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

Niagara Falls New Years Eve 2014

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

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.

A BBQ and Band at Queenston Heights

Queenston HeightsWe’ve spent the day at Queenston Heights before and we’ve told you about the family fun you can have. But this Sunday, August 25th, it can be even more special, with the Annual Harvest BBQ and a live band concert before that.

Queenston Height’s Restaurant will be hosting a BBQ, at the foot of Brock Monument at 4:00pm. For only $40/adult and $20/child, you can enjoy delicious seasonal creations. Duck Breast on Yukon Potato Cake with Blackberry Drizzle, Grilled Market Antipasto Salad, Rainbow Trout with Apricot- Jalapeno Salad, Angus sliders, Niagara Peaches and Cream corn, BBQ Baby Back Ribs and more.

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Before the BBQ, spend the day enjoying the park and from 2-4pm, the Lincoln Concert Band will be playing. The Lincoln Concert Band is a community band, made up of 35 volunteer musicians. It’s a great opportunity to take in some big band music for free!

With a beautiful weather forecast for this weekend, I think the day spent at Queenston Heights will be a terrific way to spend a Sunday. Whether you are a local looking for something different to do, or a visitor looking for more than just a Maid of the Mist ride, take advantage of what Queenston Heights is offering!

For tickets to the BBQ, call 905-262-4274.

Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebrations

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Niagara Falls is the place to be for your Canada Day celebrations! Not only does Niagara Falls have the world famous firework display to ring in Canada’s birthday, but lots of fun is planned throughout the city during the day as well.

canadadayThere will be a Canada Day parade, along Victoria to Queen Street, starting at 11:00am. The main stage, at city hall will have opening ceremonies with performances from Elton Lammie, Senior Star and Pop Sensation, which are playing at the Greg Frewin Theatre throughout the summer. Birthday Cake will be served at noon, but only while quantities last, so make sure you get there early!

Not only can you celebrate Canada Day but you can also celebrate the Niagara Falls community with demonstrations by Club Italia, Happy Feet Dance and many more. This is happening at the corner of Queen & St. Clair. All along Queen Street, you will also be able to enjoy our local delicious food vendors. Lots happening downtown!

Niagara-Falls-FireworksOnce you’ve had all the fun you can have on Queen Street, make your way down to Queen Victoria Park to watch the firework show and show your Canadian pride!

Bird Kingdom’s 10 Anniversary

bird_kingdom_niagara_falls_logoThe Bird Kingdom is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has won a Trip Advisor Award of Excellence! We have visited the Bird Kingdom before and the award is definitely well deserved. Lots of birds, cool reptiles and other creepy crawlers too.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the Bird Kingdom will be thanking its guests with free children’s admission all day on Sunday, June 23rd and adults tickets only $10. If you haven’t been before, this is a great opportunity to check it out and if you’ve been there before, it’s a great opportunity to go back and relive all the fun!                    Bearded_Barbet_smaller  parrots_0

You’ll  be celebrating alongside all of the birds and creatures while you partake in scavenger hunts with prizes and get your face painted.  Don’t forget to stop by the snack bar for when you want to take a little break from the  excitement.

Make sure you say hi to my old friend the Iguana.  Happy Anniversary Bird Kingdom!

Snowbirds fly over Niagara Falls

snowbirds3If you are down by the Falls tomorrow night, May 29th, at 6:00… look up! The Canadian Snowbirds will be putting on a 25 minute air show over Niagara Falls. Starting in 1971 and becoming a permanent unit in 1977, known as the Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team, the Snowbirds have performed hundreds of shows across Canada, The United States and Mexico. This fly season, from May to October, the Snowbirds will perform over 50 shows.

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