Travel Blog

27 Oct

Halloween in Montreal for Children

The only thing one need fear about Halloween in Montreal is not having enough time to take in everything that’s on offer in the lead-up to the scariest day of the year, especially when it comes to family-oriented activities ideal for the little monsters that haunt your own house…

The Great Pumpkin Ball at Montreal’s Space for Life (which encompasses four of Montreal’s science and entertainment mainstays: the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens and Planetarium) has become a kind of Halloween rite of passage. Characters Pepo the Pumpkin (who turns 20 this year) and Esmerelda the Witch will be on hand to help entertain the wee ones in a festive atmosphere featuring more than 800 decorated pumpkins, all part of the Botanical Garden’s annual pumpkin decorating contest. The Great Pumpkin Ball takes place daily until Oct. 31 from 9 am to 9 pm.

susan moss

While at Space for Life, be sure to check out this year’s Squash Kiosk, also situated in the Botanical Gardens, where an on-site squash specialist can tell you and yours everything you need to know about some 50-odd varieties of squashes and gourds (it runs until Oct. 31, from 9 am to 5 pm daily, and until 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays). There is also an outdoor playground with a straw maze for the 10-and-under set, and over at the adjacent Insectarium, real-life creepy crawlers take the spotlight with a special exhibition focusing on the surprising lives of spiders.

As real-life horrors go, if spiders are a little too creepy for comfort, Montreal’s Ecomuseum Zoo – the only bona fide zoo on the island of Montreal – may have the perfect alternative. Home to more than 115 animal species native to Quebec (such as bears, caribou, wolves and birds of prey), the museum’s annual Halloween weekend will feature special presentations related to the fascinating myths and legends surrounding some of our more mysterious creatures, including ravens, owls, snakes and toads. The museum’s resident zoologists will transform into storytellers on Nov. 1 and 2, and kids who come in costume will be entered into a contest to have their photo taken with a falcon.

For the truly brave of heart, Montreal Ghosts is again offering an opportunity to hunt the haunts themselves in historic Old Montreal. On Oct. 30, 31 and Nov. 1, the storytellers of Montreal Ghosts will lead groups of up to 20 people, 12 years and older, on 90-minute guided tours exploring the sordid, real-life-inspired stories of four famous Old Montreal ghosts. This very popular annual event features costumed, professional actors and makes maximum use of the already spooky, old world wonder of Old Montreal. These tours fill up quickly so reservations are recommended.

Six Flags theme park La Ronde (situated on the picturesque Île Ste-Hélène immediately south of downtown Montreal) will once again host their yearly Festival de la Frayeur, or “Fright Festival.” Taking place on weekends until Nov. 2, this celebration of scares features four haunted houses, a zombie lounge, dozens and dozens of made-up characters as well as the decidedly less terrifying Ribambelle, who will entertain the little ones with animated performances featuring his singing and dancing pumpkin buddies. And all of this in addition to the over-40 hair-raising rides and attractions that populate the park year-round.

Photo credits: Espace pour la vie, Susan Moss, Ecomuseum Zoo, Les Fantômes du Vieux-Montréal.

Article source: