We’ve got the big city waiting for us… today, I’m exploring Montreal with one of my favourite Canadian blogging mamas.
Being born and raised in Montreal (plus its suburbs), it’s nice to know that I have the great, big city waiting for me to be discovered. With new shops, restaurants, and festivals constantly popping up, my upbringing was anything but boring.
When you live in a big city, you sometimes take that big city for granted. Often, I find myself saying, “Oh, I’ll check it out next time,” or, “Well, there’s always next year.”
It’s about time that stops. Now that I’m a mama, I want to be able to show Leo the best of MTL.
I met Lauren of midnightmom.ca last year and the rest is history. I love browsing her Insta for her inspirational thoughts on parenting. Most importantly, her IG Stories are ones to check out. Every weekend, she gives marvelous suggestions of what to do in and out of the city with the kiddos.
Although I don’t see her as often as I’d like (Lauren, a playdate is still in order!), the World Wide Web + social media has managed to keep us in-touch. I often turn to her for activity suggestions and advice.
So I thought I’d bring her expertise to you! I’m exploring Montreal by interviewing Lauren and getting the scoop on her favourite things to do within our home city:
Exploring Montreal with Lauren of Midnight Mom
“Montreal mom blogger by night, full-time mom and entrepreneur by day. My name is Lauren and I am Hannah, Alex and Leo’s mom.
This blog started off in the wee hours of the night when Hannah refused to go to bed before midnight. Fast forward nine years later, and my third job as a blogger now begins around 8pm.
On my blog and social media accounts, I share my favourite gear, fashion, food, places and spaces for children – both in Montreal and abroad.”
FH: Now that winter is well on its way, I fear the winter blues/cabin fever slowly creeping up on me. What indoor activities would be best for me and my little guy? He’s almost two years old.
L: Indoor play centres are a great way to stay warm while also getting some energy out. Two years old is the perfect age because admission to some centres is still free. A few of our favorites nearby include: Jabberwocky Studio in NDG, Kidzilla in Lachine and Le REC Room in TMR. Local community based malls are also a great place to run around, spend a bunch of loonies on rides and have a bit of lunch or an early dinner. I find that the larger malls don’t have as many play spaces for kids and with more people around it’s harder to let them roam free.
FH: Quick! You have one Montreal restaurant to order from for the rest of your life, which one will it be?
L: I’m a vegetarian so sometimes my options are limited. I’m a big fan of Copper Branch, specifically their Aztec Bowl. It’s a tasty mix of protein, grains and veggies and you can mix it up every time by making different combinations. They keep popping up all over Montreal and there will be one opening 5 minutes from my house very soon! Mandy’s Salads is a close runner up.
FH: Sometimes, we all need a break. When you get time for yourself, where is your favourite spot to relax and unwind?
L: I wish this happened more often but with 3 kids, a full time business to run and part time blogging I find it tough to find a lot of time for myself. I rarely take a break to relax and unwind that isn’t something utilitarian, ie. covering up my greys or getting a manicure before a party. And relaxing usually ends up happening in front of the TV or in a bath at home. That being said, the spa would be my go-to place and I’ve been eyeing the new Spa St James in the Ritz for quite a while now. Hopefully I’ll get to treat myself soon!
FH: Montreal is heavy with tourists – nearly all-year round! What is your favourite spot to take out-of-town guests / family members?
L: I come from a family of foodies, many of whom currently live in NYC. So when they come into town we often try the newest restaurants and cute coffee shops. My cousin was in this past fall and we went to the new Ryu in Westmount and made a trip to Melk on Monkland for their maple lattes. I think the quintessential Montreal tourist spot when it comes to food is Mile End. With bagel shops, cute ice cream counters and multi ethnic cuisine it sums up our city. Plus, there are tons of boutiques featuring locally made clothing and home goods.
FH: When you’re feeling like you need a break from the big city, is there a particular spot you like to take the fam? Any road-trip suggestions that aren’t too far from Montreal?
L: I was lucky enough growing up to have a country home in Stowe, VT. I love taking my kids there when we can get away for a weekend. It’s a quintessential country town with activities to do every season. From skiing in winter to hiking and biking in the summer to going on nature walks in spring and fall. In Stowe, our entire family can take in the great outdoors and unplug. I actually wrote a blog post about some of our favourite places in Stowe here.
What are your favourite Montreal spots?