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.

Holiday Shopping in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Collage of photos for Christmas shopping ideas

If there is one thing Niagara-on-the-Lake knows how to do well, it’s celebrate and honour each season with grace, elegance and fanfare. And the Christmas Season is the crown jewel in its cap as the historic town turns into an old-fashioned Christmas Wonderland. 

By mid-November, storefront windows along Queen Street in Old Town are all dressed up for the festive season. Twinkling lights, theme-decorated trees and favourite Christmas songs fill the air to set the mood. It’s a sight to behold! And one that brings us back to a simpler era at a time when the world desperately needs a ray of hope.

Niagara-on-the-Lake invites you to unite in sharing the Christmas cheer and a soulful prayer for world peace.

Shaw’s Holiday Shows Light up the Season
On November 5, the Royal George Theatre opened its doors to the all-time holiday favourite by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. As an extra special treat, following the performance, audience members have the opportunity to take a photo with the cast.

Starting November 15, Brigadoon, a musical production by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, takes centre stage at the Festival Theatre. This romantic celebration of song and dance features classic tunes like “Almost Like Being in Love” and “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean.”

Both shows run until December 23.

Santa Claus parade - horse and sleigh

Two Heartwarming Traditions
The Holiday Season in Niagara-on-the Lake kicks off on December 1 with the 34th Annual Candlelight Stroll. It all begins with an afternoon showcase featuring multiple talented musical performances from 2 to 6 p.m. in front of the Old Courthouse. Even Jolly Old Saint Nick will be on hand for pictures from 3 to 5 p.m. The guided stroll begins at 6:30 p.m. from the Old Courthouse on Queen Street and winds through historical Old Town, accompanied by local choirs and seasonal entertainment. Candles are $5 cash and non-perishable items are welcome in support of Newark Neighbours, which provide Christmas hampers for more than 50 families in the area.

Tired of fighting the crowds to catch a glimpse of Santa? Set aside Saturday, December 9 and treat yourself and the kids to the sweetest, most enjoyable, old-fashioned Santa Claus Parade this side of the North Pole. It all begins at 11 a.m. at the intersection of King and Centre Streets and winds its way down Castlereagh, Wellington, Byron/Prideaux, Simcoe and Queen Streets in Old Town.

House Tours and Holiday Markets
On December 1 and 2, six beautifully decorated homes in Niagara-on-the-Lake will welcome more than 3,000 guests. If you like interior design, architecture and seasonal decorations, the annual Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Holiday House Tour is for you. Later, take advantage of the specially priced luncheons available to attendees. Your day ticket is good for both Friday and Saturday.

Looking for something special for everyone on your list? Niagara-on-the-Lake invites you to poke around some of the holiday markets happening in December.

Christmas decorations

From December 1 to 10 (except Monday, December 4), the Holiday Market at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre will feature a wide range of one-of-a-kind, handmade holiday gifts, ornaments and décor creations crafted by more than 25 artisans. The assortment of products includes personal care, wood carvings, jewellery, pottery, glass, candles, birdhouses, textiles, treats, baked goods and more. Proceeds from the event benefit children and seniors’ programs. Admission is free with a food item donation to Newark Neighbours Food Bank. Debit, Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

On December 2 and 3, the Reif Estate Winery promises a fun-filled weekend when it hosts a unique and creative Holiday Market featuring more than 25 vendors, live music, art classes, Tarot reading, food, and of course, wine.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Shops Are Open
A multitude of gift ideas are on display in the variety of shops, spas and art galleries in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. To get into the mood, make your first stop Just Christmas, a longstanding year-round emporium dedicated to all things Noël.

Gift basket of NEOB products

From there, the options are endless. How about a stylish winter hat or gloves from Beau Chapeau? Or a beautiful knit sweater, scarf or shawl from Irish Design? Maybe someone on your list loves body lotions. A basket of NEOB Niagara or One Earth products may be just up their alley. Might the chef on your list appreciate a bottle or two of flavoured olive oil from Oliv? Browse through the many antique shops in the area to find that perfect gift for your avid collector. A gift certificate from any of the many spas in town would surely have someone on your list grinning from ear to ear.

Gift Certificates
Speaking of gift certificates, maybe you’d like to gift a Niagara-on-the-Lake getaway to someone who really would appreciate some much-needed R&R. All of our STAY Niagara member properties, which range from comfy cozy B&Bs and cottage rentals to upscale apartment and villa rentals, are happy to sell you a gift certificate… or two. Why not book a stay for yourself while you’re at it? (Tip: Niagara-on-the-Lake is introducing a 3% accommodation tax effective January 1, 2024. If you book before then, the tax won’t apply.)

Niagara-on-the-Lake loves the Holiday Season! Why not join in the fun?

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.

Spooked by Canada’s Most Haunted Town

Pumpkins

In ancient times, there were holidays during which everyone believed the veil between this world and the next one grew thin. Spirits could commune with us, and humans could visit the spirit world. Halloween still has some echoes of those lost times — especially in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada’s most haunted town! 

October is a time for leaf-peeping, Halloween and dancing in the moonlight. Maybe you don’t believe in all this hocus-pocus, but don’t let that stop you from opening up and enjoying life’s little surprises. Go find some moonlight, dance in it and see what happens. (Pssst… there’s a full moon on October 28.)

And the perfect place to do all that and more is Niagara-on-the-Lake — Canada’s Most Haunted Town. A few sites in and around town might have you “seeing” things differently.

Halloween guide

Book a Ghost Walk
Begin your spooky adventure on a guided ghost walk. One tour features the town’s most memorable haunts, such as the Olde Angel Inn, the iconic Courthouse, the Royal George Theatre, and the Prince of Wales Hotel. Another introduces you to the most famous ghost in Niagara and North America’s oldest legend at the Apothecary. On another, a hidden gem reveals its secrets and dark history in the biggest battlefield of the War of 1812. 

During the month of October, “investigate” the scariest aspects of Fort George, a location so rich in paranormal activity that an entire book has been written on the subject. In fact, a young playful child named Sarah Ann may decide to join your tour group.

Expect the Unexpected
Of course, there are plenty of ghost stories to go around, and as you go about your business of sightseeing, you may encounter a few apparitions or inexplainable incidents of your own.

For instance, the ambience may be greatly enhanced by a chance encounter with the spectral Captain Swayze, the resident ghost at the Olde Angel’s Inn pub.

Gazing out over a foggy Lake Ontario, you may hear the creaking of wood out on the water. Or the curtain of grey may part to reveal a small sailing vessel that appears to be derelict, abandoned and adrift in the open water. Some say the ghosts of the victims on board the Foam, which met its tragic end offshore in 1874, still linger in St. Mark’s Cemetery.

Halloween witch

Many people insist that the 1812 Battle of Queenston Heights occasionally erupts from the past to be re-fought by phantom soldiers. Many died upon the Heights during the battle, and their souls have yet to leave.

The Lakefront Gazebo at Queen’s Royal Park is among the most frequently visited attractions in Niagara-on-the-Lake. But at night, things change. Many after-dark visitors feel a tightness in their chest. The gazebo, alluring by day, takes on the shape of a cage by night, while tree branches resemble grasping claws and a dark mass of shrub looks like a crouching animal. And then, there are the faint sobs of the ghostly woman in eternal torment who wanders along the water’s edge.

And who can explain the random appearances of a flogged soldier and headless Native walking aimlessly at Fort Mississauga on storm-tossed nights? Or the ethereal little girl that appears at the Cannery Restaurant?

Few realize Cork’s restaurant, a fixture in town, was the site of a horrible tragedy that left two dead during a murderous rampage in 1850. The haunting echoes of that crime are still heard within the building today in the form of footsteps and disembodied whispers.

Full moon and graveyard

Unearth Mysteries at St. Mark’s Cemetery
St. Mark’s Anglican Church is the most attractive and historic church in Niagara-on-the-Lake. You can easily spend an afternoon roaming through the cemetery headstones and delving into the stories they hint at. Don’t miss the 200-year-old trenches.

Life’s a Masquerade
Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey at the Halloween Masquerade hosted by Spirit in Niagara Distillery. The fun begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 28. Be prepared to immerse yourself in an evening of spine-tingling excitement with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, a costume mask contest and ghoulish gifts.

Bumps in the Night
Perhaps you want the full ghostly experience. You may be surprised to learn that a few bed and breakfasts, inns and short-term rental cottages and villas harbour ethereal residents of their own. We won’t single them out for you here, but you can find them at STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake. The owners are only too happy to share the history and their own stories and experiences at the breakfast table. It’s all part of the fun of the hallowed season.

Fall Celebrations in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Check out what’s in store this fall:
October 14: Oktoberfest at the Exchange Brewery
October 21: Doors Open Niagara-on-the-Lake
October 21: Reif’s Annual Harvest Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
October 28 to December 3: Bravo Niagara!
November 3 & 4: Sip & Savour in the Gardens
November 1-26: “The Power of Water” Solo Exhibit at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
November 5 – December 23: A Christmas Carol at the Royal George Theatre
November 10: “Hello, It’s Me! ADELE” at the Court House Theatre
November 15 – December 23: Lerner and Loewe’s BRIGADOON at the Festival Theatre
December 1 & 2: Holiday Market at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
December 1 & 2: Rotary Club’s Holiday House Tour
December 1: 2023 Candlelight Stroll
December 2 & 3: Reif Holiday Market at Reif Estate Winery

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.

Most Town parking meters, except for four located in the Heritage District, no longer accept credit card payments. They do, however accept credit card payments via the Honk Mobile app. The Town understands the frustrations this has caused visitors and apologizes for the inconvenience. Town is working on short- and long-term solutions to the matter. In the meantime, coins are accepted at all parking machines, and the four machines that still do accept regular credit card payments are located in the Court House lot, the Prince of Wales lot, Queens Royal Park lot (down by the lake) and near the Post Office on Queen Street. Parking is free after 8 p.m.

7 Unforgettable Wine-Tasting Experiences

Taste of the Season with wine bottle, red wine glass, food - fall

Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to some of the oldest and most established wine producing vineyards in Canada. Unforgettable wine-tasting experiences await you at Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries where expertly trained staff are always on hand to introduce you to unique winemaking techniques and flavourful wines. Some go out of their way to make your visit memorable. Your hosts at STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake can help you make your visit one to remember.

Step Back in Time
Colaneri Vineyard transports you to a time when donkeys were farmers’ greatest assets. Your experience begins with a tasting of sparkling wine. After learning what makes these beautiful creatures so valuable, you’re taken on a fully guided tour of the Colaneri Vineyard with a staff member and your friendly donkey companions. Your journey concludes with a tasting of three wonderful wines.

Taste the Season
You don’t want to miss the Taste the Season event in Niagara-on-the-Lake when 15+ wineries invite you to visit and taste their vintages over four weekends in November. Passports go on sale October 1, 2023. Choose from an Individual Tasting Pass or a Couple’s Pass, which permits you to visit up to eight wineries per day.

Strewn Cooking Classes

Culinary Classes
Book an afternoon of fun, pizza and wine at Ravine Winery where Chef John Vetere instructs you on how to make your own Wood Oven Neapolitan style pizza followed by a sit-down lunch, including wine. For something a bit more elaborate, Strewn Winery offers hands-on Saturday Cooking Classes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. geared for home/recreational cooks.

Dig Our Roots
This 2023 fall event is sure to be a crowd-pleaser that celebrates decades of winemaking history in Niagara-on-the-Lake. From October 13 to 14, head over to the NOTL Museum where you’ll be treated to an incredible selection of over 40 VQA wines at various stations throughout the museum as well as live music and light food fare.

Wine-Tasting at its Best
Discover Inniskillin‘s craftwork with an intimate wine-tasting experience at their Winemaker’s Retrospective Master Classes in the winery estate’s Barrel Cellar where Estate Winemaker, Nicholas Gizuk, guides you through a curated selection of current releases and exclusive back vintage wines paired with cheeses. Another option is the Obsessions Wins Dinner where seasonally inspired hors d’oeuvres and a four-course tasting menu are paired with Inniskillin’s award-winning wines.

A Season for All Tastes
Of course, there’s more to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store this fall:
September – October 4: Paint & Collage Course at Riverbank Art Museum
September 14: This is Anne — Older & Wiser at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum
September 21: Black Music History in Canada at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum
September 25: Famous & Infamous Lecture Series at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum
September 30: Reif’s Fire Dinner! at Reif Estate Winery
October 7: Portraiture Photography Workshop at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
October 14: Oktoberfest at the Exchange Brewery
October 21: Doors Open Niagara-on-the-Lake
October 21: Reif’s Annual Harvest Dinner at Reif Estate Winery
October 28 to December 3: Bravo Niagara!
October 28: Halloween Masquerade at Spirit in Niagara Distillery
November 10: “Hello, It’s Me! ADELE” at the Court House Theatre
December 1: 2023 Candlelight Stroll
December 2 & 3: Reif Holiday Market at Reif Estate Winery

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.

Most Town parking meters, except for four located in the Heritage District, no longer accept credit card payments. They do, however accept credit card payments via the Honk Mobile app. The Town understands the frustrations this has caused visitors and apologizes for the inconvenience. Town is working on short- and long-term solutions to the matter. In the meantime, coins are accepted at all parking machines, and the four machines that still do accept regular credit card payments are located in the Court House lot, the Prince of Wales lot, Queens Royal Park lot (down by the lake) and near the Post Office on Queen Street. Parking is free after 8 p.m.

Enjoy a World of Flavours on our Doorstep

Older couples

As short-term rental property owners in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we take great pride in the diversity our community offers. Over the years, people from around the world have fallen under the spell of our charming town and surrounding area and have decided to set up business and call it home.

As a result, Niagara-on-the-Lake has become a bit of a star in the culinary world. We thought we’d present a sampling of the variety of culinary treats from around the world that are available to you, our guests, whether you’re dining in or picnicking.

Aura on the Lake Indian cuisine

Aura on the Lake on King Street is owned by Chef Nittin Sharma who serves up a variety of Indian street food items and traditional main courses presented in an eye-pleasing and mouth-watering way. This local favourite is famous for its samosas, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala and more.

Gyros on the Lake at 12 Queen Street adds the flavours of Greece to the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Their extensive menu includes gyros, falafel, spanakopita, tzatziki, hummus and more.

Doughvine at 183 Victoria Street is operated by Jessica Millet who specializes in organic bread and doughnuts and other items with an Eastern European influence, like cheese bourekas.

Craig’s Cookies at 106 Queen Street has been a hit since it opened its doors on Canada Day 2023. More than 30 flavours and creative combinations await you and will definitely have you lining up for more.

Budapest Bakery sandwiches

Budapest Bakeshop at 118 Queen Street is renowned for its Hungarian specialty, Chimney Cakes, which are prepared, hand-rolled and baked from scratch each day. Just follow the smell to freshly baked goodness.

Masaki Sushi at 60 Picton Street uses only the finest seafood brought straight from Japan in Chef Jay’s beautiful creations. You don’t want to miss this little gem.

Niagara’s Finest Thai at 88 Picton Street presents authentic, delicious and traditional fare prepared by Chef Kitty Wisesputi (Chef T) and is one of just five Thai SELECT Signature restaurants in Ontario.

Ginger’s at 390 Mary Street features Asian Fusion cuisine — a blend of South Asian recipes from Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and various regions of China, served in a Western style and using fresh seasonal ingredients.

At Soko Bakery Café, owners Jihu Hyena and Sangil Lee greet customers with a smile at their Korean-themed café located at 358 Mary Street. Combine a couple of Jihu’s delicious baked goodies with a cup of Sangil’s brewed coffee selections for a treat you won’t forget.

The Twisted Vine Kitchen & Market at 1502 Niagara Stone Road in Virgil serves authentic Italian cuisine “just like Nona used to make” and is well worth the short drive from Old Town to savour some of the best Italian fare you’ll ever experience in the Niagara Region.

BBA Menu Book

We could go on and on, but we think you get the idea. Niagara-on-the-Lake is definitely a foodie’s haven. We invite you to take a moment to browse through our online Menu Book for more ideas and suggestions.

However, the best part of this culinary paradise are the secrets buried in the carefully guarded family recipes prepared every morning by your bed and breakfast hosts. Of course, you may have a few secrets of your own you’d like to share with family and friends, in which case a villa, cottage or apartment may be more suitable for you. STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers you plenty of options.

So Many Reasons to Visit Us
There’s always something happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Until August 29: Music Niagara Summer Festival Concert Series
Until September 15: Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert Series
August 19-20: Fife & Drum Muster & Soldiers’ Field Day
August 20: Cèilidh at the McFarland House
August 23: Shades of Summer Dinner
August 25: Humour and Hops at The Exchange Brewery
August 26: Glowing Sushi Night at Reif Estate Winery
August 26 & 26: AWA Niagara Festival at RiverBrink Art Museum
August 31: Heritage Garden Party at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum 
September 3: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
September 8: Moonlight Picnic at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
September 15: Icewine Cocktail Party
October 21: Doors Open Niagara-on-the-Lake
October 28 to December 3: Bravo Niagara!

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.

Most Town parking meters, except for four located in the Heritage District, no longer accept credit card payments. They do, however accept credit card payments via the Honk Mobile app. The Town understands the frustrations this has caused visitors and apologizes for the inconvenience. Town is working on short- and long-term solutions to the matter. In the meantime, coins are accepted at all parking machines, and the four machines that still do accept regular credit card payments are located in the Court House lot, the Prince of Wales lot, Queens Royal Park lot (down by the lake) and near the Post Office on Queen Street.

Turn Up the Heat!

Friends enjoying wine

Admit it; you need a break. Life is supposed to be fun, too, and your inner child is yearning to come out and play. It’s high time to step up and enjoy yourself. After all, it’s Leo season, a time for romance, levity, exploration, discovery, awakening creativity, self-expression and re-invention! Learning your “turn-ons” is an essential part of life’s journey. And, under the leonine sun, the more dramatic, the better!

Why not try something edgy and fun? 

Peaches

It all begins with finding just the right accommodation for your stay. For some of you, that will be a charming bed and breakfast where you’ll likely be treated to cosy guest quarters, warm hospitality and some of the freshest and tastiest breakfasts on the planet. For others, a self-catering villa, cottage or apartment rental is more suitable. Whatever your preference may be, STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake has you covered. Simply plug in your dates and a list of available options will pop up. The online interactive map and a Menu Book will help you plan your time with us.

Challenge Your Comfort Zone
Stepping outside of our comfort zone does wonders for our self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event. Just the fact that you are willing to try something new is often enough.

Perhaps it’s as simple as a scenic hike through the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve along the Niagara River where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, admire stunning views, dip your toes in the water and maybe even spot some wildlife. Or getting back on a bicycle or e-bike to explore the region’s beautiful vineyards and wineries, many of which offer tastings and tours. While you’re out and about, take time to visit local farmers’ stands for fresh produce, artisanal products and more. 

Maybe it’s time to broaden your diet. Tease and educate your palate on a culinary adventure as you indulge in the local food scene by trying out different restaurants and cafés that offer unique and innovative dishes from around the world. The Menu Book mentioned above features a wide selection.

Awaken and celebrate your sleeping Andy Warhol or Trisha Romance. Unleash your creativity and learn new artistic techniques in workshops led by local artists, such as those offered at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, RiverBrink Art Museum and Bélisle Pottery, to name just a few. 

How do you feel about ghosts? Embark on a spooky adventure by joining a guided ghost walk through Old Town or Fort George, a military fortification from the War of 1812. Step back in time at the Niagara Apothecary, a restored 19th-century pharmacy that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of medicine. You might encounter the long-time occupant, a pleasant looking gentleman dressed in 1860s period costume. He may be a little camera-shy though.

Kick it Up a Notch
Ready for a bigger hit of adrenalin? Hop on board the historic Whirlpool Aero Car (c. 1916) to soar 3,500 feet across the Niagara Gorge between the USA and Canada for spectacular views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool 200 feet below. The experience is especially breathtaking in the fall.

Aero Cable Car in Fall

Add some zip to your life. Put your fear aside to experience two world-class ziplining adventures offered by Wildplay at the unforgettable Zipline to the Falls and the Whirlpool Adventure Course.

Take to the skies for the ride of a lifetime with National Helicopters Inc. for an eagle’s eye perspective of the iconic Niagara Falls and surrounding area. Feeling romantic? Make it a sunset flight or a proposal or even a wedding event. Or finish your heli-tour with a landing at the vineyard of your choice to partake in a wine-tasting experience, a winery tour or an exquisite meal. 

Prefer to be on the water rather than above it? Join other white-water warriors on a heart-thumping, adrenalin-pumping Whirlpool JetBoat Adventure up the scenic Niagara River. You have two choices: get soaked or stay dry. If you opt for the former, be sure to bring along a full change of clothing.

Kayakers

Breathe in the fresh and natural surrounding beauty as you kayak or paddleboard on Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. For the experienced, two-hour kayaking excursions with Niagara Kayaking depart from the shores of Niagara-on-the-Lake or Queenston. Always wanted to learn how to kayak or paddleboard? Here’s your chance. Paddle Niagara offers lessons and rentals to able swimmers as well as guided kayak tours, Kids’ Paddle Camps and their memorable Full Moon Paddles (weather permitting) under the Sturgeon Moon on August 1, the Blue Moon on August 30 and the Corn or Harvest Moon on September 29.

Go ahead: plan a date both of you will never forget!

Update Your Calendar
Whether you decide to challenge yourself or not, there’s always plenty to do in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Until August 29: Music Niagara Summer Festival Concert Series
Until September 15: Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert Series
August 3: Pride and Prejudice
August 4: Craft Fest at The Irish Harp
August 6: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
August 12: Peach Festival
August 12: Sip, Savour & Stroll
August 13: Shades of Rosé
August 13: NOTL Kinsmen Show & Shine Car Show & Barbecue
August 19-20: Fife & Drum Muster & Soldiers’ Field Day
August 20: Cèilidh at the McFarland House
August 23: Shades of Summer Dinner
August 25: Humour and Hops at The Exchange Brewery
August 26: Glowing Sushi Night at Reif Estate Winery
August 26 & 26: AWA Niagara Festival at RiverBrink Art Museum
August 31: Heritage Garden Party at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum 
September 3: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church
September 8: Moonlight Picnic at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
September 15: Icewine Cocktail Party
October 21: Doors Open Niagara-on-the-Lake
October 28 to December 3: Bravo Niagara!

Helpful Tip
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.