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This point in the semester can be so demanding, so a cozy, peaceful escape from the chaos and gloom of these short winter days is always welcome. For my friends living in or visiting Kingston, here are some of my favourite places to go when I need a breather.

4Cats Arts studio

4Cats has two studios in Kingston: one downtown and one in the west end. They hold pottery, sculpting, painting, and other art workshops, with seasonal projects like Christmas tree ornaments available this December. All supplies are provided, no experience is necessary, and the staff are incredibly sweet and helpful.

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time building and glazing little houses out of stoneware clay at the downtown studio, which is brightly lit and always playing awesome music!

Breakwater Park

The lakeshore is a stunning place to stargaze, see the sunset, or watch the sun sparkle on the water. The sight of water glistening and the sound of waves crashing against the shore soothes the soul; every time I walk down to the lake, it feels like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I wonder why I don’t come more often.

The Soup Can

This hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop shop serves the best soup and bread I’ve ever had, and everything is made fresh right in front of you. I love going on chilly or rainy days and being wrapped in the warmth and delicious smells of the shop as soon as I step in.

The Screening Room

If Hollywood blockbusters aren’t your thing or you’d like a change of pace from Cineplex, The Screening Room is the place to go! This theatre is intimate and makes me feel like I’m stepping into the 80s. They show indie, foreign, and art house films across three adorably named rooms: the Metro, the Roxy, and the Cameo.

Springer Market Square

From April to November, the Square hosts the Kingston Public Market, home to a charming myriad of local vendors. I love walking by on sunny weekend afternoons and going home with hands full of fresh fruits and vegetables.

In the winter months, when it’s too cold to sell dewy bouquets and homemade beeswax candles outdoors, you can bring your skates and use the Square’s ice rink, strung up with lights and holiday decorations, for free!

Balzac’s Coffee

The Balzac’s location on Market Street in Toronto has a special place in my heart, but Balzac’s Kingston wins points for printing the quote ‘the café is the people’s parliament’ on its window. Their espresso is FairTrade Organic and their milk is locally sourced, so you can enjoy your drinks conscientiously. If you’re looking for a little taste of heaven, I recommend their matcha iced coffee and oat milk cookie latte!

Larissa Zhong

Queen's U '22

Larissa is a fourth-year student at Queen's University. She loves Taylor Swift, heart emojis, and romantic comedies.
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