10 Fun Things to Do this Civic Holiday Long Weekend

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Celebrate the Long Weekend with Bestival, Big Splash, Butterflies and more!

With Step 3 in full swing in Waterloo Region, there’s a growing list of area attractions and events that are welcoming back visitors, and going above and beyond to make sure their guests feel safe while having fun. We recommend contacting each business directly for the most up-to-date information on what you may need to know for your visit, hours of operation and if you need to make a reservation/buy tickets in advance.

Also, don’t forget to download your WR Playcation Pass for even more ideas of things to do – and check in at participating locations for your chance to WIN! 

In no particular order, here are some fun things to do in Waterloo Region this long weekend!

10 Ways to Enjoy the Civic Holiday Long Weekend 

people of all ages enjoying the wave pool at Bingemans on a blue sky summer day. There are white pool chairs on the deck and a view of Big Splash waterslides in the background
Bingemans Big Splash Wave Pool

Bingemans: Keep the whole family entertained all long weekend at Bingemans! There’s Big Splash waterpark, Kingpin bowling, On the Grand drive in theatre, mini golf , along with lots of food and drink options to keep you going. With so much to do you might just want to make it a weekend getaway! Bingeman’s offers plenty of camping options, including on-site log cabins and container cabins. 

Fun at Bingemans

Belmont Village Bestival: This year’s Bestival takes place all summer long, and includes music, workshops and more on Saturday, July 31! There’s fun for all ages: registration is required. There are also lots of food and drink options to enjoy throughout Belmont Village to make sure you’re fueled for the festival! 

Bestival Schedule

CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area): The CAFKA.21 biennial, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, brings art to public spaces across Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge. CAFKA welcomes everyone to safely enjoy one of the largest free festivals of contemporary art in the region. There is a downloadable Program Guide that includes a map that will lead you to this year’s artwork locations.  

CAFKA Program Guide

African Lion Safari: African Lion Safari offers an exclusive experience called “Wake Up The Wild” where you’ll get EVEN closer to the animals during a privately guided tour with a Game Warden. You’ll witness a pride of lions at their most active time of day and as they devour their morning meal. Then, head off road in an open-air truck and come within a metre of endangered rhino, zebra, ostrich, as well as the opportunity to hand feed Canada’s largest herd of giraffe! You can also drive through the game reserves, walk along Tusker Trail, cool off at Misumu Bay Wetplay and more. 

Head Out On Safari

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory: Spend a morning or afternoon surrounded by 1000’s of free flying butterflies in a beautiful, tropical setting?? Yes please! The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is also home to finches, quails, turtles, hundreds of tropical plants and waterfalls. Not only that, the Conservatory recently made history by participating in the first-ever reintroduction of an endangered butterfly (the Mottled Duskywing Butterfly) in Ontario!

Tickets to Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway: St. Jacobs & Aberfoyle Model Railway is opening just in time for the long weekend! Beginning July 31st, you’ll be able to transport back in time to the late 1950’s in Southern Ontario and watch ‘O’ scale model freight trains and passenger cars recreate the era of great train journeys.

Hours and Tickets

Queen of Hearts Tea House & Gift Shop: Afternoon Tea anyone? Queen of Hearts Tea House & Gift Shop is now accepting weekend reservations for an indoor Afternoon Tea experience. Would you rather enjoy your tea al fresco? Not a problem! Take your afternoon spot of tea and tasty treats to-go and enjoy at one of your favourite parks in the region. 

Reservations and Tea-To-Go

Old Post Office Light Show: By day, Idea Exchange’s Old Post Office is a beautiful, award-winning building in Cambridge’s downtown. But on select nights, the building becomes even more spectacular thanks to its digital light shows! Watch as visual effects transform the Old Post Office Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night – and tune your car radio to FM 92.5 to listen to the music that has been choreographed with the show. 

Light Show Dates and Times

Live Music at The Ridge Social Eatery: Live music anyone? The Ridge Social Eatery in Ayr is kicking off its Summer Patio Series on the long weekend with a special concert featuring Steve Ashton. It’s happening Saturday night at 6 pm.; reservations recommended and the concert is weather permitting. 

Summer Patio Series Live Music

Art Fresco Table Trail: See how many tables you can check off the Art Fresco Table Trail this long weekend! The Art Fresco Table Trail is a series of unique picnic tables hand painted by talented local artisans. These extraordinary pieces are being hosted at various restaurants and patios around the Region. Sign-up for the free mobile Art Fresco Table Trail Passport to discover these tables and support local eateries. Plus, every check in-represents a chance to win big prizes! 

Hop On the Art Fresco Table Trail

BONUS Things to Do!

Long Weekend in the Village of St. Jacobs: From the New St. Jacobs Art Walk to high tea, tent sales and special food and drink offerings – there’s lots happening in the Village of St. Jacobs this long weekend!

Rediscover the Long Weekend in St. Jacobs

Waterloo Region Trails: Nothing says ‘long weekend’ like time spent in the great outdoors! Whether you’re looking for leisurely paths that meander into city parks and past historic sites, or trails that wind their way through scenic countryside’s and forests, there’s a route for you to explore in Waterloo Region. Check out this list of trails to hit up and enjoy the long weekend! 

Waterloo Region Trails

a female hiker walking along a forrested portion of the Health Valley Trail in Woolwich Township and passing by the Wise Old Oak - a large old oak tree that has the image of a face carved into it
The #WiseOdOak on the Health Valley Trail


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