Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

This year is definitely a milestone year to celebrate. It’s been 35 years since the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights was created for visitors from all over the world to enjoy! And what an incredible tradition it has become… There are so many visitors from both near and far who have been bringing their families from day one and are now passing the tradition on to their children. It’s never too late to begin the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights tradition with your family.

The festival kicks-off with the traditional ‘flick the switch’ ceremony on November 18th and runs until January 31st. This is an event that so many people have incorporated into their annual holiday traditions and this year it’s going to be even more spectacular than ever.

The Opening Ceremonies will feature a thrilling performance by NorthFIRE with spectacular pyrotechnics and flame effects from David Whysall Fireworks Get ready for a high energy show, with beautifully choreographed fire acts and a diverse set of highly skilled circus performers. The opening ceremonies will also end with a bang with two incredible firework shows over the magnificent illuminated Falls.

This year the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights will feature 2 Million lights over a an 8km illuminated route.  The route travels through the Niagara Parkway from the base of Clifton Hill past the mighty Falls, into Dufferin Islands and into the surrounding tourist districts (Fallsview Blvd., Victoria Centre, Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane). The route will be illuminated from November 18th to January 31st, 2018 (from dusk to midnight).

Here is what’s new to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights:

New Light Exhibits and Illuminations

The Festival will unveil a signature fixture at the Lundy’s Lane Battlefield, at the top of Drummond Hill. This new display is called the “Niagara,” which measures five metres tall, with animated twinkling lights that cascade down the Niagara’s central pillar.

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Visitors can enjoy an illuminated art exhibit called Prismatica, an interactive display that features a field of twenty-five colourful prisms that can turn on their base. These will be on display from November 18th – December 16th.

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Another illuminated art piece called The Passage will be on display in front of Queen Victoria Place from December 15th – January 12th. The Passage is an eighty-four foot long tunnel made of 20 circles of lights. As people walk through the tunnel, the lights become animated with changing colours.

There will be a new illuminations look right in our neighbourhood. At the base of Clifton Hill, the trees in this area will feature white lighting with light strands hanging down from the limbs to resemble Spanish Moss on the trees. Along Victoria Avenue there will be new animated displays featuring the Clifton Hill Skyline with Niagara SkyWheel added to the street light posts. To celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial the Winter Festival of Lights unveiled a new Canada 150 display along Fallsview Boulevard.

A new enhancement for this Festival…The lightshow on the Toronto Power Generating Station has been reprogrammed with lights choreographed to a new soundtrack of music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Enjoy the show from the Floral Showhouse parking lot and tune into 100.5FM to hear the music for this show.

Along the route you’ll still be able to enjoy your favourite displays: the Zimmerman Fountain, Noah’s Ark, the two storey tall Canadian/US Flag, the Canadian Mounties, three dimensional Canadian wildlife displays in Dufferin Islands, the illumination of the Skylon Tower, Floral Showhouse and forest of trees at Queen Victoria Park.

Deck the Falls Walking Tour

Plus you can’t miss the Deck the Falls Walking Tour, which is back for the second year. The walking tour includes sixteen venues, each with signature experiences which include: culinary experiences, holiday beverages, entertainers, desserts and treats, fun photo opportunities, life-size games, live music, craft workshops, ice sculptures and more. We are so excited to be part of this experience this year, so be sure to stop by our festive lobby space and warm up with a local beer or wine tasting.  The festivities can be experienced the first three weekends of December (December 1 – 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 5:00pm  – 10:00pm). Tickets can be purchased online at wfol.com or upon check-in at our hotel.

Laser Light Shows

The popular laser light shows are back for another year. Taking place over the holidays, the lively and vibrant laser light shows are definitely a crowd pleaser. Each show is fifteen minutes long, with an interactive laser booth available between shows.

Clifton Hill District  (on the Victoria Avenue Promenade at the top of Clifton Hill from December 22nd – January 7th, 2018).

Show times: 5:30, 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm

New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls

Ranked as one of the top places to ring in the New Year, Niagara Falls is definitely the place to be this New Year’s Eve. With live music, firework displays and the magnificent Niagara Falls as your backdrop. Stay tuned for exciting details to come in the next few weeks.

Niagara Falls Events in January

Speaking of traditions, you can’t miss the annual Niagara Icewine Festival happening from January 12th – 28th

Don’t miss these amazing Niagara Falls Concerts at the Fallsview Casino: Lifehouse, Richard Marx, Twist and Shout, the Spinners, Jim Gaffigan and more.

Plus many of our Niagara Falls Attractions are open year round: Journey Behind the Falls, Bird Kingdom, Butterfly Conservatory, Niagara SkyWheel and many more.

Looking for a Niagara Falls hotel just footsteps from the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights? Check out the latest special offer package at the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls, a One Night Romance Package starting at $119 per night.

We look forward to celebrating the 35th Annual Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights Season with you and your family!

Niagara Falls in the Fall

Niagara Falls in the Fall

October is here! And with October we look forward to all of the amazing traditions happening in Niagara Falls in the Fall.

Many people don’t know this, but Niagara Falls is just as beautiful in the Fall, as it is in the Summertime and it’s  definitely an experience like no other. Plus it’s a lot quieter which means no big crowds, which means A LOT more Niagara Falls me-time for you!

If you haven’t experienced this beautiful season, you simply must.

Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Niagara Falls in the Fall:

Niagara Markets

We LOVE our markets in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls Farmer’s Market

Pick up your fresh fruits and veggies every Saturday from the crack of dawn (6am – noon).

Holiday Market – November 3rd – 5th

Get your holiday shopping lists out, this is the place to start your holiday shopping. New venue: Scotiabank Convention Centre!

Shed & Friends Christmas Open House – December 2nd and 3rd

This is a more intimate show! Featuring a handful of talented artisans: Garden City Essentials, Provisions Food Company, Sarah Reimer Designs, Little Wolf and Autumn Luck & Mutts.

Events for the young and young at heart

Howells

This promises to be a howling good time for the whole family! From pumpkin donuts to corn mazes and hay rides, you certainly won’t hear the words “Mom, I’m bored” from your kiddos.

Warner’s Pumpkin Farm

Warner’s Pumpkin Farm is another great pumpkin patch option. Experience wagon rides, haunted hay rides (for adults and those kids who love a little scare) and the search for that perfect pumpkin to carve. 

Events for the More Seasoned Crowd

Haunted Hay Rides – now open

This attraction is recommended for the young at heart and those who get a kick out of a good scare. The haunted hay ride at Haunt Manor was named Canada’s scariest haunted attraction by Fangoria Magazine and has also been featured on CHCH and numerous paranormal TV shows. Plus it’s located just west of the historic Battle of Lundy’s Lane historic graveyard where the bloodiest battle took place in 1812 (spooky)!

 

Niagara Wineries – with the weather being so beautiful, you can’t go wrong with a visit to one of the 100+ Niagara Wineries.

Plus all of the great Niagara Falls Attractions are still open in the Fall.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises – one of the most thrilling boat rides you’ll ever experience

Journey Behind the Falls – get a back stage pass to the secret tunnels and portals behind Niagara Falls.

Wild Play Ziplining – Soar across the sky while catching some amazing views of both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls at speeds of 70 kph and 2200 feet above the ground.

Whirlpool Jet Boats – learn about the history and geology of the majestic Niagara River while jetboating through the Niagara rapids. Be prepared to get wet!

You can’t forget about all the other amazing attractions to experience in Niagara Falls in the Fall.

And speaking of amazing experiences, check out our Ultimate One Night Romance Package from $119 which includes: accommodations, breakfast buffet for two, dinner voucher, a bottle of white wine and chocolates, wine/beer/cheese/fudge tastings, lavender experience, WEGO shuttle passes. We’re just footsteps from the fun!

We Promise You’ll Fall in Love with Niagara!

Things to do in Niagara Falls this Summer

Things to do in Niagara Falls this Summer

Get your last week of Summer Fun in this weekend. Over the past 20 years, Niagara Falls has certainly grown into a destination visited by millions each year (12 million to be precise). From visitors both near and far, with Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom being the top countries to visit (although this seems to be constantly evolving). Thanks for these fabulous facts: Stats Canada, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

There are so many things to do in Niagara Falls, not only in the summertime, but all year round. However seeing that summer is currently top-of-mind, let’s chat about all the wonderful things happening in not only Niagara Falls this summer, but the Niagara Region.

Top Niagara Falls Attractions

Let’s start with some of our favourite, must-experience Niagara Falls Attractions, that even as locals we think are pretty great (hence the reason we want to share them with you).

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Hornblower Niagara Cruises is one of those Niagara Falls Attractions that you must experience. This catamaran holds up to 700 people and has tours both day and night. From the Voyage to the Falls during the day to the Illumination by the Falls and Fireworks cruises at night. Whatever cruise you choose, you are sure to be wowed and well let’s be honest here, you are bound to get wet!

Journey Behind the Falls

Now let’s switch from a voyage in front of the Falls to a Journey Behind the Falls. This is another Niagara Falls Attraction that will leave you amazed and inspired. With this attraction, you’ll be descending 150 feet and get the chance to explore 130 year old tunnels and once again you just might get a little wet (or shall we say “misted”). And by the way, the negative icons from the Falls are supposed to be great for wellness. And speaking of wellness, there have been three Namaste Niagara yoga sessions at Journey Behind the Falls this summer and we’re hoping for more, so stay tuned.

Also new this summer is Night Lights in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday. Enjoy exclusive access to this natural wonder at the base of the Horseshoe Falls at night, underneath the stars, the radiance of the new falls illumination, and of course the thrill of falls fireworks.

Available Monday through Friday, 9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m, until September 4th.

Wildplay’s MistRider Zipline to the Falls

This is one of the newer Niagara Falls Attractions that will allow you to soar through the sky on four parallel ziplines, travelling at 670 metres (2,200 feet) through the wide river gorge. And this might be the best view of both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls that you’ll experience at full speed.

And new this summer is the Whirlpool Adventure Course. With this attraction, you’ll get to choose your own adventure (Classic, Extreme, What’s to Fear Jump or the Kid’s Course).

Kids Course

Picture fun obstacles suspended up to 5 metres (16 feet high), including a dozen cool games and Bumble ziplines. The minimum age to join in the fun is 5 years old.

Classic Course

The Classic Course is just that, an obstacle course that includes ladders, nets, ropes, logs, bridges and a few surprises. The minimum age to join in is 7 years old.

Extreme Course

Take the classic course and add more challenging everything. The minimum age to participate is 12 years old and they must be accompanied by a chaperone.

What’s to Fear Jump

This is a loose line leap from 40 feet. Sounds like it should be part of the Extreme Course. The minimum age to participate in this jump is 7 years old.

Hiking on the Niagara Gorge Trail

A hike on the Niagara Gorge Trail is definitely for those who love nature and the great outdoors. It is certainly an outdoor adventure enjoyed by many locals, and we hope that our visitors from near and far take the time to explore it too (you won’t be disappointed). The Niagara Gorge Trail has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992. This trail is a great work-out for the whole family and a great way to get one with nature. The metal stairs lead you to 4 km (2.5 mi) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago. It’s a history lesson in beauty by your tour guide, Mother Nature.

There are many different paths to take: red, white, blue. Whatever path you choose, all lead to the thundering and wondrous Niagara River. During your journey, you’ll also discover interesting wildlife (such as salamanders, snakes or if you are lucky you might be able to spot the peregrine falcons nesting in the Niagara Gorge).

Also new this year, is an exciting experience at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre. This new Niagara Glen Nature Exchange program is in partnership with Science North and encourages hikers of all ages to get excited about nature, science and the environment around us. Hikers can share their precious finds at the Nature Centre and earn points for their find(s) or exchange their find for something perhaps more fascinating – how cool is that? Check out all the amazing details here.

Now let’s explore the outskirts of Niagara Falls. 

Niagara Wine Country

Niagara Wine Country is always evolving. With over 70+ wineries in Niagara to choose from, there is always a new winery to taste and explore. Some of our favourites include: Two Sisters Winery, Ravine Estate Winery, Trius, Jackson Triggs, Stratus winery, Peller Estates, 13th Street Estate Winery (to name a few).

Niagara Beer Country

We can’t forget about Niagara Beer Country too, it’s hopping with goodness if your palate prefers barley over grapes. The must-try microbreweries include: The Exchange Brewery, Niagara Oast Housebrewers, Silversmith and Taps. If you’re looking for an incredible patio, Oast is your place – with an upcycled patio and their new seasonal beer – 2017 Oak-Aged Peach Hefeweizen (I’m getting thirsty writing this). And another tasty detail is that the peaches are grown locally from Lepp Farms.

Niagara Events

Niagara is also exploding with tons of events throughout the summer. From Niagara Concerts (check out all the great concerts in our concert blog) to markets galore and other fabulous winery/music events.

Niagara Markets and More

Wednesday Night Supper Market – with farm to table goodness from incredible Niagara foodtrucks every Wednesday night from 4:30pm – dusk.

The Farmer’s Market – every Saturday starting at 8am

Sip and Stroll at Stratus Winery – September 2nd – 11am

Ravine Garden Tour – September 2nd at 3pm

Jackson Triggs Concert Series:

The Jim Cuddy Band – September 7th and 8th

Plus if you drive down St. Paul Avenue to Four Mile Creek Road, there are tons of pop-up market stands, where you can get your farm to table fix (it doesn’t get any fresher than this).

During your Niagara adventure, stay at one of the most fun-filled Niagara Falls hotels, that’s just footsteps from it all, the Courtyard Marriott. Check out our current One Night Romance Package Special Offer from $119 per night.

Celebrate your Dad with a Niagara Falls Father’s Day

Celebrate your Dad with a Niagara Falls Father’s Day

This year, why don’t you do something different for your dad? Has the thought of honouring your dad with a Niagara Falls Father’s Day ever crossed your mind?

To find out if Niagara Falls is the right fit for your dad, ask yourself these simple questions?

  1. Does your dad like to golf?
  2. Is your dad into adventure?
  3. Is he a risk taker?
  4. Does he enjoy wine or craft beer
  5. Is he into really good food?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you have got to check out all the exciting activities happening during Father’s Day weekend.

Niagara Golf Courses

Niagara is filled with some top-notch golf courses, but if your dad is an avid golfer then this list of Niagara Golf Courses is no surprise.

Here are some of the favourites (suggested by some pretty seasoned golfers):

Grand Niagara

Legends on the Niagara

Battlefield or Ussher’s Creek

Whirlpool

Peninsula Lakes

Thundering Waters

Adventure

Niagara is definitely not lacking in the adventure department. From Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Whirlpool Jetboats or the newish WildPlay Niagara Ziplining, there’s a lot of action-packed attractions in our neck of the woods.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Warning! You will get wet (really wet), but it’s so worth coming face-to-face with Mother Nature on this 700 passenger state-of-the-art catamaran.We promise that you won’t just like it, you’ll love it. There’s also a whole bevy of tour options to choose from: Voyage to the Falls (Day or Night Cruise), Illumination Cruise or Fireworks Cruise.

Whirlpool Jet Boats

I think we’re starting to see a trend here, because with this Niagara Falls Attraction, you are going to get even more wet than Hornblower Niagara Cruises (if that’s even possible). Check out the testimonials, videos and packages to see if you’re up to the challenge.

Wildplay Niagara Ziplining

This Niagara Falls Attraction tops the adventure charts. If your dad is looking for a bit of a thrill on Father’s Day then this is the attraction for him. Soar across the sky while getting some pretty spectacular views of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls How high you might ask? How is 670 metres (2,200 feet), at speeds of 70+ kph (40+ mph) for you?

Check out all of the other incredible adventurous Niagara Falls Attractions. From Journey Behind the Falls to the Niagara Helicopters, there is something that is sure to give your dad that adrenaline boost he’s craving.

Risk Taker

If you answered “yes” to risk taker, may we recommend hitting the slots at either the Fallsview Casino or Casino Niagara? After all it is his special weekend, so his chances of winning just might be a slightly bit greater than most <insert wink here>.

The Fallsview Casino is just 593 footsteps away from the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls hotel. With over 3000 slots, 130 Table Games and the largest Poker Room in Canada, your dad is sure to have a lot of fun. And if he’s a Sammy Hagar fan, you can check out Sammy Hagar and the Circle on June 21st or 22nd at 8:30pm at the Avalon Theatre.

And while we are on the topic of music, ArtPark in Lewiston, New York has a great list of upcoming performers during ‘Tuesdays in the Park’ and the best part is that tickets start at only $17:

Canadian Hall of Fame Randy Bachman and 54-40 – June 20th

Brian Setzer’s Rockability Riot with Special Guest Big Bad VooDoo Daddy – June 27th

The list goes on all throughout the summer

Casino Niagara is also fun and only 1107 footsteps away from our hotel. Their casino features 1300 slot machines, 30 gaming tables and a poker room. The best part is that the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls is smack-dab right in the middle of both Niagara Falls Casinos.

 Really Good Food

 Niagara Falls Rib Fest – June 17th – 19th

You know it’s good when RibFest is celebrating their 13th Year of grilling some fine ribs and other grilled BBQ goodness. And the nice part is that the money raised during this event goes back into the community. They have contributed to Rotary House, Pathstone Mental Health, Breakfast School Program, GNGH Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, Habitat for Humanity and Literacy Niagara (to name a few).

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar

What dad doesn’t love steak and seafood? And when you dine at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, you know it’s a name that you’ve grown to trust over the years – mouthwatering steaks and succulent seafood – what’s not to love? Come and check out the Keg Steakhouse + Bar located right in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls hotel. There are daily cocktail specials from $5 every evening. Monday is Traditional and Sugared Mojitos. Tuesday is extra tasty with Strawberry Mules. Wednesday is pretty wicked with Dark & Stormys. Thursdays will make you thirsty with their Keg Margarita specials. Friday is all about Cinnamon Tequilas. Saturday is extra special with their Caesar Diablos and Sunday is Red & White Sangria night. If your dad likes music, you have to come and experience the Keg Lounge on Friday nights from 8 – 11pm where our local musicians takeover the lounge area. Plus Oast House Barn Raiser pints are just $5 on Fridays. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Beer and Wine Tasting

Niagara is exploding with some fantastic Niagara Wineries and the ever-growing microbreweries, like Niagara O’ast House Brewers, Silversmith and Exchange.  So be sure to hop on over to one of these incredible Niagara microbreweries – your taste buds will thank you!

Niagara O’ast House Brewers

Silversmith

Exchange Brewery

Wine

If your dad prefers tipsy grapes over beer, Niagara is the place to be. With over 70+ wineries to choose from, he’s sure to find something that pleases his palate. Here’s your online Niagara winery guide to all things grape related in the region.

The Homegrown Wine Festival on June 17th – 18th is made for all Fathers out there (37 wineries, 80 wines, 12 chefs….hello…what are you waiting for?).

Have we convinced you to do something different? A Niagara Falls Father’s Day is pretty different indeed. You’ll need a place to rest your head after your golf/adventure/risk-taking/food and beverage loving weekend. Stay at one of the most father-friendly Niagara Falls hotels, the Courtyard Marriott. Check out all of our hotel packages. From One Night to Two Nights and some packages that are jam packed with fun, you’re sure to find something that your dad will approve.

 

 

 

 

Canada 150 Niagara Falls Style

Canada 150 Niagara Falls Style

As Canadians we are so honoured and blessed to be born in such an amazing country.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons Why Canada is such an Awesome Country to Live In and Why You Should Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday Niagara Falls Style.

Canada is so awesome because…

#1 Canada is known for its Caesars. It’s a magic antidote and is the perfect beverage for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The secret ingredient is Clamato juice, not Tomato Juice and it’s served with a pickle, pickled beans, pickled onions (anything pickled will do). And the best part is that you can order one of these beauties at the Courtyard Marriott on-site Keg Steakhouse + Bar every Saturday for only $5.

#2 Maple Syrup is a staple. We treat this golden nectar with respect and it can be purchased at any local grocery store here in Canada. You can see this golden nectar being produced live at the White Meadow Farms, located right here in Niagara. Be sure to stay for their amazing pancake breakfast and taste their maple syrup goodness firsthand.

#3 Currency. We have funny coins like the loonie and toonie and our bills look like Monopoly money (we wouldn’t have it any other way). As Canadians we proudly accept all of this funny money with a smile and we might apologize for it too.

#4 Coffee Crisp. We’re the inventors of Coffee Crisp and its delicious layers of crunchy wafer, milk chocolate with a hint of coffee. It’s a Canadian treasure for sure. This scrumptious treat can be found in our Market at the Courtyard, which is open 24 hours – even when your craving hits at midnight.

#5 Hockey – we live and breathe hockey. This sport is part of our DNA. And we’ve produced some pretty great hockey players: Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Steve Yzerman, Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr, Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur, Phil Esposito, Sidney Crosby (and the list keeps growing). On occasion, we’ve been known to have a few of these hockey celebrities stay at our hotel.

#6 – Poutine – we’re very creative with our food. Potatoes, cheese curds and gravy = one of the greatest comfort foods in the world and we are proud of it. There’s a great Poutinerie just around the corner from our Niagara Falls Hotel (see in Canada, Poutinerie is a word that is often used).

#7 Canadian Music. I think we can all agree that Canada produces some pretty incredible musicians: Arcade Fire, Gord Downie, Justin Bieber, Feist, Drake, Michael Buble, Deadmau5, Metric, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Diana Krall (the list goes on). While our Keg Lounge might not showcase some of these top performers, it is a very popular hot spot for local musicians every Friday night from 8 – 11pm.

#8– We’re also pretty funny. Producing many of the great comedians of today. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Seth Rogan and Will Arnett. Just to name a few. Some of these greats have also taken the stage at the Fallsview Casino, just 593 footsteps from our hotel.

#9 – Canada is vast and beautiful. All 9.98 million square kilometres of it. As the second largest country in the world (after Russia), Canada is full of endless lakes and rivers. We are surrounded by three oceans, and we’re one of the few places in the world where you can ski and surf (outside) in the same day.

#10 Niagara Falls. Is without a doubt one of Canada’s hidden treasures and the power and beauty of Niagara Falls never ceases to amaze, whether you’re seeing this natural beauty for the 1st or 100th time. Lucky for us Canadians, the best place to view the Falls is on the ‘Canadian side’ (we mean this in the least boastful way). Millions of people from around the world pose in front of the Falls every day to capture that perfect selfie.

So the next time you find yourself blindfolded, spinning around 3 times and pointing your finger aimlessly on a map, looking for that next lucky spot to visit, think of all the amazing reasons to visit Canada and Niagara Falls in particular. Celebrate Canada 150 Niagara Falls Style and stay at one of the top Niagara Falls Hotels, the Courtyard Marriott, we’re just footsteps from the fun (literally).

593 footsteps….Fallsview Casino

604 footsteps…Clifton Hill

1107 footsteps…Casino Niagara

1201 footsteps…American Falls

1302 footsteps…Canadian Horseshoe Falls

And here’s why it is so important that you visit Niagara Falls in celebration of Canada’s 150 this year:

#1 – The Falls – see #10 (above). Its beauty will leave you speechless.  With heights of 176 feet and a colossal 150,000 gallons of water crashing down per second (just picture approximately one million bathtubs filled with water every minute). That’s how powerful and wondrous Niagara Falls truly is…

#2 – The Events

Live with Kelly and Ryan just took place in early June and let us tell you, the two shows were incredible. Watch some of the clips here:

June 5th

June 6th

At the Fallsview Casino, Pat Boone with be there until June 29th and the Gipsy Kings on June 30th

Elton John will be performing on November 15th at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines – tickets are selling quickly

ArtPark Events  – just 20 minutes from our Niagara Falls hotel in Lewiston, New York. Experience ‘Tuesdays in the Park’ (Loverboy and Kim Mitchell, Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull). Plus on Wednesdays it’s Ziggy Marley on July 19th, Blink 182 on July 31st and the Arkells on August 19th.

Markets, Wine Festivals and Concerts – every week. Here are a few of our favourites:

Outdoor Concerts at Jackson-Triggs – get the best of both worlds, great music and wine in the great outdoors.

Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies with Skydiggers – July 4th – 6th. Tickets are limited.

Chantal Kreviazuk – July 8th. Tickets are limited.

Wednesday Supper Market – every Wednesday night throughout the summer enjoy food truck fare, local wine, craft beer and live entertainment

Coca Cola Concert Series – the concert series by the Falls kicks off on July 1st and 2nd and runs Monday – Friday until August 31st

Handmade Market – September 15th – 16th – 13th Street Winery –  Sip, savour and shop at this fun-filled annual event. 100+ artisans, local wine, food trucks.

#3 Niagara Wine Country and the Ever-growing Beer Country. Wow your taste buds with over 70+ Niagara wineries and Craft Breweries.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries

Twenty Valley Wineries

Check out the full guide of Niagara Wineries

Craft Breweries in Niagara 

Winery Events

International Cool Climate Celebration – July 21st – 23rd – taste over 60 chardonnays from all corners of the globe, poured by their makers in one of the coolest venues in Niagara.

Niagara Grape and Wine Festival – September 9th – 24th – over 100 events, concerts, local wine and cuisine, street parades and more. This is a truly Canadiana experience

#4 The Amazing Niagara Falls Attractions

  • Hornblower Niagara Cruises
  • Journey Behind the Falls
  • Wildplay MistRider Zipline to the Falls and Whirlpool Adventure Course
  • Jet Boats Niagara
  • Niagara Helicopters
  • The new go-carting roller coaster track coming mid-July – it’s supposed to be one of the largest go-carting tracks in North America

 

#5 Two Incredible Casinos The Fallsview Casino and the Casino Niagara, which are both just footsteps away from our Niagara Falls Hotel.

Have we convinced you yet? Start planning your Canada 150 Niagara Falls getaway…you’ll be glad you did.

There’s a package with your name on it. From family fun to grown-up fun, there’s a little something for everyone!

Sources: Huffingtonpost.ca and globalnews.ca

Mother’s Day in Niagara Falls

Make Room for A LOT of Mother’s Day Fun in Niagara Falls

We know it’s mission impossible to find that perfect gift for one of the most important women in your life. We do however have some incredible suggestions that we know will make her day extra special. From breathtaking to wine-derful and maybe a bit theatrical, your mom will certainly feel like one lucky lady. So get ready to make room for a whole lot of F-U-N with your M-O-M!

Breathtaking

Hornblower Niagara Cruises is truly one of the most breathtaking Niagara Falls attractions that you simply must experience. Get up close and personal with Mother Nature with your Creator (a.k.a. Mom) by your side to hold your hand. There are so many tour options to choose from – from the Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour to the NEW Evening Tour and the Illumination or Fireworks Tours. So many options, that will keep you coming back.

Journey Behind the Falls

This Niagara Falls attraction is equally breathtaking and can go hand in hand with your Hornblower Niagara Cruise experience. Here you and your mom will get a back stage pass (literally) to all of the secret portals behind the Falls. This Journey is simply awe-some! Plus there’s also rumours that the mist produces these negative ions that help increase your health and wellness. So you can tell your mom that she’s receiving a spa treatment too (compliments of Mother Nature).

Ziplining

Or perhaps ziplining might be on your mom’s bucket list. We all have dreams and aspirations and today is her day after all. So check out Wildplay Niagara Zipline and get ready to travel 2,200 feet through the wide river gorge while getting some pretty spectacular views of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Skylon Tower will be lit in Pink

We all know that mothers are special. In honour of your mom and Mother’s Day, the Skylon Tower will be lit in Pink.

Wine-der-ful Experiences

If your mom has a weakness for grapes (the tipsy kind) then she is going to love Niagara Wine Country and all of its glory.

Here are all the wine-der-ful events happening in May.

Sip and Sizzle – weekends in May

This is an annual event that we know your mom will LOVE. This is definitely a ‘glass half full’ kind of experience. Get ready to sip your way through 20+ Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries and tempt your taste buds with unique grilled food goodness paired with your VQA wine.  Tour passes start at $45 per person.

Handmade Market – May 12th – 13th

This wonderful event is back for another year and for this reason you know it’s a good one. Raise a glass to mom while checking out over 110 Artisans, the 13th Street Bakery, fine wine, gourmet food and live music. Your mom will have the time of her life, as she sips, savours and shops the day away.

Party in the Vineyard – May 20th – 22nd

While this event might be the week after Mother’s Day, it’s a great excuse to keep the celebrations going all month long. The Party in the Vineyard is an event you don’t want to miss – wine, food truck deliciousness with the vineyard as your backdrop…the only question she’ll be asking is where do I sign up?

Vino and Cocoa – Peller Estates Winery – Monday – Thursday at 3pm. Friday – Sunday at 3pm and 5pm

We had you at wine and chocolate – right? It’s the perfect combination for your perfect person.

Market at the Village – Wednesday Night Supper Market – starting May 24th

If you can sneak away during the week with your mom, this is a must stop. Market at the Village happens every Wednesday night from 4:30pm – 9pm. Here you’ll experience some of Niagara’s favourite food truck fare and some of the top Niagara Wineries and Craft Breweries.

Port Dalhousie Spring Market – May 12th – 14 and May 19th – 22nd

Don’t miss the Port Dalhousie Spring Market – a marketplace full of treasures, live music, food trucks. Sounds like the perfect way to spend Mother’s Day weekend!

Bring out the Inner Child in Your Mom

Who doesn’t love a tea party? The thought of a tea party always brings me back to the Alice in Wonderland days, but we promise this one won’t involve crazy rabbits or mice who won’t serve you a cup of tea. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea and freshly baked goods at the McFarland House in celebration of your mom.

For the Love of Theatre

Shaw Festival

Niagara-on-the-Lake is also a quaint place to take your mom for the day. You can spend the afternoon or evening exploring this unique town full of character and history – from the unique boutiques to cozy cafes and the world class theatre at the Shaw Festival.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, there are so many plays to catch. From Saint Joan to Me and My Girl or the Farmer’s Revolt (and much more), there’s surely something that will make your mom happy!

The Courtyard by Marriott is one of the top 4-star Niagara Falls hotels just footsteps from all of the fun. Check out our Mother’s Day Niagara Falls Packages for one or two nights.

Make room for a little fun this Mother’s Day!

 

Easter in Niagara Falls

Easter in Niagara Falls

Easter weekend this year is from April 14th – 16th, just a few days away. I don’t know if as a parent Easter just gets more exciting every year when you have young ones or if it’s just parents reconnecting with their inner child. From secretly hiding the eggs and allowing them to consume a little more chocolate than the average day (because it’s Easter after all) to the big turkey dinner feast with the family. Easter is a time to get together with family and celebrate whatever Easter means to you – whether it has a religious meaning or whether it’s a more playful time celebrating Easter bunnies, chocolate and the love of family.

If you’d rather get away from cooking and doing dishes and just focus on the family part, then celebrate Easter in Niagara Falls. With so much to do in Niagara Falls, the focus is always on family and fun.

Family Tradition Time

The Bird Kingdom

Speaking of traditions, every year the Bird Kingdom has a family special during Easter Weekend.

Children’s admission is $7.00 and includes an easter egg hunt and prizes (with paid adult admission). Here you can explore 3 levels of fun – reptile zone, nocturnal nook with bats and owls, and a rainforest setting with hundreds of free-flying birds. It’s hours of fun for the whole family.

Heartland Forest – April 15th – 11am – 2pm

This is a day of family fun in the forest. Featuring a campfire and marshmallows, scavenger hunt with delicious treats, train rides, mini putt, kid crafting. And the cost is only $5 per car.

If you haven’t been to Heartland Forest you are missing out. This place was truly created from the heart.

With a mandate of preservation, education and accessibility, Heartland Forest opened in 2004.  Founder Dan Bouwman,  purchased the land in 1999, rescuing it from industrial development. Heartland Forest is a registered charitable organization created in memory of his granddaughter, Sydney who passed away in October 2009 from a rare brain birth defect. He wanted to create a place where people of all ages and abilities could enjoy the easy access trails, gardens, carvings, turtle, frog and fish ponds, picnic and interpretative areas. 

Skylon Tower

This is new this year and it’s a fun tradition that the kids will love. Let your kiddies stay up a wee bit later on Sunday night (April 16th) and allow them to experience the Skylon Tower turning yellow (yellow has long been a traditional colour for Easter). You can also share this little nugget of information with them, because as parents we are always trying to tie it back to education (insert wink here).

Easter Egg Hunt at Fireman’s Park  – April 14th at 11am

This is an annual tradition that all families in Niagara Falls enjoy! Plus the best part is that there is no cost and the kids get to enjoy the great outdoors while hunting for eggs.

Warner Ranch and Pumpkin Farm

Get ready for your kids to experience an Easter Eggstravaganza. Warner’s Ranch is so much more than an easter egg hunt, there are pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides and an outdoor play area adventure.

Floral Showhouse Annual Spring Display

This is something that the whole family can enjoy. Plus it’s fun and educational. At the Floral Showhouse you can experience the extensive rose gardens, ponds, collections of orchids, succulents and other tropical plant species. This is just the beginning of what Mother Nature has in store for us this Spring.

Spring will definitely be in the air Easter weekend. There is so much to do in Niagara that isn’t scheduled. From exploring the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and their boutiques and restaurants to the 70+ Niagara wineries and microbreweries to all of the fun Niagara Falls Attractions (Hornblower, Journey Behind the Falls, Clifton Hill and so much more).

There’s something fun always happening http://niagara-falls-attractions/in the Niagara Region – every Season. If you’re looking for something to do Easter weekend, you have to check out Easter in Niagara Falls – it might be the start of a fun tradition.

Stay at the hotel close to all of the fun, the Courtyard Marriott. We’re one of the most fun-filled Niagara Falls Hotels, with Niagara Falls Packages for everyone.

Things to do in Niagara Falls for March Break

Things to Do in Niagara Falls for March Break

Kids everywhere are counting down the days until March Break. For those families who are looking for more of a funcation experience close to home, there are a ton of things to do in Niagara Falls for March Break.

Get ready to pack your bags and head over to the city filled with F-U-N!!

Here is a list of the must-see, must-do experiences while you are here:

#1 Stay at a Family Focused Hotel (hint, hint we know of a good Niagara Falls Hotel)

We all know that kids love hotels and for that one reason alone, you don’t really need to leave the hotel, because the kids will have fun jumping on the beds (shhh don’t tell the hotel), watching movies, staying in the their jimmies all day, splashing in the indoor pool and checking out the arcade room. We do know however that as a parent for your sanity (insert a happy face emoji here) you need to leave the hotel.

#2 Clifton Hill

Kids under 12 are drawn to this place of fun. They could spend hours playing all the games in the Great Canadian Midway (over 70,000 square feet of fun to be exact). There is also the Ghost Blasters Dark Ride, Strike Rock N’ Bowl, Glow in the Dark mini golf and the Niagara SkyWheel. Plus there are tons of Haunted Houses and Museums.

#3 Butterfly Conservatory – Northern Owls Exhibit

This is a limited time exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory featuring these magical birds of prey. Learn about the fascinating behaviour, biology and lifestyle of owls during this special exhibition! During March Break week there will be a display with demos on March 11th, 12th 15th and 18th. And parents you will love this too because it’s fun and educational (fun-cational). I think we just created a word. Nope, just googled it and it is a word.

Northern Owls Exhibit

Butterfly Conservatory

#4 Bird Kingdom

A trip to Niagara Falls would not be complete without a trip to the Bird Kingdom, the World’s Largest Indoor Bird Aviary. Here you’ll experience exotic birds flying freely in a multi-level rainforest, a night jungle with bats, owls and other noctural creatures, a whole room dedicated to reptiles such as snakes, tortoises, bearded dragons and other exotic species. Check out their website to receive $2 off of your admission

#5 March Break and the Museum

The Niagara Falls Museum is just a 10 minute walk from the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel. During March Break you’ll make new discoveries about science and learn about the history of snow.

Mad Science – March 14th – 17th – 10am – 4pm

There are two different shows at 11am and 1pm. Kids will experience the coldest snow around and the magic of chemical reactions! Afterwards they can take a journey through the museum, make a winter-themed craft and complete a scavenger hunt, then finish the day off with a movie at 3pm.

Family Yoga Series – March 16th – 7pm – 9pm

This is a great way to connect with your family through interactive yoga games, stretching and hopefully having a zen moment (even a small moment would be good).

#6 Greg Frewin Magic Show

What child doesn’t like magic? Greg Frewin is not like your typical magic shows. This show is similar to one that you would experience in Las Vegas – it’s captivating, featuring illusions and real siberian tigers and exotic birds that will take your breath away. Greg Frewin is an illusionist and “World Champion of Magic”. His awards include First Place at the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM); The Gold Medal of Excellence, also from the IBM; First Place at the Society of American Magicians‘ annual magic convention competition; and first place at FISM, the “Olympics of Magic”, which were held in Yokohama, Japan in 1994. Greg Frewin was also featured on the Penn and Teller Show.

 

The Greg Frewin Theatre has two shows playing each day during March Break, from March 13th – 18th (one at 1:30pm and one at 7:30pm).

Plus, there are the obvious Niagara Falls Attractions that never sleep in the Winter, such as Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara’s Fury, Imax Theatre and more.

Stay at one of the most family-focused Niagara Falls hotels because there is so much to do in Niagara Falls for March Break.

Check out all of our packages, from one night to family fun, you and your family are guaranteed to have loads of fun.

Contest Time

Enter to win some free family fun on Parents Canada.

Make room for a little March Break fun at the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls!

 

Family Day Niagara Falls 2017

Family Day Niagara Falls 2017 – This City was Made For Families and Fun

Family Day was one of the best inventions ever….it really was. To be able to spend the entire day with your family and also be considered a statutory holiday in Ontario. Canada is a great place to live and Niagara Falls is a great place to spend the weekend or the day with your family.

Here are our most favourite things to do for Family Day Niagara Falls 2017 (Out of the mouths of babes themselves):

#1 Sleepover at a Hotel – really it’s true. Kids love sleeping over at hotels. Some don’t even want to leave the room. They just want to have pillow fights, watch movies, stay in their jammies all day, eat lots of snacks and have a bubble bath.  They do however love the pool and if there is an arcade room…well they might leave their room for that too!

#2 Clifton Hill – if you have kids under 12 they do like venturing over to the “Street of Fun” and experiencing the Great Canadian Midway. With over 70,000 square feet of F-U-N (featuring games, the Ghost Blasters Dark Ride, Strike Rock N’ Bowl, Glow in the Dark mini golf and the Niagara SkyWheel). Big kids over 12 like some of those things too. Plus this steep hill also has haunted houses and museums like Ridley’s.

#3 Butterfly Conservatory – Northern Owls Exhibit

This is a limited time exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory featuring these magical birds of prey who sleep all day and hunt all night. During Family Day Weekend (Feb. 18th and 19th – 10am – 5pm), there are some fantastic live demos. It’s where education meets fun. It’s a win-win situation for parents and kids.

#4 – Fort George Outdoor Skating Rink

Weather pending, enjoy this incredible outdoor skating rink with your whole family. Plus you can take a break whenever you want and sip some hot cocoa by the fire or enjoy some warm snacks with your family. Skate rentals are available.

Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 4pm

Friday: 5pm – 9pm

Saturday: 10am – 12:30pm and 2pm – 4pm and 5pm – 9pm

On Monday, February 20th , the family fun starts at 10am. And get this? From 2 – 4pm you can skate with some of the Niagara IceDogs – how fun is that? #IceDogsFamilyDay

#5 Family Day FunZone at the Scotiabank Convention Centre

In support of the Education Foundation of Niagara, don’t miss this annual charity event. Your kids can jump to their heart’s content on some of the biggest bouncers, obstacles, slides and more.

Stay at one of the most family-focused Niagara Falls hotels, the Courtyard Marriott during Family Day Niagara Falls 2017.

Check out all of our packages, from one night to family fun, you and your family are guaranteed to have loads of fun.

Contest Time

Enter to win some free family fun on Parents Canada. The Courtyard Marriott is giving away a One Night Family Fun Package to one lucky family! Good Luck!

Make room for a little Family Fun at the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls!

 

Niagara Falls Valentine’s Day

Niagara Falls Valentine’s Day…the countdown begins

The countdown to one of the sweetest days of the years begins. Whether you’ll be celebrating with an intimate dinner at home or doing something more grandiose like closing your eyes, doing the old spin around and seeing where your finger lands on the map. Always know that whatever you plan, whether big or small, what matters most is that you are with that person that makes your heart go pitter patter.

Niagara Falls is known for being one of the most romantic places to be any day of the year (not just on Valentine’s Day). After all it has been coined the ‘Honeymoon Capital of the World.’

Here’s a list of some of the most desired things to do to make your Niagara Falls Valentine’s Day one that will be remembered for years to come:

That’s Music to My Heart

Music definitely plays a big role when it comes to romance. And speaking of romance, there are a lot of Niagara Falls Casino Concerts happening just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Country Classics – for those who love country, you’ll love these classics. From songs from the 1950’s to those tunes topping the chart today.

Man in the Mirror – what better way to celebrate a day of love than with music from this soul, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson whose life revolved around music.

Bobby Bazini – It’s an evening of folk/country and soul with this Canadian celebrity– February 10th – 7:30pm

Some Kind of Wine-der-ful

Niagara Wine Country is the place to be this Valentine’s Day with so many delicious events.

Days of Wine and Chocolate – weekends in February from 11am  – 5pm

Experience over 20 VQA wines matched with chocolate-infused dishes – from classically sweet flavour combinations to unexpected surprises. This is definitely a romantic celebration for two.

Vino and Cocoa – Monday – Thursday – 3pm | Friday – Sunday – 3pm and 5pm

We are definitely starting to see a trend here in Niagara and this is an interactive experience you won’t want to miss. Sample four premium chocolates from around the world paired with award-winning VQA wines.

Plus create your own wine country s’more using Chef Parsons’ famous Icewine marshmallows and use a Brule torch to melt gourmet chocolate to perfection. This is something you definitely won’t do every day!

Things are Brewing Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

Niagara is also becoming known for its ever-growing Micro-Breweries. And to make it simple, just follow the Niagara Ale Trail, which will lead you to some of the best micro-breweries in the Region.

Niagara Ale Trail

The Way to a Man/Woman’s Heart is Through Their Stomach

Niagara is also over-flowing with some fantastic restaurants. Name the cuisine and Niagara has it.

Who doesn’t like steak and seafood? Our favourite is the traditional and always consistently good, Keg Steakhouse + Bar, located in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls. Just ignore all of the listed calories on the new menus, because this day is all about indulgence. How about starting with some shareable appetizers, such as scallops and bacon or baked brie? For the main course, you can never go wrong with the Keg classics: Prime Rib, Top Sirloin or a Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon (everything tastes better with bacon). Nothing says romance like sharing a dessert, half the calories, double the fun. The perfect ending to an exceptional meal?! You have to try the traditional Billy Miner Pie or the Crème Brûlée?

We weren’t joking when we said – name the cuisine and Niagara has it.

Italian – Antica Pizza | Mexican – Cabo Cantina | Greek – Koutouki | Indian – Moksha | Japanese – Wind

Dreams Do Come True

If your Valentine’s Day consisted of the ‘closing your eyes, spin around 3 times and landing on Niagara Falls’ routine, then your 2017 is all about crossing things off of your bucket list. And have we got one of the most romantic Niagara Falls Valentine’s Packages for you. You’ll love our limited time, One Night Romance Package starting at $119 per night which includes: accommodations, breakfast buffet, dinner voucher for The Keg or T.G.I. Fridays, a bottle of wine with keepsakes wine glasses, chocolates, wine tasting, beer tasting, cheese tasting and a lavender culinary experience. This dream can certainly come true in one click.

Out of all the Niagara Falls Hotels, the Courtyard is just footsteps from all of the fun: Niagara Falls during the day, afternoon and night (you’ve got to check out the new Illumination technology). Plus the Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino are so close you can see both of them from your guestroom, plus all of the incredible Niagara Falls Events (listed above) are moments away.

FUN and Free Valentine’s Cards

And speaking of fun, check out all of these fun and free Valentine’s Day Cards to share with that special someone. Feel free to post some of your favourite pics on our instagram page 

Niagara Falls Valentines Day

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Make room for a little Niagara Falls Valentine’s Day Fun!