Spring break in Montréal: fun for all

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.

This article was updated on March 4, 2021.

Get ready for this spring break in Montréal. Ice skating, sledding, snow tubing and all kinds of winter activities make outdoor adventuring lively and memorable for everyone.

Note: Due to current public health directives, some businesses and attractions may be temporarily closed or may have reduced hours or services. We recommend that you call or visit their websites to get the most up-to-date information. For more details on the current situation in Montréal, click here.

 

Playtime in the parks

Along with Montréal's many free things to do this season, the city serves up all kinds of fun for families throughout Québec's early-March Spring Break. Go walking in the woods or sledding down the hills in Mount Royal Park and other major parks. It’s even easy to go ice skating as a family in Montréal, no matter anyone's skating skills: dress warmly and rent ice skates at the refrigerated Beaver Lake rink in Mount Royal Park, where you can also rent sleds, snow tubes, snowshoes and cross-country skis and go on expert-led park tours. There’s something to do in every neighbourhood this spring break, as a family, couple or solo!

Skate around the tree-lined Parc La Fontaine ice skating rink in the Plateau neighbourhood or skate on the pond at Parc Jarry, not far from Jean-Talon Market. Explore the sprawling wintery grounds (and warm greenhouses) of the Montréal Botanical Garden and try out the cross-country ski paths of Parc Maisonneuve next door. Escape across the river to Parc Jean-Drapeau, hosting a special program of winter activities, including an expanded ice skating rink at the refrigerated Patinoire Radio-Canada OHdio, cross-country skiing, fat biking, an elaborate mitt-warmer and more – if you don’t have your own equipment, rent it on site! Also try out cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the trails of Parc Maisonneuve and Parc Jean Drapeau. When it’s time to re-fuel, head to some of Montréal’s great places to eat with kids in Montréal. And when kids inevitably ask for hot chocolate, why not go for the best hot chocolate in Montréal? And pick up the best Montréal bagels, pastries and fresh-baked doughnuts! for a special spring-break snack on the go.

See the spectacular ice on the St. Lawrence River and Montréal’s snow-covered skyline from a whole new perspective on La Grande Roue de Montréal: the observation wheel is open to the public, admitting one family bubble per cabin. 

On weekends, strap in and soar above the Old Port at MTL Zipline as you take in the spectacular scenery.

City sights and sounds

This year’s Luminothérapie outdoor art installation features 10 bright and colourful artworks throughout the Quartier des spectacles until March 14, including Loop zoetrope pods, animated video project Index on the façade of the Pavillon Président-Kennedy, and the inflatable shadow-theatre spheres of MoonGARDEN. Montréal’s signature winter festival of food and culture MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE returns from March 4 to 28 in collaboration with the Casino de Montréal, featuring virtual events, Québecois terroir gastronomy activities, an outdoor site at Place des Festivals with a Ferris wheel and luminous art and more.

Explore different parts of Montréal as a family and learn about the city’s unique history on private winter walking tours with kid-friendly local companies. And watch for new ways to have winter fun this season too, including creative “winter stations” in  several neighbourhoods.

Museums, nature and culture

Kid-friendly museums and galleries abound in Montréal – some even offer free entry to kids 12 and under, along with family-friendly free online workshops all winter .Most of the museums are now open - though require advanced ticket booking online or by phone. Go explore the many kid-friendly artworks at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and let your inspiration loose in the online video workshops, see history from a new perspective in interactive exhibitions at the McCord Museum, and check out the new Pointe-à-Callière exhibition A Railroad to Dreams about the world of model trains. Book your tickets early to visit the Biodôme's five ecosystems to see lynx, monkeys, exoic birds, penguins and more (purchase fixed-time tickets online). Immerse your senses in an experience designed to connect to what matters today through powerful visual projections and stunning sound at OASIS immersion. Be sure to check on the museum's website to see if reservations or advance purchase of tickets are required.

Located along the St. Lawrence River, the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum invites families to explore a unique heritage site. For spring break, the museum has put together fun activities for families, including a rally around the chapel and “seek and find” games in the exhibition halls. So many ways to explore the museum and make new discoveries! (Make sure to climb up to the tower to get a glimpse of the magnificent view of the river.)

Stay in and play with Festival Montréal Joue from February 20 to March 7 this year: download game notebooks or pick up printed copies from Montréal libraries, and play quiz games, bingo and interactive adventures and more through Facebook. 

Learn all about The Orchestra in All Its Forms with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s family-focused webcast concerts, from February 25 to March 7.

The Montréal International Children's Film Festival sparks young minds online from February 27 to March 7.

Watch family-friendly adventure films and discover science activities online from the Montréal Science Centre. Catch Dynamo Théâtre’s webcast of theatrical circus show Life-Cycle from February 27 to March 7.

And the Festival de Casteliers presents puppet shows online and puppet window displays in Outremont from March 3 to 7. 

At the Ecomuseum Zoo, spot over a hundred animals native to Québec – like bears, otters, wolves, hawks and caribou. Barbie fans can see her style transformations through the decades at the free Barbie Expo  downtown, while hundreds of celebrities and historical figures are rendered lifelike in wax at Grévin MONTRÉAL. For those obsessed with trains, go full steam to Exporail / The Canadian Railway Museum.

And bring home great books at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's children’s bookstore in Mile End (one of the city's many great bookstores), at the Grande Bibliothèque downtown or any of Montréal's kid-friendly libraries.

Family day trips

For the adventurous family, explore Montréal's major nature parks, like Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques and Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation, or explore the regions around Montréal on a day trip out of town. Among the excellent places to ski, snowboard, cross-country ski and snowshoe, check out Centre de villégiature Tremblant and other mountains in the Laurentians or in the Eastern Townships.

Special hotel stay

Château Versailles

The Château Versailles is a magnificent, Victorian, former residence dating back to the end of the 19th century. Completely renovated, the hotel offers superb guest rooms and suites, many with a fireplace. Continental breakfast, high speed WiFi included. The property is located in the heart of the Golden Square Mile, close to art galleries, museums, luxury boutiques, Mount Royal Park, and public transport (Métro and bus).

Spring Break Discount

  • Stay 3 nights or more from February 26 to March 7, 2021 and receive 25% off their best flexible rate.

For more information, conditions and reservations, click here.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

All 950 guest rooms underwent renovation, with a bold artistic direction that resulted in bright and dynamic interiors. A seamless blend of connectivity, efficiency and elegant comfort, the transformation celebrates Montreal’s history, and adds warm and inviting elements.

My Loving Family Package

  • Overnight accommodations in two (2) connecting rooms
  • Complimentary second room
  • Children under 12 years of age receive 50% off the regular menu; children under 5 eat for free!

For more information, conditions and reservations, click here.

Hôtel Monville

Hôtel Monville is just steps away from historic Old Montréal and in the heart of the city’s business district. Graced with 20 storeys, the property offers personalized service, an urban Montréal-inspired décor, and uncompromising standards of comfort.

Who eat sleeps Package

  • Dinner by the restaurant Tiradito or Chifa*
  • Night stay at our flexible rate with cancellation 24h prior to your stay
  • Gourmand breakfast by La Finca
  • Late check-out at 2pm

For more information, conditions and reservations, click here.

W Montréal

Nestled in the Quartier international, the chic W Montréal offers a refreshing and stylish accommodation experience for travellers with an eye for modern luxury.

Prêt-à-célébrez : In-Room Edition Package

  • Suite Staycation Offer
  • YVES SAINT-LAURENT Beauty Kit
  • W Montreal’s curated music mix by DJ Donald Lauture
  • Unlimited movies
  • Mix Bar + Snacks + DETOX Juice Bar
  • PRÊT-À-JOUER: Playstation 4 Rental + 3 pre-installed games
  • Bath Bomb + Massage Oil + Face Masks
  • Breakfast for two (2)
  • Parking included

For more information, conditions and reservations, click here.

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.

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