This zoo located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal is a good place to go for half a day, all year round. At the zoo you will find species from North America like prey birds, wolves, foxes, lynx, caribou and many more. This is not a regular zoo, it is a wildlife sanctuary where most of the animals are orphans, rehabilitated or born within the zoo enclosure.
If you are looking for a relaxed day outdoor with fantastic views of the streaming St-Lawrence river and Montreal city, this small island - Île Saint-Bernard is the place to visit. Located so close from Montreal, Ile Saint-Bernard is a small island facing Dorval across the St-Lawrence river (which is also called in this part Saint-Louis Lake). The reserve has a variety of eco-systems and it is offering 8km of groomed trails where visitors can enjoy observing animals in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, you can observe many birds, deers and foxes. Throughout the reservation there are many bird feeding stations where you can observe many different bird species.
Mont Saint-Hilaire is located east of Montreal with an elevation of 414 meters. The area is known for its apple orchards thanks to the soil which is ideal for the growth of apple trees. The most touristic activity in the area includes apple picking! We visited an apple orchard and a nearby alpaca farm during a rainy winter Sunday afternoon and it was just wonderful.
Few weeks ago we were looking for a place to do winter tubing (with a mechanical lift) and a walk in the forest. We found this nice park relatively close to Montreal. The park is offering many other activities like snowshoeing trails, cross country ski, outdoor skating and disc golf.
I don't tend to recommend restaurants and hotels as I do believe it is up to personal taste but I could not resist writing about this fantastic place, not only for the coffee but mostly for its theme with recreational activities. The cafe offers a wall full of board games for all ages. Located in Montreal near UQAM University, we enjoyed a cold and snowy afternoon indoor and it was lots of fun for the whole family.
So close to Montreal, Sommet Saint-Sauveur transforms itself during wintertime from a huge summer waterpark to a ski resort with an additional alpine roller coaster - The Viking nearby. The ski resort is suitable for complete beginners (with magic carpet) to advanced levels, even though the advanced trails are not too steep.
The ski resort, west to Saint-Sauveur is offering 35 trails, 4 lifts, one magic carpet. We were there one Sunday morning to allow our kids to improve their ski proficiency. Looks like this ski resort is known for beginner and intermediate levels as there were many kids lessons taking place and there were long queues at the ski lifts.
How can I describe our day experience at Omega Parc? Way beyond expectations! This 15km drive-through adventure is like a safari expedition to discover the wildlife of Canada. The park has more than 15 species of animals (like deers, elks, wolves, foxes, bisons, turkeys, boars and many more) from different habitats: meadow, forest, mountain, lake and boreal region. You can actually make contact with (most) of the animals by feeding them with carrots (only) when you drive along the path.
An interactive adventure for families inside a butterfly aviary. This super colourful decorated venue offers the kids to wonder around the flying butterflies and to take part with interactive stations (choose French or English), individual activity book to identify creatures and learn about the butterfly life cycle. If you are in the area of Brossard (Quartier DIX30 shopping area), you can definitely spend there about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Jay Peak offers 79 trails and 9 lifts. Jay, Vermont, is nearby the border with Quebec, only 1h50 from Montreal. Jay Peak mountain has an elevation of 900 meters and is part of the Green Mountains range.
If you are in the area of Waterbury or Stowe in Vermont head for this cute factory visit. You can spend there about an hour/hour and a half. The 30 minutes guided factory tour includes: a 7 minutes video about the history of the company, explanation about the production stages and an ice cream tasting. The venue also has a full scoop shop, a gift shop and an outdoor playground.
Jay Peak is a resort which offers lodging, ski and this great indoor waterpark. Located in Jay, Vermont nearby the border with Quebec, only 1h50 from Montreal, you can spend a full day here. You don't have to be a guest in the hotel to access the waterpark as it also offers a pay as you go option.
We had a lovely visit to this beautiful basilica located along the St Lawerence River nearby Quebec City. If you are in the area, the place is worth the visit!
One word: Wow! What a day! We spent a full day at the Village Vacances Valcartier beginning of the winter and we didn't want to leave the place! The park has more than 35 snow slides to go down with a yellow tube, snow rafting, skating and much more.
We decided to try a 2km walk (one way, total 4km) with snowshoes for the first time in beautiful Charlevoix. We took the easiest path in the area, called Sentier des Lacs. During wintertime, the walk is inside the forest, along a frozen lake, truly a majestic walk. The 2km walk is basically parallel to a closed road which leads to parking P2 (accessible by car in the summer), you can stop, eat and start a fire at the refuge and return back to the original starting point or to continue for many other trails with panoramic views of the St Lawrence river.
The best ski area for beginners we have yet come across, the bunny hill located at the base of the mountain offers two adjacent magic carpets - the one on the right for very beginners with a tiny slope and the one on the left with a steeper hill, but moderately easy for young kids who are learning to ski for the first time.
Sommet Saint Sauveur has 5 ski hills. This post is about Sommet Saint Sauveur - Avila Versant (hillside). This side of the mountain has 13 trails and 3 lifts. We chose this part of the mountain although it does not have the magic carpet (bunny hill is located on a different part of the mountain at Pavillon 70) as there was not enough snow when we visited. The domain is less suitable for complete beginners as the small slope (Babalou) has an open lift where an adult must accommodate young kids. The slope is quite steep. On the right hand side there is a tiny slope to train but it can be challenging without a magic carpet for help. Otherwise the domain is very much equipped, nearby free parking, cafeteria and bistro bar, ski shops and rentals.
Mont Blanc is a ski resort located in the Laurentian Mountains east of Mont Tremblant. It offers 43 trails, 7 lifts and has the second highest elevation in the Laurentian Mont Tremblant region. The resort is fully equipped with cafeteria, ski school, day care and the highlight of the resort, the huge indoor playground for kids (Jungle Magique - check rates online).
We decided to give a visit to Quebec Aquarium once we were in the area of Quebec City, during a huge snow storm. We enjoyed the visit very much and so did our kids! The Aquarium exhibits fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and sea mammals.
As a big astronomy fan, I was just waiting to visit Mont Megantic as it is known for its astronomy research, observatory and for the AstroLab museum for families. Megantic and St -Joseph mountains are about 1000 meters high. There is no cable car to go up the mountain and in order to reach the observation area, you will need to climb up the mountain during winter time as the road was not open when we visited in December.