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bowling funKemptville is far from the sleepy Ottawa bedroom community some people think it is.

There are a ton of things to do, and the range of activities may surprise you. From playing sports to making art to enjoying the outdoors, Kemptville has a lot on the table for its residents — and year-round, too.

This list of shows just some of the things that Kemptville has to offer for sports fans, fitness enthusiasts, dancers, artsy types, and nature lovers. It’s arranged based on activity type, and we’ve indicated if they’re family friendly.

For Active People or Sports Fans

Here are a few ideas that sporty types or those looking to be more active will want to check out.

1. Try Geocaching

  • Family Friendly

Geocaching is all-ages fun for the whole family. Using specific coordinates shared on  www.geocaching.com, you can find hidden objects around North Grenville. It’s one giant treasure hunt that goes on all year!

It’s easy to participate in geocaching. Simply visit the website above and make a free account. Then enter the coordinates of an object into your GPS device or smartphone. When you find the object, make sure to sign your logbook and return the cached item to its original location so other people can enjoy it. And don’t forget to snap a photo or two and share your geocaching experience.

You can sign out GPS kits using your library card at the North Grenville Public library. To find out more about geocaching in the area, visit Geocache NG.

2. Practice Your Tennis Serve

  • Family Friendly

Whether you like a friendly volley or competitive games, the Kemptville Community Tennis Club is a great place to be active.

They offer 2 kinds of memberships: $20/person and $50/family. With a membership you have access to things like group lessons, and dedicated court times. They even offer summer camps for kids! You can find out more on their Facebook page.

3. Hit the Bowling Lanes

  • Family Friendly

If five-pin bowling is more your style, visit Kemptville Bowling Lanes. It is open year-round and operates seven days a week. On the weekends, it offers cosmic bowling, with dance music and glow in the dark lanes for added fun.

Special rates are offered to families, too, which can make this a fantastic idea for an outing with your kids. You might want to call ahead, though, as the hours of operation can change on a moment’s notice.

Winter charity special event: There’s a free, all-ages special event coming up on the evening of Saturday, February 25, 2017: the Tim Hortons Bowl for Kids Sake. 5-person teams will be collecting pledges in advance and then bowling to support local programs offered to help kids. If you register before the end of Friday, February 3, you will be entered into an early bird draw for a chance to win some great prizes.

4. Practice Power Yoga

Yoga is not just for the city folks – top sports stars (and even pro wrestlers) do it to achieve their peak potential. The Kemptville Training Centre offers power yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 PM and on Saturdays at 7 AM.

What is power yoga? It focuses on increasing stamina, lung capacity and muscle tone through movement and generating body heat. While it is safe for all ages and fitness levels, be aware that there are very few breaks — it’s more of a cardiovascular workout. Still, it is fairly low impact, which creates less stress on your muscle joints.

You need to bring a yoga mat, lots of water to prevent dehydration, and a towel. Wear comfortable clothing. If you drop in for a session, the cost is $12. If you want to sign up for more, prices range from $55 for five classes to $400 for a year’s worth of sessions.

5. Rent a Canoe, Kayak, or Stand-Up Paddle Board

  • Family Friendly

Once the weather warms up, you might have the urge to go paddling.

Drifters Outdoors Canoe and Kayak Rentals offers canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards for an hour ($20) to five hours ($50) or more. If you don’t know how to paddle, day and evening classes are available.

Prices vary for these lessons, though all paddling and safety equipment is provided.

For more details,  check out their Facebook page.

6. Go Golfing

Did you know that Kemptville has an award-winning golf course? When the snow melts, why not enjoy eQuinelle Golf Club. It has a dynamic pricing model, which means how much you pay depends on demand, weather conditions, the time of day and time of year. You can also go all out and get a membership if you plan to hit the greens more often.

Don’t know how to play? No problem. The course offers lessons for adults. It now also has a non-profit program that selects 13 older local children, gives them golf clubs if needed, and teaches them the game. There are no barriers here to learning golf, so think about giving it a try.

For Dancers

There’s a couple of things you may want to give a whirl if you enjoy moving your feet.

7. Try Highland Dancing

  • Family Friendly

Put on those Scottish kilts and break out your ghillies (shoes). Kemptville’s Andrea Goral School of Highland Dancing offers classes for children aged four and older, and adults aged 19 and over. Classes take place almost all year round, with a summer break in July and August.

If you’re not quite sure if this is something your child might want to do, the school offers a six-class trial period for $100. You may want to check their website from time to time, too, as free adult classes are offered now and then.

All in all, this might be a great cultural activity for you and your children to get involved in. More information can be found on the school’s Facebook page.

8. Get Your Tap Shoes On

If highland dancing is not your style, you may want to try tap dancing. Kemptville’s Workshop Dance Studio offers classes specifically tailored for adult beginners.

Offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays, these one hour classes start with stretches before diving into various dance combinations. As you learn how to tap, the classes gradually become more difficult with more complex music. You can keep going after you’re finished with the basics, though. The studio offers private lessons to those who are more advanced.

The Workshop Dance Studio also offers nightclub aerobics, which combines exercise with music, and other forms of dance lessons, including jazz and line dancing. This might be a great place to check out even if tap isn’t for you, but are interested in other ways of keeping active. Contact the studio for pricing information.

9. Go Square Dancing

Square dancing is easy to learn, fun, and a great opportunity to socialize. Kemptville’s Square Dance Club, the Grenville Gremlins, dance practically every Monday night in Leslie Hall on Clothier Street.

This is a great way to liven up the colder months: the Gremlins dance from mid-September to the beginning of April (their schedule is available online on their web site). You can also drop in some Monday night – they would be pleased to show you what they’re all about.

This class is mostly enjoyed by adults, but they’re open to young people as well.

For Artsy Types

There are things to do in Kemptville if you have an itch to play music, see live theatre or create crafts:

10. Learn to Play Guitar

  • Family Friendly

If you or your child got a guitar for Christmas and don’t know what to do with it, Kemptville’s Class Axe School of Music can teach you how to play. Students at the school range from the ages of six to seniors. Class Axe teaches you your favourite songs in various genres, and is a great way to meet other people with the same taste in music.

Lessons run for 30 minutes, and cost $25 each. While lessons are offered year-round, this might be a fun activity to do when the weather’s colder and you want to stay indoors.

11. Check Out Local Crafts

Another great indoor activity for the cold weather is to shop for local crafts. The Kemptville Crafters’ Market is fairly new, having opened in 2014, and offers crafters a place to work and sell products. The market offers a wide variety of crafts, including knitted goods, bath products, quilts, chocolates and photography. The market is open seven days a week.

12. Connect With Your Inner Artist

  • Family Friendly

If shopping for crafts is not your thing, then why not learn how to make your own? Better yet, why not get your kids involved, too? Kemptville’s Art With Bonnie offers art programs for children and adults. You don’t need to know anything about art in advance before taking a class..

On Wednesday evenings from the end of January to the beginning of March, the art school has two classes for children. In both classes, children six years old and older will create expressive art pieces using paint, charcoal and printing techniques. Both classes run for 75 minutes and cost $135 (plus HST) for the full course duration. All kids’ classes include materials and supplies in their cost. These classes would be an excellent way to keep kids from being bored right after school.

13. Experience Live Theatre

From time to time, there’s live theatre in Kemptville, courtesy of the Kemptville Players. Their next show is coming up in March 2017, but, until then, you might catch them doing dinner theatre around town.

If you want to get more involved, you can audition for their plays or volunteer backstage or at the door selling tickets. If you become a full-time member of the cast or crew, you’ll have to pay a $15 membership fee. You will, however, be invited to attend general meetings and social gatherings.

14. Catch a Movie

  • Sometimes Family Friendly (Depending on the Movie)

While you’re waiting for the next live theatre performance, how about seeing a movie locally? Fairly recent Hollywood blockbusters are shown Friday nights at 8 PM at the Urbandale Arts Centre in the North Grenville Municipal Centre. The movies cost $5 per person, so this is a very affordable family night out. There’s a canteen and vending machine in the municipal centre’s arena lobby for refreshments.

Skating and a Movie

Instead of dinner and a movie, in winter you can do skating and a movie. Public skating runs from 6:30 to 7:50 PM Fridays, and fees are $3 for adults and $2 for children. If you don’t have skates and a helmet, the municipal centre offers a free lending program during all public skating events.

For Nature Lovers

People who enjoy the outdoors will find lots to explore in the Kemptville area.

15. Picnic at the Ferguson Forest Centre

  • Family Friendly

When the weather gets warmer, escape with a picnic lunch to the Kemptville community forest. There are covered picnic tables and a lawn, as well as 300 acres of Crown land to explore with hiking trails. Kids will enjoy being educated by the KinderWood, which will tell them about forest animals such as red foxes, raccoons and squirrels. There’s no cost to visit, and your dog can tag along, too.

16. Pet Animals at the Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary

  • Family Friendly

Speaking of animals, there are plenty of them to visit at this rescue sanctuary. Kids can pet goats, a miniature horse, emus, sheep and more. There’s no cost to get in, but the sanctuary relies on donations. Big Sky is located only about 15 minutes from downtown Kemptville, so this is an easy little trip to make with the small fry.

During July 2017, the sanctuary is offering week-long summer day camps for children ages six to 13. Big Sky sponsors one child per week to attend the camp for free. Otherwise, it’s $185 per child, and a little less for subsequent weeks. There’s a plethora of activities to keep kids involved, such as:

  • Learning how to saddle and ride a horse.
  • Lassoing lessons (using fence posts).
  • Hay rides.
  • A Western-style bean dinner at the end of the week.

For Good Food Aficionados

Kemptville also offers things to do for those who love buying their own food:

17. Visit the Kemptville Farmers’ Market

Operating on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings between May and October, this farmers’ market offers some fairly unique items. In the past, producers have sold everything from designer gourmet cupcakes to homemade pork sausages to specialty dog treats. There’s also delicious homemade jams and other preserves. As with most farmers’ markets, the focus is on fresh, local and organic produce.

In December, the Kemptville Farmers’ Market also offers two Christmas markets. This features more crafty things, such as handmade knitted goods, woodworking, and clothing, in addition to baked items and produce. In any case, if healthier eating with a bit of a twist appeals to you, this is a farmers’ market to check out.

18. Pick Apples at Mountain Orchards

  • Family Friendly

Apple picking season starts in late summer through the autumn (depending on the weather), and Kemptville has an orchard just east of town that has close to 10,000 trees. Mountain Orchards’ claim to fame is that their trees are direct descendants of the original McIntosh tree discovered by John McIntosh in 1829 in Ontario. Overall, there are eight varieties of apples to pick and choose from.

There are also activities for children. Mountain Orchards offer hay and wagon rides, a corn maze for kids in fall, and low-hanging apples for them to pick. There are no admission or parking fees — you only pay for the apples you take.

Kemptville: A World of Activities in Your Own Back Yard

As you can tell, Kemptville offers a wide variety of activities for the whole family (and for adults who need an escape). It’s really worth taking a look around your town, because there’s enough going on that boredom will never be an issue.

The next time you’re thinking of doing something, be sure to check your own backyard first. Kemptville virtually has everything to offer anyone of any stripe, which is what makes this town so special.

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