© Maison Saint-Gabriel, Pierre Guzzo Image by: © Maison Saint-Gabriel, Pierre Guzzo
Ecomuseum Zoo: 21125 chemin Sainte-Marie, Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, Highway 40, Exit 44, 514-457-9449, facebook.com/zooecomuseum
Fall is a great time to visit the Ecomuseum Zoo. It’s not as busy as the summer and cooler weather makes walking through the outdoor facility more comfortable. Plus, you and the kids can still partake in regular programming such as feeding the bears, and educational seminars on wolves, birds of prey and other critters. If visiting over Labour Day, Thanksgiving or Halloween, all ages will enjoy special seasonal sessions on animals preparing for the winter and animal myths and legends. Some activities require reservations. Check the website for details.
What the guidebooks don’t tell you: The Ecomuseum zoo received a national award from the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums for its research and conservation efforts.
Kids’ comments: “We learned that ravens and crows are really smart. To crack a nut, they drop it onto the road and wait for a car to run over it. Then they (carefully!) swoop down and eat it.”
Maison Saint-Gabriel: Museum and historic site, 2146 place Dublin, Pointe-Saint-Charles in Montréal, 514-935-8136
This year marks a special anniversary for the historic site: 350 years ago, the first of the king’s wards (all young girls) arrived here. It proved to be a pivotal moment in Quebec’s history because prior to their arrival, the male to female ratio was 13 to 1 – not a promising scenario for populating France’s new colony. Take a guided tour to learn all about the wards and see original tools such as the candy mould and the butter churn. Scheduled activities, such as the Harvest Festival on September 1st, take place every weekend throughout the fall. Consult the website for more information.
What the guidebooks don’t tell you: The Refectory serves the most delicious, stick-to-your-ribs lunch, perfect for taking the edge off the autumn chill. Enjoy a bowl of traditional New France soup with a slice of fresh homemade bread on the side, followed by a seasonal dessert for $18 (taxes/service included).
Kids’ comments: “It was cool when the guide blew the foghorn.”