My Discoveries

Annual Niagara Icewine Festival

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Niagara Festivals, Niagara Winter Activities | 0 comments

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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!

Niagara Falls New Years Eve 2014

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Niagara Concerts, Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Winter Activities | 0 comments

NYE2Niagara Fall’s has one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in Canada. Viewers from around the country, tune in to watch the fireworks over the falls and count down to the new year with ET Canada and musical guests every year!

 

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This year, we’ve got some big names coming to our stage. Demi Lovato will be headlining the performances, with featured performances from Sam Roberts Band and Serena Ryder! Queen Victoria Park will be filled with over 40,000 people; locals and visitors to celebrate. Two awesome firework shows, food vendors and a licensed area will all be part of your celebrations when you bundle up and head down to the falls to welcome 2014!

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Kristlemas Market at Stratus

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Niagara Festivals, Niagara Winter Activities | 0 comments

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!

Christmas Season in Niagara Falls

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Winter Activities | 0 comments

winterfallsThe holiday season in Niagara Falls is a fun and festive time. There are lots of great holiday events, the city looks beautiful dressed in Christmas decorations and the wintery scenes down by the Falls with the frozen trees are magical. Of course, everyone knows about the beautiful light display of the Winter Festival of Lights, but do you know about the many other fun events?

Rotary Holiday House Tour December 6th and 7th. This tour has stops at more than  a dozen beautiful heritage homes and Niagara wineries. Tickets are $25 and can be utilized on both Friday and Saturday if you can’t seem to fit them all in one day.rotary

Christmas Tea Weekend at the McFarland House Saturday December 14th- Sunday December 15th. With seatings at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m, the menu will feature holiday favourites.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Santa Claus Parade happens on December 14th at 11:00am in downtown NOTL.

winter_wine_pu_bannerWinter at the Wineries. The wineries around Niagara have a ton of great holiday events between now and after New Years. Check out their Stocking Days of Christmas or of course The Ice Wine Festival.

Christmas by the Falls- your one stop shop for Christmas craft gifts and great decorations, happening at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, December 7th and 8th.

Whether you want to check out beautiful Christmas displays, enjoy some wine or drink some tea, or just get in the Christmas spirit… Niagara Falls has something for all of the Christmas lovers out there! Happy Holidays!

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

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Niagara Concerts, Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Festivals, Niagara Winter Activities | 0 comments

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!

Niagara Falls International Marathon 2013

Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Sports Events | 0 comments

marathonThe Niagara Falls International Marathon has been voted one of the top scenic marathons in Canada. This annual event brings lots of visitors, both runners and spectators to Niagara Falls. If you thought this event was just about a run, you’ve got that wrong. The whole weekend, October 25th-27th, is full of events for the participants.

marathon3There will be a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon during the weekend. Some of the fun events that are planned include Forever Young & Healthy Living Expo at the Skylon Tower, Greg Frewin Magic Show, a RunFest Pasta Dinner, School Cheer Challenge and of course a firework display over Niagara Falls.

Good luck to all of the participants this year and we hope that everyone has a great weekend in Niagara Falls. Don’t forget, if you are looking for a hotel room, give Best Western Plus Cairn Croft a call at 1.800.263.2551!

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Thanksgiving Weekend in Niagara Falls

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Festivals | 0 comments

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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Whose Live Anyway at Scotiabank Convention Centre

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Niagara Concerts, Niagara Entertainment & Attractions | 0 comments

whose-lineIf you, like me, remember sitting down to watch Whose Line Is It Anyway with your family back in the 90′s then you are going to love this! Whose Line Is It Anyway is back on television on the CW, with some of the original crew; Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady. The host this time around is comedian Aisha Tyler. I sat down to watch an episode in hopes that it would be as funny as I remember and although there are some slight differences, I can tell you I was literally LOLing all through the episode.

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whose-line4This isn’t the only good news! A live version of Whose Line Is It Anyway is coming to Niagara Falls’ Scotiabank Convention Centre; Whose Live Anyway. Featuring some of the same cast from the hit TV show, this live, audience interaction ad-lib performance is sure to please. Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff Davis and Chip Esten will bring the original laughs to the stage. Unfortunately, if this is the first time you are hearing about it, tickets sold out very quickly! I would suggest tracking down friends that bought tickets and bribing them for their extra spot… it will be worth it!

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Special Dinner at AG Cuisine

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Niagara Restaurants | 0 comments

If you are looking for a really fancy, special, delicious dinner then keep reading… I went for dinner with my parents to AG Cuisine, located in the Sterling Inn and Spa. AG’s food philosophy is to enjoy what our beautiful region has to offer. From their fresh produce to seasonal fruits to delicious Niagara wine, it’s a wonderful way to celebrate all that Niagara has to offer the gourmet world. If it’s not Niagara items on the menu, then you can guarantee that it will be Canadian!

ag2The restaurant is located in the lower level of the Sterling Inn and Spa, slightly hard to find when you enter the hotel but once you find it, you can’t help but feel VIP. It’s red and white, modern interior is the perfect backdrop to the delicious food that they serve up.

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The experience at AG Cuisine was very special. My parents and I had a lovely night enjoying Niagara’s cuisine and as lovers of food and drinks, the bill at the end was worth it to us. I think if you can afford to visit AG Cuisine, you should definitely give it a try. It is not something that you find very often in Niagara Falls and a lovely way to treat yourself… or in my case, your family.We began our dinner with a Black Lager beer, brewed in Niagara-on-the-Lake at Silver Smith Brewing Company. Don’t let the black appearance scare you, this beer is crisp and refreshing with a beautiful, distinct flavour. The flavours kept on coming with the Duck Confit, Lamb Sirloin and Beef Tenderloin Pasta Bolognaise that my dad, my mom and I ordered. Each dish was amazing. The Duck Confit was served over a bean, rabbit and sausage mixture. The Lamb Sirloin was accompanied with a goat cheese and carrot polenta and the Beef Tenderloin Pasta Bolognaise was full of meaty flavour and fresh herbs. Of course, what dinner would be complete with a bottle of wine. We chose a Cab Sauv from Trius, perfect complement to each of our dishes.

ag3The experience at AG Cuisine was very special. My parents and I had a lovely night enjoying Niagara’s cuisine and as lovers of food and drinks, the bill at the end was worth it to us. I think if you can afford to visit AG Cuisine, you should definitely give it a try. It is not something that you find very often in Niagara Falls and a lovely way to treat yourself… or in my case, your family.

62nd Annual Niagara Wine Festival

Posted by on Sep 10, 2013 in Niagara Concerts, Niagara Entertainment & Attractions, Niagara Falls History, Niagara Festivals | 0 comments

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.