Top 10 Summer Experiences
The favourite expression for describing our summer patio obsession is “al fresco” simply meaning “in the fresh” – Peterborough & the Kawarthas offers just that – dining with farm fresh flavours out in the open air. The Silver Bean Café – on downtown Peterborough’s waterfront offers an urban oasis – like sitting on the deck at your cottage, with great lunch eats and to-die-for strawberry lemonade. The Junction Rooftop Patio takes you above the City’s hustle and bustle. See the City from a different point of view.
2. Enjoy the Sweet Things
Summers filled with simple pleasures were what made childhood summer’s so magical. Sharing a laugh. Splashing in a lake. Enjoying an ice cream cone. Take a time-out to indulge in a summer treat – an ice cream from Kawartha Dairy. One of our personal favourite flavours is Banana Boat – named one of Canada’s best ice creams by the Globe and Mail. Inspired by the campfire favourite, this scoopable taste-sensation is a banana ice cream with a wave of marshmallow and chocolate. One scoop? Or two?
3. Festivals & Events at Every Turn
One Region. Countless Ways to Kick It Up. Round up the crew for a weekend of fun. Round out a perfect week’s stay in true Canadian Cottage Country. There are countless ways to celebrate with us. See fantastic works at the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival. Rock out at Peterborough Musicfest and you will see why it has been voted one of Ontario’s top festivals. Step back in time at great events at Lang Pioneer Village. What are you waiting for? There’s a party going on up here!
4. Free Family Fun
With the kids off for two whole months, it can be exhausting (and expensive!) to keep your family happy. We get that. Peterborough & the Kawarthas is filled with great ways to spend quality time without emptying your wallet. Enjoy Riverview Park & Zoo – with a splash pad and playground to cool off. Peterborough Musicfest is a free summer concert series. Acts taking place this summer include Fefe Dobson, Sloan and Walk off the Earth!
5. Cruising Canada’s Treasured Waterway
Boating on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site is a signature experience. Our region is defined by our connection to water – and the unique communities that have positioned themselves along the watershed. Unlock the treasures of our region’s waterfront towns, villages and the great engineering marvels along the way. Rent a houseboat and enjoy the beautiful scenery as you kick back and relax in the waterway. Travel up – waaay up – the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock. Explore downtown Peterborough all morning and spend the same afternoon reeling family fishing fun.
6. Outdoor Concerts
We’re a destination that will be music to your ears. Whatever your choice genre is, you’re sure to find some soothing sounds and cool beats here. Throughout the summer, Peterborough Musicfest brings twice-weekly concerts to Del Crary Park in Downtown Peterborough. Country fans from throughout North America flock to the small town of Havelock to hear some of country music’s hottest acts at the Havelock Country Jamboree. Check out Lakefield Jazz, Art & Craft Festival a relaxing day of entertainment, on the shores of the Otonabee River.
Tucked in one of our greatest natural areas, surrounded by winding hiking trails and natural serenity is the largest known concentration of First Nations stone carvings in Canada. The depictions carved into the white marble include approximately 900 figures of turtles, snakes, birds and humans snakes, birds and humans – are known as Kinomagewapkong, translated as “the rocks that teach” were a teaching where different aboriginal communities came together to exchange knowledge. View the carvings. Hear the stories of our heritage and realize the spiritual attachments between this site and our region’s aboriginal communities.
8. Hear our Stories
Everything we experience today, pixel by pixel, engine by engine, road by road can be traced back to an equally valuable time – field by field, stone by stone, tree by tree. Get enveloped in the joy of a great story. Step back in time. Tour original historic family homes, chat with the local blacksmith, join in the fun at Lang Pioneer Village. Snack on tea and scones at Hutchison House Living History Museum. Explore other great historic treasures at the Peterborough Museum & Archives, OFAH Hunting & Fishing Heritage Centre and the Canadian Canoe Museum.The secret behind preserving our stories is sharing them. Find your connection to generations of yesteryear.
9. A Blanket of Stars
Get back to basics with family camping in the Canadian wilderness. Gaze up at the blanket of stars in the night sky. Roast marshmallows over a cozy campfire. Step away from the pace of daily life and enjoy the simple things. At Warsaw Caves Conservation Area, “spelunk” your way through caves that were formed during the last ice age. By night, sing silly campfire songs and explore trails by lantern light. For campers who enjoy their urban creature comforts, Peterborough’s Beavermead Park & Campground offers campsites within the city limits. Go backcountry camping at Kawartha Highlands Signature Site– 2nd largest Provincial Park in Ontario with endless opportunities to explore and see wildlife.
10. Art at its Finest
Drawing inspiration from the picturesque settings here is easy to do. Lakeside views. Wooded trails. Manicured streetscapes. Our local galleries demonstrate ways that artists of regional, national and international acclaim create reflections from their surroundings. Get inspired. See great original works at our local galleries: Gallery on the Lake, Art Gallery of Peterborough & the Kawartha Artists Gallery & Studio, Visit the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival, named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals, and recognized as one of the premiere Canadian arts festivals.