Looking for the best things to do in London Ontario on a weekend getaway?
London is located in the heart of Ontario Southwest, conveniently located between Windsor and Toronto.
Dubbed The Forest City thanks to its plethora of pretty parks, London Ontario is a culture vultures paradise featuring friendly shopping, finger-licking-good restaurants, historic museums, inspiring art galleries, craft breweries, distilleries and plenty of family-friendly festivals, theatres and year round sporting events.
Use our “Things To Do In London Ontario Guide,” to plan a fun weekend getaway to one of Ontario’s fastest growing cities!
Best Things To Do In London Ontario
London is in Ontario Southwest, conveniently located halfway between Windsor and Toronto.
The city of London is located a short drive from St. Thomas, Hamilton, Niagara, Oxford County, Norfolk County, Kitchener Waterloo, Guelph Stratford and Oakville.
As of 2023 London has a population of over 500,000 residents, including the many students who come here to study at the world renowned Western University.
Looking for fun things to do in London Ontario?
Our comprehensive destination guide is a helpful resource for those who are planning a vacation, at a sports tournament, conference, or in town visiting family and friends. If you’ve recently moved to London you’ll find a list of fun places to visit and things to see, all in your own backyard!
Visit the friendly Ontario city and you’ll find London offers a diversity of fun things to do, from families with kids looking for fun things to do on a road trip to a relaxing holiday for romantic couples.
Did you know that in 2021 London was listed as Canada’s first UNESCO City of Music? The UNESCO Creative Cities Network promotes the cooperation with cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
The UCCN consists of seven creative fields including: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. Other Canadian cities in the UCCN include Montreal for Creative City of Design, Toronto for Creative City of Media Arts and Quebec City for Creative City of Literature.
If you’re a music lover London offers some of Canada’s best music festivals and live music venues! Be sure to plan a fun night out to take in the sweet sounds of London’s finest musicians!
Fun Things To Do In London Ontario: Annual Festivals
If you’re organizing a road trip of Ontario Southwest why not plan your visit around a popular annual festival in London?
Festivals are a fun way to explore a destinations unique culinary and cultural vibe and a great way to mix and mingle with local food producers, artists and entertainers.
- Pride London Fest – July
- International Food & Drink Festival – June
- London Children’s Festival – June
- Sunfest – July
- Rock the Park – July
- Forest City London Music Awards – June
- Home County Music & Art Festival – July
Where To Stay In London Ontario
If you’re planning to tick off all the boxes of the the best things to do in London Ontario we suggest booking a trip over a weekend so you can enjoy strolling through the Saturday morning market, dancing at a late concert, and the ritual of lazy pancake-stacked Sunday brunch.
There are accomodation options in London that fit every budget:
- Hotel Metro: London’s best boutique hotel is the perfect spot to stay on a romantic getaway. The pet friendly hotel features luxurious suites with a rain shower and soaker tub. Conveniently located directly across from the Convent Garden Market.
- Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn: this mid-range family friendly hotel in downtown London features a fantastic indoor pool with a waterslide surrounded by pretty palm trees.
- Travelodge by Wyndham London: if you’re traveling on a budget book one of the 60 simple rooms at Travelodge. It’s located conveniently close to the London International Airport.
Things To Do In London Ontario On A Weekend Getaway
We visited London over a 3 day long weekend to experience the best attractions in town!
If you’re visiting London for the first time we highly recommend enjoying a fun self-guided tour in London’s Old East Village. It’s a great way to explore the city’s historic neighbourhood while sipping and nibbling unique dishes and drinks.
- Dumpling Trail: taste the world’s best dumplings on this walking tour featuring pierogies, momos and mandu!
- Libation District: immerse yourself in the artisanal world of spirits, beer, soda, tea, and coffee.
- Cultural Cruise: explore the murals, public art and the city’s only National Historic Site.
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100 Kellogg Ln, 226-213-5160
The Factory is Canada’s largest indoor family entertainment centre located inside the iconic 100 Kellogg Lane.
Originally a factory for Kellogg’s, this long-time London landmark has been transformed into a million-square-foot leading tourist destination. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the 100 Kellogg Lane complex as is it home to an Artisan Makers Market, Powerhouse Brewery, Paradigm Spirits Co, The London Children’s Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, The Factory and is the future home of Hard Rock Hotel London, scheduled to open in 2025.
Spanning over 170,000 sq. ft., The Factory features the largest indoor ropes course in the world. With zip-lines, a trampoline park, ultimate warrior course, massive arcade, kids’ indoor playground, virtual reality zone, and escape rooms, it is an experience like no other!
Ranked as one of the best things to do in London Ontario for kids, we’re almost 40 years old and had a whale of a time so it really is an attraction for all ages. We could honestly spend hours at the arcade playing whack-a mole.
If you need a break from bouncing around pop by the Canteen, featuring an ice cream parlour, coffee house, pizzeria, grill & deli and fully stocked bar.
Kids rank The Factory as one of the best things to do in London Ontario for birthday party celebrations. The entrance even has its own birthday party check in station, making the celebration of your kids special day very VIP.
Paradigm Spirits Co
100 Kellogg Ln, 519-659-6060
Are you a craft cocktail fan looking for the best things to do in London Ontario?
Paradigm Spirits Co. was created by passionate craft spirit entrepreneurs with a vision to build a distillery in London. The craft distillery is also located in the impressive 100 Kellogg Lane complex.
Skip inside Paradigm Spirits Co. and you’ll find a production distillery on the first floor alongside the warehouse, tasting room, cocktail bar, and a covered patio along with a retail shop. Upstairs there’s a private event space, heated balcony, and kitchen.
We suggest cocktail connoisseurs hop up at the bar to sip thought the distillers signature creations, which include a selection of vodka, gin, and whiskey bottles.
If you’re keen to learn a little in London, book unique boozy experiences like Shaken & Stirred, Iconic Pairings or a Tasting & Tour.
Paradigm Spirits Co. has quickly become one of London’s most popular eateries offering a buzz-worthy weekend brunch, weekday dinners and lunch during the work week. The menu offers plenty of healthy options for those who are gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.
Covent Garden Market
130 King St, 519-439-3921
Are you a visiting foodie looking for fun things to do in London Ontario?
Covent Garden Market is a must-visit city landmark first established in 1845. Way back when, local farmers and shoppers mingled on sawdust covered floors where everything and anything was sold: from butchered meat to lovingly jarred honey and freshly plucked wild raspberries.
Today, Covent Garden Market offers farm-fresh quality organic produce, meats, ethnic foods, baked goods, beautiful flower arrangements, and the largest assortment of cheeses in Southwestern Ontario.
Locals love to visit on weekends to do their weekly shopping but you can conveniently visit any day of the week.
In the winter bring your skates and lace up on the outdoor rink. Year round you can also enjoy concerts, cooking classes, and fun festivals like the always bustling St Patrick’s Day soiree!
Piping Kettle is a great lunch spot with soup and sandwiches and Supper Tasty Brazilian Snacks serves authentic South American street food.
421 Ridout St N, 519-661-0333
Museum London is an art and history museum located in downtown London. It is located near the forks of the Thames River.
The building is designed by Raymond Moriyama, architect behind the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
The museum’s collection contains 45,000 artifacts and 5,000 pieces of art. The art collection includes works by Lawren Harris, one of the founders of the Group of Seven and celebrated queer indigenous painter Kent Monkman. The museum on any given day offers a nice mix of historic works and modern marvels.
If you’re an art lover feeling peckish after a stroll through the museum we suggest enjoying lunch or dinner at the award winning fine dining restaurant The River Room.
London Brewing Co Op
521 Burbrook Pl, 226-667-6363
Are you a craft beer lover looking to visit a brewery in London?
London Brewing Co Op is a locally-focussed, organic, worker-owned cooperative craft brewery with an onsite kitchen and retail shop.
Hop up at the bar and you’ll find a chalkboard full of tasty craft beers of the moment. Beer aficionados will find unique beer styles and flavours like Cherry Apple Graf, Chocolate Orange Ginger Oatmeal Stout, Coconut Brown Organic and Hibiscus Haskap Sour.
We suggest ordering a flight of beers to sample and if you’re feeling peckish order some tasty grub from the onsite kitchen. London Brewing’s restaurant menu showcases local comfort food that of course perfectly pairs with a fresh pint.
Highlights from the menu include Beer Battered Chicken Drums with Kimchi Fries, Cheesy Quesadilla and Giant Nachos.
191 Central Ave, 519-433-6245
Looking for restful and relaxing things to do in London Ontario with your girlfriends or partner on a weekend getaway?
Artistic Spa is a boutique wellness retreat in downtown London offering a classic spa menu plus the latest in non-surgical cosmetic medical treatments for skin and hair rejuvenation.
Artistic Spa first opened its doors in 1988 and has been expertly plucking and massaging wellness enthusiasts ever since. The elegant and upscale urban oasis is the perfect serine escape, whether you are catching up with your girlfriends while indulging in manicures or looking to relax with your partner to enjoy facials or a therapeutic massage in one of the couples rooms.
Wag your finger down the spa menu and you’ll find a wide variety of treatments like facials, eyelash enhancements, massage, manicures and pedicures, hair removal, and hair salon.
481 Ridout St N, 519-661-5169
Eldon House is a historic museum in London that allows visitors to step back in time.
Virtually unchanged since the 19th-century, Eldon House is London’s oldest residence and contains family heirlooms, furnishings and priceless treasures of the Harris Family. The historic site has been preserved and maintained since 1960 when it was donated to the City of London. It was home to four generations of the Harris family, and is an excellent example of Georgian and Regency architectural styles. Its gardens are considered among the most beautiful in the city.
Tours of the museum are self-guided with an opportunity to learn about the life and times, and collections of Harris Family from staff and panels throughout the beautifully appointed historic home.
We loved visiting the kitchen and dining room at Eldon House, filled to the brim with faux plastic food that looks so good you want to eat it!
777 Adelaide St N, 519-645-7164
Looking for fun things to do in London Ontario for weekend date night?
Palasad Socialbowl offers plenty of fun for those looking to enjoy a night out in London including 10 pin bowling, pool tables, arcade, escape rooms, and live music.
Start your night out by wagging your finger down the from scratch food and drink menu. You’ll find all your favourite late night snacks like Mac & Cheese Balls, Bacon Wrapped Pickles, Pub Grub Nachos, Poutine, finger-licking-good Chicken Wings and creative selection of tacos and burgers. We tried the Pickle Pizza topped with crispy bacon and pepperoni with a hint of dill, it was divine!
Fanshawe Pioneer Village
1424 Clarke Rd, 519-457-1296
Fanshawe Pioneer Village is an open-air museum established in 1959 and located in the Fanshawe Conservation Area.
The living history museum shares the local history of London and Middlesex County between 1820 and 1920.
Visit the Heritage Village to explore 19th century homes and buildings, watch demonstrations, and see local history brought to life!
Fanshawe Pioneer Village is open for daily visits from May 20 to October 9.
St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica
196 Dufferin Ave, 519-432-3475
St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica is a must visit for history buffs looking for the best things to do in London Ontario.
The parish now known as St. Peter’s was established in August, 1834. The first church was constructed of logs and prior to this, a travelling priest visited the area to celebrate Mass for Catholic residents. The church was dedicated to St. Lawrence and could hold 180 people. It was destroyed along with much of the town in the London fire on April 11, 1845.
Later on the local diocese felt they should build a cathedral that was a true monument to its people. Bishop John Walsh selected Joseph Connolly as architect and construction began in July 1880. The structure was built in a 13th-century French French Gothic Revival style between 1880 and 1885. The first stained glass windows were added in 1889 but the interior decoration was not completed until 1926. The Casavant organ was also installed that year.
In 1958, the twin towers of the facade, Lady Chapel, and sacristy were added, stained glass windows were installed in the narthex and additional interior painting and decoration completed.
471 Richmond St, 519-672-8800
A leading cultural hub in downtown London, the Grand Theatre showcases the best stage plays and musicals in town.
The historic theatre originally opened on September 9, 1901 under the ownership of the theatre magnate, Ambrose Small.
Over the years London’s Grand Theatre has entertained locals with professional plays, film screening, and has hosted works by amateur theatre companies.
Today, the Grand Theatre puts on performances on two stages: Spriet Stage (839 seats) and Auburn Stage (144 seats). Its theatre season runs from September to May.
In past productions the Grand Theatre has hosted productions featuring famous actors like Sidney Poitier, Maggie Smith, Victor Garber and Sandra Oh.
99 Dundas St, 519-432-8894
Budweiser Gardens opened in 2002 with a seating capacity of over 9,000 for hockey and ice events and over 10,000 for concerts, making it the largest arena in Southwestern Ontario.
Constructed in the heart of downtown London, the exterior design of Budweiser Gardens incorporates a replica of the facade of the old Talbot Inn, a 19th-century inn originally located where the building now stands.
Budweiser Gardens is the home of local hockey team the London Knights. The arena has hosted concerts for Cher, Sum 41, and Meat Loaf, as well as Cirque du Soleil performances and the 2019 Juno Awards.
1275 Hamilton Rd, 519-451-2950
East Park is dubbed the city’s “place to play,” and one of the best things to do in London Ontario for families with kids in the summer.
The theme park offers an 18 hole golf course, driving range, two mini-golf courses, batting cages, a go-kart track, seven water slides, a splash pad, wave pool, a rock climbing wall, bumper cars, jungle gym, a video arcade and two indoor restaurants and an outdoor Tiki Bar in the waterpark.
Shop Local On Richmond Row
Richmond Row is the central north-south urban boulevard that runs through London’s downtown.
It’s a bustling commercial corridor and go-to destination for shopaholics. We strolled along Richmond Row and popped into a few cool boutiques.
If you’re looking for fashion forward recommendations Needs/Wants Boutique and Hangar 9 are great for womens clothing while Dave E White serves fashions to a dapper male clientele. Fans of florals and home decor find happiness at Grow & Bloom Co.
1085 Commissioners Rd W, 519-661-5575
Springbank Park is a 300 acre park located along a stretch of the Thames River. As the largest park in London, it contains 30 km of trails and is home to Storybook Gardens, a popular family attraction open year round.
In the summer season Storybook Gardens features several outdoor play structures, five amusement rides, a large splash pad, sand and water play areas, and outdoor performances.
In the winter months Storybook Gardens offers a 250-metre, 10,000 square foot outdoor skating trail that winds through the beautiful park grounds.
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