We like to head out and about and explore all the great things Montreal has to offer and you can read about more amazing activities with young kids in our past posts here.
Our latest little adventure was to take part in the Family Sunday activity at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de Montreal) and I think more than any other post I’ve done this one definitely is worth reading before you head out. It took me three attempts before I finally made it into the workshop and I learned a lot along the way.
I took part in the four-handed workshop for 2-5 year olds that occur either at 10:15 or 11:15 on a Sunday morning. I know there are other workshops but just check the calendar. There are only 30 spots (including parents) available for each activity and they go FAST.
It was a fun activity and the space is just gorgeous with lots of room for roaming around. Plus, I love how it is a little introduction to the museum that is in it’s own corner so there’s no chance your child will deface a Degas. Having said that, I’ve seen a lot of people bring their little ones to the museum. If you are thinking about this I’d think about your child and the exhibits you want to visit. The most popular exhibits are very crowded but it’s easy to get away from the crowds to explore some less visited, quieter areas. Personally, my children are a little wild and I think I’d wait until they were a little older to bring them to the main area but I’m sure this would be fine for some.
But on to the nitty gritty….
First off, don’t even think about trying to come in through the main entrance. The Family Sunday registration table is just after the entrance on Bishop’s Street and those in the know are already lining up at this entrance before the museum opens. I would say that if you wanted to participate in the 10:15 workshop you should be there waiting at least at 9:45. This was my experience during the winter, which I assume is quieter. During the summer you may have to go even earlier. If you want the 11:15 exhibit I’d be there probably around 10:00 as well because all the people who did not get into the 10:15 exhibit will take the 11:15 spots.
There are two huge areas to wait in. The upper lounge where the registration table and entrance is located is pretty huge and has lots of books and a few toys. If you don’t make the 10:15 spot at least you have a place to play.
The lower level where the class is located also has lots of room to roam and there is plenty of room for strollers.
You can take a little tour through the museum and exit through the main entrance on Sherbrooke. Take the elevator to the first floor and when you exit you encounter some pretty amazing huge modern sculptures and paintings which my kids found pretty fascinating.
If you couldn’t tell from all the photos I took the place is stunning, vast and well planned. It’s pretty amazing that we have such a jewel of a museum in our wonderful city.
On Sunday parking is free in the area until 1:00. I’ve found parking on de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke fairly easily before 10:00. There is no parking on Bishops where the entrance for Family Sunday is located.
You need a pass for the total number of people in your party. I just assumed a 2 person pass was for 2 kids but in fact if you are 2 adults and 2 kids you need a 4 person pass.
If you have a VIP membership technically you can buy your tickets in advance through the website. However, the whole thing seems to be a bit mixed up and when I called the museum to confirm if I bought a pass there would actually be room for me she said technically yes but in reality she could not guarantee it. I got the same response when I asked the lady manning the Family Sunday registration table. If anyone from the museum would like to confirm this system in fact works, I’d love to hear.
The Family Sunday pass is free.
We brought shoes so my kids didn’t have to clomp around in heavy boots.
Michelle loves adventuring around Montreal with her family. She’s also a family and business photographer and you can see more of her work here.