It’s no secret that Kingston is a beautiful city in the summertime. However, today I’m feeling rather inspired by this morning’s majestic first snowfall, and I want to convince you that (if you dress appropriately), I think you’ll find that wintertime in Kingston is also quite special (and relatively under-appreciated). Certainly, there’s no shortage of cozy restaurants and atmospheric coffee shops to hole up inside as you watch the snow fall, but some (but not all) of my favourite winter activities involve bundling up and braving the frosty climes of the great outdoors.
So, read along, and choose your own adventure.
Starting in December, you can lace up for free skating on the various rinks throughout downtown Kingston. The rink outside City Hall (Springer Market Square) is a personal favourite, especially amongst the stars and Christmas lights. They’ve also started offering rentals in recent years for those of you who don’t own a pair of skates. I also love warming up after a few laps with a hot chocolate or latte from Coffeeco or Sipps across the street.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also skate on the lake when the conditions are favourable, or take a stroll along the waterfront walkway south of campus and watch people sail boats adapted for ice, or my personal favourite, you can watch the more adventurously-inclined try their hand at kite skating (see this video for an example; it looks rather terrifying to me!).
For those of you who enjoy ice hockey, you can play a pickup game (or enjoy a leisurely skate) at one of the other various rinks located around the city, including City Park, McBurney Park, and Victoria Park.
Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area
You can challenge yourself to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, and they offer equipment rentals. FYI: they also boast the largest outdoor skating rink in the city and offer skate rentals too. Admittedly, I’ve yet to try these activities, but I’ve heard good things and it’s on the top of my to-do list this winter.
Grab a toboggan or flying/snow carpet and brave the hills of Fort Henry.
In the spirit of embracing our national pastime, treat yourself to an Ontario Hockey League game at the K-Rock Center. Tickets are actually quite affordable for students.
How about you? What are your favourite things to do in the wintertime in Kingston?