When you need to feel inspired, where do you turn? Does music help? What about art? Or beautiful city landscapes brimming with historic architecture inspired by Europe itself? If any of these things excite you, then you should check out Stratford, Ontario as your next weekend adventure.
Covid-19 Update: Some locations and activities included in this blog post may have altered services or cancellations due to the current pandemic. Please check with each business or group directly or contact Stratford Tourism for more information.
If you’ve heard of Stratford before, you’re probably aware of the Festival Theatre and the amazing performances that you can see in the spring, summer, and fall. And if you aren’t, you seriously need to check it out! Aside from the Festival, there are many other cultural wonders that make Stratford so hyped. It’s true—culture and art is the heart of this city, no matter the season; you should see it for yourself! Lowkey: Stratford’s culture is a mood.
Before you ask: “Doesn’t winter suck in Stratford?”, know that this city still thrives during the snowy season, so you’d better prepare for a serious adventure, even for the weekend. With all the winter activity going on in Stratford, you’re bound for a truly lit cultural getaway. But shh, don’t tell!
We’ve got music and live entertainment in every season
If you’re looking for evening entertainment that slays, Stratford’s definitely the place to be. Not only do we have the pub grub to satisfy your nightly cravings, but we also have live music to boot! Every weekend, our pubs feature live bands that are both local and well-known Ontario artists. And did we mention that it’s free? Yep—you can enjoy the harmonies and musicality of solo artists and bands while you make a toast to your best pals with locally-made craft beer.
If you’re looking for a musical interlude other than those at the pub, we’ve got you. Even in the winter, there are many theatre- and venue-based concerts in Stratford, all featuring different musical genres. If Celtic music and pub nights are your vibe, check out the jam session at Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub, Scran & Dram Scottish Public House or Boar’s Head. Or, maybe you’re more into classical music; we’ve also got upcoming shows hosted by Music and Opera Appreciation. Music is an essential part of Stratford’s every-day experience, so come live like the locals for a weekend.
So many inspiring galleries to appreciate
Stratford is seriously galleries galore. You’ll never be short for art here; that’s something we’re sure of. There are several galleries you can visit around Stratford, all featuring different types of art. You can even purchase some of the creations, so you can have a piece of Stratford to bring back home! Our art is the GOAT, and it’s because so many talented artists live here. You’ll love their work—promise.
There are also winter events that involve unique artwork. For one, you may want to check out the Soldier's Art Exhibit at the Stratford Museum. This exhibit is about Captain John Dent, who served the Perth Regiment during WWII. Captain Dent was also an accomplished artist, and he captured moments of military life in black and white drawings during the war. Pieces in the exhibit will include samples of his work and personal memorabilia. It’s an exhibit like no other.
Our museums showcase the best of our history
Our history is another important part of our culture. Since winter is also a great time to visit Stratford, you may be interested to learn about the events at our local Museum. Did you know that Stratford used to be a railway hub? Now you do, and you can learn more about it at the Railway Century Exhibit.
Take a ride through history with the Stratford Festival Exhibit and celebrate the early days of the Stratford Festival. You can learn about the theatre’s past from its early beginnings through to what it’s famous for today. If you love art, theatre, and history, you’ll love this, especially if you’ve ever seen a show at the theatre before. These are only a few of the exhibits that are currently at the Stratford Museum; there are plenty of exhibits and works to bring out the inner historian in everyone. It’s an awesome indoor activity for your winter getaway to Stratford!
The beauty of Stratford makes it a cultural gem
The design of this city is a historical and cultural dream. The city is named after Stratford-on-Avon in England and the buildings are stunning. Your Instagram needs photos of these #buildinggoals.
Many buildings date all the way back to the mid-1800s with inspiration from regency cottages, gothic structures, Italianate homes, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and so much more. We’re talking balconies, balusters, and buttresses galore. There’s history to be told in the architect. Why not take yourself on a self-guided tour with these interactive maps. The designs are majestic, just like you.
As you can see, art and culture are what makes this city so special. Once you add a few pics to your Insta stories, your friends will all be saying, “Damn, Gina!” Trust us, they’ll be salty that they couldn’t join you on your secret getaway. Book your trip easily on VisitStratford.ca, and prepare for the weekend of your dreams!