Embrace the weather by making plans to fill your weekends!
From above, the Bay of Quinte looks like a “Z,” but from the ground, it seems more like an “X” marks the spot. With communities like Quinte West, Belleville and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, there’s so much you won’t want to miss out on!
If you’re looking for an evening cocktail and nosh, this is the place to wind down! Try out their cocktails like “Spill the Tea” (made with Bergamote, Gin, Lemon and Aquafaba) and/or a barrel-aged cocktail like the “Hanky Panky” (made with Gin, Fernet Branca, Cigar Mist and Vermouth). You can even get your squad together for an intimate wine tasting experience.
2. Sing And Dance At Empire Theatre
Since 1938, Belleville’s Empire Theatre has been the cornerstone of the Bay of Quinte’s arts scene. From classical music, cutting-edge comedians, to burgeoning stage actors, you will find something to enjoy! If you’re in the mood for music, check out this season, Black Sabb*tch or The Eagles tribute – Hotel California.
3. Visit The National Air Force Museum of Canada
Seeing planes and helicopters in movies is great, but what about seeing them in real life? The National Air Force Museum of Canada believes everyone should learn our country’s Air Force history. This Museum has the most significant number of aircraft on static display in Canada. With more than 75,000 square feet of display space attached to a 16-acre air park, The National Air Force Museum of Canada is dedicated to preserving and telling the history of Canadian military aviation. From its first flight on a frozen lake in Nova Scotia, through to today’s humanitarian relief missions, this aviation gem captures the spirit, the daring and the courage of the men and women of the RCAF.
Learn about the history of some famous air crafts like the Handley Page Halifax. This plane was shot down over a Norwegian lake and was located by sonar detectors in 1981. It took 14 years to raise the plane from the lake and another year to transport it to Canada. Then 10 more years and many volunteer hours later, the Halifax was unveiled. To add further appreciation, know that the museum was built around this incredible plane that is fully functional.
In the spring of 1784, a handful of Mohawk families arrived by canoe on the Bay of Quinte to what is now know as the Tyendinga Mohawk Territory. They had been displaced from their original home, the Mohawk Valley (New York State), due to the conflict between British and American armies. Since that fateful spring day amid the American Revolutions, Mohawks have built a proud community, one that holds onto and history and is united by its culture and traditions.
History buffs looking for a slice of Native history should visit Carrying Place National Historic Site, where Sir John Johnson and the Chiefs of Mississauga negotiated a treaty in 1787. Rooted in history and a pillar in the community, the Christ Church is a stunning place to discover. Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawk is one of just six designated royal chapels in the world – and one of only two located in Canada. This ‘Gothic-style building was built in 1843 of local limestone and stained glass windows, as well as a square bell tower and spire. It has also been deemed a national historic site of Canada.
5. Explore Local Conservation Areas
This is the perfect day-time activity to do if you’re looking for a bit of an adventure. Sager Conservation Area offers an incredible view of the countryside. Get ready to stair climb, though! After a quick 5-minute walk up a large hill, you will meet a 30-foot tall tower to the viewing platform. With a 360 degree view, get creative and play iSpy, or have a special moment overlooking the landscape.
Beautiful winter hiking is here! 12 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.
6. Hit The Slopes At Batawa Ski Hill
The next time a snowstorm gets you down, try and remember that more snow means more things to do outside! Situated roughly 15 minutes north of Trenton, Batawa Ski Hill is a non-profit destination perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors. They offer a range of activities including, alpine skiing, hiking, and snowboarding.
Learn the ropes and hit the slopes! The twelve hills vary in style, length and difficulty. If you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, show up early and meet with your very own instructor. There are also camp programs, and special events including, concerts and more!
Snowshoeing is the perfect way to explore in winter and the trail network at Batawa Ski Hill is a great place to feed your love of the white stuff. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, Batawa Ski Hill allows the public to enjoy their multi-use trail network free of charge for winter hiking, skinning, winter biking and snowshoeing. No shoes? No problem! Rent snowshoes on site for just $25 for four hours.
Hockey is a necessity in many Canadian lives, so it’s no surprise that we have added Hockey to this list (not that you needed a reminder)! The Belleville Senators have such a great fan base that no matter what your mood is, you will be out of your seat and cheering in no time. Games continue well into the new year, so buy your tickets now and get to it!
8. Reel In The Big One This Winter
Pack on the sweaters if you decide to see what ice fishing is all about this winter. Rally up your squad and catch a trophy fish on an ice fishing adventure. Make a weekend of it and rent an ice fishing hut and indulge in a cottage so you can enjoy maximum time with rod and reel.
READ ALSO: A Guide To Ice Fishing In The Bay Of Quinte
If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy the fun that winter has, visit Hastings Heritage Trail in Glen Ross. This 156-kilometre trail follows the old railway line connecting to waterways and whimsical towns. Perfect for all outdoor enthusiasts, you can find adventurers such as hiking, skiing and snowmobiling. Discover the best-kept secret of the Bay of Quinte!
Carnivorous dinosaurs, long-necked dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and armoured dinosaurs. All in one place! Quinte Museum of Natural History brings Exploration Exhibits to the Bay of Quinte region, showcasing a series of specimens created for international tour. This is a rare opportunity to see the exhibits in their entirety! Step back in time and discover the world of dinosaurs in this family-friendly atmosphere at the Quinte Museum of Natural History.
Get your hands on history at Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville! The Toymaker Time Machine experience allows visitors to make and take a piece of the past – an historic wooden game. Learn through play with Museum Maker, Dave Cox, and connect to moments in time through this behind-the-scenes experience.
This small craft brewery makes fine craft beer – and now you can taste it in the brand new taproom! Meyer’s Creek Brewing Company in Belleville recently opened the taproom and it’s getting rave reviews. Take a break from holiday shopping and sip a delicious pint or two. With beauties like Auntie’s Apricot Ale, Hayride and Yardmen and Wharf Rat, you can be one of the first to sit and stay awhile in the shiny new taproom at Meyer’s Creek.
13. Get the Royal Treatment
Relax and let the neigh-gativity slide off of you this season! Mind and body wellness combine in the cozy new ranch cabin spa at Fina Vista Farm. Connect with the horses and revel in the wood-burning fireplace, while enjoying an aromatherapy massage, facial, manicure and more.
Looking for something new? This is it! At Notwaste Russian Banya, visitors experience a wellness service that is unique to eastern Ontario. A Russian banya is an outdoor sauna with a twist – discover it for yourself! Explore nature here, too, with forest therapy walks that follow a wellness theme. To make the experience even more meaningful, everything done at Notwaste is performed with a zero-waste mentality.