|November in Southwestern Ontario
November and February are my least favourite months of the year. November especially because it is so dark and gloomy. The days get shorter and shorter, and the weather gets colder and colder. I count down the days until December, which I do realize is even darker but at least that is when the Christmas season and spirit is in full swing. Although I will not be home this November (second in a row), there are some fun things to do to make those long dark days go by faster. If you live in Southwestern Ontario, or will be be visiting, and are looking for something to do, here are my top five picks!
1. Get outside!
|Inuksuk on the shore of Lake Ontario in Oakville
The days may be getting shorter, but there is still some daylight left so be sure to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors before the snow starts to fall. There are lots of trails to choose from, but since I am a sucker for the Great Lakes, I love spending a fall afternoon walking by the lake. Just be sure to bundle up as the winds can be bitterly cold. One of my favourite spots is along the shores of Lake Ontario in Oakville. But if you don’t want to go too far, check out local trails in your neighbourhood. You will be surprised by how many there are!
2. Visit a market
Let’s face it. When the weather gets cold, who doesn’t love to stuff their face with food? A market that I was introduced to a few years ago is the Covent Garden Market
in London. I love it! It has a variety of food vendors to choose from, something to satisfy anyone’s appetite. You can even catch a performance at the Original Kid’s Theater Company
and support the young aspiring actors. I watched a play there two years ago and absolutely loved it!
If you want to get in the Christmas spirit, be sure to check out one of the many Christmas markets that can be found across Southwestern Ontario. Toronto holds a big one, but if you want a small, authentic German feel, head over to downtown Kitchener.
3. Go to a museum
Who says museums are only for tourists? In Toronto there are a number of museums to choose from. Last November I spent an afternoon at the Royal Ontario Museum
with my friend Eleni (yup the same Eleni that guest blogged
for me a few months ago from Bijuleni
). We had a great time checking out all of the exhibits and goofing off like children. Best part is that we got in for free as we were both students at the time. Score!
|One of the many dinosaurs at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
But why limit yourself to just Toronto? In Kitchener there is the Joseph Schneider Haus which will take you back in time, and show you how people once lived. It is the oldest house in Kitchener, located close to downtown. For the history buffs, this is a must see.
4. Shop ’til you drop!
Christmas is just around the corner so why not spend an afternoon shopping? I am not talking about your typical mall. Head to towns like Stratford and St. Jacobs which are charming and filled with small locally owned shops. What a better way to get presents for your loved ones than supporting your local economy. When in Stratford be sure to visit Rheo Thompson chocolate store and try the chocolate mint smoothie. You will not be disappointed!
5. Ripley’s Aquarium
|Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto
Fact of the matter is, a lot of things that you might want to do and see are located in Toronto, and that is ok. Toronto has a lot to offer for everyone, but out of all of the attractions, my favourite is the Ripley’s Aquarium. I was in awe with all the fish! I went on a weekday with my friend Marina, and we absolutely loved it. There weren’t too many people, and we were able to take our time watching all the fish swim about. You should allocate a couple of hours to see the whole place, and be sure to pet the sharks before you leave!
How do you beat the November blues? Is there anything else you would like to add to the list? Be sure to leave your comments below!