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Trudeau banging drum at Octoberfest KW

4 Fun things to do in Kitchener-Waterloo

By Zoocasa

Kitchener-Waterloo has become somewhat of a destination in southwestern Ontario. Previously known most for its German heritage and large Mennonite communities, it has grown into a tech hotspot, attracting professional workers from all over the province.

Its newfound popularity is attested by its real estate growth.
Kitchener homes for sale, for example, increased 7.6 per cent to $477,526 this November year over year. It was also the second-best November on record, with 209 houses for sale flying off the MLS.

Luckily, there’s tons of fun stuff to do in this high-demand region, for both residents and visitors.

History

Want to know what it was like to live in pre-World War I Ontario? Visit the Waterloo Region Museum which showcases more than 12,000 years of history in the Region. You can spend several hours exploring all the sights. It includes the Doon Heritage Village, open spring to Christmas,  which recreates a 1914 village with more than 20 buildings and costumed interpreters.

You may also want to check out Castle Kilbride, designated a National Historic Site, which features lavish Victorian-era features and is set in the town of Baden. This large home was built in the late 19th century, by Scottish entrepreneur James Livingston.

Speaking of Scotland, Cambridge hosts an entire festival every summer dedicated to its Scottish heritage. The festival recreates the Highlands Games, including the hammer throw, tug of war and the caber toss. It also spotlights traditional arts like piping, dancing and a bagpipe competition.

Food

It doesn’t get more locally sourced than the Baden Corn Festival, a one-day outdoor event held every summer to support agricultural producers and celebrate the Township of Wilmot in Waterloo Region. Free activities for families include a scavenger hunt, athletic contests and horse and wagon rides.

If you want a more adult-centric experience, check out Blocktoberfest, an annual beer event hosted by Block 3 Brewery in Woolwich, held annual at the same time as the original Oktoberfest in Germany.

Holiday

Christmas time is a magical time in Cambridge, with an entire slate of events scheduled across December.  Borrowing from German traditions, there’s a large Christmas market with unique gifts and food, wreath making workshops, cookie decorating, carolling, horse-drawn  trolley rides, a lights installation and so much more.

Waterloo Central Railway also provides service to the North Pole during the holiday season and amazingly it only takes one hour to get there! Santa and his helpers help passengers on board, serve hot chocolate and recreate the classic children’s book, The Polar Bear Express by Chris Van Allsburg.

Music festivals abound in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Every summer sees a free three-day jazz festival in the City of Waterloo,  with more than 35,000 attendees. That’s not all -- Waterloo also hosts a busker carnival, which sees buskers around the world come and perform for nearly 80,000 attendees in the third week of August. 

There’s lots more fun to be discovered in Kitchener-Waterloo!

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