Museums and Arts In Niagara

Niagara is as historically and culturally rich a place as you could hope to find in Canada, you only need to know where to look. There are a plethora of small museums and art galleries to satisfy any amateur historian or art appreciator. However, not all things are created equal, so I’ve decided to list a few of the best for your next trip to Niagara.

Daredevils of Niagara Falls Museum

cpblog1.jpegThis display houses memorabilia from daredevils who have plunged over the falls. The first person to do so was Annie Edson Taylor. She was a former schoolteacher and dance instructor who, in 1901, made the journey over the falls in a custom barrel that was airtight and constructed from wood reinforced with iron bands and housing a mattress. Previous to the plunge the barrel was pumped up to 30 psi using a bicycle pump. Of the incident she said, “If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat… I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the fall.” Many others have done so since, some successfully but others weren’t so lucky.

Another interesting story is that of Bobby Leach pictured here. He went over the falls in a steel barrel and broke his jaw and both kneecaps in the fall. Years later while touring in New Zealand he slipped on an orange peel and died of complications from gangrene.

Old Fort Erie & Fort George

cpblog2.jpegAmateur war historians will naturally be drawn to these two sites which were prominent during the War of 1812. Old Fort Erie was the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought on Canadian soil. It took place between British and American forces from 13 July 1814 to 5 November 1814 when American forces mined and demolished the fort before retiring.

Fort George was a British stronghold in Canada that was the site of the Battle of Fort George in May 1813 when American forces captured the fort. The Americans used the fort as a base of operations to invade Upper Canada but were repelled at the Battles of Stoney Creek and Beaver dams. The site was also used as a training base during World Wars I and II

Rodman Hall Art Center

Rodman Hall is affiliated with Brock University and while in the city of St. Catharine’s, serving the greater Niagara Falls region. Rodman Hall maintains a collection of over 850 works of art including paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. The primary focus is contemporary Canadian art but there are also pieces by American and European artists from the 19th and 20th century. Several outdoor sculptures are on display in Walker Botanical Gardens, which is adjacent to the historic house of Rodman Hall.

You’re planning to visit Niagara Falls, no doubt, for the natural wonder of the falls, so you must be one to appreciate beauty and culture in other ways as well. Stop by some of these locations near the falls to fill up on culture during your vacation.

Attractions to Visit When You Stay With Us At The Crowne Plaza

DSCF5172Staying at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel means you can have the comfort of feeling at home while being close to the action of Niagara Falls. Visit these top attractions when you stay with us and you won’t have to go very far to have some fun!

Falls Avenue Resort: This massive resort spans more than 20 acres and has everything you could ever need for an amazing vacation. Find attractions for all ages at the resort and dining options that will leave everyone satisfied. Located on Clifton Hill and a close walk from the hotel is the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, Adventure City and Casino Niagara for the adults.

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark: If you plan on visiting Niagara Falls then you must check out one of the largest indoor waterparks in North America. The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is three acres of family fun that includes 16 slides, outdoor and indoor pool areas, a wave pool and the famous tipping bucket. The park was also recently ranked the best Amusement Park & Water Park in Canada by TripAdvisor for the second year in a row!

Casino Niagara: A great spot for the adults on the trip to test their luck, Casino Niagara has all the entertainment you can imagine. The casino is filled with slot machines, tables games, electronic games and many more gaming options. Choose to have dinner at the casino and you won’t have to go very far for a satisfying meal. Don’t let the fun stop there with entertainment such as Yuk Yuk’s and Free Live Music found right inside!

Niagara Parks: Niagara Parks has created many attractions that allow you to see the natural beauty of the Niagara Falls area. Choose from adventurous attractions to more relaxing options with Niagara Parks. Get up close to the Falls on Hornblower Niagara Cruises or take a hike through the Niagara Glen.

Staying at the Crowne Plaza gives you and your family tons of options to explore the city located right at its doorstep. With dining options found in the hotel and many attractions nearby, staying with us means you won’t have to go far to enjoy the city.

Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls hits New York City Times Square

CP_NEWExterior2012.530x360On Thursday July 24th, 2014, photographs captured last August at the Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls will be displayed on a huge video screen overlooking New York City’s Time Square as part of a display by See.Me, an international web-based arts organization.

“This coming Thursday July 24th for one hour from 8 to 9 p.m., See.Me purchased the huge display screen. The billboard will show the work of 500 artists from around the world. Two of the pictures being included in the display were taken a year ago at the Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls.

The pictures snapped during the Crowne photo shoot also went on to garner inclusion on the website of a prestigious fashion magazine, Vogue Italia. See.Me also featured the pictures in art galleries in New York City and Paris, France.

Crowne Plaza Ultimate Niagara Winery Experience

CP_NEWExterior2012.530x360Over the past few decades the Niagara Region has exploded into North America’s hot spot for wine enthusiasts to visit. If you’re looking to learn more or want to check out one of the many vineyards that call Niagara home, make your way to Niagara Falls for your next wine vacation.

The wineries offer tons of events throughout the year but during the summer guests are given the chance to visit the vineyard in more intimate settings.

Here are a few upcoming events to schedule into your Niagara Falls travel itinerary:

Kitchen Table Dinner: Get a behind the scene look of what is happening inside the restaurant found at Peller Estates. The Kitchen Table Dinner tasks Chef Parsons with creating a 7-course menu for guests to enjoy under the evening sun accompanied with their award-winning wine.

PopUp Patio: Choose from five menu items at this lunch themed series at Pillitteri Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The price conscious menu paired with wine choices that you won’t forget makes this a great chance to find out why everyone is raving about Niagara.

Trius Jazz at the Winery: Hillebrand will be offering a unique evening full of blues and jazz in Canada’s wine country this summer. Enjoy an evening filled with live music, food and wine as you relax well into the summer evening.

Make sure you reserve our Ultimate Niagara Winery Experience Package for a great deal filled with winery tours and tastings. Get to know the vineyards and the wine they produce that has recognized Niagara as one of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions.

The Ultimate Niagara Winery Experience Package includes:

One Night Hotel Accommodations

Winery Tour and Tastings for two at four wineries including transportation & guided tour
with Magnificent Tours ($178 value)

Three Fallsview Dining Gift Cards:

$40.00 at Windows by Jamie Kennedy

$40.00 at Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra

$20.00 at Fallsview Buffet

$40 Credit at the Fallsview Christienne Spa

Special Hershey’s Chocolate World Gift

Have Fun and Learn at the Same Time in Niagara Falls !

1812_logo_blank11Let your stay in Niagara Falls turn educational with these fun attractions that offer an inside look at the rich history and culture found in the city.

Battleground Museum

The museum offers a journey through history during the War of 1812. With furnishings and artifacts present in the museum, visitors can learn about the many important moments and people of the war. The museum is located at Lundy’s Lane Battlefield and allows visitors a chance to visit many of the originally restored rooms throughout the building. Guided tours offer an exciting educational look at the War of 1812 and the history behind the region.

Butterfly Conservatory

Whether you love butterflies or want to learn more about them, the conservatory presents a one-of-a-kind educational trip featuring hundreds of species of these wonderful insects. The conservatory is home to more than 2,000 butterflies that fly freely over the ponds, waterfalls and paths found in this rainforest like setting. The self-guided tour packed with educational videos and information allows you to roam the conservatory while learning at the same time.

Fort George

Fort George was the headquarters of the British Army during the War of 1812, a hidden gem found in Niagara. Featuring site tours, day programs and overnight programs, there are many opportunities to learn throughout your visit. Make sure to check out the musket, artillery and military demonstrations that happen on-site every day.

Niagara’s Fury

If you want to see what it really is like to be in the falls, Niagara’s Fury offers a simulated experience of the sights and sounds of this amazing wonder. With mist, snow and visuals, this attraction will keep you on your toes while you learn about how the falls were formed thousands of years ago.

Floral Showhouse

All through the year enjoy the beautiful scents and sights of the colourful flowers showcased at the Floral Showhouse. With the changing seasons comes a change of the thousands of different flowers that you can see at the showhouse and the summer season is one of the best times to visit. With free flying birds inside the gardens and eight different flower shows taking place per year there is always something new to see and learn about at the showhouse.

Make your next trip to Niagara Falls educational and fun with these unique attractions found in the region.

Tips For A First Time Traveller To Niagara Falls

daffodilIf you’re traveling to Niagara Falls for the first time its important to keep a few things in mind. Always make sure that you do your research beforehand and know what exactly you’ll need!

Passport and Proper Identification: Remember to bring all of your proper identification for admittance into your hotel and attractions. Having your identification will make it easier when checking in to ensure everything goes smoothly. Also, if you’re coming from the US, don’t forget your passport – it will also be needed if you plan on making a side trip to New York State.

Proper Clothing: The falls can affect the local weather so it’s important to pack the proper clothing. To cover yourself from mist, especially during windy weather, carry a light raincoat or a sweater to keep you warm. During the summer it can get very hot and humid in the daytime so dress lightly. In the evening the temperature can sometimes drop so you may want to have a sweater or light jacket on hand if you plan to be out all day and night.

Currency Exchange: Visitors are encouraged to use Canadian currency when purchasing in Niagara Falls. This will make it easier when buying items at stores for both the vendors and yourself. Get your money changed at a Currency Exchange Centre or the bank beforehand.

WEGO Transportation: Getting around the city is a breeze with WEGO Transportation which offers full service transportation for tourists. Linking hotels to tourist attractions makes it easy to get around the city on the buses. Take the stress of transportation off your shoulders and find the nearest WEGO to take you where you need to go. For more information on the routes, please visit http://www.wegoniagarafalls.com/.

If you’re visiting the city for your first time make sure you keep these tips in mind for a smooth trip without the stress of forgetting something or getting lost!

Enjoy A Picnic In The Park When Visiting Crowne Plaza

Fort_ErieThe summer is a perfect time to spend outdoors and with only a few months of warm weather you have to take advantage of every sunny day! Opt for something different this summer and enjoy a traditional picnic in Niagara Falls. The city offers tons of parks and green spaces that include tables, barbecues, playgrounds and hiking paths – all you need to do is bring the picnic basket!

Grab a blanket and your picnic basket and make your way to one of these spots for a picnic in the park:

McFarland Point Park: With a big picnic pavilion available you can throw a party with family and friends and stay in the shade. A baseball diamond is also nearby if you want to get into a friendly match with your family and friends, so don’t forget a mitt and bat! The park isn’t far from Niagara-on-the-Lake as well so you can always go for a walk and grab an ice cream after having fun in the park.

Queenston Heights Park: Located close to the fun of the Niagara Falls tourist district is Queenston Heights Park. With huge green spaces, shaded areas, playgrounds and a bit of history for the adults, it’s a great spot to set up for the afternoon to enjoy the summer weather. The park also features a bandshell with free concerts, tennis courts, a baseball diamond and free parking.

Niagara Glen: If you want a picnic with a view, the Niagara Glen is situated above the Great Gorge Nature Reserve which means post-picnic your family can enjoy a scenic walk. For the more adventurous picnickers you can head down to the Whirlpool for a more rigorous hike through the wilderness.

Kingsbridge Park: If you’re staying at the Falls Avenue Resort, this park is located close by which means you can get outdoors and be having fun in no time. With water play areas, a play centre and picnic pavilion this park has everything you need for a perfect picnic day in the sun.

Old Fort Erie: With a rich history and of course educational moments, have your picnic right on the grounds of Old Fort Erie. Celebrating its 200th Anniversary of the Siege of Old Fort Erie, the battlefield will be offering tons of upcoming events all summer long.

Upcoming Festivals to Watch Out For

festivalsThe summer season is a great time to walk around the city, visit festivals and taste new things. The region offers several unique festivals with a taste of the region.

Friendship Festival

A festival that promotes the relationship between Canada and the United States after the end of the War of 1812 is returning to Niagara Falls. This festival offers everything you’d want, including concerts, performers, food and craft vendors, and heritage art. Adults can enjoy the beverage garden and kids can have fun in the Kids Zone filled with activities.

Welland Rose Festival

The annual festival has become a huge part of neighbouring Welland’s summer time festivities. This week long celebration includes a car and bike show, baby show, baseball game, community picnic and live music. Some events to lookout for throughout the week include the Children’s Fishing Derby and Days in the Park where admission is free!

Strawberry Festival

Niagara is perhaps best known for its grapes, but the region’s strawberry fields are almost just as numerous as its vineyards! Munch on all things strawberries including shortcakes and pies and take part in some fun family activities at the annual Strawberry Festival which takes place in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Scene Music Festival

This locally-based festival has become the home for new and established bands from across Canada to showcase their talent. The 19 year tradition gets bigger every time and this year its welcoming famous headliners to Niagara including Matt Good Band, The Sheepdogs, Marianas Trench, Monster Truck and much more. The festival has both licensed areas and kid-friendly areas which means the whole family can enjoy a day full of new music.

Whether you want to listen to some great music or eat some great food, all of these festivals give you a great way to spend the day in the city.

Family Fun At The Butterfly Conservatory

aerial-horticulture-schoolIf you’re looking for an educational attraction to visit while in Niagara Falls this summer, a trip to the Butterfly Conservatory may be just what you’re searching for!

Located on the picturesque Niagara Parkway, the Conservatory is nestled within the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, home to hundreds of acres of manicured grounds.

The Conservatory’s 2,000 butterflies from 45 different species, float freely among the rainforest like environment which includes tropical plants, trees and waterfalls beautifully constructed and maintained year round. The Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory is North America’s largest glass-enclosed butterfly conservatory.

A visit to the conservatory can include a leisurely walk through the tropical environment, enjoying the scenery and butterflies, or can be an educational field trip of discovery.

The conservatory offers a self-guided tour that includes a short, informative video to give you all the information needed to begin. Once you start you’ll follow the path and learn about the interesting life of butterflies from around the world.

You’ll be able to learn about a wide variety of different topics at the conservatory such as evolution, ecology, the physics of flight, defense strategies and camouflage and much more.

The Butterfly Conservatory opened its doors in 1996 and has been operating year round since then. The incredible detail put into creating and maintaining the perfect habitat for the thousands of butterflies has made the conservatory one of the must see attractions in Niagara Falls.

For a day of fun with nature visit the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden, which in addition to housing the Butterfly Conservatory, is also home to the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. The students and staff at the school turn the grounds into natural works of art, highlighting the different seasons with thousands of plants, trees and flowers.

Get your geek on at Comic Con

comic-con-2013For those looking for something a little off the beaten path, the Niagara Falls Comic Con will once again be returning to the city in June! Dress up in your favourite character’s outfit and check out a day filled with all things comics.

On June 6, 7 & 8, make your way to the Scotiabank Convention Centre and see some of your favourite actors and actresses who will be visiting the city for the convention. Dozens of stars will be in attendance, including William Shatner, “Capt. James T. Kirk” from Star Trek; Dean Cain, Superman from Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman; Ernie Hudson, “Winston Zeddemore” from Ghostbusters; Chandler Riggs, Carl from The Walking Dead; Giancarlo Esposito, Gus Fring from Breaking Bad; Jason Priestly, Brandon Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210; David Faustino, Bud from Married…With Children; and many more will be at this year’s comic con.

The event will also include a photo-op with the Ecto-1 Replica, a Cosplay Contest, Board Game Tournament and a Video Game Arena. This means you can keep yourself busy for the whole day checking out the vendors on the show floor, taking part in the activities and meeting your favourite actors and actresses!

For the entire weekend, Comic Con will also be holding different events everyday so make sure to check out the schedule and plan accordingly. With great dining options nearby and a whole lot of fun, channel your inner comic self for a great weekend in Niagara Falls.

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