5 ideas for a spontaneous/last minute day trip or a weekend getaway for first weekend of April in Ontario: Weekend of April 5 to 7.
Visit Stratford on Sunday, for a fabulous swan parade along Lakeside Drive in Stratford. Watch the gorgeous and graceful swans stroll toward the Avon River. It is not considered spring, if the swans are not released from its winter quarters which is located behind the William Allman Arena.
This annual tradition started on August 23, 1918, when a pair of Mute swans was released onto the Avon River in Stratford. Some of the swans are truly royals as they are descendants from a pair of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal herd which was gifted to Ottawa in honour of Canada’s Centennial anniversary.
One of the swans even has its own gravestone! Visit Meadowrue Gardens to find out why.
If you are planning to make a weekend of it, go on a self guided tour of Savour Stratford Bacon & Ale Trail and explore unique restaurants and retail locations for bacon-or-ale-inspired treats. For $30 (+HST), you can choose five stops on a self-guided tour.
Want chocolate? Then try the Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail that will introduce you to six of world-famous confectioners and bakers for $30.
You can purchase your trails passes in person at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street or online.
Don’t forget to visit the exhibition in honour of Stratford’s famous son, Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom at Stratford Perth Museum.
Pakenham Maple Run Tour
Wander up to Pakenham, just a short drive west from Ottawa via Hwy 417 or from Arnprior and Carleton Place via Hwy 29.
Enjoy spectacular spring landscapes while experiencing the art, fine craft and delicious food and drink of 33 exceptional artists, artisans and producers on this self-guided Tour.
The Tour wanders through scenic, historic Pakenham village and area to 10 fascinating stops.
The stops are all tour all by themselves – a heritage one-room schoolhouse, one of the oldest general stores in Canada, a fudge shop, a craft brewery, a cider house, a peaceful retreat centre, a clothing design studio and more!
Eat & Drink Norfolk
Check out Ontario’s Garden county’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and food producers all under one roof for 3 days! Live musical entertainment all weekend from April 4 to 6. Eat & Drink Norfolk is one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals & Events.
There are plenty of farms and wineries to visit and many outdoor adventures in the area, but if you want to try something unique, yet something that many of us did as kids, try tree climbing!
Tree Climbing Canada gets kids, youth, adults, couples, families off the ground and into the canopy through saddles, and arborist rope. They are open on weekdays, closed on Sundays and open only by appointment on Saturday (Ph: (519) 718-8733). They also offer tree climbing courses (BTCC).
Visit Brockville – Explore Canada’s First Railway Tunnel
Have you been to Canada’s first railway tunnel? This half a kilometre tunnel in Brockville was constructed between 1854 and 1860 as part of the Brockville and Ottawa (B&O) Railway that tied the St. Lawrence River to the Ottawa River to take part in the lucrative timber trade.
Explore the LED lighted tunnel that has 735 light fixtures, each with 48 programmable Light Emitting Diodes, for a total of over 35,000 LEDs. There are a variety of special effects that you can enjoy at this marvellous piece of Victorian-era engineering.
The tunnel opens for public touring from the first weekend of April to the end of November, and is free to visit. Once open, you can access it daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
The tunnel starts south of Water Street at Armagh S. Price Park and exits north of Pearl Street.
While in Brockville, visit the Aquatarium on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Learn about the complex and varied ecosystems of the St. Lawrence River at this 33,000+ square foot climate-controlled aquarium. Interested in history? Situated in Brockville’s historic downtown core, the Brockville Museum features exhibits and artifacts related to over 200 years of social and commercial development and the integral role the St. Lawrence river has played.
If you are visiting during summer season, you have plenty of things to do, including 1000 Island Cruises and an afternoon tea on the verandah at Fulford Place Museum.
Ontario Maple Weekend
Ontario is ranked second largest producer of maple syrup in the country and Canada produces 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup. Warm days and freezing nights make sap flow from trees. Did you know that it takes 40-45 litres of maple sap to make one litre of maple syrup?
Join maple syrup producers from across Ontario for Ontario Maple Weekend on April 6 and 7. This free, family-friendly, two-day event is hosted by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association, and is the perfect way to celebrate spring and the annual maple syrup season, while learning more about how maple syrup is made, from tree to table.
More than 3,000 maple farms across the province are celebrating harvest season with festivals and events across the province until late April. Many famous Maple Syrup Festivals take place this weekend across Ontario — Maple Syrup Festivals in Ontario.
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