Canada

Visiting Montreal with a Family: Top 5 Places to Go

Montreal is known as the largest French-speaking city in North America. A mixture of French-Canadian tradition and many immigrant cultures make the capital of Quebec a unique travel experience.

You’ll find the city’s people, food, and atmosphere simply mesmerizing. The list of things to do in Montreal is nearly endless. You can explore Old Montreal, enjoy some of the city’s numerous festivals and art exhibitions, celebrate the life joy with street musicians, indulge specialties in excellent terrace restaurants, and relish in spectacular views from Mount Royal or Old Port. However, if you are visiting Montreal with a family, these are the top five places to go.

  1. Mount Royal

This is an ideal city getaway for families with children. The Mount Royal park was designed in 1876 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York’s Central Park. Perfectly nestled in the heart of Montreal, Mount Royal is a great site for enjoying outdoor activities with your kids such as biking, hiking, walking, and bird-watching.

Enjoy a peaceful picnic with the family on the banks of the picturesque Beaver Lake, and admire the beautiful views of the city from the top of the hill. Or rent the bikes and bike up the road to Mount Joseph Oratory, Canada’s largest church with probably one of the largest domes in the world. This Roman Catholic basilica is a must-see when in Montreal.

2. Old Montreal

A visit to the capital of Quebec is not complete without the exploration of Old Montreal. Take the kids for the stroll down the cobblestone streets of Montreal’s historic district dating to the 17th century. These narrow, picturesque streets are full of buzzing plazas and charming sidewalk cafes.

Stop by one of many souvenir shops to purchase Montreal souvenirs for friends and family and have lunch with the family in one of the Old Montreal’s lovely restaurants. Don’t miss visiting some of the most notable landmarks of Montreal such as the magnificent Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port or Pointe-à-Callière museum featuring city archeological ruins.

Ascent the iconic Clock Tower to enjoy the city views from its top. Then take a horse-drawn carriage through Montreal’s charming Paris-style neighborhood and enjoy the ride with your children.

3. The Botanical Garden

Visiting Montreal with a family is a complete experience only if you explore famous Montreal Botanical Gardens, one of the city’s top attractions. Along with the Insectarium, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, and Biodome (currently closed for renovations until summer 2019), the Botanical Garden is part of Montreal Space for Life. This is Canada’s largest natural museum science complex and a definite must-see in Montreal. Additionally, it is a perfect place to enjoy fresh air and outdoor time with your family.

With its collection of 22,000 plant species, 10 exhibition greenhouses, and more than 20 thematic gardens spread out over 75 hectares, the Botanical Garden in Montreal is one of the world’s biggest botanical gardens. Many visitors and locals alike consider Chinese and Japanese gardens true gems of this green oasis located minutes from Montreal downtown. In addition, you’ll love the diversity of plants in the greenhouse as their collection is simply impressive. Kids will particularly love the Insectarium which is situated within the Garden.

4. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

Right across the Botanical Garden, you’ll find the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, a wonderful place to visit in Montreal with children. The kids will love the shows of our solar system and other wonders of astronomy in one of the planetarium’s two theatres. Let them lie comfortably on bean bag chairs while you’re relaxing in your seat. Watch the universe open up all around you and enjoy this unique and fun experience together with your kids.

5. La Ronde Amusement Park

If you are a family of thrill-lovers, then the best way to wrap up your day in Montreal is a visit to La Ronde amusement park with the kids. After a long and exciting day of city exploration, treat them with kiddie rides or exciting daredevil rides such as the Vampire, a roller coaster that reaches the speed of up to 50 miles per hour! If you are a height-enthusiast, check out the Slingshot, which will catapult you 245 feet in the air!

Nevertheless, if your stomach spins only thinking of it, don’t worry. There are many softer rides available for modest park goers, to make sure you don’t miss the fun.

From exploring Old Montreal and its history to indulging in science and enjoying the stunning nature of the city’s green spaces, visiting Montreal with a family will certainly be the experience to remember. Just make sure to take a lot of pics for your family album!

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