Village du Père Noël Santa Claus Village

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. 

Parc régional de la Chute à Bull

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.

Maison Saint-Gabriel

Maison Saint-Gabriel is a national historic site located in Montreal (Pointe Saint-Charles). This museum will take you back in time to show you how the new settlers of New France lived in the mid 17th century. The place was founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys who bought the land in 1668 to support agricultural and educational activities of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. We spent a few hours at this wonderful site. I highly recommend a visit, it is an ideal place for rainy/snowy days.

Yamaska National Park

Located in the Eastern Townships nearby Granby, this national park is wonderful for families. Surrounded by hills, the man-made Choiniere Reservoir is ideal for family hiking, water activities and biking. On a sunny day, we decided to combine a short hike and enjoy the park with its activities for kids.

Zoo Ecomuseum

Zoo Ecomuseum on Montreal Island

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.

Parc Omega

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. 

Mont Mégantic National Park Parcours du Soleil (Petite-Ourse loop trail)

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.

Orford National Park Cherry Pond (Etang aux Cerises)

Mid-December, we were looking for a ski resort to teach the kids how to ski or a place to do snow shoeing but there was not enough snow even though most resorts were open. We called Mont-Orford centre and they recommended this trail for families with young kids. This is part of a cross-country ski trail which was open for hiking as the season did not start yet. The signs along the way indicate that this path is only for cross-county skiers but we assume it is open all year long.

Mont St Bruno National Park St Gabriel and Petit Duc walks

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.

La Ferme du Bassin

On a summer rainy day, we decided to go out although the non-stop showers. We found this nice farm online. This is a family farm with about 29 different animal species and about 1000 animals. The farm has group visits usually twice a day. Call before you go to make sure there are tours on the day of your visit and to confirm the exact time of the group visit.