Lt. Governor’s New Year’s Levee – Fort George

As the first event of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, this is the perfect way to bring in the New Year, the Lt. Governor’s New Year’s Levee. This event will be taking place at the historic site of Fort George and visitors will have the chance to tour the buildings and all the fort has to offer. There will be both military and music demonstrations, as well as Fort George’s knowledgeable staff eager to teach you about the history of Fort George and its role in the War of 1812. The Honurable David C. Onley, the Lt. Governor will be there to toast to the New Year, along with 1812 committees and politicians from both sides of the border. The event will take place from 1 pm – 4pm with the exciting cannon salute at 3pm! You don’t want to miss that! Here’s to the New Year!

This year, the Niagara region will be filled with a variety of bicentennial events. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @PostcardNiagara and Facebook to know when the next event will be and what you can expect!

Get the best of both at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Cairn Croft Hotel

Best Western Plus Cairn Croft HotelWhen it comes to the winter season there is just one thing I love….staying warm. But how do you stay warm in below zero temperatures? How about going for a swim? I know what you are thinking…”are you crazy?”

In the courtyard of the Cairn Croft Hotel, you can enjoy swimming in the pool or relaxing in one of the two hot tubs available even on the coldest of days! Of course, this is made even better when you are surrounded by friends and enjoying one of the delicious cocktails and appetizers from the poolside bar. The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft is the perfect hotel for a weekend getaway in the winter. Complete with a tropical courtyard, wonderful dining choices and a top-notch bar, The Croft Lounge… this hotel has all you need under one roof. No need to venture out into the winter cold, sit back and enjoy a little piece of tropical paradise.

Sledding at Fireman’s Park

Looking for things to do in Niagara with the kids? Or maybe you are just looking for something to do with friends during the Winter season. Why not go sledding down at Fireman’s Park?

For years this has been a popular hang out for families and teens to go sledding. Make sure to watch out for all the trees around, it’s best to try and spot a straight line down the hill with no trees. This is more so a problem on the steeper hill, so be careful! Another thing to watch out for–that I found out the hard way–is any snow jumps that people create that you can’t really notice from the top. I really went flying when I hit that at the end!

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cold, I did enjoy sledding and I still do. Who knows…maybe you might see me and my friends sledding down the hill this year. We will be the ones with the uncontrollable laughter and some form of hot beverage near by.

Santa Claus at The Niagara Square

I remember getting dressed up in my matching dress and bow, putting on my best shoes and heading off to The Niagara Square with my mom and brother to get our pictures done with Santa Claus! This could be the perfect souvenir from your trip or the perfect thing to do in Niagara Falls or as a local, a perfect souvenir from a wonderful holiday season.

If you are lucky, there won’t be a line, if there is a line, you can spend your time watching as little children cry when they are put on Santa’s knee or try to steal the whole basket of candy canes (like my brother did when he was three).  But all joking aside, I was always very excited to go see Santa and tell him what I wanted. It was always either the newest Barbie or a Cabbage Patch Kid, while my brother always asked for a new Lego set or Ninja Turtles.

We continue to set out our Santa pictures every year on the windowsill and reminiscing about the good ol’ days is something that my family and I enjoy every holiday season.  If you haven’t already gotten your picture done, or taken your kids to get their picture taken, I think you should. Having memories captured in a single moment of happiness in that picture frame, will never go out of style.

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights Displays

The Winter Festival of Lights are famous in Niagara Falls. This great light display can be seen from November all the way through January. I like to go when there is snow on the ground, as the different coloured lights seem to bounce off the glistening snow. There are four main light displays; Dufferin Island Great Canadian Outdoors, Winter Wonderland, World Religions and my favourite, Enchantment of Disney. To see the lights, it is simply a donation of your choosing, but being in the Christmas spirit and giving more than just pocket change is always appreciated.

There has never been a winter that I haven’t driven through on numerous occasions. I remember as a kid going through with my family, then when my friends and I got our license we started making trips. For me, there is something magical about being in the warmth of your car, while it’s freezing outside, snowflakes are falling and the light displays are the only things that are shining. Of course, this winter hasn’t exactly been filled with snow, but the light displays are just as beautiful!

No winter trip to Niagara Falls is complete without a drive through the Festival of Lights displays. Whether you are old, young or young at heart… the bright lights of the displays warm even the coldest of winter nights.

Niagara Ice Dogs

When your from a country like Canada hockey is a word you most often. And honestly, it is one of the most exhilarating games to watch. Whether it be the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs playing the Pittsburgh Penguins (“Go Sydney”) or watching a Junior A team like the Niagara Ice Dogs the game and atmosphere stay the same!

Have you ever seen the Ice Dogs in action? It is spectacular! I had a great time, especially when they played the Belleville Bulls. Having gone to Loyalist college before enrolling at Brock University, I had the pleasure of watching some of my good buddies (who play for the Belleville Bulls) play this game and take home many wins. Therefore the Bulls have a special place in my heart. But this Sunday is not about Belleville, it is about the Niagara Ice Dogs and the Kingston Frontenacs fighting over the puck and hopefully making some award winning shots.

You have to see them, but if you can’t make it down to Kingston there is a game on Friday night in St.Catharines where the Ice Dogs take on the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors. Another great time with a amazing line-up. Even if your not that into hockey I guarantee you would still have fun, enjoying the food, the drinks and the sounds of the crowd.

But maybe your looking for the world juniors. Last year the Cairn Croft Hotel tranformed their Oak Room into “Canada House” featuring cocktails such as Motts Caesers with their featured appetizers for spectators. Rumor has it they will be implementing this again. You do not want to miss out!

TD Rink at the Brink

With the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls comes “Rink at the Brink“, which is a time for children and adults of all ages to strap on their skates! This year TD Canada Trust is happy to provide Free Skate days.

Bring your family and friends and make a day out of it-  bundle up! Rink at the Brink skating will be offered all the way until February.. be sure to take advantage!!!

Candlelight Stroll in Niagara-on-the-Lake

With Christmas right around the corner, what a better way to get in the spirit then participating in the Candlelight Stroll in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Dozens of children and adults will gather in front of the Court House at 6:00pm and wait for the stroll to begin.

Queen Street is blocked off and the Mayor will give his opening welcome. The streets become filled with light from the candles as the flame from the first candle is passed onto the next and the next and so on.  It is a guided tour through historical Old Town, with carolers singing your favourite holiday songs.

This event has no admission fee, but they do ask that you bring a nonperishable food item with you for the local food bank. We would recommend this walk to anyone who wants to enjoy the fresh air and get into the Christmas spirit!