Reasons to spend a summer in Kingston

Step out of campus life into a vibrant summer town

Kingston's summer community events involve art, food and live music.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Since it’s summer job application season, many students are wondering whether to head home for the break or stay in Kingston. If you’re unsure how to spend your four months, here’s a list of reasons why spending a summer in Kingston could be a great way to experience new things and get to know your university town better.

Community events

Kingston runs an impressive variety of events during the summer. Something everyone can enjoy is Movies in the Square, a weekly movie screening at Springer Market Square that shows familiar cinema hits or childhood classics to watch with friends. 

If you’re into art, Artfest is a three-day festival at the end of June showcasing everything from pottery to poetry. The Skeleton Park Arts Festival in mid-June also features music and art from all around the world, and the Women’s Art Festival in August exhibits art from over 200 local female artists. 

Kingston summers also offer a lot for music lovers, with August’s Limestone City Blues Festival and Music in the Park—an ongoing event that provides three free concerts every week.

Another interesting event is Doors Open Kingston, which offers Kingstonians a chance to visit local museums for free and explore historical buildings like City Hall. 

For all the foodies out there, there’s the annual YGK Craft Beer Festival at Fort Henry in June and weekly chef demonstrations in Market Square, where you can watch a local chef prepare a recipe and improve your cooking chops.

Explore outdoors

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of Kingston’s waterfront. Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles can be rented from Trailhead or Ahoy Rentals, both of which are conveniently located in the downtown core. Also, with the Gord Downie Pier close to campus, there’s no better way to cool off in the hot weather than by taking a swim.

If you have access to a car, there are various hiking trails around Kingston, including Rock Dunder, the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, and the Lemoine Point Conservation Area.

Try branching out

Life during the school year is often so hectic that students don’t get the chance to experience everything Kingston has to offer. By staying during the summer, you’ll be able to cross everything off your Kingston bucket list, whether that means trying out a restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to or seeing a movie at The Screening Room. 

You can learn about Kingston’s history by visiting sites such as Murney Tower and the Penitentiary Museum—both of which have cheap or by-donation admission. You can also rent an instrument or try out classes in dance, pottery, or weaving at the Tett Center.

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