It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that A & K had never been to Montreal. With a long weekend, beautiful weather, and no real plans, it seemed like a good time for a daytrip.
The challenge when planning a daytrip with two young kids is not to get too ambitious. My ideal itinerary for the day probably would have included a walk up Mont Royal, shopping on Ste-Catherine, a quick visit to Fluevog on St. Denis, a walking tour of the old city, and steak frites at L’express. Of course that would have been disastrous with kids in tow, so we limited ourselves to a couple of stops.
First up was Outremont for the legendary bagels at St. Viateur. As is often the case, the bakery was much smaller than I had imagined, but the smell was heavenly. Outside the store, dozens of Hasidic Jews were making their way to synagogue – it felt like we’d stepped into a Mordecai Richler novel.
We ended up at a Greek restaurant around the corner for a last breakfast / early lunch. The boys each ordered a chocolate milk and were rewarded with essentially a chocolate milk shake. Although it’s a little blurry, K’s excitement at his good fortune is evident.
To top that off, K’s waffles tasted like they were made with doughnut batter drenched in table syrup. He didn’t seem to mind.
After a nice walk through Old Montreal, we made our way to the Centre des sciences for a little educational fun. The boys really liked the hands-on activities, and the modern layout made me feel sorry for our poor aging Museum of Science and Technology. The water table was the highlight – I’m tempted to see if we could build something similar in our basement.
A tries to maximize power generation by changing the flow of water.
The science centre currently has a major exhibition on sex, but it’s recommended for children over the age of 12. I was tempted to take a walk through, but the thought of A & K grilling us for two hours in the car on the way home on the finer points of reproduction was enough to convince me to leave it for another day.
Our final stop was Olive & Gourmondo on rue Saint-Paul. While the sandwiches and baked goods are terrific, it’s not really the ideal place for kids. We decided on the $14 mac and cheese for K, and of course he ate about three bites before declaring “I’m full”. A picked at a green salad before deciding he didn’t like it. At least they enjoyed the cookie on the walk back to the car.
In the end, the boys had a great time and are eager to return. As they slept in the car on the way home, I began planning another trip for the winter. Perhaps we’ll take the train, stay in a hotel, and visit the Biodome and Insectarium. If we’re lucky, perhaps we can sneak in a trip to Fluevog, too.