Winter in Canada can be tough, but as Canadians know, the best way to get through it is to get out and enjoy the sights – and tastes – that the season has to offer. There’s always something to do in the Niagara region, and with its unique blend of natural beauty and rich culture, winter is no exception. Whether you’re a nature-lover, a wine connoisseur, or you love cozying up by a fire, there’s always plenty to enjoy right in your backyard.
There are tons of exciting things to do as an active adult in the Niagara region all year round. Check out some of our recommendations for seasonal activities. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or planning to make your home in the area, you’re bound to fall in love with Niagara whatever the weather.
#1 Eat Local & Seasonal
Enjoy the comforting tastes of winter at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s best farm-to-table restaurant, Treadwell. This is the spot to get a taste of Niagara, as the restaurant focuses on bringing in local food including produce, meats, cheeses, and wines. This is where you can taste the best from Niagara’s artisanal producers.
Eating local in the winter isn’t as hard as you might think, and it can be an adventure in taste. In Ontario, even in the winter you can find fresh produce like apples, beets, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots. Root vegetables dominate and go well with the season’s hearty fare. Check out the St. Catharines Farmers’ Market or visit a local Greenbelt farm and find some of the best fresh food the region hast offer.
#2 Try Some Ice Wine
One of the luxuries of moving to an active adult community in Niagara is just how close you are to some of the best vineyards in Canada. Niagara is especially known for ice wine, a local delicacy made possible by the region’s unique climate. Ice wine is a sweet dessert wine made from late-harvested grapes that have been allowed to freeze. Because the sugars in the fruit do not freeze, the result is a concentrated flavour.
There are tons of vineyards in Niagara where can you go straight to the source to try their ice wine. Go on a tour or visit the tasting bar at Peller Estates, Inniskillin, Pillitteri Estates, the Ice House Winery, or many more. You can also check out the Niagara Ice Wine Festival throughout January to try wines from around the region.
#3 Arts, Theater, and Concerts
Many are surprised to find that there are so many great venues for concerts, theater, and the arts in Niagara, including the First Ontario Performing Arts Center in St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival, the new 5,000-seat entertainment centre in Niagara Falls, and the Sanctuary for performing arts in Ridgeway.
#4 Visit Some of Niagara’s Craft Brewers
Niagara may be best known for its wine, but there are also some great craft beer brewers in the region. For a more casual outing (and tasting), Oast House Brewers in Niagara-on-the-Lake is known for its mouth-watering collection of farmhouse-style ales, fresh shucked oysters, and its ping pong table.
There are plenty of other brewers worth checking out too, including Niagara Brewing, Brimstone in Ridgeway, Lock Street Brewing in St. Catharines, and many more. You can check out all of the region’s great craft beer options along the Niagara Ale Trail, your complete guide to all the best beers in the region.
#5 Christmas Shopping in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Christmas is on the way and Niagara-on-the-Lake is full of cute boutiques and shops where you’ll be able to cross some people off your list. The Heritage District in NOTL is where you’ll want to go for a shopping stroll, stopping at shops like Beau Chapeau, Just Christmas (the all-Christmas store), Maison Apothecary, or the Scottish Loft. The Outlet Mall is a fabulous new mall with high-end stores from Brooks Brothers to Escada.
When the shopping’s done, take your bags and head off to the Prince of Wales Hotel for afternoon tea in true Victorian fashion, or stop at any one of the wineries and bistros along Picton Street for a glass of wine and some wood-fired pizza.
#6 Visit the Frozen Falls
The falls in the winter are an incredible sight. Although they haven’t frozen fully over since the 1800s, the spray leads to some incredible ice formations. Mist and spray form a crust of ice around the falls, so while the water keeps rushing behind, it looks like the falls have frozen over. If you’ve never seen the falls during the middle of winter, make a day of it and explore Niagara Falls.
#7 The Festival of Lights
If the early sunset has you feeling down, don’t miss Niagara Falls’ Winter Festival of Lights, a winter tradition put on by Ontario Power Generation. An 8-kilometer trail of holiday lights along the Dufferin Islands and Niagara Parks, the festival attracts a million visitors every year and is guaranteed to get you into the holiday spirit.
Your Custom Home in Niagara
We build communities in Niagara because we love this part of the world. It’s a great place to live and there’s always something to do. If you want to make Niagara your home, look at communities by Blythwood Homes. Right now, we’re building move-in ready and custom homes in The Oaks at Six Mile Creek in Ridgeway and The Vintages at Four Mile Creek in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
We are custom home builders in Niagara, and we want to see you in your dream home. When you own a custom home, everything has been done to your taste, from the materials to the design. Talk to us about moving into one of our active adult communities in Niagara and enjoy the region in any season.