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.

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? 


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.


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.