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Five fun ways to get through summer vacation – for $15 or less

Get your culture on and get out of the house

Here are some fun, affordable ideas to counter any “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do” moments that may arise throughout the summer.

1. Tie up your walking shoes and take a Historical Walking Tour around Guelph

Whether your interests lie in architecture or interesting historical events and periods – or you just like the exercise –there is a Historical Walking Tour for you.
Take a peek at the Guelph Arts Council events calendar to find out where to meet your Tour Guide.

Each tour starts at 2 p.m. and is well worth the $5 in support of Guelph Arts Council. So throw on some comfy shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses –maybe even rubber boots and a raincoat, if the weather calls for it – and become a tourist in your own city!

2. Take a trip to the museum

If you’re looking for an educational activity that’s far away from desks and laptops, you might consider planning a visit to Guelph Civic Museum this summer. is $5 per person, or $15 for the whole family. On Fourth Fridays, admission is free after 5pm and a visit becomes an event, with live music and other activities.

This summer Guelph Museums, Guelph Pride, and Guelph Arts Council have partnered up to present the most recent edition of “Wall of Art,” featuring the work of local LGBT2Q+ artists and allies that will be installed throughout the larger exhibit “Guelph Pride 2018: Celebrating 15 Years” until July 29. This could provide a great opportunity to open up conversations with older children about equality, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

3. Catch a live show or jam session together

For the early risers, Silence Sounds has Morning Music where you can bring $5 or a breakfast food to share and enjoy some improvisational music with talented locals every Monday. Or if evening activity is more your family’s style, check out Silence Open Mic nights on the first and third Wednesdays of every month.

These open mic shows feature all kinds of artists, including musicians and singers, are all ages, and are pay-what-you-can. For other events hosted by Silence Sounds, check out their handy calendar.

4. Foster your child’s creativity through open-ended activities

If you haven’t taken your child to Children’s Art Factory yet, you need to very soon! Every day (except for Sundays and Mondays) CAF offers an exciting drop-in space for children ages 3 to 10 to explore, play, and make messes. One $12 admission fee, and you and your child are welcome to stay for as long as you’d like – or at least until closing time.

CAF encourages messy, uninstructed, open-ended play in order to foster your child’s true creative spirit. After a long year of rules and instructions, it might be nice to let your kids go wild in a space where someone else takes care of the mess!

5. Browse downtown and attend a free concert

Thanks to the Downtown Guelph Business Association and RBC, St. George’s Square is filled with music every Friday at noon hour for everyone to enjoy at no cost. Feel free to use one of the provided sun loungers to get a closer look, or grab some food to nibble on while listening. You can keep track of who is playing when on Facebook or browse the line-up.

Afterwards, why not visit some local businesses in downtown Guelph? Our downtown is a fun, diverse area and it never hurts to support local!

Not available Fridays? You’re not out of luck. Guelph Concert Band puts on free concerts on Sunday evenings in Royal City Park, next to the playground and across from the Boathouse Tea Room (famous for its ice cream!) Grab a lawn-chair or a blanket and catch the band at 7 as they take to the gazebo bandstand to play an hour of fun, catchy music for all ages.

By Emily Hearn

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