How Niagara Falls Came to Be

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NFHblog3.jpegEvery fantastic place needs a fantastic origin story. Indigenous groups all over the world have extraordinary mythologies explaining the creation of a region’s landmarks, the existence of the moon and stars, the birth of humankind, and more. Niagara Falls is no different; ever since the first Native Americans set eyes on the unbelievable intensity and beauty of the Falls, people have been telling stories about how they became what they are today. However, while traditional stories may involve gods and magic, the truth behind Niagara Falls’ creation is just as amazing. Learn more about the origin of the region so when you visit Niagara Falls this year you’ll fully comprehend their majesty and power.

Precambrian Niagara

More than 600 million years ago, the area we recognize as the Great Lakes region, including Niagara, was buried beneath a vast, shallow sea. For more than 100 million years, the forces of nature churned the waters of this North American sea until the hard rocks below became fine, soft sediment resting on top of hard bedrock. The sea held all types of life, including vast tropical reefs filled with fish, but the violent commotion of waves caused by storms often destroyed the beautiful marine communities and left their limestone skeletons at the bottom of the waters.

During this time, the rest of the North American continent underwent extreme topographical shifts. The Appalachian Mountains shot up out of the ground, new rivers wound their way around the landscape, and different types of geology appeared all over.

Phanerozoic Niagara

NFHblog.jpegAfter 300 million years, the great sea dried up, leaving layer upon layer of various sediments. While animals all over the world started to grow and develop — and the first dinosaurs started stretching their legs — the fledgling rivers from the Precambrian Era grew to massive sizes and carved their names into the ground. The machinations of these rivers eventually formed the basins later inhabited by four of the Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

Meanwhile, the landmass migrated farther and farther northward, so temperatures dropped and the environment changed. In quick succession, four major ice ages cut into the continent, their glaciers leaving huge scars upon the landscape. The final ice age, at its peak around 25,000 years ago, was particularly rough on the Niagara region, as the Wisconsin glaciation covered most of Canada in dense ice more than a mile thick. This ice mercilessly crushed everything in its path, from forests to mountains.

Then, roughly 12,000 years later, the glacier reversed its movement. Melt from the retreating glacier was channeled through the deep cuts carved in the earth, and the rivers we recognize today — the Hudson, the Ohio, and the great Niagara — were formed.

Eventually, the last ice age ended and the water levels dropped, revealing the freshly cut Niagara Escarpment. Originally, the Niagara River appeared to be a series of massive lakes spilling into one another. Indeed, Lake Erie fell from the top of the escarpment into the small Lake Tanawanda, which in turn spilled into Lake Iroquois. However, as the water tapered off, the ancient lakes took the shape of a river, and the spillways transformed into Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls has been in formation for thousands and thousands of years, and the landscape continues to change and move with complete disregard to the majesty and wonder it currently inspires. In fact, the
Falls themselves are working to fundamentally alter the scenery, as the rushing waters carve inches off the escarpment every year. Still, all humankind can do is sit back and take note of the incredible power and beauty of nature.

A Very Niagara New Year’s Eve

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nfh10.jpegThe holidays are here, which means it won’t be long until it’s 2015. However, just before January sets in, there’s one last holiday more romantic than all the rest to enjoy: New Year’s Eve. There is absolutely no better way to ring in the New Year than next to your partner, and there’s no better place to be than Niagara Falls. To celebrate the end of 2014, surprise your sweetheart with a vacation package to one of the world’s capitols of love. There are plenty of New Year’s packages to choose from, so explore your options and find one that suits your tastes.

World-Class Accommodations

We offer all manner of rooms for a variety of visitors, but for New Year’s Eve, we understand couples want something special. The Sheraton on the Falls is one of the highest class hotels in the area, and it offers stunning views of the falls as well as close proximity to all the best Niagara attractions. The Sheraton has a rich history of rich and famous individuals who have enjoyed its luxurious rooms and amenities. If you want to shower your loved one with the finest this New Year’s choose the Fallsview Gala Package to book one or two nights in the Sheraton and experience the best of the best.

With this package, you’ll also enjoy New Year’s dining at the fabulous Fallsview Resort and access to the hotel’s amazing party, replete with dancing, Champagne, music, and party favors. The next day, you’ll be able to recover in the Sheraton’s amazing Christienne Spa with a couple’s massage, facial, bath, and more.

World-Class Dining

nfh11.jpegNiagara Falls is a verdant and fertile region where chefs enjoy direct access to the freshest and tastiest ingredients, so it is no wonder that renowned chef Massimo Capra has opened an award-winning restaurant deep in the hustle and bustle of Niagara’s tourist district, The Rainbow Room. In addition to any accommodation package you select, you can purchase a three- or four-course dinner at the Rainbow Room and treat you and your partner to some of the best dining around.

However, if you’d like the most exclusive meal in Niagara, you can elect to participate in the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra Package, which includes one- or two-night accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview Hotel and a table d’hote dinner in the Rainbow Room.

World-Class Party

If the lavish lifestyle isn’t exactly for you, you can always select the Party in the Park Package where you’ll be mere minutes from the biggest New Year’s party north of the border. You can book any number of nights in the Falls Avenue Resort — adjacent to all sorts of attractions, like the Fallsview Casino and Fallsview Indoor Water Park. Then on the big night, walk directly to Queen Victoria Park for a night filled with the year’s best fireworks displays, the world’s best names in music, and the country’s best celebration — until next year rolls around, that is.

Why You Should Sign up for Our Email Newsletters

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NFHblog1.jpegWe get it — popovers are becoming so commonplace around the Web that you hardly even notice them anymore. As soon as you navigate to a new website, your screen darkens and a cleverly worded advertisement shows up asking you to complete a short survey or submit your email address for access to more information you crave. Without hesitation, you click the ever-shifting X in the corner, or search for the “No, Thanks” link at the bottom. For most websites, this is understandable behavior.

However, Niagara Falls Hotels isn’t most websites; we offer the absolute best deals on the Web for lodging and vacation excitement in Niagara Falls. If you have an interest in visiting Niagara Falls — and why wouldn’t you when the city offers unparalleled natural beauty and adrenaline-inducing excitement — here’s why you should sign up for our email exclusives.

1. Extra Special Deals

While our website is filled to the brim with excellent opportunities for you and your family in Niagara Falls, we reserve our best deals for our customers who are especially devoted to savings and so not everyone is privy to them. However, for those particular clients, we can reserve unbelievable savings, and to become one of these special few, you must be on our extraordinary email list.

2. Unique Vacation Ideas

NFHblog2.jpegNot many people realize the wealth of activities and attractions available at Niagara Falls. Thus, during their vacation, they participate only in the most popular tours and most likely leave underwhelmed (at best) or stressed that they missed out on something more worthwhile (at worst). Yet, those plugged in to an email newsletter are more likely to have a whirlwind trip, filled with hustle and bustle as well as rest and relaxation.

The employees at Niagara Falls Hotels live and breathe everything Niagara, which means we know absolutely every event, attraction, and festival in the area. Using email newsletters, we point clients in the direction of what should absolutely not be missed.

3. Breaking News

While the waterfalls may have existed for thousands of years, the city of Niagara Falls continues to grow and change. Thrilling new attractions, like beautiful parks or exciting retail spaces, are added every year, which means on each trip to Niagara Falls you’re guaranteed to see something new. We take responsibility for filling you in on all the goings-on in and around the Niagara region, so you know when you absolutely must book a return trip.

4. Elite Giveaways

It may not happen often, but every once in a while we like to give back to our devotees in a more direct way: namely, gifts. Contests and giveaways are a nice way to reward the people who enjoy hearing from us, and our prizes are always the absolute best Niagara can offer. It may be tickets to a show you’ve always wanted to see or entrance into an exclusive event; it may be a multi-course dinner at an award-winning restaurant or free nights’ lodging in one of our fabulous partner hotels. No matter what it is, if you aren’t subscribed, you can’t win it.

The Future of Cinema in Niagara Falls

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nfh6.jpegIn the past few years, 3-D has exploded. With amazing new technology, 3-D movies are more realistic than ever, allowing for a completely immersive experience during a feature film. However, outside the theater 3-D is starting to catch on as well, as 3-D televisions gain a real foothold in the market. 3-D video game devices and tablet computers allow users to see deep into their screens like never before.

3-D is certainly a phenomenon — but what if we told you that it’s already outdated? For years now, Niagara Falls has boasted a cinema that employs a technology that puts 3-D to shame. The next time you come to Niagara Falls, bring your family to iWerks 4-D Moving Theater to experience the future of movies, television, and video games.

Amazing Effects

3-D technology allows the audience to see more detail than traditional films, but the unique 4-D experience gives the audience the opportunity to feel, smell, and taste movies like never before. Iwerks’ one-of-a-kind multi-sensory movie studio will bring the action to life with water spray, gusts of wind, floor rumbling, and more. You can safely feel the worst of nature’s most intense weather, from tornadoes to volcanoes to hurricanes. As much a ride as a show, this 4-D experience is top-notch fun for kids of all ages; it is easy to lose yourself to the fun when you’re in such an immersive environment.

Iwerks has been developing its amazing 4-D technology for more than a decade, and it continues to add to the plethora of effects in its theaters. Every day, Iwerks brings audiences one step closer to entering the scene and truly feeling a part of the on-screen action.

Excellent Entertainment

nfh8.jpegIwerks puts you right in the middle of some of the best family entertainment around. This winter, treat your family to the heart-warming and foot-tapping excitement of “Happy Feet,” where you’ll see your favorite dancing penguin Mumble get into all kinds of musical trouble in astounding 4-D. Feel the chills of the Antarctic and the beats of Mumble’s rhythms with Iwerks’ multi-sensory theater.

Alternatively, if the December chill makes an icy movie sound unappealing, venture deep into the tropical jungle in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with top stars like Dwayne Johnson, John Hutcherson, and Michael Caine. Experience nature’s most deadly phenomena as you follow them deep underground to the lost city of Atlantis.

Convenient Location

If you and your family are staying in the popular Fallsview region of Niagara Falls, you won’t need to travel far to experience amazement at Iwerks. Simply head to the Adventure City neighborhood of Clifton Hills to find the theater, where you can purchase tickets and take your seats for the movie experience of a lifetime. Then, after you’ve been sufficiently wowed by the film and effects, you can continue your amazing vacation at any of the district’s fantastic attractions: Tackle any of the other rides like the Skywheel or Ghostblasters, visit Clifton Hill for its top-notch shopping and arcades, or simply take it easy after your 4-D experience by seeing and feeling the falls in person.

3 Holiday Presents Perfect for Anyone on Your List

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nfh3.jpegIt’s December, which means every day brings us closer and closer to the holidays we look forward to all year long. The festivities will bring families and friends closer together to share feasts and reminisce about the year soon passed. While the holiday season is generally full of joy and magic, there is one aspect known to turn anyone into a tangled knot of stress: gifts. The giving and receiving of presents around the holidays is a cherished tradition, but it can be a cause of tension when one is tasked with providing a gift for a person who has it all or doesn’t want anything. Luckily, this holiday season you can add to your arsenal a gift truly ideal for anyone on your list: a trip to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls Hotels offers a generous handful of packages available for purchase as gifts. Peruse your options and choose one that best suits your intended recipient; then watch as your gift brings pure delight to the holidays.

1. Ultimate Couples Package

If you know a couple who deserves a relaxing and romantic weekend away, this package will whisk them away from it all for an amazing vacation. With the package, your lucky couple will receive a night’s accommodation at one of the city’s most lavish hotels (Sheraton on the Falls or Crowne Plaza Fallsview). They will also receive three vouchers for full-service meals at the city’s absolute best restaurants: Windows by Jamie Kennedy, the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, and the Fallsview Buffet. Additionally, your couple will receive passes to a variety of romantic attractions, including a wine tasting and time at the gorgeous Christienne Spa. And, as a surprise, they’ll receive a special gift from Hershey’s Chocolate World.

2. Fallsview Indoor Water Park Package

When you are looking to surprise a family or group of kids (no matter the age) you couldn’t do better than purchasing this wet and wild package. Fallsview Indoor Water Park is the best water park in the country, providing thrills and spills all over its massive indoor space. The vacation package provides accommodation at your choice of the four fantastic Fallsview hotels as well as four two-day passes to the water park. No matter the weather outside, your recipients can spend their vacation sliding, soaking, and splashing in Niagara Falls.

3. Customized Package

nfh4.jpegIf you prefer simply to provide the funds and let your benefactor choose his or her favorite attractions, you can give a Falls Avenue Resort gift card with any denomination between $20 and $1,000. This money can be used throughout most of the locations and attractions in the exciting Fallsview area of Niagara Falls. Recipients can choose to spend their gift among four fantastic hotels, 10 delicious eateries, and several attractions and shops. When you are faced with a recipient you don’t know well, you can’t give them a better gift than freedom.

Niagara Falls has something for everybody, which means it is the best possible present for anyone. Spread even more joy this holiday season — and avoid the headache of a difficult recipient — by purchasing a vacation package everyone will enjoy.

3 Niagara Falls Winter Celebrations

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nfh1.jpegWinter is arguably the most magical season. While it lacks the bright foliage of fall or the brilliant blooms of spring and summer, the long nights and chilly weather combine to create a sense of community and well-being unknown the rest of the year. Niagara Falls experiences a winter unlike anywhere else in the world, and every December the city comes together to celebrate the season in all the glory it deserves. When you visit Niagara Falls this winter, you can fall in love with winter all over again during these fantastic celebrations.

1. Winter Festival of Lights

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the company that harvests energy from the Niagara River to provide power to millions of Ontario homes, gives back to the community every year by creating a winter wonderland in one of the most fairly-like regions of the Niagara Parks: the Dufferin Islands.

For over 30 years, the OPG Festival of Lights has been dazzling visitors with more than 3 million twinkling tree lights and 120 animated displays. Learn about the Canadian outdoors with exhibits on Canadian’s natural wildlife and experience the spirituality of the season with world religions displays. Then, treat yourself to crowd-pleasers like the beautifully lit Zimmerman Fountain and the world’s largest Canadian-American flag.

The Festival is in full swing between November 15 and January 12. Entrance to the festival is free, but donations are heartily welcomed.

2. Winter Fireworks

Niagara Falls is proud to present world-class fireworks shows throughout the year, but its winter fireworks presentations certainly outshines them all. In the deep darkness of winter night, the bright bursts of color and light dazzle audiences. The gentle white layer of snow covering the landscape reflects the fireworks, making the entire countryside flash with reds, blues, oranges, and purples.

The fireworks display goes off every Friday during the winter season at 9 p.m., though additional shows will occur during significant holidays. You can stand in awe of the fire and light, or you can enjoy the booms and cracks of the display as you wander around other outdoor Niagara attractions.

3. Candlelight Stroll

nfh2.jpegWinter is a season best spent among family and friends, but a welcoming community can be just as warm and comfortable. Niagara-on-the-Lake goes out of its way to make winter travelers feel right at home. On December 5, citizens celebrate the season with a town-wide stroll through the historical streets and parks of their stunning city. Townsfolk will guide you and yours through their moon- and candle-lit pathways, and as you wind your way through a town stopped in time, you’ll be accompanied by gorgeous local choirs singing songs of the season. Like a page out of a storybook, this experience feels magical from beginning to end.

There is plenty to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake before and after your stroll. Visit any of the region’s world-class wineries to sample award-winning vintages and tasty pairings from their resident restaurants, or visit any of the town’s small shops and boutiques for unique and expertly crafted souvenirs.

Winter loves Niagara Falls, and visitors to the region during this season can’t help but share in the sentiment. Renew your feelings for the season and the Falls by booking a trip this December for these amazing opportunities.

Gear Up for the Holiday Season in Niagara Falls

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nfhblog3.jpegIt’s November, which means it’s almost December, which means the holidays are rapidly approaching. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend the next month and a half knee-deep in stress worrying about the gifts you haven’t bought and the parties you aren’t prepared for. The holidays should be a time of relaxation and reveling. So, before you bite your nails to the quick about how your neighbor’s decorations are more lavish than yours, come to Niagara Falls and experience the beginnings of the holiday season with these thrilling activities.

Swingin’ Little Sleigh Ride! Holiday Dinner and Musical Comedy

From the people who bring you the award winning “Oh, Canda Eh? Dinner Theatre” comes this year’s wintery production full of holiday good cheer — and accompanied by a tasty meal, too. “Swingin’ Little Sleight Ride! Holiday Dinner and Musical Comedy” is a raucous show filled with songs you can easily sing along to and family friendly jokes worth more than a chuckle. This production is a must-see high energy affair, and it only comes around once a year.

With the show, you’ll receive a five-course meal paired perfectly with the season. Festive soups and salads come with feasts of roast turkey, baked ham, and fried haddock. And, we promise, they didn’t forget about the holiday-themed dessert. Served family style to accommodate all appetites and tastes, you’ll be able to take as much or as little as you’d like — though we always take thirds, at least.

Come for the lunch matinee, or experience it all with a full dinner, but the show only runs between November 14 and December 20, so get your tickets soon.

Santa Claus Parade

Much like the American Thanksgiving Day Parade, Canadians celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with their own parade ringing in the magical season; additionally, like the iconic Macy’s Parade, this one in Niagara Falls ends with welcome and thanks to the man who makes it all happen: Santa Claus.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on November 15, the parade will pass through all parts of downtown Niagara Falls. Filled with marching bands and dazzling floats to charm even the grumpiest of Scrooges, this parade is perfect for children who can’t get enough Christmas spirit. It is easy to fill the day watching the parade, eating delicious Canadian street food, and reveling in the joys of the upcoming holidays.

Fallsview Casino’s Christmas on Ice

nfhblog4.jpegStarting November 20, Fallsview Casino is putting on a show to remember. Canada may be full of skating rinks, but the feats performed on this icy stage rival those at the Winter Olympics. In fact, nationally ranked figure skaters grace the stage with grace and poise, telling the story of Christmas in a way you’ve never seen before. This show is fast-paced and full of energy, and you won’t be able to leave without feeling touched by the magic of the season.

The event runs from November 20 to December 7, and tickets have been on sale since August, so you might want to act fast if you want to catch a seat at this once in a lifetime show.

The Sweetest Deal in Niagara Falls

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nfhblog1.jpegNiagara Falls offers a bargain vacation for any group of travelers. What other destination combines unparalleled natural beauty, world-class food and beverage, and entertainment for all ages? Still, there’s one attraction much sweeter than anything else in Niagara Falls: Hershey’s Chocolate World. This chocolate and candy paradise is a sight to behold, and even those travelers who try to suppress their sweet teeth will cave under the veritable mountain of temptation in Niagara Falls.

A Chocolate Factory to Rival Wonka’s

Hershey’s Chocolate World boasts a jaw dropping 7,000 square feet of chocolates and sweets travelers can sample and take home. Mouths begin to water as soon as travelers step through the doors, as waves of flavor from freshly made sweets and treats scent the air.

Every day, experienced chocolatiers hand dip fresh strawberries, bananas, pretzels, and more, and bakers create delectable cookies and cakes. Samples of the expertly-made gourmet fudge are always available, and visitors will find their favorite flavors mixed among custom and exotic fudges you will never find anywhere else. There’s also an old fashioned creamery, where weary travelers can refresh their spirits with a thick and creamy milkshake.

Hershey’s Chocolate World is perfect for kids (of all ages, but particularly the little ones) as they’ll be able to meet and interact with their favorite Hershey’s characters as they roam the store. Hershey’s Kiss is a crowd pleaser, as he regularly risks life and limb by walking the tight rope slung across a miniature version of the falls, but the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Hershey’s Chocolate Bar are just as friendly and engaging. Additionally, an educational feature explaining how chocolate is made (spoiler: It’s not via waterfall and river) and distributed all across the world will provide some value to a day filled with sweets.

nfhblog2.jpegWilly Wonka may have had a river of chocolate (as well as cotton-candy sheep and a team of trained nut-cracking squirrels) but his factory wasn’t exactly consumer-friendly. Any of the delicious treats around Hershey’s Chocolate World are available for purchase, so you can bring the magic of the Chocolate World all the way home — if you can last that long without eating it.

There are also non-edible items for purchase, including plushies and clothing to bring home to friends and family. You can choose to pair them with some iconic Hershey’s treats for some unforgettable gifts, or you can eat the sweets for yourself like you want to.

How to Get There

Niagara Falls’ very own Hershey’s Chocolate World is centrally located on Falls Avenue, in the middle of the action. The shop and its attractions are well within walking distance of a plethora of worthy hotels, and visitors can easily incorporate a tour and a taste into their other Niagara Falls explorations, including the wonderland of Clifton Hill and amazing views of the falls themselves. As the front door to Hershey’s Chocolate World is a four-story-tall chocolate bar, you definitely won’t miss it while you’re out and about.

Niagara Falls To Remember Nathan Cirillo

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nfhorseshoenighttime Each night, Niagara Falls is illuminated with a variety of colours to enhance the beauty of the thundering waterfall and honour various charitable organizations and causes. Tonight, on October 28th 2014, there will be a special illumination of the Niagara Falls in red lighting, to commemorate the fallen Canadian soldiers, Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.

The red illumination was chosen because it is one of Canada’s national colours, and the special illumination will be taking place on the same day as Corporal Nathan Cirillo’s funeral.

For the complete Niagara Falls Illumination Schedule, please visit http://goo.gl/rMpd0x

November Is Wine Month in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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nfhblog3.jpegNiagara Falls is becoming one of the best places to grow wine. The fertile soils, temperate climate, and hardworking Canadian wine makers work to create some of the most delectable wines in all of North America. Niagara wines range in varieties, from exotic icewines to familiar merlots, and each one has a unique Niagara twist to provide flavor notes not found anywhere else in the world.

Connoisseurs looking to experience all Niagara wine country has to offer should flock to the cozy town of Niagara-on-the-Lake this November for the annual Taste of the Season event. Every weekend in November, Niagara-on-the-Lake showcases a different lineup of wines from the local area, providing attendees an exclusive opportunity to sample the width and breadth of Niagara vineyards in comfort. Travelers will talk with local vintners and dine on specially prepared foods matched perfectly to the featured wines. For wine lovers, this is a must-see event.

If your appetite for fine wine has been whetted, book your accommodations and learn more about the fabulous wineries that will be supplying the wines to this year’s event.

Peller Estates Winery

Peller Estates prides itself on its dedication to innovative eating and drinking experiences. Blessed with the highest possible Zagat rating — “Extraordinary” — Peller makes tastings an event to remember, with tours of the vineyards and information on the art of pairing.

nfhblog4.jpegThis year, Peller will be serving up their 2012 Private Reserve cabernet franc, a luscious red heavy with flavors like black currant, tobacco, olive, and spice as well as rich fruits like cherry, plum and blueberry. Accompanying the wine will be a dinner of caramelized onion and pulled pork topped with roasted red peppers and feta and sandwiched between two slices of shallot focaccia bread.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

Ravine Vineyard Estate is a family-oriented winery that has its roots in a centuries old plot of farmland that has been owned by the current wine makers for five generations. Unique in the area for its devotion to local and fresh food, Ravine’s restaurant only uses ingredients they grow right on the farm. Perhaps not surprisingly, Ravine is rated among the top 20 wineries in the world.

During the event, Ravine Vineyard will be offering tastes of their 2021 Ravine chardonnay, which has a nose of pineapple, pear, and butterscotch to accompany its dry and acidic taste. To pair, the Ravine restaurant will serve chicken and biscuits; it sounds plain, but we guarantee you’ve never had chicken and biscuits like these.

Chateau des Charmes

Chateau des Charmes is one of the most romantic vineyards in the Niagara Falls region. Surrounded by verdant rose gardens, the farm is proud host to events throughout the year, from weddings, to anniversaries, to birthdays, and more.

In November, this Bosc family farm will present their brut sparkling wine with a plate of brown butter butternut squash and Dijon mascarpone strudel.

Inniskillin Wines

Arguably the oldest wine maker in the country, Inniskillin was granted the first ever estate winery license in Canada. Most of Inniskillin’s wines have won the winery awards, and their dedication to remaining artful and progressive in their wines truly shows.

Inniskillin will feature their iconic 2012 vidal icewine — a crisp, unique wine created by actually freezing the grapes — and pair it with a caramelized onion tart and goat cheese with thyme.