• Kimberley Falk

Why I am, and You Should, Stay in Kingston this Winter

We all know that winter can be a stressful season for slippery roads and cold fingertips, but the sight of the snow blanketing the ground around the old limestone buildings while I walk, bundled up, shopping for the holidays, always brings me peace. And, from the moon shining off the frozen St. Lawrence River to the giant lit tree in Springer Market Square, Kingston definitely lights up at night in the winter.

Why would you want to disappear for the winter when there is so much to be excited for right here in Kingston, Ontario? Whether you have only lived here a few short years like myself, or you’ve rarely left the city limits in your life, your hearts will be warm when spending time with your loved ones here at home.

I can’t wait to enjoy the snow out at Little Cataraqui Conservation Area, just north of the 401, where 13 km of beautiful trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing await us this winter. If you don’t own a set of skis or know how to ski, you can rent equipment and take lessons at the Outdoor Centre. And, once the snow melts in the Spring, I’ll be sure to enjoy Maple Madness as well.

Back in the city, I look forward to the many craft and market events that happen during the winter season so I can support Kingston’s local businesses.

This Friday November 30th, Downtown Kingston will be hosting Festive Friday. Many stores will be offering sales and treats and we’ll get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on Sydenham St. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some shopping done. I am, however, a huge fan of doing most of my shopping at the many craft and markets that pop up around the city.

Friday nights and Saturday and Sundays, the Kingston Holiday Market will be popping up at 168 Wellington street. I can’t wait to see what treasures I can find. Also on December 1st. The Christmas Gift Show will be happening again at Portsmouth Harbour, which promises even more exhibits.

The Fat Goose Craft Fair will be taking place for its tenth year in a row at Grant Hall at Queen’s University on December 2nd. You’ll want to show up early for this one!

There’s no reason to travel to the infamous Toronto Christmas Market, when right here on December 8th and 9th, the Kingston Outdoor Christmas Market will be taking place on Sydenham St. downtown hosted by Hochelaga Inn and Visit Kingston, and it’s the one that everyone is talking about.

And, I can’t forget The Memorial Centre Holiday Market happening every Sunday where I can get some yummy meals and baked goods to take home for dinner.

And it’s not just about shopping, it’s about being around all the many great people in town.

My son always loves going to Snow Much Fun, which will again be happening in the Square on December 7th. Find Santa and enjoy some warm treats, crafts, and skating.

A Victorian Father Christmas will be a new, welcoming addition to Fort Henry’s Lumina Borealis this year. It’s third year running, it’s always a new adventure every time we go. Can’t wait to see what other surprises are in store, literally - I love the gift shop!

I’ve also RSVP’d for the PumpHouse’s All Aboard After Hours. Leaving my son at home for this one, It’s the perfect opportunity to relive my childhood by letting out my competitive side during the gingerbread house making competition and building the best snow fort! If you didn’t RSVP, there’ll still be a few tickets at the door.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, and of all the many amazing things happening this winter, what I can’t wait for is curling up in front of the fire - the fake one on Netflix - on my laptop, while I watch the many Hallmark Channel Christmas movies I’ve recorded the past couple of weeks.

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