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New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls

November 30, 2016 9:22 am

serena-ryderIt’s almost time once again to say goodbye to another year and celebrate the start of a new one. And there’s no better way to ring in 2017 than at the annual Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve celebration in Queen Victoria Park.

Join in on one of Canada’s longest-running New Year’s Eve celebrations and take in a live show featuring musical performances from Sam Roberts Band, Serena Ryder, and High Valley. This year’s celebration features an all-Canadian lineup with local band James Blonde kicking things off at 8pm. The show is free for everyone and will offer a variety of food and beverage options in the park and access to a licensed outdoor area.

The whole celebration takes place just steps away from the thundering Niagara Falls and the fireworks show at midnight is a truly remarkable sight you won’t ever forget.

Make this New Year’s Eve into a romantic getaway or one-of-a-kind family celebration and book a room in the centre of the action at the Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, Skyline Hotel & Waterpark, or Clifton Victoria Inn. Ring in 2017 in style at the annual celebration in Queen Victoria Park and make 2017 your most spectacular New Year’s Eve yet.

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The 3 Best Ways to Experience This Year’s Winter Festival of Lights

November 23, 2016 11:38 am

laserlightshowwfolxNiagara Falls’ annual Winter Festival of Lights is a winter tradition enjoyed by Niagara locals and visitors from all over the world who come to see Niagara Falls and the surrounding parklands lit up in spectacular light displays and fireworks. This year’s Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights runs from November 19th to January 31st and here are three of the best ways to take it all in:

Take a walk through Queen Victoria Park – Queen Victoria Park is home to many of the Winter Festival of Light’s main illumination displays, including the shimmering Zimmerman Fountain. The park is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland, situated right across the street from the thundering Niagara Falls and next to the bustling Clifton Hill.

Drive along the festival route – This year’s Winter Festival of Lights includes a newly expanded 8 kilometre illumination route that makes for a truly spectacular drive. The route takes you past beautiful Niagara Parks landscapes, through Dufferin Islands with its three-dimensional Canadian wildlife light displays and over fifty sparkling wrapped trees, and around the city’s tourist district.

Watch a fireworks show – The sky over Niagara Falls is illuminated with spectacular fireworks on Fridays throughout December and January, with additional shows during the holidays from December 23rd to 30th. It’s a one-of-a-kind show that can be enjoyed from right in front of the Falls, in Queen Victoria Park, or from floor-to-ceiling windows in a Fallsview guestroom.

The Winter Festival of Lights is an amazing Niagara Falls tradition that is not to be missed. So start planning your Niagara Falls winter getaway today to experience the dazzling lights of the city in winter. 

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Where to Find the Best Burger in Niagara Falls

September 30, 2016 11:29 am

FARblog7Sometimes it seems like there are way too many choices when it comes to food. Seafood, chicken, pasta, tacos, and so much more are readily available and as chefs focus on pleasing discerning diners the quality of food is exponentially better than it’s ever been.

However, one of the most popular and sought-after foods in many parts of the world is the burger. A perfectly cooked and dressed burger is a thing of beauty and restaurants everywhere compete to create the most mouthwatering thing between two buns in existence.

Niagara Falls is no stranger to a great burger and virtually every restaurant has one on the menu, but which is the best burger in Niagara and where do you find it? We did the research so you don’t have to and these are the burgers that made the top of the list.

The Works Gourmet Burgers

Hailed by locals and visitors alike as the best burger in town, The Works Gourmet Burgers goes above and beyond the standard cheeseburger. Working with 100 percent Canadian beef, chicken, turkey, mushroom, and even ground elf, these burgers are designed to have you coming back for more.

The topping choices are inventive and fun and include a wide variety of cheeses, bacon, vegetables, and more. The combinations they’ve created for the menu are seemingly endless and if there isn’t a burger on the menu that doesn’t pique your interest we’d be very surprised. But there’s always their wide selection of salads and to-die-for poutine if you really can’t decide.

The Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery

FARblog8Not a burger restaurant per say, The Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery does offer burgers on its extensive menu and according to our scientific research they’re amongst the best in town. Your choices come down to two: a beef burger and a lamb burger.

The Syndicate burger features a beef patty with Pine River aged cheddar, caramelized onion, bacon, and what they refer to as “fancy sauce,” which is a reference to a funny movie called “Stepbrothers.” The lamb burger is topped with creamy goat cheese, pickled hot peppers, and a homemade caper and sundried tomato jam. You can’t go wrong with either of these, so why not just go ahead and order both.

Flip Burger

When it comes to a great burger sometimes simple is the best approach, and Flip Burger does that very well. They start with freshly ground beef and you can then choose from single patty burgers with no cheese to double patty burgers oozing with cheese. You then choose from a variety of toppings and sauces including the usual lettuce and tomato to the unusual Sriracha sauce.

They also offer veggie burgers, perfect hot dogs, and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing fancy but oh so good, Flip Burger is easily one of the best in town.

When you visit Niagara Falls you have to eat and at some point someone will want a burger. Try one of these restaurants to satisfy that burger craving and see what the fuss all about.

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Mark Your Calendar for This Special Event at The Rainbow Room

September 27, 2016 12:22 pm

FARblog5Exceptional dining and Niagara Falls are synonymous with each other and this is perhaps no more apparent than at The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. His inventive yet traditional Italian menu has propelled The Rainbow Room straight to the top, accumulating multiple awards along the way.

Chef Capra was born in Italy, but made Canada his home in the 1980s and found success along the way. Most Canadians know him as the host of the television show “Restaurant Makeover” and for his appearances on “Chopped Canada.” In addition to The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra at the Sheraton on the Falls hotel in Niagara, he owns several other restaurants throughout the Ontario region and internationally.

Chef John Casciato has been Chef Massimo’s right hand man in Niagara for some time, overseeing the operations there. Together they have become an unbeatable team and are responsible for providing locals and visitors alike with authentic and delicious Italian cuisine for many years. However, the duo also teams up for special events throughout the year and one of these is coming up shortly.

A Culinary Tour of Veneto

Held this year on November 18 is the private dining event, A Culinary Tour of Veneto. Celebrating this special region of Italy and all it has contributed to Italian cuisine, Chefs Massimo and John will personally guide their guests along this culinary trail with surprises around every corner.

FARblog6The Veneto region of Italy lies in the northeast portion of the country and therefore has the best of both land and sea as components of its cuisine. In addition to the standard seafood you’ll see in Italian dishes such as shrimp and clams you’ll also find that eel plays an important role in many dishes.

The forests of Veneto are revered for their many varieties of mushrooms and wild game such as rabbit, boar, and birds like the guinea and pigeon also feature heavily in the cuisine from the region. Italian staples like risotto and polenta are also very popular in the region, but with a distinctive local flair.

Knowing the region as well as he does, this Culinary Tour of Veneto event hosted by the chefs themselves is definitely going to a night to remember. The chefs will walk each guest through the menu items and provide wine pairings along the way. Not only is this a chance to meet some of Canada’s most influential chefs but also to sample some of the dishes they do best as fine dining is such an important part of a trip to Niagara Falls.

Previous events hosted by the chefs have sold out quickly so be sure to book early. The Crowne Plaza is offering a package that includes a one-night stay and dinner for an exceptional price so visit their website for more information. This is one of the best reasons to visit Niagara and experience its culinary scene in such an intimate way.

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Windows by Jamie Kennedy: Highlights of Niagara’s Best Restaurant

September 7, 2016 12:15 pm

FARblog3Restaurants and the concept of food in general have changed greatly over the last few years. As people become more aware of their relationships with food and how we’ve become more aware of the process our food goes through as it makes its way from its source to our plates. Additionally, with the advent and popularity of cooking shows, we’ve learned more about inventive recipes and ingredients that we weren’t familiar with before.

Our palates have also changed and again we have cooking shows and celebrity chefs to thank for that. But perhaps one of the most important changes in our world’s current culinary scene is the farm-to-table movement. Simply put, chefs focus on locally grown and raised produce, fish, and meat and adjust their menus to feature items that are currently in season, ensuring that the diner receives only the freshest, highest quality ingredients.

Canada’s pioneer in the farm-to-table movement is Chef Jamie Kennedy. Chef Kennedy has spent thirty years redefining Canada’s food scene and has received numerous accolades during this time. His restaurant, Windows by Jamie Kennedy, is located in the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel and features stunning views of the falls from its elegant dining space.

If you choose one fine dining restaurant during your vacation to Niagara Falls, this is the one and here are a few delicious reasons why.

Appetizers

As Chef Kennedy only uses ingredients that are local and in-season the menu changes throughout the year but the consistent high level of quality remains. The appetizer menu reads like a foodie’s delight and includes dishes such as fresh mussels from Prince Edward Island and heirloom Niagara beets. As one would expect in Canada there is a poutine dish on the appetizer menu but it’s elevated with local oka cheese which was originally developed by Trappist monks in Quebec and a red wine veal reduction.

FARblog4Entrees

All eyes are drawn to the entree section of any menu but one glance at Chef Kennedy’s entrees is enough to entice even the pickiest eater. Simple yet refined, the entree choices are immediately defined as local as the farm where the meat was raised is listed, such as the Cumbrae Farms dry aged striploin. Halibut, Muscovy duck, sirloin of lamb, and Cornish hen also grace this menu and each dish is accompanied by vegetable sides that are always fresh and always seasonal, providing the diner a true taste of Canada’s bounty.

Dessert

No great meal is complete without dessert, and Chef Kennedy and his team have built a dessert menu that is nothing short of perfection. From the richness of the lemon olive oil poundcake to the trio of house-made ice creams, the dessert recipes are carefully created and executed to ensure the perfect end to a perfect meal. Also offered are a wide selection of coffees, dessert wines, scotches, and brandies to finish your meal on another delicious note.

Diners and foodies across the globe have become accustomed to perfection and ingenuity when dining out and Chef Kennedy delivers each and every time. Make your reservation at Windows by Jamie Kennedy and be prepared to savor every bite; this restaurant truly is the best of Niagara.

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Pokemon Go in Niagara Falls

August 30, 2016 1:19 pm

farblog7Unless you’ve been completely disconnected over the last few weeks then you’re undoubtedly familiar with the worldwide phenomenon known as Pokemon Go. This mobile game has had people all over the world using their smartphones to scour cities, towns, parks, and rural areas to find elusive Pokemon characters and rack up points.

The Niagara area has not been spared the activity related to this game and visitors and locals alike are hitting the streets and parks in the area to find Pokemon. While some have criticized the game as just another reason to be glued to one’s phone, it’s actually a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and explore the area around you, which is what you’d do on vacation in Niagara Falls anyway.

Whether it’s your kids or a family affair, here are some Pokemon Go tips for the Niagara area so get out there and see what you can find!

Prospect Park

Within the game itself are specific locales that tend to host more Pokemon characters than others. One of these game locations is a gym and Prospect Park falls into this category. Known for its stunning views of the falls Prospect Parks also offers hiking trails that meander along the river and several Pokemon characters are hanging out on these paths.

As with any hiking trail, heed posted signs and be aware of your surroundings. Not only will this keep you safe but you don’t want to miss the gorgeous scenery offered in this park and on the trails.

Niagara Falls State Park

A popular destination for visitors long before the Pokemon Go craze, Niagara Falls State Park and its visitor’s center is the perfect Niagara spot to play, and one of those reasons is that the park offers free Wi-Fi! Once you’re connected and start your hunt, be sure to explore the beautiful flower gardens that have made this one of the area’s most popular and beautiful places to explore.

Niagara Falls History Museum

farblog8Another designated gym spot in the game is the Niagara Falls History Museum. If you’re traveling with tweens or teens who are obsessed with the game this is a great way to entice them into a museum visit when they might not otherwise be too interested.

The museum offers a comprehensive geographical and cultural history of the region as well as rotating special exhibits. So while you’re hunting for monsters you can also get a great overview of the Niagara area and its uniqueness in the process.

Special Events

On Sunday August 7 there will be a local Pokemon event held at the Secret Garden near Clifton Hill. While this is an unofficial event it’s a great opportunity to meet other visitors and locals and tackle the Pokemon challenge together. Visit this website for more information and special instructions.

Whether you’ve been playing Pokemon Go since its inception or you’re just starting out, combining this game with your vacation to Niagara Falls is a great way to get out and explore. Just be sure that you respect private property and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Other than that, enjoy!

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Wine and Wheels: Tour Niagara’s Wine Country by Bicycle

August 23, 2016 11:15 am

farblog5Not only is bicycling a great way to stay fit, it’s also a wonderful way to explore a new region while on vacation. The simple fact that you slow down a little and pay more attention to the scenery around you means that you’ll take more in than you would if you were in a car.

The Niagara area is perfect for bicycling. The region is mostly flat so that makes it easier for those who are not used to biking regularly and the views are lovely. How could it get any better?

Wine. That’s how it gets better.

Niagara’s wine country is always a big hit with visitors and winery tours are not to be missed. However, you can now take your winery tour by bicycle which makes the experience much more fun than simply taking a van from winery to winery.

If a bicycle tour of the wineries in Niagara sounds like something you’d enjoy on your next trip to Niagara, these are just a few of the tours that are offered.

Sip ‘n Cycle

The name says it all here and the people behind Sip n Cycle are all about fun. They offer a number of tours that focus on different aspects of Niagara’s wine country. Some tours include lunch or cheese platters and some do not, but they all include wine.

For instance, their Taste Niagara tour includes stops at three boutique wineries and a three course lunch. They also have a design your own tour option so you can see and do whatever you’d like. All tours are guided by locals who know their fair share about wine.

Grape Escape Wine Tours

farblog6Another of the region’s popular bicycle tour outfits has the adorable name of Grape Escape. They offer tours to suit all ability levels and their tours take place at various times of the day. The offer one for early risers, tours in the mid afternoon with a picnic lunch, and all of their tours include cheeses to go with your wine.

All of their tours come complete with helmets, water, knowledgeable guides, and a behind the scenes tour of at least one of the wineries you visit. But rest assured; you’ll get wine tastings at every stop.

Mac’s Bikes and Tours

Different from the other companies on this list, Mac’s Bikes and Tours rents a bike to you and gives you several options of self-guided tours. Riding along the Niagara Parkway is the most popular of these tours and you’ll find wineries along the way so don’t worry about that.

Mac’s bikes are all in great condition, helmets are provided, maps are given out, and sightseeing options are suggested. They even offer roadside assistance if needed. This is a great option for those who prefer to travel at their own pace and not feel encumbered by a group.

Cycling and wine are a wonderful combination, and Niagara is the perfect place to do it. Get in touch with one of these companies and sign up for your tour today!

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Celebrate Back-to-School in Niagara Without the Kids

August 10, 2016 1:11 pm

farblog3For parents, summer is usually always about family. The kids are out of school and it’s the perfect time to travel together, take part in fun activities, and generally just enjoy time spent making memories together.

But let’s face it; there are plenty of parents who also look forward to the time when the kids head back to school. There’s no reason to feel badly about this; summer can be rough on parents who also have to juggle work, child care, and other activities while school is out.

So this summer, why not take a little time out and experience your own summer vacation, without your kids? You deserve it, and here are few reasons why Niagara Falls is the best place to unwind, recharge, and take your own, private summer vacation.

Treat Yourselves to a Spa Visit

During a family trip to Niagara a visit to a spa might be out of the question. It can be difficult to find the alone time you need to book an appointment for a massage or other treatment. However, on a solo trip parents have a wide open schedule that offers ample time for a visit to the spa.

The Christienne Fallsview Spa is the perfect place for a couple’s massage, facial, or other body treatment in a stunning location with a view of the falls. Relax, enjoy some champagne, and recharge so you’ll go home refreshed and ready to take on the back to school challenges.

farblog4Hit the Casino

Another of Niagara’s most popular activities is also one that is best experienced without children, and that’s the casino. Casino Niagara offers all your favorite adult games and many parents have to skip this during family trips. When you visit as a couple you can gamble, dance, and party the night away without worrying about childcare.

Even if you’re not a gambler it’s still fun to dress up and visit Casino Niagara for their live music, comedy shows, dining, and other events that you might not be able to take part in with children in tow.

Go to the Waterpark

The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is a great destination for families, but did you know that it can also make for a great adults only day out? If you love to swim, splash, and slide this is definitely a great way to spend a day as a couple, without keeping a watchful eye on the little ones.

The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark offers adults only hot tubs, you can get a beer or a cocktail at the Planet Hollywood Beach Club, and relax on the sundecks. Let loose and enjoy the slides or just relax in the hot tubs and enjoy some time to reconnect and have fun.

Summer is a great time for a family vacation to Niagara Falls, but it’s also the perfect destination for parents who want a little break from summer break. Call the grandparents and book your long weekend in Niagara so you can take some much needed couple’s’ time in one of the best destinations in North America.

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Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday in Niagara Falls

August 1, 2016 1:09 pm

farblog1Birthdays are a big deal to kids, especially once they’ve reached the age where they actively know what the significance is and are vocal in the planning. Sometimes kids want their party at home or sometimes they’d prefer to host their friends and family at a park or restaurant. But why not make your child’s birthday extra special with a one of a kind adventure?

Niagara Falls is the perfect place for your child to celebrate their special day. If time and parental permission allows you may even have the opportunity to bring a select few of your child’s friends along as well as family members. Kid friendly activities abound during a trip to Niagara Falls and you’ll never be at a loss to find unique ways to mark the occasion.

If you’d like to give your child the birthday of a lifetime these are a few ideas for an extra special celebration.

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

Kids and waterparks are the perfect match and Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is the perfect place to let your child and their entourage laugh and splash the day away. There are numerous slides and pools that are geared toward children of different ages and swimming abilities so there’s no worry about a shortage of activities. Additionally, because it’s indoors your child can celebrate their birthday in style even in the dead of winter.

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark offers special birthday packages to suit a wide array of group sizes and budgets. You can choose from waterpark only tickets for your group or tickets that combine the waterpark with Adventure City that combine the waterpark with admission to the 4-D theater or game tokens for the arcade. Contact them for a quote specific to your needs.

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls is a child’s dream come true. Packed with restaurants, games, and more Clifton Hill offers a wide array of fun-filled choices to keep your child and their guests happily entertained for hours. Whether it’s mini golf in a prehistoric setting or a ride on the famous Niagara Skywheel, Clifton Hill is the perfect setting that allows each child to choose something that most appeals to them.

Restaurants and other specialty food shops are scattered throughout the area, so when it’s time for a food break and birthday cake you can choose from a pie at world famous Boston’s Pizza, a casual sit down meal at Kelsey’s Restaurant, or even a burger to go from Wendy’s. With a little advance planning any of these eateries will be happy to help you arrange a meal for your group with all the special touches.

farblog2A Boat Tour of the Falls

No visit to Niagara is complete without a visit to the falls themselves and the best way to see them is from a boat. Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Cruises are both excellent choices for a thrilling group trip to get up close the roaring and mighty Niagara Falls. These companies are also experienced in group outings so contact them for a quote and more information.

A birthday party in Niagara Falls is one that your child will never forget. Whether they’re six or sixteen there are numerous ways to allow your child to celebrate in style. Consider some of these tips and plan an extra special birthday for your extra special kid.

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3 Best Wedding Planners in Niagara Falls

July 24, 2016 8:41 am

farblog5Niagara Falls is very well known as the romance capital of the world. Couples have been honeymooning here for well over a century and this trend has never shown any signs of slowing. The beautiful falls, the scenic parks and nature reserves, the first class dining options, and a slew of amenities have made Niagara the top choice for couples from around the world.

As the idea of destination weddings took off several years ago, Niagara has consistently been at the top of that list as well. Beautiful venues, a wide array of vendors and services, and the ease of combining a wedding and honeymoon in one place make Niagara the perfect choice for a destination wedding.

However, as with any destination wedding, the right planner makes all the difference. Because you can’t necessarily be here to oversee the preparations, you want to be sure that you have a wedding planner that will take care of all the details for you. These are a few of the best wedding planners in Niagara Falls, any of which can make your special day everything you’ve dreamed it could be.

Amanda Cowley Sweet Events

Well known and popular for her fresh and unique take on weddings, Amanda Cowley has been one of Niagara’s top wedding and event planners for several years. She prides herself of taking the time to get to know the couples she works with and incorporates their vision into the perfect wedding.

She’s happy to take on the entire planning of your wedding or simply assist if you’d like to take a more hands on approach. Her list of contacts and vendors is impressive, so you’ll be able to rest assured that she can take care of all the details, no matter how big or small.

Occasions Niagara

Since 1996 Occasions Niagara has been another of the top wedding planners in Niagara. They offer a wide range of services and packages to suit any type of wedding, from a secret elopement to a lavish affair for 300+ guests.

You can choose one of their pre-planned packages which feature the venue, decor, and catering all rolled into one, or you can work with them to design a custom wedding that suits your needs. They offer chapel services, outdoor weddings, and many other options. If you’re the type of couple who prefers to simply provide your planner with the details and leave in their hands, Occasions Niagara is the wedding planner for you.

A Divine Affair

farblog6A wedding in Niagara Falls doesn’t have to be complicated, and A Divine Affair is the planning service that can take care of as few or as many of the details that you prefer. From full-service planning to simply assisting with a few select tasks, the team at A Divine Affair is skilled and professional, and can meet all of your wedding needs.

From photography to cakes and stylist services, A Divine Affair has every aspect of your wedding covered. All you need to do is show up.

Niagara Falls is the perfect locale for a destination wedding, and with the services of any of these wedding planners, you can rest assured that your big day will go off without a hitch. If you’re planning a Niagara Falls wedding contact one of these planners today and get ready for your wedding dreams to come true.

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