As it heats up in K-W, we found 25 ways to keep you cool and happy for the rest of the summer.
Photos by Matt Smith, CCE Contributor.

1. The Pink Salty Dog

  • Rim glass with Himalyan sea salt
  • Add ice
  • Add one ounce vodka and a half ounce Campari
  • Top with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice and a splash of Pompelmo San Pellegrino

2. Blueberry Lavender Mojito

  • Muddle half a lime with a handful of fresh blueberries and lavender syrup
  • Add ice and one half ounce white rum
  • Top with sparkling water
  • Garnish with mint and fresh lavender
  • Get extra fancy and make lavender syrup by boiling five sprigs of fresh lavender in one cup of sugar and one cup water

3. Strawberry Hibiscus Iced Tea

  • Fill a high ball glass with ice
  • Add a large squirt of strawberry puree
  • Top with chilled and brewed hibiscus tea
  • To make strawberry puree, blend one pint fresh strawberries with two tablespoons sugar and two tablespoons fresh lemon

MATT SMITH - CCE CONTRIBUTOR

4. Enjoy them all at Jane Bond
Our favourite bartenders at Jane Bond came up with these scrumptious set of drinks.  If muddling your own lavender isn’t your scene, we recommend heading over to the Bond where they have one of the best patios in the city and a fantastic vegan menu. The drink menu includes far more than just these delicious cocktails. 5 Princess St W, Waterloo, janebond.ca.

5. Take in a movie in the park
Taking place at the band shell in Waterloo Park, Music & Movies in the Park offers movies under the stars. Admission is free with a donation to the food bank. What you’ll need to bring is a blanket or chair and snacks you want to consume. If you forget the snacks, don’t worry, there are vendors there serving popcorn and other foods. The music begins at 7 pm and usually features a local band or artist. At dusk, they blow up Canada’s largest outdoor screen and play a family friendly movie. 50 Young St. W., Waterloo parkmovies.ca

6. Improve your style
Check out K-W street style of old as the Waterloo Region Museum partners with the Fashion History Museum to connect architecture and women’s fashion from the 1800s onward. Running until January 2015, the runway relics are said to mirror the architectural construction of Waterloo Region and depict the ever-changing role of women. 10 Huron Rd, Kitchener waterlooregionmuseum.com

7. Enjoy art in Cambridge
A former industrial town, Hespler isn’t necessarily known for its art and music scene but A Day & A Night is working to change that. From 11 a.m. to 11p.m., Waterloo Region’s top artists and musicians showcase their talents to the public all for free. Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 23, 2014, put aside your food bank donation, and be sure to check out adayandanight.ca for updates and information. adayandanight.ca

8. Pilfer the Kitchener Market
If you’re minding your budget this summer, a picnic on a nice day is your best bet for a good meal on a shoestring. Head to the Kitchener Market, St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market or the Uptown Market (which runs on Thursdays starting June 5) and pick up local, fresh ingredients. Go French style and pick up some bread, cheese, cured meats, grapes, olives and bring your favourite reusable bottle of water – don’t forget that drinking alcohol in public could cost you a fine. No cooking, no dishes and no worries – this is what summer is about.

Mark

9. Tube Elora Gorge
This isn’t your leisurely ride in a tube down a lazy river – Elora Gorge tubing offers excitement from start to finish. From the high cliffs around you to the white water tubing, this is both exhilarating and refreshing. Just remember, this is a very popular activity, so make sure you get there early for equipment rentals.  From the last week in June through August, tubing is open from 9 am – 7 pm. grandriver.ca

Tube

10. Walk like an Egyptian
Summer learning and leisure is under wraps in downtown Kitchener at THEMUSEUM’s Unwrapping Egypt exhibit. Focusing on the tomb of King Tutankhamen, the exhibit features hundreds of other artifacts that have toured internationally and spans Pharaonic, Greek, Coptic and Islamic culture. At $8.95 per day pass, you’ll have cash left over for a craft brew at Imbibe. 10 King St W, Kitchener, themuseum.ca

MUS

11. Camp in your backyard
This summer there is no need to leave your home to enjoy the great outdoors – spend the night camping in your own backyard. Essentials for a great night outside: a good tent, a Hibachi or BBQ, camp chairs and food. Treat yourself with specialty s’mores. Ambrosia Pastry, open Saturdays from 10 am – 3 pm, offers several different flavours of their bean to bar chocolate. To give it that extra kick, grab some of Ambrosia’s handmade flavoured marshmallows – treat both kids and the adults with lemon or bourbon flavoured ones. 150 Roger St., Waterloo, ambrosiapastry.com

12. Turn on the Summer Lights
The first day of summer is a momentous occasion – the tilt of the planet’s semi-axis is the most inclined toward the sun. It’s also the perfect day to celebrate the community we live in. The first Summer Lights Festival kicks off at 9 p.m., runs until 2 a.m. and stretches from uptown Waterloo to downtown Kitchener. With eight hubs of entertainment, over 200 artists, organizations, and merchants, it’s a great way to kick off the season. summerlightsfestival.com

13. Run for your life
Conestogo Rivers Horseback Adventures offers four, two and one hour rides for anyone 11 years or older. Looking for more than a leisurely mosey? Trek on foot through the county in a live-action Mantracker scenario. Groups start in St. Jacobs and have two hours to make it back to Horseback Adventures’s barn without being caught in a game of extreme hide-and-seek! 535 Northfield Dr E, Waterloo, horsebackadventures.ca

14. Scream for local ice cream
Ann Simmons has now become one of K-W’s tastiest ways to cool off. Silver and Boots Craft Creamery makes delicious home-made ice cream using organic milk and local ingredients. “It’s a throwback to simpler times when we knew where our food came from and we ate what was in season,” said Simmons. This summer you can expect flavours like rhubarb crumble, strawberry custard and honey lavender. To place an order or find a pop up shop follow Silver and Boots on Twitter at @silverandboots. silverandboots.ca

Ice

15. Canoe the Grand
Dip, dip and swing this summer with Canoeing on the Grand. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced canoer, Canoeing on the Grand has a variety of trips and packages available to explore the glorious Grand River that runs through Waterloo Region. In addition to offering canoes and kayaks, they also offer a shuttle service for select trips so you can enjoy your journey to the fullest. canoeingonthegrand.com

16. Big Music Fest
A new festival comes to Waterloo Region this summer. Held at Kitchener’s McLennan Park, Big Music Fest runs July 11-13 and carries some big names along with it, including Bryan Adams, Styx, Aerosmith, Slash and Kim Mitchell. While Big Music Fest isn’t a free festival, it is all ages, which is a bonus. Big Music Fest may be a bit rougher around the edges in comparison to the more established festivals but we’re hoping this head banger will be a success. Bigmusicfest.com

17. TD Kitchener Blues Festival
With more than 90 free acts it’s no surprise that the TD Kitchener Blues Festival is one of the most attended festivals in Ontario. Running August 7-10, this four-day festival does blues right and gives flattened and bent chords a whole new meaning. This year brings Lee Harvey Osmond, the Otis Taylor Band and Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet to the downtown stages. kitchenerbluesfestival.com

18. Sun Life Financial Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
Hold your hats and get ready to experience three days of syncopated beats at the Sun Life Financial Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival. The Jazz festival enters its 22nd year and continues to be 100 per cent free, with a mission to enhance cultural experience found in Waterloo. With more than 35,000 attendees, 20 acts, a youth jazz ensemble, jazz workshops and two stages, the 2014 festival will no doubt be the best yet. www.uptownwaterloojazz.ca

19. Go party on a train
What would a list for cool summer activities be without the coolest party on a train in KW. Join the CCE and 300 of your closest friends in celebrating Steel Rail Sessions’ fifth anniversary with the best art, food, performances and drinks in the region. While we can’t reveal much about the event, you’ll have to trust us that this is one of the weirdest, funniest and unforgettable events of the summer. The train leaves the uptown Waterloo Central Station on June 20 and embarks on a unique-to-everyone journey to Elmira, St. Jacobs and beyond. Community.thecord.ca/steelrails

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20. Ethel’s Lounge
The beauty of Ethel’s tacos are their simplicty. A hard shell, fresh cheese, lettuce and beautifully cooked ground beef are all it takes to create one of the most popular taco nights in Waterloo – though, the $2 price tage per taco doesn’t hurt either. For an added price you can go veggie and get refried beans instead of meat. $2 tacos every Tuesday night starting at 5 p.m., 114 King St N, Waterloo, ethelslounge.ca.

21. Bauer Kitchen
Jostling for Tuesday night taco supremacy, the Bauer Kitchen also has their own special deal on Tuesday nights. In addition to their Hoisin chicken taco and Baja fish taco, their chefs whip up two new tacos sure to delight picky gourmands.  187 King St. S, Waterloo, thebauerkitchen.ca

22. Taco Farm
Every night is taco night at Taco Farm. The restaurant is coming quickly up on its first anniversary, and we are all the better for having such a great taco option in uptown Waterloo. Taco Farm has also worked hard to become a destination for foodies, offering special events like tequila tasting nights.  8 Erb St. W, Waterloo, tacofarm.ca

Taco

23. Imbibe
Maybe you don’t need fancy tacos, or a lot of taco options. Maybe you just want one taco, made really well, with a pint of Ontario craft beer to wash it down with. Look no further than Imbibe’s fish taco. With their rotating tap selection, there’s also always a new beer to try. 10 King St W, Kitchener, imbibefooddrink.ca

24. MPC Public
Okay, we’re cheating a bit – yes MPC occasionally offers tacos. But believe it or not, not every one likes tacos. So we offer MPC Public’s oyster night as an alternative. Think about it – are oysters not the tacos of the sea? They carry their shells with them. Anyway, take our word for it and try some of the best “sea tacos” in town. Oyster night every Wednesday, reservations recommended. 295 Lancaster St W, Kitchener, mpcpublic.com.

25. Let us know your summer plans!
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