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Winter Festival of Lights Kicks off in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls fireworks

The annual Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls has officially begun, which means that from November 3rd to January 31st, Niagara Falls and the surrounding parklands are illuminated in beautiful sparkling lights and exhibits.

If you’re planning a winter getaway to Niagara Falls, make sure to set aside some time to experience the illumination exhibits and events that are a part of this beloved winter festival. This year’s highlights include:

Illumination Displays

This year’s festival features an 8km illumination route, which transforms the area around the Canadian Horseshoe Falls into a glistening winter wonderland. There are also a number of light installations and exhibits to check out around the tourist district including:

  • 3D Canadian Wildlife Displays at Dufferin Islands
  • The Passage light tunnel in the Fallsview District
  • The Prismatica illuminated art exhibit at Scotiabank Convention Centre

For a full list of this year’s illumination displays, click here.

Fireworks

Spectacular fireworks will be launched over Niagara Falls every Friday night at 9pm during the festival. There will also be bonus shows every night from December 22nd – 31st to celebrate the holidays.

The Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition will also be taking place over two weekends in November, featuring 18-minute fireworks shows put on by six international teams.

New Year’s Eve

The musical lineup for this year’s Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve celebration in Queen Victoria Park has been announced and features an all-Canadian lineup of musicians including Burton Cummings, The Sheepdogs, Walk Off the Earth, and Niagara’s own Avenue Inn.

In addition to an amazing outdoor concert, this totally free event will feature two fireworks shows at 9pm and midnight, along with an outdoor licensed area and food and beverage vendors.

The annual Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights is an exciting holiday tradition that also includes the popular Deck the Falls Holiday Walking Tours where ticket-holders visit various properties throughout the tourist district for unique holiday experiences. You can experience all of the magic and wonder that this festival has to offer by booking your Niagara Falls winter getaway today!

Planning a Romantic Autumn Getaway to Niagara

Autumn in Niagara.

Niagara Falls is a famously romantic destination and autumn is a perfect time to visit as the summer crowds have dispersed, the air is crisp, and the leaves are beautifully vibrant. Here are some suggestions on how to plan an amazing romantic getaway this autumn season.

Ultimate Couples Experience Package

Planning an unforgettable Niagara Falls getaway with your significant other is easy with our Ultimate Couples Experience Package. It offers a cozy and romantic retreat in beautiful Niagara Falls and is one of the best ways to experience the Niagara region this autumn and winter.

The package includes:

  • One night hotel accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview
  • Three Fallsview dining gift cards – $20 to Prime Steakhouse, $20 to Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant, $20 to Fallsview Buffet Restaurant
  • Two winery tasting passes to Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs
  • $20 credit for Christienne Fallsview Spa

Hornblower Boat Cruise

Embark on an exciting boat ride that you and your significant other will never forget with Hornblower Niagara Cruises. Their classic Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour will take you past the American Falls and right into the basin and mist of the magnificent Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises closes for the season at the end of November, so book your tickets today!

Romantic Dinner for Two

Plan a romantic dinner for two at a fantastic Fallsview restaurant featuring delicious food and floor-to-ceiling views of the Falls. Prime Steakhouse inside the Crowne Plaza Fallsview hotel is the perfect choice with a menu of succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and hand-crafted cocktails.

Prime also just introduced a 40 oz. Tomahawk Steak to their dinner menu, which is a signature cut of Canadian Prime long-bone rib steak. Just call ahead to reserve this special cut and get ready for a Fallsview dining experience unlike anywhere else.

Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition Coming to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls fireworks

This November, Niagara Falls will be hosting the 2018 Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition. Teams from countries all over the world including Brazil, China, and Italy will present 18-minute pyrotechnic shows synchronized to music, which are reviewed by a panel of judges. Awards will then be presented at the event’s closing ceremonies scheduled for Sunday November 18th.

So here’s everything you need to know about this year’s competition:

  • Cascades of Fire is taking place in Niagara Falls over two weekends (November 9th-11th and November 16th-18th)
  • Six international teams will be competing including China, Finland, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, and Canada.
  • All shows start at 9:00pm.
  • At the end of each show, a judging panel will rate the performance and awards will be presented by the Mayor of Niagara Falls at the closing ceremony on November 18th.
  • Team Canada will be hosting the competition’s finale on November 18th.

Enjoy the shows from along the Niagara Parkway, at Table Rock Welcome Centre, or from a beautiful Fallsview location like a guestroom at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview hotel, or the Prime Steakhouse dining room.

Cascades of Fire is a one-of-a-kind experience that will be a highlight of any Niagara Falls vacation. Start planning your getaway today!

Prime Steakhouse: A New Niagara Falls Favourite

The Tomahawk Steak at Prime Steakhouse.

Niagara Falls is home to a number of wonderful restaurants that offer great food, first-class service, and incredible atmospheres. And Prime Steakhouse inside the Crowne Plaza Fallsview is quickly making a name for itself as one of the city’s standout dining experiences.

What makes Prime Steakhouse a favourite among Niagara food-lovers? Let’s explore.

The Legendary Tomahawk Steak

The menu at Prime Steakhouse features a number of premium cuts of steak, including:

  • Canadian AAA Reserve Filet Mignon and New York Strip
  • Certified Angus Hanger Steak and Rib-Eye
  • USDA Prime Reserve Dry Aged Porterhouse

But perhaps the menu’s crowning glory is the newly-introduced 40 oz. Tomahawk Steak, which is a Canadian Prime signature long-bone rib steak. The restaurant encourages guests to call ahead for this specialty cut to confirm availability and will cook it exactly to your liking. It’s a mouth-watering menu item that’s a must-try for steak lovers.

Hand-Crafted Cocktails

Appreciation also needs to be shown to Prime’s impressive drink menu, which features a wide range of specialty cocktails featuring high-quality spirits and ingredients. The hand-crafted cocktails on Prime’s current drink menu include:

  • Tesla: Named for the man who first harnessed the amazing power of Niagara Falls, this cocktail is a blend of whiskey, Calvados, lemon, and bitters.
  • Dillon’s Sazerac: This cocktail is hand-crafted using local ingredients from the Niagara Region including Dillon’s whiskey, Dillon’s orange bitters, and Dillon’s absinthe.
  • Niagara: This cocktail is as incredible as the view and features a combination of vodka, Cointreau, lemon, and a touch of ginger beer.

The View

A great atmosphere makes for a great dining experience, and at Prime Steakhouse, the atmosphere can’t be beat. The restaurant’s dining room is designed to provide diners with spectacular views of Niagara Falls from every single seat.

Visit Prime Steakhouse today and find out for yourself what makes this Niagara Falls restaurant so extraordinary.

Niagara’s Legendary Iron Scow

The iron scow in the Niagara River.

It has officially been 100 years since the iron scow (or “Old Scow”) wreck in Niagara Falls, and Niagara Parks will be honouring this event with a new plaque to be unveiled on August 6th 2018.

The iron scow has become a historic Niagara Falls landmark and the story of how it got there is worth revisiting on the centenary of the event.

The Story

On August 6th, 1918, a small dumping scow carrying two men was dredging up sandbanks on the Niagara River, upstream from the brink of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The scow broke loose from the tugboat that was meant to bring it back to shore approximately 1.6km up-river from the Falls, and began heading towards the edge of the mighty waterfall.

While travelling down-river the scow got caught on a rock shoal just 838 yards from the waterfall’s edge, leaving the two men stranded in the Niagara River’s turbulent upper rapids. This set off a dramatic rescue mission as a rescue boat couldn’t reach the two men. Eventually, the U.S. Coast Guard shot a line from the Toronto Power House to the barge and the men were brought back to shore using a breeches buoy rescue device.

The Iron Scow Today

While the two men made it safely back to shore after the incident, the iron scow still remains stuck in the Niagara River today. It’s just a short distance away from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls and has become a well-recognized landmark.

You can join Niagara Parks in honouring this historic Niagara Falls event on August 6th, 2018 at the old Toronto Power Generating Station from 7-8pm. Make it a part of your extraordinary Niagara Falls getaway this summer!

Niagara Falls Canada Day Activities You Won’t Want to Miss

Experience a fun and exciting Niagara Falls Canada Day weekend by checking out these amazing destinations and events:

City of Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration

Celebrate this Canada Day in downtown Niagara Falls at the city’s annual Canada Day celebration. The event is taking place on Sunday July 1st on Queen Street and will feature:

Niagara Falls fireworks show.
  • Canada Day Parade along Victoria & Queen Street at 11am
  • Performances by world-renowned magician Greg Frewin and The Legends tribute band on the City Hall Main Stage
  • Free birthday cake for the first 300 guests
  • Scotiabank Children’s Zone featuring free rock climbing wall, 70’ zip line, inflatables, and more
  • Food trucks and vendors
  • Art Show and Car Show
  • 1k & 5k run for St. John Ambulance

This Niagara Falls Canada Day event will be a full day of fun that people of all ages can enjoy!

Fireworks & Coca Cola Concert Series

Experience the spectacle of fireworks over the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls every night at 10pm during the Canada Day weekend. The fireworks can be enjoyed from a number of different spots, including a Fallsview room at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview, and will add a little excitement and fun to your Niagara Falls Canada Day celebrations.

And don’t miss out on live performances from local Niagara musicians in Queen Victoria Park as part of Niagara’s annual Coca Cola Concert Series. Catch performances from Beth Moore on Sunday July 1st at 4pm and Blush on Monday July 2nd at 8pm, followed by fireworks at 10pm.

Sweet Jesus Ice Cream

Niagara Brewing Company on Clifton Hill.

Celebrate Canada’s birthday and treat yourself to some delicious dessert with a Birthday Cake cone from Sweet Jesus ice cream shop. This signature cone features vanilla soft serve, cream cheese icing, birthday cake bits, and rainbow sprinkles, all served with a candle on top.

Sweet Jesus is centrally located at the corner of Clifton Hill and Falls Avenue and offers a number of other inventive and delectable soft serve flavours like Bangin’ Brownie, Rocky Road Rage, Hella Nutella, Krusty the Kone, and more.

Niagara Brewing Company

Spend some time out on a patio with a refreshing beer this Canada Day at Niagara Brewing Company on Clifton Hill. This amazing craft brewery offers four signature brews that pay homage to Canada’s brewing heritage and a number of seasonal brews on rotating taps that you won’t want to miss out on. And with two outdoor patios, a delicious food menu, and live music it’s the perfect place to celebrate Canada Day with friends and family.

What’s New in Niagara?

Brand new Fallsview dining experiences now at Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant inside the Sheraton on the Falls.

When planning a visit to Niagara Falls this summer, make sure to add these exciting new attractions, dining, and shopping destinations to your itinerary. All are located in the heart of the city’s tourist district and will make any visit to the city into an unforgettable getaway. So, what’s new in Niagara?

Attractions

Niagara Speedway

Clifton Hill

The Niagara Speedway is a brand new go-kart attraction on Clifton Hill and is North America’s largest elevated go-kart track facility! It features a concrete race track that runs through a four-story spiral and a two-tiered coaster style ramp. You’ll experience excitement and thrills as you race around the track, hitting speeds of up to 32 km/hr in your colourful kart.

Niagara Speedway’s current hours are:

  • Sunday to Thursday – 10am -12am
  • Friday – 10am – 12:30am
  • Saturday 10am – 1am

Tickets are $12 per driver and $4 per passenger for a 5 minute race. Drivers must be at least 58” to ride.

Dining

Prime Steakhouse

Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview

Experience Niagara’s newest steakhouse restaurant at Prime Steakhouse inside the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview hotel. Prime is a great place to experience succulent steaks, fresh seafood, hand-crafted cocktails, and other classic favourites. And the dining room directly overlooks the magnificent Niagara Falls, offering stunning views of the beautiful waterfalls to enjoy with your meal.

Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant

Sheraton on the Falls

Chef Massimo Capra has recently opened the brand new Massimo’s Italian Restaurant in Niagara Falls, featuring authentic Italian cuisine, award-winning wines, and amazing views of Niagara Falls.

At Massimo’s, guests can indulge in amazing dishes like Rigatoni Alla Bolognese, Proscuitto Wrapped Stuffed Chicken, and Pan Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass paired with wines from Niagara, Italy, and beyond. And after the meal, there is a delectable dessert menu waiting to be enjoyed, featuring Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, Milk Chocolate & Espresso Semifreddo, and more.

Freshii

Falls Avenue

Keep your healthy eating on track while visiting Niagara Falls at the brand new Freshii located inside the lobby of the Sheraton on the Falls hotel. Freshii will keep you energized with a nutritious menu of salads, smoothies, bowls, burritos, juices, soups, and wraps, and amazing signature items like turmeric juices, energii bites, and grain bowls.

The whole menu is completely customizable and features innovative creations that make healthy eating fun. Eat and energize with a meal at Freshii and get ready to experience the very best healthy and nutritious eating that Niagara Falls has to offer.

Shopping

Canadian Gifts & Marketplace

Sheraton on the Falls

Discover one of Niagara’s newest and most exciting shopping destinations at Canadian Gifts & Marketplace inside the lobby of the Sheraton on the Falls hotel. This open-concept shopping destination features a number of food and retail stores including the Great Canadian Gifts Shop, Freshii, Starbucks, Sweet Jesus ice cream shop, Wine Rack boutique, and Niagara Vines Wine Bar.

At the Great Canadian Gifts Shop, visitors can shop for souvenirs, gifts, clothing, and specialty Niagara-made products that will commemorate your stay in Niagara Falls. It offers a retail experience unlike anywhere else in the city and is the ultimate souvenir shopping destination, located just steps away from the Falls.

Make it a Mother’s Day in Niagara She Won’t Ever Forget

Mother’s Day is almost here and if you’re still looking for something amazing to get the moms in your life, try treating them to one of these incredible Niagara Falls Mother’s Day experiences. Whether you embark on an amazing wine tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake or relax over some afternoon tea, there’s something for every mom to enjoy this Mother’s Day in Niagara.

Sip and Sizzle Wine Tour

Wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Treat Mom to a full day of fun this Mother’s Day in Niagara by embarking on a Sip & Sizzle Wine Tour through Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sip & Sizzle is an amazing spring event where more than 20 Niagara wineries offer unique grilled food creations paired with amazing VQA wines, and Magnificent Tours will help you experience the very best of it with their Sip & Sizzle Wine Tour. The tour will take you to six (possibly seven, if time allows) of the best participating wineries and includes full transportation by coach bus you won’t have to worry about driving.

Stops on the tour include:

  • Chateau des Charmes for 2016 Cuvée d’Andrée paired with house smoked salmon an herb scone with cranberry compote.
  • Ravine Vineyards for 2017 Gewurztraminer paired with Harissa grilled chicken thighs on K2 grain salad.
  • Coyote’s Run Estate Winery for 2016 Positivity paired with Smokin Buddha’s sizzling beef slider, garnished with pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, okonomi, mayo, and a sprinkle of coriander. Vegetarian option also available.
  • PondView Estate Winery for 2016 Semi Dry Riesling paired with the best sandwich combination this side of Havana – grilled Cubano mojo pork slider on a brioche bun.
  • Strewn Winery for 2014 Gewurztraminer paired with a Sizzling Sampler Trio: Tandori chicken, grilled pineapple, and vegetable samosa.
  • Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery for 2016 Wayne Gretzky Founders Cabernet Merlot paired with spiced pork chorizo sausage and 99 whisky mustard.
  • Riverview Cellars for 2016 Bianco Riesling Gewurztraminer paired with Japanese gyoza, fried pork dumplings with wasabi mayo and soy.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Hornblower Niagara Cruises is now officially open for the season and is the perfect adventure for Mother’s Day weekend in Niagara Falls. Hornblower offers thrilling boat rides to the base of the American Falls and into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

You can choose between a number of thrilling experiences, including:

  • Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour
  • Voyage to the Falls Evening Boat Tour
  • Falls Illumination Cruise
  • Falls Fireworks Cruise

Hornblower is one of Niagara’s most iconic attractions, and is a must-do activity when in Niagara Falls this Mother’s Day.

Floral Showhouse

The Floral Showhouse’s annual Hydrangea Show.

Experience the beauty of spring in Niagara Falls this Mother’s Day at the Annual Hydrangea Display at the Floral Showhouse. Located just a short walk away from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the Floral Showhouse is a tropical greenhouse featuring an impressive collection of orchids, succulents, and other tropical plant species along with spectacular blue, pink, and white hydrangeas.

The spring hydrangea show will be taking place from May 12th to June 27th. Admission is $5 for adults and $3.75 for children.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Prime Steakhouse

Prime Steakhouse – Niagara’s newest Fallsview steakhouse experience – is offering an amazing Mother’s Day Brunch on May 13th. The brunch will offer delicious choices like roasted Atlantic salmon, eggs benedict, and Chicken Piri Piri, along with a carving station featuring carved Angus prime rib and food stations with waffles, omelettes, and “eggs your way”.

Prime Steakhouse is located inside the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview hotel and features sweeping views of Niagara Falls from floor-to-ceiling windows. Share an amazing meal with the moms in your life and book your reservations for brunch today.

Fallsview Weekend Getaway at the Crowne

Treat the moms in your life to an unforgettable Niagara Falls getaway with one of the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview’s amazing hotel experience packages.

Ultimate Spa Experience PackageThis package starts from $289 and includes:

  • One night hotel accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview hotel
  • 3 Fallsview dining gift cards
  • A 55-minute Relaxation Couples Massage and 20 minutes private use of the Hydrotherapy Infinity Tub
  • Sparkling water infused with Cherry Lane elixir and decadent chocolate truffles
  • 2 winery tasting passes at Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs
  • 2 cocktails at the Hard Rock Café or Niagara Vines Wine Bar

Room with Breakfast PackageThis package starts from $124 and includes:

  • One night hotel accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview hotel
  • Breakfast for two inside the Crowne Plaza Fallsview hotel

The Great Outdoors: Best Spots for Spring and Summer Adventures in Niagara

The warm weather has finally arrived in Niagara  – a region that’s home to a number of amazing outdoor destinations you’ll want to experience this spring and summer. So when you’re booking your upcoming Niagara Falls getaway, make sure to fit some of these beautiful outdoor destinations into your itinerary!

Niagara Glen

Hiking in Niagara.

If you’re looking for a great place to hike while visiting Niagara Falls, check out the beautiful Niagara Glen. Located deep in the Niagara Gorge, the Niagara Glen consists of 4km of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest. The area has an abundance of wild flora and fauna, prehistoric geological formations, and spots from which to view the rapid waters of the mighty Niagara River and Niagara River Whirlpool.

You can also embark on a guided hiking tour of the Niagara Glen with experienced Niagara Parks Naturalists who will teach you all about the geology, plant and animal life that can be found in the area. The tours run from May through August and leave at 11am and 2pm.

And if an exciting bouldering experience is what you’re after, then make sure to register for a Bouldering Permit to discover the amazing Niagara Glen Bouldering Trail.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Officially opening for the season on May 5th, Hornblower Niagara Cruises offers thrilling boat rides to the base of the American Falls and into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Hornblower will take you as close as possible to these amazing natural waterfalls so that you can experience their thundering roar and awe-inspiring power.

Choose between any of these amazing Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat rides:

  • Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour
  • Voyage to the Falls Evening Boat Tour
  • Falls Illumination Cruise
  • Falls Fireworks Cruise

Experience one of Niagara’s most iconic attractions on a Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat ride!

Queen Victoria Park

Located just steps away from the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls – Fallsview hotel, Queen Victoria Park is a must-visit outdoor destination in Niagara. The park is situated right across the street from the breathtaking Canadian Horseshoe Falls and features a valuable collection of unique native and international plants and beautiful gardens. A visit to Queen Victoria Park, will also connect you with:

  • Rock garden, hanging baskets, hybrid tea rose garden, and carpet bedding displays
  • Park benches and well-groomed lawns
  • In spring, over 500,000 daffodils in bloom
  • Magnolia trees, tulips, and other beautiful blooms

Queen Victoria Park is the perfect place to visit if you want to sit and relax near Niagara Falls, go for a beautiful stroll, enjoy a picnic, or just soak up the sunshine in nature.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Wine experiences in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Niagara Region is Canada’s largest wine growing region, home to an abundance of amazing wineries that offer premium VQA wines and incredible tour and tasting experiences. The wine region of Niagara-on-the-Lake is also a picturesque area that offers beautiful sights and outdoor areas that are definitely worth exploring.

From small boutiques to medium-sized operations and large estates, Niagara has so many amazing wineries just waiting to be experienced. And because the region possesses a unique micro-climate that makes for one-of-a-kind growing conditions, Niagara wines are unlike anything you’ve ever had before.

Some great Niagara wineries to visit include:

  • Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate
  • Inniskillin
  • Wayne Gretzky Estates
  • Peller Estates
  • Ravine Vineyard
  • Trius Winery
  • Konzelmann Estate Winery

Incredible outdoor experiences await visitors of all ages in Niagara Falls!

Niagara Wine Events to Experience this Spring

The Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

The long days of winter are over and spring is officially here, which means it’s the perfect time to plan a getaway to Niagara’s world-famous wine country and discover the extraordinary events happening all throughout the season.

Sip & Sizzle

Sip & Sizzle is a unique spring event where more than 20 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake offer grilled food creations paired with premium VQA wines. The event runs every weekend in May and includes participating wineries like:

  • Chateau des Charmes
  • Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery
  • Wayne Gretzky Estates
  • Coyote’s Run Winery
  • Strewn Winery

And if you want to enjoy the event but don’t want to worry about transportation, you can embark on a Magnificent Tours Sip & Sizzle Wine Tour, which will take you to six (possibly seven, if time allows) wineries and includes full transportation by coach bus. Come and see what’s on the grill this spring and get your Sip & Sizzle passes today!

Spring Fling Menu

Vineland Estates Winery is offering their annual Spring Fling restaurant menu from April 11th to May 13th featuring delicious seasonally-inspired lunch and dinner dishes inside their lovely farmhouse restaurant. And while you eat you can take in picturesque views of the winery’s vineyards, the Niagara Escarpment, Toronto, and Lake Ontario.

Get Fresh in the Valley

Vineyards in Niagara’s wine country.

From April 21st-22nd and 28th-29th more than 20 wineries in Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine region will be participating in the Get Fresh in the Valley winery event. This self-guided tour allows you to visit a number of Twenty Valley wineries to enjoy unique food and VQA wine pairings  and meet with the winemakers.

And with your Get Fresh in the Valley passport you’ll have the opportunity to assemble your very own Get Fresh Cookbook by collecting spring recipe cards featuring the amazing food and wine pairings you taste along the tour.

Savour the Sights

Jackson-Triggs Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is hosting a Savour the Sights dinner event on May 12th, 2018 featuring five courses of delicious regional cuisine paired with a number of their award-winning wines. This event is a spring-themed epicurean experience that takes place in stunning locations throughout the winery and is an adventure in dining that you won’t want to miss.

Don’t miss out on any of these incredible winery events and start planning your next Niagara Falls adventure today!