Supercharge your Girlfriends’ Getaway in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Close up of three women laughing

It’s June and high time for some lighthearted fun on a supercharged girlfriends’ getaway in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

After all, June is made for chatting, flirting, road trips, new adventures –— and flitting up, up and away like a hummingbird, a butterfly or a bubble. It’s time to enjoy the summer. So, take off your heavy wrap, grab your straw hat and let’s make this the most memorable girlfriends’ getaway on record.

WINE-TASTING DONE WITH STYLE
Niagara-on-the-Lake is renowned for its picturesque vineyards and VQA wines. Its lakeside location and consistent climate is well-suited to the production of a rich variety of wines. Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Reisling, Gamay Noir, Meritage, Lemberger, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Aligote, Savagnin, Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Rose, Malbec, Bordeaux Blend Red, Frontenac Gris, Muscat Ottonel, and of course, the famous Icewine — they’re all here, just waiting to be sampled and savoured by you and your besties.

The best — and safest — way to partake in a wine-tasting adventure is to let someone else do the driving. A number of chauffeured tasting tours are offered, some of which include lunch or dinner. You can book a tour on your own in a luxury sedan, SUV or minibus or join other oenophiles in a coach and make it a party. Most tour companies provide round-trip transportation to and from your accommodation lodging but be sure to ask.

Champagne lady

Niagara Vintage Wine ToursGrape Escape Wine ToursNiagara Wine Tour GuidesNiagara Getaway Wine ToursGrape and Wine Niagara ToursNiagara Wine Tours International and Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Tours are but a few of the local options you have to choose from. Some will customize your tour to ensure an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking for a tour that has something for everyone, Winery, Brewery, Distillery & Cider Tours has you covered in Mercedes-Benz style and comfort.

Perhaps you and your friends are more the outdoorsy type. There are many bike and e-bike rental companies in the area should you choose to cycle from winery to winery or coast along backcountry roads on an e-bike. Some offer guided tours.

In this case, your options include Winery, Brewery, Distillery & Cider ToursZOOM Leisure BikeseBike NiagaraTour de VineVino Velo Bike Wine Tours & Bike Rentals and Grape Escape Wine Tours

GIGGLE-INDUCING ENTERTAINMENT
As you might imagine, Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards provide the perfect inspiration and setting for a number of out-of-the-ordinary activities and cultural events.

How about Goat Yoga in the vineyards? At Fox Den Goat Yoga, curious baby goats keep you company as you go through your gentle stretching poses or a more vigorous workout. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy yoga.

Fox Den also offers a Goats & Wine drop-in experience at Lakeview Wine Co. where you can cuddle and play with dwarf goats as you sip and savour a glass of wine or two.

Or perhaps you and your besties prefer a special teatime adventure with miniature donkeys at the NEOB Lavender Farm. Roam among the wildflowers and lavender fields with two adorable donkeys as they challenge and entertain you with their playful energy. While there, pick flowers to take home with you as a fitting souvenir of time well spent.

What better way to spend an evening under the stars than at an outdoor concert or performance at the amphitheatre that overlooks the vineyards at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate? The 2024 Summer Concert Series promises to be a winner! 

Meanwhile, from June 16 to August 16, the 2024 Music Niagara Festival offers concerts in unique and intimate locales including the Ironside Cider house, the summer-favourite Ravine Winery and the Spirit in Niagara Distillery.

UNLEASH THE ARTISTS WITHIN        
Niagara-on-the-Lake is known for its artistry, which is often on display at local studios, art galleries, fairs and festivals. But maybe you want to explore your own creative talents.

pottery classes at Belisle Pottery

Why not book a private pottery workshop at Bélisle Pottery where food and beverage service can be included at an additional cost?

If your getaway is scheduled for the fall, inquire about pottery workshops planned at Queenston Pottery. In the meantime, be sure to include a studio tour of their newly renovated premises where Eva Micak’s creations are always on display and for sale.

Time your getaway to coincide with a Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates, which includes a two-hour painting session with an artist from You & I, paint and two 6-oz glasses of Peller’s award-winning wines. Your finished canvas painting is yours to keep and show off back home.

ANYTHING GOES EXPERIENCES
The popular Spiegeltent has returned to the Shaw Festival grounds for another summer of anything-goes experiences. This year’s Spiegeltent series features four one-of-a-kind shows that prioritize laughter, improvisations and audience participation. 

“The Shaw Variety Show” and “The Roll of Shaw” kicked off the 2024 season with a bang. “Kabarett,” “Footlights” and “Cotton Club” whisk audience members back to the cabarets of Weimar-era Germany, mid-century Broadway revues and hot nights in Harlem jazz clubs.

WRAP IT UP
What’s a girlfriends’ getaway without a little self-Indulgence? Exhausting! Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect place to book that massage, facial, manicure or pedicure you all so justly deserve. 

Spa woman

In Old Town, a number of spas offer top-notch packages that are sure to work their magic on your bodies. 

The Vintage Hotels provide a medley of spa treatments at their Secret Garden Spa and 100 Fountain Spa. The Spa at Q takes you on a blissful journey at their one-of-a-kind healing retreat located in the heart to historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. Down by the lake, OSpa offers soothing and personalized experiences in a peaceful sanctuary.

In St. David’s, Bobbi at The Brickwork Spa features a menu of luxurious spa treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized and ready to carry on with your girlfriends’ getaway adventure. She even has a ‘party room’ where you and your entourage can relax in privacy.

PICK THE PERFECT GIRLFRIENDS’ GETAWAY ACCOMMODATION
When it comes to selecting your preferred accommodation for your ultimate girlfriends’ getaway in Niagara-on-the-Lake, STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a fine selection of lodgings ranging from charming bed and breakfasts and inns to self-catering cottages, villas and apartments. 

Wherever you decide to stay, your hosts are always happy to let you know what’s happening and where to dine along with other tidbits you need to know.

FOR YOUR ADDED ENJOYMENT
There’s always something happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Why not plan your girlfriends’ getaway to coincide with one of the many events scheduled throughout the year?
June 1-30; TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 22: Seafood Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

HELPFUL TIPS
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town. 

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Spotlight on Guys Getaways: Chill with the Bros in Niagara

two golfers on golf course

With Father’s Day on June 16 fast approaching, it’s time to turn the spotlight on guys in general. Maybe you’re planning to chill with the bros in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and you’re open to ideas on how to rekindle the magic of your glory days, while still maintaining your adult status.

Here are a few ideas to add to your itinerary.

HIT THE LINKS
Seeking a little friendly competition or just the calm of the links? Whether you consider yourselves casual players or pros, Niagara-on-the-Lake has great golfing options.

You might want to warm up first at the driving range at the Niagara Golf and Batting Cages. Dubbed “the field of dreams for golf,” the driving range is surrounded by picturesque vineyards. It’s also equipped with AccuRange, which provides accurate distances for golfers to improve their efficiency.

Let’s begin with North America’s oldest golf course in continuous play. That would be the 9-hole course at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club fronting on Lake Ontario, where golfers are treated to some of the most scenic views in Niagara. Later, relax and enjoy a snack on the patio as you take in the view.

golf caddy with red flag and water features

Head up the stunning Niagara Parkway toward Queenston and St. David’s where two more 9-hole courses await you. Tucked under the Niagara Escarpment, the par-35 Queenston Golf Club features numerous sand traps and water hazards while the par-35 St. Davids Golf Course offers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

A little further up the Parkway is the 18-hole Whirlpool Golf Course with its breathtaking landscape. This classic parkland layout with its strategic hole placements offers golfers a delightful mix of challenges and scoring opportunities.

Just past St. David’s, the 18-hole Eagle Valley Golf Course also features an onsite golf academy, which offers adult and junior private lessons and clinics for all ages and skill levels.

Built to the highest championship standards, the “must play” 27-hole Royal Niagara Golf Club is broken up into three 9-hole courses of sculpted fairways, undulating greens and cavernous bunkers.

A little further afield, there’s Peninsula Lakes, a scenic water-heavy 27-hole course referred to by many as “the Jewel of Niagara.” There’s also the captivating Grand Niagara Golf Club, ranked tops in the area.

bike handlebars and pedal

BACK-COUNTRY BIKING AND HIKING
The terrain around Niagara-on-the-Lake is fairly flat and perfect for easy-going biking convoys along country roads. If mountain-biking is more your style, portions of the Bruce Trail will surely test your limits. You’re never at a loss for new paths to explore in the area.

Short Hills Provincial Park, Decew Falls and Ball’s Falls are other great choices and typically have hiking paths, too.

Hikers also have a generous number of trails to explore in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area. 

The 8.2-kilometre Queenston via Bruce Trail, a moderately challenging route, takes an average of about two hours to complete. Another in the Queenston area is the 1.6-kilometre moderately challenging Queenston Heights Walking Trail, which features tons of historical interpretive signs along the way. The 4.8-kilometre loop Queenston Kilns Trail is also popular for hiking and running as well as bird-watching.

The Niagara Glen has some of the best hiking trails that descend into the Niagara Gorge.  A multi-level metal staircase takes you from the parking lot to the bottom of the escarpment. Marvel at ancient rock formations that date to the last Ice Age, lush greenery and the impressive scenery of the majestic Niagara River. While there are a number of well-marked, easy-to-navigate trails with fascinating natural features to choose from here, the star of this set is the River Trail.

Closer to Old Town, the easier 3.5-kilometre Heritage Trail is great for road biking, running and walking.

FOR BEER AND SPIRITS FANS
Long renowned for its wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake has also grown into a hotspot for craft brews and spirits.

When it comes to sampling craft brews in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oast House Brewers in the big red barn on Niagara Stone Road and Silversmith Brewing housed in an old church in Virgil immediately come to mind. Both local favourites offer entertainment and fun events as well as snacks and light fare on their premises.

Bottle of Oast craft beer

You might also want to check out the award-winning beer produced by students at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in Glendale where they’re happy to answer all your questions.

The Exchange Brewery, a premium brewery and tasting room on Queen Street in Old Town, serves up seasonal and specialty beers as well as snacks and weekly specials. Why not take a tour while you’re there?

For fans of spirits, don’t miss Canadian whisky giants served up at the great one’s Wayne Gretzky Estates also in Virgil where you can book a tour, a tasting or even a cocktail class. Later, enjoy a meal at their onsite restaurant. 

On Lakeshore Road, Spirit in Niagara (SIN, for short) features the ever popular Monday Blooz & Jazz nights. From vodka, gin and bourbon to a selection of Eau de Vie fruit spirits and bitters, this distillery produces the widest range of spirits available in the Niagara region. While there, reserve a table in their Confessional Lounge for a meal you’ll not soon forget.

Why not combine a little exercise with your brew? Get ready to pedal party! Book a seat on the Pedal Pub. Entertained by music along the way, you’ll visit two or three local bars, wineries or restaurants.

Why not leave the driving to someone else and book a chauffeur-driven tour of breweries, wineries and distilleries? Brewery & Distillery Tours Niagara offers daily public tours as well as private tours in Mercedes-Benz vans. They even pick you up and drop you off at your door.

THE ENTERTAINERS
Nights out have plenty to offer you and your crew. High rollers may want to roll over to the poker table at Fallsview Casino or Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls. Both have a regular schedule of big-name entertainers as well.

Need a sports fix? In summer, check out some hoops action with the Niagara River Lions of the newly formed Canadian Elite Basketball League. The team plays at the St. Catharines Meridian Centre, which is also known to have some pretty big performers like Bryan Adams and Jerry Seinfeld.

Jackson-Triggs amphitheatre

If concerts are more your style, nothing beats an evening of music in the vineyards. Check out the summer 2024 line-up at the Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre. Upcoming headliners include the Sam Roberts Band, Jim Cuddy, Bahamas and many more.

Jazz lovers need to head over to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival schedule to scan the list of numerous performances planned for summer 2024. Some happen in the vineyards at the Hare Wine Co. right here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Or keep it simple and head over to The Irish Harp pub in Old Town for traditional Irish fare along with good beer and some lively music. Around the corner, at the British Pub in the Olde Angel Inn, enjoy live music in the newly renovated English Beer Garden – a fitting end to your guys’ getaway in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

WHERE TO STAY IN NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
STAY Niagara offers a wide variety of accommodation choices ranging from bed and breakfasts where someone else does the cooking to self-catering cottages, villas and apartments. Wherever you choose to stay, your hosts are happy to provide tips on where to go and what is happening during your bro time in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

THERE’S SO MUCH MORE IN STORE
Wondering what else is happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2024? Check these out:
June 1-30; TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 1 & 2: Niagara-on-the-Lake Studio Tour
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 22: Seafood Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

HELPFUL TIPS
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town. 

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Gardens: Always a Cut Above

Purple lilacs with bird in flight

When it comes to a bonanza of floral displays, Niagara-on-the-lake gardens are always a cut above other Ontario towns and principalities. 

This quaint lakeside nook in Niagara draws so many to admire the emerging splendour of May and early June — a tribute to the Full Moon on May 23 fittingly known as the Flower Moon.

Visitors often marvel at the variety of flowers and plants that seem to thrive here. Why is that?

Perhaps it’s the unique micro-climate and the rich, fertile soil the area is blessed with. Maybe it’s the inspiration locals get from nature and the surrounding countryside that stirs their imagination and willingness to experiment. Tempted by a variety of eye-popping displays at local garden centres, it’s little surprise that so many residents take up horticulture as a hobby to create a dazzling array of outdoor spaces not seen anywhere else. 

Street lamp with flowers at dusk

Niagara-on-the-Lake Garden Tours
As wondrous as the town’s streetscapes, parks and front yards may be, Niagara-on-the-Lake is also known for its popular garden tours, which always sell out. These events offer avid gardeners, architects and the curious a peek into the backyard havens rarely seen from the street.

For instance, the Shaw Guild Annual Garden Tour happens on June 15. One of the properties featured on this tour is the Frank Lloyd Wright-themed home located at 158 Prideaux Street.

On July 6, join The Gardener’s Garden Tour hosted by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society. This year’s event features nine varied garden locations including Southbrook Organic Vineyards and a special Bonsai show at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.

Robert and Melissa welcome visitors to roam their amazing two-acre NEOB Lavender Flower Farm and Nursery at 933 Niagara Stone Road. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours and enchanting scents as you get your hands dirty and pick your own flowers. Drop by their on-property gift shop where an assortment of essential oils and aromatic hair and body-care products are sold. (They also have a shop on Queen Street in Old Town.)

Every season reveals new gorgeous blooms at the 40-hectare (99 -acre) Botanical Gardens Niagara located 2565 Niagara Parkway where an array of experiences awaits you. Indulge your senses in the aromatic herb garden. Relax in one of many serene sitting areas. Visit the rose garden, which boasts over 2,400 roses. The seasonal display beds, designed by students of the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, feature over 80,000 annuals plants grown in the onsite greenhouse. Guided garden tours cost only $8 CAD.

Mauve and yellow flowers

Niagara-on-the-Lake Garden Centres
Perhaps you want to bring home a living memento of your time in Niagara-on-the-Lake or add a little Niagara splendour to your backyard garden. If so, there is a plethora of garden centres just waiting to dazzle you with their displays and seemingly endless selection.

Some local favourites include the Regal Garden Centre in Virgil, the Sunshine Express Garden Centre art 18 Carlton Street just before the Welland Canal, Seaway Farms Niagara at 175 Lakeshore Road and Horbach’s Farms & Greenhouses at 808 Concession 2 Road. 

Another spot to check out is the Teaching Greenhouse at Niagara College located at 135 Taylor Road, where agricultural and landscaping students and staff are happy to share all they know. While there, drop by the onsite Benchmark Restaurant for a delectable lunch featuring menu items prepared by student chefs.

Magnolia tree in bloom with B&B sign

Where to Stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake
STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a wide selection of accommodation choices, ranging from charming bed and breakfasts and inns, where delicious, aromatic, homecooked breakfasts are included, to self-catering cottages, villas and apartments. 

As you might expect, many offer secluded outdoor havens of their own for your enjoyment. Pay them a compliment, and they may even be willing to share one or two of their gardening secrets.

More Reasons to Visit Niagara-on-the-Lake
Spring and summer are prime times for Niagara-on-the-Lake events:
May 18 to 20: Virgil Stampede
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 1 & 2: NOTL Studio Tour
June 6: 80th Anniversary of D-Day at the NOTL Legion
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 21 to 29: TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 6: The Gardener’s Garden Tour
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
September 14: Niagara Polo
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips

Lost and Found notice

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Mother’s Day: Devoted to Motherhood Worldwide

Mother and daughter

The first Mother’s Day celebration took place on May 10, 1908, and was declared a national day devoted to motherhood six years later.

It’s no coincidence that Mother’s Day falls smack dab in the middle of Taurus season, when we’re ready to plant our feet firmly on the ground and dig our fingers into the rich earth as we gently nurture the tender shoots springing forth. This is when we lean into Mother Nature, taking its cues to slow down, experience silence and enjoy the beauty around us. Being mindful of those needs will take you far in 2024!

There is no wrong way to shower Mom with love. But if you’re in need of ideas, here are a few favourite ways to honour the woman who raised you. 

Mother Earth - AI generated

Tap into the Power of Taurus 
Taurus is all about tradition and earthy comforts. Why not start a new tradition and plan a fun couple of days together in Niagara-on-the-Lake? 

Begin by saving a tree and sending her an e-card you created yourself on Canva.com or a similar website. You can also check out the popular Jackie Lawson e-cards and include your own personal message.

Book a charming bed and breakfast, a country cottage, a villa, an inn or a luxurious apartment through STAY Niagara. There are so many options from which to choose depending on your particular circumstances and needs.

Spend time together at a local nursery or garden centre and pick up a perennial plant she can place in her garden back home. It will be a lovely daily reminder for years to come of your time together. Don’t forget to include a new set of gardening gloves she can wear.

Mother’s Day is a time for all moms to kick up their feet and relax. Schedule a pre-summer manicure and/or pedicure for just the two of you at any of the numerous spas in Old Town.

If that’s not possible, present her with a self-care gift basket filled with bath bombs and other items made for relaxation from NEOB Lavender or One Earth.

Enjoy the colourful tulips on display along Queen Street as you help Mom indulge with a bit of retail therapy at some of the quaint clothing and hat shops in Old Town or at the 100+ brand-name shops found at the Outlet Collection at Niagara.

Colourful tulips

Share a meal. Spend the day cooking together in your villa or cottage. Or better yet, join others on May 11 (or at another time) at a Hands-on Cooking Class at the Wine Country Cooking School in the Strewn Winery. 

Or keep it sweet and simple. Whip together an impressive spread of chocolates (from CFX Niagara or Rocky Mountain Chocolate), cheeses (from Cheese Secrets) and nuts (from Picard Peanuts or the Grimo Nut Nursery). And pair it all up with some of her favourite Niagara vintage wines you snapped up on your guided winery tour earlier.

If cooking is not her style, there are a number of dining establishments in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

Bring out the artist in her — and you — at the “Sip and Paint Night” happening at Peller Estates Winery on May 12. Many more such events are planned throughout the summer.

Alternatively, treat her to an afternoon (or evening) performance and Mother’s Day Tea at the Shaw Festival. Who doesn’t love the unforgettable story of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins in the timeless classic, My Fair Lady? Perhaps, the clever twists and witty dialogue in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution is more to her liking. Or check out some of the upcoming events listed below that you think might interest her.

Later, enjoy a game night together or with the whole family. If you don’t have your own, a wide assortment of games and puzzles is waiting for you at It’s All Fun and Games.

However you choose to celebrate your maternal relationship this year, take time to have heart-to-heart conversations, perhaps on a walk in Simcoe Park or as you relax with a glass of wine at one of many warming stations in the Monet-inspired gardens across from the Pillar and Post. Ask her to share tales from your ancestors and her youth. These stories are very much a part of you. Like it or not, they played an integral role in forming the person you are today and the person you are yet to become. Listen for the gems and cherish them.

In Memoriam 
These ancestral stories will also give you strength and carry you forward when she is no longer with you. Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to have our mother with us. However, we can still celebrate her spirit by lending a helping hand to a hardworking or solitary mom. 

Whether you drop off a meal to someone you know is spending Mother’s Day alone or offer to help a busy mom shuttle kids to and from school or a sports practice, the extra support will surely be appreciated. If you’re not sure how to help, send a simple note to one of your mom friends with an open offer for anything she needs.

Looking Ahead
There is never a shortage of events happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Until April 28: Coming of Age exhibit at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
April 29 – June 3: TD Niagara Jazz Fest Shows at The Hare Wine Co.
May 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
May 12: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 21 to 29: TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
June 30: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
July 28: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
August 25 & September 29: Sip and Paint Night at Peller Estates Winery
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, automated speed enforcement cameras have been installed in school zones. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Little-Known Gems in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Two elderly male cyclists in summer

While many are familiar with Old Town, the truth is that many little-known gems in Niagara-on-the-Lake are found in four other communities that make up Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Sure, the charm of Old Town is a crowd-pleaser with its lifestyle and numerous shops, art galleries, historical sites, live stage productions and restaurants. What’s not to love?

However, it’s only a small piece of what makes up a larger area bordered by Welland Canal to the west, Lake Ontario to the north, the Niagara River to the east and the Niagara Escarpment to the south — an area called Niagara-on-the-Lake. Within these borders, you will find the four communities of Queenston, St. David’s, Virgil and Glendale. And each one is home to many little-known gems.

Brock Monument at Queenston Heights

Queenston Gems
From Old Town, follow the Niagara Parkway along the Niagara River for about 10 kilometres to reach Queenston village. Nestled under the watchful gaze of the 56-metre-high Brock Monument erected at Queenston Heights on the Niagara Escarpment, it is the southern terminus of the Bruce Trail as well as the starting point for the Laura Secord Trail. Feeling energetic? Climb 235 steps to the top of the Brock Monument for a spectacular view of the Niagara Frontier.

The compact, riverside community of Queenston is home to the RiverBrink Art Museum, a unique collection of more than 1,400 artifacts and artworks by international artists. It’s also where you find the Laura Secord Homestead and the Mackenzie Printery, which houses the oldest printing press in Canada and one of seven wooden presses remaining in the world!

Whirlpool Jet Boat

Thrill-seekers want to check out the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours that operate out of Queenston from May through October. Wet or dry, it’s your choice. Either way, be ready for an adventure of a lifetime.

Avid golfers tee up year-round (weather permitting) at one of two 9-hole par 35 courses featured at the Queenston St. David’s Golf Course tucked under the Niagara Escarpment.

St. David’s Gems
Situated at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, the township of St. David’s offers sweeping views of the Niagara Valley and Lake Ontario as well as culinary adventures to excite your taste buds.

Glass of Sparkling Wine

Wine lovers, rejoice! St. David’s is a great place to tour a few local wineries, starting with Ravine Vineyard Estate. This fifth-generation family farm is home to organic vineyards and an award-winning restaurant. A little further down the road, Château des Charmes features more than 40 vintages and winery tours in English and French. Also in St. David’s Bench, you will find the Colaneri Estate Winer, where you can order and enjoy pizza with your wine. More tasting experiences await you nearby at the Queenston Mile Vineyard.

Perhaps someone in your group prefers a cold brew to a glass of wine. Enjoy the best of both worlds with a hearty meal at The Grist, open Wednesday through Sunday. Once a packing shed, this valuable piece of St. David’s history was rehabilitated and transformed into a brewery and relaxed eatery.

Chocolate from CFX Niagara

Any chocolate lovers in the house? Make your way to the chocolate factory. Using artisanal chocolate panning and molding techniques, CFX Niagara provides an incredible assortment of products to delight even the most discriminating palate. They offer free daily tours and there’s a large retail store filled with tempting treats to take home.

Glendale Gems
This bedroom community of Niagara-on-the-Lake isn’t as sleepy as you might think. It’s the hub of culinary learning and experimentation.

As a gateway to the Niagara wine region, the Wine Visitor + Education Centre features informative displays, tours and an information centre to assist you in your exploration of Niagara’s wine country.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, students at the Niagara College School of Culinary Arts and School of Wine, Beer and Spirits put into practice all they’ve learned at the NC Culinary Arts Café located on campus. You’re welcome to tour the Niagara College Teaching Winery, Brewery, Distillery and Cidery as well where you can sample their award-winning products through a variety of customized experiences.

Shoots at Outlet Collection at Niagara

In need of some retail therapy? Across the road, the Outlet Collection at Niagara combines 100+ brand-name fashion and lifestyle retailers — all at outlet prices you cannot resist.

All this tasting, dining and touring can wear a body out. Look no further than the serene world at The Spa located across from the Outlets at the White Oaks Resort & Spa where you’ll also find dining options at LIV Restaurant and Play Bar + Grill as well as an amazing fitness centre and racquet courts at The Club.

Virgil Gems
Locals may think of Virgil as the business centre of Niagara-on-the-Lake, but there is more to this community than meets the eye.

Situated in the heart of Virgil, Antiques on Creek is made up of a consortium of dealers, where you can explore vast displays of local and international treasures. There’s no end to the one-of-a-kind finds you’ll discover here.

Antiques on Creek

Just up the road are the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre and Centennial Sports Park where numerous public events are held. From picket ball events and the annual Virgil Stampede on Victoria Day Weekend to public skating and hockey and baseball tournaments, there’s something for everyone to enjoy year-round.

Feeling hungry? Brick & Barley is a family-owned bistro located right next door to the Arena. Nearby, the Silversmith Brewing Company is housed in an old church built in 1894. It’s a great place to enjoy an ice-cold beer or a glass of cider along with some pub favourites. For finer dining, look no further than the Twisted Vine across the street, where authentic Italian fare is on the menu.

Virgil is also where a number of winery, brewery, distillery and cider tour companies have set up shop. Ranging from cycling tours and e-bike rentals to chauffeur-driven van and private limousine tours, your options are seemingly endless. Some offer pick-up and drop-off service at your accommodation.

Of course, you can always visit a few wineries in Virgil on your own. Trius Winery and its sister-winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates next door, both feature wine-tasting and dining experiences. Up the road toward Old Town, Pillitteri Estates Winery serves up salads and wood-oven pizza to complement its wine selections at its outdoor BarrelHead venue during the warmer months.

Niagara Image Gallery

Art lovers flock to admire the art collection, which includes works by Trish Romance, Tanya Jean Peterson, Jordan Morrison and Alex Colville, at the Niagara Image Gallery. Another is the Ronald Boaks Fine Arts gallery located at 1823 Niagara Stone Road.

Be sure to drop into the Regal Florist and Garden Centre, a local favourite for garden furniture and decor, flowering plants and bouquets as well as giftware and ladies’ fashions and accessories. If need be, gentlemen can opt to hang out at the Penner Home Hardware Building Centre next door.

Accommodation Gems
With so much to discover and experience, you may want to spend a few days in Niagara-on-the-Lake to sample it all. Whether you want to be at the centre of the action or prefer a peaceful, restful stay in the countryside, STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake has you covered at prices you can afford. Check out their wide selection of bed and breakfasts, apartments, cottages and villas online.

If you are heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the upcoming Solar Eclipse on April 8, a number of wineries and touring companies have organized events, some of which are linked below. Please take time to read the safety guidelines posted here.

More Reasons to Visit Niagara-on-the-Lake Year-Round
To help you plan your next escape to Niagara-on-the-Lake, here are a few events slated for 2024:
April 2 to 28: Coming of Age exhibit at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
April 6: Shaw Festival 2024 Season begins
April 8: Solar Eclipse Events at Wayne Gretzky Estates, Niagara Cycling Tours, Queenston Mile Vineyard, Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery, Bella Terra Vineyards, Marynissen Estates
April 20: Pendant-Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
April 29 – June 3: TD Niagara Jazz Fest Shows at The Hare Wine Co.
May 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
June 1: Earring Making Workshop at RiverBrink Art Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 16 – August 16: Music Niagara Festival 2024
June 21 to 29: TD Niagara Summer Jazz Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
July 14: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
October 4: Shaw Guild Autumn Soirée
October 5: Mom Market Niagara at Jacksonn-Triggs Estate Winery
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 6 & 7: Rotary Club House Tour
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Drive Safely: As part of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program, an automated speed enforcement camera was installed on Old Stone Road in Virgil near Crossroads Public School. Please pay attention to the speed limits posted throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake as more cameras are planned.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed $400. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Master a “Living Well Lifestyle” in Niagara

Cyclists in vineyard

Research shows that a “Living Well Lifestyle” is undeniably important for our wellbeing, yet so many of us ignore that simple fact.

We now find ourselves in the final three weeks of the winter season. And soon, the world will start waking up again for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. What would you like to complete, accomplish, do or experience before this winter ends? 

You may find yourself overwhelmed by all the duties and responsibilities you’re facing and yearning to escape and avoid them instead. That’s natural.

Here’s the good news. A full Moon in Virgo on February 24 gave us a permission slip to be gentle with our thoughts and words and to pay attention to our health during these final weeks of winter as we ready ourselves for the busy Spring season ahead. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Is All About Lifestyle
Now is an especially good time to adopt and indulge in a Living Well Lifestyle, a ground-breaking discovery that unveiled five regions, known as Blue Zones, around the world where people live exceptionally long lives. An important aspect of this lifestyle is our ability to take our cues from and be in sync with nature. The tangible benefits of the Living Well Lifestyle become apparent in the remarkable health, happiness and low stress levels of residents and visitors alike.

Buddha ornament

Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a way of life that pays homage to the lessons learned from such vibrant communities by integrating the 9 main pillars of a Living Well Lifestyle:

  1. Freedom
  2. Access to nature
  3. Sense of community
  4. Tranquility
  5. Walkability
  6. Activity (fitness, adventure)
  7. Beauty (architecture, design and spaces)
  8. Connection/sociability
  9. Nourishment

Let’s look at how these nine pillars are so effortlessly incorporated into daily life in Niagara-on-the-Lake and how everyone benefits from such a lifestyle.

Movement: Moving Naturally
The opportunities for movement within Niagara-on-the-Lake arise naturally, and often, spontaneously and unplanned. 

silhouette of jogger

A typical day may start with an early peaceful walk on the network of natural trails that meander through the Commons, along the waterfront and on the Niagara Escarpment in Queenston and St. David’s. A variety of versatile sports and recreational choices available include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, yoga, high-intensity training at the community gym, golf, swimming, tennis, biking, hiking and running. 

Additionally, friends and family meet for lunch at one of the many restaurants, followed by a walk to the beach or to any of the town’s boutiques and art galleries or taking in a live stage performance at the Shaw Festival. At day’s end, many meet at a park on Lake Ontario to unwind and watch the sun go down.

Love and Being Loved: Putting Family and Friends First
In a walkable town like Old Town in Niagara-on-the-Lake, skipping time in traffic allows more time and energy for what is important. 

There are wonderful opportunities where you can spend time with family and friends at organized weekly activities such as movie nights, live music events, festivals, arts and crafts sessions and workshops, wine tastings, kids’ clubs, BBQs, art exhibitions, moon ceremonies, stargazing, yoga, pizza nights and more.

Friends enjoying wine

Downshifting: Slowing it Down and Reducing Stress
Stress is part of everyone’s life, and finding ways to reduce its impact is a significant focus for Niagara-on-the-Lake residents and visitors. Fortunately, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers an array of options and spaces for downshifting in and around town.

This might include engaging in healing sessions at one of the numerous spas, hitting the trails on foot or bike, taking a walk in nature, forest bathing, practising yoga, meeting for outdoor workouts, joining friends for a sunset drink, journaling on a rocking chair at your favourite B&B while sipping a cup of coffee or tea, meditating in one of our historical churches or simply strolling through Old Town, admiring the beautiful architecture that imparts a sense of calm from another era.

Glass of wine and food on plate

Nourishment: Benefits of a Plant-Slant Diet
While food choices, preferences and habits are entirely up to the individual, restaurant chefs and your B&B hosts in Niagara-on-the-Lake have ramped up their efforts to increase the availability of organic produce that is grown locally.

In collaboration with local farms, vegetable gardens and agricultural cooperatives, chefs encourage agricultural practices that support a respectful cycle of the food’s growth and their interaction with it. This fosters a sustainable and efficient nourishment of the soil, and as a result, of our bodies. 

Purpose: Belonging and Being Part of a Tribe
While this may look quite different for most people, choosing to become part of such a community, even for a short time, naturally leads to the pursuit of similar purposes, at least regarding health and lifestyle. 

Niagara-on-the-Lake offers an unparalleled lifestyle for both residents and visitors. It’s a place where people can feel better and healthier at any time of the year.

The highly walkable Old Town of Niagara-o-the-Lake includes hotels, bed and breakfasts, cottages, villas, shops, restaurants, day spas, parks and recreational facilities, all nestled between the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Throughout the region of Niagara-on-the-Lake, walkable public spaces are interwoven with nature, emphasizing an indoor-outdoor lifestyle that is healthier, more satisfying, more fun and more sustainable. 

So Many Reasons to Visit Year-Round
With summer fast-approaching, you may want to book your preferred spot as early as possible because Niagara-on-the-Lake is especially popular during the high season (May through October). To help you plan your next escape to Niagara-on-the-Lake, here are a few tempting events slated for 2024:
Until February 29: SeaSky International Light Show at Reif Estate Winery
Until Mid-March: Skating at the Great One’s Backyard Rink and at The Gardens at the Pillar and Post
March 16 & 17 and 23 & 24: Around the World Event at Reif Estate Winery
April 2 to 8: Coming of Age exhibit at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
April 8: Solar Eclipse Events at Wayne Gretzky Estates, Niagara Cycling Tours, and Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
August 18 to 25: 2024 World Rowing Championships in St. Catharines
October 4: Shaw Autumn Soirée
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed $400. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Embrace Winter’s Gifts in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Collage of winter scenes

Winter in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a magical time of the year. The stillness and deep sense of wonder resonate with our very souls.

Nature hits the pause button and quietly seduces us to relax, restore and reflect. Contrary to popular belief, winter is never the time for setting goals. Not yet. Save that for spring, when you naturally have more energy.

Until then, it’s “dream time.” Much like the rest of nature, we pause and ponder what we achieved in 2023 and where we might be headed in 2024. It’s also time to let go what no longer serves us so we can move forward unburdened.

Research shows that our best ideas come to us when we’re dreaming, relaxed or at play. Winter is the ideal season for restoration, self-care and sharing the fruits of our fall labour with our loved ones. After all, February is Cupid’s favourite month.

And Niagara-on-the-Lake has everything you need to meet these wintertime goals.

Woman enjoying winter

Bundle Up and Get Outdoors
Niagara-on-the-Lake is riddled with walking paths. One takes you past wineries along the Niagara River to the charming village of Queenston and the forested Escarpment trails. Another follows the shores of Lake Ontario and offers a view of Toronto’s skyline on clear days. Other local favourites are the Heritage Trail and the walkways that meander through The Commons where you may sight a deer, fox or coyote foraging in the distance.

Skating is a popular winter activity in Niagara-on-the-Lake. An old-fashioned skating rink at the the Monet-inspired gardens across from the Pillar & Post Hotel invites you to lace up those skates and twirl your favourite partner. Enjoy a hot drink and a snack from the on-site Outpost, then cozy up at one of many warming stations located throughout the park.

A Wayne Gretzky fan? Check out the skating rink at the Great One’s winery in the town of Virgil, just five kilometres up the road from Old Town.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
What better way to let your thoughts drift off into dreamland than under the caressing hands of a professional therapist? The variety of treatments and services on the menu is endless.

Woman getting a facial

The Vintage Hotels feature two spas, each offering a very different ambience. The 100 Fountain Spa and the Secret Garden Spa have been in this people-pleasing business for decades and it shows. Their services and treatments have expanded to suit the times and your preferences.

In addition to traditional spa services, the one-of-a-kind hydrotherapy wellness circuit at Spa at Q on Queen Street includes the only snow room in Canada, hot and cold pools, sensory showers, a cedar sauna and a eucalyptus steam room.

Not to be outdone, the harmonious, peaceful mood at the OSpa at the Oban Inn complements its amazing soothing and personalized treatments.

Located across from the Outlet Collection at Niagara, the Spa at White Oaks promises to rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh you before you head out for some retail therapy.

Wine and Dine Your Sweetheart
If there is one thing Niagara-on-the-Lake is known for, it’s the wide selection of fine vintage and culinary experiences the area offers. Not only is this the birthplace of modern Canadian winemaking, but it also attracts some of the most innovative chefs in Canada, such as celebrity chefs, Jason Parsons at Peller Estates and Treadwell.

chef plating

Up for a culinary adventure? Introduce yourself to delectable creations prepared by Niagara’s aspiring chefs. The School of Culinary Arts at Niagara College operates the award-winning on-campus Benchmark restaurant, where lunch is served from Wednesday to Friday under the watchful guidance of culinary virtuoso, Chef Justin Downes, and Catering Manager, Victor Oliveira.

Hoping to impress someone special? Three of Niagara’s finest dining establishments — Zee’s, Niagara’s Finest Thai and Tiara — are offering prix-fixe menus this winter.

In keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake are presenting the Chocolate & Cheese Passport Event every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February. Here’s your chance to indulge in the perfect pairing of wine, chocolate and cheese at 20 wineries.

Lighthearted fun and a Gourmet S’mores Board await you at Konzelmann Estate Winery where you get to sit back and relax in a Muskoka chair and enjoy a seasonal wine flight in the warmth of their enclosed winter patio.

Snuggle Up and Get Warm
Regardless of what you decide to do while in Niagara-on-the-Lake, you want to be comfortable and feel welcomed and warm.

STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake features a list of short-term accommodation choices that range from self-catering apartments, cottages and villas to charming bed and breakfasts and country inns, where you gently awaken to mouthwatering aromas of freshly prepared breakfasts prepared by your on-site hosts.

A Word to the Wise
With the warmer season fast-approaching, you may want to book your preferred spot early as Niagara-on-the-Lake is especially popular during the high season (May through October). To help you plan your next escape to Niagara-on-the-Lake, here are a few tempting events slated for 2024:

February Weekends: The Chocolate & Cheese Passport Event
February 3: Black History in NOTL: Commemorating National Historic Significance
February 5: Celebrating Black History & Culture at The Harry Winery
February 9: Brock: The Man, the Myth, the Legend at Navy Hall
Until February 25: Inniskillin’s Illumination Nights
February 27: Reif Estate Icewine Dinner
Until February 29: SeaSky International Light Show at Reif Estate Winery
Until Mid-March: Skating at the Great One’s Backyard Rink and at The Gardens at the Pillar and Post
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
October 4: Shaw Autumn Soirée
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Lost & Found: Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Metered Parking: General information on metered parking in Niagara-on-the-Lake is found here. Your STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake hosts feature complimentary on-site parking for guests and are happy to advise you on where to park for free in and around Old Town.

Accessible Parking: Several accessible parking spaces are located throughout the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, both on the street and in municipal parking lots. All vehicles parking in the accessible zone must display an original and current accessible permit. Any vehicle found parked in an accessible zone without the valid accessible permit will be ticketed $400. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved the use of accessible parking permits in the following areas only:

  • Designated accessible zones/spaces; and
  • At any meter free of charge, including municipal lots governed by pay-and-display parking meters. In these locations, a pay-and-display permit is not required if the vehicle is displaying a valid accessible permit.

Raise a Glass at the 2024 Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival

Icewine Festival sculptures

December 21 marks a special time when Earth and the Sun align with the heart of our solar system and the surrounding constellations. Solstice means “sun stands still.” 

The December Solstice is the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a symbolic turning point in the wheel of the year when a shift happens for all on Earth! Not surprisingly, a variety of traditions celebrate holidays with “the return of the Light.” 

The December Solstice is also the start of the Capricorn season — a time to make practical plans, a time to be effective and efficient, a time to take care of business, a time to delegate tasks, a time to acknowledge ancestors and family history, and a time to honour past traditions. It’s no mistake that Christmas festivities and setting New Year goals play such prominent roles between December 21 and January 20.

Icewine Festival people

It’s Party Time at the 2024 Icewine Festival
And with our friend Mercury Retrograde in effect until January 1, we’re reminded to take extra time to reflect and reconnect with loved ones who matter most. What better way to enjoy the camaraderie and ring in the New Year than with a glass or two of Niagara’s celebrated “liquid gold” dessert wine at the 2024 Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival.

Every January, historic Queen Street turns into a pedestrian-friendly Icewine Village lined with tents and musical performers welcoming visitors from far and wide. And this year’s homage to this exquisite Canadian nectar promises to be better and more magical than ever.

Ice Bar at the Outlets
The fun begins on January 13 and 14 in the Outdoor Courtyard at the Outlet Collection at Niagara where, for the first time, shoppers have the opportunity to add a whole new dimension to their shopping excursion. The Ice Bar will showcase VQA Icewine from 16 wineries plus a signature VQA Icewine cocktail along with live music and cozy fire pits.

Icewine Village
Celebrations continue over the next two weekends: January 20 & 21, and 27 & 28. Set against the backdrop of our beautiful Queen Street, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival promises a unique and immersive experience for all who come. Sample a diverse array of exceptional icewines. Indulge in culinary delights that complement the distinct flavours of this cherished Canadian specialty. Enjoy live entertainment, engaging activities and festive atmosphere.

Fireworks

Sparkle & Ice Celebration
On January 26, a lavish gala at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Courthouse features the fan favourite Icewine Cocktail Competition. In traditional style, the evening culminates with a stunning firework display and Icewine toast.

Treat Yourself to a VIP Lounge Experience
Elevate your Icewine Festival experience at the VIP Lounge where luxury meets the enchantment. Your $100 ticket entitles you to entry to a private tent featuring cozy fire pits, Muskoka chairs and a signature cocktail compliments of Spirit in Niagara — all conveniently located across from the stage. As you unwind by the fire, comfy and warm in your complimentary VIP toque and blanket, enjoy a flight of three Icewine varieties expertly paired with a charcuterie box of tasty delights from Cheese Secrets

Looking for Accommodation?
STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a variety of lodging options ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts and inns to self-catering apartments, cottages and villas located throughout Old Town and the neighbouring communities of St. David’s, Queenston, Virgil and Glendale.

Looking Ahead
After the Holiday Season, some of us need a rest or something to look forward to. After all, we don’t want you to miss out on the fun.
December 31: New Year’s Eve at Peller Estates Winery
January 20: A Naval Dinner — An Evening with the Captain
January 22: January Blues at The Hare Winery
February Weekends: The Chocolate & Cheese Passport Event
February 3: Black History in NOTL: Commemorating National Historic Significance
February 5: Celebrating Black History & Culture at The Harry Winery
February 9: Brock: The Man, the Myth, the Legend at Navy Hall
Until February 25: Inniskillin’s Illumination Nights
February 27: Reif Estate Icewine Dinner
Until February 29: Seasky International Light Show at Reif Estate Winery
Until Mid-March: Skating at the Great One’s Backyard Rink and at The Gardens at the Pillar and Post
Until April 29: Strike a Pose: The Art of Self-Obsession at the NOTL Museum
June 7: White Effect Dinner
June 15: Shaw Garden Tour
June 15: St. Andrew’s Strawberry Festival
June 29, 30 & July 1: Artistry by the Lake
July 6: St. Mark’s Cherry Festival
August 10: Peach Festival
August 11: Shades of Rose Dinner
October 4: Shaw Autumn Soirée
October 5 & 6: NOTL Beer/Harvest Festival
December 6: Candlelight Stroll
December 14: Christmas Parade

Helpful Tips
Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

Celebrate the Holiday Magic of Niagara-on-the-Lake

Beau Chapeau Christmas Window

If you missed the Santa Clause Parade and the Candlelight Stroll on December 10, don’t worry… There are plenty more opportunities — and reasons — to celebrate the magic of the Holiday Season in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

Stay in one of STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake’s member bed and breakfasts, cottages, villas or apartments. Sip Icewine in one of 38 wineries that dot the immediate countryside. Enjoy the Shaw Festival’s two Christmas shows — A Christmas Carol and Brigadoon. Shop in the authentic Christmas village or at one of the holiday markets for handcrafted artisan-made gifts. Get pampered in one of five spas. 

But wait… there’s so much more.

Christmas Tree

Vote for Your Favourite
Queen Street has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland with decorated shop windows and Christmas trees lining the main thoroughfare. Get into the spirit and vote for your favourite Christmas tree and shop window at the Chamber of Commerce at 26 Queen Street. Voting for the People’s Choice Awards is open until December 31 at 5 p.m., and winners will be announced at the 2024 Icewine Festival. 

Take in a Light Show
The Reif Estate Winery invites you to experience Niagara-on-the-Lake’s First Light Experience. The Seasky International Light Show runs from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, from December 21 to February 29. This spectacular event is crafted by artisans featuring scenes of magic, animals, nature, festive delights and Chinese culture. Take it all in with some warm mulled wine, hot apple cider, Vinea hot chocolate, award-winning Icewine and more. It’s the perfect date night or family outing!

Ready, Set, GLOW!
Not to be outdone, Canada’s Original Estate Winery — Inniskillin — is aglow in glittering lights until February 25. You’re welcome to experience an unforgettable evening as you get cozy and sip Icewine. The magic happens Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Lace Up Those Skates
Head over to the skating rink in the beautifully decorated Monet-inspired gardens across the street from the Pillar and Post Hotel. Then, cozy up to one of many warming stations located throughout the gardens with a snack and a hot drink or a glass of wine from the Outpost. It’s the perfect place to reminisce and share family Christmas stories and lots of laughter with one another. Go ahead, take a selfie or two while you’re at it. You’ll want to share your special day or evening with friends and family back home.

Monet-inspired Gardens at Christmas

Experience a Fine Scottish Tradition
In honour of the Shaw Festival’s production of Brigadoon, the Prince of Wales Hotel is serving a Highland Candlelight Tea from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday evening in their Drawing Room. The menu features Sloane premium teas, housemade finger sandwiches, sweet cakes and pastries, signature scones and savory steak pie.

Run, Santa, Run!
Grab your family and friends, put on a Santa suit and run the Annual 5K Santa Run at 10 a.m., December 17. Later, enjoy breakfast and an award ceremony at The Irish Harp where prizes for best race times and keepsake medals will be doled out to participants. All proceeds support the NOTL Youth Collective, a program committed to creating a safe, accessible and inclusive environment for youth aged 12 to 18 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Strike a Pose exhibit at Museum

Strike a Pose
Step out of the cold and into the warmth of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum where an exhibit called The Art of Self-Obsession is on display until April 29. The desire to leave a mark on the work and chronicle our lives is not a new concept. Over centuries, we have recorded our likeness through drawings, portrait paintings, sculpture, photography, and now, through social media and selfies. This exhibition shows how the people of Niagara-on-the-Lake documented themselves through paintings, drawings, photography and pixels. 

Get Set for the New Year 2024
After the Holiday Season, some of us need a rest or something to look forward to. After all, we don’t want you to miss out on the fun.
January 13 & 14: Icewine Festival Kick-Off Weekend at the Outlet Collection
January 20: A Naval Dinner — An Evening with the Captain
January 20 & 21 and 27 & 28: 29th Icewine Festival Icewine Village on Queen Street
January 26: Sparkle & Ice Celebration at the Court House

Helpful Tips
Parking is free in Old Town and at Fort George during the month of December.

Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.

The Shaw Festival Reveals its 2024 Season

Queen Street at Christmas

Nestled in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw is one of North America’s finest cultural attractions. Featuring some of the best theatre ever created, the Shaw’s 2024 calendar is filled with an eclectic array of quirky comedies, bold dramas, entertaining musicals and favourite classics. 

Perhaps a “well-behaved” someone on your list would love to see a ticket or two to a Shaw performance in their Christmas stocking. Add a gift certificate from a STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake member property, and you have a winning combo.

Royal York Theatre front doors

At the Royal George Theatre
It all kicks off on April 6 at the Royal George Theatre with Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution. Regarded as one of the writer’s greatest stage mysteries, the story revolves around the murder of a wealthy widow whose handsome, charming and much younger gentleman friend becomes the obvious suspect. Will he escape the hangman’s noose?

From May 31 to October 13, the world premiere of The Secret Garden tells the story of an orphan, Mary Lennox. Upon discovering a walled garden with a locked door on her reclusive uncle’s manor grounds, her curiosity is sparked into life. There’s fun here for the whole family.

Another world premiere, The Orphan of Chao, previews on June 13. In this one-act lunchtime play, known by many as the Chinese version of Hamlet, a violent palace power struggle leaves an infant, the last of the house of Chao, orphaned. Later adopted by his family’s killer as son and heir, the orphan of Chao discovers the truth about his identity and exacts vengeance for the death of his clan.

Candida, another one of Shaw’s popular and enduring romantic comedies, previews on July 13. Caught in an emotional tug-of-war between her charming socialist vicar husband and her young aristocratic, but penniless poet, Candida must decide which one truly needs her most.

Audience at Festival Theatre

At the Festival Theatre
From May 4 to December 22, Lerner and Loewe’s ever-popular My Fair Lady, the adored adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture, Pygmalion, takes centre stage with Kristi Frank as Eliza Doolittle, Tom Rooney as Professor Henry Higgins and David Alan Anderson as Colonel Pickering.

On June 8, One Man, Two Guvnors is a commedia dell’arte-styled comedy about Francis Hensall who is dually employed by petty East End criminal, Roscoe Crabbe, and an upper-class buffoon, Stanley Stubbers. Enjoy the mayhem-filled antics Hensall goes through to keep his “two guvnors” apart in order to prevent discovery.

For the third time, Damien Atkins takes on the role of everyone’s favourite master of deduction and observation in the world premiere of Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Human Heart on July 24. This time round, Holmes faces off against a villain so clever that he may have met his match. 

At the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre
From June 12 to October 12, The House That Will Not Stand is set in early 19th-century New Orleans where a wealthy free Black woman with three unwed daughters finds herself facing an uncertain future as racial divides widen and society around her begins to change.

Beginning August 8, another classic Chinese tale, Snow in Midsummer follows a young widow Dou Yi who is sentenced to death for a murder she didn’t commit. Adapted from a 13th-century drama from the Yuan Dynasty, this reimagined work is part ghost story, part murder mystery and part family drama.

Speigeltent at Shaw interior

In the Spiegeltent and Elsewhere
A number of unique performances continue the trend begun during the pandemic of tapping the varied talents of members of the Shaw ensemble. The lineup includes a cabaret, a variety show and two musical revues.

Also returning for 2024 are the coffee concerts, jazz speakeasies, gospel choir performances and intimate and interactive songbook events. And the ever-popular A Christmas Carol returns to the Royal George in November, just in time for the 2024 Holiday Season.

For tickets and more information, visit shawfest.com/2024-season.

Celebrate the Holiday Season in Wine Country
A number of events and performances are scheduled to bring the Holiday Cheer to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and you’re invited to take part.

December 1-10: Holiday Market at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
December 1: 2023 Candlelight Stroll — a full-day event
December 1 & 2: Rotary Holiday House Tour & Holiday Market at the Riverbrink Museum
December 1 & 2: A Festive Event at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
December 2 & 3: Reif Holiday Market at Reif Estate Winery
December 3: Holiday Market at Ravine Vineyard
December 5: Christmas Classics at The Irish Harp
December 7-9: Holiday Brew Haha Festival at the Brewery Exchange
December 9: Breakfast with Santa at Q124
December 9: Santa Claus Parade
December 9: Beaded Tree Workshop at the Riverbrink Art Museum
December 9 & 10: McFarland House Heritage Christmas
December 17: Annual 5K Santa Run
December 18: Twilight Jazz & Blues Series at The Hare Wine Co.
January 13 & 14: Ice Bar at the Outlet Collection
January 20 & 21 and 27 & 28: 29th Icewine Festival on Queen Street
January 26: Sparkle & Ice Celebration at the Court House

Helpful Tips
Parking is free in Old Town and at Fort George during the month of December.

Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email tourism@niagaraonthelake.com for more information.