Holidays In Canada
I recently took my family for holidays in Canada and of the many cities that this North American country boasts of, Montreal was our city of choice because we could not explore the whole of Canada in five days. Moreover, during our planning for the holiday we were certain Montreal was not only family friendly but also offers a lot of activities and attractions that both kids and adults enjoy. This city also has a heavy French influence thus it offers the best of both worlds.
We had made all our accommodation plans and made hotel reservations before our actual travel date therefore we got a taxi at the airport that got us to our hotel that was about an hour away. This was after waiting for our luggage to be cleared for another hour because there were too many arrivals. My eight-year daughter and ten-year-old son were evidently worn out after the eight hours flight so when we got to the hotel, we checked into our hotel room at the family friendly Marriot SpringHill Suite. Here, we all grabbed a snack before putting the children to bed for some rest as my husband and I proceeded to take a shower before taking a nap too. Our choice of accommodation was largely influenced by the fact that the facility is located in a central place where we could easily walk around town, eat out at night and the adjacent attractions. Later in the evening, we had our dinner at the hotel’s restaurant that served continental buffet.
The next morning we began our three-day itinerary for our holidays in Canada by a visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens that is not so far from the Olympic Park. The botanical gardens have a collection of over 20000 plant species in various gardens that include the Chinese Garden, the bonsai garden and the rose gardens. The gardens offer a relaxing atmosphere and this is evident by the number of people that go to the gardens.
We has so much on our itinerary that we could not comb through the entire garden thus we singled out a few highlights that are also appealing to children considering that they get bored too fast when there is nothing exiting to see. We visited the Montreal Insectarium that is also a must see for people of all ages. The Insectarium is one of the best science museums our children have ever visited. The museum has a great display of insects from different parts of the world while maintaining the educational value that is quite inspiring. The children kept on pointing at the beetles, butterflies and spiders among other insects that she was familiar with. Interestingly, my skin kept on crawling because I fear insects naturally so there was no way I would be at ease but I had to be there for the sake of my children. You can be sure to enjoy a tour around the insectariums regardless of whether you are an insect enthusiast or not. We concluded the hour-long tour with a stunning show by acrobats who were dressed like spiders doing their thing on the web.
Another attraction that is within the botanical gardens that I recommend to anyone planning visiting is Biodome de Montreal. This dome is housed in a former 1976 Olympics stadium and it presents four ecological habitats namely the marine, polar, forest and rain forest. Here we got an overview of the life for animals in each of the ecosystem. My children were particularly enthralled by the parrots, tropical monkeys, puffins and penguins just like my husband and I were.
A visit to the Montreal Science Centre also offers another memorable experience that you should not miss. While here, we got to explore stimulating environments with interactive devices. We got some snacks at the Snacks bar before enjoying a movie at the IMAX Theatre. This was also a great opportunity to rest before proceeding with our other expeditions. Later, we went to The Redpath Museum that is tucked away at the McGill University. The Museum that is named after the Philanthropist and tycoon John Redpath offers free admission for all to see amazing collections that include the Egyptian mummy, Darwin’s hand written letter, bones of a dinosaur and much more. This is a place you do not want to miss especially considering the fact that it can be accessed free of charge.
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From here, we went back to our hotel room feeling knackered but all for a good cause. We all got a chance at the shower to freshen up before heading out for a sumptuous family dinner at Chez L’Epicier restaurant where we had made a reservation. We did not stay out for long as we anticipated another long day. Moreover, the children needed to get to bed early.
Our holidays in Canada got better on the second day as we toured the Canadian Railway Museum. Our choice of attractions that we included on our itinerary was strategic as we wanted everyone to have fun. The museum has a rich collection of over 150 locomotives, railway vehicles and cars that are all amazing. To access this museum, you will need to pay an admission fee of $14 for every adult and $6.50 for kids. The next stop was the famous Mont Royal where you will enjoy an awesome view of Montreal as well as the serenity of the pack. This attraction is worth visiting and can be accessed by walking or driving. We opted for the latter as the children could not walk to the top 764-foot mountain of the 7but it was still a worthwhile experience. In addition, we needed to visit other places therefore driving up the mountain helped us save on time. Before leaving we grabbed some yummy sandwiches from the German deli around the corner. You can also have a meal at one of the many restaurants that are within this area.
We then left for the Strom Spa that is quite unique as it is surrounded by a number of natural wonders. The spa is located along the shores of the lake that also offers beautiful and natural setting. Some of the experiences that you can enjoy here include massages, eucalyptus steam bath, Nordic and thermal baths, outdoor whirlpools and Finnish saunas. Although we never got to sample any of these pleasures because we needed to head to the Biosphere, I recommend it to couples visiting Montreal. Biosphere lives up to its name as our children had a great experience ranging from the amazing views from the rooftop levels. The activities here were also wonderful especially at the room that deals with water among other fun and interactive things to do. Adults also can enjoy immensely as there are various presentations that last up to about 30 minutes covering various topics. We were here for about three hours and I can assure you that is was worth every minute for all of us.
On the third day of our holidays in Canada, we opted for the Old Montreal walking tour that we later came to realized was a brilliant way of getting accustomed to Montreal. Our guide was well informed and offered insight on other places that we could visit and activities that we could engage in. By the end of the tour we were knowledgeable on the history of Montreal. The tour was simply special even though it was also tiring. Later in the afternoon, we went to the Segal Centre for Performing arts where we enjoyed a classic play and some great music. After this, we went to the city centre to shop for souvenirs as we enjoyed our last moments in Montreal. In general, Canada is a great place to spend your holidays as a couple or family because you will never run out of ideas on things to see and to do and at the end of it all you will take away memories you will treasure for a long time.
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