Indoor family activities in Montréal

Robyn Fadden

If the weather is not so great and you’re travelling with the family, having some options for indoor activities is a must. Montréal’s many inside attractions, games, sports and skill-testing games keep families active and having fun together year-round.

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Dive into fun downtown

If you’re out and about downtown, take a break and play together at the Montréal Forum’s bowling alley, games centre and billiards room—and when everyone’s tired out, catch a film at the Forum Cinema multiplex. Or rent a pair of skates and stretch your legs at downtown’s indoor skating rink Atrium Le 1000, where the ice stays frozen all year long.

The glow-in-the-dark mini-golf at Putting Edge proves you don’t need chipping skills or even green grass to play golf. Walk off Sainte-Catherine Street downtown and right into the colourful, musical 18-hole course—a journey through oceans, forests and jungles, each with its own challenges. Have more high-energy fun in the dark at downtown’s Laser Quest, where hide-and-seek turns into a laser lit game of hit-or-miss, or get out of a skill-testing tangle with their escape games.

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Great escapes

Engage older kids (13 and up) with mind games as you work together to get out of tricky A/maze Montréal scenarios: three reality-based tests of survival and problem solving—Prison Break, Mad Scientists and Lost Temple stories – challenge each team to come up with their own solutions in a white-knuckle countdown situation. You can get more of the code-cracking, logic-leaning fun at what is billed as the “Emporium of Escapism” at Escaparium.

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Explore the planet and beyond

No matter what their age, kids will be wowed by the wonders of the outside world indoors at Space for Life, where fuzzy critters and prehistoric plants thrive in the several ecosystems of the Biôdome, the secret life of insects comes to light at the Insectarium, the vastness of the universe is within reach at the Planetarium and tropical weather never stops at the Botanical Garden Greenhouse.

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Geek out with the gang

Got budding or full-fledged geeks in your gang? Then a trip to the Montréal Science Centre is a must for the crime case-cracking thrills of CSI: The Experience, based on the popular American T.V. show, and the eyeful of giant-screen immersive adventures they can catch at the IMAX® Telus Theatre. History buffs, for their part, will love the wide range of engaging and educational activities at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of History and Archaeology, especially the brand-new exhibition Fort Ville-Marie, where it all began. Bringing kids back to the Montréal’s birthplace at the time of New France, it allows them to explore the times through interactive models, projections, artefacts and an immersive environment.

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Adrenalin adventures for the family

Let kids get behind the wheel and drive to their hearts’ content at Action 500 Karting & Paintball, the largest indoor go-cart centre in the country with 5 asphalt courses covering more than 73,000 square feet, equipped with juniors-only courses and double carts for parents to accompany kids. On top of that they’ve got the biggest indoor paintball arena in North America, spanning four different fields and numerous video-game-like settings—and it’s all just blocks from the Biôdome and Planetarium.

If you’re a family who thrives on adrenalin, reach new heights with rock climbing, flying and skydiving, all indoors and safety-focused. Both the Centre d’Escalade Horizon Roc and Allez Up rock climbing gyms feature dozens of routes on varying-height walls and both offer kids’ and beginners’ instruction as well as top-rope route climbing and bouldering for all ages and skill levels. Horizon Roc also houses the Acro∞Parc: a high-ropes obstacle course and 25-metre zipline for age 8 and up.

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High-flying fun

Climb into the cockpit of the Aerosim Expérience full-scale flight simulator with a choice of thousands of destinations, views and weather conditions—and a professional pilot instructor as copilot. A 60-minute junior package introduces 13-16 year olds to the world of aviation, letting them fly a Boeing for $99—four friends or family members can be their passengers (whether they’re excited about that prospect or not is up to them.) On the other hand, you find out what it’s like to jump out of a plane without actually jumping out of a plane: SkyVenture Montréal is an indoor wind tunnel that lets anyone age 5 and up experience the thrill of a free-fall.

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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