Visiting Kingston in chilly February is a huge contrast to the gorgeous Canadian summers it experiences. It can also see some attractions close for these unforgiving and icy winter months. However, this arctic weather brings opportunity for other activities to take place! Unknown to us when we booked the trip, February is the busy month of Feb-fest in Kingston, which ideally gave us lots of free activities to enjoy and try out!
This was our first trip away to a winter paradise with only hand-luggage to spare. Nevertheless we managed and have jotted our infinite wisdom (….) down for all of you guys! Check out our Hand-Luggage Only packing guides to save you some money on your next adventure!
Kingston has more than a dozen outdoor ice-rinks, one of these being in Market Square behind the City Hall. This is open to public ice skating during the day and during Feb-fest it is occasionally closed off for events, one of which is a ‘come and try curling’. Curling is a popular sport in Canada and our first Feb-fest experience was an introduction to this classic Canadian pastime. Having watched this sport before on the Olympics we thought we would know what we were doing, however it is so much harder than it looks!
Ice Hockey Rivalries
The oldest university hockey rivalry, which began in the 1800’s, saw Queens University, Royal Military College and soldiers from the Horse Artillery battle it out for the 2018 hockey title. This was the 50th anniversary of this brave re-enactment, and we were amazed by the brutality of the game, given players don’t wear any padding or helmets. The snow was falling fast and heavy and the rink was quickly disappearing but that didn’t stop these men and woman battling it out for University bragging rights!
Our next stop was to General Brocks Commissary for a cheese and wine taster! Stocking locally produced products, the welcoming staff offered us many tasters of a beautiful selection of Canadian cheese and wines. They also recognised the foreign accent and gave us loads of ideas to try out in the local area.
The Lumina Borealis held at Fort Henry is a spectacular, enchanted light show with interactive elements around the fort. A free shuttle bus departs from the visitor centre every 15 minutes which takes you to the fort and back. You can purchase tickets for the tour either at the visitor centre or at the fort itself costing $16, or buy them online here.
Hot Choco Tasting
A lot of the Feb-fest activities take place around the market square ice rink so it’s perfect that there are also many hot chocolate stops nearby to pop in and warm up. We decided that we would try them all out and rank our favourites. We will be reviewing these shortly and posting our recommendations, so watch this space!
During Feb-fest those who are brave can sign up for the polar plunge… a swim in frozen Lake Ontario. Thankfully this was the week before we arrived so we didn’t need to do it, much to Campbell’s disappointment. It’s cold enough never mind swimming in sub-zero water!
So next time you think Canada is no place to be in the winter, think again! In the cold months of February, Kingston is the one and only place to be!
If you enjoyed reading this article read about our other Canadian adventures. Also subscribe to our blog so you never miss a post and check out our social media accounts to see what we are up to!
Catch up with our adventure over on Youtube with our Kingston highlights below!
This article may contain affiliate links that provide us with a small income. For more information read our Affiliate page.
Pin it for later!