Things to do in Kingston

We expect most of you will be very busy with the conference, but just in case you are looking for some other things to do in Kingston, here are some suggestions. We have also listed some good options for kids and families.

Because CATR2018 is happening at the start of Kingston’s tourist season, we recommend confirming in advance that museums, splash pads, and parks are fully open.

THE K-PASS FOR VISITORS TO KINGSTON:

NOTE: individuals can purchase a K-Pass, which offers package discounts on Kingston tourism attractions. It is described as follows:

“K-Pass is your all-inclusive ticket to Kingston, including admission to top museums, galleries, tours,attractions and more. When you arrive in Kingston you will choose a start time for your 24 hour, 48 hour or 72 hour pass. You can visit as many attractions as you’d like while your pass is active, and each attraction can be visited one time.”

For more information, click here.

trolley
KINGSTON TROLLEY TOURS:

Available as part of the K-Pass, or separately, are the Kingston Trolley Tours, described as follows:

“The Trolley makes eight stops at Kingston’s most popular visitor destinations, including Fort Henry, the Penitentiary Museum, and Queen’s University. You can hop off at any stop, stay for as long as you like, then hop back on and continue your tour. Trolleys follow a figure-8 route that divides the route into two halves: you can begin with the east half of the tour, hop off at the Market Square stop to get lunch or take a cruise, then continue with the West half of the tour.”

For more information, click here.

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, TOURS:

Canada’s Penitentiary Museum

“Come visit Canada’s Penitentiary Museum, the award-winning museum dedicated solely to the preservation and interpretation of the history of our federal penitentiaries! Located at the birthplace of the Correctional Service of Canada in Kingston Ontario, the museum is housed within the former Warden’s residence of Kingston Penitentiary.”

Location: 555 King St W

Kingston Penitentiary Tours

“Tour the historic Kingston Pen, closed off to the public for 178 years, and see for yourself how prisoners lived in Canada’s most notorious prison.” (Note: book tickets online in advance)

Location: 560 King Street W

Bellevue House National Historic Site

“Tour the restored home and gardens of historic Bellevue House knowing that seeds were planted here for the birth of a country. Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and his family made Bellevue House their home from 1848 to 1849.”

Location: 35 Centre St (near the Isabel)

Murney Tower National Historic Site

“Built in 1846 as part of the defensive Martello tower fortifications of Kingston, this museum has 3 floors displaying a collection of military and domestic artifacts of 19th-century Kingston.”

Location: 2 King St W, Kingston

Haunted Walk of Kingston

“The Haunted Walk of Kingston is celebrating 20 years of entertaining locals and visitors alike with walking tours of spine-tingling ghost stories and darker history. Are you afraid of the dark? You will be. Come and experience for yourself why The Haunted Walk of Kingston is rated #1 on TripAdvisor!”

Location: 200 Ontario St

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Public art museum located on campus at Queen’s University. Admission is free.

Location: 36 University Ave

FIVE FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUMS IN KINGSTON:

(recommendations quoted from the South Eastern Ontario tourism website)

Miller Museum of Geology, Queen’s University

Location: Miller Hall, Queen’s University, 36 Union Street
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Admission: Free

Why your kids will love it: “At one point in their lives, your kids will be obsessed with rocks and dinosaurs. Fossils, dinosaur bones and a stunning collection of geodes are here for hands-on exploration.”

Museum of Health Care at Kingston

Location: Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site, 32 George St (on campus at Queen’s)
Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm
Admission: By donation, special events may require admission

Why your kids will love it: “Kid-friendly programming includes fun activity packs that your family can use while in the museum to build on your learning, a children’s gallery and engaging special events like their Family Day Teddy Bear Hospital and educational play date opportunities.”

Pump House Steam Museum

Location: 23 Ontario St (located downtown)
Hours: Hours change seasonally, see website

Why your kids will love it: “The Pump House Steam Museum is a true gem, with only six similar preserved water pumping plants left in North America. Your kids will love the huge animated pumps, the elegant Phoebe pleasure boat, the model trains and the hands-on and STEM inspired Gordon C. Leitch Discovery Centre.”

Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada

Location: 1 Fort Henry Drive
Hours: Hours change seasonally, see website

Why your kids will love it: “As soon as you step into Fort Henry, you are whisked back in time. This living history military museum boasts soldiers, cannons, barracks and artifacts from the British and Canadian military. Highlights also include the school room, Garrison Parade and David the Goat, Fort Henry’s personable mascot.”

MacLachlan Woodworking Museum

Location: 2993 Hwy 2 East (at Grass Creek Park)
Hours: Hours change seasonally, see website

Why your kids will love it: “Kids and their caregivers will love the opportunity to explore and learn in The Workshop, getting an opportunity to learn how to carve and create a wide variety of items, like shakes and canoes. But your wee one will remember the Children’s Forest, a beautifully designed space inside of the museum complete with a tent and campfire.”

PARKS AND RECREATION:

Lake Ontario Park

“Lake Ontario Park is the City’s largest urban waterfront park and it was reopened in 2013 after undergoing a complete revitalization. It provides a significant natural landscape drawing both visitors and residents for picnicking and scenic walks along the waterfront.”

Location: 920 King St W

Lemoine Point Conservation Area

“Lemoine Point includes 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, with more than 2,500 metres of shoreline. Along with its 11km of hiking trails, Lemoine Point features swimming, fishing and picnic areas with barbecues”

Location: 1440 Coverdale Drive

City Park

“City Park, about a 10-minute walk west of City Hall down King Street, is a large, leafy park with
picnic tables & BBQ’s, a splash pad, two playground spaces with climbers and swings (one accessible), and washrooms – Open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk.”

Location: Just east of campus, along King St, between Barrie and Lower Union.

Artillery Park Aquatic Centre

Fitness and Aquatic centre located in downtown Kingston.

Location: 382 Bagot St

Splash Pads, Parks, and Trails in Kingston

Kingston has many kid friendly parks with splash pads. For more information about the many splash pads in Kingston, click here.

For more information about local parks and trails, click here.

ENTERTAINMENT:

The Grand Theatre

“The Grand Theatre is a historic theatre located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and is currently one of that city’s major performing arts venues. It has been the home of the Kingston Symphony since 1964.”

Location: 218 Princess St

The Screening Room

A local independent movie theatre (located downtown) showing contemporary independent, foreign & art films

Location: 120 Princess Street

Thousand Islands Playhouse

“Live theatre on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque, ON. Visit this summer to see a rock & roll musical, a world premiere farce, and more!”

Location: Gananoque (about 20min east of Kingston on the 401)

Kingston also has Cineplex Odeon and Landmark Theatres multiplexes, accessible by car or taxi.

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