Animalium Par Selenia museum near Mont-Tremblant is great for rainy days. The indoor zoological museum for families offers a permanent exhibition of stuffed animals from 4 different floras and faunas around the world. Learn and watch from close proximity an impressive 800 species displayed in the museum.
Parc regional de Val David, located in the Laurentides offers a wonderful family winter hike (available also all year long). This round trail is about 3km. Trail letters are “D” and “C” starting from chalet d’accueil Anne-Piché in Secteur Dufresne Val-David.
Why do we love this hike:
Beautiful scenery and viewpoints throughout the trail
Special large rocks on the trail
Informative signs along the way
Special tubing hill (part of the park)
Nearby Montreal – under 1h15 drive
The park allows dogs! Check website for exact rules
Ski Val Saint Côme is a ski resort located in the Lanaudière region (under 2 hours drive from Montreal). It offers a 300 meters vertical drop, 37 trails, two snow parks and evening skiing. The resort has recovered well from the fire in September 2018 which destroyed the main buildings. New buildings have been built, completely functional (although the outside part is not yet completed). Trails types: beginner (25%), intermediate (36%), expert (28%), extremely difficult (11%). We enjoyed a sunny day, skiing, at the beginning of February at this nice resort.
Havre Familial is a 4 stars holiday centre, offering outdoor activities ideal for families all year round. We visited the centre during winter time enjoying ice skating on lake Clair, tubing (two slopes) and winter hiking. The resort is also offering cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing. During the summer, there are plenty of water sports activities.
Le Massif de Charlevoix offers the highest vertical drop in Eastern Canada and east of the Canadian Rockies, 52 trails, the longest is 5.1 km. The views of the St Lawrence river are outstanding and the feeling during skiing is that you’re on a cliff, just about to fall inside the water! Park your car, put the gear on and start your day by skiing downhill! The main entrance is located on the mountain summit. We enjoyed a chilly and windy day skiing at this resort earlier this year.
I hope that the residents of Saint-Lazare would 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, outdoor playgrounds and 20km of cross country & 4km of snowshoeing trails.
The nicest Sepaq park in terms of scenery (out of the 9 we have visited so far), located in the Laurentian Mountains, 50km north from Quebec City. This post is about our 4km loop winter walk “Les Cascades”, a relatively simple walk for families (difference in altitude about 40m). The walk is beside a stream (mostly frozen in the winter) and inside a forest, reaching a viewpoint of the Sautauriski mountain. The first part of the walk is along the Jacques Cartier River, starting at the Sepaq discovery and visitor centre (at km 10).
Île-d’Orléans, on the St. Lawrence River nearby Quebec City, is devoted to agriculture & horticulture and is benefiting from agrotourism all year long. The island consists of 6 municipalities, it is about 34km long and 8km wide at its widest point. The island is accessible via the Île d’Orléans bridge from Beauport. I have listed a few ideas for a half day visit during winter time.
Chocolaterie de L’île d’Orléans
Ice Skating in Saint Laurent de l’île d’Orléans
The place for some winter adrenaline rush! Riding on an Austrian sled down the slopes of Mont Sainte-Marguerite. Enjoy 4 consecutive descents of 2.3 km each ride. Choose between a Family or a Kamikaze trail. The place was once a military communications base (part of the Royal Canadian Air Force) during the Cold War from 1952 to 1964 as it has the highest peak in the region (summit at 698 meters). These days, the small mountain resort also offers hiking trails, bike trails, survival training, visits to the military bunker and more. We were happy to find this place as most activities with Austrian sledding in the area do not allow young kids to participate. Here you can ride with your kids from a very young age (taking the risk into consideration).
A nice and small ski resort, 1 hour away from Montreal, located in the Laurentian mountains with 20 trails, a snow park (for skiers and snowboarders) and a new short special trail for kids, Sentier des toutous, featuring 2000 soft toys along the forest path. The mountain has direct sun most of the day so you can enjoy lots of great luminosity.
A colourful theme park for young kids (designed mainly for 2-8 years old) with lots of activities; tubing (three options), treehouses, inflatables, train ride, slides and houses with different stations. This park is open mainly during the summer and is open briefly during the winter (until Jan 6th, 2019!). Super friendly staff dressed as elves will keep you entertained in each station.
This all-year trail is a super fun walk, about 1.9km return, part of the Parcs Regionaux MRC Matawinie. It is not suitable for very small kids as the trail during wintertime can be very slippery. There are about 90 stairs to reach the small waterfall. During our visit, it was mostly frozen and impressive to watch from close proximity. The trail is well maintained and has clear indications. Interpretive signs along the trail will explain the wood logging history of this region.
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.
We had a lovely afternoon visiting the Marché de Noël de Terrebonne. Open from November 29th until December 16th, 2018, the market is located in old Terrebonne. Main attractions are the exhibitors; decorated stalls with various offerings (food, wines, clothing, house decorations and more). There is a main stage with performing artists (check online program). The market is relatively small so you can continue walking along the decorated streets of Old Terrebonne to discover this charming area. Add to your walk a quick visit to Ile-des-Moulins just nearby the market.
Located in Granby, on the shores of Lake Boivin, this easy trail is suitable for young families all year long. The long wooden deck along the swamps is offering nice views of the surrounding area. Enjoy bird watching and educative information at the centre which offers temporary exhibitions. Lovely way to spend half a day in nature.
Part of the Laurentian Mountains, located between Saint-Sauveur and Mont-Tremblant, Saint – Adolphe D’Howard is the place for snowshoeing and cross country ski, if you are looking for a less crowded place with challenging hills. This place is one of the most organized outdoor space we have visited, in terms of signs along the way. Clear indications every 50 meters showing the trail you’re on and maps, simple junctions with signs how to head back to the starting point. This post is about our winter hike along the snowshoeing trail in the forest, 6km in total.
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.