35 road trip ideas: Book fair, wine shows, music and a mystery masquerade!

Tips for vegans, vintage furniture, fine wines, a house tour, two restaurant festivals, a mystery masquerade in Rockland, a shopping promotion in Manotick and the Rockcliffe Park Book Fair are just a few of the many amusements on the schedule this weekend. Pack away the jack o’ lanterns, hop in the car and head off on a November road trip!

Pick up some new-to-you books

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Ginny.

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Ginny.

Speaking of Rockcliffe, the Rockcliffe Park Book Fair (November 3 to 5) is a beloved annual pilgrimage for literature lovers. It’s not hard to understand why: You can browse among thousands of used books offered at bargain prices, nosh on coffee and sweets from the onsite café, and congratulate yourself for supporting literacy projects at Rockcliffe Park Public School and other schools. Everyone wins!

Go vegan in Montreal

The Montreal Vegan Festival at the Bonsecours Market (November 4 and 5) features cooking demonstrations, a film premiere, presentations, exhibitors and more.

See artists’ studios in upstate New York

In northern New York state, just across the river from Prescott, the St. Lawrence County Arts Artists’ Studio Tour (November 4 and 5) takes you to more than 20 sites in small towns such as Canton, Ogdensburg and Potsdam.

Hear francophone music in Montreal

Looking to discover some cutting-edge francophone music? Then check out Coup de coeur francophone (November 2 to 12), which features emerging and avant-garde musicians working in French, from across Canada and around the world. Shows are scheduled in 45 cities across Canada, but the main hub is Montreal.

See new artworks in Chelsea

Painting in shades of pink, blue, white and grey.Parc Belmont by Johanne Sylvestre.

Parc Belmont by Johanne Sylvestre.

La Fab Arts Centre in Chelsea is holding a vernissage for its latest exhibition, Memory of the Past, on Thursday, November 2. The show, which runs until November 26, showcases the paintings of artist Johanne Sylvestre.

Solve an elegant mystery in Rockland

Tucker House in Rockland is holding its annual Green Gala on Saturday, November 4. It’s a Confederation-era “Mystery Masquerade,” in honour of Canada’s 150th, and funds raised will support environmental and historical education initiatives at the 19th-century home. Guests are encouraged to come in 1860s costumes or modern finery, and the fun will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and a silent auction, as well as an interactive mystery.

Hear classical music in Prescott

Faune & Naïades is a concert that combines the music of Debussy, Vivier and Bartók to tell a story of myths and legends. Flutist Ariane Brisson and pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard are performing this piece for the Fort Town Concert Association in Prescott on Friday, November 3.

Check out 14 craft fairs in Nepean, Kemptville and elsewhere

I know, I know…we’ve barely finished with Halloween! But as soon as the pumpkins are in the compost bin, I know that many of you start dreaming of Christmas. For all of you shop-ahead types, I’ve compiled a massive list of Christmas craft fairs and holiday markets, which I’ll keep updating right through December. This weekend alone, you have 14 events to choose from, including sales in Nepean, Perth, Merrickville and Kemptville.

Tour festive homes in Vankleek Hill

A mannequin dressed in Christmas boughs to resemble a Victorian lady in a foyer during the Vankleek Hill Christmas Home Tour 2016.

Copyright photo courtesy of the Vankleek Hill Christmas Home Tour. Photo by Jan Amell Photography.

The Vankleek Hill Christmas Home Tour (Saturday, November 4) features six residences decorated for the holidays. This annual event is so popular that four shuttle buses (with bilingual guides) will be running all day to transport visitors between the featured homes (it will also stop at Beau’s Brewery because, you know, all that house touring makes one thirsty). The photo above from last year gives you a taste of the decorating inspiration you can expect in the town that bills itself as the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario.

Eat, drink and be merry in Ottawa, Pembroke or Montreal

Sparkling wine being poured into multiple glasses.

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Tristan Ferne.

Feeling hungry? In Ottawa, you can check out the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival at the EY Centre (November 3 to 5), where highlights include chances to sample charcuterie by Seed to Sausage, cheeses from a huge cheese vault, samples of locally made jams and sauces, and all sorts of wines, beers and spirits. There will also be a six-foot chocolate fountain!

On Saturday, November 4, the Wine, Beer and Food Tasting Gala at the Germania Club in Pembroke is a fundraiser for Columbus House, a centre for youth at risk. This year’s theme is Gods and Goddesses, and a wide range of local restaurateurs, caterers, and food and beverage producers will be on hand. Guests can also enjoy dancing, a silent auction and more. Don’t forget to wear a toga. (OK, you don’t have to wear a toga, but you can!)

At Place Bonaventure, La Grande Dégustation de Montréal (November 2 to 4) gives you the chance to sample beverages from some 200 winemakers, distillers and brewers. The themes this year are champagne, Washington state wines, riesling and cocktails, but there will be something for just about every taste.

Enjoy some retail therapy in Manotick or the Camden East area

My Toy Shop is among the many Manotick stores offering special treats to shoppers this Saturday. Photo copyright Laura Byrne Paquet.

My Toy Shop is among the many Manotick stores offering special treats to shoppers this Saturday. Photo copyright Laura Byrne Paquet.

It’s Women’s Day in Manotick on Saturday, November 4, and businesses throughout the village are offering special promotions, including raffles, food samples, coupons and draws.

That same day, the Christmas Shopping Tour in the Country is a self-driving tour of shops and studios around Camden East, Yarker and Moscow, just northwest of Kingston.

Eat well for less in Prince Edward County and Montreal

East & Main Bistro in Wellington is one of the restaurants participating in the fall edition of Countylicious. Photo copyright Laura Byrne Paquet.

East & Main Bistro in Wellington is one of the restaurants participating in the fall edition of Countylicious. Photo copyright Laura Byrne Paquet.

Fourteen restaurants in Prince Edward County are participating in the fall edition of Countylicious (November 3 to 26). Each restaurant is offering a special prix-fixe menu for $40 per person (excluding alcohol). Accommodations packages are available, too.

In a similar promotion in Montreal, MTLàTABLE (November 2 to 16), 175 participating restaurants will be offering table d’hôte dinner menus for $21, $31 or $41 per person (some will also be serving $15 brunch menus).

Check out new photo exhibitions in Ottawa

Three new photography exhibitions are opening at the National Gallery of Canada on Friday, November 3. Two focus on borders: Frontera on the U.S.–Mexico border and PhotoLab3: Between Friends—Entre amis on the Canada–U.S. one. The other new show is Gold and Silver: Images and Illusions of the Gold Rush, covering a region from California to Yukon. All three shows run until April 2, 2018.

Get wedding ideas in Hawkesbury and Smiths Falls

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Chris Photography.

Getting married soon? Then the Bridal Show: A Bohemian Love Affair at the Hawkesbury Golf & Curling Club on Sunday, November 5, might be right up your aisle. More than 25 wedding-related vendors will be on hand, and admission is free.

Also on November 5, the Always and Forever Wedding Show comes to the EconoLodge in Smiths Falls, and tickets are free.

Shop for vintage finds in Ottawa

The Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market returns to the Fieldhouse at Carleton University on November 4 and 5. Furniture, kitchenware, jewellery, textiles—you name it, with 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, they probably have it.

Want more tips on road trips from Ottawa—including info on hotel discounts, contests, festivals and other cool news? Subscribe to my free weekly e-newsletter! I will never spam you—promise.

Are you promoting an upcoming event you’d like to see in a future weekly road trip roundup? Please email me the details at least two weeks in advance of the event, and I’ll add them to my files. If you have a horizontal photo or two I could use, even better. Thanks!

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