Known as the City of Berlin until 1916, Kitchener Ontario has long been a thriving hub in South Western Ontario. With a population of over 240,000, Kitchener is a big-city full of excitement, while still holding on to its small-town charm. The city’s deep Germanic roots and history are most evident during the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, the largest celebration of all things Bavarian outside of Germany. But it isn’t just been that keeps Kitchener thriving – it’s also known as Silicon Valley North. Which only makes sense that it is also home to two prestigious Canadian universities.
Wilfrid Laurier University (commonly referred to as WLU or Laurier) is one of the 2 public universities in Waterloo. Laurier has a second campus in Brantford and offices in Kitchener, Toronto, and Chongqing, China. Named in honor of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the seventh Prime Minister of Canada, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. With over 15,000 students, Laurier is a bustling hub within the Tri-City area.
The University of Waterloo (commonly referred to as Waterloo, UW, or UWaterloo) is the other main public research university in Waterloo. The main campus is adjacent to Uptown Waterloo and Waterloo Park in downtown Waterloo. The University of Waterloo has 40,000 full and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs – making it one of the largest universities in Canada.
With university classes winding down, you might ask yourself how to best spend your time in and around the Kitchener Waterloo area this summer. Not to worry, BATL has you covered.
Plan A Trip To The Backyard Axe Throwing League Kitchener
At BATL Kitchener, we stand by the belief that throwing an epic party should be fun, simple, and affordable. Located in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo, the Backyard Axe Throwing League has delivered axe throwing to the Tri-Cities since 2015. Only 2 blocks from King and Victoria Streets, BATL Kitchener can host parties from 2 – 90 people, and is easily accessible from Cambridge, Elora, Fergus, Princeton, Paris, and the entire Golden Horseshoe. While you’re axe throwing, BATL Kitchener offers a fully licensed bar and kitchen serving a selection of local beers, wine and coolers as well as a delicious shareable food menu in partnership with Pepi’s Pizza and Southern Ontario Smoked BBQ.
Private event packages include 1- 2.5 hours of throwing depending on your group size, flexible food options and private space to fit your party’s needs. Trophies and streetwear are available as add-ons for an even more personal touch. Things begin with practice and instruction (no experience necessary!) from BATL’s expert coaches before starting a round robin and group playoff tournament.
Looking for a more casual approach to axe throwing? The Backyard Axe Throwing League offers axe throwing on a walk-in basis at designated times each week. Our coaches will be on hand to instruct those who have never thrown an axe before, and offer tips on technique for more experienced throwers looking to sharpen their skills. Similar to public skating, skiing or swimming – guests throw in a common area with other participants, and may need to make allowance for shared space based on friendly guidance from your BATL coach.
For the die-hards, our axe throwing leagues are the perfect excuse to get together with friends, make a few new ones and enjoy a little competition. With no experience necessary you’ll compete individually while receiving tips from our friendly coaches – and plenty of time to hang out between throwing. Our calendar culminates in the National Axe Throwing Championship, with qualifying players competing against the best throwers globally for the Wilson Cup and $7500 in prize money.
Other Fun Things To Do Around University of Waterloo/Laurier, via uWaterloo.ca
Take A Walk In Waterloo Park
Waterloo Park is a huge chunk of land that includes Victorian-style gardens, forests, paved trails, baseball diamonds, a cricket pitch, a petting zoo, and tons of green space. It even features Silver Lake and Laurel Creek, beautiful bodies of water that look especially fantastic at sunset.
There are a number of popular events that take place each year in Waterloo Park, including Wonders of Winter (an annual festival of lights each December) and Music and Movies in the Park each summer.
Stroll Through Uptown
The city of Waterloo is home to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College, so you could definitely say that the city is a hub for students. Uptown Waterloo is just seven minutes away from campus by bus and there are tons of cool places to see and explore.
Whether it’s for a coffee date, working on a project with friends, or even just enjoying some solo time, be sure to check out some of these coffee hotspots in Uptown: Death Valley’s Little Brother (DVLB), Settlement Co., and BRCH Social.
Spend A Saturday Morning At The Market
One of the main hotspots in the KW area is the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. Located north of Waterloo’s campus, the market is a place for people to shop for organic and local groceries and products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and cheeses, locally produced maple syrup, honey, preserves, baking, crafts, housewares, wearables, and more. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat and spend time with your family or friends.