It’s the most romantic time of the year!
Put away the candy hearts and chocolate roses and make unique memories with your special someone this Valentine’s Day. Wrap yourself up in some warm clothing and brave the cold in the region or have a fun indoor date. From escape rooms, and indoor golf to admiring art exhibits while sipping cocktails or coffee in between, there are plenty of things to do this season. Shake that urge to be a flake this snowy season – get out and experience everything that winter has to offer in South Eastern Ontario!
1. In the Bay Of Quinte, head over to Sager Conservation Area and take a quick 5-minute walk up a large hill to meet a 30-foot tall tower. With a 360-degree view of the Bay, you can play some iSpy, or have a special moment with a certain someone while you overlook the country landscape.
2. Hit The Slopes At Batawa Ski Hill. The next time a snowstorm gets you down, try and remember that more snow means more time to ski at the Batawa Ski Hill! Perfect for beginners, advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders due to their excellent staff and twelve hills that vary in style, length and difficulty. If you have never skied or snowboarded before, show up early and meet with your very own instructor to learn the ropes and then hit the slopes!
3. H.R. Frink Conservation Area. Beautiful winter hiking is here! Twelve kilometres of trails give way to an education centre where outdoor programs are delivered by local school boards and Quinte Conservation. In fact, the centre opened 50 years ago this year! H.R. Frink Conservation is well known for birdwatching and nature photography, as well as its nature–based activity stations along the pond trail and wetland ecology boardwalk. The north side features a network of forested trails leading visitors along the Moira River, around a silver maple swamp and through a hardwood forest to Parks Creek.
4. Cheers To Winter. Now is a great time to beat the crowds and partake in a wine, cider and beer tour in Prince Edward County. Raise a glass and discover something delightfully different at the local breweries and vineyards here. The peacefulness of the local landscapes in winter allows you to savour every sip. So, raise a glass and discover something delightfully different at local breweries and vineyards! Taste the bounty of The County.
5. Explore The Arts. Feed your mind and soul by delving into the arts scene in Prince Edward County during the winter. Memorable creative experiences await: become an artist, discover the Barn Quilt Trail, browse a gallery or two, or take in the Arts Trail! The Arts Trail is a year-round, self-guided ‘choose your own adventure’ tour of artist studios and galleries, featuring sculpture, visual arts, photography, and more. It’s a great chance to meet some of the artists who give The County its flare.
6. Stroll On An Iconic Beach. The most unique experiences are those that are unanticipated, unusual, and unique. That is what you will be in store for if you make your way to one of Prince Edward County’s beaches or trails this winter. Walk along the shoreline and feel as though you have travelled to another planet. The bright winter sunshine reflecting off the freezing waters will warm your heart and ease your mind from daily troubles. Keep reading to find out what other activities you can enjoy while you visit!
7. Celebrate the best food Kingston has to offer with Kingstonlicious. From now until March, choose from various three-course prix fixe dinners starting at $25 per person. Menus will be switching up so you can enjoy bold flavours and the best products from the area!
8. It’s hip to be square. Ignite that spark! Pack some hot chocolate, lace-up and skate under the stars on the lit outdoor rink at Springer Market Square in Kingston. Kingston’s downtown core also features Optik Installation. With the spin of a wheel, light and sound combine to create a colourful symphony! Totally hands on and ready to enhance your epic nights in Downtown Kingston. Then stroll to Confederation Park and get hands-on at the Northern Lights interactive experience from February 15 to March 14.
9. Disco Ball Events Roller Skating. Within the charming 1950s era arena, is housed the best time on eight wheels – Disco Ball Events Roller Skating. The folks behind the legendary Studio 801 that used to grace the Kingston scene are at it again in Napanee. This is the real deal! Music, lights, roller skate rentals and lots of laughs and dancing. Let the good times roll!
10. Snowshoeing Frontenac Provincial Park. When the snow piles up – it’s piles of fun! Hit the trails snowshoeing at Frontenac Provincial Park to make the most out of winter. From trekking poles to adult and even youth snowshoes, Frontenac Outfitters is the one-stop shop for purchasing the perfect pair. If renting snowshoes sounds enticing, Frontenac Provincial Park rents snowshoes during the winter months when the office is open. The modern-style snowshoes come with trekking poles in a variety of sizes. According to park info, the most popular trails enjoyed by snowshoers and hikers in winter are the moderate 3 km Doe Lake Loop and the easy 1.5 km Arab Lake Gorge Loop. Head out and have fun!
11. And now for something completely different! Rent a Hot Tent from Frontenac Outfitters along with the gear and experience something new. Frontenac Outfitters even offers gorgeous campsites on their property which has a tent already set up and ready to go. Full instructions on stove use are provided as well as a parking spot only a short walk from your vehicle. Frontenac Outfitters also offers hot tent rentals for use at Frontenac Provincial Park, which has proven popular in recent years. Just because the snow is flying doesn’t mean you have to give up camping! Give them a call instead and set your winter course to adventure.
12. View the beauty of the Rideau. Foley Mountain offers one of the best panoramic views along the Rideau from Spy Rock. Look here for wonderful trails for snowshoeing, too!
13. Do Delta! Dine and shop in the charming, little waterfront village of Delta. Find your next iconic fashion piece at Zipper Thrift Co., a family boutique for great one-of-a-kind finds, located in the historical Jubilee Block across the street from the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site. Next, sip leisurely on a brew at the Bastard Coffee House! Curl up in comfy chairs by the big, historic front window and while away the morning with a friend hang or watch the snow drift down while reading with a treat and cuppa. Watch for new board game nights here, too! Finish the day trail riding at Deltawood Farm and make horses the “mane” event of the afternoon.
14. Winter walks: Heritage River Trail. This popular walking path runs along the waterfront for one of the longest riverside walking paths in all of Eastern Ontario. This paved path takes walkers along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, and is complete with information boards about the historic industry in the town. In winter, time slows down in Prescott and the river is peaceful – making for a crisp, memorable time spent outdoors. Prescott also has two outdoor rinks that operate throughout the winter, typically even open late for fun evening skating: one at Sarah Spencer Park and the other at the Sandra S. Lawn Harbour and Marina. Make it a double date and glide through winter!
15. Revel in a culinary farm-to-fork experience in a beautiful 1830s stone farmhouse surrounded by nature! With three guestrooms in a separate wing, each room at Harlem Stonegate B&B is furnished in a modern farmhouse chic style with luxurious amenities. Add to that an elevated guest culinary experience showcasing local flavours and it becomes a truly memorable stay. Guests enjoy a variety of complimentary breakfasts, lunch or multi-course dinner menus, as well as High Tea service made with natural, local ingredients.
16. Romantic Getaway at Kemptville Suites. Need a couples getaway to reconnect and recharge? An intimate stay awaits at Kemptville Suites – exposed brick and stone walls give way to bespoke furnishings and distinct style with refined character. With soaker tubs, fireplaces, and plush amenities, let the suite create the perfect setting romance.
17. Trail time. You and your special someone deserve some quiet time reconnecting with nature. Make Valentine’s Day memorable by forest bathing while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on local trails. Saunter arm-in-arm through the Brock Trail, or bring your camera to the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area which has everything from hiking trails to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Enjoy the beautiful snow-covered trees and the peacefulness of the woods in winter.
18. Sunnidell Virtual Golf. Courses closed for the season? No problem! Book a tee time for a unique virtual golf experience and stay swinging all winter! Bring your golf clubs and pick one of the 42 world-renowned courses to challenge players of every skill level. Or, choose to sharpen those skills with the driving range option. A game of 18 holes takes about an hour to play – and it will leave you vowing to return.
19. ArBru Brewery Domes Experience. Visit Canada’s only solar powered brewery in Mallorytown! Connect with friends in a unique winter dome, enjoying an afternoon of beer, wood-fired pizza and apps in a themed country charm setting or a winter wonderland dome. Privacy without compromising on experience! Great for photos, too.
20. Did you know the 1000 Islands History Museum is open year-round? Although the summer exhibit is all packed up, the permanent exhibits are still in full swing, with loads of information to uncover about the 1000 Islands over 10,000 years. We’re talking an intriguing crash course into the people, places and heritage in the region through interactive exhibits and more. Be sure to take a winter stroll and walk back in time to explore Gananoque in the past through the fascinating Gananoque Heritage Walking Tour app.
21. View The 1000 Islands from up above! Soar above the waterways and castles with 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours.
22. Grab a cuppa and a treat. Nothing starts the morning off on the right foot than a coffee and authentic baked goodies. Enter the Pistachio Café and the Painted Turtle. Known as Gananoque’s loveliest patio, the Pistachio Café features lattes that will warm you to your toes and light meals (with a glass of beer or wine, of course!). Inside the café is also stunningly cozy. Over at the Painted Turtle, it’s a relaxing and inspiring atmosphere, to slow down and chat with a friend or take the chill off sipping a hot bevvy. We hear their cheesecake is to die for, as well!
23. Valentine’s Day is for the birds. Flock to the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Morrisburg to hit the trails walking, skiing or snowshoeing. With more than eight kilometres of self-guided, groomed hiking trails and close to 150 different bird species to watch for, this place is heaven for birding enthusiasts.
24. Surreal skating. This is unlike anything you’ve ever done before! Impress your special someone on the skate trails at Countryside Adventures near The SDG Counties. Tour through the forest while exploring a 3 km skating trail and more. Don’t forget to reserve your spot ahead of time, as numbers are being limited. As night falls, the skate trail lights go on for night skating through the woods! Talk about romance.
25. Catch Some Big Air At Big Ben. Snowboarding is a winter addiction in Cornwall! Learn or re-learn your ski and snowboard skills at Big Ben Ski Centre. The hill is open from December to March. Big Ben provides a wire cable lift with a tow handle, snowmaking and grooming, a terrain park, night skiing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, a heated chalet, a change trailer, washrooms, and a snack bar. Lessons are available for children aged four and up – or just come and board at your own pace!
26. Have a game night. Did you know that some low-stakes competition between couples is shown to promote bonding? Make it a double date and immerse yourself in an escape room from Rush Hour Escapes.
27. Learning and treating yourself go hand-in-hand here! Essential Kitchen is downtown Cornwall’s new wine bar and cooking class studio. Events at Essential Kitchen are hot tickets and combine discovery with diving in for hands-on learning (and eating!). They also supply delicious dips, dressings and butters, alongside wine to go!
Winter might be here but that doesn’t mean your date nights can’t be exciting!