I love Montreal; I chose to move here after all. It’s filled with old world charm, museums, spaces to explore and discover, and outdoor adventures. Most weekends, we just hop on the train and let it take us to a new place in the city to discover it’s magic. You can’t go wrong. These are our 10 favorite activities to add to your Montreal bucket list.
Montreal Bucket List
Number One: Explore La Ronde
La Ronde is an amusement park built as the entertainment complex for Expo 67, the 1967 world fair. Today, it is owned and operated by Six Flags. From thrilling coasters like Goliath to rides for kids like Air Papillon, La Ronde has it all. We visited during La Ronde’s Fright Fest. With a wide variety of places to feel the Halloween horror including several haunted houses and scare zones located throughout the park, it was the perfect addition to our list.
Number Two: Gardens of Light Festival
A footpath in the Botanical Gardens leads through the Chinese, Japanese, and First Nations Gardens in the annual festival of lights. From September 8 to October 31, brilliant colors and delicate silk lanterns are set ablaze in this work of art.
Number Three: Embark on a Pirate Adventure at the Musée Point-à-Callière
Discover the sailors that ventured the St. Lawrence River in the days of the New France and embark on an adventure that takes place on a privateer ship at Musée Point-à-Callière. The Pirates or Privateers? exhibit tests children’s physical and intellectual skills all while letting them live out their wildest dreams. Musée Point-à-Callière is also home to other permanent exhibitions showcasing Montréal’s history and archaeology as well as three to four temporary exhibits every year. It’s extremely interactive and family-focused.
Number Four: Play Outdoors at Mount Royal Park
Located in the heart of Montreal, Mount Royal is a classic destination to go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or winter biking. For an added dose of family-fun, you can also go tubing right by Beaver Lake. Athena and I chose a short hike to the lookout for spectacular vistas. We couldn’t leave without tubing at Beaver Lake either. It was Athena’s favorite day in the city.
Number Five: Hone your Artistic Skills at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts comprises paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects displayed in four pavilions: the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion (international art), the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion (world cultures), the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion (decorative arts and design) and the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion (Quebec and Canadian art). It’s the most visited art museum in Canada and we can attest to why. Not only does it house stunning works of art, but there are a variety of programs and activities that offer unique experiences for the whole family. Athena and I participated in a drop-in watercolor art class where we created our own pieces of art that we could take home.
Number Six: Test Your Aerial Course Limits at Voiles en Voiles
Voiles en Voiles is a family adventure park offering aerial courses, climbing, and many other outdoor activities in the world of pirate ships located in the Old Port of Montreal. Regardless of age, Voiles en Voiles offers something to test your aerial course limits. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, give one of their Double Black Diamond courses a try. I guarantee you’ll be challenged.
Number Seven: Go Skating in the Old Port of Montreal
The weather isn’t always cold during winter in Montreal and when you want an activity that will keep you moving, skating around the beautiful old port hits the spot. Don’t have skates? You can even rent your skates at the rink. They keep this rink in top shape and its location provides tons of after-skating activities.
Number Eight: Learn a New Skill at Sports de Combats
Sports de Combats is a recreational sports and entertainment facility offering massive NERF and archery battles, a Rage Cage, a knife and axe throwing range, and archery lessons. The archery lessons are available for beginners who have not had any formal archery training so it can be fun for the whole family and the Combat Archery uses bows and foam-tipped arrows in an arena of inflatable obstacles. It’s a healthy does of fitness and competition. While there are higher age restrictions for some of the more dangerous options like axe throwing and the Rage Cage, Sports de Combats offers a unique, active way to enjoy a family day.
Number Nine: Parc La Fontaine
Often cited as the best park in all of Montreal, Parc La Fontaine is a 34 ha urban park located in the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal. It offers plenty of beauty all year round, but the fall is especially magical when the park is blanketed with crisp leaves of gold, yellow, orange, and red.
Number Ten: Pumpkin and Apple Picking at Quinn Farm
Pumpkin, squash, and apple picking are available at Quinn Farm. They offer an animal barn, play yard, and access to fields when picking is in season and a tractor ride around the farm when picking is available. Don’t miss out on delicious and homemade chili, pulled pork, sausage, soup, and more at Quinn Farm.
Montreal is a city full of diversity, culture, and adventure. It may be a lot colder than our last home, but it’s friendly residents and delicious foods will have you warmed up in no time.
What’s on your Montreal bucket list? Now that we live here, we’ll be adding more and more on a regular basis.
The Morgan Arboretum in Sainte Anne De Bellevue has a great ecomuseum with a fun zoo and a bird sanctuary. They do great sugaring off parties when the maple syrup flows. I used to love going there, winter or summer. I’ll bet Athena will love it.
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Adding it to my list now. Thank you for a great suggestion. Keep em coming.
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This is a great post. I visited Montreal a few years ago, and I really loved it. I’m fascinated by First Nations art, so I enjoyed seeing so much of it at the Museum of Fine Arts. I also enjoyed visiting all the little galleries of Canadian art. The people running them were so much more welcoming than they are in most U.S. galleries. However, I think that Notre-Dame to Montreal was my absolute favorite thing. The inside of that church is truly one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. In fact, that’s where my gravatar picture comes from.
One thing I noticed was that the city seems to really love Napoleon, and I was wondering why. Is there a connection there?
I didn’t know there was an outdoor skating rink in the city, which is pretty ironic for me. 🙂
Oh my goodness these pictures are so awesome! I love the Quinn Farm. This place will be inspiration for my book.
Wow! All of these photos are stunning! I never considered Montreal as a travel destination, but I certainly am now! Thank you!
You’ve done a great job showcasing Montreal.
Beautifully breathtaking wow!! 😃🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️… Spring and Autumn, is my favourite time of year🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Being a Montrealer, I’m totally bias. I love Montreal. It is authentic, makes no apologies, always has something to offer and expects you to be as open and real as it is.
cool post. I see you’ve already explore lots of places. I don’t know MTL so well. I lived in Quebec City while studying at the University Laval… I hope you spend some time in the Old Quebec city ..maybe during the Carnaval ( soon).
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We’re heading to Quebec City for Winter Carnival in a few weeks. We plan to stay at the Fairmont and the Ice Hotel. We have a lot of activities planned but not many food stops. Did you recommend a good restaurant for poutine?
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Chez Ashton is the best . Close by rue St-Jean.
54 cote du Palais I think ! :-))
Have you gone to the Biodome ? I went there years ago…
and the Instectarium ? never been there but I guess you can do a search for it…