Ski Montagne Coupee is located in Saint-Jean-de-Matha about 1h15 from Montreal. The centre is specialized in winter sports; cross country ski (traditional and skating – 72.3km trails) and snowshoeing (19.5km trails). The center is situated near the Abbaye Val-Notre Dame, a monastery opened in 2009. The trails take you through a pine forest, a valley, hills, and an impressive cliff.
Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, offers many family-friendly activities and is known for the wide selection of the National museums and nature activities just on the city outskirts.
Here is the list of activities (ideal for wintertime but it can be equally enjoyable during the summer):
– Parliament Hill
– Byward Market
– Rideau Canal Skateway
– Gatineau Park
– Mer Bleue
– Parc Omega
– Fairmont – Le Chateau Montebello
– Hockey Game
During wintertime, Parc Régional de la Rivière du Nord offers 14.4 km of winter trails, 17.2 km of cross country trails, a mini slope for sledding, and 19.3 km of snowshoeing trails in the forest. During summertime, it offers hiking and cycling trails, and nautical activities.
Why we love this park:
– Nearby Montreal, less than 45 mins drive
– Super nice scenery with the river rapids
– Simple trails, flat terrain, ideal for little hikers and beginners – circular and short trails
– Unique trails such as Sentier des Arts, a short trail with impressive wooden installations, Circuit Historique and Circuit Écologique – short trails with interpretation panels along the path
Musée de la Nature et des Sciences à Sherbrooke (MNS2) is a small museum at the heart of Sherbrooke City in Estrie. We visited the museum on a rainy day and the kids enjoyed and learned about wildlife and geology in a fun way. During our visit, there were two main attractions, the AlterAnima exhibition, and the Terra Mutantès multimedia show, both interactive.
Upper Canada Village is a heritage park that lets you experience a rural English Canadian village in the late 19th century (around 1860s). It features over 40 authentic buildings, several working mills, and trade buildings. Most of the houses were physically moved there during the Seaway Project. The village staff, dressed in clothing of the time, is demonstrating various activities such as gardening and traditional farming vegetables and livestock. Other trade demonstrations include blacksmith, cabinetmaker, baker, shoemaker, cooper, physician and many more. Kids of all ages can enjoy the village, with lots of learning activities.
Mont-Saint Bruno offers lake views, green outdoor space, hiking and bicycle trails, apple picking (in season) while being close to Montreal. We tried the Seigneurial bicycle trail, a 7km loop path along the lake. Although indicated easy on the guide, the trail was a bit challenging for our 7 years old, as it goes up and down, consider hiking as an alternative if you have an all-terrain stroller. We cycled it and ended our fun day at the small orchard for apple picking. Mont Saint-Bruno is open all-year-round for summer and winter activities, including ski, cross country, and fat bike trails.
La Société de Conservation, d’Interprétation et de Recherche de Berthier et ses Îles (SCIRBI) is a wetland reservation, known for its richness with fauna and flora. The main activity besides hiking is observing the 200+ species of birds, fish and rare plants in the island along footbridges, interpretation signs, and observation towers. This place was awarded by UNESCO in 2000 as one of the six world reserves of the world’s biosphere. The islands host a resting and feeding area for migratory birds such as herons and waterfowls. There are three trails on the island, this post is about our 7km+ hike on the island.
Parc Linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord is a multi-use recreational trail along Rivière du Nord from Saint Jérome to Mont-Laurier. The 232km corridor was originally a railway track which was operated by the Candian Pacific Railway from about 1890 to 1990. Today, Le P’tit Train du Nord Linear Park is used for biking and hiking during summertime and cross-country skiing & snowmobiles (at some parts) during the winter. The trail is free of charge, offers mechanical bike equipment at designated areas, first aid & mechanical assistance via volunteers along the trail and accessible to beginners.
Only 30 mins north from Quebec City, Canyon Sainte-Anne is a beautiful gorge, carved by the Sainte-Anne-du-Nord River with a drop of 75 meters waterfall. With three suspension footbridges and many overlooks, you will not miss a drop. The hike is circular, from the main entrance, along bridges, walking on both sides of the gorge, first downhill until reaching the bottom of the canyon and then climbing uphill. Other activities are available in the park, Air Canyon, a high-speed short and zipline experience, 90 meters above the gorge and also rock climbing – via Ferrata.
Verger Denis Charbonneau is located on the foothills of Mont Saint-Grégoire. This large orchard with 28,000 apple trees offers 15 apple varieties. A visit to this well-organized orchard is ideal for families, with a wide selection of activities; 3 play areas, two mini-farms, a tractor ride and more.
Other fruit pickings are available: strawberries (June), raspberries and blueberries (July), plums (August-September), pears (September – October), pumpkins (September 15 – October 31).
Oh, Charlevoix! The region with the nicest landscape and views of the St Lawerence River. Route Des Saveurs is a road along green hills and mountains with numerous local producers. We were hopping from one artisan shop and producer to the other, and the views, oh the views! This post is about our week in the Charlevoix area in the summer, where we visited farms, art boutiques, pottery shops, restaurants, and beaches. All suitable for families with kids.
Isle-aux-Coudes is located off the shore of Charlevoix on the St. Lawrence River. The 23km island is known for its cycling adventure and splendid views of the Charlevoix hills and mountains. The short free-of-charge ferry boat ride with the car is a nice experience. During the summertime you can enjoy many festivals and events on the island. It is part of La Route des Saveurs (a culinary route) with featured local producers and restaurants in the area.
Parc des Chutes de Sainte Ursule offers great lookouts of the Maskinongé river’s waterfalls. This 2km hiking trail allows you to walk along the waterfalls and to view an impressive 70 meters drop. The hike is considered an intermediate level of difficulty. Picnic areas and a kids’ playground will let you enjoy nature with the strong sound of the streaming water.
A must-see in the Easterntownship region is Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. The hiking trail (which bears the same name) is a 3.5km round trip with exciting adventures along the way and wonderful views of the area. During the hike, you will encounter the longest suspended bridge in North America, an observation tower, a cave, a dam and a hydroelectric power plant.
Le Potager Mont Rouge is offering several self-picking fruits and veggies from their field, such as strawberries, sweet corns, tomatoes, apples and pumpkins. Great for families, enjoy a picnic near the apple trees, a playground with a giant trampoline and a mini-farm. We had fun picking strawberries and of course, the tractor ride! The views of the surrounding hills of Mont Rouge are very charming.
Clef des Champs is a beautiful garden (organic certified) with 150 medicinal plants planted on terraces of a mountain in Val-David. Open for only 5 weeks in the summer this garden has great views of the surrounding hills. Learn about the medicinal herbs with informative signs along the path, exploring the health benefits of these plants. Our kids liked the witch garden with toxic plants. We spent about an hour in the garden, including the playground, headed for lunch in Val-David, and continued on a short bicycle ride on the Petit Train du Nord which is located nearby.
Maison Lavande is a beautiful lavender field located only 45 minutes from Montreal. This picturesque gem has a high-end provencal look and feel. Come here to relax (even with kids) 🙂 Stroll around the lavender field and enjoy the many relaxing chairs, an elevated viewpoint, a giant swing, a playground, a bistro with lavender ice cream! and a shop with homemade beauty products made from the grown lavender.
45 minutes south of Montreal, you will find a safari, aquapark and an amusement park, all in one place. Parc Safari is offering a close encounter with 500 animals and 97 species. Enjoy a family day outing near Montreal watching the animals during a safari drive, while walking on a footbridge, terrace and inside a tunnel. Daily events offer animations and education sessions with the park staff.
Marais de la Riviere aux Cerises is a simple hiking trail in Magog along marsh, swamps and wetland. It offers free of charge trail network with wonderful views of Mount Orford and the Cherry River while hiking along a wooden deck above the wetland. The Marais Interpretation Centre exhibits a permanent exhibition which is great for families with kids. The simple trail is open all year round and is accessible for people with reduced mobility. Our walk was about 4.6 km in total.
Guyon farm offers an educational farm, butterfly house, plant nursery and a huge indoor farmer market with lots of Quebec produce. At the educational farm there are many animals; rabbits, goats, sheeps, alpacas, miniature horses, donkey, chicken, quails, pigeons, turkeys and peacocks. Our family had fun on an early spring afternoon at Ferme Guyon enjoying a light fresh lunch from the local bakery, a visit to the animal farm and the highlight – spending indoor time with the butterflies.