montreal doesn't have traditional zoos with lions and apes but it does have a wildlife park and animal sanctuary. It's called the Ecomuseum and it features over 115 species indigenous to Quebec, from bald eagles to black bears. It's located on the western edge of the island of Montreal.
Near the bulk of downtown Montreal's shopping centres is the Redpath Museum is one of the last free museums in Canada featuring nearly three million objects running the gamut of the natural sciences, covering paleontology, geology, zoology, ethnology and mineralogy. In other words, dinosaur bones, mummies, and other cool stuff.
And don't miss out on Montreal Museums Day. Over 30 museums open their doors for free and it happens only once a year.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: Old Montreal
Spend the day exploring Old Montreal's and the Old Port's top attractions with the whole family. And if my top Old Montreal food recommendations are a little too pricey (it's hard to eat on a tight budget in the historic centre), then walk to nearby Chinatown for delicious cheap eats.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: The Parks
Sometimes, all it takes is a frisbee, a few sandwiches, and a gorgeous green space to enjoy a day with the clan. With that in mind, Montreal's best parks for your outing consideration include the expansive grounds of Mount Royal Park. In the summer, its main attraction is the Tam Tams and in the winter, its myriad winter sports complete with equipment rentals.
Parc Jean-Drapeau is an amazing Montreal destination for families. From its park space, beach, aquatic complex to its Biosphere, family-friendly annual events, and roller coasters, it takes much longer than a day to experience all of its attractions.
La Ronde alone will keep you occupied all weekend. It's a Six Flags property and features heart-stopping rides for thrill-seeking teens as well as tamer teacup-style fun for the the little ones.
Yet other families enjoy the urban tranquility of Parc La Fontaine in Montreal's Plateau neighborhood. It's also conveniently located within 5 minutes of two of Montreal's best poutine joints, Poutineville and La Banquise.
Or how about a little history with your day in the park? If you like Pointe-a-Callière's 18th Century Market for example, then you'll love Pointe-du-Moulin's authentic 18th century mini-village, complete with windmill, miller's house and costumed characters. Very affordable admission. Located just off the island of Montreal on Notre-Dame-de-l'Île-Perrot.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: Arts and Crafts
The Redpath Museum features natural science-themed discovery workshops on most Sundays during the school year. A small admission fee is required to cover the cost of animation and materials needed for kids to construct a themed craft. Registration required. Subjects as varied as mummies, volcanoes, dinosaurs, and meteorites are covered.
Artistically-inclined families will appreciate Family Weekends at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Saturdays and Sundays feature free art workshops including collage making, painting, crafts such as mask- and amulet-making. Since Family Weekend workshops are first come, first served, parents are advised to check the calendar for activity details ahead of time and follow instructions to ensure passes are picked up in time.
The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Arts also proposes free Sunday art workshops for kids under 12 accompanied by an adult at either 1:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. Simply present your admission ticket to get in. Staff recommend families arrive early to catch a 30-minute tour given prior to the workshop for inspiration.
And the Musée des Maîtres et Artisans du Québec also offers Saturday and Sunday art workshops for families usually geared towards ages 5 and up. A family rate in the $15 range is typically requested to cover materials and teaching fees.
Montreal Family Events, Activities & Attractions: Theatre
Theatre buffs interested in introducing their families to performance art will love Centaur Theatre's Children Series. Montreal's best known English theatre proposes about two plays a month geared to kids.
Theatre, music and performance art tailor-made for kids at affordable prices, Place des Arts proposes Place des Arts Junior performances every Sunday with admission prices usually ranging from $10 to $20. Performances are in French.
A theatre company that produces French plays for kids, La Maison Théâtre proposes a new production about once every month.
And keep your eyes peeled for Geordie Productions' mainstage plays. Only a couple are offered a year and they're consistently entertaining, geared toward youth and teens.