Visit different worlds at Montréal Space for Life

Richard Burnett

Richard “Bugs” Burnett is a Canadian freelance writer, editor, journalist, blogger and columnist for alt-weeklies, mainstream and LGBTQ+ publications. Bugs also knows Montréal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.

This article was updated on August 16, 2023.

From exploring our natural world to outer space, children of all ages can discover new worlds at the Space for Life, the largest natural sciences museum complex in Canada, which comprises the Botanical Garden, Planetarium, Biodôme, Biosphere and Insectarium.

The Botanical Garden

The 75-hectare Montréal Botanical Garden is home to some 20 thematic gardens, including the Alpine Garden, the Chinese Garden and the First Nations Garden, as well as 10 greenhouses. It is an ideal getaway for families looking for a calm and spacious oasis in the city.

Meanwhile, the Botanical Garden’s hugely popular annual Gardens of Light lantern festival features hundreds of colourful, meticulously-constructed lanterns centred around a massive dragon lantern in the Chinese Garden. The lantern festival returns in early September and runs to October 31.

You can also check out the “Blooms of the week” before heading out to the Botanical Garden.

Online reservation of timed tickets is strongly recommended.

 

Planetarium

Montréal’s state-of-the-art Planétarium features modern facilities and equipment that allow it to incorporate the latest technological innovations.

In the Planétarium, the domes of the Chaos and Milky Way theatres are equipped with new laser projectors for an ultra-HD experience. The Planétarium offers a several double bills each day. Click here to watch trailers of the shows on display and it is recommended to purchase tickets online.

The Planétarium is closed on Mondays (except on December 26), also closed on December 24 and 25 for the holiday season. Be sure to check its online schedule to choose screenings in English or French.

 

The Insectarium

The completely renovated Insectarium is one of the largest insect museums in North America. Since reopening in the spring of 2022, the new Insectarium de Montréal has 40 percent more surface. As they make their way through its exhibition spaces, visitors enjoy an immersive and educational experience that aims to transform the relationship that humans have with insects.

 

The Biodôme

The hugely popular Biodôme is housed in the former Velodrome built for the 1976 Montréal Summer Olympic Games. Its rounded shape is evocative of a fossilized shell called a trilobite. The Biodôme – whose name means “House of Life” – is home to more than 4,500 animals from 250 different species and 500 plant species.

The Biodôme – featured on the cover of the June 2021 issue of Canadian Architect – is a comfortable family-oriented city escape for children of all ages and is a huge crowd-pleaser. Purchasing fixed-time tickets online is highly recommended.

 

The Biosphere

Located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène, the Biosphere is an environmental museum.

Purchasing fixed-time tickets online is highly recommended.

 

Schedules and directions

Tickets for each venue may be bought individually or as a multi-site package. There are also family rates. Tickets are best purchased onlineAll Space for Life museums are closed on December 24 and 25.

You can also download the Space for Life app where you can discover exclusive content and meet virtual animals.

The Montréal Space for Life museums are easily accessible via public transportation. Click here for directions  to each museum.

Richard Burnett

Richard “Bugs” Burnett is a Canadian freelance writer, editor, journalist, blogger and columnist for alt-weeklies, mainstream and LGBTQ+ publications. Bugs also knows Montréal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.

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