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Located at the eastern edge of the Plateau Mont-Royal, La Fontaine Park consists of about 40 hectares (100 acres) in all. It serves as site for one of the official rites of spring, with people flocking to it the moment they sense warmer weather approaching. You can relax under the trees, picnic, sunbathe, bike, or play tennis. There is an outdoor theater in the summer, and in the winter the pond becomes a skating rink. Several monuments adorn the park, including one commemorating the sacrifice of French-Canadians who died during the course of the World Wars.
Featuring an extensive collection of Barbie dolls decked in iconic designer wear, Barbie Expo attracts scores of visitors who flock here to admire the intricate detailing and haute couture designs pertaining to different styles. This fascinating expo displays the work of many world-renowned designers, including Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior and Carolina Herrera among others.
Frederick Law Olmsted, of Central Park fame, designed Mount Royal Park. It is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a huge metropolis when walking or cross-country skiing on the park's many well-signposted trails: chief downtown access points are from Parc Jeanne-Mance and Drummond Street, just west of Royal Victoria Hospital. Beaver Lake features skating, tobogganing, and even a small ski hill and chairlift, while Mount Royal Cemetery is one of the continent's largest.
Cinéma Beaubien is an independent theater that specializes in art-house cinema and indie films. The cinema focuses on original films while also screening a selection of commercial movies as well. A community oriented art space, Beaubien welcomes its fair share of movie lovers looking for a unique experience. The family-friendly theater also hosts special screenings and events for kids and their parents. The exciting schedule of new releases, excellent sound systems, and a menu of delicious refreshments ensures a fun time while in Montreal.
Every season at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal (Montréal Botanical Gardens), you'll be captivated by the colors and fragrances of flowers and plants as you move from garden to garden, many inspired by different parts of the world. Explore the Sonoran desert, wander into the Chinese or French Garden, and finally relax in the tranquility of the Japanese Garden. The Montreal Botanical Garden contains about 12,000 plant species and cultivators, ten exhibition greenhouses, about 30 thematic gardens and a large arboretum.
Putting Edge is an indoor mini golf center with a unique twist - you play in the dark. The 18-hole course is illuminated only by fluorescent lighting, creating a fantastical setting in which to enjoy a putting session. Immerse yourself in a swirling color kaleidoscope that creates scenes from Amazonian jungles to medieval fortresses. An energetic and fun experience for all ages, Putting Edge puts the fun back in mini golf with its innovative design and unique thematic game play.
Built on the site where the city's founders first landed, this history and archaeology museum opened exactly 350 years after the event, in 1992. Pointe-à-Callière Museum stands on the remains of original historical buildings, and parts of the old fortification walls are on display. It features a multimedia show and an underground archaeological tour, along with various temporary exhibits. Highlights include the triangular Éperon Building, the former Customs House, and Place Royale. Kids will especially enjoy learning first hand what it means to be an archaeologist in a fun engaging manner with the engaging Archaeo-Adventure Exhibition, while the Pirates or Privateers exhibition will thrill them as they learn about life on the High-seas. With plenty of events and activities, the museum is a true cultural hub in the city.
Biosphere museum and exhibition hall is dedicated to raising environmental and ecological awareness among its visitors. Housed in the world's largest geodesic dome, which is one of few remaining structures from the Expo's, it offers four levels of guided discovery. The bottom level examines water as both Source of Life and Source of Delight, the Connections Hall showcases multimedia presentations focusing on environmental protection, and the Visions Hall affords an incredible view of Montreal.
After all the shopping is done and you are tired of visiting museums, live action laser tag might be a good way to get the heart beating faster while harmlessly getting rid of your aggressions. There is a maze, fog, darkness, dim neon lighting, ramps, catwalks, music and Twilight Zone sound effects for an experience that is escapism at its best. Many different games are available, and extra late hours on weekends make it a good way to start a night out.
Set on the Saint Lawrence River where the dome of the Montreal Biosphere forms an arresting backdrop, the Parc Jean-Drapeau is a wonderful hub of culture and entertainment. This urban recreational park straddles two islands – the Saint Helen's Island and the man-made Notre Dame Island - which were bases for the Expo 67 World's Fair. Come summer, the park comes alive with a flurry of activities brought about by the major attractions that dot its vast, picturesque stretch, from La Ronde and Montreal Casino, to Fort de l'Île Sainte-Hélène and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Its summery sprawl also invites droves of tourists who congregate here for the vibrant streak of festivals that are held year-long.
Located in the town of Granby, on the edge of the Eastern Townships and about an hour's drive from Montreal, Granby Zoo offers not only the thrilling experience of more than 1000 animals from 270 species but also fun and games for the entire family. Visitors make a beeline for the AFRIKA Pavilion and its gorillas, the reptile zone, big cats, elephants, giraffes, a small petting farm and the bat cave. The zoo also has a section for endangered or vulnerable species, which includes about 75 in all. Prices for two day passes are reduced.
Montréal Science Centre is a science and technology center that has quickly become one of the Old Port's biggest attractions. Along with the IMAX theater, there are a number of major permanent exhibitions including the world's first electricity-to-water and water-to-wind transformers, and various temporary exhibitions which anchor the museum. Experience science in a whole new way as the hands-on and interactive exhibits open your eyes to new wonders, and teach you a lesson or two about how science functions in our daily life. Helping children and adults translate text book knowledge in to reality, Montréal Science Centre is not just an attraction, but also an invaluable educational resource. The food court is on site and will keep you fueled as you uncover the mysteries of science.