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Things to Do in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

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Downtown Peterborough by wyliepoon on Flickr

A popular destination for day trips or a weekend getaway, Peterborough and the Kawarthas is located roughly 150 km northeast of Toronto. The area is known for its ideal combination of scenic country landscapes and charming city centers. There are a wide variety of things to do, making Peterborough and the Kawarthas is a must-visit in Southern Ontario.

Read all about the fantastic things to do in Peterborough and the Kawarthas below.

Museums & Art Galleries

  • Lay your eyes on the world’s biggest collection of canoes and kayaks at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough
  • Stop by the Whetung Ojibwa Centre, an aboriginal gallery, shop and cultural center
  • Drop by The Horseless Carriage Museum for an exclusive look at pre-WW1 transportation and early mechanical technology
  • Pay a visit to the galleries, studios and craft shops along the Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail


Liftlocks by Robert Linsdell on Flickr
  • Go spelunking (aka exploring the cave systems) in the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area
  • Spend the day at Petroglyphs Provincial Park deciphering ancient rock carvings
  • Overcome your fear of heights at Treetop Trekking, home to Ontario’s most difficult aerial course
  • Enjoy a hot summers day swimming and boating at Selwyn Beach on the beautiful Chemong Lake
  • Test your problem-solving skills in an outdoor adventure game at Escape Maze
  • Go birdwatching at Carden Plain Important Bird Area (IBA) which is home to many varieties of rare birds
  • Cycle along the 53.8 km long Kawartha Trans Canada Trail, a portion of the national trail which passes through farmlands, wetlands, forested areas and communities in the Kawartha Lakes
  • Experience going through the world’s largest lift lock on a Liftlock Cruise

Performing Arts

  • Catch an outdoor theatre performance at the 4th Line Theatre
  • Hear some great tunes at Peterborough Musicfest, the longest running free admission summer concert series in the country
  • Listen to your favourite country artists at Canada’s Largest Country Music and Camping Festival, the Havelock Country Jamboree

Culture & History

Image by George Ian Bowles on Flickr
  • Get a glimpse into life as a 19th-century settler in rural Ontario at the Lang Pioneer Village
  • Marvel at the historic homes and buildings at the Kawartha Settlers’ Village
  • Buy local produce, fresh baked goods, and other handcrafted wares at the Peterborough Farmers Market

Family Fun

Riverview Park and Zoo
  • Spend the night Jungle Cat World Zoo for exclusive access to the park after dark
  • Visit the Indian River Reptile Zoo, Canada’s Only Non-Profit Zoological Reptile Facility and Sanctuary
  • Volunteer your time at the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, a rescue facility for unwanted and abused donkeys
  • Take the kids to Riverview Park and Zoo, a free 55.5-acre zoo complete with playgrounds, swings for physically-challenged individuals, a splash pad and a miniature train ride
  • Head to Bobcaygeon on a hot summers day for milkshakes, smoothies or ice cream at Kawartha Dairy

Adults Only

Image by Jason Bains on Flickr
  • Try your luck at either of the area casinos; Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs or Shorelines Casino Peterborough

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