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08 Dec, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Guided Tour: Classic Boat Festival

The Classic Boat Festival in Old Montreal was a hit with our kids today, and the event continues tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 22. We spent about an hour and a half at this admission-free event, so it’s worth a go with kids about age 2.5 and up (assuming it’s not raining!).

At the Quays of the Old Port (on de la Commune St., at McGill St.), lots of polished and gleaming wood-panelled boats, are lined up along a wharf. You can walk along it to get a closer look at each boat (hold on to or carry toddlers, though, the wharf is long, narrow and not stroller-friendly). Many of the owners were happy to welcome kids aboard to sit in the drivers’ seats and try the steering wheels. Some of the boats have impressive cabins with bunk beds, others were set up with small tables and chairs on the decks.

There are a few kids activities that our guys enjoyed. The biggest hit was making a miniature wooden boat, with the help of local Scout members. You can pay $5 to make either a tugboat (very easy) or a sailboat (takes longer), decorate it with crayons/markers, then set it to sail in a mini-pool area. This kept our two busy for about 40 minutes. Kids can also try painting on a boat sail (a donation for the Starlight Foundation is requested) or learn how to tie different styles of knots. There is also a small miniature boat display.

Though hot dogs and some other snacks are sold on the site, we had a great lunch at MuvBox, right next to the boat festival site. It’s a tiny “lobster roll” restaurant that operates out of a converted shipping container. Authentic or not, the lobster rolls and clam chowder are yummy and the kids enjoyed a mini pizza. Ice cream after didn’t hurt, either. It’s the Old Port. You have to get ice cream.

Did you go to the Boat Festival? What did you think?

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