Spotlight on Niagara’s Christmas Musical Theatre

image001One of the most enduring and reliable entertainment events in Niagara Falls is the “Oh, Canada, Eh?” musical dinner theatre. A seven-time winner of the Niagara Falls Tourism’s Attraction of the Year, the popular Canadian-themed show is resplendent with jokes, songs, delicious food, and audience interaction has delighted more than 750,000 people from around the world for more than 20 years.

Well, the cast and crew of “Oh, Canada, Eh?” are expanding their creative reach this holiday season with a holiday-themed musical called, “It’s a Wrap,” and it’s every bit as entertaining, raucous, and memorable as the production that started it all. Here is a closer look at what you and yours can expect if you take in an evening of musical theatre in Niagara Falls this holiday season.

A Little History

The theatre opened its doors back in 1994 and quickly became a mainstay of the area’s already stellar entertainment options. Set in a rustic log cabin less than 10 minutes from the Falls, the theatre seats 240 people for a theatre experience that’s both intimate and lively. While the “Oh, Canada, Eh?” production runs from April through October, the holiday season is always a perfect time to grab a ticket, since there is usually a new holiday-themed production —like this year’s “It’s a Wrap” — on the calendar.

The Show

image003“It’s a Wrap” is set back in the 1970s and features two television hosts of a Christmas variety show named Dandy and Candy, who are getting ready to film their last show of the season. Set in front of a live television audience — or in this case, a live musical theatre audience doubling as the fictitious television audience — “It’s a Wrap” includes everything you could possibly want in a holiday-driven variety show set in the ‘70s. Bell bottoms are in fashion. Platform shoes are dangerously high. Your favorite Christmas carols give way to hilarious original songs sung by an enthusiastic and talented cast. Watch Santa’s elves show off their hip hop and rap skills. Be amazed as fruitcakes come alive and dance. The show is fun, surprising, completely family-friendly, and there’s never a dull or forgettable moment. Written by Melissa Penner and Louisa O’Keane, the writers behind the popular “Swingin’ Little Sleigh Ride” and “Mistletoe Magic,” “It’s a Wrap” will have you laughing and singing throughout the entire production.

The Food

While you can certainly get a ticket to the show that doesn’t include the meal, as anyone who’s eaten at one of the theatre’s productions would ask: “Why wouldn’t you?” A family-style, five course meal is served throughout the musical by the very cast providing the entertainment. Hot and tasty Canadian holiday favorites are featured on the “It’s a Wrap menu,” so you can come hungry, knowing you’ll have your cake and eat it, too.

Whether you’re headed to Niagara Falls to visit family for the holidays, celebrate an anniversary, or you’re just coming to enjoy a much-needed vacation in the dark of winter, take some time to enjoy our fantastic musical theatre. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel after laughing that much.

The Best Niagara Wines to Serve With a Turkey Dinner

NFHBlog1.jpegAll across Canada, the United States, and throughout much of the world, families and friends will soon gather to celebrate and mark another holiday season. In between catching up with one another, opening presents, and taking long and treasured walks down memory lane, the activity that’s bound to receive the most preparation and attention is definitely holiday eating. While every get-together will have its own spin on the classics, whether you’re indulging in latkes or Christmas cookies, one solid standby that will appear on almost every holiday table is roast turkey. This year, let that bird shine, by pairing it with a perfectly chosen glass of Niagara Peninsula wine.

Regardless of how you feel about wine the rest of the year, if you’re planning to head up to Niagara around the holidays, take some time out to shop for a handful of wines that will make your holiday turkey even tastier. From a subtle pinot noir to a lively riesling, here are some pairing suggestions you can only find in the Niagara Peninsula.

Pinot Noir

A good pinot noir is a great choice for turkey, especially if red wine is the go-to preference of the family and friends with whom you’ll be dining for your holiday meal. Higher in acid and lower in tannins than other reds, a pinot noir won’t overshadow the flavors in poultry the way a more tannic wine like a cabernet sauvignon would. Also, a pinot noir pairs well with traditional side dishes like potatoes and gravy and a rich, herby stuffing. Some great Niagara pinot noirs can be purchased from the following wineries:

  • Flat Rock Cellars
  • Five Rows Craft Winery
  • Inniskillin


NFHBlog2.jpegA little bit of sugar can be a great help with the saltiness that often accompanies a holiday meal, and a crisp and off-dry riesling is often seen as turkey’s best companion. Especially if you can find something that has a bit of fruit it in, a riesling can sit next to turkey as well as the finest of cranberry sauces. Some of the best rieslings in the Niagara Peninsula come from the following wineries:

  • Cateau des Charmes
  • Flat Rock Cellars
  • Thirty Bench
  • Ravine Winery

Red Zinfandel

Zinfandels can be a little tricky to find, which is a shame, because as far as holiday turkey pairings go, they’re a great dry choice. Lush, fruity, deep without being heavy, a good red zinfandel (or a blend that includes the grape) can work well with both turkey and the cheese plate that precedes dinner. Look for a zinfandel that has a little higher alcohol content, as those tend to be a bit more complex. A couple Niagara Peninsula vineyards and wineries that can be counted on to produce these wines include:

  • Reif Estate Winery
  • Inniskillin

Make the most of your trip to Niagara this holiday season. While you’re taking in the sights and sounds, be sure to stop in at some of the region’s award-winning wineries and grab a bottle of wine or two to enjoy with loved ones while you indulge in a turkey dinner.

For Cheese Lovers Only: What You Need to Know About the Upper Canada Cheese Company

image001For the average eater of cheese, cheddar is cheddar and a gouda is indistinguishable from provolone. To the cheese lover, however, there are worlds of difference to be experienced even within the same variety of cheese. No two gorgonzolas or comtes are alike given the fact that everything from where the cheese was made to how long it was aged can all heavily influence a cheese’s outcome.

For a while now, the Niagara region has been a destination for oenophiles, but increasingly, cheese fans are finding the place a wealth of flavor as well. The artisanal cheese scene is flourishing in the Niagara Peninsula, and here is a look at one of the area’s crown jewels: the Upper Canada Cheese Company.


Founded and built by Wayne Philbrick, the Upper Canada Cheese Company got its start when Philbrick’s summer travels though Quebec awakened his interest in artisanal cheese. A construction contractor who had also tried his hand at winemaking, ever since that summer trip, Philbrick has been gung-ho over cheese. He has undergone extensive training as a cheesemaker, and, today, his cheese shop not only sells the two artisanal cheeses they produce in-house, but the Upper Canada Cheese Company’s store also features scores of products from local and international makers, making it a great stop for visitors to the Niagara region who want to know more about the foods, wares, and cheeses produced in Niagara and throughout Ontario.

The Cheese

The skilled and careful cheese makers at the Upper Canada Cheese Company make two types of cheese, and they are both of the semi-soft variety. One is called Comfort Cream, and it is remarkably similar to a French Camembert. The other is called Niagara Gold, and it is based on a type of cheese made by Trappist monks in France’s Loire Valley. Occasionally, a ricotta cheese is also made and sold.

The Milk

image003Behind the excellent cheese and craftsmanship of the Upper Canada Cheese Company is the milk that’s used to make their cheeses. Only milk from Guernsey cows is used, and the ones that supply the Upper Canada Cheese Company come from the herd that resides at the Comfort Family Farm. Guernsey cows are rare — there are only six Guernsey herd in all of Canada — and they are known for producing a golden milk that’s higher in butterfat and, therefore, richer in flavor. They also enjoy a storied history that reaches back into the 10th century onto a small island in the English Channel called the Isle of Guernsey.

Bred there by militant monks charged with keeping pirates at bay, the Guernsey line developed from two French cattle breeds: Norman Brindles and Froment du Leons. First introduced to the Americas in 1840, the Guernsey line became a part of the Canadian landscape when a bull and two heifers were brought into the country in the middle of the 19th century.

For anyone who delights in cheese, a stop at the Upper Canada Cheese Company is a must. They are located in Jordan Station — just a short 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls — and are open seven days a week.

5 Lesser-Known Holiday Events You Can Only Attend in Niagara

image001While it could easily be argued that every season in Niagara is a magical one, the winter holiday season’s bounteous and festive offerings make the month of December a particularly special time to visit. From the mystical ways the ice forms on the waterfalls during a particularly cold spell to the Winter Festival of Lights, it’s no wonder millions of people make their way to the Niagara region each holiday season.

But the reasons don’t end with the Festival of Lights and the Falls. Here are five lesser-known holiday events that you can only get if you come to Niagara in December.

1. Rotary House Tour

Do you love holiday home tours? Come take one in this December in Niagara. The Rotary House Tour is one of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s premier holiday events, and it will take place on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Locals and visitors alike will be afforded the opportunity to tour 15 distinct locations, including six homes that will have been decorated by a team of professional designers. A fundraiser for Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Rotary Club, your ticket will also grant you access to special offers at local wineries, restaurants, and the like.

2. Niagara Parks Annual Christmas Display

Every year from late November into early January, the Niagara Parks creates a one-of-a-kind Christmas display at the Floral Showhouse, which means not a day goes by in December when you can’t see it. For 65 years now, local holiday tradition has attracted flower lovers of all kinds as winter and holiday favorites like Poinsettias, Azaleas, Christmas Cactuses, Cyclamen, and Paperwhite Narcissus are arranged in stunning array. Free-flying tropical songbirds also make an appearance, as do plenty of other Christmas-themed delights.

3. The Phoenix Soiree

image003Every year, the Niagara Historical Society hosts The Phoenix Soiree at The Phoenix Hotel, a fundraiser, party, and dinner of epic holiday proportions. This year’s event will be held on December 5 from 6 p.m/ until 11 p.m. There will be socializing, food, drink, live music, and more, and it will all be enjoyed amidst a beautifully decorated Memorial Hall. Whether you come with a loved one or venture out alone, meet local movers and shakers at one of the season’s most-loved holiday parties.

4. Santa Claus Parade

Known as one of Ontario’s best Santa Claus parades, this downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake parade is fun for anyone, whether you’re young enough to still believe in Santa or old enough to have forgotten when you once did. Marching bands, floats, Christmas-themed costumes, delicious street food — it’s a great way to stoke your holiday fires, and it will take place on December 12 at 11 a.m.

5. Fort George Garrison Christmas

This annual holiday event is a favorite for families. On December 12 and 13 from noon until 4 p.m., head to Fort George for kid-centered activities, crafts, and games that all celebrate Christmas at one of the most fascinating historic sites in the Niagara area. There will also be hot drinks, delicious treats, and scheduled musket demonstrations throughout the day.

So come to Niagara for visit this December. From the Santa Claus Parade to The Phoenix Soiree, the place has more than enough holiday-themed fun to keep you and anyone in tow entertained.

3 Reasons to Spend the First Weekend of December in Niagara

image001Whether you’re at work or going back to graduate school, autumn can be a very busy and hectic time, as the easy, breezy skin of summer’s lull is finally and fully stripped away. Add the holiday squeeze of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s to that, and the months of November and December can begin to feel downright overwhelming for some of us.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the continual press of obligations that accompany the holiday season can make getting away from it all a boon to your attitude and energy level. If you’re dreading the holiday rush, here are three reasons to spend the first weekend of December getting away from it all in Niagara.

1. Heritage Farmhouse Christmas

Held at the esteemed restaurant, Windows by Jamie Kennedy, the Heritage Farmhouse Christmas Dinner is an event that looks deep into the past in order to bring diners an experience of Christmas dinner similar to what would have been commonplace 100 years ago. Held on Friday, December 4, the evening begins with a cocktail reception that includes canapés and wine and the company of Chef Jamie Kennedy and Chef Jay Jackson. Following the cocktail hour, guests will move into the Windows dining room, which features one of the best views of the waterfalls in all of Niagara for a five-course meal your great-great grandmother would have been proud to serve. Each course is paired with wine from Colaneri Estate Winery. Tickets are $125 per person.

2. Christmas on Ice

Whether or not you’ve always been a fan of figure skating, the Fallsview Casino’s Christmas on Ice will give you ample opportunity to marvel at the beauty and grace of numerous national champion ice skaters. The holiday-themed program is perfect for families, couples, or friends looking for a delightful way to spend an evening where athletic prowess and sentiment combine. There are shows at 9 p.m. on December 4 and 5 and at 3 p.m. on December 5 and 6 so that almost any schedule can be accommodated.

3. Port Colborne’s Annual Lighted Santa Claus Parade

image003Unlike most parades, the Port Colborne Annual Lighted Santa Claus Parade takes place in the evening, which transforms the seemingly commonplace experience of attending a parade into a magical experience that’s perfect for the holiday season. Head to Port Colborne on December 5 by 5:30 p.m. to get a good spot, and bring along some hot cocoa or cider, as well as some non-perishable canned goods if you’d like — the Port Colborne Optimist Club will be collecting them along the parade route. The parade gets underway by 6:30 p.m., and after it’s over, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy Port Colborne’s charming downtown. Grab a bite of international and Asian-inspired fare at The Smokin’ Buddha after the parade, or, if you get to town early enough, grab a fresh fish lunch or afternoon snack at Minor Fisheries.

The Niagara region is bursting with good fun and easy relaxation all winter long. Get away from it all before it all overwhelms you by scheduling a relaxing holiday trip to Niagara for the first weekend in December.

3 Places to Continue Your Yoga Practice When You Visit Niagara Falls

image001Whether you’re a serious student of yoga or just beginning what you hope will be a life-long practice, going on vacation can throw a wrench into the spokes of your well-meaning routine. After all, isn’t that why we go on vacation in the first place? To rest from our labors, reawaken our delight in the uncommon, and jolt ourselves out of our habitual endeavors? Unlike many of the habits of daily life, however, yoga isn’t something that clouds our vision or adds stress. Instead, it brings the practitioner more fully into the present, which actually makes it the perfect companion to a vacation.

Don’t forego your yoga just because you’re on vacation. Come to Niagara Falls where you can have your cake and eat it, too. You won’t have to miss a beat with your yoga practice thanks to these three fantastic yoga studios.

1. Niagara Falls Yoga Center

Situated in the center of town on Lundy’s Lane, the Niagara Falls Yoga Center has classes for almost every skill level and interest. Unlike some centers that either feel like they’re housed in a gym — or actually are housed in a gym — the Niagara Falls Yoga Center feels like a home or retreat center, which makes it an ideal space to practice yoga away from what you’re used to. From beginner yoga to Vinyasa and restorative classes, there is plenty to choose from each and every day. Purchase a package of five if you’ll be in town for a week, buy a single class when you walk-in, or plan your trip to coincide with a special workshop, such as the “Backbends and Heart Opening” workshop that’s taking place on November 18.

2. Shine On Yoga

image003A teacher who found her way to yoga first via the practice of Kundalini Yoga, Diane Manjeet Herring opened Shine On Yoga in Niagara Falls in 2011. A deep interest in yoga as therapy has driven and continues to drive her practice and instruction, and she is a tireless advocate of yoga for everyone, regardless of age, income, or ability. Especially if you’re new to the practice or have worried about past injuries or limitations, taking a class at Shine On while you’re vacationing is a great idea. The yoga studio is beautiful and welcoming, and a wide variety of different types of yoga classes are available. Shine On Yoga also offers a free yoga class for the community and visitors now and again at the Niagara Falls Museum.

3. Leela

A yoga studio and massage center, Leela is a great place to take in a yoga class if you want that class to culminate in a relaxing and restorative massage. Centrally located, Leela offers classes on eight- and six-week course schedules, but anyone is welcome to drop-in at any time. While their schedule doesn’t offer as many class options as the other two, the studio is smaller, which, can help a newcomer feel more at ease. Especially if you’d like your yoga practice to double as a spa day, Leela is ideal.

Keep up with your yoga practice over vacation. Head to Niagara Falls, and take advantage of these three great yoga studios.

3 Reasons to Celebrate (American) Thanksgiving in Niagara Falls

image001For many people, the holidays are often more stressful than fun, prompting many to take to the roads and skies in search of destinations where fun can be had without any feelings of accompanying obligation. However, especially for Americans who have only a short four-day weekend with which to mark their gratitude at Thanksgiving every November, getting out of town is often more trouble than it’s worth. But if you don’t venture too far out of the way, Thanksgiving can be a great holiday to experience in a new location.

Niagara Falls is an ideal place to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Not only will it not include Aunt Sally’s Jello® mold, but it will include plenty of ease in a location that’s a cinch to get to and a cinch to enjoy. From the Winter Festival of Lights to the excellent food that isn’t turkey, here are three reasons to head to Niagara Falls to celebrate Thanksgiving this November.

1. The Winter Festival of Lights

The Winter Festival of Lights is one of Canada’s most impressive festivals, and it kicks off on November 21. Over a million people pass through the illumination between November and the end of January each year. Set along a three-mile route that includes portions of the Niagara Parks, tourist districts, and Dufferin Islands, the Winter Festival of Lights includes millions of lights, stunning lighted displays, and the world’s largest illuminated American-Canadian flag. There is no charge to drive or walk through the illumination, although donations are gratefully accepted to offset the cost. It’s certainly an experience that can’t be had on Thanksgiving in the United States.

2. There’s So Much More Than Turkey

image003Eating in the Niagara region is one of the highlights of any knowledgeable foodie tourist. The farm to table movement is alive and well in the Niagara area, which means there is plenty of local, delicious produce available for area chefs to work with — even in November. Regardless of what you like to eat, you can find an entirely new Thanksgiving menu to enjoy when you spend your last Thursday of November in Niagara. Skip the cranberry sauce, the dressing, and the turkey, and choose one of the area’s award-winning, farm-centered restaurants instead — many of which are located at area wineries, including:

  • Riverbend Inn
  • Trius Inn at Hildebrand
  • Treadwell
  • Peller Estates Winery
  • Ravine Vineyard
  • And more!

3. No Pressure

Perhaps the greatest reason to travel to Niagara for your American Thanksgiving this year is due to the delightful lack of pressure you’ll experience throughout your stay. Whether you travel with family, a good friend, or alone, Niagara has a wealth of fun to offer, and none of it includes any expectations. Take in a show. Go to a movie. Eat poutine every day for lunch. Visit a giant indoor waterpark. Head to an arcade or casino. Wander among vineyards plump with grapes that will be harvested for icewine. Niagara is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the world around you.

Spend your American Thanksgiving holiday in one of the most beautiful and entertaining destinations in the world. Head to Niagara Falls, and find yourself truly giving thanks.

2 Unique Culinary Experiences You Can Only Have in Niagara This November

image001The Niagara region is known for a lot of things: Amazing waterfalls, the Niagara Gorge, world-class wineries, and plenty of excellent family entertainment. While it isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when people speak about Niagara, another routinely heralded form of fun and satisfaction that can readily be had is the exceptional cuisine available at so many area restaurants. Aided by bountiful farms, orchards, artisanal cheese makers, and talented chefs, mealtime — especially dinner — is its own reason to come to Niagara. If you love to eat and you’re considering a trip to the Niagara area this fall, here are two unique culinary experiences that can only be had in Niagara Falls on two different Fridays this November.

Niagara Parks Apprentice Cooks & Chefs Showcase Dinner

If you like your stellar food served up with a side of doing good for others, you should definitely schedule your Niagara vacation to fall at the same time as the Niagara Parks Apprentice Cooks & Chefs Showcase Dinner. An annual event that will take place Friday, November 6, this benefit for the Niagara Parks Apprentice Cooks Scholarship Fund is a great way to see exactly what some of the area’s up-and-coming talent can pull off when placed alongside an established chef over a six-course meal. Held at the beautiful Queenston Heights Restaurant, the view you’ll have of the Niagara River amid the restaurant’s rustic and intimate setting is an ideal way to experience such exquisitely prepared local food. Be sure to get reservation ahead of time if you’d like to attend.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 a piece and include gratuity and tax. Each course is paired with VQA wines, and the whole evening starts with passed hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. before guests are seated. From smoked Ontario Pork Bouchées and Pepper Berry-rubbed Erie Yellow Perch to a Leek and Yukon Gold Potato Gratin and Amarula truffles, the night promises to be rich in food, wine, and the sweet glow of knowing that all that good eating and drinking is simultaneously benefitting others.

A Culinary Tour of Piedmont at the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra

image003If, on the other hand, you’d like a culinary experience only a celebrity chef can provide, reserve your seat for Friday, November 13, at Massimo Capra’s Rainbow Room for a culinary tour of Piedmont. Many foodies and experts consider Piedmont to be the centerpiece of Italian cuisine, especially as it relates to both the global slow food movement and the area’s white truffle season, which gets celebrated in delicious decadence each autumn. As both wine and food are held in the highest esteem in Piedmont, both will be in grand abundance at the Rainbow Room.

It will be an evening steeped in one of Italy’s most beloved places, as Capra’s unique menu brings to life the flavors, scents, and presentations of some of Piedmont’s most storied dishes via the bounty of Niagara. Courses will be paired with Piedmont winery Pio Cesare, where some of the region’s finest wines have been crafted for over 130 years. Dinner is $125 per person and includes a cocktail reception with Mossimo Capra, an unforgettable five-course meal, and paired wines.

Whether you want to give back or you want to eat and drink in Italy by way of Niagara Falls, these two culinary experiences make a vacation to Niagara in November a must for the food lover.

Rekindle Your Love for the King of Rock in Niagara

image001It’s hard to believe, but Elvis Presley — the King of Rock and Roll — died almost 40 years ago. Since that time, his music and legendary prowess as a musician, performer, and singer have only grown in popularity, as is evidenced by the fact that he is still the world’s best-selling recording artist — over 600 million records have been sold around the world. It’s a number that continues to grow daily.

One way people’s love for Elvis’s is regularly stoked and satisfied is through the work of Elvis impersonators. While there were only about 170 Elvis impersonators working before Elvis died, it is estimated that there are currently over 85,000 working Elvis impersonators in the world today. Las Vegas alone has anywhere between 125 and 500 at any given time. While it may seem strange to someone who doesn’t love the King, for fans of his sultry, raw energy and unforgettable voice, a good Elvis impersonator is easily the next best thing to the King himself.

That’s why, if you’re an Elvis fan, it’s time to book a stay in Niagara Falls for a time that coincides with Wednesday, November 4. Already known for bringing in some of the best entertainment the world has to offer, Niagara Falls is rolling out the carpet for the King. For that one day only, one of the world’s top ten Elvis impersonators — Tim E — and his band — the Yes Men — are slated to perform their high-energy, unforgettable act at the Greg Frewin Theater.

The Show

image003Joined by Cynthia Pepper, the woman who starred with the King in the film, “Kissing Cousins,” Tim E and the Yes Men are a force to be reckoned with. The 12-piece band has more than enough ammunition to showcase Tim E’s uncanny ability to channel Elvis in all his splendor, talent, and passion. You’ll get to see and feel what it must have been like to be a teenager 60 years ago with the music, the moves, and the emotion of Tim E as Elvis Presley.

Why Tim E?

Just how like Elvis is Tim E? Well, he’s won more awards as an impersonator than can properly be counted, including “King of the World Elvis Tribute Artist World Champion” in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. Not only does he look like Elvis, sound like Elvis, and move like Elvis, his deep respect for and admiration of Elvis is clear from start to finish of his amazing two-hour show.

The Details

There will be two performances on November 4: one at 1 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. Depending on whether you choose the matinee or the evening show, tickets start at under $11.00 for children and $16.00 for adults. Children under 4 are free. At each show, Cynthia Pepper, Elvis’s life long friend and co-star, will take questions, and she will also be selling copies of her memoir, “Pigtails, Presley & Pepper.”

Plan your vacation to Niagara Falls so that it includes world-class entertainment. An Elvis impersonator to end all Elvis impersonation, Tim E and the Yes Men are that rarest of treats: a once-in-a-lifetime show that can be experienced in a once-in-a-lifetime place.

How to Drink Beer in Niagara Falls

image001Summer is great for fruity frozen drinks; winter needs deep, warming cocktails; but autumn is indubitably the beer season. Fortunately, Niagara Falls is an excellent destination for a beer-cation, especially during September and October when the regional hops fields are being harvested and the local brewers are hard at work fermenting new ales and lagers. This year, you shouldn’t bother trying to scrounge up tickets to Belgium or Germany — Oktoberfest is happening right here in Niagara Falls.

Old Falls Street Oktoberfest

For the sixth year in a row, Niagara Falls, New York is celebrating Oktoberfest in a big way on Old Falls Street, the main thoroughfare of the American side. All along the street, visitors can fill up their steins with new brews and old favorites — as well as a smattering of delicious regional wines. There will also be familiar German foods on offer: bratwurst, pretzels, apple strudel, and more. Throughout the day, you can drink and dine while listening to live entertainment from the Bergholz German Band, the German-American Musicians, and the Edelweiss Dancers; plus, there will be a number of festive street vendors to explore and enjoy. You can even bring your kids, who will stay busy at the petting zoo, bounce house, and arts and crafts tent.

The Old Falls Street Oktoberfest occurs on the afternoon of Saturday, October 3, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, but you definitely don’t want to come without a generous budget for beer.

Niagara Brewing Company Oktoberfest

On the other side of the border, the brand-new (and highly rated) Niagara Brewing Company is hosting this year’s Canadian Oktoberfest. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Bavarian celebration, the brewery is offering premium, German-style beers expertly paired with authentic German cuisine. Brewmaster Gord Slater, the genius behind the magnificent tastes at Niagara Brewing Co, will be attending the affair, providing insight and answering questions about brewing and beer. True beer aficionados are likely to revere this Oktoberfest event.

The Niagara Brewing Company Oktoberfest is scheduled for Friday, October 16. Tickets to the dinner (with drinks included) cost $79, but you can save on your trip by bundling the event with hotel accommodations.

Niagara Beer Trail

image003If these two events don’t provide nearly enough ales and lagers, you can round out your Niagara beer-cation with a tour of the Niagara beer trail. Though the region is known better for its excellent wineries, Niagara is quickly becoming a craft brewer’s paradise due to the plethora of fresh ingredients for beer-making.

Thus, beer tastings, like wine tastings, are becoming a popular activity for natives and tourists who enjoy the often complex, distinctive flavors of beer. The beer trail includes seven outstanding local breweries that specialize in different techniques and styles of beer and provide delectable dishes to pair with them. Of course, there are more bars and breweries in Niagara, but we believe these seven stand above the pack:

  • Merchant Alehouse Restaurant Brewpub
  • Oast House Brewers
  • Silversmith Brewing Company
  • Niagara College Teaching Brewery
  • Niagara Brewing Company
  • Taps on Queen Brewhouse and Grill
  • Syndicate Restaurant and Brewery