Just because it’s chilly doesn’t mean you have to spend the day inside. Montreal offers lots of activities from outdoor ice skating and sledding to museums to its many outdoor festivals. The days might be shorter though Montreal offers lots of winter fun for families. Here are the top things to do in Montreal in winter with kids.
Top Things to do in Montreal in Winter with Kids
Breakfast at one of Montreal’s Bakeries
Outdoor Ice Skating
Visit a One of Montreal’s Many Museums
Afternoon Tea at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Enjoy a Montreal Winter Festival with Kids
Breakfast at One of Montreal’s Bakeries
Start the day out with a baked good, like a croissant, and a cup a coffee or hot chocolate. It might be the perfect antidote to the cold. And most kids love pastries and hot chocolate.
Bakeries are found across Montreal.
Ice Skating at an Outdoor Rink
Rent a pair of skates and lace up for one of top things to do in Montreal in Winter with Kids. There are skating rinks across Montreal though the easiest to visit are located centrally.
This outdoor area is a favorite through the seasons and during the winter, it is transformed into an outdoor skating rink. The area includes a changing area, rental skates along with a cafe.
Located in the Quartier des Spectacles at the intersection of Rue Clark and Rue Sainte Catherine. Free to skate, rental additional. Open daily with various hours.
Overlooking the city, Mont Royal is one of the top things to do in Montreal in winter with kids. Centrally located Beaver Lake is transformed into an ice skating rink during the winter.
Named in 1535 by Jacques Cartier, Parc du Mont-Royal is a highpoint in Montreal and the views are especially nice from its vantage point. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect of the Biltmore Estate and Central Park, it also features a sculpture garden, playgrounds and the popular overlook Mont Royal Chalet, or Belvedere Kondiaronk.
Located along Rememberance Rd. and Camillien-Houde Parkway. Free to enter.
Montreal’s Museums for Kids
For fun indoors, take the kids on a museum day at any of Montreal’s top museums for families.
Montreal Science Center
Geared towards kids, the Montreal Science Center offers lots of hands-on activities for families. From the Mini Modo to the Creativity Studio to exhibits exploring the human body, families can learn together. Stroll special exhibitions that change throughout the year. Add an IMAX film and you can spend the entire day at the Montreal Science Center.
Located at 2 de la Commune St. West. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Adult admission is $27 CAN, teen admission (13 to 17) is $18 CAN and kids 4 to 12 is $17.50 CAN. IMAX is addtional. Reservations are recommended during school breaks.
Space for Life
A must for families, the Space for Life is a museum district. It was the original site of the 1976 Summer Olympics though completely redeveloped. It offers several areas to explore during the winter, like the Bio Dome, the Montreal Insectarium,
Located at 4101 Sherbrooke and parking is available at 4581 Sherbrooke Est.
With five different ecosystems to explore, the Bio Dome is one of the top things to do in Montreal in winter with kids. The BioDome mimics the conditions of each ecosystem with live plants and animals. So in winter, some of the exhibits will feel cold.
Families can learn about the tropical rainforest with its unique animals and plants, a nice break from winter. The Gulf of the St. Lawrence features its marine life and the temperatures change throughout the year. The Laurentian Maple Forest another exhibit with varying temperatures and changing seasons and features live maples trees. The Labordor Coast showcases the animals of the remote area of Canada. Finally the sub Antarctic Islands area features penquins.
Located at 4777 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11 CAN. Reservations recommended
After a complete renovation, the Montreal Insectarium is open. In a bright space, marvel at the humongous bugs of every color with your kids. Some are mounted and some are live specimens.
The Grand Vivarium offers insects living with no or little containment and guests explore the area. Its a unique space with free-flying butterflies along with ant displays to observe.
Located at 4581 Sherbrooke Est. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11 CAN. Reservations recommended.
Planetarium Rìo Tinto Alcan
Explore the night sky at the Planetarium. Several shows area shown throughout the day. Located at 4801 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday. Adult admission is $22 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11 CAN. Reservations recommended.
Montreal Museum of Fine Art
As the largest art museum in Canada by size, it’s a must for the art lover of all ages.
It features international and Canadian works of art, including International Contemporary Art, Middle Ages to the Modern era International Art, works from Canadian and Quebec arts. Visitors will also find area dedicated to graphic arts, decorative arts along with a sculpture garden.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Art offers a restaurant and a gift shop.
Located at 1300 Sherbrooke St. W. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults over 31, admission is $24, adults 21 to 30 enter for $16. and everyone 20 and younger enter for free.
Canadian Railway Museum
Known as ExpoRail, this museum is a must for the train kid, or anyone with an interest in transporation. As the largest railway museum in Canada, visitors can learn about the history of the Canadian rail roads along with seeing over 170 different railrway vehicles.
For miniature lovers, the Canadian Railway Museum offers HO miniature trains as they travel across the Canadian landscape. In addition, visitors will find other exhibits covering train safety.
Located at 110 Saint-Pierre St. in Saint Croissant, on the south bank of Montreal. During the winter, the Canadain Railway Museum is open from Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $21.20 CAN, $12.75 CAN from teens 13 to 17and kids 3 to 12 are $10.60 CAN.
Afternoon Tea at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Celebrate with afternoon tea at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. With views of the main dining room of the Rosélys Restaurant, find china teacups and an attentive staff.
Tthe tea treats are served on a silver three-tier stand. Start with the savory offerings and taste the influence of the French with a foie gras macaron or a flavorful deviled egg. Then move into the sweet side of tea with fruit tart or a chocolate pastry. The Queen Elizabeth Hotel offers a special tea menu for guests under 12
Since kids enjoy fruity flavors order the Flora’s Berry Garden Herbal Tea. Additionally adults can savor a bolder tea, like the Grand Bazar Spice. Bubbles are available for afternoon as well.
Located at 900 Rene Levesque W. Afternoon tea is available on Saturdayds from noon to 3 p.m. Reservations required.
Montreal Winter Festivals with Kids
From late November and through mid-March Montreal is famous for its outdoor winter festivals. So layer up and head outdoors.
Located in the Place des Festivals, it’s Montreal Light Therapy Festival. For the shortest days Montrealers enjoy a festival dedicated to light.
The Luminothérapie runs from early December to early March.
Located in Old Port section of Montreal this a popular music festival. With a solid line-up of electronic music it’s a must do for music-loving kids.
The IglooFest runs from mid-January to February.
Montreal en Lumiere
Located in the Quartier des Spectacles this festival features live music, a ferris wheel and an ice slide all for free. And bring some marshmallows to toast at the numerous fire pits across the site.
The Montreal en Lumiere starts in late February and runs until early March.
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Where to Stay in Montreal
Originally opened in 1958, Fairmount The Queen Elizabeth Hotel was completely renovated in 2017. It features 950 guest rooms along with an indoor pool. wellness center, spa along with several restuarants.
Ideally located above the Montreal Central Station, find VIA, Canada’s rail system, steps from the hotel. Its address is 900 Boulevard René-Lévesque Quest (west) in downtown Montreal.