Ever notice that when out-of-town guests come to visit, we suddenly find ourselves discovering our own city like a newbie? We visit museums we’ve never been to or find ourselves completely in love with a new neighbourhood that’s right in our own backyards. Greenspaces abound here too, meaning there’s always something new to discover. What places on this list have you missed? Then pack up a picnic lunch and get going.
From art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, to history and culture at places like Redpath, McCord, and the Chateau Ramezay, our city has a wealth of information and artifacts to share with its visitors. If you have children, the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port is always great (make sure to take in an IMAX movie), as is the Children’s Museum in Laval, where kids can try any number of careers while playing in real police cars, ambulances, plane cockpits, pet shops, diners, and more.
Make your way out to Espace Pour Vie to see the Rio Tinto Planetarium for a full slate of great activities celebrating the summer of the moon. “We have a new exposition on the moon and how people went there, as well as the exposition ‘Women With Impact,’ which is very important to us to highlight the women in the field. Access to all of this is free,” said director Olivier Hernandez.
Summertime is all about savouring those warm, sunny days, and what better way to enjoy our beautiful city than from the vantage points of one of our great parks? Sit pretty atop Mont-Royal and enjoy picturesque Beaver Lake, where you can take part in a family art and nature walk, participate in ongoing conservation projects, enjoy a meal or drink at one of the cafes, paddle a rowboat, or rent a remote-controlled sailboat.
Laval Nature Centre is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, and for summertime, they have new attractions such as a library on wheels, a musical staircase, and special science-themed activities. There’s also lots to do at parks like Bois-de-Liesse in Pierrefonds, Valois Park in Pointe-Claire, and Centennial Park in DDO.
Looking for more “OOHs” than “AHHs”? La Ronde is always the place to seek out thrills and excitement, with loads of rides, a great area for younger children, games, and so much more.
Spending time on the water is a quintessential summertime pastime – and there are lots of ways to enjoy boats in Montreal. Climb aboard two replica pirate ships in the Old Port at Voilen En Voiles and challenge the entire family on their rope obstacle courses, rock-climbing wall, or bouncy castles. You can also rent paddle boats in Old Montreal or Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, or rent row boats at Beaver Lake. You can ride the Batobus in Lachine – it’s just $2 and free for kids 5 and under, and the open-air ride takes you to and from Saint-Louis and René-Lévesque Parks. The city of Dorval is offering lake cruises for $14 through the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club as well.
A morning or an afternoon spent picking your own fruits and veggies can not only be fun but fruitful, too (pun intended). Stock up on fresh berries, tomatoes, peppers, and even apples and pears into fall. You’ll discover some of the freshest produce grown by local farmers just minutes from the city. Quinn Farm is a family-favourite in Ile-Perrot, with seasonal activities, areas to picnic, and lots of Mother Nature’s finest gems. Les Fraises Louis Hébert in Saint-Blais is great for strawberry season, as is La Cerisaie Le Temps des Cerises in Saint-Paul-d’Abbotsford. If you’re close to the South Shore, then check out Domaine du Flanc Sud.