Niagara offers so many marvels, spectacles and surprises in the colder months that it’s no wonder we call it winter wonder-filled! Whether you’re just looking for a new way to brighten the short days this season brings, or you’re a true winter warrior, Niagara Canada is the destination for you!
Here are ten of our top suggestions:
1. You’ve never seen Niagara Falls if you haven’t seen them at night in the winter! The Winter Festival of Lights, on until Jan. 31, will delight the young and the young-at-heart with millions of sparkling lights, sound and light shows, and animated displays. Many new features this year too, such as a new 3D Projection Mapping show. It’s Canada’s largest illumination festival.
2. As Canada’s foremost wine region, we are used to reveling in the success of our countless wineries and vineyards. During the month of January, those Niagara wineries throughout the region band together to celebrate Icewine – the winter’s gift to wine lovers!
Try Shop, Sip, Sample and Savour in Niagara-on-the-Lake's Heritage District on January 28 and 29; an outdoor wine and culinary tasting experience paired with some retail therapy courtesy of the town's Landmark Shops.
Niagara Falls takes centre stage from Jan. 27 - 29 as the Scotiabank Convention Centre transforms into a winter wonderland. Choose from a number of three-hour tastings, on either Jan. 27, 28 or 29, and taste a variety of VQA Icewines, table wines and local craft beer.
Another option for region-wide wine and food appreciation is Niagara Wine Festivals’ Discovery Pass (Fridays to Sundays in January). With your Pass, travel to any eight participating wineries for food and wine pairings where you can experience the diversity of our region’s terroir in the unique style of our wineries.
3. Sports-minded? The 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts snugs in to St. Catharines’ Meridian Centre from Feb. 18-26. Root for the best of the best in Canadian Women’s curling, as these athletes burn up the ice.
4. Rather take to the ice yourself? Practice your spins on our favourite outdoor skating rink at Fort George National Historic Site. This new skating rink is the only one of its kind in all of Parks Canada, and is operated in a unique partnership with Vintage Hotels, who offer skate rentals and warming food options.
5. Even in winter, Niagara Falls-by-day delivers thrills to overcome the chills. Try Niagara Parks' Journey Behind the Falls or Niagara’s Fury for a grounded experience, or take to the skies with Niagara Helicopters for an unmatched perspective. And don’t forget to do your part to maintain Niagara Falls’ status as the number one most-Instagrammed-location in Canada! How about a selfie from the top of the Skylon Tower?
6. After some outdoor exploration, warming up in the exciting surroundings of Fallsview Casino Resort or Casino Niagara is a good bet. Table games, slots and poker will get your blood pumping for sure!
7. Looking for fun for the younger set? They’ll love the novelty of enjoying one of our famous waterparks in the depths of the winter! North America’s largest indoor waterpark is Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, where it’s 28+ degrees C every day. There’s also Waves Indoor Waterpark, known for its unique retractable roof – although it’s sure to be closed! Or enjoy all the family fun of Great Wolf Lodge, including their own waterpark, exclusive to resort guests.
8. When is the best time to get tropical? Why, when it’s frigid outside, of course! Revel in the contrasting temperature inside the Niagara Parks’ Butterfly Conservatory or their Floral Showhouse on the Niagara Parkway. Nearby Bird Kingdom is the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary. Humidity never felt so good!
9. In the month that is highlighted by Valentine’s Day, the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake kindle your passion with their Days of Wine and Chocolate. Who can’t get passionate about chocolate, or about wine? You’ll never even notice the cold! This is a 20+ winery passport program that features wines paired with chocolate-infused food items – both sweet and savoury. Passports can be used every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February, and if you can’t get to all the wineries during your stay, you can share the unused portion of the passport with a friend.
10. Divine Brown, Los Lobos, Abbamania, Shaun Majumder, Niagara River Lions, Ice Dogs, Kashmir, Glen Foster, Donny Osmond, Three Dog Night, and the Barenaked Ladies - just a few of the epic entertainers of all genres coming to heat up Niagara at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Meridian Centre, Seneca Queen Theatre and Fallsview Casino Resort’s Avalon Theatre. With all this entertainment to fit in, you’ll be glad that winter nights are so long!
There is no limit to the range of experiences waiting for you in winter in Niagara. So grab your mitts and toque and come enjoy our warm hospitality.
Authored by: Elena Galey-Pride