Things to do in Montreal

Things to Do in Montreal With Kids

You don’t have to jump through hoops to find fun things to do with kids in Montreal. We made a list of family-friendly activities to make it easy.

Welcome to Montreal, the city we’re thrilled to call home. We fit right in amid the quirky vibes and penchant for all things larger-than-life, and you’ll see what we mean as soon as you start exploring.

There are plenty of things to do in Montreal as a family, from visiting amusement parks to grand museums. Since it's one of the largest cities in Canada, opportunities for fun and memories abound.

Whether it's summer or winter, there’s always something going on that’s sure to please your crowd. Winter months might not be the most pleasant, but visiting Montreal at Christmas is a delight. Plus, we’re here! What more could you ask for?

Downtown Montreal

The heart of Montreal offers plenty of things to do with kids. It’s home to some of the best museums in the city — maybe even the country. If you’re looking for activities where fun and learning collide, you’ll find them here.

1. McCord Stewart Museum

Tourists and long-time residents revel in delight at McCord Stewart Museum, where the history of Montreal, Quebec, comes to life. Explore a permanent exhibit of the rich culture of the 11 Indigenous nations in Quebec through artifacts, such as snowshoes and traditionally woven bags.

Temporary exhibits explore other topics, including how Montreal came to be and local and Indigenous art. Where this museum thrives, however, is its calendar of family-oriented exhibit tours. With a friendly guide ready to answer questions, visits become vibrant, hands-on events that satisfy your children’s curiosity.

2. Musée Redpath

Step right up to the ornate doors of Musée Redpath, and prepare for the educational adventure of a lifetime.

It’s been a part of McGill University since 1882 and is filled with around 3 million archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world and across time. From ancient Egyptian mummies to mineralogy, your whole family will discover the world is much larger than what’s at your doorstep.

Take your child through the Hominid Evolution exhibit, where the evolutionary changes that made humans into what we are today unfold. Travel around the World Cultures Gallery to explore diverse cultures, from Papua New Guinea to China and Ancient Greece.

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Une publication partagée par McGill's Redpath Museum / Musée Redpath de l'Université McGill (@redpathmuseum)

Old Montreal

Old Montreal may have some of the oldest buildings and attractions, but its cobblestone streets have their own charm. These lead to some of the city's most stunning sights, from breathtaking architecture to the best vistas around.

3. Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal

Following those cobblestone streets of Montreal we just told you about may lead you to Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. Inside this famous Gothic Revival building lies a world of fine artistry.

Thoughtful design covers every inch of it—from the intricate azure tiles on the floor to the vaulted ceiling that appears to be endless. Both the interior and the exterior are a sight to behold, with their painted walls, detailed stonework, and beautiful stained-glass windows that cast a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the space.

Photographer: Pexels

4. Pointe-à-Callière

The largest archaeology museum in Canada awaits at Pointe-à-Callière in Old Montreal. Hop onto the ship D’Iberville with Coco, the mischievous parrot.

This permanent exhibit explains how pirates and privateers survived at sea. It’s sure to send shivers down your children's spines. For a touch of history, explore Montreal’s humble beginnings amid numerous exhibits dedicated to the founding and growth of this grand city.

If your kiddos need something extra hands-on to enjoy, check out the Archaeo-Adventure workshop. Or, jump into a simulated archaeological dig and explore a tent and lab space after discovering authentic artifacts in the soil.

Photographer: Caroline Bergeron

5. La Grande Roue de Montréal

See Montreal from one of the most breathtaking vantage points in the city, aboard the La Grande Roue de Montréal. This state-of-the-art Ferris wheel features 42 cabins with tempered glass windows.

The VIP cabin has a glass floor to elevate the experience. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of the city’s skyline, including Mount Royal and the St. Lawrence River. The cabin is open year-round and has climate-controlled gondolas to guarantee comfort regardless of the weather.

6. Voiles en Voiles

It’s hard to beat an adventure that includes an aerial obstacle course. You’ll find that at Voiles en Voiles, a family-friendly adventure park. Two life-sized pirate ships dare aspire swashbucklers to climb aboard and complete mission courses.

Climb ropes and ladders or fly through the air on zip lines. The goal is to have fun and push your physical limits to the extreme.

7. Montréal Science Centre

The Montréal Science Centre delights visitors of all ages. Here, children delve into science in a hands-on environment that effortlessly blends learning and fun. From coding to playing with aerodynamics, the experiments never end. Interactive experiences immerse you in the excitement for hours.

Exhibits change frequently, bringing something new to the museum every few weeks. There’s always something new to learn, and it's the perfect place to visit when weather conditions are less than ideal.

Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

Affectionately called HoMa by locals, this Montreal district is brimming with some of the most unique things to do. It’s known for its larger-than-life architecture, which you’ll see reflected in its extensive Space for Life complex.

8. Espace pour la vie

A trip to Espace pour la vie lets children and adults explore the world at all levels and beyond, from an insectarium to the massive planetarium for the star-gazers among us. The Jardin Botanique de Montréal houses around 20 themed gardens, including the First Nations Garden and the Chinese Garden, which hosts annual lantern festivals.

The Planetarium incorporates state-of-the-art equipment while projecting vast, faraway galaxies right before your eyes in a 360-degree dome. At the insectarium, you can dive into the vibrant world of bug life and learn more about how even the smallest insects impact the ecosystem.

Inside the Biodôme, you’ll explore five distinctive habitats, from tropical rainforests to subarctic forests. As you wander, you’ll encounter hundreds of animals and fish native to each climate.

The Biosphere dives into environmentalism and showcases how nature and humanity can coexist. However, since it's on Saint Helen's Island, it's a trek from the other attractions.

Mile End

Head on over to Mile End for a taste of quintessential Montreal spirit. Creativity abounds in this neighborhood, and you don’t want to miss it.

9. Bibliothèque Mordecai-Richler

The building housing the Bibliothèque Mordecai-Richler was once the Church of the Ascension, built in 1910. While it retains its ethereal stained glass and awe-inspiring 1900s-era architecture, it’s now a favorite place for bookworms and artists.

Young readers will surely enjoy curling up in a chair as they immerse themselves in a new story. Hundreds of books offer journeys into new worlds. On the library's first floor, the Ruche d’art provides a haven for those who want to try crafting. Access to knitting, sewing, crafting, and more is free for the general public.

Saint-Henri

Saint-Henri, a hidden gem, is a place where stunning architecture and even better public markets await. We’ve got a few top picks for you here.

10. Square Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier

Take a walk through Square Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier, a quiet green space in the Saint-Henri neighborhood.

It’s best known for its fountain and sculpture, which are made from industrial cast iron. This beautiful piece of public art features delicate cherubs, birds, and plant motifs carved into its surface. It makes for a stunning backdrop for a quiet afternoon excursion to escape the bustle of the city.

11. Marché Atwater

No visit to this neighborhood is complete without a stop at Marché Atwater, a sprawling public farmers market that’s been there for nearly a century. As local merchants showcase their wares, you’ll find the most delectable meats, cheeses, and produce.

Your children’s eyes will light up as they take in rows of fresh, local foods and colorful flowers. Follow your nose over to the food court for a delicious bite or a comforting hot chocolate from some of Montreal’s favorite small businesses.

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Une publication partagée par Marché Atwater (@marcheatwater)

Saint Helen’s Island

This island sits within the St. Lawrence River, where a family adventure beckons with rides and parks.

12. La Ronde

Montreal is home to its very own Six Flags location, La Ronde. This park offers over 40 rides and attractions alongside various entertainment options, making it an ideal destination for the whole family. You’ll find so much here, from roller coasters to bumper cars and gentle Ferris wheels.

If you’re looking for thrills, try out the Dragon, an indoor roller coaster that plunges you into the darkness before propelling you on twists and turns through the fog, strobe lights, and secret passageways.

Photographer: Jp Valery

13. Parc Jean-Drapeau

For a quick, active getaway to burn off some steam with the kids, check out Parc Jean-Drapeau. It’s right in the heart of Montreal, just five minutes from downtown, and spans two islands. Meander along winding trails lined with artwork, or have a picnic alongside the St. Lawrence River.

In the summer, you can visit the public beach or three outdoor pools for a good time, or simply enjoy the sprawling green spaces as your children run to their heart’s content.

It’s right by La Ronde amusement park, two museums, and many other local attractions, making it a prime location for a quick breather after a day of adventures.

Little Italy

With Art Deco architecture and a heavy Italian presence, Little Italy is like a vacation in and of itself. Your family is sure to love what it has to offer.

14. Marché Jean-Talon

Marché Jean-Talon has a special claim to fame: it’s the largest open-air market in North America. It’s thrived since 1933, delighting foodies and families alike. If you’re looking for a quick meal when you’re in the area, you’ll find it here.

Marché Jean-Talon is located in the heart of Little Italy, and every trip here is a culinary adventure. You’ll be perfectly poised to shop for artisanal ingredients to take with you or pick up a quick bite to eat from a bakery, restaurant, or café.

Villeray

Villeray, once a small town with only 800 people, is now a beautiful Montreal neighborhood with over 140,000 residents.

16. Casa d’Italia

Since 1936, Casa d’Italia has served as a community gathering point for Italian immigrants and those with Italian heritage. While it’s still a major Italian cultural hub, it’s also an attractive tourist destination.

This iconic building is also home to Cinema Public, an organization focused on bringing indie and local films to the big screen. You and the kids may catch a film you won’t be able to see anywhere else while you’re here.

Le Plateau Mont-Royal

Head up the gentle slopes of Mont-Royal for some of the best views of the city and one of its most beloved parks.

17. Parc La Fontaine

Explore one of Montreal’s most popular public spaces at Parc La Fontaine, where sunlight spackles the ground through the foliage in the summer, and skaters dance atop the frozen pond turned skating rink in the winter. This breathtaking park was actually farmland in the 1800s until it became Le Plateau Mont-Royal’s buzzing community gathering point.

You won’t find a playground here for the kids, but birds and other small urban wildlife will keep them entertained. It’s also a local favorite for hiking in Montreal. Fun family events frequently take place here. For example, Théâtre de Verdure hosts free outdoor performances.

Creating Cherished Memories: Family Fun in Montreal

The family fun always continues in Montreal. You’re sure to be busy, but the memories you make will last a lifetime, and your children aren’t likely to forget your journeys any time soon.

But if you want to make it even more memorable, we’re here on our home turf, ready to show you everything we’ve got. Our shows in Montreal enhance the quirky, eclectic vibes within the city, echoing and elevating your experience.

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