Fun family activities in Montréal this summer

Outdoor Summer The city
Les Quartiers du Canal - Petite-Bourgogne - Atwater Market
Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

Summer in Montréal is abuzz with all kinds of things to do with kids, from activities in the parks to festival entertainment. Jump-start your family’s summer fun by exploring different parts of the city together, from outdoor festivals downtown to Cirque du Soleil under the big top! Explore nature parks, take boat rides on the St. Lawrence River, and visit that ice cream shop just off the beaten path. Now's the time to plan fun-filled family adventures in Montréal!

A mother and a daughter walking on a bike lane in Parc Jean-Drapeau  - view on the Old Port of Montreal

Playtime in the park

With all kinds of activities and incredible views of Montréal, Mount Royal Park lets families experience nature without leaving the city – walk around Beaver Lake and fly a kite nearby, explore forest trails, have a picnic and more (and always important for a day out with kids: restrooms and cafés are open in the Beaver Lake Pavilion and Mount Royal Chalet).

You can also head to Jeanne-Mance Park right across from Mount Royal Park’s George-Étienne Cartier Monument, where you’ll find a huge playground. Picnic in Parc La Fontaine (where you can see free performances at Théâtre de Verdure) and many other Montréal parks and green spaces – some with fun splash pads for cooling off. Hop in the water at Parc Jean-Drapeau's swimming pool, Verdun Beach and other nearby places where pools and beaches are now open for the season.

Enjoy live music together at neighbourhood parks this summer when the Orchestre Métropolitain will offer a series of free concerts under the direction of orchestra conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin or Canadian conductor Naomi Woo.


Festivals & events for families

Circus performances of all kinds make MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE a must from from July 4 to 14, featuring circus shows of all kinds, with indoor and outdoor performances in the Quartiers des spectacles and several Montréal neighbourhoods.

For comic and pop-culture fans of every age, Comiccon thrills from July 5 to 7, 2024. Groove to the sound of Festival International Nuits d’Afrique outdoors in the Quartier des spectacles from July 9 to 21, 2024. From May 19 to October 6, 2024, Parc Jean-Drapeau comes alive every Sunday with Piknic Éléctronik, an electronic dance music festival featuring  free activities for families. 

Festival Haiti en Folie presents concerts and culture in late July, Montréal’s Italian week, ItalFestMTL celebrates from August 2 to 11, 2024, and The Montréal Highland Games entertains with all things Scottish on August 4. Catch short, family-friendly alleyway performances during Le FAR Festival des arts de ruelle from August 26 to September 8, and the Montreal First Peoples Festival presents Indigenous culture and creativity from Canada and around the world from August 6 to 15.

Wonders await at Cirque du Soleil’s fantastical new show KURIOSa cabinet of curiosities that opens to  a whole new world where the imagination allows to see life beyond our wildest dreams under the big top in the Old Port of Montréal until August 25. 

By night, look to the skies above to the city to see the incredible L'International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition on Wednesday nights from June 27 to August 1. All summer in the heart of downtown Montréal, the Quartier des spectacles surprises with outdoor circus, theatre and dance performances (stop by Jardins Gamelin next to Berri-UQAM station for a bite to eat, to play some board games and even test your skill with a quiz on Sunday mornings.), multimedia projections, and interactive art installations.

Jardin botanique de Montréal – Montréal Space for Life

Family adventures

A natural oasis in the city, with plants and trees from across North America, Asia and the world, a huge greenhouse, ponds and more, the Montréal Botanical Garden at Space For Life is a fascinating place to explore with kids. Also reconnect with nature in the Space for Life Biodôme's five ecosystems, explore the universe in the Planetarium’s immersive films and exhibitions, and see butterflies, moths and other insects at the newly renovated Insectarium.

Just down the hill on the Olympic Parc esplanade, Îlots76 is a blast for kids, with bouncy castles, a play area, snacks and more. Go skateboarding at Vans Skatepark (one of many cool skateparks in the city) and rock climbing on Nomad Bloc’s supervised routes (climbing shoes can be rented on site). Plus, from June 7 to August 4,  Montréal’s gourmet food trucks set up at the Olympic Park and at the Clock Tower Quay (August 2 to 4) for the First Fridays food truck event, with great food, music and family-friendly activities. Nearby, at open-air Saputo Stadium, cheer on Major League Soccer team CF Montréal all summer. And watch for CFL games too with the Montreal Alouettes at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium.

Visit summer markets and pop-up entertainment throughout the city for food and entertainment under the sun, including Village au Pied-du-Courant and POP Montréal’s Marché des Possibles on the weekends.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue - Ecomuseum Zoo

Head to the West Island’s Ecomuseum Zoo to see local wildlife in their natural outdoor habitats. Go cherry, apple, pear and plum picking and explore a corn maze not far from the city at Labonté de la Pomme. They are open all summer, from Wednesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Get fitted out in a cave helmet and go exploring underground at La caverne de Saint-Léonard. Meanwhile, for the thrill-seekers in the family, head over to the La Ronde amusement park  – also an amazing place to watch L'International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks!

MTL Zipline

Rediscover the city at any age

In the picturesque Old Port of Montréal, stroll the boardwalk or ride along it on a quadricycle. See the city from far above on the Observation Wheel. Climb high at the Voiles en Voiles family adventure park or find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe. Older kids (and parents!) can try out MTL Zipline. Or play in the sand and watch the boats go by at Clock Tower Beach.

Create your own treasure hunt for Montréal murals! Find massive, colourful murals on the sides of buildings, in parks and every neighbourhood thanks to MURAL Festival every June, and local artist collectives, LNDMRKMU and other expert Montréal mural artists. Learn more about Montréal’s unique history and culture on private walking tours for your family with knowledgeable local companies.

And roam the city’s summertime pedestrian-only streets, including Saint-Laurent Blvd., Mont-Royal Avenue, Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village, Wellington St. in Verdun, Masson Street in Rosemont, Place du Marché-du-Nord in Jean-Talon Market, Ontario St. E. and more. Stay in the heart of the action at one of many family-friendly Montréal hotels.

Old Port of Montréal

Bike rides and boat trips

Stretching for 15 kilometres along a still-functioning boat canal, from Old Montréal to the Musée plein air de Lachine in the west, the Lachine Canal is ideal for short bike rides or longer treks: hop off for a bite to eat at Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port, Atwater Market in Little Burgundy or homemade ice cream at Riverside in Saint-Henri. At the other end of the city, ride through the landscape of Frédéric-Back Park near La TOHU circus complex. Explore more of Montréal on two wheels with our guide to all things biking, including kids’ bike and trailer rentals

Summer is the best time to have fun with family on the water – Montréal is an island after all! Go on a memorable boat ride across the St. Lawrence River with Navark, offering trips to large nature parks, from Boucherville to Îles-de-Boucherville, Lachine to Châteauguay and Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot to Pointe-des-Cascades – bring your bikes too and go exploring! Or discover the beauty of the Old Port and the St. Lawrence River by boat with Croisières AMLBateau-Mouche and Petit Navire. Even go jet boating on the river with Jet Boating Montreal!

VIKINGS – Dragons of the Northern Seas

A wide world of indoor activities

Among many Montréal kid-friendly museums, including the Space for Life, the Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex lets kids play on the high seas in Pirates or privateers?, explore a (clean) sewer dating back to the 1830s, and travel back 3000 years in special exhibition Olmecs and the Civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico.   And explore the world of science with kids at the Montréal Science Centre, featuring all kinds of immersive activities and IMAX films.

For artistically inclined families, a summer visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is a must, where you can currently see blockbuster exhibition Saints, Sinners, Lovers and Fools  , featuring 300 years of Flemish masterworks from the Phoebus Foundation, and more.  Beyond museums, Montréal isn't short on rainy-day indoor activities for kids, with many places to run and play open this summer, including indoor skate and scooter park Le TAZ, trampoline park iSauteLaser Game Evolution and more.

Cafe la chouette

If you're on Saint-Denis, you might want to visit the café La Chouette that offers a fun cookie decorating experience. Perfect for a rainy day, it's a great activity for families and you don't need to have a certain number of participants. While booking in advance is not necessary, it's recommended to secure your spot.

Je t'aime en chocolat!

Kid-friendly places to eat

Stop for bagels, sandwiches, burgers or poutine or dine on the terrasse at a wide variety of great places to eat with kids. Plan a picnic in the park or a scrumptious summer brunch. Downtown, get quick and delicious meals at gourmet food halls (with plenty of choices kids will love), including Time Out MarketMarché ArtisansLe Cathcart Restaurants et Biergarten and Le Central - Manger Montréal.

Grab a coffee, hot chocolate and babyccinos at indie coffee shops and baby-friendly cafés. Pick up something sweet or savory at Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops or go for fresh-baked doughnuts, a visit to a chocolate shop or a trip to the candy shop. And, of course, we can't forget ice cream: what would summer in Montréal be without locally-made ice cream from the best ice cream shops in town? Have fun out there!

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

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.

See articles by Robyn