Festivals, Nature, and the City

Kitchener-Waterloo is home to more than 200 parks, hosts the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany, and claims to be the birthplace of the humble yet hugely popular apple fritter. If this alone isn’t enough to convince you to visit the region lovingly referred to as the “K-W”, check the schedule of countless festivals of world music, food, culture, and art that draw in thousands of annual visitors. This is a city that knows how to party. There’s also a rich cultural and historical heritage to explore.

Bring the kids to experience the interactive art and science exhibits at The Museum in the city’s center or travel back in time with living history museums like the Joseph Schneider Haus or the Doon Heritage Village, which recreate 19th-century rural village life. Or head to the northern edge of the city to the St. Jacobs Farmers Market, the largest year-round market of its kind in Canada. Afterward, check out the world-class live performing arts theater, the Centre in the Square, explore local restaurants and cafés, or stretch out by the man-made lake in historic Victoria Park, the city’s crown jewel. If you’re up for it, hike along the scenic corridor from Kitchener to Waterloo via the Iron Horse Trail, which is one of several trails open year-round, and part of an extensive system that stretches out for hundreds of miles.