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Oshawa Itineraries: The Peony Festival Edition

Summer is here, which means the return of the Annual Peony Festival at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden from June 8 to 9. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the season with live music, floral demonstrations, and plenty of artisan market/food vendors. There's entertainment for the whole family, including child-friendly activities and informational tours of the grounds.


Read on to take a closer look at making the most of your time in Oshawa with insights on lodging, restaurants, and activities to create a magical weekend for botanists and festival lovers alike!


Day 1: City Explorer

Settle into your room at the Holiday Inn Express.

SETTLING IN: Experience the ultimate comfort and convenience at the centrally-located Holiday Inn Express Oshawa. This 3-star hotel is a perfect summer getaway; whether you're looking to relax or make a splash - you can do both at their indoor pool. As a plus for those who can't bear to leave their furry friends at home, this location is pet-friendly. And, best of all, it’s only a 10-minute walk from the Peony Festival!


Start your morning off right with a bite from Berry Hill Food Co.

BRUNCH TIME: Remember to fuel up before heading to the Peony Festival! Start your day with a delicious brunch at Berry Hill Food Co. This Oshawa gem has everything you need to fuel up for an awesome day in the city—between its lively atmosphere and crafty dishes. Their menu is jam-packed with flavour, from savoury bites like the famous Eggs Benny to sweet treats like the Rummy Banana French Toast. Berry Hill Food Co. is also just a few blocks from the Oshawa Botanical Gardens!


Stroll through the Spring air at the annual Oshawa Peony Festival!

ITS PEONY O'CLOCK: With a full belly - it's time to head to the Peony Festival. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9. Click here to view the full program, and to check out the list of performers. Be sure to head inside for the Oshawa Peony Society's Judged Peony Show. Explore the submissions after the judging takes place on Saturday at 11 a.m.


Cruise back in time with a visit to the Canadian Automotive Museum.

AUTO ADVENTURE: Next, buckle up for a journey through automotive history at the Canadian Automotive Museum! From vintage classics to pop culture icons, these exhibits have something for everyone to marvel at. Discover Oshawa's impact on automotive history during walking tours or bring the kids along for arts and crafts. 


Fuel up with a steaming bowl of Kenzo Ramen.

DINNER O'CLOCK: A short walk up to King St W. will take you to Kenzo Ramen, one of my personal favourite spots for a cheap and cheerful bite. Feeling quite hungry from all the walking? Try the King of Kings Ramen - it's delicious!


A trip to Oshawa isn't complete without catching a live show!

GET GROOVING: End the night with an amazing performance from The Almost Hip, who captures the essence of the beloved Canadian band The Tragically Hip. Within the historic Regent Theatre, you'll be transported into a world of song and spirit—a perfect nightcap to end a day of exploring!


DAY 2

Grab a quick breakfast at the Oshawa House Cafe.

ENERGIZE: We know you are eager to get back to the Peony Festival, but you will need all of your energy for Day 2. Grab a quick bite en route to the festival at the cozy Oshawa House Cafe. Their menu features breakfast options like Breakfast Sandwiches, Wraps, Avocado toast, a variety of pastries and specialty tea and coffee. 


Have a blast on Day 2 of the Oshawa Peony Festival!

EXPLORE: Stroll up to the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden for Day 2 of this weekend's main event, the Peony Festival. While you're browsing the gardens, make sure to check out the amazing vendors for a little snaking and retail therapy. Feel free to take photos and videos among the beautiful flowers to capture your memories (tag us in your posts @oshawatourism)!


Visit Parkwood Estate for a tour of their majestic gardens.

SWITCH IT UP: For a change of scenery, head to Parkwood Estate for the festival's companion event with The Matsuyama Bonsai Society—you can even catch a shuttle right from the Peony Festival! Tune into their show and demonstrations while you take in the epic scenery at one of Oshawa's most famous historic sites. You may even recognize your surroundings from some of your favourite movies and TV shows, as it's also a popular filming location.


While visiting Parkwood Estate, don't forget to stop in for a snack at the Tea House.

RECHARGE: If you enjoyed yesterday's brunch at Berry Hill Food Co., you can enjoy their tea and lunch selections at  Parkwood Estate's The Tea House. It's the perfect opportunity to get some rest and a sweet treat - the garden views and extensive landscaped pond can't be beaten.


Venture to Street MoMo for the perfect dinner to end your trip!

GET GRUB: Wrap up your day of adventure at one of the most flavourful restaurants in the City—Street MoMo. Oshawa is emerging as a culinary haven, and Street Momo is one of the hottest restaurants in town; ask any local. Looking for recommendations? Try the Tandori Momos for a slightly spicy bite full of flavour. Once you're ready to retire for the night, only a 5-minute walk stands between you and your comfy bed at the Holiday Inn


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