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30 Jan, Monday
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Montreal Families

Guided Tour: Mont Tremblant With Kids

Mont Tremblant Pedestrian Village
View map to Mont Tremblant
Parking: If you’re doing a day trip, there are pay parking lots in front of the village that charge around $10 per day.
Telephone: 1-888-738-1777 (from Canada and U.S.)
Website: http://www.tremblant.ca/index-e.htm

For those thinking of an end-of-summer staycation or Labour Day weekend destination, Mont Tremblant is a great place to go with kids. We typically make the 1.5-hour drive every summer and find that there’s lots to keep us busy  for a day or two. This post updates last year’s guided tour of the Intrawest Pedestrian Village, a cute reproduction of a hillside European village.

First, the free activities:

Tremblant Playgrounds: The village has two playground areas, one quite close to the main path that runs right up the middle of the village (close to #8 on resort map), and one a little further off the beaten track (close to #11 on resort map). The latter one is next to a beautiful pond with a trail around it. On one Tremblant visit with a three-year-old and three-month-old baby, we spent most of our time at these playgrounds.

Mini (Cabriolet) Gondola: This is a short ski-lift that goes from the bottom of the pedestrian village to the top (but not to the top of the mountain), giving kids and parents a great view of everything in the village. For a toddler or three- to -five-year-old, the mini gondola is like a free amusement park ride that they’ll probably want to do more than once. Young children who may be scared of the main gondola that goes to the top of the mountain can still get a taste of the experience on this one. It’s great to try it first thing in the morning; as the day goes on, there is often a lineup. Bonus: You can fit a single stroller on it.

Free entertainment: In the summer and fall months, there are usually entertainers strolling the village, including face painters, clowns or stilt-walkers. Until the beginning of October, various free concerts will be held in the village.

For parents of babies and/or young toddlers, these activities, plus having lunch and strolling the village area may be enough to fill most of the day. A super place for lunch or coffee with young children is the Lunch Stop, a cute, casual restaurant that has a children’s play area. Heaven! There are blocks, toys and tool tables, plus a TV playing cartoons. It’s located at the top of the village.

Tip: If you are travelling to Tremblant with a baby and can’t or don’t want to lug the related gear, there’s an equipment rental service called Babyrendezvous.com. It has an office located at the base of the village, near the mini gondola. Deana Prud’homme, owner of the business, also blogs about Mont Tremblant.

Paid activities (outdoor):

For older children (around age 3 to 5), there are lots of other activities in the Tremblant pedestrian village, all with their own prices attached.

Club Les Aventuriers: This is a pirate-themed water play area at the top of the village. There are water jets and sprayers, plus “shipwrecks” and other structures to climb on. Admission for kids age 17 and under: $8.70 (adults free). Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., until Aug. 29, 2010.

Miniature boat rides: At Mirror Lake, miniature Mississipi-River-style motorized boats can be rented for 15-minute rides. Life jackets are provided. Cost: $16 for 2 people, $21 for four. Boats available until Sept. 26, 2010.

Eurobungy Participants are strapped into a harness and jump on a trampoline. Compulsory weight: 30 to 180lbs (14 – 82kgs), minimum height 85 cm (2’10”). Runs until Oct. 17, 2010.

The Luge: After paying, you get a on a chairlift and go partway up the mountain. Then, wearing helmets provided, you ride a three-wheeled cart on a winding track down the mountain. Children can go by themselves or with a parent; children under 110 cm (3’7”) must be accompanied by an adult. Runs until Oct. 11, 2010.

The Panoramic Gondola: This is the gondola that runs up to the top of the mountain, where there are hiking trails and a chalet. Height-fearing families need not apply! But, if everyone is game, there’s a beautiful view and Sunday brunch is served at the chalet until Oct. 10, 2010.

Bike rentals: Bikes and bicycle trailers can be rented by the hour or for the day to explore the many forested bike trails in the area. Children’s bikes are available. Service runs until Oct. 12, 2009.

Mini-Golf: There is a mini golf course in the middle of the village. Cost: $10.42 adults/$8.69 children. Open till Oct. 17, 2010.

Paid activities (indoor)
If bad weather happens to strike during your trip, it’s good to know that there are several indoor activities.

Aquaclub LaSource: This indoor/outdoor pool complex is a dream come true for kids and parents, and it’s a great stop even if the weather is fine. The indoor pool area has shallow pools with features like small slides and ropes for swinging on. There are also hot tubs/whirpool baths. It’s appropriate for babies on up to big kids; remember to pack bathing suits and towels for this.

Paint your own pottery at Le Studio Créatif. This is one of those places where you choose a piece of plain pottery (a mug, plate, etc.) and then sit at one of the tables and paint it. Great for an indoor activity with the kids.

Make a teddy bear
at Univers Toutou. The Tremblant website promises that there are “more than twenty furry friends to choose from and hundreds of costumes and accessories to dress them up … A passport and suitcase complement the experience.”

Other places to stop with the kids:

Rocky Mountain Chocolate shop, where you can watch chocolates and other goodies (candy apples, chocolate dipped marshmallow sticks, fudge, etc.) being made through the window.
Acme Toy store: Has a nice selection of toys if you happen to need something else to occupy the kids. We were happy to find that the store sold Spiderman water wings, which we used at the indoor pool complex.

More information:
Halloween: Halloween activities at Tremblant will include a spooky village, haunted house and maze from. Check the dates for 2010. Most of the Halloween activities are held in the afternoon or at night.

Kids’ club: The Kids’ Club is a daycare service for 1- to 6-year-olds, offered during ski season only. It’s located in the Sommet des Neiges hotel in the village. Call 1-888-738-1777.

If you’re looking for a condo/family-style place to stay near Mont Tremblant, one suggestion is Tremblant Les Eaux, which is about a 10/15-minute walk from the pedestrian village area. The units have kitchens, laundry facilities, separate bedrooms for kids and parents and several outdoor pools (in the summer).

Another condo-style option is the Marriott Residence Inn, located within the village. Rooms have kitchenettes and fireplaces.

Tell us about your visits to Mont Tremblant with kids, and where you like to stay when you visit!

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