It was a rainy and cold (blustery & soggy) Montreal weekend and I could tell my son–and husband!–was restless. I never like to admit it but occasionally I need a weekend day home; of course, it’s never to relax but mostly to catch up on mother essentials like laundry, cleaning and prep-cooking for the week ahead. I know, Boring with a capital B. So hubby and I made the usual weekend deal–we go out if he promises to help out with chores (ahem, right…)–and we looked for kid-friendly locations.
The Montreal Science Center is amazing! We left a little later than we should have because the website indicates that it’s best for kids ages 4+ but my then 14 month old absolutely adored the museum. When it was finally closing, I had to drag him out wailing! I would recommend this museum for kids of all ages that can walk and are keen on exploring their surroundings.
The first area isn’t really a museum but more of a “Mommy and Daddy will zone-out while Child exhausts him/herself” playground. Well, that is if your child is old enough to have supervised from a distance play time. My son was in heaven; picture screaming children whizzing around with glee. Here’s a picture of the Clic! Zone for Curious Minds:
Yes, that’s a foam (exterior) house. It was pretty awesome and I have to admit that I really shared in my son’s experience. The zone also has a build your own train set, several puzzle tables and a few educational stations with lights and easily maneuvered devices. None of the pieces are too small (thankfully, no choking) but I would warn the germaphobe mothers to bring gallons of hand sanitizer. I also recommend bringing indoor shoes for everyone–they ask that boots are removed before entering the play area.
Once we finally cajoled my son into leaving the first room, he was mesmerized by the second. Science 26 (26 science-inspired stations correspond to the alphabet) is an amazing display of movement, sound, light and general giddiness. My son was particularly enthralled by the “nail” chair (a chair that demonstrates how if enough nails are used, the pressure when sat upon is evenly distributed and thus the person isn’t hurt), the “sound” room (a very cool room that demonstrates radio waves and frequencies) and, as usual, anything water related. The area was bustling with kids and the energy was palpable.
There are many more permanent and temporary exhibitions but we didn’t have the time to see them all. A repeat visit is definitely in order on the next crabby-weather weekend in Montreal. For parents who have kids who’ll sit through a movie, the IMAX is a pretty neat exhibit, too.
I found the entry fee a little steep but maybe that’s because we arrived late and I didn’t get as much time there as I would’ve liked. Adults are $14; Teens (13-17) & Seniors (60+) are $13; Children (4-12) are $8.50; and kids under 4 are free. Lucky us, we only paid for the adults. By the way, they do have a Family rate (2 adults/2 kids or 1 adult/3 kids) for $39 so that isn’t as bad for a full day of family fun. You get stamped so you can certainly leave for a few hours to eat lunch.
Speaking of lunch, there’s a huge selection of excellent restaurants in the area so I would definitely recommend taking advantage of those while you are in the area. Parking isn’t free unless you want to walk quite a distance or you could get lucky with street parking.
Location: The Montréal Science Centre is located on King Edward Pier, in the Old Port. The Pier is essentially the extension of Saint-Laurent Boulevard, south of de la Commune Street.
Before going, check out the official site. It has information on the temporary exhibitions, the IMAX showings and other special events.