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.


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.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Activities: 20 Ideas for a Rainy Day

NOTL in May

Rain, rain, go away… Remember this children’s rhyme? On the brighter side, April showers do bring May flowers.

We plan for sunny-day activities, and then Mother Nature rains on our agenda, reminding us just who’s in charge here. Hakuna Matata! We’ve got you covered. From museums and retail therapy to live stage performances, there’s something for every taste, interest and budget. You won’t even notice it’s raining! And remember…

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters
– 204 if you’re in Japan.”

― Claire Cook, writer and motivational speaker


Take in a 2 p.m. or an 8 p.m. performance at one of the Shaw Festival theatres in town. (Mondays are dark.)


Book a one-hour backstage tour at the Festival Theatre to discover the secrets that bring each production to the stage. Cost: $10, $5 with ticket to a performance.

Outlet Collection at Niagara Stores


Shop til you drop at the Outlet Collection at Niagara where you’ll find more than 100 trendy boutiques. But first, head over to the Guest Services building to pick up your VIP Visitor Card, available to all out-of-town visitors, to access exclusive discounts and offers from on-site retailers. (You’ll need ID or a passport to prove you are from out of town.)


Hunt for treasures at some of the many antique shops in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake.


Visit the Butterfly Conservatory located next to the Botanical Gardens on the Niagara Parkway.

Orange butterfly


Check out local artists. Browse through Lakeside Pottery on Lakeshore Road, Queenston Pottery on York Road in St. David’s, or Bélisle Pottery on Four Mile Creek Road where you can also take a class.


Tour the historical Laura Secord Homestead in Queenston.


Check out the Riverbrink Art Museum in Queenston.


Visit the Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum in Queenston.


Step into an educational experience at the Niagara Parks Power Station to discover the incredible history and heritage of this 115-year-old engineering marvel.


Work out in the fully-equipped gym at our Community Center located on Anderson’s Lane. A day pass costs $5.50.


Stones Massage

Book a spa treatment or massage at one of many venues in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake.


Purchase a day pass at the Pillar and Post for $75 per person. Your day pass includes access to their indoor pool, indoor sauna, a locker in the upstairs change room with robe, as well as the Hot Spring if space is available upon arrival.


Spend time at the charming Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum on Castlereagh in Old Town.


Book a chauffeur-driven winery tour with one of many wine tour companies in the area that include Grape Escape, Crush Wine Tours, Niagara Grape & Wine Tours, Niagara Wine Tours International, Niagara Getaways Wine Tours and more.

Two Women on Wine Tour


Learn all about wine production at one or more of the informative seminars and tours offered by some of the wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area.


Watch ships “climb the mountain” at the Welland Canal Center Lock 3 Museum.


Visit Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world.


Take in a Music Niagara performance at various indoor venues during the months of July and August.


Whirlpool Jet Boat

Go ahead! Embrace the weather and head off on a Whirlpool Jet Boat adventure anyway. After all, you’ll be getting wet, rain or shine!