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A Bucket List for Winter in Prince Edward County ❄️☃️
We’re going to let you in on one of our best-kept secrets: winter in Prince Edward County. Sure, it’s colder and quieter, but for us those are just added benefits that make for some unforgettable experiences. For the uninitiated that may need some convincing, so keep reading to discover our bucket list for an incredible winter experience in The County.
Note: this bucket list might not be accomplished in a single weekend getaway, but maybe that calls for making a PEC winter getaway a tradition. Or better yet, book a longer stay to enjoy a whole week of winter fun in The County. Discover unique and luxurious accommodations our website here.
1. Snowshoe at a Winery
There are so many reasons to love The County in winter, and one of them is the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the crisp and refreshing air before tucking into a cozy wine tasting around the fire. This is made possible at Sugarbush Vineyards and Three Dog Winery, where their private trails allow for you to experience a part of PEC not typically open to the public.
At Sugarbush Vineyards, you’ll find a 2.5 km snowshoe trail though their sugarbush and vineyard. You can rent or bring your own snowshoes, and your fee includes a wine tasting, hot chocolate and cookies by the fire. They trails are open most weekends during the winter, but be sure to check in advance before arriving.
At Three Dog Winery they offer a guided hike through their snowshoe trails most weekends throughout the winter. For $30 you will get a snowshoe rental for your guided tour, two glasses of wine, and a light snack. Spots are limited so be sure to book in advance on their website.
As with all winter experiences, snowshoeing is subject to the weather, so keep your fingers crossed for lots of snow! 🤞
2. Hit the Ice at Parsons
One of the great things about Prince Edward County in wintertime is that there is plenty of fun to be had for the whole family, and one of these hubs for winter family fun is Parsons Brewing, where kiddos and kids at heart can take to the covered rink, sip hot chocolate and make s’mores by the fire. Stick around for their delicious Argentinian-inspired food menu (or come early for Sunday brunch!) and of course their extensive list of handcrafted beers.
To have this winter experience, be sure to follow Parsons Brewing on Instagram for updates about the opening of their winter rink. As with snowshoeing, this experience is subject to good winter weather, so hope the cold weather sticks around so we have as many weekends of skating fun as possible.
3. Get Cozy on an Outdoor Patio
Sure, it’s great snuggling up indoors next to a fire, but there’s something equally as great about embracing the chill, bundling up and enjoying some locally-crafted beverages by the fire pit. Gillingham Brewing in particular has a fantastic outdoor patio with fire tables and heaters to ease some of the chill, that goes perfectly with their handcrafted beers, wine from neighbouring Domaine Darius, and frequent oyster pop-ups. But whether at Gillingham or many of Prince Edward County’s wineries, breweries and cideries, this is an essential part of the winter experience in The County. Bonus: it’s family and pup-friendly, with space for kids to enjoy the snow and the ability for pups to join you on your County outings.
🐶 Related: Pet-friendly PEC 🐶
4. Enjoy a Main Street Stroll
Whatever the weather, a stroll along one of The County’s main streets should be on your list. With delightful shops, delicious restaurants and plenty of quaint cafés to satisfy whatever craving you have. Looking for some ideas?
- In Picton, discover contemporary homewares at Kala Home, stop in for a quick lunch at The Royal Hotel‘s Counter Bar (don’t forget to grab a cannoli for dessert), and pick out the perfect winter read for you or the kids at Books & Company.
- In Bloomfield, add a little Scandi to your skincare regime at Scandiskin, discover contemporary Canadian art at Guildworks, and warm up with lunch off the vegan menu at Bermuda.
- Meanwhile, over in Wellington design your own vintage-inspired jewellery piece at Anice Jewellery, stock up on green-living essentials at GOOD Place, and grab a pint and a bite at Midtown Brewing.
5. Take a Coffee (or Cocoa) Break
When you’re spending so much time out in the cold, it’s always a treat to head inside for a bit of a winter warmer. Luckily, The County has lots of options for you and your kiddos to get warm with a coffee or hot chocolate. Speaking of kids, if you have them you definitely want to head to Beacon Bike+Brew in Picton where their kid-friendly play area is perfect to keep them entertained while you relax with a brew. Also in Picton you’ll find Lily’s Café (connected to Books & Company), the Bean Counter Café, and Luso Bites, where you’ll find a whole host of delicious Portugese delights (including pastel de nata!) alongside a large coffee menu. If tea is more your speed, don’t miss Savon Du Bois, whose apothercary is sure to provide the perfect remedy to a chilly day. Other coffee spots include Bloomfield Public House as well as Bloomfield Beauty Co., GOOD Place, Piccolina Mercato and Consecon Honey House Café.
☕ Related: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee☕
6. Visit a Winery
If you want to learn more about winemaking in Prince Edward County straight from the source, a winter visit to some local wineries should definitely be on your list. Not only are the cozy vibes inside the tasting room unmatched, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to chat with tasting room staff – and in many cases the winemakers themselves – about making wine in The County and the terroir that makes it so special. Who knows, you may even get a taste of a new release! For more information about our local wineries be sure to explore the wine section of our website, or check out PEC Wine’s newly updated website and app to help plan your perfect tour.
7. Enjoy a Leisurely Brunch
When you have a day of wintery outdoor adventures planned, there’s no better way to start your day than with hearty brunch. Luckily, winter in Prince Edward County is brunch season, with many spots offering seasonal brunch menus in addition to our already popular brunch offerings. Here are some delicious brunch experiences you will want to have this winter:
- Creekside Café won our hearts with their stunning brunch menu when they opened last summer, and the good news is that they’re still at it this winter, and with new menu items to boot. Brunch starts up again this Saturday, so don’t miss it!
- Come for the weekend and stay for the brunch starting January 15 at Jackson’s Falls Country Inn. Not staying at the inn? That’s okay – you’re invited too! Just be sure to make a reservation in advance.
- Head to Karlo Estates for their bubble brunch every Sunday – all-you-can-eat vegan pancakes, handcrafted sparkling wine, and a cozy barn setting – what more could you want?
- Run to Parsons Brewing to experience their seasonal brunch menu before enjoying a wintery pint by the fire and a skate on their outdoor rink (weather permitting).
- Check out the new breakfast menu at The County Canteen featuring deliciousness such as an epic breakfast burrito and an indulgent breakfast poutine.
- They’re available all year round, but we’d be remiss not to mention the decadent brunches at the Drake Devonshire, The Royal Hotel, and Picton Harbour Inn.
8. Hit the Trails
There’s nothing like a walk in the forest after a snowfall. Luckily, Prince Edward County has lots of options to get you breathing that winter air between brunch, wine tasting, and your next indulgent County meal. Here’s just a few:
- Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area is a great stop for a walk after spending the morning in Picton. With access from Macaulay Heritage Park, this Quinte Conservation area has a large trail network that allows for you to customize your routes. Be sure to download a map and wear appropriate footwear as the path can be wet in places in mild weather, though with a fresh cover of snow it’s a dream! If you’re looking for an easier stroll or if you just want to take a look at one of The County’s loveliest community arts projects, be sure to check out Birdhouse City, which is located on the edge of the conservation area.
- Sandbanks Provincial Park really shows off in winter with six trails to choose from of varying lengths and difficulty. From snow on the beach on Dunes Trail to quiet, riverside moments on Cedar Sands, you’re bound to stumble upon countless magical “are we in Narnia?” moments for your memory bank. Head to the Ontario Parks website to learn more about accessing Sandbanks in Winter, and don’t forget these crucial safety tips:
- Stay off the lake. Shore ice can be very precarious and it’s not worth the risk.
- Start your walk with plenty of time before dark to help ensure you get back to your car safely.
- Dress appropriately. Winter boots. Layers. Gloves and hats. This is no place for sneakers!
- The Millennium Trail runs the length of The County and is just as much a major artery through the area in winter as it is in the warmer months. Cross country skiing, fat biking, walking, and snowmobiling are just a few ways you can enjoy this public linear park.
For even more travel inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram and use #PrinceEdwardCounty to share your PEC winter experiences with us!
Make it a Magical December in PEC with these Events & Festivities 🎄
It’s the final push before the holidays and Prince Edward County is showing no signs of slowing down. With plenty of holiday markets and festivities to attend, keep reading to discover all the ways you can experience a magical December in The County.
Markets & More
Head over to Wellington for the Very Merry Market on December 3 from 9:30am – 2:30pm, inside the Wellinton United Church. Featuring many of your favourite Wellington Community Market vendors, this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on goodies for your holiday table and all of your gifting needs.
Busy Hands is back at Highline Hall in Wellington from December 10-11! Come by for handmade goods from dozens of your favourite local artisans such as Honey Pie Hives & Herbals, Vickie’s Veggies, and more, perfect for all of your holiday gifting needs!
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If you’ve ever wanted to check out Wander the Resort, the Winter Wanderland Market is the perfect opportunity! Come by Wander from 11am to 5pm on December 11th for a holiday market full of festive cheer on their stunning property along the shores of Lake Ontario. Complete with artisan vendors, gingerbread house decorating, hot chocolate, and visits from some local celebrities (aka Noble Beast Farms Alpacas), this is a perfect event for the whole family.
In addition, the Ode to Joy Art Show & Sale at Andara Gallery, the Give a Little Bit Holiday Group Show at Melt Studio & Gallery,(join them for a holiday reception on December 17 from 1-4PM) and The Art of Giving show at Arts on Main Gallery continue through December, so be sure to check those out if art is on your shopping list this holiday season.
While Countylicious is over, there are still plenty of reasons to dine out in PEC this December. First of all, several spots have added seasonal specials and updated menus to their roster, making for even more reasons to visit The County during the winter months. For instance, both Stella’s Eatery and Parsons Brewing have added a Sunday brunch service to their weekend programming, which will be available until spring. Additionally, Stella’s has launched Sparking and Seafood Wednesdays, where guests can enjoy a special seafood menu and 1/2 price sparkling wine – talk about a mid-week treat! Midtown Brewing is mixing things up with a menu refresh this month as well, so don’t miss this chance to dine at this Wellington institution.
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If you’re looking for some special dining experiences to add to your December festivities, we’ve got you covered:
- On December 3rd head to The Waring House for a plant-based feast from Chef Chris with Frost: A Plant Based Tasting Menu
- Also at The Waring House, PEC Wine Society and PEC Single Malt Society are each offering a Wassail-themed dinner this month, on the 7th and 15th respectively
- For another vegan dining option, be sure to check out the weekly “Dinner & a Show” event at Karlo Estates. This month you can expect performances from Tony Forbes, Jeremy Kelly. and Elmwood Harmony.
- Sand & Pearl will be popping up in Milford at PECish Baking Co. throughout December. Join them on December 17th, 24th, and 31st for all the usual deliciousness from PECish plus special coffee, campfire grilled oysters, chowder in bread bowls and more. Plus you can pre-order seafood platters to go for your Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- Another spot making Sundays in the County extra special this winter is Lighthall Vineyards, who are introducing Raclette Sundays to their cheesy offerings. Come my the winery on December 11 + 18, January 15 + 29, February 12 + 20 and March 12 + 19 to try their house-made raclette for just $15 per person from 1-3PM while supplies last. Pair with their chardonnay for the ultimate tasting experience!
In addition to all of the holiday markets happening this month, there are also a plethora of festive events taking place throughout The County, and you’re invited to celebrate with us. First up, after you spend some time at the Very Merry Market on December 3rd, stick around Wellington for A Whoville Holiday in Wellington Park. Starting at 4PM this family-friendly events provides an opportunity for the kids to meet Santa, enjoy a bonfire and do some carolling while the town of Wellington lights up for the holiday season.
The County Museums have a number of festive events on this holiday season. Come visit Santa’s Village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village on Friday December 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 12-3pm. During these special days you can tour the village and discover Santa’s sleigh, listen to stories and of course take a picture with the big man himself! Then on December 10th and 11th, head to Macaulay Heritage Park for some historical holiday cheer! Come see Macaulay House all decorated for christmas and take a tour inside this beautiful historic home while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider. You can also visit with Santa, shop the Mistletoe Magic Artisan Market, enjoy live music, readings and special holiday displays by Shatterbox Theatre.
Three Dog Winery is under new ownership as of Summer 2022, and if you haven’t stopped by yet, their Holiday Open House is the perfect time! Join them on December 10th from 11-5PM for food from The County Canteen, live music from Jon Jones, wine tastings, hot chocolate by the fire, and a selection of awesome vendors to shop from. Plus, proceeds from wine by the glass sales during the event will go to charity.
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Have an unforgettable experience at the Merrill House with their Experiential Cocktail Night on Tuesday, December 13th. Their decadent mocha martini, Champagne cocktail and gingerbread macarons will be paired with scents, music and visual stimuli, that are sure to make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
The Waring House is getting into the full festive spirit with plethora of holiday events that are sure to leave you happy, full and smiling. On December 15th and 16th, get together with friends for their Christmas Lunch Buffet, or spend Christmas Eve with some festive live music from local band The Reasons. On the big day, The Waring House is also offering a Christmas Dinner Buffet featuring turkey, all the trimmings, and so much more.
Dig out your ugly Christmas sweaters for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Karlo, as part of their Friday Night Wine Lounge series. Enjoy funky Christmas music and great wine related prizes. Come get your groove on, do some last minute shopping and have a blast. Reserve your spot here
Looking for something to do this New Year’s Eve? Look no further than New Year’s Eve at The Royal. Tickets are just $25 and give you a complimentary glass of champagne and access to the hottest party in The County. With a live DJ on hand, be sure to bring your dancing shoes and ring in 2023 in style. Get your tickets here.
Wind Down & Relax
The holiday season can be hectic, so be sure to take some time to relax this holiday season with these day packages from the Lakeside Motel, Wander The Resort and The Royal Hotel. These also make great gift ideas, perfect for a winter escape to The County.
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Head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington for a spa experience featuring a Sauna, Cold Plunge, campfire drinks and charcuterie. Winter pricing is just $30 for 30 minutes or $45 for an hour. Call the Lakeside to book!
On the other side of Wellington is Wander The Resort, where you can book a Wander In Day Pass to access a variety of resort amenities including their pool circuit, hot tub, and sauna, You can also enjoy lounging by their outdoor bonfires and head into the clubhouse for food and drinks. Simply call or email to book.
If you’re looking to relax with spa services like massage, body treatments, and facials, be sure to check out The Spa at The Royal Hotel. Spa guests also receive priority dining reservations, access to The Royal’s dry sauna, and more.
Stock Up on some Holiday Baking
The holiday season is busy enough, so why not leave the baking to PEC’s finest bakeries? Keep reading to discover some of the sweetest spots to visit and order from this holiday season.
PECish Baking Co. has become a Milford institution since opening in 2021, and they have recently moved into a larger space to better serve you this holiday season and beyond. Open Fridays and Saturdays, PECish has incredible breads, delightful croissants, cruffins! and so much more. Order in advance on their website for pickup and stock-up for all of your holiday entertaining needs.
The Royal Hotel has been serving up outstanding baked goods in their restaurant and from their grab & go counter since they opened almost one year ago, and this holiday season they are offering pre-order for anyone in need of sourdough, cookies, croissants, quiches, and fruit tarts for their holiday table. Simply inquire in person at their grab & go counter or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
From bread to sausage rolls and beyond, Agrarian Market has everything you need to prepare for an epic holiday season. Check out their grocery order form on their website to secure your holiday tourtieres (both vegan and non), pastries, quiches, and even a whole assortment of prepared meals to make feeding a crowd that much easier.
The Village Bakeshoppe is a fully-inspected home bake shop in Bloomfield, and they bake up some epic treats on weekly basis that you’re definitely going to want to add to your holiday eats this season. Classic whipped shortbread and rasperry crumble shortbread are new to menu for the holidays, but it’s joined by their famous maple cinnamon “Big Bun” with maple cream cheese icing, which is what we dream about eating on Christmas morning. Follow them on Instagram for updates about weekly orders and order from their website for a delicious weekend.
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The Cookie Mama is another at-home bake shop which specializes in indulgent, skillet cookies that are absolutely to die for. Larissa’s December menu features classic flavours like chocolate chip and peanut butter, but also highlights classic holiday flavours like snickerdoodle, candy cane, gingerbread, Ferrero Rocher, Orange Chocolate and more! These cookies come in two sizes and make great gifts or stocking stuffers, and can be ordered via DM on their Instagram.
Farmhouse Eats is the bakery you know and love located just behind the farm stand at Hagerman Farms, and this year the bakery’s staying open on weekends through December 17th for your holiday baking needs! Stop by for classic baked goods, holiday favourites like fruitcake and christmas cookies, and cookie decorating kits to entertain the kiddos.
As always, come to The County and head to one of our many Main Streets to do your holiday shopping. Many businesses in Picton will be staying open until 7PM on Fridays as well, so be sure to plan to do some shopping before your dinner reservations the next time you’re in town.
Can’t make it to The County? Most retailers as well as wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries offer online shopping and delivery throughout Ontario. So stock-up ahead of the entertaining season from Prince Edward County producers you know and love.
Check out our complete event listing here.
Follow us on Instagram for updates about holiday hours.
Get Cozy in Prince Edward County this November
November has a reputation as a quiet month, somewhat of a lull between the festive months of October and December, but here in The County it’s anything but! We love November for the extended fall vibes, just the right amount of chill in the air, and the darker nights which make it perfect for making the cozy vibes of the holiday season last a little longer. Plus, there’s lots going on to satisfy every County craving, from Countylicious to Wassail and so much more. Read on for a round-up of what to get up to this month all throughout the not-so-little, almost-island that is Prince Edward County.
Dine Local with Countylicious
Countylicious is back through November 22, and it’s the perfect opportunity to try out 15 of The County’s best eateries at great prices. With prix fixe menus to suit every taste, you won’t want to miss this culinary experience. Head to countylicious.ca to browse menus, discover exclusive accommodations offers, and to make your reservations! Want to make the most of your Countylicious experience? Try your hand at Countylicious bingo and complete a row for a perfect foodie experience in The County this November.
Book an Experience
Experience The County like never before with an immersive weekend in PEC curated by Closson Chase Vineyards and Rosehall Run Vineyards: SavourPEC. From November 11-13, enjoy vineyard accommodations at Huff Estates, learn the art of barrel blending at Closson Chase and Rosehall Run, and create a culinary herb garden with Carson Arthur. The highlight of the weekend is a multi-course winemakers’ dinner with Keith Tyers of Closson Chase and Dan Sullivan of Rosehall Run. Set in a private venue and catered by Chef Matt DeMille, concluding with an intimate performance from County-based musicians VILLAS.
Winter Solstice Workshop with Anette Larsson
As the days grow shorter, we light fires and bring out blankets in preparation for a long winter ahead. In this workshop we will create a vellum paper star that will bring some much needed light and brightness into our environment. The process to make the star is simple but time consuming, and it is most fun to do in a group of people.
This workshop will take place in the Studio Loft at Chetwyn Farms – their newly converted 1800 barn – where a small, intimate (10 only) group will work in an open, airy space with the instructor Anette Larsson. Watch alpaca in the nearby pastures from the floor to ceiling windows in the studio space, enjoy a light lunch and other refreshments. This 4 hour workshop is followed by a hands-on “Alpaca Encounter” a guided tour of the alpaca farm and the glorious fleece they produce.
The County Picnic Festive Tours
The County Picnic, whom you know from their epic, hand-curated, insta-worthy picnics throughout PEC, is offering festive tours daily throughout November. Enjoy mulled wine, seasonal, beer, holiday photos, and local markets and shopping for just $215 per person, including lunch and tasting fees. For more information contact The County Picnic today!
ANDARA Gallery’s 3rd Annual “HOLIDAY PHOTO IN THE BARN”
From Thursday-Sunday, November 12th to December 19th, singles, couples, family and friends can schedule a FREE “Holiday Photo in the Barn” photo session between 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM at ANDARA Gallery (54 Wilson Road in the heart of Prince Edward County) in exchange for a donation to Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s “Back The Build” campaign!
The century-old barn located on site will be decked out for the holidays with a festive portrait seating area featuring a stunning 16-foot Christmas tree from Denmar Farms. Everyone is invited to book a FREE photo session – alone or with a pet, friend or family member … or with a small group of family, friends or work colleagues (max of 8 persons) for a safe, socially distanced holiday photo!
Light Up the Night
The beloved Firelight Lantern Festival is back in full force for its 10th year, November 4-5, 2022. Hosted by The Department of Illumination this festival is a community art event that celebrates finding light in the darkness through handmade lanterns, illuminated art installations, puppetry, performance art, and more. This year’s theme is The Enchanted Forest, and you certainly don’t want to miss it.
This year’s Firelight Lantern Festival kicks off with a 19+ event on Friday, November 4 featuring Kingston’s unique and experimental folkestra, The Gertrudes. You’ll also find food, drink, dancing, art installations and interactive performances at this special 10th anniversary event.
Then on Saturday, November 5 it’s time for the main event. Starting with the magical, all-ages Lantern Parade, which will proceed from Benson Park to Crystal Palace, where Bangerz Brass will take the mainstage while you take in the amazing installations, performances, and food & drink.
So don your fairy lights and get crafty, it’s almost Firelight Lantern Festival Time!
Shop Local for the Holiday Season
As a rural destination, Prince Edward County is home to countless small businesses that deserve your support. You love shopping our Main Street shops in the warmer months, so why not return to The County to do a little holiday shopping and share some of your favourite place with your loved ones this holiday season? Shops in Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington will be open through November and into December, so be sure to explore our shop listings and make a plan for a holiday shopping weekend in PEC.
Attend at a Craft Fair or Art Show
Looking for something special for a loved one this holiday season? There is no better time than November to find perfect, unique gifts for the holidays. And with more than X art shows in PEC this month, there’s no better place than Prince Edward County to do it.
The Maker’s Hand
The Maker’s Hand is back! This bustling 3-day event is one of Eastern Ontario’s most well-regarded fine craft shows. Having paused during the height of the pandemic, we are thrilled to see this show returning to Highline Hall at Lehigh Arena from November 11th-13th, 2022.
This year’s show will feature many new artisans, as well as returning favourites from across Eastern Ontario. Find uniquely beautiful and functional items perfect for gift giving, or to keep for yourself. All items are handmade in Canada. Admission is $5 for unlimited access all weekend. Children under 12 enter for free. Lehigh Arena is wheelchair accessible and parking is free. For complete details head to themakershand.com.
Holly Jolly Market at Base31
Head up the hill to Base31 November 18th-20th for the Holly Jolly Market to shop from local vendors and enjoy festive experiences like shopping for holiday florals and wreaths, meetings with Santa, and more! Be sure to stay tuned to @hollyjollypec on Instagram for more information as the market approaches!
The Local Store’s Annual 12 Days of Christmas Market & Sale
Don’t miss the largest collection of work from over 120 Prince Edward County artists, artisans and local food producers at The Local Store. On through November 6th, discover specially produced seasonal gifts, decorations and food before The Local Store closes for the season (though they are open online all year round!).
Good Things in Small Packages Art Show
Mad Dog Gallery is proud to present their 21st annual “Good Things in Small Packages” show opening on Saturday November 19th at 10am. Good Things in Small Packages show is a diverse show of miniatures and other smaller affordable works by Mad Dog Gallery artists. Come by for Acrylic work by Brian Clark and Andrew King, Colloidal by Julie Duff, Oil work by Doris Richardson, Celia Sage and Susan Straiton, Pastel by Rosemary Brown, Pottery by Bill Reddick, Textiles by Anne House and Marianne Sanders, and Watercolour by Andrew Innes. This year they are excited to announce painter Alison Fowler as their guest artist.
Show continues until January 2023. Mad Dog Gallery is open most days 10-5 and they ask that you please wear masks while accessing their space.
30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show
Jump start your Christmas shopping with the 30th Annual “Handmade” Christmas Craft Show on November 5th at Lehigh Area, which features 2 rooms full with over 55 local vendors showcasing their Handmade unique works of art. Hungry? Stay for lunch and enjoy Barn and Country Catering’s mouth-watering menu.
“Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving” Holiday Show and Sale
Celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the Prince Edward County Arts Trail is a self-drive tour of professional, year-round artist studios and galleries, and is a signature experience for thousands of art lovers, buyers and collectors who come to the County each year. The Arts Trail’s professional artists and curators create and present unforgettable works in sculpture, paintings, glass, ceramics, silk, photography, jewellery and more.
To compliment this festive season, the PEC Arts Trail is pleased to announce the launch of their “LOVE ART, LOVE LOCAL AND LOVE GIVING” promotional campaign. From November 14th to December 23rd, 2022, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to shop online or visit member studios and galleries in person to meet the professional artists and curators and see great art in a range of media.
To plan your visit, go to their website at artstrail.ca, download the bilingual Arts Trail Guide and Map and watch for the distinctive blue Arts Trail signs out front of member studios and galleries. Prior to visiting, everyone is encouraged to check individual Arts Trail member websites for hours of operation and COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks and social distancing continue to be mandatory at all Arts Trail locations.
“From unique and welcoming artist studios to contemporary, rustic and historic galleries, this self-guided tour is always an inspirational adventure,” says Arts Trail Co-Chair, Jim Turner, curator and co-owner of 2Gallery. “The Love Art, Love Local and Love Giving holiday promotion allows Arts Trail members to showcase all they have to offer this festive season while providing visitors with the opportunity to support the arts, shop local and give the gift of art this holiday season,” he adds.
Arts Trail maps are also available at our Visitor Information locations, open year-round.
ANDARA Gallery Presents: ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale
ANDARA Gallery presents its 3rd Annual ODE to JOY Art Show and Sale of paintings and photography.
“ODE to JOY” runs from November 12th to December 23rd, 2021 at ANDARA Gallery 54 Wilson Road, Bloomfield in the heart of Prince Edward County. The Gallery is open 11 AM to 5 PM daily, year-round.
In addition to offering contemporary impressionist paintings in a range of sizes, encaustic painter, Andrew Csafordi will also offer a collection of small works that make perfect gifts for any art lover or collector this holiday season. His paintings are a fusion of layers of colourful beeswax and mixed media on wood panels combined with energy and imagination. Working back and forth across the board, he sculpts the wax with brushes and carves into the wax with various tools to create unique and beautiful works of art.
Tara Wilkinson will showcase fine art photographs in a variety of sizes and price points from her global travels.
Give a Little Bit: Holiday Group Show
The annual Holiday show at Melt Gallery is returning this year from November 18- December 23rd. This show will feature work by a number of Canadian artists and artisans, with the priority of highlighting small works that are perfect for gift giving. Join them in celebrating the festive season with a curated selection of unique, one of a kind pieces.
Decay: Group Show
In autumn, the beauty of decay reveals itself. Leaves and petals wilt and fall, green fades, and as a final goodbye trees become a fiery display of gold and red.
Also at Melt Gallery, Decay celebrates the poignant beauty found within the process of decomposition, rot, deterioration, and decline. This show reframes the loss of summer and of life and invites you to find the beauty in Decay.
Come see an exciting array of new work by over 30 Canadian artists, through November 13th. This exhibit will feature the work of encaustic artist Susan Wallis along with new and returning members of our Melt Gallery family of artists. The show will focus on the theme of Decay and how these various artists have chosen to interpret it. The show features works in glass, metal, ceramics, painting, photography and more.
BILL STEARMAN // The Quilt as Art. I will be silent no more.
The perfect exhibition as the weather begins to change. 2gallery is thrilled to announce a Solo Exhibition by Prince Edward County’s master quiltmaker Bill Stearman, on now through November 21st. Entitled The Quilt as Art \ I will be silent no more, this exhibition demonstrates why Stearman is not content simply creating beautiful fabric works that provide warmth. His pieces are political and cultural statements that challenge preconceived notions, highlight inequalities in our society, and champion voices that need to be heard.
Before discovering quilt-making, Stearman struggled with storytelling as a path for making sense of his life. “I’m just a guy who likes to make quilts … and tell stories. Like the rest of life, it seems what can be accomplished in quilt-making is limited only by my imagination.”
In Stearman’s creations, fabrics and carefully placed stitches express joy, anguish, hope, gratitude, and love. They provide glimpses into deeply personal and important stories – stories that matter. Bold statements that provoke thoughtful consideration.
“I know I have something to say – and I want to speak my truth. Even if my voice shakes. I doubt these quilts, and their stories, will remind you of your grandmother’s quilts.”
‘Curator’s Choice’ at Oeno Gallery
Oeno Gallery at Huff Estates presents Curator’s Choice—a rare, eclectic offering of significant 20th and 21st-century fine artists.
For this exhibit, Oeno Gallery has assembled an impressive list of sculptors and painters including Joe Fafard, Joseph Drapell, Harold Feist, Paul Fournier, Gershon Iskowitz, Harold Town, Graham Coughtry, Nazy Sakhavarz, Milly Ristvedt, Otto Rogers, K. M. Graham, and David Bolduc.
This special collection will be on exhibit through November 6th, 2022.
Eddie Christmas Market in the Red Barn
Head to the Eddie Hotel & Farm for their Christmas Market on from November 25-27. You won’t want to miss this festive market featuring dozens of vendors and festive activities for the whole family. Learn more here.
Annual Closson Road Christmas Crawl
Just like the old Christmas pub crawls only this crawl includes wine, cider, beer, food and artisan Chistmas Shopping on the weekend of November 25-27. Enjoy local wine, beer and cider while doing your Christmas Shopping. In addition to supporting local businesses you also have a chance to win several gift baskets filled with 100% local items.
Sunflowers for Ukraine – A Silent Art Auction Fundraiser
This hybrid (in person and online) auction features over 25 sunflower-themed artworks donated by local artists in a wide range of artistic mediums: from painting and textile arts to mixed media, ceramics, wearable art, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
The artworks can be viewed in person at Macaulay Church Museum (35 Church Street, Picton) starting November 2nd, and during opening hours for the entire month of November (11-4, Wednesday-Saturday). Or you can view online here.
Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees is a long-standing community fundraising event here in PEC and it’s back and in person this year at Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre. There will be a silent auction, live entertainment, and a bucket draw raffle, all in support of The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Admission is free. Looking for other ways to support? Check out the Christmas Boutique at the Second Time Around Shop and you can pre-order preserves and baking from Perfectly Preserved.
The Art of Giving
Arts on Main Gallery is home to The Art of Giving show from November 18 – January 25. Swing by this gallery on Picton Main Street to explore a special showing of 12×12 artworks designed for gifting. There will also be a special opening reception on Saturday November 19 from 2-4 PM.
Catch a Performance
There is always a chance to find some live performance here in The County, even in November! In addition to regular music at venues like The County Canteen, The Acoustic Grill and The Waring House, these special events are sure to get your toes tapping.
Dinner & a Show at Karlo Estates
Tantalize your senses with a three-flight wine tasting, perfectly paired to delicious handcrafted cuisine while listening to live music in the opulent speakeasy at Karlo Estates. Their “Dinner and a Show” Tasting is your chance to sample wines led by vintner Sherry Karlo paired with a handcrafted one-plate meal. Each week will feature a rotating menu and musician. An intimate evening of wine, food, and music. Join them on November 5th for Tony Forbes, November 12th for Victor Cooper, November 19th with Brian McMillan, and November 26th with Elmwood Harmony.
THE BOWIE LIVES: A Bowie Spectacular at The Regent Theatre
The Bowie Lives performs Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 8 pm at The Regent Theatre, Picton. Michael Bell is an award-winning vocalist who channels the sound and styles of David Bowie, and with the help of an all-star band, theatre and costumes capture the imagination of fans young and old. Michael’s first theatrical production “ChangesAllBowie” toured the “A circuit” in the late ’80s. He hung up his “Ziggy” in the early ’90s and never imagined professionally performing Bowie again. After David’s untimely death on January 10, 2016, his calling returned, as did the industry interest. Contacting long-time musical director Michael Beauclerc, they began auditioning players to fill out a band capable of performing some of Rock’s most challenging material. The Bowie Lives brings all the sounds and visions to the stage, from Space Oddity to Lazarus.
Get your tickets here.
David James Allen Live at Mount Tabor Theatre
David James Allen is bringing songs from The Architect, new songs and curated collection from previous releases to the historic Mount Tabor Theatre in a solo, one man band configuration complete with drum machine, harmonicas, loops and organs. Featuring Evan Redsky and local artist KASHKA, you won’t want to miss this cozy performance on November 26 in Milford. Get your tickets here.
Toast to the Vines
Wassail is back this year from November 18 – December 4. This year you can expect a self-guided tour, but wineries throughout The County will be putting on a festive show for this annual County tradition. From pancake breakfasts paired with bubbly to musical performances and more, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to toast to the vines as they are put to rest for the winter and stock up on bottles for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Wassail, including participating wineries and activities.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to for more November inspiration.
Kick Start Your Fall in Prince Edward County this September 🌾🍎
September is one of our favourite months in Prince Edward County: the weather’s still wonderful enough for days spent on the vineyard patios or at the beach, but there’s a lovely chill that bookends the day and reminds us of the cozier months to come. This “best of both worlds” month brings with it plenty of exciting activities for everyone, from the family looking for a perfect fall weekend to art lovers looking to discover what a summer of inspiration has produced. Read on for a round-up of must-experience events and activities to kick-start fall this September in PEC.
Labour Day Weekend
Spending the last long weekend of summer in The County? Here’s how to squeeze the most of this sweet season before getting back into the swing of things:
- Dance your way into the weekend with a Barn Dance at Karlo Estates Winery. Reserve your spot in advance here (cover goes toward your first glass of wine). Or on Saturday night, take in
- Catch a flick at The Mustang Drive-In on their final weekend of the season. They’re showing Minions: The Rise of Gru, Top Gun: Maverick, The Invitation and Fall. Get your tickets on their website.
- Catch some laughs at the We’re Funny That Way Queer Cabaret Comedy Festival at Base31. With performances by Heather Bambrick & Diane Leah, Brandon Ash-Mohammed & Alec Mapa, Karen Williams, James Tison & Martha Chaves, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and The B-Girlz, you’re guaranteed a belly-laugh or fifteen.
- Start your Saturday in the right headspace with the final Alpaca Yoga session of summer at The SHED at Chetwyn Farms.
- Have a WILD forage to table experience with Chef Chris and Hawthorne Herbals on September 2 & September 3. Be sure to contact Chef Chris in advance to be a part of this plant-based feast.
- Bring home the best of the summer’s harvest from a farmer’s market. The Wellington Farmers’ Market, the Wellington Community Market and the Picton Town Hall Farmers Market are all on this Labour Day weekend and will continue through October.
- Enjoy the final Festival Players performances of the season with Beyond The Sea.
- Enjoy the final weekend of Music in the Aviator’s Garden at Base31.
- Take in some PEC history with the final weekend of weekly historical walking tours. There are four to choose from: Graveyard & Gallows, the Base31 Site Walking Tour, the Picton Heritage Conservation District Walking Tour, the Glenwood Cemetery Walking Tour.
- Experience the magic of Canada’s only travelling theatre on wheels with The Roamin’ Roulant’s performance of The Boxcar Cowboy at Huff Estates.
- Attend a drag show at The Hayloft Dance Hall and follow it up with an epic Barn Party.
- Looking for live music? Find it with performances by Tony Forbes at Karlo Estates, Canadian rock icons Lowest of the Low at The Hayloft featuring local openers Norris & Jones, and a Sunday night barn party also at The Hayloft featuring The Lonely Hearts. Additionally, Grammy and Juno nominee Geordie Johnson from Big Sugar takes the stage in the Red Barn at The Eddie this weekend for two shows – don’t miss it!
Like many communities in rural Ontario, September in The County is a time for celebrating all things agricultural. Here’s how to partake in the festivities:
The Picton Fair is one of Ontario’s oldest agricultural fairs, presented by the Prince Edward Agricultural Society (established 1831) and held annually at the Picton Fairgrounds. At this year’s 185th annual fair, September 9 – 11, 2022, come by to enjoy classic fair faire, first class exhibits of everything from arts & crafts to livestock, midway rides and more. Some highlights include the Baby Show (Friday, September 9 at 12PM), the Arm Wrestling Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 1PM), the Dog Show (Saturday, September 10 at 12PM) and the Skate Competition (Saturday, September 10 at 3PM). All weekend long be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the County’s own Isabella Hoops and her Hula Hoop show.
Another highlight is The County Bake Off and Sale in support of the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation in which local paramedics and firefighters go head-to-head to be voted the best bakers in The County (and to raise the most money, of course!). This event takes place on Saturday, September 10 at 9AM.
There’s also a plenty of live music to be had at the fair, with performances by The Reasons on Friday night, a Bob Seger tribute band on Saturday, and a Gospel Review on Sunday morning.
For a full list of programming, be sure to check out this year’s fair book.
Ameliasburgh Fall Fair
For all the fun of an agricultural fair but with a small village vibe, be sure to check out the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair on September 24, 2022. The Ameliasburgh Fall Fair kicks off with a parade through the village and includes a full day of craft shows and bake sales, exhibits, horse & cattle shows, food vendors, and entertainment for all ages. Entry to the fair is just $5 per adult (kids under 12 are free), which includes entry to Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.
There’s no fruit more emblematic of this time of year. Typically associated with the start of the school year, the apple is one of the first sure signs of fall, and we’re thrilled to say that pick-your-own season has started at Campbell’s Orchards and will continue into early October. At Campbell’s it’s just $25 for a 10lb bag of apples, which includes admission for up to 4 people. Have a larger group? It’s just $5 for each individual member of your party. Campbell’s is open 7 days a week from 10AM – 4PM, and you can either drop by for a day of apple harvest fun or pre-book to save time.
Related Blog: The Apple of our Eye
Don’t want to pick-your-own? In addition to Campbell’s you can also get your Prince Edward County apples from Maw’s Lakeview Orchard or Creasy’s Apple Dabble Farm, both located in Waupoos. While you’re in the area be sure to sample the cider at The County Cider Company and Cape Vineyards.
Farm Stands Galore
While it’s also apple season, it’s also peak harvest season at the local farm stands. Be sure to add a stop or two (or five!) to your itinerary and bring home the best of The County. From tomatoes, peppers and corn to the first of the season’s squash harvest, you are sure to find some beautiful produce to stock your fridge and pantry.
Related Blog: Feast Your Way Through the Best Farm Stands
Arts & Culture
Tour Local Studios
In its 29th year, the PEC Studio Tour features over 50 talented artists who open their studio doors to welcome you. Whether you’re in the market or just want to tour around to appreciate some great art, the Studio Tour welcomes you to join their completely free tour. Check out the map of participating studios and plan your route!
Take in an Exhibition or Fair
The County is always a great spot for art, but there are a handful of exciting exhibits happening this month that you’ll want to check out. First up is Tapering Perspectives: Scenes from Canadian by Edd Battista at 2Gallery. This exhibition runs through September 12th and explores the Canadian landscape when explored through the shape of a pennant.
Just across the street in The Royal Hotel’s Annex space you’ll find a pop-up exhibition by Oeno Gallery. Running from September 3 – 26, Neon Bouquet features new work by Heidi Conrod, Chung Im Kim, Susan Collett & StackLab.
On September 10, take a stroll through the gardens at Macaulay Heritage Park while discovering the works of local and regional handcrafting creatives. Tickets for Artisans at the Museum are $5 and include entry to the museum.
The monthly County Craft Market is back on Saturday, September 17 for their final market of the season. Taking place at the Elks Hall in Wellington, this craft market is the perfect opportunity to support local creatives.
6 Artists is an outdoor exhibition and fair taking place September 30 – October 2 featuring three painters, one woodworker, one quilter, and one woodland artist.
Experience a Memorable Performance
Comedy on the River is back for their second and final event of the summer season. Hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy a guided paddle to a water-access-only live comedy show at a secret location on the shores of the Black River. Get your tickets now: you don’t want to miss this distinctly County experience!
Prefer your comedy on dry land? The folks who brought you Comedy on the River invite you to a special Comedy Picnic at Jackson’s Falls. Pull up your picnic blanket on September 24th and enjoy a comedy show on the lawn at this newly restored inn in Milford.
Want some beer with your comedy? Gillingham Brewing’s monthly County Comedy Series continues on September 16th with a performance by PEC local and touring Yuk Yuk headliner Jeff Elliott.
Fancy an evening of theatre? County Roads Theatre Company presents Collected Stories, a play that explores the power dynamics between teacher and student through the lens of a graduate student and aspiring writer. This show featuring County residents Joan McBride and Melissa Paulson, directed by Fred Robinson is on from September 22 through October 2 at the Mount Tabor Playhouse in Milford.
Immerse Yourself in History & Heritage
Come & see one of the County’s most important historic sites in person – the legendary A-Frame cabin of the poet Al Purdy! The Al Purdy A-Frame Association (registered charity) is hosting a one-day open house on Saturday, September 24 and you are invited to pack a lunch and enjoy it by the lake, take pictures in Al’s writing shed, and browse a collection of books and other items available for purchase (proceeds benefit the host association).
Want to learn more about indigenous history and culture? The County Museums are host to an educational session with Jamie Maracle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on the topic of Wampum belts, traditional teaching tools that record Rotinonshon:ni history and knowledge. Register for this session by contacting email@example.com.
Catch some Live Music
There’s no shortage of live music in The County! Check out one of these performances to enhance your County experience:
- The Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival takes place from September 9 – 18 and features 7 performances from world-class chamber music musicians: Music of the Americas, Basta Parlare, Mozart Rearranged, Myriade Quartet, Karina Gauvin and Michael McMahon, Piano for Four Hands, and In the End it all Comes Down to Dvořák.
- Check out the final night of Music in the Park in Wellington featuring a performance by The Reasons.
- The Sandbanks Music Festival is back in person this year at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This live-music, family, and food event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 2-8 pm featuring headliner Born Ruffians with performances by Laurence-Anne, Matt Barber, CATL, Craig Foster and Huaraches. Get your tickets here. Please note that attendees must also secure a Daily Vehicle Permit to enter the park up to 5 days in advance of the festival. That permit can be purchased here.
- Canadian indie rock and reggae royalty Bedouin Soundclash take to the Drill Hall stage at Base31 on September 17. Get your tickets here.
- Canadian songwriter and folk musician Jaeda Kelly hits the The Red Barn stage at The Eddie on September 23. Get your tickets here.
- Join Base31 on September 23 for an incredible and meaningful night in honour of Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na tyonkwehtáhkwen Mohawk Language and Culture Centre, and a celebration of Indigenous artists. Featuring headliner and JUNO award-winning husband and wife duo, Digging Roots and supported by David R. Maracle and friends, this is sure to be a memorable concert experience. Tickets are just $25 and can be purchased here.
- Looking for some jazz in The County? Join Karlo Estates for Jazz Thursdays with the Howard Rees Duo on September 29. Check out our full event listings for even more regular live music events from Karlo Estates.
- Join The Regent Theatre for an incredible night of life music and celebration of Indigenous culture with their 2nd Annual Truth and Reconciliation Concert. This year’s concert features multi-award wining artist, iskwē who will grace the Regent stage with her incredible presence and artistry, accompanied by a string quartet in what promises to be a stunning night. Get your tickets here.
This September there are several can’t-miss pairing dinners happening in The County. First up on September 9th is a Beer Pairing Dinner at Slake Brewing with Chef Shawn Adler of The Flying Chestnut Kitchen in Eugenia as well as Pow Wow Cafe in Kensington market in downtown Toronto. A member of Lac des Milles Lac First Nation,Shawn focuses on promoting contemporary Indigenous cuisine. This 5-course meal in the spectacular setting that is Slake Brewing is $100 including beer pairings and tickets can be purchased here.
On September 14 you can enjoy a Whiskey of the World Tasting Dinner at The Waring House. This three-course dinner is paired perfectly with three 1oz whiskey pours, guided by a whiskey expert.
Also at The Waring House, on September 28 you can enjoy four-course meal alongside a wine tasting of Volcanic Wines sourced by Sommelier Astrid Young. To book tickets to this PEC Wine Society Dinner and the Whiskey of the World tasting dinner call (613) 476-7492 ext 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, on September 30 head to Karlo Estates for a plant-based Fall Harvest Dinner with Chef Chris Byrne. This 5-course feast is expertly paired with Karlo Estates wines by Vintner, Sherry Karlo. Reserve your spot here.
For even more County events be sure to check out our complete event listing.
What to get up to this February in The County ❄🍷
After a long January, restrictions are gradually easing and The County is reopening, ready for plenty of winter fun. If you have a visit planned this month, if you live in the area and are looking for a fun weekend activity, or if you just want to experience the joys of February in The County second hand, read on.
This information is accurate as of February 1st, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Reminder: as of January 4th 2022, enhanced vaccine passports with a scannable QR code are required for indoor dining and locations such as recreational facilities. Further to that, some businesses are going above and beyond to keep the community safe, so we ask that individual requirements are respected at all times.
A Vintner Winter
The vines may be resting under a comfortable blanket of snow and earth, but many wineries will be serving up pours in their tasting rooms this February. Be sure to download the PEC Wine Explorer App before you visit to plan your trip and explore Prince Edward County Wineries (and Cideries!) by region, style and more. As always, check in with wineries before visiting via the app or Instagram to confirm operations and open hours, and be sure to make a reservation where necessary. You can also start your planning right here on VisitPEC.ca by checking out the wine section of our website for inspiration.
Hit the Trail
If you’re looking to get outside while you’re here, there are plenty of ways you can do so. Fancy giving snowshoeing a try? Head to Sugarbush Vineyards where you can rent snowshoes for $20, which includes a wine tasting and hot chocolate (weekends only). Or you can participate in a guided 3km snowshoeing walk at Three Dog Winery on weekends throughout February, which includes snowshoes and a glass of wine. Also keep an eye out for foodie pop-ups at Three Dog to complete your experience.
Snowshoeing not your thing? There are plenty of other ways to get outdoors. Why not bring your cross country skis and plan a trip down the Millennium Trail? Or how about pack your best snow boots and go for a winter hike at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area or at the Sandbanks Dunes Trail (the parking lot at Dunes is now maintained in the winter). If you plan to head out in winter, though, be sure to plan your route ahead of time, make sure your phone is charged, dress warmly and ensure you head out with plenty of daylight left – it’s easy to get turned around on trails, especially after fresh snowfall.
Related: What to do in Winter in Prince Edward County
Plan an Escape
Escape Camp Picton is reopening for the 2022 season with a special Family Day Weekend event! Join them for an escape between February 11 and 14 and enjoy an extra special post-game celebration with a hot chocolate buffet and a make-your-own puzzle kit to take home with you.
Want to escape Camp Picton from the comfort of home? They also have a handcrafted at-home puzzle box available for purchase – perfect for cozy snow day weekends or evenings spent back at your accommodations.
Hit the Ice
If you haven’t heard, Parsons Brewing Company‘s covered ice rink is open daily for the season and it’s more epic than ever! Whether you want to play some shinny or you just want to skate, this family-friendly activity makes for a perfect winter outing, especially when paired with their rink-side snacks – we’re talking emanadas, grilled cheese and roast tomato soup, served alongside their wide selection of beers and coffee (with Bailey’s!) if you’re feeling the chill. They even have hot chocolate and s’mores kits for the kids (and big kids) who want to have some fun by the fire pit after a good skate. Be sure to follow them on Instagram for daily updates on rink conditions as well as for rink rules.
Speaking of ice, if you are visiting a beach during winter be sure to stay off the shore ice as this is known to be dangerous, even in the coldest weather. Also, unless you are with a guide or familiar with ice conditions in the area, any lake ice should be considered unsafe. Stick to shore and stay safe.
If skating’s not your thing but you’re still chasing classic “apres” vibes and craft beer, there’s plenty of options for you! Gillingham Brewing has a fabulous winter patio setup (complete with Oysters!), Prince Eddy’s will be serving up pours both in and outdoors, Matron Fine Beer has a sweet sheltered back patio, and Slake comes complete with many fire pits to share the warmth alongside their gorgeous views – but don’t worry, their indoor seating is also open if you want the views without the windchill.
Go Back in Time
It’s Flashback February at The County Museums, which means we have plenty opportunities to engage with the history and heritage of Prince Edward County through talks, performances and more. The 2022 event (February 19-27) will include a combination of in-person and virtual offerings including a historic barn tour at Karlo Estates Winery (multiple in-person dates), a Photos and Follies exhibit at North Marysburgh Town Hall, an exhibit on the “social media” of early Prince Edward County, a virtual historic cooking presentation, and more. Check out the Flashback February website for more details.
Related: 10 Places to Get a Taste of County History
Indoor dining is back, and your favourite County restaurants are ready to welcome you (at limited capacity for now). Not only are the all-season restaurants open again, but so are the restaurants that typically close in January like La Condesa, Flame + Smith and The Marans Dinebar. (note: some restaurants operate seasonally and will open again in the spring, so we still recommend confirming operations before setting your heart on a particular spot!) If you’re planning a foodie trip be sure to make a reservation where possible or plan in advance to potentially wait a for a table (though wait times in February are typically much less than in summer, reduced capacity make affect wait times). Looking for a unique Friday night dining experience? Book a Fondue Friday at The Eddie. Wanting to experience the newest of the new? be sure to book a spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner at The Royal Hotel, the reimagined historical gem of Picton Main Street.
Here for Valentine’s Day? Many spots are offering special pre-fixe menus for your romantic celebrations. So be sure to check out the restaurants on your wish list on social media to see what feasts they have dreamed up for the day of love.
Winter with Lakeside
If you’re looking for a family and pet-friendly winter outing, why not head to The Lakeside Motel in Wellington? They have a few epic weekends planned on their property. Swing by to enjoy live music, their new food truck and their cozy heated enclosure alongside their epic lake views. Check out our event listings for more information.
Visit a Gallery
February is a great time to visit a Prince Edward County art gallery. Most galleries and studios are open weekends or by appointment, so we highly recommend discovering local artists through the County Arts Council and the Arts Trail before you visit. Once you’ve built your wish list, be sure to check in directly to confirm hours of operation or book an appointment before visiting.
If you want to take your appreciation of art outdoors, be sure to check out the sculpture garden at Oeno Gallery (yes, it’s open in winter, and yes it is magical – see the video from last year below!) or take a stroll just off Picton Main Street to Benson Park to enjoy fun installations by The Department of Illumination.
Take in a Concert
We’re excited for February to bring a return to in-person performance. If you’re a fan of Jazz, Big Lake Concerts has just the think for you. Be sure to get tickets to one of two seatings of SOA and Friends at The CAPE on February 24th. SOA covers a wide stylistic terrain from jazz, consistently enveloped by the warm and soulful voice of Chrystelle Maechler. Thompson Egbo-Egbo joins her on the piano and together they will deliver a rich evening of musical sounds and stories. Rooted in jazz, SOA features a mix of originals and fresh interpretations of outside material, in French, English, and sometimes German. “SOA” means “precious” in the language of Madagascar.
Plan Your 2022 Visit
If you don’t have a February visit planned but are feeling a little bit envious after reading about all of these amazing happenings in The County this month, let the inspiration strike! Now is the perfect time to start planning your 2022 visit. Take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit and book somewhere to stay, discover more things to do, taste and experience and start building the a picture perfect PEC itinerary. Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to check out our blog.
How to Keep it in The County this January during Ontario’s Return to Step Two
We didn’t expect this to be our first blog post of 2022, but here we are. Ontario has temporarily returned to a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, and we’re sharing some of the ways you can continue to support your favourite County spots amidst the latest restrictions.
This information is accurate as of January 10th, 2022. As always, we recommend checking in directly with operators as this information is subject to change. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
Another great way to support County businesses at this time is to shop locally from your favourite main street and back road shops. Luckily, retail stores are allowed to remain open at 50% capacity for whatever you need (or want) to bring a little County into your lockdown experience. Most stores are remaining open, however, we recommend that you check in with them on Instagram or their website for details about their operations at this time, as some businesses have chosen to remain open for online shopping, curbside pickup, or delivery only.
Art at Home
While some local galleries in The County operate seasonally, some remain open year-round. Those galleries have also had to close as part of the return to Step Two. If you want to show support for local artists and galleries, be sure to check out the Arts Trail and Prince Edward County Arts Council websites to discover local artists, galleries, and their online collections.
Take out to Dine In (at home)
Indoor dining is closed again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still support some of your favourite County eateries during this time. While some have chosen to take this time off to recuperate after a challenging 2021, many are offering their menu for take-out or are cooking up lockdown specials to help spice up your at-home meals. Need something delivered? Contact County Carry Out here.
The newly reopened The Royal Hotel is now open to guests, but everyone can enjoy their selection of breads, pastries, sandwiches, salad bowls and coffee from their Counter Bar. Also, starting January 7th they’ll be offering a limited menu for takeout.
Picnic‘s Picton cafe is closed, but Picnic’s catering arm is offering special weekend menus for pre-order that can be picked up from their Wellington kitchen.
Local chef Matthew Demille is offering up his popular winter feasts for pre-order and delivery in The County and surrounding area.
Lily’s Cafe next to Books & Company is open for takeout only.
Flame + Smith in Bloomfield is closed until January 21st for Winter break. Be sure to stay tuned to Instagram for information about operations after that date.
Also in Bloomfield, Bermuda is open for takeout from Friday – Sunday with a limited menu of new items and old favourites. Limited time slots are available so call ahead to book.
The Vic Drive-In is open for takeout (walk-in, call ahead, or order online) with a smaller menu full of diner favourites, as well as daily dinner specials like Wacky Wednesday.
Don’t worry, you can still get your Acoustic Grill fix! They’ll be open for takeout Thursday – Monday.
555 Brewing is holding down the fort and will be open daily for retail beer sales, takeaway pizza, and outdoor dining on their covered and heated patio. They also have a 2 for $25 pizza offer from Sunday – Thursday every week.
The Bean Counter is temporarily closed for maintenance until mid-January. They’ll be open for takeout once that’s complete.
Over in Wellington, Midtown Brewing is offering takeout only, 7 days a week. You can order their full menu alongside delicious craft beer. They also have make-your-own pizza kits, great for a fun meal with the kids.
Piccolina Mercato is open Wednesday – Sunday for takeout and retail, serving up fresh pastry and bread, prepared meals to reheat at home.
Idle Wild is open Thursday – Sunday 4-7 PM for takeout. Visit their Instagram to see their Main and Vegan menus and order ahead for pick-up.
7 Numbers Picton is open after January 6th for takeout and delivery of their regular menu, weekly specials, $60 “Dinner for Two” menu, and Winter Market items (fresh/frozen take-home trays, and fresh foccacia with 24hr notice).
Over in Consecon, Strato’s Pizzeria will be open after January 6th for takeout after completing some maintenance.
Blue Sail Seafood Company‘s seafood market will be open from Thursday – Sunday, and they are also offering DIY Seafood Dinner Starter Kits that you can order online from their website. They won’t be offering takeout right away, but keep checking their Instagram for updates.
GOOD Place in Wellington is open daily for grocery or takeout.
Stella’s Wine Bar will be serving up takeout for pick-up Friday through Tuesday from 5-8 PM.
Consecon’s Adega Wine Bar is closed, but keep an eye out on their Instagram for at-home wine club offerings.
Bocado will be offering up a different prix fixe takeout menu each weekend from Thursday through Sunday. Check their Instagram for the current menu.
The Lunch Box is open for take-out during their regular hours from January 10th.
Bantam will be closed until January 19th but will reopen with a takeout menu and modified hours. Check Instagram for details in the coming weeks.
Suejo Korean Restaurant, Beacon Bike + Brew, and Angry Birdz are all open for takeout with their regular menu.
Butter Dream Cakes is closed until February 11th except for custom order pick-up or deliveries. Check out their new online shop complete with new cake trays, cake tasting boxes, and cookie boxes.
The Marans is closed for holiday until January 12th – be sure to follow them on Instagram for news about operations after that date.
Stella’s Eatery in Waupoos is temporarily closed, but they’re serving takeout at Stella’s Wine Bar in Picton.
The County Canteen‘s full menu is available for takeout, or you can brave the weather on their heated and covered outdoor patio. Also be sure to check out their Sunday Family Dinner Series in which they serve up a different themed feast for four each Sunday.
Bloomfield Public House Market, Merrill House, East & Main Bistro, Koenji Whisky, Hello Bonjour, and La Condesa are closed for holiday throughout January.
The Waring House and Drake Devonshire are open for room bookings, but their restaurants are closed except for providing take-out to guests.
Lighthouse Restaurant is temporarily closed, but be sure to keep an eye out on their social media for details about reopening.
Blumen Garden Bistro is closed for the season and looks forward to welcoming you back in the Spring.
Saigon Restuarant is closed until late January before resuming takeout.
Flossie’s Sandwiches is closed for the season and is due to reopen at Carson’s Garden Market in April.
Bring the Source to You
If you’re looking to enjoy some County libations during your lockdown, most of the region’s craft beverage makers offer online shopping options or curbside pickup. Some are safely offering distanced outdoor tastings with a limited capacity if you are up braving the weather.
Rosehall Run is closed until January 28th but they are open online 24/7.
Huff Estates is closed for tastings, but their bottle shop is open for retail and they are open online 24/7.
The tasting room and bottle shop at The Grange of Prince Edward is closed, but they are open online 24/7.
At Trail Estate you can visit their retail shop after January 19th, but they are open online 24/7 in the meantime.
Casa Dea‘s tasting room and bottle shop are temporarily closed, but you can shop online 24/7
Sandbanks Estates Winery‘s retail store open is open at 50% capacity for shopping or curbside pickup, or you can shop online. As with other wineries they are not offering tastings at this time.
Broken Stone Winery’s tasting room and bottle shop is closed until spring, but they are open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
Traynor Family Vineyard’s bottle shop is open at 50% capacity and you can safely enjoy a pour on their heated patio. You can also shop online for contactless curbside pickup or delivery.
Outdoor tastings at Three Dog Winery are closed until February, but they are online open for curbside pickup or delivery (free shipping when you order 6 bottles or more).
Harwood Estate Vineyard is closed, but you can shop online 24/7, along with Stanners Vineyards, Cape Vineyards, and Terra Estate Winery.
Lighthall Vineyards is closed for tastings, but their retail store is open for wine and cheese purchases. You can also shop online for delivery or call for curbside pickup
Waupoos Estates Winery‘s tasting room and restaurant are temporarily closed, but they are open online for curbside pickup or delivery.
Hinterland Wine Company, Karlo Estates, Lacey Estates, Hillier Creek, and Gravel Hill Vineyard have all closed their tasting rooms, but you can shop their selection online.
At Redtail Vineyards you can visit their bottle shop and enjoy a pour safely outdoors on their covered patio. Contactless pickup is available for online orders, as well as delivery.
Exultet Estates is closed for tastings until April, but their Bottle shop is open by chance or appointment, or you can online for delivery.
Del-Gatto Estates is closed for winter, but they are open online for delivery.
Sugarbush Vineyards is closed until February but open online for delivery or curbside pickup.
The Old Third is closed for Winter.
Closson Chase is closed for the season, reopening for tastings on February 5, 2022
Parsons Brewing’s bottle shop is open daily and from January 14th onward their skating rink is open daily for your enjoyment on a pay-what-you-can basis. Check out the “Rink” highlight on their Instagram for more details. You can also order online 24/7 for brewery pickup or delivery.
At Prince Eddy’s Brewing, you can visit their bottle shop in person and enjoy their outdoor patio (the après vibes are strong), but they are also open online for curbside pickup or contactless delivery.
You can cozy up at the outdoor fire pits and visit the retail shop at Slake Brewing when they reopen after the holidays on January 8th. With the freezing rain lately, be sure to check their Instagram for updates about brewery road safety!
Gillingham Brewing‘s bottle shop and covered, the heated beer garden is open for pours, lunch, and weekend oysters. Follow them on Instagram for updates about kitchen collaborations with other local faves.
Matron Fine Beer‘s bottle shop, outdoor patio is open for floofy pours and tasty bites from their kitchen. They also have General Assembly pizzas available for purchase along other great take-home snacks.
Mead & Spirits
Kinsip is not offering tastings at this time, but they are open online for local pickup or delivery.
Millefleurs is closed for tastings in January & February, but you can shop their mead as well as their honey and lavender products in their online shop.
Honey Pie Hives & Herbals is closed for the season until May 1, but you can shop their mead, honey and herbal products on their website.
Loch Mor‘s tasting room is closed but you can order online for delivery or local pickup.
Clafeld Cider‘s market and tasting room are closed, but you can order online for pickup (pickup across the road at Waupoos Estates Winery) or delivery.
Stock & Row is open Saturdays for pick-up or online 24/7 for delivery.
Crimson Cider‘s bottle shop is open or you can shop online 24/7 for curbside pickup or delivery.
The County Cider Company is closed until March, but you can order their cider online for delivery.
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Plan Your Fall 2021 Visit to Prince Edward County 🍁🍂🎃🍎🍻🚲
Prince Edward County may be known for its summers, but Fall in The County has so much to offer travelers of all kinds. Whether you want to get outdoors, reap the benefits of harvest season or simply get into the spirit of the Fall season, we’ve got something for you.
As with every trip to The County, your experience will benefit from a little bit of forward planning. While the Fall is definitely quieter, after a busy summer Prince Edward County businesses change up their hours of operation, so as always we recommend calling ahead or checking social media for the most up to date information.
Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
Book Your Accommodation
While there is more availability to plan a last-minute trip in the Fall, we still recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Explore some of The County’s rental accommodations or if you prefer to camp when it’s quieter (and free of mosquitos!) Sandbanks Provincial Park is open for camping through to the end of October. Whatever you decide, book now so you have the perfect home base for your Fall adventure. Want to visit Sandbanks for a Fall walk? Day-use Vehicle Permit pre-booking continues until the end of the season, so be sure to book up to five days in advance of your planned visit here.
Experience Arts and Culture
Craving a little culture? The County has it in droves. Take a tour of the Arts Trail, a self-guided driving tour and signature experience of professional year-round artist studios and galleries. If you love a peek behind the scenes the annual PEC Studio Tour is on from September 24 – 26 this year, which will take you into the studios of more than 40 artists in the region. Also, Ontario Culture Days Creatives in Residence Alchemy – a Hillier-based artists’ residency – will be taking guests on guided tours of their Table Settings installations and community initiative. Check out the event listing on the Culture Days website for more information and to register for this free event.
Fall is also a great time to immerse yourself in the storied history of The County and there’s no better way to do that than at our museums and historically significant sites. Step back in time with a visit to Macaulay Heritage Park, take in the pioneer village at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, or go for an autumnal stroll through the beautiful Glenwood Cemetery – your options are endless!
RELATED: History Takes Flight: A Walking Tour of Macaulay Mountain Heritage Park & Birdhouse City
Savour Fall Flavours
Fall is harvest time, and there’s no better time to sample locally grown flavours at Prince Edward County’s local restaurants and farm stands. Be sure to plan a visit to a farm or two before heading home to take home a County bounty to enjoy, store or preserve. Want a farm-to-table dining experience where the distanced travelled is–quite literally–nil? Book a harvest supper at a local farm, like this harvest tasting experience at Quinta Do Conde or the Harvest Dinner Under the Stars at Vicki’s Veggies.
It’s the thick of harvest season at local wineries, but you can still visit their tasting rooms and bottle shops. Be sure to book your wine tours in advance to avoid disappointment. While you will have to wait a while to sample this year’s grape harvest, expect to see some breweries like featuring beers using this summer’s local hop harvest. Not that into hops? Cozy up with a dark beer in front of a fire pit at one of the region’s many breweries. Parsons Brewing Company is even bringing their own take on Oktoberfest to The County on October 2nd, with specialty brews available for the occasion. If the taste of Fall you crave is more apple-forward, go on a self-guided cider tour or hit up Campbell’s Orchards for some pick-your-own fun.
Hit the Trail
While cycling is an activity enjoyed all year round in The County, the Fall offers the perfect conditions for experienced and recreational cyclists alike. With the roads being quieter than they are at the height of summer and the temperatures cooler, it’s the perfect time to hop on your bike and explore.
The Millennium Trail is one of the best ways to get across The County by bike. Connecting Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington, Hiller and Consecon, this 46 km, mostly flat trail can get you pretty much anywhere you want to go with just some minor diversions on County roads. Check out this helpful Google Map complete with trailhead and intersection information, and a blog with all of the insider details to help you plan your journey.
RELATED: How to do a Prince Edward County Wine Tour Without Driving
Take in the Views
Want to take in the Fall colours on your trip? Be sure to add Slake Brewing to your itinerary. With their hilltop location, sprawling outdoor space and many fire pits – not to mention their great beer – it’s one of the best places in The County to take in the view.
Another great way to take in The County’s Fall colours is to go for a drive (or a cycle!) down some quieter County roads. The “back forty” of many rural and agricultural areas are forested with maple trees and the roads are lined in Staghorn Sumac, whose leaves turns a brilliant red in early Fall, giving you stunning autumnal colours throughout the season that are a feast for the eyes when on a scenic drive. We’ve mapped out a few popular scenic routes here.
Prepare for the Chill
As we all know, Fall is sweater weather. But when preparing for a tour around The County we recommend that you bring more than just a sweater. While indoor dining will be possible with your Proof of Vaccination, many establishments will be keeping their patios open throughout the Fall for those who prefer to dine outside to enjoy the weather and to maximize capacity for diners and visitors to craft beverage establishments. Come prepared with extra layers and maybe even a blanket or two so you can stay comfortable outside as the weather gets cooler.
So what are you waiting for? Book your Fall trip today and discover the joys and gems of Fall in The County.
See something missing? Have ideas for our blog writers? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s new for Summer 2021 in PEC 🍜 🍺 🎨
Looking for something new to do in Prince Edward County? New ventures and the optimism they embody are always cause for celebration – never more so than now, in these unpredictable times. So a heartfelt and hearty huzzah to this latest crop of openings, expansions and reimaginings in Prince Edward County. May these offerings fill your belly and lift your spirit.
Please note that public health travel advisories and orders are changing frequently during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please consult our COVID-19 Essential Info page for the latest updates.
A must-visit for your Sunday morning is the Picton Town Hall Farmers’ Market. A wide variety of Prince Edward County vendors are offering locally grown and made goods; do your grocery shopping, grab a snack or enjoy some lunch in the nearby shady Benson Park.
The Grist Mill is a wedding and event venue located in Consecon at the old Cascades Pub and Grill. Four days a week, The Grist Mill operates as a public space where guests can gather to share a drink, while enjoying live music, drag events and food from pop-up caterers. Food is served on Friday night and Sunday Brunch. Fridays, find PJ’s Jerk. Saturdays Matty Boy BBQ is there with his Texas Style BBQ.
All those good smells coming from Milford lately? They’re coming from the new PECish Baking Co. Matti Matyasfalvi, baker and self-described breadhead, is turning out bread, croissants, cookies & more every week – made preservative and additive free with local wheats, honey, and butter. Take note – these fresh-from-the-oven treasures sell like, well, hotcakes – so order ahead for best selection. Long-term plans include a café and general store.
RELATED: Insider’s Tips for a County Summer Getaway
Lighthall Vineyards has a new food offering from the owners of Sand and Pearl. FirebirdPEC serves wood-fired rotisserie chicken and fresh crisp salads al fresco. Winemaker Glenn Symon has expanded his cheese offerings, and this year, the crew will be working out of a new tasting room. Assistant wine maker Chris Thompson has his own wine on the go, introducing Legal Smile Wine Co.
At Closson Chase, the new Au Verre by The Marans replaces the Swinery, offering full service dining plus grab and go options. Sip wine by the glass and eat outside by the iconic purple barn.
Well-known Wellington Farmer’s Market manager Naz Karsan will be popping up his latest venture called TikkaChaat. Naz will offer fresh and frozen cuisine inspired by his family’s roots along the coast of east Africa, most notably Zanzibar. Follow his Instagram for locations.
Sarah Rogers has opened the eponymously named Sarah’NDipity Eats & Treats on Gilead Road. She makes healthy meals and delightful sweets for you to order ahead and take home to enjoy. Let her do the kitchen work for you!
RELATED: Visitor Checklist
Taste of Country occupies the corner previously home to Schroedter’s Farm Market at the intersection of Hwy #62 and Cty. Rd. 1. They carry a wide selection of frozen foods, baked goods, gift items and other specialty goods, and are partnering with a chef for prepared foods to go. They’re also an LCBO outlet and carry local brews and Kinsip spirits.
While Waupoos has always been known as The County’s blueberry spot, there is a new kid on the isle – meet Laura’s Organic Blueberries, located just down the road from Sandbanks. Picking starts in late July into August.
Adega Wine Bar has all the chops to be a full service wine appreciation spot in Consecon, at least when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Located at the Grist Mill in the centre of town, Adega is part wine bar, part wine retailer and serves as home base for owner Thierry Alcantera-Stewart’s wine consulting, tours and tastings.
Built into a limestone hill, Slake Brewing offers stunning panoramic views of The County from its taproom and patio. They currently produce clean, balanced, easy drinking ales and lagers but will soon be introducing mixed-fermentation beers. All Slake’s beer is proudly brewed with 100% Ontario malt.
Looking to take a deep dive into the ins and outs of Caesar making? The Weekend Social, tucked behind the Bean Counter Cafe, is opening its doors to small groups this summer, for workshops, experiences and its new Caesar bar. Keep an eye on their social for upcoming dates and events.
PEC Wine Explorer app is a one-stop shop for all your wine touring needs, including detailed profiles for all local wineries, tourism businesses and retailers, as well as lists of unique wine activities. Discover which wineries host elevated tastings, which ones will welcome your dog, or which sell the wines that match your preferences. New activities are always being added, so download today, find a wine you love, and plan your perfect trip to PEC wine country. Not in The County? Most of the PEC wineries are only too happy to ship bottles to you and the app can help make the challenge of selecting the perfect bottle easy by matching your individual taste preferences to a database of all PEC wines.
Wondering what that glass glass building going up near Terra Cello and Huff Estates is? Stillus is a new craft distillery hoping to put Canadian vodka and spirits on the map. They’re aiming to be open for summer, but COVID construction delays mean we’ll have to keep watch on their social channels for exact timing.
Encaustic artist Susan Wallis has moved Melt Studio Gallery into the space formerly occupied by Maison DePoivre Gallery in Barrack 3 at Camp Picton (Loch Sloy). Susan is introducing an experience this summer that invites guests to Pause. Partnering with Tamara Segal of Hawthorn Herbals and Bay Woodward of Honeypie Hives & Herbals, guests will begin with a walk in the forest, getting grounded in plants and their uses, and foraging for mementos to be used in their art. Then at the studio they’ll work with Susan to create an encaustic piece – encaustic art being an ancient technique involving layering pigments, fibres and more in beeswax.
Get up close and personal with the herd at Noble Beast Farms in Bloomfield. Shepherds Paul and Nadia will show and tell about their 80 quirky alpacas, Thunder the famous donkey, and other rescued animals. The farm’s signature summer offering is Alpacas No Zoom Zoom, a half-day event with a light farm meal that will allow you to truly unwind and reconnect with nature. Disconnect from zoom and reconnect with nature through the eyes of the alpacas on the farm. They also have a shorter trek for those who prefer a one-hour visit called The Bloomin’ Welly Little Trek. These will sell out fast!
Don’t ride the teachers at Mayrose Farm! Patti Stacey is a second-generation PEC farmer whose pack of mini-horses are equine therapy animals. This summer she’s launching a new experience giving families and groups a chance to snuggle up to the miniatures, lead them through an obstacle course, and take home an equine themed treat bag. Horse hugs are welcomed.
Beekeeper Elis Ziegler has expanded their experience this year, offering a Bees & Blooms experience and a Bees & Brunch option. Deepen your connection with nature, pollinators and the food we eat with a unique and immersive adventure. Use all of your senses at Elis’ off-grid homestead while you learn about bees, make a balm, taste seasonal honey, spend time in the People’s Garden and have a locally made snack.
Lovers of the Nordic vibe can rejoice in the opening of SCANDISKIN, a skincare and lifestyle shop inspired by the wellness rituals and rugged landscapes of Scandinavia. At its core, SCANDISKIN is an indie brand of small-batched skincare inspired by the fresh-faced, clean Scandinavian aesthetic. There are also books, candles, tea, art, towels and home spa goods made of natural materials such as wood, wool, hemp, jute, paper, cotton, aluminum, with minimal packaging to help you embrace and celebrate timeless Scandinavian lifestyle concepts.
Bloomfield’s Main Street fixture Garb has a new sister shop. Owner Shyrl Nussey has retired her Brag store brand and launched a boutique called Swan Song in that space. The new shop features clothing, jewelry, and body and skin care products.
Spark Box Studio is popping up in Bloomfield for the summer at Handworks on Main Street. They’ve curated an art gallery that can be viewed from the outside of the tiny building made of entirely of windows!
Susan Jaehn-Kreibaum, owner of The Empty Nest Bed & Breakfast has a new online shop: emptynestshop.ca. The site features granola, body lotion and lovely hand-painted cards by Kate Jaehn-Kreibaum, a watercolour artist based in the County. This is also the place to learn more about and book their workshops on journaling, as well as art and one-on-one guided watercolour classes by a local artist, with plant-based diet workshops coming soon.
The former Fields on West Lake has new owners and a new name—The Eddie Hotel and Farm. Mike and Alex are eager to create spaces for residents and visitors alike. This summer they’re partnering with Festival Players to present the open-air Six Feet Festival. Savour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy a socially distanced evening with some of Canada’s most extraordinary artists. The Eddie also plans to bring in concerts.
Also on site, the former Blooms on West Lake is now Nellie’s Shoppe and Flower Market. More than just flowers, the shop carries hostess gifts, candles, thank you notes and more to help with your next party, bouquet, or apology to your spouse.
The Hayloft Dance Hall has new owners with big plans to expand the venue’s offerings to include comedy, burlesque, drag, cabaret and more! Events will be more intimate, hosting 50 seated guests. They’ll also be open daytime on weekends, with Big Mike’s BBQ serving food and drinks on their patio.
by Sue Hierlihy
Reserve Now, Relax Later
reservation res·er·va·tion/rezərˈvāSH(ə)n/noun: an arrangement whereby something, especially a seat or room, is booked or reserved for a particular person
All indications point to a busy summer 2022 in Prince Edward County. Even though things are returning to some sense of normal, it is still essential to pre-plan your visit.
While capacity limits are back up and most COVID-19 restrictions have been removed, reservations remain a good idea wherever possible. The County is a buzzing place, and not just because of the local bees!
While we do our best to keep on top of opening hours, it continues to be best to check in with businesses themselvesCheck social media posts, or direct message, email or call to make sure that your destination is open and check whether a reservation is needed.
RELATED: Insider tips for a summer County holiday
Make a dinner reservation
Don’t wait to be hungry before you find a place to eat. If you’ve booked a place to stay this summer, start locking in your dining reservations. You can try OpenTable or calling/messaging restaurants directly with your dates. Some restos take reservations only, while others first-come first-served. Even if planning for a meal of takeout or curbside pick, call ahead – many restaurants sell out early, especially on weekends. Lack of planning may result in unnecessary hangry. (Also, see our map of picnic areas, in case dining out means literally eating outside.)
Book a Tour
Make a reservation for a Vintage Car Wine Tour! Join Sam Grosso for a bespoke wine tour in the vintage car of your dreams. The former owner of Toronto’s Cadillac Lounge has found a new calling and will take you on a 4-winery tour in a beautiful automobile from his fleet of vintage cars. Bring your fave playlist and rock the tunes in chauffeured style! For more tour options – including horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, luxury vehicles or taxis – click through to our blog on tours.
Or have County vintages come to you. Sommelier Jay Whiteley will arrive at your door with everything needed to take you on a private wine tasting adventure in the comfort of your holiday home. He’ll lead you through a 90-minute tasting of six of The County’s finest wines and share the stories behind the wines and the history of winemaking in The County.
Book Some Beach Time
If you’ve booked a stay here, you’ll need to plan your days because attractions, including Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas, are expected to continue to be hot spots throughout the summer. Book a day-use permit for Sandbanks or North Beach Provincial Parks. This can be done up to five days in advance of your trip, and guarantees entry. (On a hot, sunny weekend in July, August or September, don’t even consider heading to Sandbanks or North Beach without a permit in hand! The beach closes when full and every season, thousands of vehicles are turned away.)
Please note that for the 2022 summer season, entry to the Wellington Rotary Beach will be $10 per person, 7 days a week in July and August. Entry to Little Bluff Conservation Area comes with a $15 parking fee that can be paid at the gate or through Pay by Phone. Free entry at Wellington Rotary Beach returns September 30th and parking at Little Bluff returns to standard rates after Labour Day Weekend.
During peak summer months, beaches and outdoor spaces are especially busy and thousands of unprepared visitors are turned away every day. Do not head to the beach without a reservation (where possible) and checking these channels in advance:
- Sandbanks and North Beach – Check SandbanksPP on Twitter
- Wellington Rotary Beach – Check Prince Edward County on Twitter or Facebook
- Little Bluff and other Conservation Areas – Check Quinte Conservation for closures and other information.
RELATED: 2022 Visitor Checklist
Experience The County
Get to know The County on a deeper level by spending time with farmers, foragers and artists who are keen to share their love of land and local.
The Bloomin’ Welly Alpaca Trekk shows guests what they wouldn’t normally see on a farm tour, encouraging visitors to connect with the land and the animals and see how they work together. There’ll be plenty of time to spend with the alpacas, and guests will also be encouraged to keep a keen eye for how Noble Beast Farms works to create a welcoming environment to native flora and fauna, and give back to the land.
Bees and Blooms, offered by the Curious Goat General Store, lets guests see the world through a bee’s eyes, highlighting how the hive works together and pollinates the plants that put food on our tables. Guests will taste honey collected through the season, make their own bee balm, and plant or harvest from The People’s Garden, depending on the season. Guests have the option of adding a County-proud charcuterie-forward brunch.
Equine Soul Session invites guests to slow down at Heal with Horses, a non-profit therapeutic centre. Guests will walk back to a clearing in the woods, where they’ll be introduced to tree meditation and horse activities, including delivering a massage to the horses using special grooming gloves and special techniques. This is a powerful experience, surrounded by these huge but gentle beasts! This is about horse encounters, country food and quiet walks.
PAUSE at Melt Studio Gallery. Pause starts with the Japanese tradition of shin-rin yoku or forest bathing. You’ll be led on a meditative nature walk by a local herbalist who will help you to connect to nature, identifying local plants, and teaching you about their medicinal and healing properties. The idea is that you will feel a sense of calm and clarity that will inspire a piece of art that you create yourself. After your nature walk, you will then return to Melt studio, where you will compose a collage encaustic painting under the guidance of Susan Wallis, an experienced encaustic artist. You’ll create an original art piece using items collected during your walk.
See a Show and Take in Some Tunes
Entertainment is back in The County! There are shows galore planned for this year, from live music and comedy to the Festival Players’ chockablock season. Check out our event listing for a full round-up of reservable activities for your visit.
Go for a Float
See the sights of Picton Harbour with Captain Larry or Captain Mike at Picton Harbour Pontoon Boat Tours. There are plenty of sailing and charter options available if you’re aiming to get on the water. Check out our blog on ways to go beyond the beach.
For kayaking and canoeing, make a reservation with Cabin Fever Kayaks or PEC Kayaks and refer to our blog on where to canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard for where to get on the water.
Ride a Horse
Book a trail ride with Diamond J Ranch. Enjoy a scenic mountain ride through fields and woods overlooking Picton Bay. They cater to families and groups, and inexperienced riders are welcome. Pony rides are available for the little ones. Farm tours can also be booked at Lamb’s Quarters Farm in Picton and Campbell’s Orchards on the shores of the Bay of Quinte.
Tee up a wine tour
Hoping to set up a tasting tour of County wineries or cideries? Download the new Wine Explorer app from the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association. The app can match your personal wine preferences with bottles on offer at local wineries. It also includes detailed profiles, as well as lists of unique – and bookable! – wine activities and elevated tastings. Discover which wineries will welcome your dog.
Escape Camp Picton
If you truly want to escape, we’ve got you covered! Escape Camp Picton, located at The County’s authentic WWII era gunnery training school, is launching an outdoor escape room in 2021, plus two indoor escapes for you and your bubble. This unique escape room takes inspiration from its location – blending heritage, history and an unforgettable game experience.
Looking for more ideas? We have lots of trip planning information here.
By Sue Hierlihy (Updated April 2022)
How to Do a Prince Edward County Wine Tour Without Driving 🚗
A wine tour (or beer or cider tour) is an iconic County experience. But being the DD while your friends giggle into their bubbly can be a drag. Here’s how to book a tour and/or a guide who’ll help you discover handcrafted wines, inventively brewed beers, deliciously dry ciders, sweet and surprising mead, not to mention the spirits on offer at the distilleries.
PLEASE NOTE: COVID-19 containment measures are keeping us hopping – new announcements about what’s open are being made every day. Please call ahead to be sure activities are still available. Find essential COVID travel info here.
Let someone else do the driving
Cronkie’s Tours Plus lets you set the route; they provide the vehicle and driver. They can accommodate from one to 15 passengers for a wine tour.
Prince Edward County Wine Tours takes you to four or five wineries on a half-day tour or seven stops for the full day tour. It’s more than just a ride, it’s an insight into the history of the region, the wineries, the grape growing process and what makes the wineries unique.
A wine tour with Sandbanks Vacations & Tours is led by guides who determine your wine preferences, then design a route to suit, taking in some of the The County’s hidden gems.
Or have County vintages come to you. Sommelier Jay Whiteley will arrive at your door with everything needed to take you on a private wine tasting adventure in the comfort of your holiday home. He’ll lead you through a 90-minute tasting of six of The County’s finest wines and share the stories behind the wines and the history of winemaking in The County.
RELATED: Summer 2021 Visitor Checklist
Go for something totally unique and book with Vintage Car Wine Tours. Sam Grosso’s been collecting classic cars for years – he’s got Lincolns and Chevys and Oldsmobiles from the 50s, 60s and 70s in classic and candy colours. Take the backroads in style!
A County Experience focuses on private, bespoke tours, exploring wineries, breweries, farms, artisanal cheese makers and great dining experiences. Guide Chris Pengelly will take guests behind the scenes, or bring the scene to them. He’ll also lead customized tastings in the comfort of your vacation accommodations.
The County Wine Tours takes in more than just wine. Focusing on the features of Closson Road – where you can find The County’s main concentration of wineries – tours include stops at four to five wineries, a minimum of 12 samples and a stop at Prince Edward County Lavender and SHED alpaca farm. They can also do a wine tour by bicycle.
RELATED: Reserve Now, Relax Later
Zac and Luhana Littlejohn run a farm-based workshops focusing on culinary pursuits like the lost art of sourdough fermentation, but they also offer County wine tours that can be customized and come with an optional picnic to complete the day.
Half and full-day tours are offered at Tina’s Wine Tours, which includes visits to award-winning wineries to sample incredible wines and learn the history of wine-making and how grapes are grown here.
Sommelier Ian Nicholls leads County Sips tours, starting in Kingston taking in five County wineries. With a wine expert at the helm, you can expect to learn about The County’s terroir and what goes into produce an award-winning vintage.
Two wheels and a corkscrew
A bicycle tour can be one of the best ways to see The County and if you’re interested in a spin around Hillier‘s wineries, you can see and taste quite a lot without having to pedal too far. Greer and Closson Roads are the epicentre and Closson Road Cycles starts you off in the middle of things. You can do a self-guided tour moving at your own pace, or join a guided tour that will take you to three or four wineries.
County Bike Rentals will bring the bike to you, and collect you when you’re done, taking the guess work out of how to get back to your accommodations. Rentals include a helmet, lock, light, map, water bottle and emergency road service, with folding bikes and mass rentals available for big groups.
RELATED: Insider tips for a Summer County Holiday
Bloomfield Bicycle Co. is a meeting place for cyclists living in and visiting The County, with group rides of varying skills offered throughout the week. Their website also has a wealth of information on cycling routes and they produce the hugely popular cycling map of Prince Edward County. In addition to bike sales, they also offer bike rentals from Bloomfield.
Ideal Bike in Wellington can get you outfitted with all you need for a self-guided cycling tour of The County, and can tune up any problems that might arise with your own set of wheels. They’re also a source for fat bikes, if serious trails or winter riding is your thing.
If the sound of a bicycle appeals, but not the actual pedaling, consider a hybrid electric bike from Pedego Prince Edward County. Pedal as much as you like or twist the throttle to add a bit of extra push and see as little or as much of The County as you like. An e-bike can help you get up the hills or the windy roads of Waupoos. There are 16 bikes available, including a tandem bike, and a lesson to be sure you’re competent/comfortable operating the bike. Their location is conveniently next to the newly refurbished Millennium Trail, which provides an off-road corridor to travel the entirety of The County.
If you’re looking for electric bike rentals closer to Sandbanks, East Lake Electric Bike Rentals and Sales has your back. Theyruns out of the old East Lake Canning Factory on County Rd. 11 just two minutes down from Sandbanks Provincial Park and they sell and rent speciality Daymak electric bikes and mobility scooters. They also offer weekly bike tours on Saturdays.
Just east of Wellington is Westlake EBikes, which rents and sells a variety of E-Bike types. Their rental bikes are designed to be comfy enough to use all day, and capable enough to go anywhere in PEC. The bikes can be booked via their website, and picked up next day or they can deliver them to where ever you would like to start your journey from.
Cyclists share the road with vehicles, other cyclists, pedestrians and even tractors in our neck of the woods. Anyone operating a bicycle should take the same precautions as if they were driving a car when it comes to navigating the roads and alcohol consumption. Always wear a helmet, keep hydrated, obey the rules of the road and call your rental company or a taxi if you need a pick-up.
The County Carriage Co. offers wine tours via horse-drawn carriage, a scenic way to take in the beauty of the vineyards, shorelines and rich history of The County. ‘Nuff said.
Hail a taxi
Taxis can be chartered for a tour in advance – keep in mind that you’re in the country, so there’s really no such thing as “hailing a taxi” but taxi details are worth keeping on hand even if you’re headed for dinner and want a drink or two with your meal.
Cronkie’s Cab Company covers The County, as does Terry’s Taxi and Taxi Guy. They’re all familiar with the various wineries and can help you decide where to go.
Walk to the local watering hole
Staying in town? There are a few spots where you can walk to craft beverage businesses or even the nearby pub that carries County products and go on a virtual tour from the comfort of your table.
In Picton head downtown to The County Canteen or Acoustic Grill for local and seasonal offerings of beer, wine and cider. Hartleys Tavern doesn’t disappoint with its wine list either! If you’re up for the 4km walk you can do a walking tour of Parsons / Prince Eddy’s / 555 Brewing Co. Black Prince Winery is on the western edge of town but worth the trek to nosh on their wood-fired pizza and try samples from Canadian Vinegar Cellars onsite. Off the Sandy Hook exit on our beloved roundabout you can stop in to The Waring House for a ‘County Sampler’ on weekends – reserve your spot! Or keep trekking for Barley Days Brewery. If it’s hot, reward yourself with a brain-numbingly cold cider slushie from Crimson Cider.
Those staying in Bloomfield can duck over to Matron Fine Beer to try what’s on tap or pick up takeout cans. Or get what’s local and on-tap at Flame + Smith or the Bloomfield Public House Market.
Anyone staying in Wellington is spoiled for choice with East & Main, La Condesa and Drake Devonshire each highlighting locally sourced bevies on their menus. Bonus: Midtown Brewing Company is right in the centre of town.
Whether you’re getting to and fro via horse or your own two legs, remember that The County’s wine, beer, spirits and cider are about the terroir – not getting tanked. Refuel with plenty of water throughout the day, indulge in the wide variety of local eateries popping up at almost every winery/brewery, and don’t feel badly about not drinking the whole tasting flight – that’s what the spittoon is for. And never drink and drive.
Content updated May 2021