Things to do with babies and toddlers

Leisure activities The city
  • Summer in Montréal
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Robyn Fadden

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.

Family in Laurier Park

Parks and nature

In summer or in winter, there's always something to do with kids on a family vacation in Montréal. The city's many parks and green spaces provide places for free-form play for the small set. Any time of year, explore Mount Royal Park, whether you stroll its winding path to the top or bus or drive up to Beaver Lake and the Kondiaronk lookout – you'll not only find an incredible view of the city but a café, seating and bathrooms in the chalet

Picnic and play in the playground in Parc Jeanne-Mance at the base of the mountain or go play at Parc La Fontaine in the Plateau, where you can also see performances at the park’s open-air Théâtre de Verdure.

All year round, families flock to the environment-focused Space For Life complex. Walk through the Montréal Botanical Garden’s sprawling grounds outdoors, let kids run around and even have a picnic – in autumn, see brightly-hued lanterns during the Gardens of Light event. Little ones will love watching the antics of lynx, otters, bats, penguins and more wildlife at the Montréal Biôdome

Nearby, go for a dip at the Olympic Pool’s indoor wading pool. In summer outside Olympic Stadium, Îlots76 is a blast for kids, with bouncy castles, a play area, snacks and more. And over in the West Island, spot all kinds of animals native to Québec at the conservation-focused Ecomuseum Zoo.

Atwater Market

Outdoor events and markets

Montréal's public markets and seasonal outdoor markets and spaces offer a variety of local food, drinks, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Grab lunch and snacks for later, enjoy some locally made ice cream, catch some live music and more. And be sure to stroll down some of the city’s summertime pedestrian-only streets, where you’ll often find play structures and pop-up entertainment.

Many of Montréal's famed outdoor festivals are kid-friendly, including summer’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and circus festival MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE and winter’s illuminated Luminothérapie and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, with free entertainment, games and more. Or escape the city in Parc Jean-Drapeau, a short metro ride away and host to numerous events and festivals.

 Atwater Market

Baby-friendly cafés

When it comes time to wind down and get a bite to eat, Montréal has parents covered. Some excellent places to feed babies and for toddlers to eat and play: Les Malins in the Plateau; La Cabane in  Petite Patrie; Café Jardin in Verdun; Caffe della Pace in Outremont; Cafe Sfouf and Le Milieu café and art studio in the Village; and Bouge Petit Café on Papineau Avenue. Or try some of these great places to eat with kids in Montréal, and, of course, locally made ice cream and other frozen treats! At the end of the day, sleep tight at family-friendly hotels.

Jean-Doré Beach

Wading pools and splash pads

In summer, beat the heat at the city's swimming pools and beaches and at splash pads and wading pools. Find wading pools at centrally located Parc JarryParc Jeanne-Mance and Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier as well as in neighbourhoods across the island, including at Parc Jean-Drapeau's Aquatic Complex and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce's Trenholme Park. Check out splash pads at Parc Sœur-Madeleine-Gagnon in Little Italy, Parc Saint-Michel in Mile End and Parc Luc Durand behind Bibliothèque Marc Favreau, as well as even bigger splash pads at Parc du Père-Marquette, Parc de Normanville and Parc Lalancette. 

Montreal Science Centre

Small-time entertainment

La TOHU hosts circus shows and activities made for high-energy toddlers. Geordie Theatre specializes in theatre for kids. Maison Théâtre programs events and shows for toddlers, preschoolers and older kids. Older toddlers will have fun with the interactive exhibitions at the Montréal Science Centre. Take a break with a book and stay for story time at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (one of the city's many great bookstores), at the Grande Bibliothèque downtown or any of the Montréal's kid-friendly libraries.

Cafe la chouette

Indoor activities

Babies and toddlers aren't left out of the many indoor activities for families in Montréal. On the Plateau-Mont-Royal, fresh, rich-tasting cookies and delicious beverages await you at La Chouette, along with introductory cookie-decorating workshops for young and old.

Kid-friendly museums and galleries abound – and many offer free entry to kids 12 and under. Take a family tour at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts or explore the Museum of Illusions. See history from a pint-sized perspective in interactive exhibitions at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, featuring multimedia shows and family activities. 

Any time of year, take playtime up a notch at massive indoor amusement parks just for kids. Not far from central Montréal find Kazoom Caféand iSaute trampoline parks in Anjou and Kirkland, while just off the island of Montréal kids run free at Funtropolis and Zig Zag Zoo

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