A 35 minute drive from downtown Montreal, Laval is the city’s largest suburb - but it stands on its own when it comes to things to do. If you’re considering heading outside of the city to experience more of the beautiful province of Quebec, Laval boasts a wide variety of family fun, from outdoor activities to indoor attractions that are perfect for all ages.
Take a Trip into Space
Since 1994, the Cosmodome has been Quebec’s top destination for future astronauts and their science-loving families. Featuring immersive virtual missions and VR experiences that will take visitors into the daily life of a cosmonaut, families can also tour the inside of a spaceship replica, visit a space museum, experience NASA-like simulators, and more. The Cosmodome even offers its own summer camp for aspiring space travelers. Children will be delighted by the extensive collection of space memorabilia and replicas on display, including a spacesuit from the famed Apollo 13. Make sure to hit the gift store before you leave and take home a bag of dehydrated space food.
Go Indoor Skydiving
Ready to defy the laws of gravity? Since opening in 2009, SkyVenture has been the place to go for adventure junkies ages 4 to 90. This vertical wind tunnel is perfectly safe even for the most inexperienced of skydivers, offering one on one flights with trained instructors who never leave the flight chamber — and only let go of you if you’re comfortable. The facility caters to first timers, families looking for a new challenge, and the wider skydiving community, who come to the facility to train during winter months, when it’s not possible to skydive.
Drop the Puck
It’s no secret that the Québecois live and breathe hockey. While their beloved National Hockey League team, the Montreal Canadiens, play in downtown Montreal’s Bell Centre, Laval’s minor league hockey team, the Laval Rocket, play in the newly built Place Bell. The 10,000 seat arena is the perfect place to catch a Rocket game, and maybe even a future superstar — the Rocket are an NHL feeder team, so their players are all eligible to be called up to the big leagues. The arena also hosts concerts and offers time slots for free skating on its Olympic ice rink.
Hit the Waves – Without Getting Soaked
Surfing in Canada? It’s real — and you can experience it indoors at Maeva Surf. Inside this tiki-themed indoor surf center, first-time and experienced surfers of all ages can hang ten side by side under the guidance of experienced instructors. Young children can begin by bodyboarding, then work their way up to standing on a surfboard and riding a simulated wave. Adults who choose not to join in can hang back and drink a piña colada at the center’s fully stocked bar — and if riding those waves makes you work up an appetite, Maeva Surf also serves food.
One of the most preserved wildlife sanctuaries in the Montreal region, the Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles is the perfect place to get up close and personal with birds, beavers, turtles and more. Families can rent a canoe, kayak, rabaska, pedal boat, or row boat to explore the islands around the archipelago, as well as hop on land for a sightseeing hike. Keep your eyes peeled for the former mansion of Canadian icon Céline Dion, which is visible from the river. In addition to boat rides, the park also offers guided family fishing, as well as skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating during the winter months.
Climb to All New Heights
Challenge the family to a friendly climbing competition at Laval’s Escalade Clip ‘n Climb, a climbing gym for all ages. The gym offers a variety of climbs from beginner to advanced levels, and each wall features a different theme. Afraid of heights? No need to worry — along with being clipped in at all times, all walls feature belay devices that will gently lower climbers to the ground.
If you’re looking for a surefire way to burn energy and get everyone smiling, Laval’s trampoline center, iSaute, is the place to go. The former warehouse turned gym features 10,000 square feet of connected trampolines — meaning you probably shouldn’t eat right before you arrive. The center features sections for classic jumping, trampoline basketball, and high-flying dodgeball, as well as foam pits to practice flips and other tricks. Younger children have their own playground where they can leapfrog around in a closed-off, monitored space.
Looking for a mini-golf experience you won’t soon forget? Putting Edge is an 18-hole course that spreads over two floors of swirling, kaleidoscopic glow in the dark colors. While the golf course is perfect for pictures, it also features an arcade stocked with old-school video games that both children and adults will get a kick out of. Each round of mini-golf runs about 45 minutes, with a maximum of 4 players per hole.