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Explore Downtown Kingston: Your Go-To Guide for Winter Activities

By Rosalyn Gambhir

The days are short and the nights are chilly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some amazing experiences in downtown Kingston this winter!

And of course, I know it's easy to succumb to the allure of the couch and hibernate until spring. But fear not, Kingstonians, I know some fun ways to kick those post-holiday blues to the curb!

Downtown Kingston is buzzing with life and excitement, offering a variety of winter activities. So, slip into your coziest sweater, grab your mitts and toque, and let's explore the winter wonderland of downtown Kingston.

Catch a Movie at The Screening Room

First up on my list is a trip to The Screening Room, an independent movie theatre that adds a touch of magic to the cinematic experience. Whether you're a film buff or just looking for a relaxing night out, catch a movie at this cozy and intimate cinema on Princess St. Grab some popcorn, sink into the comfy seats, and enjoy the big screen! 

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Escape the Ordinary at Improbable Escapes

For those wanting a dash of mystery and excitement, head to Improbable Escapes for an escape room adventure aka solve your way out of a locked room! This is your time to shine and challenge your wits and teamwork skills as you work to solve puzzles before time runs out. It's the perfect activity for a group of friends or a fun date night experience.

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Foodie Delights with Kingston Food Tours

Indulge your taste buds on the Classic Kingston Tour by Kingston Food Tours as part of an intimate group led by a passionate local guide. Explore downtown Kingston’s culinary scene, sampling delights from local foodie hotspots. From hidden gems to longstanding favourites, this tour is a feast for your senses. Restaurants include Olivea, Tango Nuevo, Pan Chancho Bakery and many more. 

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Take a Spin at Springer Market Square

Lace up your skates and hit the ice at Springer Market Square, located right behind City Hall. Afterward, warm up with a classic Canadian treat – a BeaverTail across the road. These delicious pastries are the perfect way to refuel and embrace the winter vibes. And if you don’t have skates, don’t worry! Head up the street to Trailhead for figure skates or hockey skate rentals.

A Little Retail Therapy

Downtown Kingston is filled with quaint shops and unique finds. Take a stroll along Princess Street and explore the diverse range of shops. Whether you're on the hunt for fashion, home decor, or gifts, it has it all. Some of my favourites include, WHIT Kingston, Antique Emporium, Happy Thoughts, Cooke’s Fine Foods and Coffee, Kingston Olive Oil Company, Card’s Bakery, Send in the Clowns, A-One Clothing Store and more! For souvenirs, visit the Visitor Information Centre, Waterfront Gifts & Apparel and General Brock's Commissary.

Dine in Style

Foodies, rejoice! Indulge your taste buds during Kingstonlicious, where participating restaurants, local chefs and special guests offer prix fixe dine-in menus and packages. It's a culinary celebration that showcases the diverse and delicious offerings of Kingston's dining scene. Don't miss the opportunity to savour special menus crafted by talented chefs. Bon appétit!

Cozy Up at a Cute Coffee Shop

There’s nothing better than stepping into a cozy, welcoming café on a cold winter day. The smell of sweet pastries and freshly ground coffee lingers in the air, and after only a few sips, your favourite brew rejuvenates your spirits from the inside out. Downtown Kingston’s cafés have perfected the cozy scene and are great places to escape the cold. Here are some of my favourites: Kingston Coffee House, CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery, SENS Cafe, Coffee & Company and Balzac’s Coffee.

Catch a Live Show

Catch a live show at The Grand Theatre for a night of entertainment and culture. From concerts, and comedy shows to theatre, there's always something captivating happening on the stage. The Grand Theatre is a cultural hub that promises an evening of entertainment!

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Explore the Arts

Kingston is a hub for artists! So, unleash your creative side by exploring the many art galleries and one-of-a-kind studios in downtown Kingston. Martello Alley, Black Dog Pottery and Studio22 Fine Arts, are just a few places where you can discover local talent and unique pieces. There’s no shortage of artistic inspiration waiting to be discovered!

Take In a Hockey Game

Cheer on the Kingston Frontenacs at a thrilling hockey game. Experience the electric atmosphere of the arena and join fellow fans in supporting the local team!

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Treat Yourself to Self-Care

After all the excitement, treat yourself to some well-deserved self-care. Head to The Refinery, Cher-Mere Day Spa, The Annex Spa or Glow Skincare Co. for a rejuvenating facial, massage, or manicure. It's the perfect way to pamper yourself in the heart of downtown Kingston which will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Get Toasty at Stoked Sauna

For a unique winter wellness outdoor experience, try Stoked Sauna Co. at the Frontenac Club. This gem of an oasis is the perfect wellness moment you need this season for your mind and body to unwind, and feel relaxed and refreshed. And it’s right in downtown Kingston!

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Rosalyn Gambhir

I’m a daydreamer, a foodie, an adventurer, and an explorer. But most of all, a tourist in my own backyard of the limestone city rediscovering old favourites and hidden gems. As a proud Kingstonian for over a decade and an alumna of Queen's University, I has thrived in this vibrant community, which has fueled her creativity and passion for building a strong online community and supporting local businesses through my blogging, social media and freelance writing.

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