On Tuesday, I blogged about going to 1000 Islands Gananoque with the family for a short getaway. When visiting the area, you’ll find that there are so many things to do even though it’s a small town. There’s countless beautiful, picturesque photo opps around the town, from the Town Hall to the Waterfront area, to the lovely neighbourhoods filled with gorgeous, huge heritage homes. For this trip, we also checked out the Arthur Child Heritage Museum, The Haunted Walk Experience and the 1000 Island Boat Cruise.
The Arthur Child Heritage Museum is located on the waterfront, in Downtown Gananoque. It’s housed in a two storey heritage building that was originally the main station for the Thousand Islands Railway, until passenger service ended in 1962. The museum features the culture and natural history of the 1000 islands. It is run by a non-profit organization, features a seasonal collection and a gift shop on the main floor and the permanent collection on the second floor.
When we arrived at the museum, we were greeted by a lovely woman who told us all about the museum – and funny enough, her twin actually works the gift shop. After we made our donation, we walked the temporary exhibit – Back in the Day: Dated Technology. The kids loved this exhibit of “old people stuff” especially the old cameras, a pram that my mom actually owned and pushed me in, some creepy dolls and a phonograph. The second floor is a much larger collection filled with interactive displays detailing the importance of the St. Lawrence River. Make sure you don’t miss the chance to “drive” the St. Lawrence River in the Wheelhouse in the Tower – definitely a kid favourite.
I’ve always been curious about the Haunted Walks in Kingston but have never taken one until our Gananoque weekend. The kids and I met our guide, Morgan for a special private walk – with some other guides. It was a 90 minute walk, with several stops along the way, filled with creepy ghost stories at each stop. Our guide Morgan was just fantastic – the amount of information she was able to retain and deliver in a fun and interesting way was beyond impressive.
It was a fun way to spend 90 minutes, learning about some spooky Gananoque history. I was unsure how the kids would like it, but they were really into it, asking questions and staring at me with giant eyeballs in some of the scarier points of the tour, especially the eight year old. It was great fun and we would absolutely do it again, especially in our hometown of Kingston.
There are Haunted Walks held in Kingston, Toronto and Ottawa on a regular schedule which you can see here. Locally, you can find the Kingston Original Haunted Walk, Ghosts of the Fort (at Fort Henry) and of course, the Gananoque Haunted Walk, which will run July 11, 25, August 8, 22 this summer.
We ended our weekend with a boat cruise touring the Thousand Islands with Gananoque Boat Line. There are a few options of day cruises available – the 1-hour Beauty of the Islands Cruise, the 1-hour Ivy League Cruise, the 2.5-hour Lost Ships of the 1000 Islands Cruise and the 5-hour Boldt Castle Stopover Cruise. We decided on the 2.5 hour cruise – we didn’t have our passports on hand for the Boldt Castle Stopover Cruise, and we figured the 1-hour would be too short.
The husband joined us for the cruise and we boarded at 10:30a.m. with a large crowd of people. If you’re keen to sit on the top level which the majority of the people were, you will want to arrive early to get a seat. We sat on the second level, in the uncovered section, on a bench facing the water, and personally I think it was the best spot to sit. Close to snacks and the bathrooms for the little people, and more importantly, the perfect place to take lots of great pics of notable points along the cruise, many of which were located on the right side of the boat. WIN! I took 200 photographs on the boat alone so you’ll want to make sure not to forget to bring it along.
Throughout the tour, there is an audio tour spoken in English and French, pointing out important points on the tour including Millionaire’s Row, the smallest international bridge in the world, and Boldt Castle. It just a lovely way to spend some time on the water and learn about the sights as well. The cruise was really relaxing and enjoyable and I’m glad we chose the 2.5 hour option – I think the 1-hr would have been way too short. This is an absolute must-do when you’re visiting the area.
Do you want to have the chance to take a 1000 Islands Getaway?? Attractions Ontario is giving away an ULTIMATE GANANOQUE GETAWAY as part of their “Explore Ontario Summer Contest”. With a value of $1,200, the contest will include: 2 nights accommodations for a family of 4, theatre tickets, a $50 gift certificate for a downtown business of your choice, tickets on board the famous Gananoque Boat Lines 1000 Islands Tour, 4 tickets to The Haunted Walk Experience: Gananoque, and finally a ride in a helicopter! Plus, $100 Bonus Bucks from Pioneer! The contest ends in TWO weeks on July 23, 2015 so make sure to go enter asap.
*This post was sponsored by Attractions Ontario, but my experiences and opinions are my own.*