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Montreal is one cool city: well, actually, it's steaming hot in the summertime, but it's always Kool-- stylish, arty, with French elan, and lots of fun. No surprise, then, that it's home to a famous Jazz Festival: but what did surprise me was learning that the Montreal Jazz Festival is a great place for kids. Thousands of them romp at the Festival, daily.
What do they all do? Well, for starters, they might have fun at a gigantic play area, with a slide like a trumpet, ladder like a guitar-- you get the idea. Even a giant piano to jump on (photo, above). Add in mask-makers, arts and crafts, roaming clowns, jugglers, and acrobats... and a bunch of camp counselors to keep everyone happy.
The interactive Little School of Jazz show is presented twice a day, and teaches kids about jazz music by learning with songs they already know: maybe the Sesame Street or Simpsons theme, etc. Live musicians share the limelight with a blue cat Mascot called "Ste. Cat".
Also kid-friendly are stroller rentals, outdoor concerts, street performers, free face-painting... many activities don't cost a cent.
And don't worry if you don't speak French; virtually everyone in the tourist industry speaks anglais.
Musically-inclined teens should check out Blues Camp: a free week-long day camp for ages 13 to 17. (Kids do have to tryout to get picked for the Blues Camp, though.)
The Montreal Jazz Festival runs from late June to early July. Sounds like lots of fun, with outdoor stages and whole sections of downtown devoted to the Festival. Expect to pay $ for concerts by the more well-known artists, though. Read more at the Montreal Jazz Festival site.
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Photo courtesy of Montreal Jazz Festival.