Montreal

Free family fun at Montreal's Jazz Festival

Families can sit in the shade and picnic, walk on the keys of the giant piano, craft together or learn the fundamentals of jazz — all for free.

The music may attract the young at heart, but Montreal's Jazz Festival has lots to offer real kids, too

Kids run on the notes of the giant piano at the Rio Tinto Musical Park. (Frederique Menard Aubin)

The Montreal International Jazz Festival is not just for the young at heart. 

It's also got a few great free activities for your little ones, too.

Here are three options for keeping your kids happy.

Rio Tinto Musical Park

The Musical Park was conceived to encourage entertaining, stimulating musical interaction. (Jeanette Kelly/CBC)

Walk, jump, run on the notes of the giant piano at the new, enhanced Rio Tinto Musical Park. Play the drums and the giant Pédalaphone.

The entire musical park was dreamed up and built right here in Montreal, thanks to local savoir-faire and expertise.

Who knows what budding musician creating music on those giant instruments today will one day perform at the Maison symphonique next door?

The park is located on the Esplanade between the Maison symphonique and Salle Wilfrid Pelletier.

For the craftier types, there's the Club famille craft tent with an endless supply of feathers, felt and construction paper, glue and sparkles to make hand puppets.

The Club famille is open daily between noon and 10 p.m.  

The Little School of Jazz

A classic of the festival, families can take part in a musical initiation with the Little School of Jazz. (Montreal International Jazz Festival)

Twice a day inside Complexe Desjardins children and their parents join up with Montreal jazz pianist James Gelfand for an introduction to jazz music.  La petite école du jazz (the Little School of Jazz) starts at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every day during the festival.

Jacques L'Heureux of Passe-Partout fame plays the role of Rémi. He's joined by the singers from the Bande Magnétik quartet and Ste-Cat, the Jazz Festival mascot.

The school is fun for fans of all ages and a great way to introduce children to jazz.

Fountains on Place des festivals 

Cool off with the fountains at the Place des Festivals. (Jeanette Kelly/CBC)

One of the most popular, and quite possibly the best spot to cool down is the Place des festivals itself.

Water fountains there are a great way for kids to cool off and splash around with any willing parents.  

There are lots of benches and steps for picnics, and the giant lawn chairs beside the Esplanade for a break in the shade.  

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