Active Summer Bucket List in Kingston

Summer in Kingston is the place to be! Our beautiful city is packed with activities that promote a healthy lifestyle with all the summer must-haves! Based on the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults aged 18- 64 should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate –to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week and aim for weight resistance training 2 days per week. Physical activity provides greater health benefits including overall improved fitness, strength, and mental health (morale and self-esteem). It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. To help you out with your active summer bucket list, we have complied a list of the exciting opportunities our great city has to offer!      

Parks and Trails

Kingston and its surrounding areas offer a wide variety of spacious and beautiful conservation parks and trails that are perfect for hiking, picnics, swimming, cycling, fishing, canoeing and boating (with rental option available), along with wildlife viewing and nature appreciation. 


Ride a bike and come up with your own tour! Ride along the water or through the streets of downtown Kingston! It’s an easy scan, ride, end system and you can take it anywhere for a $1/hour. In dense areas, cycling can be as much as 30% faster than car travel for distances up to 6 km.

Kingston Penitentiary Tour

Tours through Kingston Penitentiary (KP) will offer a rare and unique opportunity to go behind the walls of Canada’s oldest and most notorious maximum-security prison that was open from 1835 to 2013. The guided walking tours will provide an up-close look at KP as an amazing historical building and a national historic site. 

Kingston Walks

A great way to explore downtown Kingston! Book a 90-minute walking tour with experienced guides in both French and English. 

Haunted Walk of Kingston

This walking tour takes you through Kingston’s old Sydenham Ward featuring haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, grave robbing’s, hangings at the old courthouse, and Kingston’s famous haunted courtyard. Spookiness scale: 3 out 5.

Aquatic Facilities

Check out the Aquatics Centre and enjoy the indoor lap and leisure pools, four splash pads and one wading pool, along with the outdoor aqua park located at the Memorial Centre. 

Athletics and Recreational Centre(ARC) 

Whether you are on-campus or off-campus, the Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC) offers a wide array of fitness opportunities to get you active throughout the entire year. The ARC is open to students, Queen’s staff, faculty, alumni, retirees and the Kingston community. Learn about a membership and passes on their website to access their facilities: 

  • Pool
  • Fitness zones 
  • Gymnasiums
  • Dance studio
  • Racquet courts 
  • Combative rooms 
  • Sport equipment rentals 

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Agnes Etherington Art Centre is a research‐intensive art museum located on Queen’s University campus. Take a walk through the magnificent exhibitions staged across eight beautiful galleries during your lunch break! More activities and programs are available on their website. 

Other Physical Activity Ideas:

  • Join a walking group in the area
  • Go for a stroll after dinner with your family (dog included!)
  • Bike or walk to work
  • Rake the lawn, garden or clean the house
  • Try a new sport
  • Participate in a run or walk for charity
  • Get your family involved!

We hope you are inspired by these summer activities that can get you moving. For other ideas on what to do in Kingston this summer, visit:

Happy Summer Gaels!

Jaspreet Multani is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Queen’s University completing her Honours degree in Global Developmental Studies. Jaspreet is currently the Student Health and Wellness Marketing Intern at Queen’s Hospitality Services. Her main interests are sustainability, food waste, food security, and nutritional and sustainability-oriented marketing.

Article reviewed and edited by Hospitality Services Registered Dietitian.

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