Free / Cheap / Interesting things to do in Kingston this summer

By Abigail Beckett

1. Gord Edgar Downie Pier

Bask in the sun, go for a swim, play beach sports, or take a leap into the water. This Kingston hot spot at Breakwater Park is great for a great day with friends and is entirely free. Make sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated!

2. Activities on the water

Visit Ahoy Rentals and discover what summertime activities you can do. Why not try a stand-up paddle board? These are only $16 for one-hour use. This cheap outdoor activity is perfect to do solo or with friends.

3. Take the ferry to Wolfe Island

The ferry is 100% free! Check out the ferry times online and start planning a day with your friends. Plan a mini vacation that isn’t far from home and is extremely affordable. There is lots to do while on Wolfe Island, like swimming at Big Sandy Beach, cycling, and visiting local shops. After taking the free ferry ride over to Wolfe Island, take the shuttle bus to Marysville. This shuttle is completely free and runs seven days a week bringing you right to the village.

4. Movies in the Square

Watch a movie downtown in Market Square. Every Thursday night in June, July, and August, movies will be showing in Springer Market Square starting at 9 pm in June and July, and closer to 8 pm in August. Check out a list of scheduled showings.

5. Cycle the city

Go for a bike ride on one of Kingston’s many trails. Check out the K&P Trail, Waterfront Pathway, Rideau Trail, or St. Lawrence Recreational Trail. Kingston also has many great parks to cycle through, and lots to see while peddling around town.

6. Grab some ice cream

In the summer, ice cream is a must. Kingston has a ton of great ice cream shops to try. Start your own Kingston ice cream bucket list! Check out Mio Gelato, White Mountain, Churn Small Batch, and General Brock’s Commissary downtown or try Mile and a Quarter located in the west end.

7. Summer events

Check out events happening in Kingston this summer. Roam around the Princess Street Promenade on July 30 and see what vendors and activities are there. This is a great opportunity to get to know the small businesses, crafters, and artists of Kingston.

8. Go Thrifting

Shop some of Kingston’s thrift stores for unique and affordable finds. Head downtown to explore YGK Thrift, Montreal St. Collective, Phase 2, and What’ll I Wear. In the west end, check out Salvation Army, Value Village, Mission Thrift, and in mid-city, The Goodway. Not only is thrifting an affordable way to shop, it is also more sustainable and supports local business.

Read more: Your new wardrobe: falling in love with Kingston’s thrift shops

9. Go for Coffee

Grab a coffee – iced or hot – and a treat at a coffee shop. Try some downtown favourites like Crave, Balzac’s, Coffee and Company, and Kingston Coffee House. Gather some friends, get some caffeinated beverages, and head for a walk!

Read more: Staying caffeinated with downtown Kingston cafes

10. Music made in Kingston

Catch some live music at the Visitor Information Centre in Confederation Park on Sundays from 1-3 pm. Enjoy the sun while listening to some talented local musicians. While you’re there, check out local shops, cafes, and hangout at Confederation Park and enjoy the view.

11. The Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Located on Queen’s University campus, entrance into the Agnes Art Centre is free or admission by donation. If you are looking for an affordable activity this summer, explore current art exhibitions and permanent collections at the Agnes. The space holds a variety of artwork that ranges both geographically and temporally. Discover pieces by local and global artists, as well as contemporary and historical art.