11 downtown adventures for any occasion

Simple icon of two tall buildings. Downtowns of Durham

Whether you’re looking for a family adventure, trying to plan a perfect date night, or catching up with friends we’ve a curated list of fun-filled adventures for you to get out and explore Durham Region’s downtowns.

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Downtown Ajax: Bowling and burritos

For a fun night out, try pairing authentic Mexican food from Mexico Lindo with a few games of bowling at Ajax Bowling Centre! After sinking your teeth into dishes like nachos and homemade guacamole, sizzling fajitas and chimichangas, roll into your reserved lane at the bowling alley for great music and family fun. Check ahead before visiting to confirm reservation procedures.

Recommended for: families, friends and date nights

Bowling alleys lit with purple lighting for glow bowling.
Source: Ajax Bowling Centre

Downtown Beaverton: Fine dining and a sunset stroll

Looking for a romantic evening? Take a scenic drive to Beaverton! Its quaint downtown is home to lots of shops, great coffee spots and Stefano’s Bistro, a fine dining restaurant that has been described as a “spectacular culinary experience” and “worth more than an hour drive.” After savouring a wonderful dinner, take a sunset stroll along the Beaverton pier overlooking Lake Simcoe.

Recommended for: romantic date nights, special occasions

Beautiful sunset at the Beaverton pier.
Lake Simcoe, Beaverton

Downtown Newcastle: Paint night and pub crawl

If you have more time to plan, a painting class and DIY pub crawl are the perfect pairing in downtown Newcastle. A Gift of Art offers paint night packages for groups, and workshop classes each month. After you create your work of art, there are lots of pubs and restaurants to enjoy. Start your night at Walsh’s Snug, where there may be live music, if your timing is right.

Recommended for: friends, groups, date nights

The Snug, Newcastle

Downtown Bowmanville: Shopping and afternoon tea

There’s nothing like spending the day shopping in a beautiful, walkable downtown, and Bowmanville doesn’t disappoint! From cute clothing shops and thrifting spots, to locally made  finds and home décor, there are dozens of shops to explore. Check out this post for a list of boutiques for local fashion finds.

And all that shopping will work up an appetite, but we’ve got you covered. The Toasted Walnut features a lovely afternoon tea which includes an assortment of sandwiches, homemade scones, homemade jam and whipped cream, fruit, desserts and of course, tea⁠— a great way to energize your shopping adventures.

Recommended for: date days, friends, and treating that special someone


Downtown Cannington: Heritage and handhelds

If you’re looking for a fun day with family, book a tour of the Cannington Historical Museum. Featuring five restored heritage buildings⁠—from a log cabin to a railway station and caboose—there is a lot to see and explore. After the tour, head to Pub12 and enjoy a burger, wrap, sandwich or opt for their delicious poutine as you make family memories.

Recommended for: family adventures, day trips

Exterior of the Cannington Historical Society with a bright blue sky.
Cannington Historical Society, Cannington


Pickering Nautical Village: Waterfront adventure and ice cream stop

Pickering Nautical Village is a great destination year-round. Take a leisurely stroll along the Waterfront Trail or bring a chair and enjoy a sunset concert at Millennium Square. On summer days, the kids can cool off in the splash pad, or swing, climb and slide in the park. After you’ve explored, there are many beautiful patios to visit. But, no Pickering Nautical Village adventure is complete without a stop for ice cream at Granddad’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Recommended for: day trips, family, friends, and romantic date nights

Boats at the marina at Frenchman's Bay with Pickering Nautical Village in the background.
Frenchman’s Bay, Pickering

Downtown Brooklin: Hot yoga and Thai street food

Whether you’re looking to try something new with friends, or are an expert at downward dog, head to Modo Yoga in Brooklin. With a variety of classes like Modo Glow, Modo Jam and Barre Fusion, there are options for all experience levels. Connect with them to learn more or book a class.

And after getting your sweat on, fuel up with some delicious eats at Bangrak, Brooklin’s source for Thai street food.

Recommended for: friends, date trips, or if you’re daring…first dates

Downtown Port Perry: Boating and patio hopping

Durham is home to three waterfronts, including Port Perry, which sits along the shores of Lake Scugog. From fishing boats and pontoons, to canoes, kayaks and paddle boats, the Port Perry Marina has rental options to serve all needs and experience levels. Check their website for availability and boating license requirements, and if fishing, remember to pack your fishing license. After you’ve sailed the waves and worked up an appetite, stop by one of downtown Port Perry’s many patios for a bite.

Recommended for: friend adventures, day trips and date nights

Patio with red umbrellas at Marwan's Global Bistro.
Marwan’s Global Bistro, Port Perry

Downtown Oshawa: Archery and appetizers

For the ultimate downtown Oshawa adventure, or interesting date night, try pairing archery with appetizers! First, work up an appetite testing your skills at Archery 2 You where you can try your hand at archery and axe throwing, or even archery tag. Afterwards, head over to Riley’s Pub for some delicious appetizers. From pizza fingers to calamari, perogies and poutine, Riley’s Pub has an extensive menu to please every palate.

Recommended for: family and friend adventures, day trips and date nights


Downtown Uxbridge: Dinner and a movie in Uxbridge

The dinner and a movie combo is the ultimate go-to date for many, but we’re encouraging you to shake things up and move it to quaint downtown Uxbridge. Enjoy a meal on a patio and then shop the stores and boutiques before catching a film at The Roxy Theatre, a restored movie house from the 1950s. Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at Urban Pantry, then stroll along  main street and check out their home décor shops featured in our Give Your Home a Glow Up blog post. Then, head over to The Roxy Theatre to check out their movie memorabilia before showtime.

Recommended for: family and friend adventures, day trips and date nights

Exterior of the Roxy Theatre in Uxbridge.
Roxy Theater, Uxbridge


Downtown Whitby: Flight and fight – beer and arcade games

If you’re looking for the perfect date, day or night, with friends or that special someone, pair a beer tasting with old-fashioned arcade games. Stop by Brock Street Brewery for a tasting flight or enjoy a pint on the patio at 12welve Bistro. Then, head to 8 Bit Beans Café and Gaming Lounge for more than 20 classic arcade machines and a food menu featuring gourmet hot dogs and grilled cheese. It’s a great place to test your skills as a pinball wizard!

Recommended for: friend adventures, date nights and celebrations