Winter Family Fun in Montreal!
With a cold and dreary January that seemed to drag on and on, we decided to plan a quick weekend get away to help beat the winter blues! With so many great family activities and being just a short drive from Ottawa/Gatineau, Montréal seemed like the perfect destination. We were able to leave after school/work hours and still arrive in time for a late dinner!
When we arrived at the Delta Hotels Montréal by Marriott we were quickly checked-in and hurried up to our room as the boys were excited to check out the kids’ pack that they were given at check-in! Our room was bright and clean with lots of space for the kids to play.
Once we were settled in, we headed downstairs to Bistro-Bar Le Cordial for a late supper before bed. The kids menu offered several choices and Zac chose the cheese pizza while Raffi decided on the poutine. They both loved their meals and the homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert were a hit! I really enjoyed my caesar salad and poutine while Mathieu was impressed by the tuna poke and the slow cooked veal ribs!
After a long week of school, Zac was ready to relax after supper so he stayed in room and enjoyed some Netflix with Maxi and I while Mathieu and Raffi went to check out Luminothérapie. The annual display takes place at Place des Festivals and this year featured 120 large dominoes. The dominoes were spread over several stations, each with their own unique lights and sounds. Raffi loved setting them up, giving them a push and racing to the end, trying to beat the falling dominoes! With a different theme each year, Luminothérapie is on my list to visit again next winter!
After a good night’s sleep, (or as good as you can have with a 8.5 month old!) we went upstairs to the Club Lounge to grab some breakfast before starting our day. With several choices from cereal and eggs to pastries, toast and fruit, we all found something to enjoy! The staff was friendly, offering us coffee or lattés and bringing a highchair for the baby. The lounge offers breakfast in the mornings, evening hors d’oeuvres and 24 hour access to snacks, coffee, water and soft drinks.
Once we had finished eating, we still had some time before our planned activities so much to the big boys’ delight we went to the pool! Their favourite part of staying in a hotel has got to be the pool and we always make sure to get a couple of swims in during our stay! The pool at the Delta Montréal was great for kids, with the pool separated in half, one side for people swimming laps and the other for free swimming and play. There were lots of lounge chairs for relaxing poolside and of course, a hot tub! Life jackets, flutter boards and pool noodles were all available too!
Despite the bitter cold, we were determined to check out BARBEGAZI, a winter action sports festival taking place in Montréal’s Olympic Park. We made our way on the metro to the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park. With temperatures nearing -37c with the wind chill, BARBEGAZI, meaning “frozen beard”, was the perfect name for this festival! With several activities to choose from such as axe throwing, snow skating and Christmas tree throwing we braved the weather to try a few! A real favourite of Raffi’s was the tree throwing, and he did pretty good! Zac loved the hot waffle from Gaufrabec! Lastly, we roasted some marshmallows before heading back to the hotel to warm up.
Unfortunately, due to the extreme cold weather and increasing wind that afternoon we were unable to visit La Grande roue de Montréal or Voiles en Voiles, an adventure park on the docks of the Old Port and decided to reschedule for the following day.
That evening we went for a walk through the Old Port and stopped in for supper at Vieux-Port Steakhouse. Although they didn’t have a dedicated kid’s menu, there were several items on the menu that interested the boys. They shared a shrimp cocktail and an order of calamari while I chose a mac & cheese with ham and bacon. Mathieu ordered the foie gras torchon with maple jelly, pistachios and walnut croutons which was delicious. Following a great meal, we made our way through the snow back to the Delta Montréal to settle in for the night. We grabbed some hot chocolate and cookies from the lounge and after a hot bath we snuggled up in bed to watch a movie on Netflix.
When we woke up Sunday morning, several inches of snow covered the streets with more still falling and the blowing wind creating huge drifts over the sidewalks.
After breakfast, Mathieu had made a reservation at Laser Quest for Zac and Raffi to play a couple of rounds of laser tag. I stayed back in the room with Maxi as it was right at naptime! Although Laser Quest wasn’t far, they hopped in a taxi due to the weather. Much to the boys’ delight they were scheduled to play with a large group from a birthday party which meant lots of kids their age to play with! Between rounds they enjoyed the arcade corner, playing air hockey, basketball and car racing.
Before settling Maxi down for his nap, I decided to pop him in the baby carrier and brave the storm to grab a matcha tea latte from Starbucks, conveniently located right across the street! Maxi had fallen asleep on our little venture so it was easy to lay him down in bed while I enjoyed my hot drink in the comfort of our warm and cozy room!
When the boys got back we decided that it wouldn’t be safe to drive home as the roads were still terrible and some were even closed because of road conditions and accidents. We spent the afternoon at the pool, lounge and just relaxing in the room, ordering delivery for lunch… and supper too! We were happy to spend another night at the Delta Montréal and the kids were so excited to stay an extra night!
Sadly, due to the weather conditions on this trip we were unable to attend the annual winter festival La Fête des Neiges or Voiles en Voiles Adventure Park. We were hoping to still ride La Grande Roue but it was closed because of the storm. We are looking forward to attending La Fête des Neiges next winter and plan to check out Voiles en Voiles and La Grande Roue on our vacation this summer!
On Monday morning, we woke up, grabbed a quick breakfast and set out for home. Although we missed out on some of our planned activities we had a great trip full of family, food and fun!