Ah yes, the limestone city. Who can resist its cobblestone charm and fun and flirty nightlife? The foodie scene? The art? But even Kingston can be a place where you wake up in the morning, don't feel like P-Diddy, and wonder, "what the fvck should I do today?"
Well lucky for you, (and lucky for the purpose of this article) there are A TON of things going on in the 613 this summer. We're not just talking a couple of measly events either, we're talking beer tastings, art festivals, things that will make your Insta feed look like a class a lifestyle blogger. So don't just settle for a dull summer, get out there and take advantage of what this beautiful city is giving you! Here are some of the must-hit events going on this summer in Kingston.
Doors Open Kingston // Various Locations
Want to check out some of the most beautiful buildings in Kingston? This is your chance to go beyond what you thoght you already knew with guided tours of some of Kingstons legendary builidings. Some notable buildings include the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Canada's Penitentiary Museum, HMCS Cataraui, Islamic Centre of Kingston St. George's Catherdal, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and many RMC buildings.
Date: June 17th
Skeleton Park Arts Festival // McBurney Park
Are you ready for the hypest summer solstice party this side of the true north? Get ready for this 5 day festival that has everything from a jazz parade, morning yoga, "Live in Kingston" Outdoor Film Screening and the Lost Cousins preformance, Metis Fiddler Quartet, an Artisan Fair, Local Food Vendors, the Barefoot Players and so much more!
Date: June 21st - 25th
Music in the Gardens // Lions Civic Gardens
Starting at 7pm every Wednesday and Sunday the City of Kingston is putting on a different free outdoor concert every week! This is the perfect time to enjoy some quality music, get outside, and switch up the night with your squad! This year they are featuring Jazz, Blues and Big Band series on Sundays and a Medley of Music series on Wednesdays.
Date: Starting June 27th, every Wednesday and Sunday evening.
Bob Dylan // K-Rock Centre
You all know him. The legend is coming to Kingston on June 27th for an epic concert you wont want to miss.
Date: June 27th
Price: $55 - $85
Storefront Fringe Festival // Downtown Kingston
Kingston's epic indie theatre party is back again for 2017. Each show is only $10 each if you buy a $3 Fringe Pin at The Alibi between 11am and 3pm. The pin also get's you discounts at some jewels downtown like Balzac's, Harper's Burger Bar and more!
Date: June 23rd - July 1st
Price: $10 per show plus the $3 Fringe Pin needed to get in.
Pride in Kingston // McBurney Park
SHOW YOUR PRIDE. This year Kingston Pride will have a parade starting at 12pm to kick off the day, followed by some awesome local artisans, live entertainment and pop-ups from local groups!
Date: June 17th
Live Music // The Mansion
It's more likely that you'll see a pig fly this summer then you'll see the Mansion without some kickass live music. Performers like Scott Helman, Neon Dreams, The Pick Brothers and more will be hitting up the Mansion so make sure to grab a pint and get ready for a great show.
Date: For specific artists check here.
Price: Varies, but they are usually in the range of $10.
Pro tip: There is also some great live music at the Merchant Tap House this summer!
#DKShopFest // Downtown Kingston
All day the best of Kingston's downtown merchants will be taking over the limestone hub for a huge sidewalk sale! Plus, if you post an Instagram with #dkshopfest and tag the business and a friend, you'll be entered to win a gift card to a store downtown!
Date: June 17th
Price: Depends on how much you buy ;) (of course browsing is always free)
Canada Day Celebration // Various Locations
Did you know it was Canada 150? Well unless you've been living under a rock or have dodged the patriotic 150 campaigns that have been EVERYWHERE this year then you probably did. Which also means that you probably know that this year Canada day is a BIG DEAL! And in typical Kingston fashion, the city is going all out. Starting in the morning there will be a "Limestone Mile" race, then a Parade at 11:30 am, followed by a Civic Ceremony at City Hall, a Sail Pass on Lake Ontario, and Fireworks at Confederation Park at night! Bonus, all day there will be live music at the Confederation Park Stage (on Ontario St.).
Date: July 1st
Artfest Kingston 2017 // City Park
Is there really a better way to celebrate Canada 150 then with 150 artisits and artisans from Ontario and Quebec? They will be there for three days starting on Canada day! From art to gourmet eats, live poetry readings, art workshops, theatre, and great music, it's the perfect way to wish Canada a Happy Birthday.
Date: July 1st - 3rd
Kingston Buskers Rendezvous // Various Locations
All eyes are on the famous street performers of Kingston this summer at the 29th annual Buskers Rendezvous. Head out here to see everything and anything from fire eating to sword swallowing (ouch).
Date: July 6th - 9th
Price: Free entrance and you can decide how much to give to each busker depending on their act.
Canadian Guitar Festival // Loughborough Lake Holiday
We all know that summer is the time of late night guitar playing around the fire (because who does that in the winter?), but if you're tired of the average strum, head to this festival for some epic talent. People come from around the world to showcase their fingerstyle guitar talents, there is also an open mic, workshops and fireside jams.
Date: July 28th - 30th
Price: Weekend camping pass - Adult Pass is $125.00, Teen is $62.50 and Children under 12 is free. Weekend Pass (regular) - Adult is $75.00, Teen is $37.00. Or you can also buy individual day passes for around $30.00 each!
Movies in the Square 2017 // Springer Market Square
The concept is pretty much in the title, every Thursday at 9:00pm there will be a different movie playing in the Square downtown. Head here with your boyfriend, girlfriend, squad, dog, cat whatever - just a grab some blankets, some chairs and head down for a hilarious night. Some of the movies this year are, The Parent Trap (1996 hello Lindsay), Elf, Finding Dory, Ocean's Eleven, and Mrs. Doubtfire!
Date: Starts June 22nd - September 7th
19th Annual Taste Of Kingston // Confederation Basin
Get your taste buds ready. It's the 19th year of this amazing gastro festival that not only gives you something to savour but also raises proceeds for Diabetes Canada. Restaurants in Kingston will be offering up their best food options (diabetes friendly) for you to vote on for the "Best of Taste" competition.
Date: July 30th
Price: Tickets are $1 each and a "Taste Bite" is usually priced at about $1-$5 - according to the website, you can expect to get a three-course lunch here for the price of only $10.
Picnic in the Park & Corn Roast // Memorial Centre Farmers' Market
For me, there is nothing better than a fresh corn on the cob. Some people like diamonds, I guess I'm a little more simple (but both would do). Either way, this is an event for everyone and anyone who appreciates a great picnic. Bring a picnic blanket and basket and soak up the sun, live music, and chow down on some local corn on the cob and watermelon for the ultimate summer day.
Date: August 20th
Price: Free admission
Limestone City Blues Festival // Various Venues in Downtown Kingston
Time to feel extra suave. Kingston will be hosting their legendary Limeston City Blues festival at the end of August, and it's NOT something that you'll want to miss!
Date: August 24th - 27th
Price: $15 for an admission bracelet which gets you set up for four days of amazing blues tunes. Your bracelet also lets you redeem ree "blues bucks" at many downtown merchants.
Kingston Dragon Boat Festival for Heart and Stroke // Emma Martin Park
Looking for something else to watch than your typical baseball game? Why not watch an epic dragon boat race? It's all for The Heart and Stroke Foundation, and all donations from this full day fiesta will go towards helping this awesome foundation help make more breakthroughs in medicine, and help to save more lives.
Date: August 26th
Price: To register as a team see here, or you can just watch!