Whether it’s big or small, inside or out, casual or luxurious, if you’re gathering people together for a celebration or event, the Town of Huntsville has a variety of venues to suit just about every need.
No matter if you’re hosting a wedding or anniversary party, a birthday party, a celebration of life, a community fundraiser, a company barbecue, a business meeting, or a trade show, chances are there’s a room, hall, park or rink that would be a perfect fit.
Ice, ice, baby
A skating rink might not be the first thing you think of for an event, but it’s a fun option for birthday parties, family reunions, or company thank-yous to staff and clients.
With Mother Nature out of the picture, your guests can enjoy a comfortable skate and some camaraderie on one of two rinks at the beautiful Canada Summit Centre. And if you want to get everyone together for some birthday cake, or drinks and nibblies, there are spaces to accommodate 20 to 200 right in the same building.
The ice is available every day of the week until April 15.
And don’t forget about the Centennial Pool. You could offer both swimming and skating as options for your guests, or have a pool party instead complete with an almost-poolside celebration afterward.
Bring on the green
With more than 40 different parks in Huntsville available to rent, there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for your outdoor celebration or event.
Downtown Huntsville’s River Mill Park is a versatile space for an open-air event. Use the bandshell for a live performance to entertain your guests, or place the bride and groom front and centre onstage for a wedding ceremony. Bring your family together for a reunion and stage a friendly talent competition. There’s even a play area behind the bandshell to keep the kids occupied.
Memorial Park—comprising Camp Kitchen, Lions Lookout and the Lookout Field—is one of Huntsville’s best-kept secrets. Camp Kitchen has a grassy area that’s perfect for sunbathing or playing catch and a shallow, packed-sand entrance to the water to cool off. From there, you can hike up to Lions Lookout above Fairy Lake for one of the most spectacular views in town or over to the Lookout Field for a game of just about anything. With its easy access by road or from the Portage Flyer—your guests could arrive by train!—Camp Kitchen is a convenient and stunning location for everything from a wedding ceremony to a family or company celebration.
There’s also Indian Landing in Port Sydney with its iconic Family Tree, a stunning location any time of year but especially in the fall. Or Orchard Park in full spring bloom provides natural floral décor.
If outdoor activity is the focus of your gathering, check out McCulley-Robertson Recreation Park. The soccer pitches, baseball diamonds (with lights for night games) and frisbee golf course are often available on weekends for a pick-up game or more organized tournament. Newly resurfaced tennis courts are available at Meadow Park, and don’t forget about the track at Conroy Park. Or opt for a private location like Pitman’s Bay on Mary Lake, which offers swimming, ample space for games, and kitchen facilities. Your guests could even camp for a full weekend of celebration.
And remember to take a hike this spring or summer, too. Huntsville’s Fairy Vista Trail offers 3.4km of paved pathway for hiking, running or biking; Hunters Bay Trail is a well-maintained 4.6km path along the Muskoka River and south edge of Hunters Bay. Both have scenic spots to stop and enjoy the view, including the unique floating trail extension on Hunters Bay Trail that offers a stunning long-view of the bay.
All of Huntsville’s parks (see a full list here) are public spaces, free for individual use but you’ll need a permit if you plan to host an event. The rates are affordable, ranging from $59 to $316 per day for a private event.
Take it inside
The Active Living Centre is one of Huntsville’s most versatile indoor spaces, and it’s beautiful, too. “It’s not your typical venue,” says Greg Pilling, manager of sales and customer service for the Town of Huntsville. “It has a great view of the Muskoka River, a gorgeous fireplace, ample parking, a sound system, a dance floor, and a full catering kitchen and bar area.”
It can hold more than 300 people for a presentation or stand-up cocktail party, up to 200 for a meal at a wedding reception, reunion or meeting, or up to 160 if you want to include a dance floor.
Two local community halls are also available for events. The Port Sydney Community Hall can accommodate 220 guests and its close proximity to Mary Lake makes it the ideal location for a family reunion or a wedding reception following a beach ceremony; the Utterson Community Hall is air conditioned and rentals include china, glassware, and stemware for up to 150 guests. Both have full kitchens and are fully accessible venues.
Or for a unique option, consider the stage at the Algonquin Theatre for your meeting or event.
“All of these options are a cost-effective, affordable way to host your event,” says Greg. Facilities can be rented by the day or weekend.
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