Wild (Family) Weekend in Quebec

by Stephen Johnson

For me, a wild weekend in Quebec fifteen years ago would have meant a visit to a pub or seeing the latest band.   Now, it meant visiting a zoo in Montreal and an aquarium in Quebec City with my wife and son.

We started our wild weekend at the Ecomuseum zoo located on the western tip on the Island of Montreal.  The zoo is unique in that it features only animal species  from Quebec.  Our son, David,  immediately wanted to go check out the reptiles.   It was amazing to see the diversity of animals including a large snapping turtle and a very colorful milk snake.   

Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

After getting our fill of reptiles,  we went outside to check out more creatures.   The first thing I was impressed by were the large enclosures for the animals.  Also, the grounds were well-forested and had an easy to follow pathway.  It felt less like a zoo and more like a nature reserve.

Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

A highlight for my wife, Sandy, and David was seeing the black bear.   The size of the animal was astonishing.  I was happy to see the bear in a zoo rather than on our next backwoods camping trip!   For me,  I loved seeing the eagle whom I swear was staring right at me for our whole tour.

We loved our time at the zoo but were on to an adventure of the aquatic kind.  I had lived for a year in Quebec City and had always wanted to visit the aquarium.  Now, with our son David,  it was the perfect reason to visit.

Lots to love about this wild (family) weekend

The aquarium had everything you would expect plus more.   There were the colorful jellyfish and exotic sea creatures.  David particularly enjoyed the touch basin where he could touch stingrays and a small shark.  He was having so much fun,  I was concerned that we might not get him to see the other attractions!

Eventually,   David did pull himself away from the touch basin.  We checked out a glass tunnel walkway which featured sea creatures from the Pacific Ocean.  It was a treat to see a scuba diver who was cleaning the tank.  It felt like you standing on the bottom of the ocean floor looking up.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was seeing the animals outdoors.  These included harbour seals, polar bears and a pregnant walrus that had garnered a lot of media attention.  The expectant mother seemed unfazed by her new found fame and just went about her walrus activities.  We finished the day seeing the polar bears where David spent most of his time getting a selfie  with the polar bear!  Of course, at a respectful distance.

Most people may not visit Montreal or Quebec City with the zoo and aquarium top-of-mind but both are certainly worth the detour.   

For more information about visit www.zooecomuseum.ca.  You can find more information about the Quebec aquarium, visit www.aquariumduquebec.com

A highlight for my wife, Sandy, and David was seeing the black bear.   The size of the animal was astonishing.  I was happy to see the bear in a zoo rather than on our next backwoods camping trip!   For me,  I loved seeing the eagle whom I swear was staring right at me for our whole tour.

We loved our time at the zoo but were on to an adventure of the aquatic kind.  I had lived for a year in Quebec City and had always wanted to visit the aquarium.  Now, with our son David,  it was the perfect reason to visit.

The aquarium had everything you would expect plus more.   There were the colorful jellyfish and exotic sea creatures.  David particularly enjoyed the touch basin where he could touch stingrays and a small shark.  He was having so much fun,  I was concerned that we might not get him to see the other attractions!

David Johnson enjoys checking out the live attractions.

David Johnson enjoys checking out the live attractions.

Eventually, David did pull himself away from the touch basin.  We checked out a glass tunnel walkway which featured sea creatures from the Pacific Ocean.  It was a treat to see a scuba diver who was cleaning the tank.  It felt like you standing on the bottom of the ocean floor looking up.

Photo by David Johnson.

Photo by David Johnson.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was seeing the animals outdoors.  These included harbour seals, polar bears and a pregnant walrus that had garnered a lot of media attention.  The expectant mother seemed unfazed by her newfound fame and just went about her walrus activities.  We finished the day seeing the polar bears where David spent most of his time getting a selfie with the polar bear!  Of course, at a respectful distance.

Most people may not visit Montreal or Quebec City with the zoo and aquarium top-of-mind but both are certainly worth the detour.   

For more information about visit www.zooecomuseum.ca.  You can find more information about the Quebec aquarium, visit www.aquariumduquebec.com

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