Insider Itinerary: Anna Ruck of StruckBlog

By Anna Ruck

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and things can start to feel dreary. When you compound that with living through a pandemic, lockdown life, and everything we have endured in 2020, it’s understandable if you feel bleak about the coming weeks of January.

January can be a tough month. Although the new year brings with it a fresh start, here in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, we’ll be heading into the new year in quarantine.

Credit: Rob Whelan Photography

Like many, you may be asking yourself the following questions:

What activities can we do and how do I keep my kids entertained this winter?

How can we keep our spirits up during dreary winter days in lockdown?

If you’re looking for safe activities to do in town this winter, things in Downtown Kingston are looking bright! Witnessing my toddler gawk in awe at all that our downtown core has to offer reminded me to appreciate the beauty that much more.

Credit: Rob Whelan Photography

Why Visit Downtown Kingston?

Exploring Downtown Kingston and taking in the sights is a great family activity at any time, but this year the city has gone all out decorating with the most stellar light installation to date. We headed downtown to check it out as a family of three (and a half) and it was a great way to spend an evening. If you’re looking for something to do with the whole family in the middle of a pandemic winter, exploring Downtown Kingston is a safe, outdoor activity you can do any day of the week. A little sparkle and local love are sure to lift your spirits even in the darkest days of January.

Credit: Rob Whelan Photography

What to do while in Downtown Kingston?

Food & Dining: Although many businesses have been forced to shut their doors during the Ontario-wide lockdown (until Jan. 23rd, 2021 at present time), our local restaurants will still be offering take-out/delivery. You can see a full updated list of your options for dining here.

Which Kingston restaurants are offering delivery and take-out? Find the full list here.

If you’d rather pick up a few ingredients to whip up a meal at home, consider supporting local and stocking up at our downtown food and grocery stores. You can refer to a list here if you’re not sure where to find the ingredients you’ll need (just be sure to call ahead/do your research so you’re aware of hours and restrictions).

For some recipe inspiration, you could make these ginger-spiced cookies, a charcuterie boarddips, or cocktails and mocktails by following tutorials from Kingston’s finest culinary professionals.

Credit: Rob Whelan Photography

Skating: take a skate with our historic City Hall as your backdrop. Be aware, that safety precautions are in effect (you can review them here). In the evenings the ice surface is beautifully lit, as is the surrounding area. Bring the kids along and let them work up a sweat. They’ll surely sleep well that night!

Credit: Rob Whelan Photography

Take a Stroll: the city has gone above and beyond this year with the light installations in and around Springer Market Square, City Hall, and the Visitor Information Centre. The best part is, they’ll be up well past the holiday season, all the way through to March! Use the opportunity to have a family photo shoot (just as we did with Rob Whelan who did an amazing job) while basking in the glow of the lights. You’ll find the lights easily in the immediate area of the square, with many optimal spots for a photo op. Dozens of local businesses are also displaying glowing neon hearts in their storefront windows. Why not have the kids count how many they can spot as you meander down the street to keep them entertained? And if you haven’t already played tourist in your own city and stood in place of the “I” in Kingston, now is the time!

For the full list of things to do, visit Anna’s website here.