Reasons to get out of town this summer

Sitting in traffic on the 401 will be worth it for these left-of-centre, site-specific events that you can't find anywhere in the GTA


Shuttle up to the Full Moon Festival

This lunar EDM celebration is a space where creatives in music, fashion, art, design and other like-minded people – no matter your industry, everyone is invited – can converge for a night of music, camping and artistic freedom. Held beachside in Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula, the Full Moon Festival combines the positive vibes of Burning Man with the music of Coachella, and it’s a great way to change up your scenery without going too far from home. Grab your buds, rent a car and enjoy the scenic trek up to the sleepy town. Toss a couple of cans of Red Bull in your bag to help keep you awake for the all-night fest.

July 7-10 in Lion’s Head, Ontario, facebook.com/thefullmoonfestival

Music festivals worth the drive out of town

Hillside kept its word and moved to mid-July this year for the first time in its 33-year history. 

Despite the family-friendly festival’s always excellent programming, like a collab between Buffy Sainte-Marie and the Sadies, attendance was down by 30 per cent in 2016 due in part to Wayhome, two hours away in Oro-Medonte on the same weekend. Here’s hoping the date change means tons of folks will flock to Guelph Lake see the Barr Brothers, Lowest of the Low, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Coeur de Pirate, Charlotte Day Wilson, Sarah Harmer, Rae Spoon, Weaves and many others. 

Two weeks later, the much larger Wayhome opens its gates for three days of music – Solange, Frank Ocean, Tegan and Sara, Schoolboy Q, Jazz Cartier, Constantines, Tanya Tagaq, Noname, the Shins and Andy Shauf, to name a few – art installations, camping and food truck madness, all under the hot late-July sun. (Hopefully the water stations have been increased.)

Hillside takes place July 14-16 at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area (7743 Conservation Drive, Guelph), $57-$149

Wayhome takes place July 28-30 at Burl’s Creek (180 8th Line South, Oro-Medonte), $89.99-$599.99

Escape from a train – if you can

Ever since seeing Cairo Time, we’ve romanticized train rides to a fault. So when we heard that the York Durham Heritage Railway Association has an escape room game, Terminus, we forgot all about The Lady Vanishes and succumbed to its Pavlovian air horn. With a hot meal and dessert served in a fine dining car, and a three-hour time frame in which to find the “ancient secret,” this is as close as you’ll get to playing Professor Robert Langdon. Is Da Vinci Code LARPing a thing yet? 

June 10-July 22 at Uxbridge Train Station (19 Railway), $89, ydhr.ca/escape

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