Escape The Winter Blues, Light It Up With A Weekend In Kingston

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Has winter got you feeling blue? You are craving a getaway to the sun but perhaps you have a few too many Christmas purchases on your credit card and the smart money says stay home and pay it off. I may have the solution for you and it won’t break the bank. A weekend in Kingston where you can enjoy Lumina Borealis as it transforms Fort Henry into a winter wonderland of light and sounds. There are also plenty of great restaurants to choose from at prices that invite a 3rd course. Whether you are coming from Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal I say hop in your car and escape to Kingston. Once you arrive you’ll discover how walkable the city is and you won’t need your car until you are ready to return home. That is if you ever want to leave. Let’s explore.

Winter weekend in KingstonMy weekend in Kingston includes bringing one of my best friends with me. Jacquie and I have been friends for over 10 years yet this is only our second getaway together. Like every great road trip, it begins with a full tank of gas, coffee and a music playlist ready to play. Kingston here we come!

Marc & Jacquie grabbing coffee for the road on our weekend in Kingston getawayEven though it is cold and windy the roads are fairly clear and the 2 ish hour drive goes by fairly quickly. Our first stop in Kingston is at Coffee Way Donuts where I load up on my favourite sweet treats. I LOVE these doughnuts.

A delish Boston Cream donut from Coffee Way Donuts in KingstonOur next stop is to check into the Delta Kingston Waterfront, my favourite place to stay when I am in town. Winter rates have the rooms at under $200 a night which you just can’t beat. WiFi is great and many of the rooms have spectacular views of Lake Ontario.

Inside the Delta Kingston Waterfront hotelA frozen harbour view from my roomThe rooms are also equipped with an entertainment system that allows you to log into your favourite streaming service. A perfect way to wind down at the end of the day.

Streaming right from the TV in your roomCheck here for a previous review and story I did on theDelta Kingston Waterfront.

We have a few hours to pass until our tickets for Lumina Borealis are ready so after donning our winter jacket we head out for a walk of the downtown core. If we had brought ice skates with us we could have enjoyed a free skate on the ice rink that is right in front of City Hall.

Free public skating rink in the town square in KingstonA little happy hour beverage is more up our alley so we head to Chez Piggy for a pint and a lite bite to eat. We could have also gone to Sapori Bottega to enjoy an authentic Canoli and espresso. We discovered a wealth of imported Italian goodies here as well to stock up on. Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and maybe a few sweet treats…

A canoli and espresso at Sapori Bottega KingstonIt’s almost 6 pm which means we need to head to the Kingston Visitor Centre to hop on the free Lumina Borealis Shuttle which will take us up to Fort Henry.

Lumina Borealis at Fort Henry KingstonI attended the opening last year and have been so excited to revisit the 2nd installation at Fort Henry. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but here is my video of last years activation. It is MAGICAL and every age will love it.

I would come to Kingston for the weekend just to see this. But, there is more to do.

After Lumina we hopped in the shuttle and returned back downtown to grab a bit to eat at Atomica Kitchen Cocktails. Whether it is Pizza or pasta you will not leave hungry after eating here. This is their Funghi Pizza. Nom nom nom.

Atomica Funghi PizzaIf you think we are done for the night you are wrong. One more adventure is planned and we can’t escape it. We head to Improbable Escapes where a friend who lives in Kingston joins us. It turns out we may have needed at least 2 more friends to join us as we were not able to “escape” from our adventure. Boy, it is fun though.

No pics from this adventure as I don’t want to give any clues away.

Bedtime and a deep sleep that only comes after having a great day.

Hello Sunday. What do we have planned today? Some lazy wandering around town, a few coffees and a delicious brunch at  Aquaterra at the Delta Kingston Waterfront. Have the Eggs Benny

Eggs Benedict at AquaterraNow that our bellies are full it is time to return to Toronto. Our weekend in Kingston was only about 30 hours long but it was a wonderful break and the -20ºC weather didn’t dampen our experience at all. I can’t wait to return.

To read all my Kingston stories from previous visits click here.

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Disclosure: General

Thanks to Visit Kingston and the St Lawrence Parks Commission for hosting this weekend. My views and opinions are 100% my own.


About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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