fun things to do with kids in montreal   Travel for Kids
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Montreal

“Traveling to Montreal feels like a visit abroad. It's not just that everybody is speaking French – the children at city parks, the fruits and vegetables at the markets, the fresh croissants, the enclaves of ethnic neighborhoods – all make you feel like you've crossed an ocean,” writes a parent who loves to visit Montreal with her kids. It’s okay if you don’t speak French, Montreal is a bilingual city.

Situated on the St. Lawrence River, Montreal is actually an island, bordered by rivers and lakes. Founded in 1642, Paul de Chomedey (Sieur de Maisonneuve), arrived with fifty settlers, including Jeanne Mance, a French woman who established the first hospital. In the 19th century Montreal grew to a major metropolis, and it's the second largest city in Canada today.
Montreal Photo Album
    Old City – Vieux Montreal
    Waterfront – Vieux Port
    Downtown
    Parks – Parc du Mont Royal
    Ile Sainte Helene – Parc Jean-Drapeau
    Olympic Park – Biodome & Botanical Garden
    Winter activities
    Metro – The metro (subway) is fast and speedy, use it to go from downtown to the Olympic Park or Ile Sainte Helene. Purchase a 1 or 3 day ticket, good for unlimited rides on the metro and buses. Tip: Ticket is also good for 747 bus that goes to the airport.
    Bus 515 runs in loops around Vieux Montreal and the waterfront from downtown. Ride the loop to get oriented and go from one end of the old port to the other.
  Lantern festival – Each year in the fall is a magical lantern festival in the Botanical Garden. Walk through the gardens at dusk with the lanterns glowing and leading the way to the Chinese Garden. The lantern festival theme varies from year to year - our video is the voyage of Zheng He. A parent notes, “My kids loved it so much we had to go twice!”
   

Fun food

   

The farmers markets in Montreal are the best. One parent writes, “We let our kids have a little money when we go and they spend a long time before making their decisions. Sometimes its honey sticks, a lump of maple sugar candy or basket of summer strawberries.” You’ll find locally made cheese, cookies and pastries, fruits, bread, quiche, waffles, and ethnic specialties. Try the maple cornets, tiny little cones with tire (maple taffy) and sucre (maple butter). Check out Marche Jean Talon or the Atwater Market, open year round.

   

Bagels – Bagels are a local Montreal specialty. It’s fun to watch bagels being made – big slices of dough are whacked off, shaped into circles, boiled in sweetened water, then cooked in wood-burning ovens. Bagels are typically plain, sesame or poppy seed, but you’ll also find blueberry, chocolate and granola (muesli). See bagels being made at St-Viateur Bagel.

     

Poutine – Poutine is French fries, with brown gravy and melted cheese on top - fun snack for kids. Also, comes with hot dogs and chicken, and variety of different sauces.

     

Cafes – When the weather turns bad, stop into a café for hot chocolate (chocolate chaud, choco-chaud), croissants and muffins.

family hotels montreal

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Montreal, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels for Montreal, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Family hotels Montreal
kids books montreal
     
Jacques Cartier biography kids books montreal  
Jacques Cartier
Jennifer Lackey

In 1535, Jacques Cartier sailed into Hochelaga, the site of Montreal today. Read about Cartier’s explorations up and down the St. Lawrence River, encounters with the Iroquois, and his quest for riches for France. (Picture book)

 

     
The Broken Blade
William Durbin

Summer 1800. Hair-raising adventures of young Pierre La Page, who joins the voyageurs, paddling canoes from Montreal to Grand Portage, a trading post 2,400 miles away on Lake Superior. (Chapter book)

 
The Broken Blade adventure kids montreal
     
The Flying Canoe Montreal childrens books  
The Flying Canoe
Eric A. Kimmel, Daniel and Justin San Souci

Six lonely fur traders, far from home, meet a stranger who offers to fly them back to Montreal in one night. The catch – no one can speak until they arrive. Fabulously illustrated adaptation of a classic folktale. (Picture book)

P.S. Perhaps a piece of the flying canoe is preserved in the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.

 

     
The Sugaring-Off Party
Jonathan London, Gilles Pelletier

In March, everyone goes to Tante Loulou’s sugar shack outside Montreal for a sugaring-off party. The kids play in the snow, sap is boiled down to make syrup (la tire), the family enjoys a big feast, and for dessert there's maple snowsicles. Glowing illustrations capture the warmth and sweetness of this tradition. (Picture book)

 

 
More children's books on other Quebec pages
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