Feb-Fest in Kingston

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 ice rink
Ice rink on Market Square



Ice-rink Activities


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!


Festive fun (and olympic tryouts)


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!


Ice hockey
Players dressed in the historic uniforms



Food Tasting

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.


General Brocks Comissionary



Lumina Borealis

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.


Lumina Borealis
Unique and wonderful. Not to be missed on your trip!



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!


Hot chocolate
Stopped to heat up in Sipps




Ice Swimming

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!


Sports for all weather!


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!



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Catch up with our adventure over on Youtube with our Kingston highlights below!





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