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Family Fun Circuit
Distance: 290 km (180 mi.) Plan a 3-4-day trip.
Regions: Eastern Townships, Montréal, Laval and The Laurentians
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Wondering where to go for family fun? Here's a circuit that begins and ends within two hours from Montréal that's loaded with things to do for kids of all ages. For a very special wow factor, start at the Granby Zoo in the Eastern Townships. With a few stops in between - such as the Old Port of Montréal, your circuit's grand finale is the famous Mont-Tremblant resort area in the Laurentians, the epicentre of family outdoor fun.
1. Granby Zoo - Over 1,000 animals live in four Earth zones: Africa, America, Asia and Oceana. You can touch a shark, have parrots perch on your head or talk with the zookeepers and educators. Venture into exotic lands, such as the Gorilla's Valley, Hippo River and In the Eye of the Tiger. All this plus the Amazoo Yoplait water park, which boasts the largest heated wave pool in Québec. Just one hour from Montréal.
2. Ski Bromont Water Park - Get swept away by the waves down the Congo River all the way to Elephant Country where little pirates make their assault on Treasure Island. This fun-for-the-whole family water park won Silver in the 2010 Outdoor Recreation Activities category from Grand Prix du Tourisme Québécois. And now there's a 24,000 square feet heated wave pool with a 300-foot beach-style entry!
3. Old Port of Montréal - This is one of the city's most popular meeting places, where locals and tourists alike cycle, walk and rollerblade along the Old Port's quays and promenade. Especially monumental is the Montréal Science Centre, with its several permanent and temporary exhibits, plus an IMAX® Telus cinema. Or you can take to the water aboard a harbour cruise, go jet boating on the rapids or simply cross to the river's island parks on the ferry.
4. Montréal's Olympic Park & Neighbourhood - The Montréal Biodome houses four ecosystems, including a tropical zone (with monkeys!) and a polar zone where you can see penguins dive and frolic. The Montréal Botanical Garden, one of best in the world, boasts a collection of more than 22,000 species and varieties of plants and has 10 exhibition greenhouses. To look over it all - and the city of Montréal - go to the top of the Olympic Park Tower (built for the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games), the tallest inclined tower in the world.
5. Cosmodôme - Space Science Center - The Cosmodôme, dedicated to man's voyage into outer space, is home to the Space Science Center. Five different topics about space are explored in this interactive museum that has NASA artefacts on display: a real moon rock, an Apollo space suite and a rocket engine. Catch the film Magnificent Destination: Walking on the Moon for a trip to the Earth's natural satellite.
6. SkyVenture - Experience skydiving indoors at the only free-fall simulator in Canada. Air is forced up through a 45-foot tall cylinder 14 feet in diameter at 175 km per hour to make you feel you're freefalling from heights over 3,500 feet. This vertical wind tunnel is so safe children as young as four are allowed! Training included.
7. D'Arbre en arbre® - Mirabel - Who wouldn't love to roam the treetops? This park has a rope course for kids and four junior/adult treetop courses for the whole family to enjoy. This year, the Young Adventurers, for children 7 and over, is longer and a new course has been added to the Young Squirrels, aged 4 to 5.
8. Mont Saint-Sauveur Water Park - Nineteen different ways to have fun in the water! Tubing or rafting down several different "rivers," ranging from the gentle "Lazy River" to the whitewater "Colorado." Wave pool, surf session plus buckets more fun. On land, the Alpine Coaster that is cut through mountain terrain is open all year round. In addition, the park has magic shows, live entertainment, and restaurants.
9. Mont-Tremblant - The village - At the base of the famous ski hill lies this utterly charming replica of an old-fashioned European-style village - for pedestrians only! It has the same quality of fashionable boutiques and excellent restaurants you've come to expect in La Belle Province. Lots of family fun, too, such as coasting downhill in 3-wheeled carts at the Alpine Luge. And parents can focus on themselves at the fully equipped Aquaclub La Source.
10. Mont-Tremblant area - Anything you like to do outdoors, you'll find it here in spades! Wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing or tubing at the Pierre Plouffe Nautical Center on Lac Tremblant, four first-class golf courses and four fully equipped spas. And for enthusiasts of the outdoors in its purest form, the 1,510 km2 (583 sq. mi.) Mont-Tremblant park is right at the resort's back door.