The flowers are growing and leaves on the trees are no longer in their infancy, they’re teen-aged period of their life now. The waft of warm air gets me thinking about new and more fun ways to put off those big things we’re supposed to be doing. (Kidding, we look forward to them. But why can’t we have some nice afternoons and weekends as well? If you didn’t catch Jeremy’s post from last week, taking some time for exercise and relaxation can not-so-ironically improve your productivity). Amanda covered a lot of great locations to experience the outdoors in and around Kingston in her post. In this week’s post, I’m going to pull together some other great things to look out for this summer in Kingston.
Everyone has their own preferences for a good time, so while I could couldn’t be happier than having spent an entire day walking through some trails, someone else’s paradise might be found reading about an obscure event on a museum wall. Kingston is a pretty special place in that it’s got a bit of everything (except, well, let’s face it, if you’re from a big city there are some things only a big city can offer). I’m not going to fathom guesses as to what you’d like to do, so I’ve got a few sites that you can leaf through. I’ve been here for 6 years and there are some things that I’ve come to look forward to every summer, and I’ll write a few words about these.
This is Kingston’s official tourism website and it’s basically a compendium of activities and events. Have skim through it see if there’s anything for you. One of Kingston’s undeniable strong points is its rich history. If you’re into museums here’s your spot, and one place that is a must-see is Fort Henry just over the causeway. Canada’s penitentiary capital also offers a museum full of history and artifacts. Hockey buff? Did you know that there is a Hall of Fame here? If you’re looking for a bit of a spook (or if you don’t spook easily, maybe just some fun local stories) head out on one of Kingston’s classic Haunted Walk tours.
Here’s another website by Canada Comes Home, a great resource for fun things going on this summer. Art After Dark is in 3 days (this Friday, May 22), and it’s a great opportunity to see how rich the art community is in the area. Most of the galleries in town open up from 7-10pm and you get the rare opportunity to speak with the artists as you gaze through their works. It’s a very friendly and lively atmosphere. The Summer Sidewalk Sale (July 2-5) is perfect if you find you’ve got the shopping bug, a lot of stores participate and you might get that special something for that special price you’ve been dreaming about. Lots of good stuff in there.
An event that I look forward to every summer is the Kingston Art Fest from July 1 – 4. City Park is full of artists from southern Ontario and some neighbouring states with stalls filled with all kinds of arts and crafts. It’s a great place to find something to fill that gap on your wall, or to get Christmas shopping done early!
If you’re a music buff, there are a few really good music festivals that come to town. Keep your head up for the Wolfe Island Music Festival from Aug. 7th-9th. The Limestone City Blues Festival runs at the end of August from the 27th-19th. Keep your eye on posters around town (especially at the Sleepless Goat, Brian’s Record Option, and Musikki) for other bands and festivals rolling through.
These are just some of the options for you in Kingston this summer. If you’ve been living in Canada for at least several years, you know that the juicy part of the summer doesn’t last long; and if this is your first Canadian summer, you’re about to learn how true that is. It’s going to be humid soon, so hit those trails now if that’s your thing. Most of these events happen once a year, and when they’re done they’re gone. When I think back to last year, I remember the work I completed as rewarding, but it’s my memories of the new and fun things I did outside of the lab that bring a smile to my face. I hope you have a summer to remember fondly.