I hope that the residents of Saint-Lazare will not hate me for writing about this winter heaven, so close to Montreal. This family-friendly park is offering well-organized facilities such as tubing, an ice rink, 20km of cross country, 4km of snowshoeing and outdoor playgrounds.
The closest ski resort to Montreal, Ski Saint-Bruno is offering 18 tracks with lots of ski activities for all ages and all levels at an altitude of 175 meters. The resort is ideal for beginners with 4 magic carpets and a dedicated ‘low-speed area’. Main attractions for all levels: Zone Park SBB, Mini Zone Park, La Forêt Enchantée and the new SNÖFUN area with inclined turns, valleys, jumps, uneven terrain and a mini half pipe. The enchanted forest is a beginner track inside the forest with fairy tale figures and stories.
Beautiful Rougemont is known for its apple orchards. Cidrerie Michel Jodoin is located at the base of Mont Rougemont. This fourth generation family-owned apple orchard (since 1901) offers a nice boutique for their cider products, a guided tour of the cider house with tasting and a 3.6km hiking trail up the mountain (private property of the orchard). The trail is an intermediate level (round trip) to reach an elevation of about 220 meters. The scenery at the viewpoint is super nice. The trail is not suitable for young kids. Our 10 years old friend, completed the hike without a problem. For my kids (6 and 4) it was not easy. The trail is open all-year-round with a small entry fee.
Nearby Montreal, Mont Saint-Hilaire (elevation of 414 meters) is known for its apple orchards thanks to the soil which is ideal for the growth of apple trees. The orchard, located on the southern slopes of the mountain, offers a large playground, a mini-farm, a restaurant and a shop for homemade ciders and other local produce. In addition to a variety of 20 types of apples for self-picking, there are many other activities like a giant maze, a tractor ride (during the weekend only) and a treasure hunt.
Rain or Shine, it’s outdoor time. We spent about 3 hours in this wonderful orchard in heavy rain and we loved it. Verger Champetre is offering lots of activities for kids: petting farm, animals (alpacas, ponies, sheep, gooses, deer), playground, shop, an interpretive loop trail and pick your own fruits & veggies (cherries, apples, prunes, pears, pumpkins and even garlic!). Unfortunately, the latter we could not do as the cherry season was over and the apple season did not start yet.
So close from Montreal, you can enjoy a full family day outdoor. This dream garden is offering a maze, lavender fields and beautiful monumental sculptures with living plants. We spent about two hours in the garden and then visited the nearby Hudson village with its charming flea market – Finnegan’s Market (open on the weekends).
Few weeks ago we decided to visit Chambly for the first time. Equipped with our bikes, we explored the Chambly Canal – which offers 20km of biking trail along the canal (Richelieu River). The canal is linking Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the path is part of Route Verte 1. The locks are a place to rest and to observe how they operate. This is super interesting activity for kids to see. Vessels navigate in a narrow canal, with a 24 meter rise or fall in the river’s level.
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.
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.
Located only 23km East of downtown Montreal, this National Park is an easy escape for nature and bird lovers at the city’s doorstep. In this post, we visited two short trails at the national park – Sentier Saint-Gabriel and Sentier Petit-Duc. The second walk, Sentir Petit Duc is suitable for snowshoeing. We have hiked it without the equipment this time as there was not enough snow to snowshoeing.
Love trains? This is the place for you! The perfect place for kids, you can definitely spend all day here! Rainy, or snowy days? Here we go. The big closed train hangar has a permanent exhibition where you can discover the evolution of the Canadian rail transportation from the early years to modern time.