Theme parksFun for the whole family!
Québec has reserved a generous helping of pure, unabated fun for families looking to combine education with entertainment. Theme parks in every region of the province present imaginative recreations of former ways of life and industrial history; while zoos where local fauna cohabit with exotic species are sure to delight both the young and the young-at-heart!
Hooray for theme parks!
Besides offering spectacular views of the St. Lawrence and its endless parade of boats and ships, the Old Ports of Montréal and Québec City have so many attractions and goings-on on their boardwalks that they’ve become hands-down favourites with locals and visitors alike.
In Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the Val-Jalbert historic village, located at the foot of a splendid waterfall, recreates daily life in a small town that owes its inception to the logging industry. Further west, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Cité de l’or (city of gold) plumbs the depths of the former gold mine in Val d’Or. In the Mauricie, the Cité de l’énergie (city of energy) in Shawinigan provides a fascinating introduction to hydroelectricity and its role in the aluminium and pulp and paper industries.
Certain sites allow visitors to step back into rural or logging camp life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These include the Village québécois d’antan (old-time Québec village) in Drummondville (Centre-du-Québec); the Village des défricheurs (pioneer village) in Saint-Prosper (Chaudière‑Appalaches); and the Musée du bûcheron–Village forestier, a recreation of a logging camp in Grandes-Piles (Mauricie). The Site de la Nouvelle‑France (Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean), spectacularly located on the Saguenay Fjord, takes visitors back even further to the earliest days of New France.
Come along for the ride!
Like the ruler of all it surveys, La Ronde, Montréal’s world-famous amusement park, holds court midstream in the St. Lawrence across from the Old Port of Montréal. Located right next to Parc Jean-Drapeau, La Ronde is undoubtedly one of Montréal’s most popular sites. With its Ferris wheel, roller coasters, observation tower, fireworks and varied performance program, La Ronde has all the right ingredients to please everyone, even the most die-hard thrill-seekers. An hour north of Montréal, the Village du Père Noël (Santa’s village) in the Laurentides region is a guaranteed winner with the little ones during the summer season.
A family visit to the zoo or aquarium is a sure bet for a successful outing! The remarkable Parc aquarium du Québec, which presides over the river as it enters the capital, houses sea creatures of every shape, size and colour from around the globe. On a similar theme, the Biôdome in Montréal’s Olympic Park brings four distinct ecosystems of the Americas together under one roof: a tropical forest, a Laurentian forest, an estuary habitat modelled on the St. Lawrence and a polar area.
Less than one hour from Montréal, Granby Zoo has enjoyed a dignified reputation for over 50 years. This lively zoo harbours a great variety of species, and its presentations are guaranteed to please. Equally near Montréal and just as popular, Parc Safari in Hemmingford gives visitors a close-up look at exotic wildlife from their cars.
A star attraction in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region is the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien, which houses wildlife from the world’s boreal regions. Many other places offer visitors a chance to get acquainted with the local fauna, including Parc Oméga between Montréal and Gatineau, where animals roam freely in a wooded environment; the Pageau wildlife refuge in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, where orphaned or injured animals are rehabilitated before being returned to their natural habitat; the Bioparc de la Gaspésie in Bonaventure, which presents the flora and fauna of the Gaspésie; and the Aquarium des Îles in Havre-Aubert, Îles-de-la-Madeleine.