With Autumn in full swing and Winter knocking on the door you might think that things are slowing down in Niagara. Not quite. There is still plenty going on, because we Niagarans know how to have fun in any season.
The Cabernet Franc is just being harvested, and the ice wine grapes are waiting for icier days. Pumpkins have been carved and the fields are being readied for the winter. The Niagara Escarpment is ablaze in Fall colour and the sunsets on Lake Ontario take on an ephemeral glow.
There’s still plenty to do in the Niagara Region this November. Here are some of my suggestions.
1) Taste the Season
Every weekend in November the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake participate in Taste the Season, where visitors can sip VQA wines and enjoy a food pairing at select wineries. Tickets are $55 and include all four weekends. And when I say weekends, I mean Fridays too! Purchase tickets and get all the details at Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
2) Winter Festival of Lights
The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights runs from November 15th to January 12th of the new year. The event includes beautiful light displays and artistic illuminations along the Niagara Parkway, in Queen Victoria park across from Niagara Falls, Fireworks over the falls, holiday lights, and a long list of exciting events throughout the festival.
The opening ceremony is on Saturday, Nov. 16th. And there are a whole list of activities planned. Find more info at the WFOL website.
During your explorations into the WFOL don’t miss the Light a Wish installation, which promises to be that special moment in time when you blow a dried dandelion into the air and make a wish, all done in life-sized light artwork.
3) Wrapped up in the Valley
The wineries of Twenty Valley are offering their premium wines paired with culinary treats for any one of three weekends in November. Tickets are $49.95 for 2 days of the same weekend between 11am and 5pm. Designated driver tickets are less expensive. You can get all the details and purchase tickets online here. Don’t want to drive? You can opt to take the shuttle bus. Easy peasy to get wrapped up in the excitement.
4 ) Lips and Sips
Who can resist sipping a little wine while you learn all about beauty. Vineland Estates Winery and Beauty for All have partnered for this fun event taking place Nov 17th from 1pm to 3pm in the beautiful Carriage House at Vineland Estates. Tickets are $64.99 and can be purchased online.
5) Stars on Stages Dinner and Show
Enjoy your dinner at Rockway Vineyards while rocking out to Elvis, Shania Twain, and Roy Orbison tribute artists. Nov 2nd from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Call Rockway for tickets at 905-641-1030 x 224
6) Step into Nature
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority offers many educational events to students and adults. The Step into Nature series happens at the West Lincoln Library in Smithville on Nov. 14th at 1:00pm, and it is absolutely free. Learn all about helping native pollinators. More details on the NPCA site.
7) History in the Vineyard
Enjoy a three course dinner and Ravine’s wines while learning the history of Niagara and the Vineyard. All happening in the barrel cellar at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery in St. Davids on the edge of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ravine is steeped in history with its 150 year old house on this family farm. Happening Nov. 28th from 6pm to 9pm. Proceeds go towards Friends of Fort George and the NOTL Museum. There’s even a silent auction planned. Who knows maybe there will be an organic purple cauliflower on the menu grown in Ravine’s own garden. I’m still a little in awe of this.
8) Christmas with Heart
Yes, folks it is the most wonderful time of year. Christmas is right around the corner and it’s time to plan ahead. You can get some of your Christmas shopping done and contribute to a good cause by shopping at the Christmas with Heart market happening Nov. 16th, 10am-3pm at Cornerstone Community Church, 434 Hunter Road (across from Oast House) in Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more details check the Christmas with Heart Facebook Page.
There will be a mix of 35 vendors and proceeds will go towards Ronald McDonald House Hamilton, and Karubabi Harvest School in Burundi Africa. Not only will you feel good about getting your shopping done early, you’ll feel good about helping a fellow human being.
9) Art at the Winery
On Nov. 5th at 10am join in the opening of The Gallery at 13th Street Winery. The first exhibit is A Passion for Abstraction. Don’t miss this inaugural event and future exhibits that bring art to the winery. More details at TheGalleryat13thStreetWinery.com
Have fun in Niagara this November, and if you know of any other exciting events let me know all about it in the comments below.