Staycation: 10+ Kid-Friendly Things to do this Winter Break in Montreal
School is wrapping up for the year and the kids are slowly getting into vacation mode. And hopefully you are too! Entertaining the kids for two weeks may seem like a daunting task but planning a staycation is really quite easy this season. With so many fun things to do over winter break in Montreal, the two weeks will likely fly by. I’ve rounded up 10+ local, special activities as well as some tried and true outings that both you and the kids will love.
This just may be my top pick for winter break since there are so many great exhibits and activities to enjoy in one space, and kids 12 and under are free! This past weekend, the McCord Museum opened its Treasures in the Attic exhibit which takes guests into an attic-like space to discover toys, both old and new. My children adored the treasure hunt as well as the numerous interactive displays. The museum also features an enchanting Shadows Without Borders exhibit where guests can craft their own paper cut-outs to cast shadows. And if you’re searching for the Oglivys holiday window display, look no further. One can be found outside the museum in a large container, placed next to a free warm beverage bar and marshmallow roasting station. The second is inside in The Enchanted Village, complete with bean bag chairs to sit back and watch this classic scene. This holiday season, the museum also features daily workshops.
Now in its 9th year, this spectacular light show is back in Quartier des Spectacles and makes a great evening activity when everyone is bundled up with a warm drink in hand. This year’s theme is the Domino Effect. 120 brightly coloured dominos will be spread outdoors, each featuring unique sound and light effects.
Part of the Merry Montreal programming, this free activity takes place at Jacques-Cartier Square in Old Montreal until December 31st from Thursdays to Sundays. Fireplaces are located around the site for visitors to warm up after watching one of the live shows or art displays. The kids will love meeting Snowflake the mascot, drawing on giant billboards and using the Wish-A-Phones.
Open from December 22 to January 6 (except Christmas day), Village du Père Noël is about an hour’s drive from Montreal. The village features two tubing courses as well as a giant slide. There is a climbing wall, igloo with life-size building blocks, infant park, ride-on train, petting farm, and lots of other obstacles. Read about my family’s recent trip here.
This indoor skate park in the East End is definitely on our list this winter break especially since snow doesn’t seem to be in the forecast for some of our favourite outdoor activities. From BMX bikes to skateboards and scooters to rollerblades, you can bring your own or rent them on site (along with a helmet).
Located in Saint-Constant (about 30 minutes from Montreal), this train museum features a Railway Christmas this holiday season. Guests can walk through train cars decorated and illuminated with gifts, toys and more. Special activities include a craft workshop and cookie decorating activity. January 6th would be a great day to visit as admission on the first Sunday of the month is free.
7. Westmount Summit
Sometimes you don’t need an elaborate museum or invigorating activity to make the family happy. Being out in the fresh air can often times be enough… And since the weather can’t quite seem to make up its mind between rain and snow, the Westmount Summit is a great bet, when tobogganing may not be an option. Located at the top of Westmount (Summit Circle), the wooded trails are the perfect place to get kids running and rosy cheeked. This is a prime dog walking spot so this outing is ideal for pet-loving families.
This Ïle Sainte-Helène museum’s Paris on Display exhibit has inspired its holiday programming. From creative workshops to story time to a Beauty & The Beast inspired game there is something for kids of all ages. Admission to the museum over the holidays is just $10 per family.
Swimming is always a good idea during winter break in Montreal. The Cote Saint Luc Aquatic Centre is open throughout winter break including Christmas and New Years days. The pool will be setting up wibit, a giant inflatable on-water obstacle course on December 29, 30 and January 2, during select hours.
Ideal for the 5 and under crowd, Jabberwocky Studio is open from December 27 to 30 with open art activities. On Friday the 28th, families are invited for a pyjama day complete with story time and hot chocolate. Read more about this NDG indoor play space here.
Plus so much more!
- Other fun ideas that may not have special holiday programming but are always a good bet for winter break in Montreal:
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – free admission over the holidays
- Voiles en Voiles Winter adventure park!
- Montreal Botanical Gardens & Insectarium
- Laval Children’s Museum
- Montreal Science Centre
- Pirate ships at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum
- $1 family-friendly movies at the Dollar Cinema
- Skating and tobogganing at Beaver Lake
- Indoor play centres like Kazoom and Woohoo
- And the STM will be offering free transportation to kids 6-11 when travelling with an adult.