One Perfect Winter Day in Montreal with Kids

Montreal. What to do in Montreal in winter with kids.
Head to the Old Port area in Montreal with your kids. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

It might be winter on the outside, though you can find lots of fun for kids from outdoor ice skating and sledding to museums to an outdoor festival. Montreal offers lots of ways to warm up in-between outdoor activities from hot chocolate in a bakery to tea and scones for a special afternoon tea.  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
Visit Any of Montreal’s Many Museums
Outdoor Ice Skating 
Afternoon Tea at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Enjoy a Montreal Winter Festival with Kids
What to do in Montreal in winter with kids.
Enjoy croissants in a Montreal bakery for breakfast. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Breakfast at One of Montreal’s Bakeries

A trip to a bakery makes the day extra special so start with your favorite or try a new-to-you bakery. A perfectly baked croissant is a thing of beauty and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is perfect to warm up before a day out.

Bakeries are found across Montreal. Some of the best include La Bete a Pain, Patisserie Madeleine and Patisserie Rhubarbe.

Three Day Itinerary for Saguenay Quebec
The BioDome features four different types of North American ecosystems with animals. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Montreal’s Museums for Kids

For fun indoors, head to Montreal’s top museums for families.

Montreal Science Center

Geared toward 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 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 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 additional. 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 five areas to explore during the winter, like the Bio Dome, the Montreal Insectarium, the Planetarium,  the Montreal Botanical Garden and the Biosphere.

Located at 4101 Sherbrooke and parking is available at 4581 Sherbrooke Est.

Bio Dome

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 since it is warm.  The Gulf of St. Lawrence exhibit features its marine life and the temperatures change throughout the year. The Laurentian Maple Forest is another exhibit with varying temperatures through the changing seasons with live maple trees. The Labrador Coast showcases the animals of the remote area of Canada. Finally, the sub-Antarctic Islands area features penguins.

Located at 4777 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22.75 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16.50 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11.50 CAN.

Montreal Insectarium

After a complete renovation, the Montreal Insectarium is crawling with bugs. In a bright space, visitors can marvel at the humongous bugs of every color. Some are mounted, and some are live specimens.

The Grand Vivarium offers insects living with no or little containment and guests explore the area. It’s 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. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22.75 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16.50 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11.50 CAN.

Planetarium Rìo Tinto Alcan

Explore the night sky at the Planetarium. Several shows are 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, 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22.75 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16.50 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11.50 CAN.

Jardin Botanique

Yes, the Montreal Botanical Garden is open. The outdoor gardens are usually snow-covered though the greenhouses are quite warm and lively. There are greenhouses dedicated to bonsai and bromeliads along with cactus and orchids.

Located at 4101, Rue Sherbrooke Est. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22.75 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16.50 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11.50 CAN.


This globe-like structure is hard to miss on the Monreal skyline. Built for the 1967 Exhibition, it was added to the Space for Life exhibits in 2021 and features exhibitions on the environment. It’s best to check its calendar for current events.

Located at 160 Chemin du Tour de l’isle. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $22.75 CAN, student admission (with ID) is $16.50 CAN and kids 5 to 17 are $11.50 CAN.

Montreal Museum of Fine Art 

As the largest art museum in Canada by size, it’s a must for art lovers of all ages. It features international and Canadian works of art, including International Contemporary Art, Middle Ages, Modern Era, International Art, and works from Canadian and Quebec artists. Visitors will also find an 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. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 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 transportation. As the largest railway museum in Canada, visitors can learn about the history of the Canadian railroads along with seeing over 170 different railway 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 Canadian Railway Museum is open from Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $22 CAN, $13 CAN from teens 13 to 17 and kids 3 to 12 are $11 CAN.

Ice Skating at an Outdoor Rink

Rent a pair of skates and lace up for one of the top things to do in Montreal in Winter with Kids. There are skating rinks across Montreal though the easiest to visit are located centrally.

Esplanade Tranquille

This outdoor area is a favorite through the seasons. During the winter, it is transformed into a 16,000-square-foot 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.

Mont Royal

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 high point 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 Remembrance Rd. and Camillien-Houde Parkway. Free to enter.

Top Things to Do in Montreal with Kids in Summer
Afternoon Tea at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. What to do in Montreal in winter with kids.
Afternoon tea is served upstairs at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel at the Roselys Restaurant. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

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.

The 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 a 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 tea as well.

Located at 900 Rene Levesque W. Afternoon tea is available on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Tea is $54 a person. Reservations are required.

Montreal en Lumiere. What to do in Montreal in winter with kids.
Layer up and spend the evening at one of Montreal’s winter festivals, like Montreal en Lumiere. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Montreal Winter Festivals with Kids

From late November 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 the Montreal Light Therapy Festival. For the shortest days, Montrealers enjoy a festival dedicated to light.

The Luminothérapie runs from early December to early March.

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.


Located in the Old Port section of Montreal, this is 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.

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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 restaurants.

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.

Spend a perfect winter day in Montreal during the winter with kids. Start with breakfast at a bakery in Montreal. Go to an outdoor ice rink or find a sled hill. Or spend the day in one of Montreal's museums. Follow up with a cup of tea and end the day at one of Montreal's winter festivals. Top Things to do with kids in Montreal in the winter #Montreal #Canada

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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