The Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights 2014

niagara falls winter festival of lights 2014

Fun Things To Do In Niagara Falls This Winter 2014

Niagara Falls Canada is a spectacular place to vacation all year round. You already know that there are many exciting Niagara Falls attractions in the Clifton Hill tourist district, and I’m sure you’ve heard about the fabulous shopping that Niagara has to offer with 2 huge discount shopping outlets here and here.

But, I’m sure you’ve wondered what are the best things to do in Niagara Falls in the cold Ontario winter? How about this for starters…

Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights 2014

Canada’s foremost illumination festival is an annual event in Niagara Falls Canada. This is the best way to ignite the holiday season with your friends, family, and loved ones.

What better way to capture the magic of the holiday season than to book a winter getaway and experience over 3 Million sparkling, colourful, and themed lights with your BFF, your kids, your with that someone special.

This Winter Festival of Lights 2014 in Niagara Falls is recognized as an Ontario Festival of Distinction by Festivals & Events Ontario and listed as a Top 100 Internationally Known Events in North America by the American Bus Association.

This year it has been included in Canada’s 10 Most Festive Christmas Cities by Readers Digest Canada, the Condé Nast Traveler’s international list of Most Extravagant Christmas Light Displays and Sympatico.ca’s The Loop list of Canada’s Best Winter Festivals.

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights Details

You can experience the 2014 Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ontario from November 15th, 2014 to January 12th, 2015.  Join the millions who’ve already made it their winter tradition.

The winter lights festival kicks of on November 15 with the opening ceremonies in Queen Victoria Park, consisting of two shows, one at 6pm and the other at 7pm.

The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights website says:

The Festival “will officially launch outdoors with two spectacular shows, the evening will include greetings from local dignitaries, spectacular on-stage cirque performances and will also feature our official Lighting Ceremony.

New this year Opening Ceremonies will take place on a circular stage set up in the centre of Queen Victoria Park. The on-stage show will feature cirque performers including an aerial hoop artist suspended above the ground showcasing feats of exacting high-flying precision & aerial contortion, completing the transformation of a modest suspended hoop into a bewitching instrument of acrobatic prowess. 

Following the cirque performance we will have our official Flip of the Switch ceremony will illuminate millions of lights and spark off a fantastic fireworks display over the Falls.”

Sound like good times for all? Here are even more good times. Discounts on Niagara Falls hotel packages at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel!

We have super discount packages for family getaways, world class golfing, or a weekend with the girls’ wine touring & tasting.

Best yet, many of our discount winter getaway packages include a dinner voucher and delicious breakfast each morning, AND we offer a resort-like, temperature controlled indoor tropical courtyard.

Take advantage of our discount fall packages from $49/person!

You will always save the most when you BOOK DIRECT with us.

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Niagara Falls Dining in the Winter

Here’s an insider tip from a long time Niagara Falls resident. Before, or after you visit the Winter Festival of Lights, you must check out the favourite place for locals to hang out in Niagara Falls.

Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub is Niagara Falls only authentic Irish Pub and also our super cool neighbour, right next door to the Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel, on Lundy’s Lane.

This trendy Niagara Falls nightspot serves up local craft beer as well as popular international brews. They also feature awesome live entertainment and international sports all in authentic Irish ambience.

So are you ready to plan your Niagara Falls getaway?

Book Direct and Save Now!

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Things To Do With Two

It’s November – the night’s are getting darker faster, and the temperatures are starting to dip – time to cozy up and spend some time with a friend, a partner or sweetheart! No matter what kind of “twosome” you make, there are lots of great things to do “just for two” in and around Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada!

Senses at Americana Spa & Boutique

If relaxation is what you crave, grab a friend and enjoy a massage for two!  Not just for couples, this 55 minute treatment is the perfect way to enjoy some major rest time.  With many different options to choose from, a perfect time out for two awaits you at the Americana Spa & Boutique!  They also offer spa and accommodation packages if you’re looking for a great friend getaway in Niagara Falls or romantic reconnect.

Winter Festival of Lights

It’s that time of year again – when Niagara Falls gets illuminated with the wonder and excitement of the Festival of Lights.  Starting November 15th, and running until January 12th, 2015, it’s the perfect thing to do if you want to get bundled up with a friend, grab some hot chocolate and take a walk (or drive!) through the 5 kilometre illumination route.  This is a must see attraction for tourists and resident’s alike, and a great activity to do with just about anyone.  There is a fantastic opening ceremony happening November 15th… you don’t want to miss it!

Trius Black Glass Dinner

Looking for something a little bit different? Why not try an interactive dinner experience for two at Trius Winery? The evening starts with a guided tour and tasting with your companion in the winery boutique, where they prepare you for the competition with some tasting tips and tricks.  Next, settle in for a delicious 4 course dinner, made complete with mystery wine pairings served in black wine glasses.  If you or your dinner guest guess the most correct, you will be rewarded with a bottle of Trius Brut!  The event will take place November 8, November 22, and November 29. Reserve your spot now!

Yuk Yuks at Casino Niagara

If you want to “laugh your face off”, join a friend for some great comedy happening right in the heart of Niagara Falls, Ontario! Shows go on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night throughout the month of November, and comedians are up to the task to get you to “laugh your face off”. The line up changes every week, so you and your party of two will want to catch every show!

Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

Some things are just better shared with a friend, and no one believes that more than Doc Magilligan’s! A delicious dinner for two awaits you Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday night every week in November.  Enjoy an appetizer, entrée, dessert & either a pitcher of Doc’s Brew or a bottle of house Red or White for a truly exciting way to spend an evening, for only $49! Any group of two is welcome – so if you find yourself with one other person looking for something to do – look no further than dinner out at Doc Magilligan’s.

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Halloween in Niagara Falls

Top 5 Things to Do For Halloween in Niagara Falls

For some, Halloween is the greatest day of the year! What could be better than dressing up as anything you want, going out, getting free candy, and having a great time with friends and family? Everyone loves Halloween, and there is no better spot than Niagara Falls for fun or fright at any age! Here we are, counting down the
5 best things to do in Niagara Falls for Halloween:

5. Nightmares Fear Factory

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While open all year round, there is no better time to visit this attraction than around this spooky time of year. Have you seen those hilarious photos of scared people freaking out in a Niagara Falls haunted house? That’s Nightmares Fear Factory! Located on Victoria Avenue, in the heart of the tourist district, and only seconds away from Clifton Hill, this attraction offers one of the scariest experiences you can have – 130,000 have chickened out…will you?

 

4. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Oh Canada, Eh?

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Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show comes to life with a Canadian twist during the month of October at the Oh Canada, Eh? Dinner Show, located in the heart of Niagara Falls on Lundy’s Lane, only 10 minutes away from the brink of the Falls, and just 5 minutes away from the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel! Get your fill of chills, thrills & lingerie at this fun event, and have a delicious meal at the same time! This event is also raising funds for AIDS research.

Can you rock the timewarp?

3. Haunt Manor – Hayrides & Haunted Houses

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Check out a piece of “Haunted Niagara”. Legend and paranormal experts agree – this house, once owned by the Pew family is officially haunted! Remnants of bullets from the battle at Lundy’s Lane still line the walls, and some say you can see Mother Pew and her son gazing out the attic window. Children’s Day, Haunted Horror Campout and a “flashlight only” night are just some of the events that await you!

2 – Warner Ranch & Pumpkin Farm

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Looking for something for the whole family? You can never go wrong visiting a Niagara pumpkin farm – and Warner Ranch has it all!  With over 200 acres of family fun, this is one of the biggest pumpkin farms in all of the Niagara Region! Pony rides, haunted corn mazes, pumpkins & so much more, make sure Warner Ranch is on your list of things to do for a fantastic family friendly experience.

1. Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant Halloween Bash

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Come dressed up and ready to party at Niagara’s only truly authentic Irish Pub & Restaurant. 351 Cleveland will get things pumped up starting at 10PM, so make sure you grab your friends and make your way to the biggest Halloween Party at the Falls, located on Lundy’s Lane, just minutes from the Falls.  Doc Magilligan’s is located adjacent to the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel, so you can party the night away and walk back to your room when it’s all over – the perfect night!

 

Best Niagara Falls Discount Halloween Package

If you’re looking for the best hotel package value for Halloween in Niagara Falls, check out The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel Hotel Deals!

BOOK DORECT TODAY AND NOT ONLY SAVE, BUT RECEIVE:

  • One Night’s Accommodation (October 27 – November 5, 2014)
  • Breakfast at Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub for 2
  • $20 Food & Beverage credit at Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub
  • Free Parking!
  • Only $49/per person + tax (Sunday – Thursday), or $69/person+tax (Friday – Saturday) based on double occupancy! 

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The Shaw Festival

The start of the summer season means that there is so much going on in Niagara!  Recently, as part of their Tourism night, the Shaw Festival invited us to watch Cabaret in the Festival Theatre in the heart of downtown Niagara on the Lake.

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What an amazing evening! From our picture being taken in the main hallway, to the lovely drinks offered by Konzelmann, one of Niagara’s many beautiful wineries – the evening was as picture perfect as one would expect from such a stunning location.

What a show! Cabaret is a moving play revolving around the ups and down of the often tumultuous relationship of an American writer in Berlin and nightclub singer Sally Bowles, during a time when the world is about to turn upside down with the rise of Hitler.  Caberet is “hailed as a rare musical that both challenges and entertains” (Shaw Festival website).  The acting was superb, and we are still humming the incredible music in our heads.

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The 2014 season is in full swing, with shows like The Philadelphia Story, The Charity That Began at Home, Arms and the Man, When We Are Married, and so many more.   For a truly enchanting day or evening, going to the Shaw Festival is a must do this summer, for tourists and locals alike.

Please visit the Shaw Festival website for more information on show times, ticket prices, and so much more.

Thank you Shaw Fest for a great night – we had a blast!

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Photo Credit: George Bailey

Annual Niagara Icewine Festival

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The 19th Annual Niagara Icewine Festival is back;  every weekend from January 10th- 26th! Although the Niagara region is celebrated around the world for our delicious wines, what really sets us apart is our ice wine. While travelling in Europe, I often had people ask about this wonderful creation, once they found out I was from Niagara Falls. This sweet wine fills your palate and after one sip, you know why people across the world talk about its wonders.

icewine2The Niagara Region wants to celebrate our ice wine industry and what better way to do that then a festival, filled with opportunities to sample ice wines from many of the wineries in the region. The best way to do this, is to purchase the Discovery Pass. This pass offers you 8 winery experiences, for only $40. Each winery pairs their favourites wines with some delectable creations. Some of the names of the experiences include Chocolate & Ice at Between the Lines, Feel the Heat at Cattail Creek, Don’t Freeze Your Ribs Off at Jackson Triggs and Cozy & Warm at Marynissen Estate Winery. If you are unfirmilar with the region, there is a wine route map that has all of the wineries located on it, for you to find.

Another wonderful idea to compliment the Discovery Pass is to purchase the All You Need is Cheese seminar for one of the wineries. For only $20, Deborah from Dairy Farmers of Canada will present six unique Niagara wine and artisanal cheese. Each seminar is different, as Deborah has designed the seminar to compliment each winemaker’s style.

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1am- Inniskillin Wines        2pm- Reif Estate Winery

January 18th
11am Stoney Ridge Estate Winery    2pm Vineland Estate Winery

January 25th
11am Niagara College Teaching Winery   2pm Hernder Estate Winery

 

icewineThe Niagara Icewine Festival webpage also has some great opportunities for you to celebrate icewine at home. Check out the recipes page, where icewine inspired dishes from some of the wineries’ top chefs can be found. Of course you can also purchase some icewine for your own home collection!

However you choose to celebrate Niagara’s icewine, just make sure you do. Cheers!

Kristlemas Market at Stratus

Sunday, December 15th from 11:00am – 5:00pm check out the Kristlemas Market at beautiful Stratus Vineyards. This show is filled with lots of inspiration for the holiday season; wonderful food, artisans, crafts… and of course hot apple cider, beer and wine!

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Gourmet food trucks will be parked outside all day so that you can get some delicious food in your belly before (or after) you shop. Some of the trucks include: Bench on the Go, The Dirty South and Jonny Blonde and many more.

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There are too many wonderful vendors to name them all but some of the wonderful foods you will find inside will be from Della Terra (extra virgin olive oils and infused oils), Martin’s Soups & Pickles (I loveeee pickles, so I had to include this one), and Oast House Brewery (locally brewed seasonal beers). Artisans such as Garden City and Hannelore’s Story Works will also be on display. You will definitely be able to cross off a few shopping list items here!

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There are also 6 seminars happening throughout the day, and you can preregister for them on the Kristlemas Market site, to ensure you get your spot. Space is limited.

This is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon and whether you are going to buy a gift for that special someone or pick up a little something for yourself, you won’t walk away empty handed!

Opening Ceremonies of Winter Festival of Lights to be a spectacular sight AND sound

witner3The Winter Festival of Lights is something that visitors and locals look forward to year after year. This Saturday, November 9th, the Opening Festivities will be taking place with something that has never been done before… the longest firework show that Niagara Falls has ever seen in the winter season, synchronized with a live performance by the 42 piece Niagara Symphony Orchestra!

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Opening Festivities will begin at 2pm, paying tribute to Niagara’s Korean War Veterans with traditional dance and drum troupes. Musical performances, ice sculptures, food vendors and lots of fun for the kids, will also be taking place at Queen Victoria Park.

The big flip of the switch which will happen at 6pm and will illuminate the Skylon Tower, Zimmerman Fountain, Religions of the World displays, the world’s largest Canadian-American Flag display and a lantern display, new this year. At 8pm, Music Director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Bradley Thachuk, will conduct the 15 minute piece; while spectator’s eyes light up with the sights of the fireworks and their ears are filled with beautiful music.

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If you are staying at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft this weekend, make sure you catch the WeGo Shuttle down to the Falls for what is sure to be an amazing experience!

Thanksgiving Weekend in Niagara Falls

With Thanksgiving Weekend approaching , visitors and locals alike are planning out their long weekend. Luckily for all of us, there are lots of fun activities going on in Niagara Falls. Of course, for many people, this weekend will be spent gobbling down a delicious turkey dinner with the family and being grateful for everything that we have. But we are here to let you know that there is lots of fun happening beyond the dinner table!

Balls FallsBall’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival: This annual festival brings together artisans from the area, selling one of a kind pottery, artwork and clothing. Filled with entertainment and delicious food, this is a great family-friendly option for the weekend. Running from October 11th-14th.

Ridgeway Fall Festival: Another fall festival in a quaint part of the Niagara region is the Ridgeway Fall Festival, happening October 12th on Ridge Road in Ridgeway. With a great market, free children’s activities and a beer tent for mom and dad, this festival is a great way to check out what Ridgeway has to offer.

4 seasons of HeartlandAstronomy Days at Heartland Forest: Free to check out (donation optional) Saturday the Niagara Centre of the Royal Canadian Astronomical Society will be showcasing some great tips for the amateur astronomer at Heartland Forest! From how to view the auroras in your backyard to how to snap a photo with a simple camera, this is a fun and different event. Starts at sunset!

 

Fireworks!Fireworks at the Falls: The last Fall Firework display in Niagara Falls will be happening Friday night.. walk down to Queen Victoria park and make sure to look up at 10:00pm!

 

 

 

Whatever you decide to do this weekend.. we hope that you get to spend time with friends and family! Happy Thanksgiving!

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62nd Annual Niagara Wine Festival

wineIt’s that time of year again! No, not back to school time and no not end of summer… it’s Niagara Wine Festival! Entering it’s 62nd year, this festival helps Niagara locals and visitors celebrate Niagara’s pride and joy; our wine!

As always, there will be Discovery Passes available for purchase for $40, which allows you to discover what each winery has to offer. Throughout the festival, the wineries have paired their favourite wines with some delectable dishes! The Discovery Pass can be used Saturdays and Sundays from September 14th to 29th. It’s a great opportunity to visit some wineries that you’ve never been to before or revisit a few of your favourites.

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This year, I’d like to give a shout out to Creekside Winery, with their Roasty-Toasty pairing. A guest chef at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel for our Robbie Burns Celebration, Chef J. Mark Hand has created a roasted heirloom tomato and basil “margarita” tarte with crumbled Ontario Farmer’s cheeses, paired with Creekside’s barrel-aged 2011 Cab Shiraz and 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir. Sounds delicious! Good job Mark!wine3

wine4Another fun event that caught my eye was the Picnic In The Vineyard at Cattail Creek Estate Winery. For only $15/person, you can enjoy a picnic basket filled with assortments of meats, cheeses and antipastos, along with some home-made cookies for dessert. Of course, all of this will be complimented with a glass of wine, surrounded by a beautiful vineyard.  Guys! Here’s a hint… this is really romantic.

wine5And what Niagara Wine Festival blog post would be complete without mention of the big party that goes on in Montebello Park, starting on September 20th- 22nd and again 27th-29th. Lots of delicious food vendors, amazing wine displays and fun entertainment too! Friday, September 27th, the Caverners will be playing from 8-10:30pm, another Best Western Plus Cairn Croft connection… who have played live from The Croft Lounge! For a full list of Montebello Park’s lineup, check out their website.

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So here’s to celebrating the amazing wineries that Niagara has to offer… and whether you have traveled from around the world or down the street, I hope that Niagara’s wine is enjoyed with good food, great friends and creates lasting memories.

Canal Days 2013

portCanal Days in Port Colborne is a festival to celebrate the marine heritage and the connection with the seafaring world. As this celebration moves into its fourth decade, there is no surprise why this weekend of fun has become so popular, with more than 300,000 people visiting over the four days.

There are so many different events and activities going on throughout Downtown Port Colborne, from August 2nd to August 5th, that it’s difficult to choose which to check out. On Princess Street, there will be Midway Rides and Games, starting at 10:00am, daily. The children always love taking a ride on the dragon or trying to win a huge bouncy ball at one of the games.  To continue with what children love, there will be a Children’s Area at Seaway Park. From 11am-6pm, the kids can enjoy Balloon Animals, free face painting and bouncy castles. I always loved having flowers painted on my face when I was a kid.

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If craft shows are your style, make sure you check out the Vale Health and Wellness Centre on Elizabeth Street. Show casing more than 60 vendors and supporting the Optimist Club, it’s a great way to buy some unique gifts and help a good cause.

Lots of action at HH Knoll Park during the festival! Throughout the day on Saturday, wander down to see the Niagara Windriders Kiteflyers Association demonstrate their moves up in the sky, with a night show, complete with lit up kites. And on Sunday, head down for the Car Show! If you want to participate, show up early with your beautiful ride.

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If you want to listen to live music, Canal Days has you covered on Market Stag (just follow the music). Friday night: Tea Party, Bleeker Ridge and Time Giant. Saturday night: Myles Goodwyn & April Wine, Downchild Blues Band, and Rich and the Poor Boys.

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Of course, a Canal Days festival wouldn’t be complete without a walk down the harbor to check out all the ships. There will be a Boat Parade of Lights on Sunday night, followed by a fireworks show that will really help to celebrate! For the full list of events, make sure you check out their website so you can plan your festival.