Montreal is not the most sandy of cities, but there are a few beaches you need to check out. And if you're willing to travel off the island of Montreal, there are even more!
1. Jean-Dore Beach at Parc Jean-Drapeau Are you ready for Aquazilla? For an additional fee, big kids will love this playground on the water, complete with monkey bars, a trampoline, slides and more. It's best for kids six and older. If you have a beach-bound youngster who isn’t big enough for a floating playground, there's lots of sand to play in and shallow areas to splash in. Build sandcastles, or walk into the beach for a nice cool-off. Lifeguards are on duty. You can get to the beach using bus routes, or it's only a short walk from downtown. A single day at the park will cost a family of four $22.50, or you can buy a season passport for $99.
Go play: 1 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal 514-872-0199 parcjeandrapeau.com
2. Oka National Park Beach Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway (it's a great place to camp or rent a cabin) or a day trip, Oka National Park is the place to go. With their team of lifeguards on the watch, parents can rest easy knowing their kids are safe. Your big kid can practice their strokes in the shallow water. And don’t worry if you have a little one who isn’t a fan of the water, that's what the soft sand is for. Hello, sandcastles! Bring some pails and have him build his own personal castle in the sand. You can also rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats, just don't forget to bring lifejackets.
Go play: 2020 Oka Road , Oka Quebec 450 479-8365 sepaq.com
3. Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park Beach Soak up the sun at this gorgeous beach—just be sure to bring a sunhat and sunscreen because there's not much shade. You and your little ones can rest assured going to this beach because its water quality is checked every week. They also have lifeguards on duty. Entrance to this beach is free for those who are younger than six.
Go play: 20099, boul. West Pierrefonds Quebec 514 280-6871 ville.montreal.gc.ca
4. Bois-de-l'Ile-Bizard Nature Park Beach Bring your bathing suit and your hiking boots to this beach. Spend the morning hiking through the gorgeous trails with your kids—strollers with big wheels are best for the woods. After working up a sweat, it's time to hit the beach! Little tykes can play in the shallow area, while your big kid explores the marshland. Don't be surprised if you see lots of cool wetland animals. If your kids are still not tired, take them for a scenic bike ride around the park.
Go play: 2115, Chemin du Bord-du-Lac, L'Île-Bizard 514 280-8517 ville.montreal.gc.ca
5. Saint-Zotique Beach You name it, Saint-Zotique has it. Kids can swim in the lake or go for a dip in the wading pool, complete with mushroom fountains. Now it's time for an adventure! You can rent kayaks, tubes, canoes and boats for some water-ful fun. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy under one of the many thatched umbrellas. Or rent one of the beach's barbecues and make hotdogs and hamburgers. After lunch, kids can check out the tennis court and soccer field. Big kids can try skateboarding or playing paintball.
Go play: 82e Av, Saint-Zotique, Quebec 450-267-3003 st-zotique.com
6. Pointe-Calumet Beach Beach toys, and picnic areas, and restaurants, oh my! Whether you’re going out for an afternoon, or a whole day, Pointe-Calumet has something for you. Inflatable beach toys will provide hours of fun for both big and little fish. And when they're bored of that they can zoom down the waterslides. Or jump on the water trampolines. Paddleboats and kayaks are also available. If your little fish doesn't want to get his fins wet, he can get messy in the sand. Loungers and shady spots abound, so kids and parents can relax and get out of the sun. Plus, there are restaurants on site or barbecues where you can cook your own food. You could spend an entire day at this beach with ease!
Go play: 701 38th St, Pointe-Calumet, Quebec 450-473-1000 beachclub.com