It’s the time of year for falling leaves, cozy sweaters and spiced lattes. Which also means it’s the time to turn up the romance! Whether you are planning your first date or your 100th, your sweetheart won’t be disappointed when you impress them with a thoughtfully planned rendezvous.
In the spirit of Autumn, we have put together a list of lovely date ideas to help you ‘woo’ that special someone.
Grab your life jacket and get ready to set sail on one of the 1000 Islands Fall Cruises! Enjoy a sightseeing ‘Discovery Cruise’ or sit down for an elegant dinner on one of their many lunch and dinner cruises. Planning a first date and nervous about the unavoidable awkward moments? No problem, 1000 Islands includes live entertainment in all 3 hour cruises.
Get your game face on! Take the ultimate test of trust and teamwork at an Improbable Escapes escape room. You and your pals are locked inside a uniquely-themed room for one hour with the task of finding your way out through puzzles, rhymes and stories. It’s tougher than you’d think.. Can you beat the clock?
What better excuse to cuddle up to your cutie than some good old fashioned ghosts. Skeptics and superstitious agree that The Original Haunted Walk of Kingston is full of hair-raising scares! They are known for their animated tour guides and creepy storytelling, so you can rest assured that you are in for a spine-chilling adventure.
If ghost spotting and abandoned asylums don’t make you shake in your boots, bring your date over to Fort Fright during October to have your nightmares become reality. This year try and make it to the end while you live out the horrifying story of ‘little Sarah’ – spooky!
Sometimes a date can be as simple as taking a long walk hand in hand. Why not make your walk more interesting by traveling over to the Brockville Railway Tunnel! As the hub of the Brock Trail recreation pathway, the recently restored relic receives rave reviews for its eclectic mix of lights, music and history.
Splash back into fun with the Brockville 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises! Choose your adventure on one of the 1, 3 and 5 hour boat cruises, and then set sail on the beautiful St. Lawrence River. Find a spot on deck to get the best views of the beautiful St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands.
Take your sweetie to the award-winning Pumpkinferno and discover a selection of mesmerizing glowing pumpkins!
‘Wine-not’ plan a Fall weekend to travel through Prince Edward County to take a tour through the wide range of County vineyards! Settle in at one of the many cozy boutique inns such as The Wilfrid Boutique Farmhouse or The Drake Motor Inn and discover some delicious wines from local wineries including Black Prince Winery and Devil’s Wishbone Winery. Discover more wineries in the county by visiting our extensive winery list: Sip Your Way Through These 28 Wineries in South Eastern Ontario – Volume 1
While you are enjoying harvest season, spend a day at Sandbanks Provincial Park, where you can take a bicycle tour, watch bird migrations, and take a walk though dunes and wetlands. Take a jump in the shallow water of Lake Ontario if you are feeling fearless!
12. Wolfe Island Corn Maze - Wolfe Island
Do you love games? Do you love animals? Do you love adventure? If you answered yes then you need to take a gander over to The Wolfe Island Corn Maze! Visit farm animals and navigate through a 50 acre maze designed in the middle of a corn field! Fun idea: Make it a group date, and challenge one another to see who can complete the maze first!
13. Dark Sky Viewing Area - Lennox & Addington
Are you afraid of the dark? We hope not! Because you won’t want to miss the opportunity to experience just how beautiful the skies are at the Dark Sky Viewing Area. You will be amazed by how different the sky looks without city lights and light pollution! Bring a telescope and you can spot planets and stars such as Venus, Mars and Polaris!
Not for the ‘faint of heart’, this is the perfect day-time date to go on if you find yourself in the mood for an adventure. Take a quick 5 minute walk up a large hill to meet a 30 foot tall tower to the Sager viewing platform. 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. Worth the climb any time of year.
Can you think of anything more romantic than a private helicopter ride overseeing the beautiful, colour-rich landscape and deep blue water? If you are feeling the love, take your soulmate over to 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours and get a first class, birds-eye view of the St. Lawrence River. You can choose between 10, 20, 30 and 60 minute flights, each providing you with even more beautiful views. If you are afraid, don’t fret, the pilots are known to be very fun and knowledgeable!
It wouldn’t be right to end this blog without one more cruise (in case you haven’t had enough yet). Venture through the 1000 Islands, soak up the history and beauty of the river, and hop off the boat at Boldt Castle (don’t forget your passport) to explore a building built from true love - the original owner build the castle for his wife! Choose your adventure with three trip options at 1, 2 and 5 hours.
Cruises aren’t just for summertime anymore! Both Kingston Destination Group and St. Lawrence Cruises offer a variety of cruises that will show you the beautiful City of Kingston and stunning St. Lawrence River with an Autumn backdrop.
Choose between 90 minute and 3 hour cruises, hear live entertainment and enjoy some gourmet food prepared by their talented culinary team while you learn some interesting facts about the Kingston waterfront including its 19th-century Military Defence Fort (Fort Henry), cottage islands such as Wanderer’s Channel and Bateau Channel, shipwrecks, and other unknown folklore.
If you are looking for a memorable vacation this Fall, book a spot on the Fall Harvest and Colour Cruise with St. Lawrence Cruises. You won’t believe the beauty of the colourful shoreline as you travel from Kingston to Montreal (and back) over 8 days and 7 nights. Get your camera ready as you will pass serene shorelines decorated with falling leaves in beautifully rustic colours. Enjoy many excursions that take you off of the boat and onto land to enjoy what we call “Fall Harvest”.
2. Fort Fright
You may want to leave the kids at home for this frighteningly fun outing. Located in the historic (and probably haunted) Fort Henry, a Military Defence fort originally built in the early 1800’s, Fort Fright holds nothing back when it comes to scare tactics. With talented “actors” running behind curtains and hiding in the shadows, you won’t be able to hold back your screams as they jump out and follow you through a frightening maze full of your deepest fears. Known locally as one of the top events of the year, you should be afraid to miss it! Book your tickets ASAP as the scares are only available in October.
3. Kingston Food Tours
Who doesn’t love food? We know we do! How can you feel guilty if you are walking between bites? The Kingston Food Tour is a walking tour of the Limestone city’s beautiful downtown hub. Blending drool-worthy food with sightseeing and inside secrets about the historic culture and thriving community will have you ramped up for a fun night on the town. With food so delicious, people come from hundreds of miles away to explore their taste buds, you can expect to try some mouthwatering fish tacos, creamy gelato and aromatic sauces at each of the many locally owned restaurants featured on this tour.
4. Kingston Pen Tours
Dress for the weather and keep the kids at home on this tour as you will be given a first-hand glance at one of Canada’s oldest penitentiaries. Follow your knowledgeable tour guide around the inside and outside grounds of the Kingston Pen and hear stories from retired guards who remember the good, the bad and the ugly of this beautiful building’s history. Beyond the incredible story-telling and interesting history, you will be in awe of the beautiful architecture of this timeworn building.
5. Live Music / Local Bands
Music is a language that everyone speaks, and if you have heard of The Tragically Hip, then you know that Kingston produces incredibly talented musicians. Many of the bars and restaurants feature local talent throughout the week and weekends all year long. We have highlighted some of the top spots for you to hear the Kingston sound on your next trip to the city.
- Musiikki Café– Visit this hot spot any night of the week for local music, including Jazz Monday, Open Mic Tuesdays and the Goodnight Irenes every Thursday!
- The Toucan – A rustic and cool pub that is always looking to share local talent. The Toucan features different local bands from a variety of genres including Ghetto Express, BAG$, Goldwing and Maybelleen.
- Olivea – If jazz gets you jazzed then you need to check out Olivea on Tuesdays between 6 and 9pm for their traditional jazz night. No cover required and delicious Italian food available! The weekly jazz nights feature local artists such as Spencer Evans, the Downtown Trio or the Dave Barton Trio.
- Blu Martini – With live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the Blu Martini features local talents including Chris Jackson and The Great Unwashed, all while offering some of the best cocktails in town.
- The Mansion – Not only does the mansion offer some great eats and fabulous drinks, you can find new local bands playing on their upstairs stage on most nights of the week. Check out their events page on Facebook to get all the details.
- The Merchant – Another one of Kingstons hot-spots on the weekend. You are bound to make new friends and find a new favourite band at The Merchant any weekend of the year. Hit up the pub around 10:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays to hear the sounds of Smitty, Kings of the Cold and many more.
* Extra – In case you are looking to expand your playlist with more Kingstonian musicians, we have put together a list of some of our favourite local artists to add to your playlist:
- Beta 58 – If you are feeling the loud and proud Rock ‘n Roll
- Golfwing – For those who don’t like to stick to one genre
- Jimbo – Get dizzy with this psychedelic rock group
- Huraches – Twist it up with this Instrumental Surf Punk party
- Deux Trois – Inspire yourself with this 80’s style, dark pop musical talent
- The Meriunges – A little indie/punk for you punks and punkettes
- Sweet Talk Jackie – A beloved local rock band to get your party started
- Some Giant – Packed with passion and raging rock
- Savannah Shea – Feel it in your soul with this jazz, blues and pop trio
- Relatively Minor – Check your feet. Are you wearing your jazz shoes?
- Ghetto Xpress – Because it wouldn’t be a complete list without a little bit of Funk and R&B!
*Extra – Improbable Escapes
We couldn’t finish this list off without telling you about the number 1 attraction in Kingston! Improbable Escapes is the perfect way to get your fill of adventure. If you and your pals have a thing for mystery, puzzles and creative-thinking, then this is your jam! Book a private adventure with your favourite people and get locked in a room for 60 minutes, then put your heads together to escape before the buzzer goes off. Choose between the creepy and the cute from their many experiences including “Coroners Report”, “The Cure for the Common Zombie” and “Love Letter Lockdown”.
Plan your next trip to Kingston! Learn more here: Visit Kingston
Located along the north shore of the St Lawrence River, the South Eastern Ontario region spans from Cornwall and SDG Counties to Ontario’s burgeoning wine and craft beer country known as Prince Edward County and the Bay of Quinte. Along the shores of these waterways, you’ll find fascinating history, quaint villages, inspiring art, live theatre and gastronomic delights. No matter how you choose to experience it, South Eastern Ontario offers some of the best places to visit in Ontario.