Busing away from boredom

Five Kingston activities to pass the time this winter

Your student card is your ticket to winter fun.

Kingston’s cold weather may have tricked you into believing that there’s nothing to do over the next couple of months except stay inside and binge-watch Netflix. I assure you, however, that this isn’t the case. In fact, you already have the ticket for your trip out of the campus bubble and away from winter boredom: your student card.

That’s right, I’m talking about the bus.

Simply using the ever underestimated Kingston transit system is an activity in itself. Riding the bus is a great way to explore the Limestone City, and the perfect place for people watching. But if you’re not as easily entertained as I am, keep reading. Here are five ideas for winter activities that you can bus to:

Catch a movie

Landmark Cinema is the best place to see any new movie release; it’s small, has good snacks (including Yogen Früz), comfy seats, and the 702 bus stops right in front of it. You can get on at Johnson St. and Alfred St. and ride all the way there.

Dolittle, Jumanji: The Next Level, and Harley Quinn’s anticipated solo debut Birds of Prey are all currently playing at Landmark. Or, if you want to prepare for the Oscars on Sunday, I’d recommend Best Picture nominees 1917 and Little Women.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with some popcorn and a movie on a cold winter afternoon. It’s like staying in bed and watching Netflix, but with actual fresh air involved.

Go skating downtown

If you’re interested in embracing winter instead of hiding from it, you might enjoy skating on the outdoor ice rink at Springer Market Square in downtown Kingston. Located just in front of City Hall, this rink is a lovely place to channel your Canadian spirit. You can even defrost afterward at one of the many nearby coffee shops. Plus, it’s free. Really, you can’t go wrong. 

The rink is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you don’t own a pair of skates, you can rent them for $3.75 on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from the rental office located in the basement of City Hall by the rink. 

The bus can get you within a five-minute walk of the ice rink. From the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) stop, just take the 602 to the Downtown Transfer Point.

See a play

There are plenty of plays running in Kingston this month, and watching one is a lovely way to spend a winter evening. Plus, it’s always a good idea to support local theatre troupes.

For example, Peggy’s Song, a mystery about a woman whose husband dies in a plane crash, is playing at the Baby Grand Theatre through Feb. 9. Located in the heart of downtown Kingston, the Baby Grand is close enough to walk to from campus and the University District. If you prefer the bus, however, take the 502 from KGH to Brock St. and Bagot St. From there, it’s a two-minute walk to the theatre.

Keep an eye on The Journal’s Arts section for profiles on new plays you can see at Kingston theatres like the Baby Grand.

Check out some live music

Musiikii Café on Brock St. hosts live music every night. Monday is jazz night, Tuesdays is open mic night, Wednesday is folk night, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are set aside for general music. I’ve never been, but I imagine it’s a lovely place to spend an evening as a music lover.

To get to Musiikii Café, take the 802 bus from KGH to the Downtown Transfer Point. From there, it’s a two-minute walk. 

Head to the winter farmer’s market

Tired of doing all your grocery shopping at Metro? Grab your reusable bags and head to Kingston Memorial Centre at 303 York St. on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to pick up some fresh produce, hot foods, sauces, handmade items, and more. A classic farmer’s market is a great way to wake yourself up on a Sunday morning, and it may even give you a much-needed taste of summer.

To get to the Memorial Centre, take the 502 bus from KGH to Albert St. and Princess St. Walk one block up Albert St., and you’ll arrive at the farmer’s market.

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