The holidays are a beautiful time of the year to spend with family and friends. It’s also a lot of free time with your toddler and you may want to find a few activities to pass the time. I know our Bastien loves doing activities, and it’s also a relief to be doing something planned instead of just spending hours aimlessly wandering the house. Here are a few of my picks for the holiday season for toddlers. These picks are from a decidedly NDG oriented slant…
Here are a few of my ideas around Montreal:
Zoo Ecomuseum – We visited the Zoo Ecomuseum in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue this summer, but my husband has never been and it would be a great activity on a crisp winters day with my parents too. It’s a fairly large, yet still manageable, place filled with birds, deer, porcupines and other interesting critters. From December 20th to January 5th the Ecomuseum zoo celebrates Holiday Magic bringing surprises to the animals, and will perform a special presentation for the public about the animal (see picture above). They are also open everyday except December 25th.
Sledding – We went sledding for the first time this year with our adventurous son, and he loved it! I must admit, as I was swooshing down the hill I had a few moments of thinking ‘what the hell am I doing with a one year old at this speed’ but it all turned out well. We headed to Murray Hill in Westmount and I can imagine we’ll be back. The sledding is right next to the park which makes it convenient when they are fed up with being dragged around.
Biodome – We’ve been to the Biodome a couple times now, so I know what to expect. I pay extra and park underground so it’s a quick walk to the entrance, and we skip the stroller so he can run around. We also bring our Access Montreal card which gives a certain amount off (I forget the specific amount but it’s worth it). Bonus? The tropical section will warm you up!
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Wha? I can hear you say… but hear me out. Pre-kid days we were at the museum and there were all these wee ones doing collages and I thought wow – that’s cool, I’m going to bring my kids there one day. OK, my son is probably still a bit young, but workshops start at 2 years old and take place every weekend.
4Cats Arts Studio, NDG – OK again my son is a bit young but sessions do start as young as 3 years old (can’t wait!) and they have a snow globe workshop for that age on December 19th. Check out their other workshops too. I’ve driven past the space and it looks super bright and fun.
Swimming – This is one of our favourite activities! So.. I always want to support local everything and my local pool is the Benny pool. But, oh Benny… your change rooms are small with showers that never work and water that doesn’t drain, your water is cold, you do not have a beach entrance and your parking sucks. Apparently there was no public consultation when they built this brand new joint. It is such a shame… I still go there for swimming lessons, but I would recommend the Aquadome in Lasalle which is much older but so much better done with warm water and big change rooms. Even nicer is the brand new pool in Côte St-Luc, but the water is just a touch colder which makes it less tempting on a cold winters day.
Insectarium – So, I’ve kind of put off visiting this place. I thought the exhibits might be bit tiny for Bastien, and perhaps there was a little bit of me not really wanting to go too (OK – I find it kind of yuck) but I am kind of curious too. What exactly is at an insectarium? Do they have rows of moths in picture frames against the walls? I have no clue, but have a feeling I will find out some day. They also have various workshops that are for kids as young as one (woo hoo!)
What did I miss? What do you like to do over the holidays?
I discovered a few of these activities on The Kid Scoop – a great resource for discovering what to do with your kiddos in Montreal. The Kid Scoop has kindly sponsored Roasted, but please note that I would recommend them regardless!
www.thekidscoop.com – The ultimate destination for Canadian families who need to be “in the know” about kids’ activities. We help parents find, plan and organize their kid’s activities, get great deals and more.