Things to do in Niagara Falls this Summer

Things to do in Niagara Falls this Summer

Now where to begin…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 we are living and breathing summer and it’s 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.

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 in 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).

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 seasonal summertime beer like Strawberry Rhubarb (I’m getting thirsty writing this).

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.

Port Dalhousie Supper Market – every Tuesday night from 4:30pm – dusk

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

Tide and Vine Burger Bar – the last Sunday of every month during the summer at Stratus Winery

Wine Country Fare – August 26th –  if you like a little country and love wine (or vice versa) – this event is for you. Featuring Canadian country artists Buck Twenty, Runaway Angel and Emerson Drive.

Trius Red presents Blues at the Winery – August 12th – Music. Wine and Fabulous Friends

Jackson Triggs Concert Series:

The Trews – August 11th

Rheostatics – August 12th

The Sheepdogs – August 18th

Rootstock – featuring Torquil Campbell (STARS) and Ron Sexsmith – August 19th

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings – August 25th

Bahamas – August 26th

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. We have a package with your name on it. 

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!

 

Things to do in Niagara Falls this Weekend

Things to do in Niagara Falls this Weekend

It’s the most wonderful month of the year (well one of them). December is such a great month, with so many things to do in Niagara Falls.

Here are all the incredible and festive things to do this weekend:

Let’s Get Festive

The Niagara Winter Festival of Lights – the 34th annual Niagara Festival of Lights is back even with more holiday pizzazz. The route has expanded from 5km of festive fun to 8km and there are so many new and exciting displays.

NEW and improved Falls Illumination – come and experience radiance at its finest. Featuring new LED lights which will provide over twice the current brightness and a wider range of colours. The new, energy-efficient system will also use 82% less power than the previous Xenon lights.

Fireworks over the Falls – every Friday starting at 9pm and every night at 9pm from December 23rd – 30th, experience the spectacular display of fireworks over the Falls

Laser Light Shows – this weekend you’ll get to see exhilarating laser light shows in the Fallsview Blvd. District. Come again between Dec. 23rd – 31st and experience the magic in our own backyard, the Clifton Hill District.

Deck the Falls Walking Tour – this weekend from 5pm – 10pm. This is a new self-guided tour, where you get to taste, sip and experience the tastefully decorated lobbies and venues of the Fallsview Boulevard District. You’ll start your tour with some keepsake Deck the Falls mittens.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Santa Claus Parade – this Saturday, December 10th starting at 11am. Come and see Santa and a wonderful display of festive fun in the beautiful and historical town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Let’s Shop and Sip

Port Dalhousie Christmas Market – it’s the first annual Christmas Market in the quaint town of Port Dalhousie. Here you’ll experience the talents of local artisans, as well as local fare and beverages, plus live entertainment.

Let’s Have Fun

Greg Frewin Theatre – experience magic and mystery this weekend at the Greg Frewin Theatre.

Shrek the Musical – this is a fun experience for the whole family. All of the Shrek characters come to life in a live performance this weekend at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

And let the planning begin for a New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls. This year there will be musical performances from High Valley, Serena Ryder and Sam Roberts Band.

Stay at the Niagara Falls Hotel close to it all, the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls. Check out our current special offer, a One Night Romance Package starting at $110 per night.

 

Niagara Falls in December

Niagara Falls in December

Yes you heard us correctly? Niagara Falls in December! It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to an end and Christmas is just around the corner. With that being said, there are so many exciting Niagara Falls events happening in the month of December. So get your calendars out and start planning for some Winter Fun!

Holiday Fun

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights – a trip to Niagara Falls in December has to include a drive through the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights. Plus it’s new and improved. 8km of lights, new state-of-the-art illumination technology, new displays, Deck the Falls walking tour – need we say more?!

Laser and Light Show – it’s a truly memorable audio/visual experience using visual effects with a kaleidoscope of colour & texture treatments, visual transitions, with dynamic music and sound. The fun happens nightly every 15 minutes from 6 – 9pm from now until January 31st.

Christmas Parades – the fun has only begun. Don’t miss the Port Colborne parade on Dec. 3rd and the Niagara-on-the-Lake one on December 10th.

Handmade Markets – don’t miss the 1st ever handmade market in the quaint town of Port Dalhousie. On December 2nd, it’s the annual Ridley Christmas Market in St. Catharines, which features 60 plus vendors with unique creations just in time for the holidays.

Concerts

Fallsview Casino’s Christmas on Ice – it’s a thrilling event featuring world-class ice skating from some of the best performers.

Festival of Stars – Dec. 4th – 5th at the Meridian Centre  – These two days will be filled with popular tunes from popular Irish crooner, Daniel O’Donnell, after his nearly two-year hiatus from performing, joined by Mary Duff. Branson-favourite Mike Walker, will perform his tribute program “Conway Twitty Remembered”, with hits including “Hello Darlin’” and “I may Never Get to Heaven.” Don’t miss five-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer BJ Thomas, singing “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and other hits from his 50-year career. Festival of Stars brings world-class artists to the world-class Niagara region.

Shrek the Musical – Looking for a little fun and musical adventure for the whole family? Check out “Shrek the Musical.” It’s a one-of-a-kind, hilarious, fairy tale of princesses, monsters, dragons, donkeys and more.

Stay at the Niagara Falls hotel close to all of this holiday fun, the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls. Check out our Niagara Falls Packages and find the perfect one for you.

 

Santa Claus Parades in Niagara 2016

Santa Claus Parades in Niagara 2016

 

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout….Santa Claus is coming to Niagara.

Children are patiently waiting for the arrival of Saint Nick and every parent is patiently waiting for the arrival of their elf on the shelf. Everyone will be on their best behaviour this holiday season.

If you’re looking for a Santa Claus parade to attend, there are many Santa Claus Parades in Niagara starting this weekend:

Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade – November 19th11am

This year’s parade will include 12 marching bands, superheroes, stilt walkers and of course Santa Claus himself.

The parade starts on Victoria Avenue at Armoury Street and heads north along Victoria Avenue, right on Valley Way and right on Queen Street and ending just past City Hall.

After the parade, children can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and Canada Post will be collecting Christmas letters to deliver back to the North Pole.

Port Colborne Santa Claus Parade – December 3rd

Starting at 9am, children can have a pancake breakfast with Santa Claus (how amazing is that?). At 1pm, Santa will be travelling along the canal on his tug boat for a stop along West Street, followed by the ever popular photo session with Santa from 1:30 – 3:00pm.

In the evening, the fun continues at 6:30pm with the annual Lighted Santa Claus Parade.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Santa Claus Parade  – December 10th

Santa is making his rounds in Niagara with his next stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake from 11am – 2pm.

This Winter is going to be a very exciting one with so many Niagara Falls Events. From the famous Niagara Festival of Lights starting on November 19th and running until January 31st to the various Niagara Craft Shows which have already begun. And we can’t forget about the annual Icewine Festival from January 13th – 27th. There’s a new event happening every weekend in Niagara.

Twenty Valley Winter Winefest – January 13th – 15th

Niagara-on-the Lake Icewine Festival – January 21st – 22nd

Niagara Falls Icewine Festival – January 27th – 29th

Book your stay at the Courtyard Marriott, one of the most festive Niagara Falls Hotels. With rates starting at $119 this November, you can’t beat a deal like that!

 

 

 

 

 

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights

It’s the 34th Annual Niagara Falls Festival of Lights and this is one festival that you don’t want to miss, as there will be so many exciting new features.

The festival kicks-off with the traditional ‘flick the switch’ ceremony on November 19th and runs until January 31st. This is an event that so many people have built into their annual holiday traditions and this year it’s going to be even more spectacular than ever.

What is so wonderful about the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights is that this year it is mixed with “traditional” and “new”. This year the route has expanded from its traditional 5 km to 8 km of illuminated fun.  The route travels through the Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands and into the surrounding tourist districts (Fallsview Blvd., Victoria Avenue, Clifton Hill and Lundy’s Lane). Plus the provincial agency has invested $300,000 on lighting, programming and infrastructure improvements within Queen Victoria Park, which means this is going to be an incredible year!

Here is Niagara Falls Festival of Lights winter schedule:

Dufferin Islands

This year there will be a new prehistoric addition to Dufferin Islands, a 10 foot tall woolly mammoth, which is part of the Canadian wildlife displays. There will also be the traditional moose and buffalo, howling wolves, charging rams, bears, beavers, whales, deer, dinosaurs, Noah’s Ark and the 20 foot tall illumination, Soma (waterfall). The woolly mammoth is the perfect destination to take your winter selfies!

Here’s What’s New

Deck the Falls Walking Tour – many of the hotels and venues in the Fallsview Boulevard district will have their lobbies and spaces in full holiday bloom with the help of professional interior designers from HGTV and Cityline. Held over two weekends in December, it can be enjoyed as a leisurely walk or you can hop on and off the WEGO bus.

Fallsview Sound and Light Show – this brand new Fallsview Sound & Light Show will mesmerize attendees using visual effects with a kaleidoscope of colour & texture treatments, visual transitions, with dynamic music and sound. It will be featured nightly throughout the festival.

Holiday Market at Grand View Marketplace – featuring artisans, food and beverage and live entertainment

State-of-the-art new technology for the illumination of the Falls – this $4 million project is going to be spectacular. Starting on December 1st, be prepared to be blown away!

Traditional

We can’t forget the traditional elements of the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights. The traditions that we all look forward to every Winter: Queen Victoria Park lit up with its holiday glow, the nightly fireworks starting at 9pm every Friday from November 25th – until January 27th with a week full of fireworks from December 23rd – December 30th. Check out the Fireworks and Falls Illumination schedule here. Plus the newish laser light shows, which everyone has added to their annual holiday traditions. Check out the schedule here. You also can’t miss the annual Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Concert in Queen Victoria Park

Niagara Falls Events in January

Speaking of traditions, you can’t miss the annual Niagara Icewine Festival happening from January 13th – 29th.

Don’t miss these amazing Niagara Falls Concerts at the Fallsview Casino: Jewel, Donny Osmond, and Sha Na Na.

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 for your Winter Getaway? The Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls is one of the closest Niagara Falls Hotels to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights and these amazing traditional Winter Events. Check out our current special offer, a One Night Romance Package starting at $110 per night. This is one of the best Niagara Falls Hotel Deals.

Have you ever experienced a Niagara Falls Halloween?

Niagara Falls Halloween

If you haven’t had the chance of experiencing a Niagara Falls Halloween, you simply must.

In Niagara, there are experiences for the young and old(er), thrill seekers and fun chasers as well as the traditionalists. There are annual events that will make you want to jump out of your seat and keep your eyes squeezed tightly shut, but there are also events that your kids will cherish and take you back around your childhood memory block.

This is a list that the locals love and you know what that means….if locals love it, you know these events are not only good, but as Tony the Tiger says – they’re greaatttt!!

‘Eyes Closed Shut’ Events

Haunt Manor

This attraction was named Canada’s scariest Haunted Attraction by Fangoria Magazine. It has also been featured on CHCH TV and a number of paranormal TV shows and the front page of various local newspapers.

And so the story goes….Just west of where one of the bloodiest battles took place over 200 years ago resides the farm of the Pew Family. This 200 year old farm still remains and it’s here where two soldiers from the war of 1812 lived and then later perished in battle. To this day there are still reports of sightings of these soldiers and the mother and children from the Pew family.

Paranormal experts have confirmed that this place is indeed full of paranormal activity. So hold on tight to your seats and keep one eye slightly open as you take a tour of seven haunted houses (yes, seven) and experience a haunted hayride on the grounds of this historical site.

See it to believe it. 

Niagara Ghost Walks

Take a stroll through Niagara’s most haunted corridors. From the Village of Elgin to Niagara’s most haunted Bed and Breakfast (Blythewood Manor) to the exact location where mob lieutenant, Freddy Tedesco, smoked his last cigar.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Ghost Walks

Take a walk through Canada’s most haunted town, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here you’ll learn about one of the most famous ghosts, who resides in the Angel Inn, as well as haunted stories that happened in the Niagara-on-the-Lake Courthouse, Prince of Wales Hotel, Apothecary, and Royal Theatre. You’ll also step foot on the gazebo where one of the famous movies “The Dead Zone” was filmed and learn about the spooky stories of Old Fort Niagara. Don’t forget to ask about the house that makes the cameras go crazy!

Fort George After Dark Ghost Tours

Niagara is known to be haunted (I’m sure you are starting to see a pattern here) and Fort George is one of the longest running ghost walks in Niagara. This 2 hour tour involves one of the scariest history lessons in horror. There have been hundreds of paranormal activity sightings ranging from the benevolent spirit of a little girl named Sarah Ann to a more ominous presence known as “The Watcher.”

Now the Fun Stuff…

It doesn’t always have to be about horror, a typical Niagara Falls Halloween is also about fun.

Howell’s Pumpkin Farm

It’s always a Howling Good Time at Howell’s Pumpkin Farm. It’s an annual tradition that kids and parents look forward to. From the pumpkin donuts and hot apple cider to the haunted spook barn, wagon ride, corn maze, cow train and getting to pick out your perfect pumpkin when you leave.

Warner’s Pumpkin Farm

This family farm is another Halloween tradition that is loved by all ages. From the haunted hayride (for the older kids) to the corn maze, petting zoo, horse drawn hayrides and of course the hundreds of pumpkins.

Raise a Glass (or pint) to a Niagara Falls Halloween

Hernder Estates Halloween Bash – October 31st at 8:30pm

It’s Part 8 of the Hernder Halloween Bash (insert scary music here). It’s an evening of fun with fabulous food and wine for a great cause. This fundraiser is for the Hernder-Picasso Foundation with 100% of proceeds going to the Walker Family Cancer Centre. Plus great prizes for the best costumer ($500 for Best Costume and $500 for Best Group (three or more). Stay tuned for more details.

Pumpkin Beer is Back at Niagara Oast House Brewers

The Country Bumpkin is back, but only for a limited time…This Fall speciality is made with fresh pumpkin, butternut, acorn and hubbard squash – all roasted in house and generously spiced to perfection. Grab your growler today!

All of these Niagara Falls Halloween events are close to the Courtyard Marriott, where you can eat, sleep and repeat the fun the next day.

Niagara Falls Tourism – End of Summer Start of Fall

Niagara Falls Tourism – End of Summer Start of Fall

Sadly Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. In fact, what it means is that Fall is just around the corner. And if you haven’t experienced Fall in Niagara, you are definitely missing out. The changing of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, the warm sweater weather and the ongoing events and activities…we promise you’ll thank us.

Here are a few ways you can spend your last days of Summer/early days of Fall in Niagara.

Last Days of Summer

 Niagara Falls Tourism (kind of stuff)

 A visit to Niagara Falls wouldn’t be a true visit without the traditional Niagara Falls Tourism kind of things, which always deliver…

A face-to-face visit with Mother Nature

This never gets old, even for someone who has lived here most of their lives. More than 168,000 cubic metres (6 million cubic feet) of water go over the Falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours. That’s about a million bathtubs full of water every minute! Seriously, that’s a lot of water…

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

This is one attraction that is breathtaking every time you get on board this 700 person catamaran. And there are so many ways to change it up – day cruise, illumination cruise, fireworks cruise…You’ll get up close and personal with Mother Nature herself – right in the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. And the best part is that you can cruise right into November. Cold temperatures + Hornblower = a double whammy experience that you can cross off your bucket list.

Hornblower-Niagara-Cruises

Journey Behind the Falls

This is another attraction that gets you up close and personal with Mother Nature…but this time you get a backstage pass behind the Falls, through the secret tunnels and portals and then bam, there she is pouring down 13 storeys from above. The Niagara Parks has also been holding some pretty amazing events, like Namaste Niagara, where you get one-on-one with Mother Nature as a yogi.

Check out the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/niagaraparks/videos/10153686525002353/

 

Journey-Behind-the-Falls1 Niagara-Parks-Yoga

This sold out event is happening on August 28th, but stay tuned for more dates to come. Not only do you do yoga by the majestic Niagara Falls, but you get private access to Journey Behind the Falls and a much needed and well deserved brunch at the Whirlpool Restaurant.

WildPlay’s MistRider Zipline to the Falls

This is the newest attraction to Niagara Falls, but is getting all the attention from adventure and thrill seekers alike. Get ready to #OMG #ICANFLY (is an understatement). This is your chance to get some crazy views of the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls via four parallel ziplines. Your 45 second journey might be quick and high (67 metres – 220 feet) from the highest vantage point, but it will surely get your heart racing as you glide 670 metres (2,200 feet), at speeds of 70+ kph (40+ mph), along the edge of the vast Niagara river gorge to the Falls observation landing.

zipline-niagara-falls

Winery and Brewery Events

 A visit to Niagara would not be complete without a visit to Niagara Wine Country (and the growing “Niagara Beer Country”).

Brew at the Zoo

It’s the first event of its kind in Niagara. Check out ‘Brew at the Zoo’ happening on October 1st at Safari Niagara from 11am – 6pm in celebration of Oktoberfest. Sip some of Ontario’s finest suds, Oktoberfest fine food and spend the afternoon with Safari Niagara’s wildlife (this includes your wildlife too – it’s a family friendly event). Admission is $8 in advance or $10 at the gate and Safari Niagara Season ticket holders will receive free admission to this event. Plus you’ll receive a keepsake Brew at the Zoo mug and 5 oz samples are only $2 each. Can you think of a better way to spend the start of October?

Niagara Oast House Brewers

This craft brewery knows how to do it right! With the launch of their upcycled patio constructed from double shipping containers and a flip-up bar with not one but two levels and a view of the vineyards to boot…this is how it is done!. Plus the launch of their seasonal and limited-time peach ale with medium body, hop-forward flavour balanced with a mild citrus aroma and subtle peach notes to finish. We won’t have to twist your arm for this delicious visit.

Niagara-Oast-House-Brewers

A Bee-autiful Experience at Rosewood Estate Winery

This Summer get ready to interact with Mother Nature (and perhaps with the Queen Bee herself) at the Rosewood Estate Apiary. With the guidance from their beekeepers you’ll open the inside of a hive to see thousands of honeybees working together (that’s something you don’t experience every day). Following the visit in the Apiary, you’ll have a chance to see the winery and taste a flight of wines (& meads) with the beekeeper. Plus you’ll add a new word to your vocabulary while you’re at it!! Or perhaps you already know what mead is….

For those who don’t know (I am raising my hand here).

Mead is the world’s oldest known form of alcoholic beverage. Made using three raw natural ingredients; honey, water, and yeast, it can be highly aromatic and complex, and much like grape-wine can be vintage and varietal specific.

There you have it, and you can try mead firsthand at the Rosewood Estate Winery 

Niagara Wine Festival

The Niagara Wine Festival is the perfect way to say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. It’s three weekends….celebrating all things from the vine from September 10th – 25th.

From the Montebello In-Park experience, from September 16th – 18th and September 23rd – 25th, where you bring your token “Niagara Wine Festival” glass and get to experience the beauty of some of Niagara’s finest wine and local fare while listening to some great tunes from local musicians. From a local perspective, this is an event we look forward to every year.

On September 24th, there is also the Meridian Grande Parade which is a tradition that has been going on for 65 years, bringing families and friends together to share their love and passion for the Niagara Wine Festival.

If you are a foodie and oenophile (a connoisseur of wines). Add this term to your vocabulary too (insert happy face emoji here), you must purchase a Discovery Pass. It’s your passport to explore and celebrate the Niagara Wine Festival and 35+ participating wineries over three weekends.

After you experience year one of the Niagara Wine Festival, we promise you’ll be back year after year.

Markets

Speaking of festivals and culinary celebrations, here is a list of the must experience markets happening in Niagara. Because in Niagara we know how to celebrate or create a celebration to celebrate something celebratory  (say that three times fast).

Wednesday Night Supper Market

We’re letting you in on some local secrets. You have to hit up this Market at least once over the Summer. Every Wednesday night from 4:30pm to dusk. Niagara’s favourite food trucks, local wineries and microbreweries and musicians come together to proclaim their love of food, grapes and hops (need we say more). The fun continues until September 21st.

 

Farmer’s Markets Galore

We’ll let you in on a few more secrets….In Niagara we adore our farmers…and are grateful for their pure sun-kissed goodness…

Niagara-on-the-Lake – 8:30am – 1pm every Saturday until October 8th

Niagara Falls – every Saturday year round from 6am – noon.

St. Catharines – 6am – 2pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the Market Square all year round.

Welland – every Saturday from 6am – noon all year round.

Handmade Market

Celebrating its 6th season (which tells you it’s a good event), get ready to sip, savour and shop. Featuring over 100 artisans, fine food vendors and the ever popular food trucks and wine (of course). This event takes shopping to a whole new level. And the handmade love continues from November 4-5th at Honsberger Estate Winery.

These are just a few of our favourite things to do in Niagara to end the summer and start our Fall. Visit soon, visit often because very season there’s something special to see…

Stay at the Niagara Falls hotel, close to it all, the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls. Check out our current special offer, an Ultimate One Night Romance Package starting at $119 per night.

 

 

Concerts in Niagara Falls

Concerts in Niagara Falls

If you answer “yes” to all of the below questions, then you need to pack your bags immediately and head to the 8th Wonder of the World, Niagara Falls.

  1. Do you love impromptu getaways (less thinking, more travelling)?
  2. Do you love music (all different kinds of music)?
  3. Are you a lover of wine (all types of wine – red, white, ice and bubbly)?
  4. Are you adventurous (see #1)?

You must be a multitasker too, because you should be packing for your trip to Niagara Falls. We understand that you can read and pack at the same time, so here are all the happening concerts in Niagara Falls (and the Niagara Region).

Fallsview Casino Concerts

You’ll be getting a double whammy when you experience the Fallsview Casino Concerts (great music and casino fun).

Here are the upcoming headliners that you can’t miss:

Seal – September 1st and 2nd

Rock Around the Clock – September 7th – 19th

Songwriters  (featuring Randy Bachman) – September 24th

I Pooh Reunion – September 24th – 25th

The Beach Boys – September 29th – October 1st

Rascal Flatts – October 4th – 5th

The Doobie Brothers – October 6th – 7th

Le Grand Cirque – October 13th – 30th

Tim McGraw – November 4th – 5th

Rich Little  – November 8th – 10th

Foreigner – November 11th – 12th

Scotiabank Convention Centre

Just a five minute drive from the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls, is the Late Summer/Fall Niagara concert series at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. It’s an intimate setting, where you can get up close and personal with these talented musicians:

Country 89 Presents Gord Bamford – September 7th

Coleman Hellman with Tyler Shaw – September 8th

Sarah Slean – October 28th

Chantal Kreviazuk – November 19th

Niagara Wine Festival

Don’t miss the 65th Annual Niagara Wine Festival happening from September 10th – 25th. Explore 35+ wineries, the Montebello In-Park Experience, the Meridian Grande Parade and more. Here is a list of the upcoming performers who will be taking the stage during this incredible annual event:

Friday, September 16th – Whitney Pea – 6:45pm | The Caverners – 8:15pm

Saturday, September 17th – Groovy Food – 1pm | Soul Jam – 3:15pm | Flat Broke – 5:30pm | Madhatters – 7:45pm

Sunday, September 18th – Brad Battle – 1:45pm | Al Rowe – 2:30pm | Beverley Mahood – 3:45pm | Jessica Mitchell – 6pm

River Town Saints – 7pm

Friday, September 23rd – Mel Monaco – 6:30pm | #Team Wolf – 8pm

Saturday, September 24th – Hammer Bros. – 1pm | Wednesday’s Engine – 3:15pm | Theatre Crisp – 5:30pm | Jonesy – 7:45pm

Sunday, September 25th -Evermile – 1:30pm | Brad James – 4pm | Cold Creek County – 6:30pm

 

Across the Bridge with our American Friends

Music in the Park – Artpark Concerts

Summer might almost be over, but there is still time to see one or two last concerts at Artpark. The Canadian Hall of Fame, Burton Cummings Band with April Wine and Buffy Sainte-Marie will be sharing their talent on August 30th at 6:30pm. Metric will be hitting the stage on September 23rd from 8 – 11pm. If you haven’t been to an Artpark concert, you simply must. Great performers, an outdoor setting in a beautiful park and really cost effective tickets (starting at $12 if you go on a Tuesday in the summer). Yes you heard us correctly, tickets start as low as $12. We’ll be sure to share the 2017 Summer Concert Schedule as soon as it comes out! Book soon, because tickets go fast.

Seneca Niagara Casino

Just a short drive across the border will take you to the Seneca Niagara Casino. With over 3000 slot machines, 100 table games and a world-class poker room, plus some of your favourite performers:

Culture Club – September 3rd at 8pm

I Love the ’90’s featuring Vanilla Ice, Salt ‘n Pepa, Coolio and Rob Base – September 29th at 8pm

Mike Tyson – Undisputed Truth – October 8th at 8pm

It’s not a concert, but it will be highly entertaining.

The Marcels – October 13th at 2pm

John Mellencamp – October 22nd at 8pm

Lewis Black – November 11th

Cheech and Chong – November 26th at 8pm

We honestly could be writing a blog that will scroll for days.  Here are some other concerts you must check out:

Free Coca Cola Concert Series by the Falls in Queen Victoria Park until September 5th.

And last by not least, don’t forget to stay at the best hotel in Niagara Falls (okay so we are a bit biased), the Courtyard Marriott Niagara Falls. Check out this outstanding performance, our Ultimate One Night Romance Package, starting at $119 per night.