Illustrated winter scene with people building a snowman and words "Reimagine Winter"

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for our community. We haven’t been able to gather, socialize and celebrate like we’re used to. More time spent indoors may be making us feel a little more isolated from our community.

So, we’re reimagining how we experience and enjoy the winter season.

Reimagine Winter offers activities, attractions and programs that give community members the outlet they need during these challenging times.

Kitchener is a vibrant and resilient community, and the winter season is still ours to enjoy safely. Let’s reimagine it.

Winter events

More events will be added as they become available. Some events may require pre-registration.

Events are subject to change, subscribe to this page for updates using the subscribe button on the right-hand side of this page.

Please only participate in activities close to home and if a venue is busy, visit another time. Only park in designated parking spaces.

Remember to follow public health guidelines including only participating with your own household, avoiding crowds and keeping a physical distance of at least six feet or two metres from others, wearing a mask and staying home if you feel unwell.

The City of Kitchener is committed to offering inclusive programs and activities. If you require an accommodation for City-organized events, please call 519-741-2200 ext.7229, email Inclusion Services or visit our webpage for more information.

Illustrated winter scene with words "reimagine outdoors"
Illustrated winter scene with words "reimagine indoors"
Illustrated winter scene with words "staying connected"

Reimagine outdoors

Reimagine Winter Map

You don't have to look high and low to find fun things to do near you. The all new Reimagine Winter Map makes it easy for residents to locate amenities and attractions close to home. Happy exploring!

How to use the map:

  • Browse through the map by either zooming in on a particular area of the city or by entering your address to locate activities and amenities near you. The legend tab can help you navigate the different types of activities and amenities included in the map. Please note that the activities included on the map are limited to city-run activities and amenities.
  • Read through a collection resident-submitted winter stories and share your own favourite winter activities, experiences and outdoor spaces across the city by clicking the “Share Your Winter Stories” tab. Tell everyone how you're reimagining winter!
KW Leo and Lions Club snow sculpting contest

The Kitchener-Waterloo Leo Club and Lions Club of Kitchener are running a snow sculpting contest with $300 up for grabs!

Have some fun outside and share your snowy creation on Facebook.

For more information visit the Lions Club of Kitchener.

This is a community-run program

Vogelsang Green ice sculpture garden

Located at the corner of Duke and Queen streets, Vogelsang Green has been transformed into an ice sculpture garden with two new pieces being added each week throughout February!

When you're in downtown Kitchener for an essential pickup from a downtown business or enjoying an urban hike for daily exercise and fresh air, check out these new additions to Vogelsang Green!

Sculptures created by: @festive_ice_sculptures

Funded by the Downtown Kitchener BIA

Winter cycling

You don't have to wait for warm weather to go for a stroll on a bike. Winter cycling is a safe and fun form of exercise anyone can enjoy even during the winter months.

Strap on a helmet, jump on your bike and go for a spin on one of Kitchener's many trails and bike routes.

Visit the Bike Kitchener Map for routes near you!

Cycling tips:

  • Wear what you wear to walk in the winter. Once moving, you’ll generate heat in your core, so make sure your extremities are warm and water resistant with gloves, boots and a headband under your helmet
  • It’s a good idea to give your bike a quick wipe down at the end of the day, so salt doesn’t damage your bike. A quick shot of extra lube on your chain and brake lines can extend the life of your bike parts.
44 Gaukel St.
We’re shining a light on the murals at 44 Gaukel St! Snap a pic of the murals created by local artists which are being lit for residents to see at nighttime.
Outdoor skating
Outdoor skating rinks are for recreational skating only. Hockey games or practices are not permitted. A maximum of 10 skaters are permitted on the ice at a time. Please limit your group to no more than five people of your immediate household and physical distance from others.
Tobogganing

The City of Kitchener inspects and has designated McLennan ParkHillside Park, and Foxglove Park for offering the safest opportunities to enjoy tobogganing.

To help ease parking congestion at McLennan Park, a temporary one way system has been implemented. Traffic should enter the park from Block Line and exit onto Ottawa Street. Please park in designated parking bays and, if parking is full, park in the Lions Arena parking lot. 

Please follow the signage at the tobogganing hills. These hills are not staffed by the City. While the City tries to incorporate changes to make tobogganing safer, adult supervision is recommended. Use good judgement going up, and down any of the designated hills. 

  • Open during daylight hours
  • Plan short visits for under 15 minutes
  • Wear a mask
  • Please do not use the hill if it's closed
  • Read more about staying safe at toboggan hills
Walking tours

Kitchener is a vibrant community filled with history and charm. What better way to discover it, than by foot! Here are some self-guided walking tours you can do on your own or with your own household this winter.

Downtown Kitchener Art Walk

Kitchener has a budding art scene. See all of the art installations and murals within the downtown Kitchener core. Use the Art Walk guide, and happy perusing!

Self-guided tours

Kitchener is rich in history. Explore the heritage of different neighbourhoods, building and artifacts around the city in a self-guided walking tour!

Snowshoeing and hiking
Hiking doesn’t end when we say goodbye to warmer weather. Kitchener is home to diverse parks and trails that make winter hiking fun. Or if you’re up for a challenge, strap on a pair of snowshoes for a unique way to experience the outdoors. For a list of trails, visit www.kitchener.ca/Trails
Virtual Snow Sculpting Club

You’ve never made a snowman quite like this. Learn about snow sculpting with Matt Morris’s free Virtual Snow Sculpting Club!

You may have seen the Waterloo snow sculptor’s creations on social media. Now he’s showing how you can do it in your own yard or neighbourhood park.

Memory House Sculpture

What does your home or neighbourhood mean to you? Community members are experiencing a strong connection with the environment around them right now. Get creative, and show us what that looks like!

Memory House Sculptures portray a home or building in an artistic way.

Local multidisciplinary artist Allie Brenner shows us how to make your own Memory House Sculpture, based on her work featured at Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre.

Grab a camera, explore your neighbourhood, download the template and get creative! To create a Memory House Sculpture, visit www.alliebrenner.com

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Reimagine indoors

Live at the Apollo - concert featuring "Excuse Me"

Good Company Productions, The Apollo Cinema, and the City of Kitchener have teamed up to present ‘Live at The Apollo’ on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 7 p.m.. You can enjoy an evening of live music by joining the virtual concert stream featuring a performance by ‘Excuse Me’. Viewing the stream is free, but you can still purchase a ticket to help support the Apollo Cinema during their closure. And make the evening an even bigger event by ordering a concert-in-a-box; including drinks, a huge bag of freshly popped Apollo Cinema popcorn, concession candy, and a small exclusive merch item. You can also be there ‘in-person’ by purchasing a seat and having your photo cut-out in the audience. Pricing and ordering details can be found on the Apollo Cinema website. The concert will be streamed through the Good Company Productions YouTube channel and on the City of Kitchener’s Facebook page.

Older adult programs

Seniors are invited to fun virtual programs they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home.

To register for these activities, visit ActiveNet or call 519-741-2200 ext. 5343.

  • Virtual stability ball on Thursdays at 10 a.m.
  • Chair Yoga class on Fridays at 1:30 starting Feb 26
  • Flexercise on Mondays at 10 a.m. starting March 1

Virtual Wellness Series

This series of Kitchener Market virtual classes is a set of interactive and informative classes focused on wellness. These free classes start at 7 p.m. and will stream live from the City of Kitchener's Facebook page.

  • Heart Health cooking demos
    The Kitchener Market's Virtual Wellness series focuses on keeping your heart healthy! Chef Rob will be providing instruction on simple, tasty recipes that you can enjoy with your family from your own kitchen.

    • Thursday, Feb. 25: healthy red pepper soup

These classes are free, however, donations encouraged for the Kitchener Market Food and Fund Drive in support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Programs for children and youth

The City offers virtual opportunities for children and youth to be physically active, creative and connected to support their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Visit ActiveNet to register for these exciting programs:

  • Let's Get Moving is a four-week virtual program for kids aged 5-7. This program features exciting weekly themes and movement-based games to keep your little one engaged in physical activity.
  • Exploration Virtual Camp is a four-week program for kids aged 7-9. This program explores themes of exploration as participants get to embark on new fun filled tasks and games together every week! With a variety of weekly themes and activities there's something for everyone.
  • Camp in a box brings classic camp programming right into your home. Each box guides children through 15 age-appropriate activities specifically chosen for the upcoming season including crafts, science experiments and activities that encourage them to interact with nature in creative ways. A great way to fill down time, bring family together and provide an outlet to promote their creativity, letting their imagination flourish!
  • The Gratitude Project: Virtual Program for children aged 8-11
    The Virtual Gratitude Project is a free and live program that focuses on social interaction between children. They'll engage in group activities and discussions that encourage them to reflect on what they're grateful for in themselves, in those around them and in their community. Activities will also provide participants with the opportunity to share their gratitude and see the power of their own actions on others, and themselves, through a weekly individual themed-challenge.
  • All About Art is an exciting virtual program for kids aged 9-12. Each week features a fun art challenge that encourages creativity and will help participants build on their existing skills. There will also be several other guided art projects and art related games that follow the theme of each week. This inclusive program is great for all skill levels and requires minimal supplies. Kids are asked to come prepared with blank paper, a pencil and the colouring utensils of their choice (such as markers, crayons, or pencil crayons).
  • Plots and Thoughts: Virtual Program for youth aged 11-14
    On Zoom, two staff will lead young writers through an exploration of the world of creative writing in this virtual, live and interactive program where youth design, plan and write their own short stories. Participants will walk through the writing process, create characters and complete the program with a bound copy of a story written entirely by them.
  • Virtual Leadership Development Program- Similar to the summer BYLD program, youth between the ages of 12-15 are invited to register for this five week 10-session leadership development program that will happen twice a week. Leadership development means building self-confidence, developing problem-solving and communication skills, and learning how to work with others. Join us in learning about conflict resolution, leadership, communication, boundaries, teamwork, and many more key concepts in a fun and interactive way! This program includes workshops and discussions on leadership qualities, resume building and interview skills. Obtain high-school community service hours while gaining knowledge and transferable skills that will benefit you for years to come.
  • Virtual Teen Zone is an online program that allows participants aged 11- 16 the chance to hang out "with" their friends in a supported virtual space with our staff and engage in different themes, games and activities. Youth can also help create some of the fun things they want to have happen in this program. Activities could include trivia nights, bingo, group games, guided art and so much more! A great way to interact with peers and stay active at home.
  • March Break Teen Games nights/afternoons specialty themed game nights for youth aged 12- 17. Each day of March Break we will have a different game focus with a gift card for the winner. Fee is only $2 per game.
  • Kitchener Youth Action Council 
    If you're between ages 14 and 24 and tired of doing things the same old way - consider joining the Kitchener Youth Action Council (KYAC) and help make a positive difference for everyone in our community. This inspiring group of young people aims to make Kitchener a better place by working with adults who support their ideas and actions. Learn more about the Kitchener Youth Action Council.

Kitchener Market virtual Kids in the Kitchen

Saturdays from 10-11 a.m., free

An online version of our popular cooking classes that can be enjoyed by the whole family, right in your own home. Chef Nicole welcomes you into her kitchen Saturdays on the City of Kitchener Facebook page. For more details visit the Market’s event calendar. No registration required.

  • March 6: Pizza skewers with dipping sauce Skillet peanut butter brownies
  • March 13: St. Patties Day Fun
  • March 20: Crunchy French toast Maple brown sugar bacon Topped with fruit
  • March 27: Pancake souffles Smash burgers

Donations encouraged for the Kitchener Market Food and Fund Drive in support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Kitchener Market Virtual classes

The Kitchener Market offers a variety of virtual classes. Whether you’re ready to master a new meal or looking to learn basic kitchen skills, you can find a class that is right for you. Our wellness series also offers some fitness and diet tips, too. For more information, visit the Kitchener Market event calendar. A library of previous videos can also be found on the City of Kitchener’s Facebook page.

  • Tuesday, March 2 at 7 p.m - Virtual Wellness Series: Women’s Fitness and Health
  • Tuesday, Mar. 9 at noon - Lunch with Chef D
  • Wednesday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. - Homemade Ravioli
  • Sunday, Mar. 14 at 2 p.m. - Adults in the Kitchen - Knife Skills 101 with stir fry and fresh spring rolls.
  • Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. - Yoga Nidra
  • Wednesday March 17 at 6:30 p.m. - Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Event: Irish Delights
  • Tuesday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m. - Dinner with Chef D
  • Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. - Nicaraguan Cuisine
  • Friday, Mar. 26 at 6:30 pm - Braised Beef on Fresh Pasta
  • Sunday, Mar. 28 at 2 p.m. - Adults in the Kitchen - easy one pot meal
  • Wednesday, Mar. 31 at 6:30 p.m. - Grilled Corn and Potato Soup

Donations encouraged for the Kitchener Market Food and Fund Drive in support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region

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Staying connected

Nominate a Good Neighbour this Winter 

Our city is full of caring residents, businesses and organizations whose acts of kindness, community volunteerism, and neighbourhood pride make a positive impact on their neighbourhood.  

Do you have a neighbour who shovels others driveways after a snow fall, volunteers at an outdoor ice rink or takes care of a Little Library? Nominate them so they know their efforts are appreciated this winter!  

For more information, visit the Good Neighbourhood Recognition Program page

Nominate Kitchener's Senior of the Year

Do you know a Kitchener resident aged 65 or older who is helping to make our community a better place for others? 

If so, nominate them to be Kitchener’s Senior of the Year! We want to honour and recognize older adults in our community who are making a difference.

From Behind the Mask: A Community Quilt of COVID-19 Stories 

Add your COVID-19 story to a community quilt that shows how we’re all experiencing the pandemic. 

In this free activity, contribute a quilt block to the quilt, which will be displayed publicly in the community. 

Quilt blocks will also be documented virtually online

For full instructions, visit the From Behind the Mask website

This is a community-run program

Winter Stories: A Time for Listening, Sharing and Connecting

Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are invited to tune in to Winter Stories: A Time for Listening, Sharing and Connecting, a video series where local Indigenous knowledge keepers and elders share stories of Indigenous culture, history and lived experiences.

Stories will be posted to Kitchener Public Library’s Youtube channel by 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • March 10 and 24
  • April 7 and 21

This Indigenous-led initiative is a collaboration between the City of Kitchener and the Kitchener Public Library and supported by the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation.

Kitchener Market Food and Fund Drive

The Kitchener Market is excited to offer fun virtual programs the whole family will enjoy while supporting the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. The Kitchener Market Food and Fund Drive is raising important donations to fight food insecurity in our community during this time. Have some fun with the programs below and donate!

Downtown Kitchener

Downtown Kitchener is home to a hearty variety of local shops that offer dozens of unique services. Many small businesses are delivering alternative ways to access goods such as take out, curb side pick up or delivery. Check out your guide to downtown Kitchener and shop local!

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