10 Interactive Experiences to Have in Kingston

By Jordan Whitehouse

Concerts, museums and gourmet meals are all fine and good, but if you’re looking to do something a little more active and immersive in Kingston, keep reading. From escape rooms to virtual reality experiences to an astronomical observatory, here are 10 places to kickstart your mind and body.
Improbable Escapes Legend of the Mayan TempleImprobable Escapes

303 Bagot Street, Suite 16B

Since 2015, the folks at Improbable Escapes have been “locking” visitors into themed rooms and challenging them to escape before a buzzer goes off after 60 minutes. The only way out is to work with one’s team to find clues and solve puzzles. There are a variety of escape rooms here and in pop-up locations around the city, that rotate throughout the year. A few are family friendly, others not, but all are done privately with just the group you bring (typically 2 – 6 people).
$7 – $25 + tax/person

Sherlock’s Escapes

298 Bagot Street

This decadently designed escape room experience challenges you and your team to find clues that will lead to the missing Sherlock Holmes. Be quick, though. You only have 60 minutes. The three locked rooms here are connected to a larger storyline, and though they can be done independently, it’s more fun if you do them in sequence starting with A Culinary Pursuit. Private appointments only.
$22.15 + tax/person with a $50 booking deposit.

The VR Hut

331 King Street East, Suite 201  

Escape reality for a while at Kingston’s first and only public virtual reality facility. Start by picking from a library of about 20 scenarios, then enter the pod, put on the VR headset and take off. Scenarios range in the theme from sports to fantasy to action to mechanics and beyond. There are six pods here (max two people per pod), and each is 81 square feet, which is plenty of room to get the most out of the simulation.
$25.00/30 minutes. $45 – $240/60 minutes.

Minotaur Games and Crafts

78 Princess Street

Though Minotaur is best known as a unique spot to buy games, crafts, cards and art, those in the know can’t quit its free weekly drop-in events. On Games Night, pick from the store’s massive selection and then sit down to challenge your friends, old or new (Thursday and Sunday, 5 pm – 9 pm). On Craft Night, bring your own project and get some inspiration. Although all projects are welcome, each night has a theme with an expert in that area in attendance (Wednesday and Friday, 6 pm – 9 pm). Minotaur also has free games tournaments and free craft workshops.    

The Queen’s Observatory

58 University Avenue, Ellis Hall, Room 432

Did you know that Queen’s University has its own astronomical observatory? Did you know you can peer through its 14-inch telescope to some of the farthest reaches of space during monthly open houses? They happen on the second Saturday of every month and include a half-hour presentation on a specific topic related to space, followed by an hour-long tour of the observatory dome and telescope.

The Tett Centre

370 King Street West   
If you’re looking to scratch that creative itch, consider signing up for a workshop at the gorgeous Tett Centre, home to several arts groups and individual artists and makers. Those artists lead a variety of ever-changing workshops that have ranged from still-life drawing to weaving to improv classes to make-your-own charcuterie board to lantern making. Some are free, many are for beginners, and most include all necessary supplies.
Prices vary

Kingston Food Tours

221 Queen Street

The quickest way to understanding the heart of Kingston is through its food. And what better way to experience the best cuisine the city has to offer than a comprehensive, authentic tour by passionate local guides who know good food. Walk through the city experiencing exclusive tastings at various downtown restaurants and learn a few fun facts about Kingston’s illustrious, and delicious past. From Classic Food Tours to a Beer and Bites tour of local microbreweries, it’s a tasty time for all.

Various times. Adults $69.00 — Children (6-12) $59.00

The Boiler Room Climbing Gym

4 Cataraqui Street, Suite 103
What was once the boiler room for a 19th-century woollen mill is now a state-of-the-art climbing gym with Canada’s highest indoor ascent. If the 100-foot chimney climb sounds like too much, though, find your wall in one of two rooms, where there are 40 ropes and over 80 climbs to choose from whatever your skill level. There is also a bouldering structure. Beginner and advanced lessons and programs are available, as are change rooms, showers, lockers, equipment, and snacks and drinks. Open seven days a week.
$15 – $27.50

Kingston School of Dance

The Tett Centre. 370 King Street West, Suite 303

Polish up on those dance moves at this not-for-profit’s drop-in classes during the evenings. You can choose from ballet, Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, contemporary, swing, ballroom and other styles. Some classes include performance options, others do not. Couples and solo dancers are welcome.   
Prices vary.

Moda Yoga’s Karma Classes

27 Princess Street, Unit 103

Bored with the same old yoga class? Then consider dropping into Modo Yoga’s Friday evening classes. These donation-based classes raise funds for local and international charities while offering great yoga at a reduced rate. 

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