Families flock to the Old Port during final days of holiday vacation

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How some Quebec families are navigating the holiday break without outdoor sports
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As the Christmas holiday break draws to an end, many families are spending their time at the Old Port.

The Montreal Science Centre has already set a new attendance record, attracting more than 30,000 visitors in the last two weeks, smashing the previous number of 15,000.

“The dinosaur effect is probably the main reason. Everybody loves dinosaurs,” Cybèle Robichaud, the Montreal Science Centre director, told Global News.

The exhibit, which features 20 life-sized mechanical dinosaurs and hands-on experiences, is extremely popular with families, and especially children.

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“We’re having a lot of fun. There’s lots of stuff for the kids to do, the dinosaur museum was great,” Danny Cassol, a father and visitor of the Montreal Science Centre, told Global News.

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The outdoor refrigerated skating rink is also a popular attraction.

Many outdoor rinks in the Greater Montreal area have been closed due to mild temperatures.

Sledding has also been a bust due to a lack of snow and downhill skiing isn’t drawing huge crowds.

The Lymer family drove from Ottawa to spend the day at the Old Port.

Ella Lymer, a fifth grader, says she’s been enjoying her holiday break from school.

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“I get to relax and I don’t have to wake up early in the morning and eat breakfast and go to school,” she said.

The total number of visitors to the Old Port hasn’t been tallied during the holidays but so far the popular destination has received more than 2,000 people a day on weekends and 1,000 a day on weekdays.

“I would say it has been an excellent two weeks here at the Old Port,” Kaven Gauthier, the Old Port public relations manager, told Global News.

The rink will remain open until March 5 and weekend DJ events begin Jan. 6.

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The dinosaur exhibit will continue until March 12 and officials are promising another massive exhibit for the summer but they won’t reveal any details just yet.

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