Still looking back in time, we fondly remember our stop at Montreal’s Biodôme as we made our way from Boston, Massachusetts, to Quebec City, Canada. With the ability to explore the plants and animals from five different ecosystems, it makes a fabulous family road trip stop that will delight people of all ages. It was originally built for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, but the structure was repurposed as an indoor zoo of sorts. If you are ever in the Northeast and want to explore the French speaking part of Canada, the Biodôme is an excellent stop while in Montreal!
Where: 4777 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave, Montreal, Quebec H1V 1B3, Canada
Cost for Biodôme Only: Adult/5-17/0-4 $21.50/$10.75/Free
Cost for Biodôme, Jardin Botanique, and the Planetarium: Adult/5-17/0-4 $52.50/$26.25/Free
Covid Notes: Canada is currently closed to US tourists at the time of writing during Covid. Make sure you check the website to verify the museum is open and learn about special procedures for visiting.
As you explore the Biodôme, you will encounter plants and animals from 5 different ecosystems:
- Tropical Rainforest
- Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Laurentian Maple Forest
- Labrador Coast
- Sub-Antarctic Islands
The lush forests are a lot of fun to wander through. The tropical rainforest ranges from very humid 72°F to 82°F. If you think the Northeast is quite hot and humid, at 70-80% humidity, this will be even more so. While the Biodôme is not a zoo, it is similar to Safari Park in San Diego in that they focus on the entire ecosystem where plants and a wide variety of animals co-exist together. As long as the animals aren’t dangerous, they are allowed to freely roam inside the ecosystem and you might see some of the animals on the path.
If you are interested in the forests of Canada, the Laurentian Maple Forest is the place for you. Here, you will see beavers, otters, lynxes, and other typical plants and animals of the Quebec forests. At one point one of our kids asked what kind of tree he was looking at. When I responded that it was a spruce tree, he laughed and told me it was a Christmas tree!
The remaining three ecosystems are good choices tf you are more interested in aquatic or coastal life. The Gulf of St. Lawrence focuses on the Canadian area where the St. Lawrence River, which carries water from the Great Lakes, meets the Atlantic Ocean. If you like exploring rocky landscapes and underwater ecosystems, this area will be great for you.
The Labrador Coast focuses on the birds of the northeast coastal area found in the province of Newfoundland. If you like puffins and murres, this eco system will be a delight.
And we can’t forget the Sub-Antarctic Islands. The boys always love seeing, penguins! If you happen to be visiting Montreal on a warm day, make the ice tunnel your last stop before heading out into the warm air.
In any case, there are plenty of walkways and ecosystems to explore. Take your time and enjoy the experience.
This was a great excursion for our whole family. If you have a couple of hours, want to delight your kids, and are taking a vacation to Montreal, consider the Biodôme!
More from Montreal
After the Biodôme, we decided to take a walk around Rue St Catherine, through Chinatown, and then to Old Montreal.
While this trip was quite a long time ago and things could have definitely changed, our impression was that the old town was best. Some other parts were a slightly rundown – not bad, but not hugely impressive either.
Montreal can make a great road trip destination with kids!