Niagara Falls Hotels – What’s happening in Niagara

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NiagaraFolkArtFestPelham Art Festival: Visit the Pelham Art Festival thisMother’s Day weekend for a delicious lunch, unique collections of art and discussions with artists. Visit the festival and purchase a beautiful, one of a kind, piece of artwork for your home or for that special someone. For the art lovers out there this is definitely an event to check out!

Folks Art Festival: Visit this long running Heritage Festival in Niagara Falls, which promises to be full of food, music, children’s activities and much more. Embrace the multiculturalism that surrounds us in Niagara with tons of entertainment and open houses for all to enjoy!

12th Annual Niagara Falls Review SHARE Grand Prix: Enjoy a day full of racing and mini putt as you and your family raise money for a good cause. Complimentary mini-putt and a BBQ will be a Saturday well spent as you anticipate the winner of this 12th annual tradition in Niagara Falls.

The 3 Best Arcades in Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls Best ArcadeThe breathtaking Niagara Falls are one of the world’s foremost natural wonders. However, if one of your kids is more of an indoor-vacationer, there’s no point in the family sitting around the hotel room flipping channels all day. Simply grab a sack of quarters and hit up the best arcades the area has to offer.

Adventure City

Gamers looking for a more traditional arcade experience will feel right at home when visiting Adventure City. Packed to the brim with arcade hits, Adventure City has something for gamers of all ages. Adding to its nostalgic appeal, Adventure City boasts a wide range of skee-ball machines and hoop-shooting booths. The tickets you earn from playing these games can be redeemed at the arcade’s prize counter, where you’ll find an impressive selection of plush toys, figurines and electronic devices. Patrons who want to remember their visit to this super-sized arcade are sure to love the retro-themed Adventure City shirts, hats and paraphernalia available for purchase at the prize counter.

Adventure City’s interactive rides cater to guests who enjoy cutting-edge arcade games. The arcade’s famous Tour Bus SWAT Team ride enables thrill-seekers to become elite police officers and defend an embattled city from vicious criminals. And, visitors who know their way around a bumper car ring can’t leave without experiencing Adventure City’s Traffic Slam Bumper Cars.

The Great Canadian Midway

One of the premiere destinations for family fun in Niagara Falls, The Great Canadian Midway has countless ways to keep your family entertained. In addition to boasting a broad range of arcade mainstays, this massive entertainment complex is home to a number of unique attractions. Guests interested in getting up-close and personal with exotic animals should take in a screening of the interactive “Safari Adventure” film at the park’s XD Theater. Additionally, haunted house enthusiasts can blast 3D spooks into oblivion in the spine-tingling Ghost Blasters Dark Ride.

Getting your gaming fix in Niagara Falls couldn’t be easier. With the area’s convenient assortment of arcades and family attractions, bad weather will never put a damper on your vacation fun.

Captain Jack’s Pirates Cove

Touted as the largest arcade in Niagara Falls, Captain Jack’s Pirates Cove is the ideal destination for gamers who aren’t afraid of a little exercise. Your family can have hours of fun running, diving and zapping opponents in Captain Jack’s enormous laser tag arena. Gamers interested in honing their stealth skills can practice when visiting the arcade’s intricate laser maze. If your family enjoys miniature golf, don’t hesitate to visit Captain’s Jack’s massive mini golf course. This pirate-themed indoor course features 18 fiendishly challenging holes and a swashbuckling array of glow-in-the-dark nautical decor.

If a fun-filled day of gaming has left your family famished, swing by Captain Jack’s attached restaurant. With a kid- and budget-friendly menu of pizza, burgers and fresh-made sandwiches, it’s the perfect place to replenish your energy for a few more hours at the arcade. Plus, while the kids are at play, adults can sample one of the many fine beers the restaurant has on tap.

A Family Guide to Niagara Falls

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One of Niagara’s biggest draws is its appeal as an ideal family vacation destination. Families from all over the world come to Niagara to experience the beauty of the falls and to take part in the many different activities and attractions that are perfect for family fun.

With so many activities to choose from, it can be difficult to ensure that each family member has a good time. We’ve included some of Niagara’s most popular attractions, and everyone is certain to find something to enjoy.

Fallsview Indoor Water Park

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Niagara Falls OntarioLocated on the Canadian side of the Falls, the Fallsview Indoor Water Park is part of the largest hotel and water park complex in North America, the Falls Avenue Resort. This complex contains three hotels in addition to the water park, which makes it an ideal location for a family getaway.

This water park covers three acres and stands more than eight stories high; plus it contains a number of rides and activities that are suitable for all ages and swimming abilities. Any one of the 16 water slides will take your breath away, there is an adults-only hot tub, a sun deck, and areas that are safe and fun for toddlers and other small children.

Many dining and shopping options are available within the Falls Avenue Resort, which means you’ll have more time for fun. If you are looking for a package deal for a family of four, we have you covered.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

If there’s a member of your group who doesn’t like chocolate, perhaps you could just ask them to wait outside while everyone else visits this amazing store. Located inside the Crowne Plaza, this 7,000-square-foot shop offers everything a chocolate lover has ever dreamed of.

If you’ve ever wanted a five-pound bar of chocolate, you can find one here. If the world’s largest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is on your shopping list, look no further. In addition to the standard candy shop fare, Hershey’s Chocolate World offers milkshakes, freshly baked cookies and chocolate-dipped strawberries as well.

Aquarium of Niagara

Acquarium of NiagaraFor the animal lovers in your family a trip to the Aquarium of Niagara is must. This world-class aquarium boasts a number of aquatic mammals and birds, not to mention myriad fish species, and it gives visitors the chance to see many of them up close. The aquarium is home to a number of species, both large and small. These include sharks, sea horses, sturgeon, numerous reef fish, and more.

The penguins and the sea lions are always popular aquarium residents. Guests can schedule their visit around the animals’ feeding times, and, for an added fee, guests can even help the animal experts feed the harbor seals or interact with the penguins.

While these are just a few of the many attractions in Niagara that are perfect for families, they’re also among the area’s most popular. Many hotels in the area have created packages that include rooms and tickets for various attractions and tours, which makes it a great way to plan your visit. Take a closer look at these and some of Niagara’s other amazingly fun attractions, then get ready to plan your perfect family getaway.

Niagara Falls Hotels – What’s happening in Niagara

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Falls7Cabaret: The hit musical Cabaret will be coming to Niagara at the Shaw Festival Theater, running spring to fall. The show has been around since 1966 when it premiered on Broadway and has been performed over 1,100 times winning countless awards.

Martin Short and Steve Martin:

All-time favourite funnymen Steve Martin and Martin Short bring their award winning blend of humour to Fallsview. With witty banter, signature stand-up and impromptu hilarious musical numbers, Martin and Short discuss, in their own unique way, their experiences in show biz.

Burton Cummings: Another evening full of legendary music will be visiting Niagara Falls when Canadian musician Burton Cummings performs at Fallsview Casino. Enjoy his hit songs throughout his solo career as this award-winning artist takes the stage for an intimate evening of great music.

Top 5 Free Activities in Niagara Falls

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Rainbow over Niagara FallsLike many people, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save money. Whether we’re traveling abroad or exploring our own backyard, it’s important to keep costs down so that we are able to afford the things that really matter.

While Niagara Falls is known the world over as an inexpensive, family friendly vacation destination, it’s always nice to be aware of activities and sights that will fit into any budget. Free activities can be especially beneficial to families or large groups who need to be mindful of their spending.

We’ve crafted a list of five of our favorite things to do in Niagara, all of which are free. Take a look and decide which activity you’ll try on your next visit to the Niagara area.

Niagara Falls History Museum

While there is an admission charge at the Niagara Falls History Museum the majority of the time, those in-the-know visit the museum on Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., when admission is free. Get up-close with the fascinating history of the Niagara region in general and Niagara Falls in particular. If possible, check their calendar in advance, as some Thursday nights the museum offers free movies, dancing and other activities.

The Floral Clock

Floral Clock, Niagara FallsLocated on the Niagara Parkway, the Floral Clock is one of the most iconic sights in Niagara and is photographed almost as often as the falls themselves. Created by planting up to 16,000 plants that vary by season, this large clock offers a burst of bright color and classic chimes that signal each quarter hour.

The clock, its flowers, and the grounds around it are maintained by the parks departments, and their horticulturists are responsible for the selection of the colorful flowers that make up the clock’s face.

McFarland House

Bursting with charm and local history, the McFarland House offers visitors a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of life as it was many years ago. The McFarland House was the residence of the McFarland family, who were Scottish emigrants. However, the house was also used a hospital during the War of 1812 and was the site of various battles, and some of the objects used during that time are still on display.

Guided tours of the house are available during the summer months, and guests are able to explore the large gardens, as well.

Botanical Gardens

We most enjoy spending our spring outside amongst the flowers. Luckily for us, the Niagara Parks Commissions Botanical Gardens is one of the best in the world. This 99-acre garden offers seasonal displays that begin with tulips and other flowers in the spring, then move on to annuals in the summer, and wind things down with chrysanthemums in the fall. At any time of year this garden is a spectacular place to relax and take in the beauty of nature.

Niagara Glen Nature Area

Just a short distance away from Niagara proper is Niagara Glen Nature Area. Outdoor activities abound at this park and include hiking, cycling, bird watching and views of Niagara Gorge. The sport known as bouldering has become very popular here, as has the tech-centric scavenger hunt called geocaching. Spend a few hours, or an entire day, at Niagara Glen and enjoy all of the natural beauty this area has to offer.
Whether you’re here for just a few days, or you plan to explore the Niagara area for a few weeks, take advantage of a few of the free activities we have to offer. What’s your favorite free activity in Niagara?

A Walk Away… Hornblower Niagara Cruises

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hornb4With The Maid of the Mist no longer operating in Niagara Falls, Ont., Hornblower Niagara Cruises has taken over this “must-do” experience. This tour will get you as close as possible to the falls letting you feel the mist engulf your body. As it sails up the Niagara River, past the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls the Hornblower Thunder and Wonder ships find their place right in the middle of the Horseshoe Falls.

With four tours to choose from, every one offers a unique way to experience Niagara Falls and the beauty of this natural phenomenon.

Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour

This tour will provide all of your Niagara Falls needs with its view of the falls as it sails up the Niagara River. This tour departs every 15 minutes so there are plenty of moments to catch a ride. With access to the Lower Landing and falls viewing area, experience the falls with this all-in-one tour.

Sunset Cocktail Cruise

Enjoy the Voyage to the falls, with a twist, on the Sunset Cocktail Cruise. With an extended 30 minute evening tour, this cruise is ideal for a night of romance. With a licensed bar and light snacks available, watch the sunset while indulging in wine from the Niagara region.

Falls Illumination Cruise

Experience the illumination of the falls on this version of the evening cruise. In 30 minutes you’ll experience the rainbow coloured illumination of the falls right up close. This evening cruise will blow you and your family away as you experience the illumination from the Lower Landing and the falls viewing areas of the boats.

Falls Fireworks Cruise

The famous fireworks that illuminate Niagara Falls are an eventful and unique part of visiting Niagara Falls. This cruise will embrace the majesty of the fireworks and the falls as you sail through the Niagara Gorge while the colourful fireworks light up the sky above.

Niagara Falls is full of rich history that will come alive during the Hornblower Niagara Cruises. Experience the Falls close up and personal with this unique attraction suitable for the entire family.

Spring Has Almost Sprung in Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls with Daffodils in the foregroundAs we all know, it’s been a long, hard winter in the Great Lakes area. Our famous falls have partially frozen over on two occasions, and while the phenomenon is great to fawn over and draws a number of tourists, it’s a reminder that we’ve been in the clutches of Old Man Winter for a bit too long.

Now that the weather is slowly moving away from miserable it’s time to think about all of the great things that happen in our neck of the woods when the seasons begin to change. As the plants begin to grow and change our landscape from one of icy white to a beautiful green, it’s time to think about some of the wonderful spring activities that we can soon all participate in.

Queen Victoria Park

Located on the Canadian side of the falls, Queen Victoria Park comes alive when winter is over, and that is quite apparent when the park’s collection of beautiful daffodils begin to bloom and remind us why Niagara Falls is known as the “Daffodil Capital of North America.” Other plants and flowers in the park will be in bloom shortly as well, and the tulips and the lilacs are not to be missed.

Niagara Glen Nature Area

If you prefer to see flowers in their natural setting, consider a hike at the Niagara Glen Nature Area. Hundreds of native plants will soon be in bloom, and these include trilliums, columbine, and many more. Bring some binoculars so you can spot the birds as they return from their winter getaways and begin to construct their nests. Additionally, squirrels and other woodland creatures will be out in abundance, enjoying the warmer weather. If you’re looking for more physical activity, bouldering the glen has become widely popular, after being sanctioned in 2011.

Swamp Creatures at the Butterfly Conservatory

Blue ButterflyRunning through May 11 at the Butterfly Conservatory is Swamp Creatures, an exhibit aimed at educating the public on the diverse creatures that inhabit wetlands and swamps. This exhibit is the perfect opportunity to get restless kids out of the house or hotel room and let them become immersed in all things swampy.

Live demonstrations take place throughout the day, and both kids and adults can take part in a great hands-on learning opportunity.

Floral Showhouse Annual Spring Display

If you’re like us and love to revel in all things floral when it’s cold outside, don’t miss the Annual Spring Display at the Floral Showhouse. Open through April 11, this is a great opportunity to banish the cold in the warm greenhouse and take in the many varieties of tropical plants on display, including orchids, which are our favorite flower. The songbirds that live in the building contribute to the spring-like atmosphere, as well.

When the seasons change in our part of the world, it’s a spectacular display of color and life that reminds us why we love Niagara Falls. Take advantage of the many different springtime activities that are available, whether it’s visiting one of the beautiful gardens or hiking through our beautiful state parks. There’s usually something new to discover in Niagara Falls in the spring.

Niagara Falls Hotels – What’s happening in Niagara

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nfnighttimecloseupLegends in Concert: Experience award winning performances of your favourite singers at Legends in Concert. With tributes to Whitney Houston, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and many more, this concert is one you will not want to miss.

Runway Art Hair Fashion Event: Combine artistic fashion, design, edge hair and aesthetics with a choreographed runway and you have Runway Art Hair. With tons of interactive activities and proceeds going toward the Many Hands Project, your Saturday will be well spent.

Real Canadian Craft Beer Festival: For the beer enthusiasts out there, the Real Canadian Craft Beer Festival is calling your name. This event will feature craft beer from breweries across Ontario, food from local restaurants and live music.

Veg Out: Niagara’s Best Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants

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Vegetarian dish One of my favorite things about the Niagara area is the abundant fruit and vegetable harvests we can look forward to every year. Farmers all over the area are well-known for producing wonderful bounties season after season, and much of it is organically grown.

While this means that many of the restaurants in the area have access to and use fresh local produce, it is the vegetarian establishments that benefit the most. In recent years, vegetarian-friendly restaurants have exploded in Niagara Falls, giving all of us access to delicious types of vegetarian cuisines from all around the world.

If you’re a vegetarian visiting our area or you just enjoy vegetarian cuisine, try one of these restaurants and get a true taste of Niagara Falls.

Curry Queen Indian Cuisine

While not strictly a vegetarian restaurant, Curry Queen offers a wide range of Indian, Pakistani and Hakka dishes, many of which are vegetarian. All of their food is prepared according to halal standards, as well. Vegans need simply to inform their server of their request, and the kitchen will prepare a meal accordingly.

The channa masala, chickpeas cooked in a savory sauce, is delicious, as is the vegetable korma. Try the lentil dal for a truly authentic taste of India.

Sahara

If you’re in the mood for Middle Eastern food, look no further than Sahara. Owned by a Middle Eastern family, this small restaurant serves up authentic cuisine with a smile. The chefs take great care to prepare vegetarian meals separately to ensure their customers are satisfied.

Be sure to try the homemade whole wheat pita, and the falafel plate comes highly recommended. This is a great place for authentic, delicious and inexpensive food.

Skylon Tower

One of Niagara’s most iconic landmarks, the revolving restaurant at Skylon Tower is a great choice for a special occasion or simply a nice evening out. At 775 feet above the falls, the view is spectacular and the dining is exceptional.

Because this isn’t a strictly vegetarian establishment, the dinner menu boasts one vegetarian option and one vegan choice. Vegetarians can enjoy the delicious eggplant dish that is served with mozzarella cheese in a spicy tomato sauce. The vegans in your group can try the grilled vegetables with tofu. The restaurant also boasts an impressive wine selection.

Frijoles

This Tex-Mex style restaurant has a wide range of options for everyone in your group. There are traditional meat choices for the carnivores and meatless options for the vegetarians. Vegans will also find something to enjoy, as the staff is well-versed in vegan practices.

Try one of their overstuffed burritos bursting will well-seasoned and delicious fillings. A fish option is available, and all dishes are served with fresh, homemade salsas.

Ten Thousand Buddhas

Buddhist templeWhile not a restaurant per say, Ten Thousand Buddhas is an active Buddhist temple and monastery that serves a vegetarian and vegan buffet once a week during the summer months. Volunteers prepare and serve the food, and you can feast upon delicious vegan Chinese food as well as Buddhist food, which is prepared with no garlic or onions.

The charge for the meal is $7.00 Canadian, but if you can pay more, the service relies on donations of both time and money to maintain operations.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or travel with someone who is, take a moment to consider one or more of these restaurants. They provide a delicious glimpse into all that Niagara has to offer.

Buddhist temple image by Antony Pranata from Flickr’s Creative Commons

Hornblower Names Its Catamaran Tour Boats

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hornblowerIt’s now official, the new company-Hornblower Niagara Cruises- that will operate two new catamaran tour boats below the falls has selected the names Niagara Thunder and Niagara Wonder for their new vessels.

Niagara Wonder and Niagara Thunder are the winners of an international contest to name the 700-seat tour boats, which begin operations this spring.

The names were selected in December from thousands of names submitted during an international contest to name the new state-of-the-art catamaran boats.

Niagara Wonder – was chosen by a local school. It was submitted by Lina Muraca’s kindergarten class at Sacred Hearts Catholic Elementary School in Chippawa.

Niagara Thunder was submitted by Dharmesh Rami of Hyderabad, India, who wins an all-expenses paid trip for two to Niagara Falls to ride the boat he helped to name.