Montreal with tweens between Christmas and New Year's Eve
October 8, 2019 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Seeking advice about traveling to Montreal at the holidays.

I am taking two tweens (12 and 10) to Montreal during the time between Christmas and New Year's. I am specifically seeking advice about where to stay and what to do (and if I should expect any holiday-related closures around that time) and where to eat. Kids are curious, adventurous, and sporty.

This is a first-time visit for all of us. Thanks!
posted by trixie119 to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
If the kids are sporty take 'em skating/sledding at Beaver Lake (outdoors) or at 1000 de la Gauchetiere (indoor skating) You can also skate at lots of different parks around town. Many of them set up rinks in the winter. You might even get into a pick-up hockey game with locals!

Food-wise, I highly recommend checking out the foods Montreal is famous for, bagels and smoked meat. There are many places in town for this but personally my go-to for smoked meat is Snowdon Deli on Decarie. Lots of people will tell you to go to Schwartz's and they're not wrong, but you'll wait half as long at Snowdon Deli and to me it's actually better.

Bagel-wise, REAL Bagel on Queen Mary does 'em up fresh in a wood-fired oven every day. It's a short walk from Snowdon Deli.

As for where to stay, you can't really go wrong at any of the big hotels in town. My wife and I have done mini-getaways at the Delta downtown lots of times. There's also the Queen Elizabeth hotel (where John and Yoko had their bed-in) and lots of other options. As a resident I'm probably a little less helpful on this score.

Other places to eat of note (all of these are pricey but have fantastic food)

La Banquise
Joe Beef
Rib 'n' Reef
Gibbys

Oh, and do yourself a favour and go see the Saint-Joseph Oratory (free, beautiful) and take a walk around Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetary. That'd maybe be more of a fall/spring thing but the weather isn't /always/ atrocious in December.

Have a great time in Montreal!
posted by signsofrain at 2:04 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]


The archaeology museum is fantastic! They have an exhibit called the Wonder Room that I think runs through February (double check to make sure) and my kids enjoyed that a lot. Montreal is also a wonderful foodie city. We particularly enjoyed the Polish food at the Stash Cafe and we also loved Helena. Definitely see the Saint Joseph Oratory and the Notre Dame Cathedral. At night they do a light show in the Cathedral called "Aurora" and it was AMAZING. I don't even know how to describe it, it was just so beautiful. We also enjoyed the art museums. We stayed downtown in Old Montreal across from the convention center. We were able to walk almost everywhere -- we did catch Uber rides to St. John's and Mount Royale.
posted by Ostara at 5:45 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


This winter adventure park looks awesome. (We went in summer and it was a lot of fun.)
posted by xo at 6:06 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


If you're from a region that doesn't have poutine, there's some great poutine in Montreal so treat your kids to that.

We stayed at and enjoyed Hotel Samesun, cheap and cheerful (also a hostel), and easy walking to old Montreal.
posted by anadem at 7:15 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]


We picked a place to stay based on it's proximity to a great croissant bakery, only to find they were closed for a few days after Christmas. I think that we found that several restaurants we'd planned on were also closed, so that scrambled plans for a birthday dinner. But we were staying the 26th and 27th, I'm sure they reopened closer to NYE.
My daughter loved the biodome, but it was super crowded due to school vacation and not sure how that will be impacted by it reopening in December after a renovation.
posted by saffry at 3:22 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


I you can find a food tour, that's a wonderful way to spend a day. Do it early in your visit so that you have lots of eating places to choose from. Comfort Suites downtown is affordable, and right opposite a very old pub, worth going to just to see the carving on the bar. Also good food and beer.
posted by Enid Lareg at 6:42 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


We're in Montreal right now with slightly younger kids, and so far the answers have included: a) walk around, and b) eat bread products. (Well, we're also doing a lot of biking, but you may not want to do that in December.) Seriously, my kids' goals are to explore as many different parks as they can, and eat every bagel or croissant we come across. Both are making for some fantastic adventures, we explore different neighborhoods seeking out carbohydrates.
posted by linettasky at 10:19 AM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Thanks everyone!
posted by trixie119 at 4:09 PM on October 21


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