My name is My name is Lauren Gayeski and I would like to adopt Espace Pour La Vie.
Tell us a bit more about yourself
Hello, my name is Lauren Gayeski, I am a former nurse and current stay at home mom to three boys ages 7, 6, and 4. I write a blog, livingbylauren.com, where I share my thoughts on parenting and my love of DIY and interiors. I live with my husband, David, and our three boys on the New Jersey coast. We spend our summers on the beach, mostly collecting seashells and pretending to be pirates, and we spend our winters travelling/skiing . . . and wishing for summer.
Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
On a recent trip to Montreal, Quebec, we visited Espace Pour La Vie (“Space for Life”), which is located at Montreal’s Olympic Park. There are three exhibit areas here that we visited, including the Botanical Gardens (including an amazing butterfly exhibit), the Biodome (which is a collection of living exhibits of habitats in North America), and the Insectarium . . . which is a bug museum. Admission to all of these are separate, but each one was absolutely incredible (and easy to fit them all in one day).
Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
As a family, we love being outdoors and I know that the greatest way to teach kids about science and the environment is to let them experience it for themselves. The Insectarium and the butterfly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens were their favorite parts. This was a really great family experience, particularly for kids who love science, biology, and creepy crawlers. At the Insectarium, there were thousands of preserved insects, as well as live exhibits, one with enormous stick bugs. There was a theatre that presented a movie about insects (in both French and English) that told silly jokes, which was a big hit with my boys. I know that bugs are not everyone’s idea of “fun” at a museum, but there was a lot of interesting information given that was easy for kids to understand. Inside the Botanical Gardens (on the same property as the Insectarium, but with a separate entrance) was an enormous live butterfly exhibit that was absolutely spectacular. If you asked my boys, the combination of these two places was the highlight of their entire trip to Montreal.
Why would you recommend people visit?
These three exhibits at Espace Pour La Vie make science, specifically biology and ecology, come alive. All of the information in the exhibits was available in French and English and provided hands on activities and information that people of all ages, including school aged children, are able to enjoy (I would mostly recommend ages 4 and up). The Botanical Gardens may not be all that interesting for young children if all it included was plant admiring, but there were many interactive areas that kids could explore. For instance, there were the baseball sized examples of seeds and pollen demonstrating how plants reproduce (that kids could run their hands all over), a tree house, and maps to illustrate where certain plants thrive in their natural habitat. As a parent, I love seeing my children learn about the earth and how each person plays a part in keeping it healthy. And as an adult, I learned quite a few things for myself! The location is just outside of the city centre of Montreal (about a 10 minute drive) but the parking is convenient and all of the exhibits are within walking distance of one another.
How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Nature Lover’s Dream.