39 Best Places And Things To Do in Peterborough, Canada

Peterborough is a charming city located in the province of Ontario, Canada. Known for its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Peterborough offers a variety of attractions and activities for both residents and visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Peterborough:

1. Riverview Park and Zoo

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g155008-d1825499-Reviews-Riverview_Park_and_Zoo-Peterborough_Ontario.html

This free-to-enter zoo is a fantastic family-friendly destination. It features various animals, including lemurs, kangaroos, snow leopards, and more. The park also has a playground, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails along the Otonabee River.

2. Canadian Canoe Museum

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2021/04/29/construction-of-peterboroughs-new-canadian-canoe-museum-begins-this-fall-with-projected-summer-2023-opening/

For those interested in Canadian heritage and culture, the Canadian Canoe Museum is a must-visit. It houses an impressive collection of canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft, showcasing the history of water travel in Canada.

3. Peterborough Lift Loc

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/businesses/peterborough-lift-lock/

Known as the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, this engineering marvel is a part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Watching boats being raised or lowered through the lift lock is a fascinating sight.

4. Downtown Peterborough

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2021/05/26/changes-coming-to-downtown-peterborough-streets-in-preparation-for-step-one-of-ontarios-reopening-plan-on-june-14/

The downtown area is filled with charming boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and local shops. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, exploring unique items, and enjoying a diverse culinary experience.

5. Jackson Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g155008-d8536271-Reviews-Jackson_Park-Peterborough_Ontario.html

This beautiful park offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It features walking trails, gardens, and a pond, making it a perfect spot for picnics and relaxation.

6. Arts and Culture

Image Source: https://welcomepeterborough.ca/why-peterborough/arts-culture/

Peterborough has a thriving arts scene, including theaters, galleries, and live music venues. The Showplace Performance Centre and the Market Hall Performing Arts Centre regularly host shows and concerts.

7. Del Crary Park

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/businesses/del-crary-park/

Located at the heart of the city, Del Crary Park is the venue for various festivals and events throughout the year. It’s an excellent spot for waterfront activities and attending community gatherings.

8. Lang Pioneer Village Museum

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/businesses/lang-pioneer-village-museum/

History enthusiasts will enjoy this living history museum, which recreates a 19th-century village. It offers a glimpse into early Canadian life through interactive exhibits and demonstrations.9. Otonabee River Trail: Enjoy a relaxing walk or bike ride along the Otonabee River Trail, which winds its way through scenic landscapes and offers picturesque views of the river and its surroundings.

9. Kawartha Farmfest

Image Source: https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/things-to-do/kawartha-farmfest-returns-for-2020-with-health-protocols-in-place/article_b9e6dc78-3ff3-54d4-a9d4-2e85b612a040.html?

If you visit in the summer, consider exploring the Kawartha Farmfest, where you can experience the region’s agricultural heritage. Participate in farm tours, enjoy local produce, and engage in family-friendly activities.

10. Peterborough Museum and Archives

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/tag/Peterborough+Museum+and+Archives

Delve into the city’s history at the Peterborough Museum and Archives. The museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that shed light on Peterborough’s past, including its Indigenous heritage and industrial development.

11. Golfing

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g155008-Activities-c61-t60-Peterborough_Ontario.html

Golf enthusiasts will find several top-notch golf courses in and around Peterborough. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, these courses offer scenic landscapes and enjoyable challenges.

12. Riverview Heights Disc Golf Course

Image Source: https://www.discgolfscene.com/courses/Riverview_Park_ON/Hole_2/9899

Try your hand at disc golf at Riverview Heights Disc Golf Course. It’s a fun and unique way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

13. Farmers’ Markets

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2019/04/17/peterborough-downtown-farmers-market-reopens-for-the-season-on-may-1/

Peterborough hosts various farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh, locally-grown produce, artisanal products, and handmade crafts. The Peterborough Farmers’ Market, in particular, is one of the oldest markets in Ontario.

14. Breweries and Wineries

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/business-types/breweries-distilleries-wineries/

For the adults, Peterborough has a burgeoning craft beer and wine scene. Explore local breweries and wineries, taste their creations, and learn about the brewing and winemaking processes.

15. Winter Activities

Image Source: https://www.todocanada.ca/25-things-to-do-outdoors-during-winter-in-and-around-peterborough/

In the colder months, Peterborough offers opportunities for winter sports like ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Jackson Park and Beavermead Park are popular spots for winter fun.

16. Festivals and Events

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2023/06/30/15-family-fun-events-happening-this-canada-day-weekend-in-the-kawarthas/

Throughout the year, Peterborough hosts various festivals and events, celebrating everything from arts and music to food and cultural diversity. Check the city’s event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

17. Cycling Trails

Image Source: https://hikebiketravel.com/cycling-in-peterborough-ontario-over-3-days/

If you enjoy cycling, the city and its surrounding areas have numerous scenic trails to explore. The Rotary Greenway Trail and Trans Canada Trail are worth considering for a leisurely bike ride.

18. Ode’ min Kwe Sculpture Park

Image Source: https://www.welovepeterborough.co.uk/listing-items/peterborough-sculpture-park/

This park showcases beautiful indigenous sculptures and artwork, providing insights into First Nations culture and traditions.

19. Wild Water & Wheels

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/2019/5/20/wild-water-amp-wheels-pipeline-express-coaster-has-closed-down

This water park offers a thrilling experience with waterslides, pools, and fun activities, making it an excellent choice for families and kids.

20. Trent University Nature Areas

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g155008-d15217609-Reviews-Trent_University_Wildlife_Sanctuary-Peterborough_Ontario.html

If you love nature and hiking, the Trent University Nature Areas are a must-visit. These conservation areas offer beautiful trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and meadows, providing a chance to spot local wildlife and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

21. Art Gallery of Peterborough

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g155008-d1830291-Reviews-Art_Gallery_of_Peterborough-Peterborough_Ontario.html

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Art Gallery of Peterborough, which features a diverse collection of Canadian and Indigenous art. The gallery frequently hosts exhibitions and art-related events.

22. Cycling Tours

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/see-do/cycling/

Consider taking a guided cycling tour to explore the city’s hidden gems and learn about its history from a local perspective. Tour operators often tailor the tours to suit your interests and fitness level.

23. Escape Rooms

Image Source: https://ultimateontario.com/peterborough-escape-maze/

Challenge your problem-solving skills by participating in one of Peterborough’s escape rooms. Gather a group of friends or family and work together to solve puzzles and escape within a set time limit.

24. Peterborough Speedway

Image Source: https://www.hollyland.com/blog/case-studies/fast-and-furious

If you’re a motorsports fan, check the schedule at Peterborough Speedway. Enjoy a thrilling night of stock car racing and witness local drivers showcasing their skills on the track.

25. Peterborough Musicfest

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/businesses/peterborough-musicfest/

If you visit during the summer, don’t miss Peterborough Musicfest, a free outdoor concert series held in Del Crary Park. Enjoy performances by local and well-known artists across various genres.

26. Treetop Trekking Peterborough

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/2017/5/29/ptbocanada-featured-post-we-experienced-treetop-trekking-and-it-was-awesome

Experience an adrenaline rush by taking on treetop aerial courses and zip lines at Treetop Trekking. It’s an adventure park suitable for individuals, families, and groups looking for a fun challenge.

27. Ghost Tours

Image Source: https://www.viator.com/en-CA/tours/Toronto/Original-Haunted-Walk-of-Toronto-Ghost-Tour/d623-315955P3

If you’re a fan of spooky stories and history, consider joining a guided ghost tour of Peterborough’s haunted sites. Learn about the city’s eerie legends and ghostly encounters as you explore its darker past.

28. Jackson Creek Kiwanis Trail

Image Source: https://ontarionaturetrails.com/trail/jackson-creek-kiwanis-trail/

This picturesque trail follows the banks of Jackson Creek, providing a serene escape in the heart of the city. It’s a great place for walking, jogging, or simply enjoying nature.

29. Mapleridge Recreation Centre

Image Source: https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news/mapleridge-recreation-centre-re-opening-april-1/article_d430f2e3-d471-52ba-8427-7aafe04b829a.html?

If you’re visiting Peterborough during winter, Mapleridge Recreation Centre offers opportunities for ice skating, hockey, and other winter sports.

30. Axe Throwing

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/businesses/peterborough-axe-club/

Test your accuracy and release some stress by trying your hand at axe throwing. Several venues in Peterborough offer this unique and entertaining activity.

31. Peterborough’s Waterfront

Image Source: https://kawarthanow.com/2023/03/30/peterboroughs-canadian-canoe-museum-announces-new-waterfront-campus-thanks-to-a-1-8-million-gift/

Spend time along the waterfront area, where you can enjoy scenic views, have a leisurely stroll, or relax in one of the parks overlooking the Otonabee River.

32. Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/event/buckhorn-festival-of-the-arts/2022-08-13/

If you visit during August, consider attending the Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival. This annual event showcases exceptional wildlife art and attracts talented artists and art enthusiasts from around the country.

33. Evinrude Centre

Image Source: https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news/peterborough-region/evinrude-centre-to-become-the-healthy-planet-arena/article_be993d0d-380b-5d79-ab13-aec10d9134dd.html

If you’re interested in sports and recreation, the Evinrude Centre is a popular venue for ice skating, hockey, and other indoor activities. It offers public skating sessions and hosts various sports events throughout the year.

34. Kawartha Craft Beer Festival

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/tag/5th+Annual+Kawartha+Craft+Beer+Festival

Beer aficionados shouldn’t miss the Kawartha Craft Beer Festival, usually held in the summer. This festival features craft breweries from the region, offering a wide array of unique and flavorful brews.

35. Lakefield Farmers’ Market

Image Source: https://thekawarthas.ca/event/lakefield-farmers-market-2/2023-08-10/

Just a short drive from Peterborough, the Lakefield Farmers’ Market is another excellent spot to explore local produce, crafts, and artisanal goods in a picturesque setting.

36. Lang-Hastings Trail

Image Source: https://www.ptbocanada.com/journal/ptbocanada-featured-post-explore-33-kilometres-of-the-lang-hastings-trail-from-peterborough-to-hastings

For cycling and hiking enthusiasts, the Lang-Hastings Trail offers a scenic and historic route, passing through beautiful landscapes, wetlands, and farmlands.

37. The Canadian Canoe Museum’s Paddling Film Festival

Image Source: https://www.familyfuncanada.com/canadas-canoe-museum-paddling-back-through-history/

If you’re passionate about canoeing and paddling, keep an eye out for the Paddling Film Festival hosted by The Canadian Canoe Museum. Enjoy inspiring films and documentaries centered around water sports.

38. Milltown Mini Golf

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g155008-d3961930-Reviews-Milltown_Mini_Golf-Peterborough_Ontario.html

Have some family-friendly fun at Milltown Mini Golf, which features a well-designed mini-golf course with challenging obstacles and a delightful atmosphere.

39. Kawartha Lakes Boat Cruises

Image Source: https://www.todocanada.ca/north-kawarthas-stoney-lake-cruises/

Take a leisurely boat cruise on one of the Kawartha Lakes and enjoy the serene surroundings and scenic views.