Things to do with babies and toddlers

Robyn Fadden

Anyone who has traveled with a baby or toddler knows that there are challenges involved, to say the least, but whether you’re in Montréal with a newborn or a new walker, you’ll find plenty of baby-friendly places to go and pint-sized things to do.

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Fresh air and play time

Along with walks and stroller-strolls in the city’s big parks – Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau – take a walk in a different sort of park at the Botanical Garden, where plants and trees from around the world grow in the greenhouse and throughout the sprawling grounds. As well, see brightly-hued lanterns in autumn and live music and dance in summer. Many of Montréal’s parks, such as Parc Jeanne-Mance and Parc Laurier, feature toddler-dedicated playgrounds and free wading pools all summer.

Kids and adults can burn off some energy at Vida Sana, a community-minded centre with free drop-in play times and exercise classes for kids and adults.Take playtime up a notch at indoor amusement parks just for kids: Kidzilla Fun and Zig Zag Zoo. In the city centre, stay entertained on rainy days at the children’s library at the Grande Bibliotheque for story time, singing and films, or pop into Brault & Bouthillier to find an array of innovative games, toys and arts and crafts supplies.

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Festivals and creativity

Stimulate growing minds at the Quartier des Spectacles, host to numerous kid-friendly festivals such as MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, Just For Laughs, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, each with free performances, from live music to circus acts, geared especially to small kids. Jeunesses Musicales Canada tunes in to kids’ innate sense of rhythm with dozens of concerts and music workshops in March. And the TOHU circus centre often hosts circus shows and activities made for high-energy toddlers.

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For hungry bellies and played-out parents

When it comes time to wind down and get a bite to eat, Montréal has parents covered. Melons & Clémentines, in the neighbourhood of NDG just west of downtown and Westmount, is an upbeat oasis for breastfeeding moms and parents of small children, with comfortable chairs, good coffee, tea and snacks, a play area and a well-curated boutique. Montréal parents rave about Village Café, not only for its coffee but for its pre- and post-natal yoga classes and art workshops. For more ideas on where to eat with kids (and have fun doing it), see our list of family-friendly restaurants. At the end of the day, sleep tight in a hotel suite tailor-made for families on the go.

Robyn Fadden

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.

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