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30 Jan, Monday
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Montreal Families

Should You Take the Kids to: Bromont Chocolate Festival

La Fête du chocolat de Bromont / Bromont Chocolate Festival
Schedule: May 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Address: 679 Shefford St., Bromont. View map.
Cost: Adults $6.
Website: http://feteduchocolat.ca/

As festival concepts go, chocolate is one that will get the kids’ attention. Dads’, too. So, we figured it was worth  making the hour drive to check out the Bromont Chocolate Festival, which is on this weekend and next weekend.

But, we wondered, were we setting ourselves up for disaster by bringing our little sugar junkies to this feeding frenzy? Would we end up in a messy stand-off with two chocolate-covered children who never wanted to go home? We felt it was our duty to go find out.

Chocolate activities for kids

Upon arrival, we received two free chocolate bars and some good advice from the ticket sellers: “Don’t eat it now. There’s lots more to come.” Take their advice! The festival has both indoor and outdoor attractions. Families should hit the outdoor tents first, where there are several creative booths for children about age 2 and up, including painting with chocolate, making candy necklaces, making pictures with smarties and face-painting. These activities were the highlight of our visit, and we spent about 40 minutes in the outdoor area. And the kids had lots of fun without stuffing their faces – they were more into creating than consuming. We also caught part of a children’s show – one of several that are on the festival program.

Chocolate Central
The indoor pavilion is chocolate festival central. The room is lined with various exhibitors, which are giving out samples of their treats, ranging from artisanal chocolates, to baked goods, to fair trade hot chocolate, to chocolate and caramel sauces. Although this sounds and smells like pure heaven, it was crowded and hard to keep the kids from wandering away. We took a few samples and left after a few minutes, which was disappointing since it was the main attraction of the festival. Once you’re done here, you can wander along Shefford St., which is closed to car traffic. It’s very picturesque, lined with restaurants, and home to the Bromont Chocolate Museum.

Bring Your Own Lunch
We didn’t explore this part of the festival, though, because our kids started lobbying for lunch. There isn’t much in the way of lunch fare on the grounds, and the nearby restaurants on Shefford St. looked very busy. If you want to spend more time than we did at the festival, which was about an hour, either bring your own picnic, or plan to eat elsewhere before. We ended up doing a rare McDonald’s pitstop on the way home, where the kids got a Shrek happy meal that was probably just as much of a treat as the festival. So, we avoided meltdowns and sugar shock, but wished there was more reason to stay at the festival. Overall, it was fun to see what it was all about, but it’s probably not something we would do every year.

Other tips:

  • Bring a stroller for children up to about age four – it will make it much easier to get around.
  • The festival site is next to a school, which has some playground equipment for kids to climb on.
  • A five-minute drive from the festival are restaurants like McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Mikes, AL Van Houtte, etc.

Have you been to the Bromont Chocolate Festival? What did you think?

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