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18 Aug, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Guided Tour: Skating, sledding and sleighs on Mount Royal

Montreal’s landmark park doesn’t let winter cramp its style: the Beaver Lake area of Mount Royal is a hub for skating, sledding, tubing, horse-drawn sleighs and mulled wine. Even if you have young kids of different ages, the mix of activities and the availability of all kinds of winter equipment make it fairly easy to keep them happy. Plus, the chalet serves great food for lunch, and that keeps parents happy. Did we mention the mulled wine?

Skating and sledding

We went to Beaver Lake so that our 5-year-old could try his new skates, hoping that our two-year-old would want to sled down the nearby slopes. He didn’t. Not on the sleds we had brought with us anyway. But we were able to rent a different kind of sled – the kind you pull along with a rope – and that saved the day. Why go to all the trouble of  sledding when you could be schlepped around, watching other people and horse-drawn sleighs canter by?

Tubing

Meanwhile, our older son was happy skating with dad. The rink has an “island” with a circle of benches for resting when you need a break. Then, they rented an inner tube and zipped down the main slope, in a fenced-off area beyond the skating rink. There is also a separate section with long, vertical tracks for regular sleds; for younger ones who may be intimidated by the big slopes, there are other places where you can do shorter runs. You’ll also see people sliding around the base of the mountain, near the intersection of Park and Mount Royal Aves.

Lunch!

Yes, being outside together is lots of fun, and a great way to end a successful morning is with lunch inside the chalet. The food is higher quality than your average cafeteria/counter, with hot meals like grilled European-style sausages, soup and lots of sandwich and healthy snack choices. We could not resist sharing a cup of warm, strong, mulled wine, which we considered our reward for coaxing our whiny reluctant children into their winter gear that morning – despite the fact that we had barely opened our own eyes. Parents, let’s take the rewards where we can get them!

Inside the chalet on Mount Royal, you can rent:

  • skates (adults and children) and helmets
  • supports for kids learning to skate
  • sleds for toddlers (the kind you can pull behind you)
  • inner tubes
  • kicksleds
  • snowshoes
  • skis

If you happen to forget any other equipment (like hats or gloves), you can also buy it there. It’s also comforting to know that there are bathrooms and lockers (rent or bring a lock) right in the chalet.

For more information: http://www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/en/news//2009/Come-and-play-outdoors-on-Mount-Royal-this-winter–48.sn

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