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Montreal - Waterfront & Vieux Port

Vieux Port Montreal
The quays of the Old Port (Vieux Port) have been converted into a recreation park, with indoor and outdoor activities, and is a great place for families. Miles of biking and walking routes along the promenade, pedal boating in summer, ice skating in winter, cruises on the St. Lawrence, the Montreal Science Center and Cirque du Soleil.
    Promenade - The promenade runs the length of the Vieux Port, with picnic tables and grass. In summer, take La Balade, a cheery blue and white tram that goes between the Clock Tower and Lachine Canal Locks, May to September.
    Rent bikes and surreys (quadricycles) and take a ride down the Vieux-Port Promenade. Surreys can be rented near the Cartier Pier, kids and adult bikes at a shop (Ca Roule Montreal) on Rue de la Commune near the Archeology Museum.
  Clock Tower Pier –
    Clock Tower – The clock tower marked the entrance to the old port, and people would set their clocks by the harbor clock. In summer, climb up the Clock Tower for a bird’s eye view of the Vieux-Port. Bring your lunch, there are picnic tables nearby.
    Jet boats (Saute Moutons) – Take a ride down the St. Lawrence on a speedy jet boat to the Lachine Rapids, there’s plenty of white water and you’ll get wet. One hour rides, May to October.
    Shed 16 Labyrinth – A large warehouse space with a maze area of climb under and through things. There’s always a story to find something, kids follow clues to find their way through the maze (the theme and puzzle changes seasonally). The Labyrinth is open daily in summer, on weekends the rest of the year. This is a great indoor activity in bad weather, but best for kids 6 and up.
      Playground – Next to the Labyrinth is a playground with swings and climbing structures.
    Bonsecours Basin (Bassin Bonsecours) –
Bonsecours Basin
    Pedal boating - In summer, rent pedal boats and go around the basin (don’t worry, you can’t get out onto the big river). Boats hold four people, April to September.
    Remote-controlled sailboats - Also in the warm weather, rent little remote-controlled sailboats and pilot them around the water (kids can pretend they are sailing the St. Lawrence).
      Quays ice skating rink – In winter, rent skates at the pavilion and go ice skating outdoors. There’s also fireworks displays in December at the Bonsecours Basin.
    Cartier Pier -
      Cirque du Soleil – Cirque du Soleil was started by a couple of street performers from Quebec, and today it’s an amazing show of acrobatics, circus antics, light and color, completely unique. You can’t miss the big blue and yellow swirly tent on the pier; this is perfect time to take in a show.
      Jacques Cartier Pavilion – Pick up different boat cruises on the St. Lawrence River:
Montreal cruise boat
    Le Petit Navire - Charming 45 min. tour of the Vieux-Port in an electric boat with shady awning, June through September.
    Bateau mouche – Classic bateau mouche cruises, one hour, around Ile Sainte Helene, snacks on board, May to October.
    Shuttle (Navette) to Ile Sainte Helene – Take a boat shuttle to Ile Sainte Helene (Jean Drapeau Park). It’s a fun way to get to the island (see below), May to September.
    King-Edward Pier –
      Montreal Science Centre – Educational and fun, this science center offers completely hands-on, interactive exhibits hands. An IMAX theater is located in the main building, as are exhibits on the environment, health, space, and technology. Walk into a brain, dock a ship in Montreal harbor, go on a mission to Mars, pilot an aircraft, save humanity from ecological disasters and more.
      Cavalier Maxim - 90 min. "explorer" cruise or brunch cruises on the St. Lawrence River.
    Alexandra Pier – Commercial shipping has relocated, but cruise ships dock at the Vieux-Port. Stop by to see the big ships ease their way into a berth.
    Lachine Canal Locks – In the 19th century, the Lachine Canal was constructed to allow wheat and lumber ships to bypass the Lachine Rapids. Today you can still see Locks 1 and 2 in action as pleasure boats pass through, May to October. (Just keep walking down the promenade past Alexandra Pier, and you’ll see the locks.)
      Canal boat tour – To take a ride down the canal yourself, from the Atwater Market dock, a historic canal boat tour goes through the San Gabriel lock (May to October). Younger kids may enjoy the shorter one hour family cruise, in July and August.
    Fireworks Festival – Every summer, Montreal holds a fireworks competition, where teams from different countries compete for the splashiest effects, colors and music. The fireworks start at 10pm, on weekends June to August. The place to watch the fireworks is the Vieux-Port, or better yet, take a boat cruise, the harbor is magical at night. Click here for the schedule.
travel for kids | canada | quebec | montreal | waterfront - vieux port
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