We’ve been visiting the Ecomuseum for many years, have been there for birthday parties, my older son has done the summer day camp, and we held a family pass for three years. And it’s always great to visit again as the place is constantly improving.
They’ve made some great changes since our last visit including: a new forest area for the fishers and lynx (with some kid slides nearby), a turtle pond, a new area for the eagles, a spacious section for the red fox, a natural playground (for human kids!), and the amazing new otter habitat with a tunnel to walk/crawl through!
The Ecomuseum is not like other zoos. Here you’ll find 115 different animal species exclusively from Quebec and all the animals are either orphaned, injured, or were born under professional human care; making them all animals that could not survive in their natural environment.
The first time I brought the toddler, it blew. his. mind. Owls are his favourite animal and here he got to see a snowy owl up close, and he chattered away at the great horned owl. “Why doesn’t he say Hoo Hoo to me??!”
His little legs were easily able to walk around, and he toddled across the bridges and boardwalks, and pointed and exclaimed at all the animals.
The paths are stroller friendly, even in winter, and you can access everything except for the steps in the duck enclosure and the stairs to the basement’s “from light to dark” rooms where you’ll find fish, toads, snakes, and nocturnal animals. I brought the stroller along when they were both little but they were always super happy to walk on their own. I’m always careful around the water exhibits as the fences are not super toddler-safe. But then again, because they’re not bulky or substantial, the short ones have a pretty unobstructed view of everything.
It can get a little buggy so sunscreen, water and bug repellant are musts. We also brought snacks to eat in the lunch room as they were tiiiiired after all the walking. In the lunch room are a snack/chocolate bar vending machine, a drinks vending machine, coffee machine and a microwave. There are also water fountains in here as well as outside the bathrooms.
If you don’t want to eat inside, just up from the (large) parking lot is a picnic area with some space to run around.
AND, there’s a little park with a boat, benches, a concrete tunnel and a play structure. Though I wonder if this playground will close once the new one is complete, as it seems to be falling into disrepair.
We spent just over two hours here, and didn’t even have time to visit the reptiles, amphibians, fish and nocturnal creatures in the basement.
The good thing about the yearly pass is that we can come for 20 minutes on another visit and it won’t feel as if I’m not getting my money’s worth. I’d say that really, you need about a good 3 hours to take your time and visit everything. You can see the admission prices HERE. As well as the handy-dandy FAQ page which answers a lot of questions. On our last visit we were also lucky to be there for a reptile demonstration and the boys got to touch a milk snake. The zoo’s Facebook page is always up to date with upcoming events and activities or visit their website for dates and times.
Winter is also a great time to visit as the animals are generally frisky and it makes a great outdoor excursion and little ones will keep warm as they walk around.