I just returned from visiting the Snow Village in Montreal with my husband and two children. Our children really enjoyed the experience, but allow me to pass on a few tips for visitors.
- Be prepared for an icy walk to the Snow Village: Maybe it was a fluke, but the day we visited, the path to the Snow Village from the metro stop Jean-Drapeau was precarious. Wear boots and think twice about bringing elderly guests.
- Be prepared to wait to buy your ticket: When we arrived at the ticket booth, the line was only about five-deep, but it was a cold 15 minutes till we got our tickets.
- Don't expect to spend much more than an hour or two unless you're staying to eat: This village can be toured easily in an hour with a stop for hot chocolate at the end. There is a small snow slide and inflatable maze for children, but they are a brief distraction for the under 10 crowd.
- Dress warmer than you think you have to: You may spend an hour or two at the Snow Village, without any time in an interior that is not built of snow. Wear your long johns if you've got'em, hat, scarf, the works.
- Wear proper boots: In addition to the walk to the Snow Village being slippery, the grounds of the village itself is icy with no salt or gravel put down for traction. This is Montreal baby. Get used to walking on ice.
- Think hard about staying the night: The idea may seem "magical," but when you wake up at 2 am in -5 with a freeze on that can't be quelled, you may wonder if there wasn't something better to do with $200.
- Visiting at dusk or nighttime is colder but the village is colourfully lit. At 8 pm, prices drop and you have until 9 pm, when the hotel rooms become available only to overnight guests.
- Consider taking advantage of some of the other winter activities in Parc Jean-Drapeau, like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (rentals available) or dog-sledding.