Montréal spring break activities for families
This article was updated on February 10, 2020.
Spring break happens near the end of winter here in Montréal in March, so kids can slide down snowy hills and ice skate in Mount Royal Park and throughout the city, interact with history and create art at major museums, play outdoors at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, play games and watch shows, and stay active and entertained with all kinds of special spring break activities.
Activities for the whole family
By early March, there's still time to enjoy Montréal's many winter activities: go ice skating, sledding and snow-tubing in Mount Royal Park, or ice skate at the Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink and in Parc La Fontaine. Learn to snowboard and ski, go snowtubing and more at Pente à neige in Parc Ignace-Bourget. Skate indoors at Atrium Le 1000 downtown. And watch NHL hockey pros the Montréal Canadiens on home ice at the Bell Centre.
Downtown sparkles with winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE from February 20 to March 1: enjoy excellent food, cultural activities and a free outdoor site at Place des Festivals, where everyone can ride a Ferris wheel, go ice sliding, roast marshmallows and play with the high-tech Illuminart projections. Stay out past bedtime during epic all-nighter Nuit blanche à Montréal on February 29, with art and culture activities for all ages in venues across the city. And Montréal's underground city tunnels are fun to explore anytime, but especially during pubic art event Art Souterrain, opening for Nuit Blanche and ongoing to March 22.
Wow the kids with a bird's-eye view of Montréal from the top of the Montréal Tower at Olympic Park (while there visit Les Jardineries until March 8), from La Grande Roue de Montréal, or from 46 floors above downtown at the Observatoire Place Ville Marie. Be sure to visit a sugar shack for a traditional Québécois meal and sleigh ride during the late-winter and early spring.
Toddlers, pre-schoolers and beyond
At the Ecomuseum Zoo, spot over a hundred animals native to Québec – like bears, otters, wolves, hawks and caribou – in large outdoor spaces and an indoor area, and watch special presentations during spring break.
Kids can climb aboard historic locomotives, ride a miniature train outdoors and hear stories all about trains at Exporail / The Canadian Railway Museum. Take playtime up a notch at indoor parks just for kids, like Bouge Petit for babies and toddlers, while not far from central Montréal find Kazoom Café and Kidzillafun. Settle in for story time at Drawn & Quarterly's kids bookstore in Mile End, at the Grande Bibliothèque downtown or any of Montréal's kid-friendly libraries. Discover cute cafés, bakeries and the best hot chocolate in the city and pick up the best Montréal bagels for a snack on the go.
Elementary school kids
This spring's circus shows are sure to thrill: see Tournoi de l’impro cirque at circus centre La TOHU from March 12 to 14 and Esencial on March 21 and 22 – while La TOHU features all kinds of spring break circus activities from March 2 to 6. The Montréal International Children's Film Festival sparks young minds from February 29 to March 8. Among the many free things to do this winter in Montréal, play video and board games in a fun atmosphere during Montréal joue, from February 22 to March 8. And head to the Canadian Olympic Experience to find out just what it takes to be a high-calibre athlete by trying out (in virtual reality) sports such as bobsleigh, fencing and freestyle skiing.
One of the city's many family-friendly museums, Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex features kid-friendly exhibitions like Pirates or Privateers? and the museum's week of spring break activities. Go swimming and bounce around in the aquatic playground at the huge Olympic Pool. Beyond the city centre explore nature at beautiful nature parks like du Bois-de-Liesse, de la Pointe-aux-Prairies, de l’Île-de-La-Visitation and du Cap-Saint-Jacques.
Pre-teens and teens
Try extreme winter sports like snowskating and fatbiking, watch tree-throwers, have a meal and sip hot chocolate next to a firepit at BARBEGAZI on March 7 and 8. Rock climbing is a physical challenge and a mental workout no matter what your age – let kids scale the walls at Horizon Roc Climbing Center, featuring the Acro∞Parc high-ropes obstacle course. Climb into the cockpit of the Aerosim Experience full-scale flight simulator and fly around the world for a while. Or find out what it’s like to jump out of a plane at indoor wind tunnel SkyVenture Montréal. Catch some serious air with every jump at state-of-the-art trampoline park iSaute. The St. Lawrence River rapids may still be frozen, but the waves never stop at indoor surfing centre Oasis Surf. For teens with a need for speed, race over to Action 500 Karting & Paintball, the largest indoor go-cart centre and paintball arena in Canada, or Vortex Racing, where racing simulators offer up to 2.5 Gs of force.
See how video game skills transfer into real-life accuracy at massive bowling, billiards and laser tag centre BoulZeye and downtown’s laser-tag lair Laser Quest. Experience how combat meets archery in an intense game of DodgeBow or learn how to fight like a Jedi at The Force Academy. Play glow-in-the-dark mini-golf at Putting Edge or opt for sports of a different stripe at the Ministry of Cricket & Other Homeless Sports. Engage in some serious mind games as you work together to get out of tricky scenarios at Montréal's escape game centres, including at A/Maze Escape Games and Échappe-toi. And when the day is done, refuel at these great places to eat with kids in Montréal.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.