Niagara Food & Wine Expo 2013

niagara food and winePicture this. One giant room, filled with delicious gourmet food, award winning wines and thirst quenching beer! No, it’s not some adult version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Niagara Falls… it’s Niagara Food & Wine Expo happening April 26th-28th in the Scotiabank Convention Center.

This expo is jam packed with tons of exhibitors, entertainment, auctions and lessons. This year, join food and wine experts like Christopher Waters from VINE Magazine, Lydia Tomek from Hernder Estates, Sue-Ann Staff from Megalomaniac Wines and Kevin Brauch the Thirsty Traveller. Something that really sparked my interest is that Kevin Brauch will be putting on a tutored tasting called The World of Drinks. This man has been drinking in a ton of places and to learn from him and hear his stories sounds awesome! Tickets for his event are $45 and include your ticket to the expo as well.
The Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College will be bringing to The Chef Stage on-going, live demonstrations from chef masters. Watch and listen as they give you some tricks of the trade and create what are sure to be mouth-watering dishes.
christopher-waters-2009 lydia2 sue-ann-in-kitchen-dennis-cahill KevinBrauchMartini

Alongside The Chef Stage, there will also be a Tasting Stage with 30 minute wine tastings for you to partake in. It is first come, first serve, so if you see a tasting that you don’t want to miss, make sure you get there early. The tasting is limited to 40 people/session.

And now, I know what you are all thinking. “Hayley! Tell us what delicious restaurants, wineries and breweries we can find on display.” Don’t worry, there is no short supply and you won’t be disappointed. Some of the restaurants that you can sample from include: 21 Club, AG Inspired Cuisine, Ponte Vecchio, and Sushi & Oyster Bar. There are also over 30 wineries to sample; Diamond Estates, Kacaba Vineyards and Between the Lines Winery! With Sample Tickets only being $1, it’s afforable to give lots of new things a try.
sushi ponte
21 wines

The Niagara Food & Wine Expo is filled with so much information from wine pairings to delicious restaurant choices to fun cookware accessories. The event is 19+ and tickets can be purchased in advance to save $3 from the door price of $15. However you say it; Salut! Prost! Yamas! Cheers!

St. Catharines Museum 1812

Postcards from Niagara has visited a few historical sites on our adventures and it still amazes me that so many pivotal moments in Canadian history happened in our own backyard. I’ve brought you information about historical cemeteries, the Laura Secord Homestead, the McFarland House and even Fort George, so bringing you info on the new war exhibit entitled 1812 at the St. Catharines Museum is a no brainer!

P1010362 Queenston Heights IMG_8671

1812This exhibit will be running from April 6th to August 18th and is brought to you by the St. Catharines Musuem and the Welland Canals Centre. This road show is a version of an award winning exhibit found in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. You don’t have to travel to our country’s capital to find all of the historic information!

1812 features the perspective of four different groups who experienced the war: Canadians (including Canadian First Nations), Americans, British and Native Americans. This holistic approach to historical story telling provides the audience with a unique viewpoint to create their own thoughts and conclusions. Some of the people featured in the exhibit include: Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, Francis Scott Key (the writer of the American national anthem) and the Shawnee leader Tecumseh.

Admission is by donation, so pay what you feel that the experience is worth to you, but remember that learning experiences such as these do cost money to run and it is important for all Canadians to be educated on our past. To further educate yourself, visit some of the historical sites that I mentioned earlier, found all around the Niagara region. And finally, make sure you make a stop at the Niagara Falls History Museum!

Niagara Home & Garden Show

home and garden2Although Mother Nature hasn’t been making it feel very spring like in Niagara lately, I promise… it is on it’s way! What better way to put some spring in your step then by visiting the Home & Garden show?  This 3 day exhibition is taking place at the Scotiabank Convention Center from April 5th-7th. I wonder if my mom knows about this? I’ll have to let her know, this is righ up her alley!

The convention center will have a complete overhaul with tons of exhibits showing gardens & landscapes, outdoor living, kitchens & baths and other interior design displays. For only $8/adult, you can pay once and visit every day if you want to take in more tips, tricks and trends for your home! Speak with experts about home renovation, planting advice and pretty much anything home and garden related… this show will have something for you! 1275-backyard home and garden

This year, the celebrity speaker will be the cute Ahmed Hassan from DIY Network’s Yard Crasher’s. Ahmed will be speaking on the main stage four times throughout the weekend, Saturday at 1:00pm and 4:00pm and Sunday at 11:30am and 2:00pm. Along with Ahmed, there will be a Decking seminar from Hickory Dickory Decks, a lesson in Easy Entertaining, a Budget Bathroom Reno and Country Basket will put on a few seminars about various flower arrangements and spring planting.

home and garden3 - Copy home and garden5

Don’t worry about trying to find a babysitter, there is an Interactive Kids Zone for the kids and a fun display of birds of prey from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy during the exhibit as well! Speaking of having a little more fun: there will be complimentary wine tasting and a great Art, Gift and Gourmet Center so that you can do some unique shopping too.

Green Niagara Falls on St. Patrick’s Day

Niagra-Falls-Green-528x347This year, Niagara Falls will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day along side more than 20 other cities who will be turning various iconic landmarks green! Tourism Ireland has announced that landmarks such as Niagara Falls, London Eye, Empire State Building and Burj Al Arab hotel will all be turning green.

Tourism Ireland hopes to bring a smile to the world and help promote travel to Ireland, specifically in 2013 when The Gathering will be in full swing. A full year of events and festivals will hopefully help to draw people to Ireland.

london Eye2          BURJ+AL+ARAB+GOES+GREEN

As the only Canadian destination  going green, Niagara Falls is sure to be a spectacle on St. Patty’s day. Locals, visitors and now even the landmarks will be dressed from head to toe in green in honour of Ireland’s patron saint.  Stop on by The Croft Lounge for a pint or two!

Wine & Exercise.. what a combination!

simple_img_1They say that a glass of red wine a day is good for you. What if you throw in a yoga class or Zumba class before that glass of wine? That’s gotta be great for you! Introducing: Stretch, Shake & Sip!
shake                    stretch and shake

Our friends at Pillitteri have created a wonderful package along with Hotel Yoga & Fitness to bring you alternating yoga and Zumba classes each Sunday at 9:00am throughout the rest of March.  For only $15/class, you can get some exercise and partake in a guided wine tasting.

Zumba and yoga are both great workouts. Zumba is more upbeat and will give you a good cardio work out; while yoga will help you relax and leave your body feeling wonderful afterward. Don’t worry if you have never done a class like this before, go in and have fun and remember that there is a delicious glass of wine waiting for you at the end!yoga

Venom at Butterfly Conservatory

VENOMNew to the Butterfly Conservatory from February 9th to May 12th, there will be an awesome Venom Exhibit. If you have never visited the Butterfly Conservatory before, it is a great little attraction in Niagara Falls. This self-guided walking tour starts with an informative video and allows you to walk through lush, tropical gardens. Within this beautiful gardens area, you will walk the path with 2000 tropical butterflies! Continue reading

Take a hike down the Niagara Glen

Although Niagara Falls is a popular tourist destination, many tourists leave the area without truely seeing the beauty that lies here. But Hayley and I have had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with many Niagara sites that most people miss out on. One of those sites being the Niagara Glen.

We were so excited to hike down one of the many trails towards the Niagara River. We were even lucky enough to see the Niagara Jet Boat pass through. We also thought it was appropriate to check out the waters temperature. It was a bit chilly, but totally worth it because it was extremely hot that day.

Hayley and I spent most of the day down there enjoying the scenic beauty and each others company. We could have stayed down there for hours, but it was time to leave. As fun as the hike down was, the hike up was worth the sweat.

Of course the Niagara Glen is not just a spot for hiking. It can also we used as a place to enjoy nature, hang out with friends, family, and loved ones, or a place to enjoy some fresh air. So check it out while you visit, we are sure you will enjoy it!

Morningstar Mill (One of Niagara’s Best kept Secrets)

If you’re looking for a new and interesting place to venture within the Niagara area, Morningstar Mill is the place to check out. This Niagara area attraction has both historical value and scenic/natural beauty. It is a perfect place to take photos, learn about history, practice your hiking skills or even discover 3 beautiful waterfalls; not to mention swim in them.

 The very first reason Hayley and I decided to check out this site was for the beautiful waterfalls that we had heard about. Hayley was a bit nervous, but once she hiked down the gorge she was amazed by the view. I was more excited to be able to swim beneath one of the waterfalls. The water was so warm, and the best part was that not many people know about it, so you can swim as long as you like without getting in anybody’s way!

As we hiked back up the Morningstar gorge, we decided that we would take a tour of the blacksmith shop. It was really cool. We were able to learn about the true history of this attraction and it was really fun. But like all good things, they must come to an end. We will definately come back again!!

Please be advised that the gorge at Morningstar is “Enter at your Own Risk.” So please be careful if you decide to go on this venture. Also **Remember to bring water, wear appropriate shoes, and maybe wear your bathing suit underneath because once you see the waterfalls that lay here, you will definitely want to get your feet wet**