The Stratford Festival has been providing great reasons to take an Ontario day trip for more than 70 years. The 2024 show line-up is once again packed with great performances that offer something for everyone. It includes the glamourous musical La Cage aux Folles, a comedy based in the English renaissance called Something Rotten!, two classic Shakespeare plays in Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, and much more. Based an easy 90-minute drive from the west end of Toronto, it’s the perfect distance for a day trip. Once you have tickets to the show of your choice, you can plan how you’ll spend your day enjoying the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail.

The Savour and Sip Trail is back for another year and runs from May 1 to October 31, 2024. It’s a unique way to explore the city’s through its great local shops, culinary offerings, and microbreweries. There’s even a microdistillery to check out!

How does the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail work?

Stratford Savour and Sip Trail

You can purchase Savour and Sip Trail passes at Destination Stratford’s office at 47 Downie Street, or at Bradshaw’s at 129 Ontario St. For $39.55 (taxes included), you’ll receive five vouchers that are redeemable at 28 locations in and around Stratford. Each participating location has a different food or drink offering. Customize a picnic by selecting the ones that appeal most to you, or choose some mementoes to take home.

This year, there are 28 locations in and around Stratford offering up fresh and packaged food and drink items. Discover all 28 of the participating locations in the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail here.

How to use Stratford Savour and Sip Trail vouchers

The program is very flexible, so you can customize it based on your plans and interests. Visit locations in downtown Stratford within walking distance of the festival’s theatres, or hop in the car and head outside the city to shops in the village of Shakespeare or the town of St. Mary’s. Although you can only use one pass per person per location, you don’t need to use them all on the same day. This means you can save some to use on future visits until the program ends on October 31, 2024.

And here’s a fun detail for the grown-ups. Stratford has a by-law that lets visitors consume alcohol in public parks, provided it’s purchased from a participating local business. Pick up two cans of beer at Jobsite Brewing or a cocktail bomb at The Wine Lab and enjoy an adult beverage legally with your picnic lunch!

A popcorn-filled and pup-friendly Ontario day trip

Parking in downtown Stratford can be tricky on weekends. If you arrive early, you can park more easily and explore the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail before your show. One stop we especially enjoy is Poppin Kettle Corn, where a voucher will earn you an enormous bag of popcorn. This is big enough to be a meal all on its own!

Poppin Kettle Corn is one of Stratford’s many pet-friendly businesses. Not only is the Alley Cat Café right downtown, but the city has a new program for dog owners. Businesses displaying the sticker above on their front doors are dog-friendly, meaning well-behaved four-legged friends are welcome.

Where is the world’s smallest movie theatre?

The Little Prince Microcinema in Stratford, Ontario, holds the Guinness world record for being the smallest purpose-built cinema on the planet! There’s seating for 12 inside and a table in the entryway for hosting catered dinners. The cinema has thousands of movies to choose from for private showings. It also hosts public screenings from time to time. These features make this a favourite spot for corporate events and birthday parties.

It’s also a participating stop on the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail: one voucher will get you a tub of unique cotton candy. The Little Prince Microcinema has 60 different flavours of cotton candy available and constantly changes the selections on their shelves. You never know what interesting flavours of cotton candy you’ll find when you stop in!

Savoury scents and sweet treats on the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail

Ontario Street is a hub for many of Stratford’s great shops. Head for neob Lavender, an outpost location of the Niagara-on-the-Lake based lavender farm. The shop offers a variety of scented products, from soaps to lotions and sprays and much more. Their Savour and Sip Trail offering for 2024 is vanilla lavender and white chocolate flavoured sweet popcorn.

And don’t miss York Street as you’re wandering, a gorgeous park-lined thoroughfare along the banks of the Avon River. Corner Store Candy Company is one of the shops based here, a fantastic independent and woman-owned shop that’s a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth. For one Savour and Sip Trail voucher, you’ll receive a box of assorted saltwater taffy.

Mexican and meringues in the park

El Cactus Taco Shop offers delicious, authentic Mexican food, from tacos and burritos to botanas (small snacks). Most of it is portable, so this is a great option if you’re looking for a full meal to enjoy in the park before a show. Take a Savour and Sip Trail voucher with you, and you’ll also leave with a cup of their refreshing fruit-based agua frescas.

We’re consistently blown away by the immense variety of meringues and other baked treats on offer at Kandy Cakes on York Street. A voucher lets you choose from their selection of light and crispy meringue cookies, including fruit-topped, cream-filled and more.

Once you’ve gathered up all the elements of your picnic, the parks lining York Street along the Avon River are a fantastic spot to enjoy it!

Cooling off from the summer heat on the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail

Just across from the Avon Theatre on Downie Street, you’ll find Angela’s Gelato. Be sure to save a voucher for a fresh-squeezed old-fashioned lemonade to enjoy before or after your show, or even at intermission! It’s also a great time to pick up some of their delicious gelato as a theatre treat.

A tasty Ontario day trip

The best part about the Stratford Savour and Sip Trail is that it encourages you to get out and explore this beautiful city. It’s the Stratford Festival that brings so many visitors here, but the Savour and Sip Trail is a wonderful reason to linger and enjoy Stratford a little longer while discovering new favourites you might not find on our own. Whether you stay downtown or head further afield, the Savour and Sip Trail is sure to enhance your day trip to Stratford.

Find more Ontario day trips here >

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