Are you planning a vacation in Gaspésie with a small child? Here are some suggestions for activities and attractions that are suitable for the whole family.
The Coast: Sculptures and gardens
In Sainte-Flavie, a visit to the Centre d’art Marcel Gagnon will give you the opportunity to stretch your legs with a free activity for all: go for a stroll outside this art gallery, inn and restaurant to contemplate 120 sculptures emerging from the St. Lawrence!
In Grand-Métis, the famous Reford Gardens offer trails that can easily be explored with a stroller. Take the time to smell the beautiful flowers as you discover the gardens’ 3000 species and varieties of plants. Admission is free for children under 14.
Starting in June, the International Garden Festival invites you to explore contemporary gardens that feature interactive spaces where children can discover beautiful structures and colours. Strollers and umbrellas are available on site.
In Matane, the Jardins de Doris gardens offers beautiful grounds and a variety of attractions, including a butterfly aviary, the houses of the three little pigs, a duck pond with charming ducklings, a peacock house and a little farm with goats, which children love to feed. Admission is free for children under 3.
Roger St-Laurent, photographe
Haute-Gaspésie: Aquariums and hiking
In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Exploramer has several aquariums that house a living collection of fish and other marine organisms from the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. See over 1000 individual organisms from 60 different species! Young children will be delighted to be able to touch several types of invertebrates, including starfish, crabs and sea cucumbers, in the five touch pools. Admission to the Exploramer museum and aquarium is free for children under 6.
In Parc national de la Gaspésie, parents who are hiking enthusiasts can borrow a baby carrier free of charge at the Discovery and Visitors Centre. The park offers a network of trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty, including the easily accessible Chute-Sainte-Anne trail. Admission is free for children under 18.
Land’s End: Cycling, hiking and multimedia trails
Forillon National Park also offers the option of hiking with a baby carrier. In the Penouille sector, you can cycle, walk on the boardwalk with a stroller or build a sandcastle with your child on the magnificent beach. Admission is free for children under 18.
At the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark, the experiential pavilion offers the Desjardins Playroom where you and your child can explore the climbing nets and admire the starry ceiling. You can also hop on a shuttle bus that will take you the top of Mount Sainte-Anne where you can soak up the magnificent view from the suspended glass platform. Finally, you can hike the trails in the Magical Forest with a baby carrier. Admission to the Geopark is free for children under 6.
In Chandler, Parc du Bourg de Pabos offers many attractions and activities, including the Nova Lumina and Ura multimedia trails, which will delight the whole family with their lights and colours. While Nova Lumina welcomes visitors in the evening only, the Ura trail is accessible day and night. Since these forest trails are not completely accessible to strollers, it is best to bring a baby carrier. Admission to Parc du Bourg de Pabos, Nova Lumina and Ura is free for children under 6. The site also offers a beach on the seafront, which is accessible free of charge, and a bike path.
Chaleur Bay: History, indigenous animals and petting farm
At the Paspébiac National Historic Site, you will find superb period buildings along the sea and boardwalks that are accessible to strollers. Admission is free for children under 7. A playground is also available nearby.
In Bonaventure, the Bioparc de la Gaspésie will introduce you to about 40 species of indigenous animals in five major ecosystems. You can also see live insects, naturalized specimens, amphibians, reptiles and more in this wildlife park. At the petting farm, small children can get up close to a pony, cow and donkey as well as chickens and rabbits. They will also be able to pet free-roaming animals such as goats, sheep and pigs. Admission is free for children under 3. Strollers are available for rent on site.
Roger St-Laurent, photographe
The Valley: Salmon observation
At Causapscal, the Site des Chutes et Marais interpretation centre offers you the opportunity to observe Atlantic salmon. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to see these majestic fish leap the falls. When water and observation conditions permit, you can also watch the salmon on a giant screen, filmed by an underwater camera. Little ones will be captivated! Admission is free for children under 6; there is also a picnic area on site.
See also: “Practical Ideas for Travelling with a Baby in Gaspésie"