It was 8:30 in the morning and both boys were already complaining about being booooooored.
“Hmmmm, remember that place we went to when you were 4?”
“Ok….remember that place you went to on your kindergarten field trip? With the police car? Want to go there this morning?”
“Yes. YES! YES! YES!”
By 8:42 both kids were dressed, backpack was packed, and we were out the door. Why can’t it be that fast when we’re going to school???
After a 25 minute drive from the West Island, we reached the Musée pour enfants de Laval. They’d just opened at 9am and there were only two other cars in the parking lot. Score!
I’d thankfully found a “buy one ticket, get the second free” coupon in the Entertainment Book, which is good because this place isn’t exactly cheap. At (updated for 2019) $20 for kids, and $10 for adults, I managed to save about $20 with that coupon and just paid for one child and one adult. Phew.
The Museum is geared towards kids between the ages of 2 & 8 and that seems spot on. My 7.5 year old was still interested in everything and my 3 year olds mind was blown away.
After paying, we were given a huge Rubbermaid bin in which to put our coats, snacks etc; given a claim ticket, and after chatting with the super friendly employee for a few minutes, we went through the big metal door.
The little one didn’t know where to start. The boat with the ship wheel, fishing net, and fishing poles? The cow that you can “milk”? The life-size horse with real saddle?
But then, like a toddler dream come to life….he saw the police car. “Can I touch dis button?” he asked tentatively.
“You can touch ALL THE BUTTONS!”
So he drove. He turned on the flashing lights. Ordered us to get in the back seat (and put on our seatbelts. Safety first!). He arrested us. Put us in the jail. Threw away the key (figuratively). And then drove off again to fight more crime.
The main floor is small enough that his big brother could go around and check out the other rooms while I watched from the middle.
In the barn area they pressed the buttons to hear animal noises. They put gas in the mini car, kicked the tires, and took turns driving. Then we put on our paramedic jackets and played in the Urgence-Santé ambulance. “You go in de back and be sick. Weewoo, WEEWOOOOOOO!!!!” At no point was I allowed to touch a steering wheel or any of the buttons.
Then off to climb to the second floor of the rocket, and do some grocery shopping at the store. With tons of play food and real scanners and screens, we all took turns being customers and cashiers. The little one loaded his cart with bread and cheese, obviously he’s not on a low carb diet. Beep, beep, beep as they scanned our $500 grocery trip.
Then, it was time to explore upstairs. Note that there is NO elevator, but the staff told me just let them know, and they’ll help carry any strollers up and down the stairs. Which is great, but also a bit of a pain as I know that we went up and down quite a few times as they explored the place.
Past the bathrooms with their kid-height sinks, the second floor opens up to a central area with the top of the rocket ship (with tons of flashing buttons, ALL FOR TOUCHING), a plane, and rooms off to the sides.
We had the entire upstairs to ourselves and immediately put on our fireman suits, drove to the 17-alarm fire, came down the fire pole and grabbed the hose. Ph-ew. Crisis averted.
From our vantage point in the “truck” the 3-year old saw THE DIGGY. The construction corner has foam bricks, Working (safe) drills, and the coolest sit-on backhoe that turns and the kids can move the bucket up and down. Awesome.
Now, don’t do like me and aimlessly try and press buttons to turn it on. Read the directions on the wall right behind it. Oops! Press the green button on the wall, and then the orange button on the backhoe. It runs for 90 seconds, which is just long enough for your toddler to get the hang of it, and then be crabby he has to get off. But, since no one else was there, he got to do it a few times 😉
We checked out the veterinary clinic with its sick stuffies. Had a pit stop in the restaurant where they made me an egg and lettuce sandwich. Got a geography lesson in the classroom, and then rolled balls in the big marble run and magnetic gears room.
Looking for a little escape, both boys piloted me (with some arguing over who was the CO-pilot) to Los Angeles and then back. “Mommy, put on your seatbelt!!!!”
We toddled nervously through the very dark prehistoric cave, which the little one was VERY apprehensive about as it’s super dark (and frankly, not all that exciting), then burst back out and danced in front of the green screen before visiting the mini theatre and doing an EPIC song and dance show complete with a spinning disco ball and light show.
I got to work the lights panel while they did their best impression of some
garbled beautiful song.
AND THEN, all the daycares came. Our quiet playtime was interrupted by running, shrieking children. Lots of them. While we could still wander around and try things out, everything that had a steering wheel now had a lineup. This might be one of the few places that is quieter on a weekend. If your child is bothered by noise and lots of activity, I’d suggest calling before you come to see if there are any scheduled school visits the same day.
Thinking it was a good time for a snack, we scrubbed our hands, and went back to the entrance where there are a few picnic tables, some high chairs, and a microwave. There is NO food for sale here, and you’re welcome to bring your own, though you need to eat in the designated area. And while there’s no food for sale, there IS a fridge of drinks for sale behind the front desk, and there are water fountains inside the play area.
The daycares ate their snack upstairs in the private rooms (they also host birthday parties, call for details), so during that time we visited all the rooms again, and then watched the french AND english plays which take place on the main floor in front of the rocket. They announce over the intercom a few minutes before the play starts so you have time to come back down.
Another sweep through all the upstairs rooms (this was three hours into our visit) and the little guy was starting to get that hyper/tired/limp spaghetti look. We could have actually stayed longer, but nap time prevailed.
We had a fantastic time and a week later the boys are still talking about it!
Things to note:
-Your ticket is valid for the entire day.
-Bring your own lunch: Tables and a microwave are available in the lunch Section.
-Parking is free.
-Find all the rates and hours on their website HERE.
-We’ve been to some nearby parks, you can find them using the Map feature on the website in the menu above.