3 Reasons Not to Miss the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta (Besides the Races)

image001For anyone to whom rowing is little more than what happens at the gym or in a row boat, it can be hard to relate to the fervor with which rowing fans anticipate and watch rowing’s biggest events, but in Canada, rowing fanaticism has been part of the country’s fabric since the 1860’s.

Started in 1880, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta has been a premier rowing event for well over a hundred years. Initially, intended to be just a championship competition for the Canadian Amateur Rowing Association, over the years, the event has become of one of the most treasured competitions in the sport.

While the spirit of the event has remained the same over the years, changes have occurred. For instance, until 1903, the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta changed venues regularly, but near the turn of the 20th century, it was decided the event should be hosted permanently by the St. Catharines Rowing Club where it could take place in a portion of the Welland Canal at the St. Catharines Port Dalhousie’s Martindale Pond. 1947 was the first year women competed, while today sees roughly the same amount of women competing as men. Also, the original distance of the race was one mile and 550 yards — the same as England’s Henley Royal Regatta. That distance was changed to 2,000 meters in 1964, which is the standard distance in international competition.

This year’s competition will bring together over 2,400 rowers from as many as 150 rowing clubs. If you’re curious about the sport, there aren’t many events on par with the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. If you’re on the fence, here are three reasons — beyond the fantastic races themselves — why you shouldn’t miss this year’s Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.

1. The Opening Ceremonies

Held the evening of August 3, 2015 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., the opening ceremonies are fun, family-friendly, and they won’t cost you a dime. Vendors, music, rowers, and more will all gather at the Grandstand to celebrate the start of race week. The evening will finish with a fireworks show over Martindale Pond.

2. Henley Friendly Deals

image003Businesses in the area love the Regatta, which is why you can find “Henley Friendly” deals in St. Catharines and the surrounding Niagara area. Coupons can be downloaded off the official website for savings on everything from appetizers to bowling and boat tours, and many of the local shops offer incentives for tourists during the races. If you’re looking for a way to take a unique Niagara vacation, and save some money at the same time, take advantage of the Henley Friendly deals. Companies offering discounts include:

  • The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro
  • The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
  • Timothy’s
  • Parkway Lanes Centre
  • And more!

3. The City of St. Catharines

From music and theater to sports and craft beer, the city of St. Catharines is a fantastic place to spend part of your Niagara vacation. St. Catharines boasts a thriving downtown that hosts a great farmer’s market, plenty of excellent restaurants, a fantastic museum, award-winning wineries within a short drive, and much, much more. For an experience of the Niagara region that has nothing to do with the wonderful Falls, St. Catharines is hard to beat.

Grab yourself a Niagara vacation that can only occur once a year, and attend the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta August 3 through August 9.

5 Reasons to Visit Safari Niagara

image001When planning any type of family vacation, those in charge must take their responsibility very seriously,
lest the children in their care feel slighted in relation to the amount of fun expected given the amount of fun experienced. No one wants to make memories because events and destinations fail to live up to their billings.

Which is why a trip to Niagara offers the perfect remedy to this common family vacation malady.

From stunning natural sights to a giant indoor waterpark, few destinations can compete with the family fun on full display throughout the region. While there are scores of kid- and adult-friendly destinations to hit in the Niagara region that could be highlighted, Safari Niagara is one of the best. The next time you and your brood come to ogle the Falls, here are five reasons you also need to visit Safari Niagara.

1. The Creatures

A land of remarkable creatures, Safari Niagara is situated on 150 acres, making it one of the largest nature parks in the region. Over 750 different animals, reptiles, and birds call the park home, and many of them are made available to guests in interactive ways through fun animal presentations, a petting farm, guided tours, feedings, and more. See lions, foxes, tortoises, bald eagles, bearded dragons, bears, wolves, macaws, lemurs, zebras, apes, and more.

2. The Daily Shows

It doesn’t matter what time of day you and your family head over to Safari Niagara, because there will be astounding and educational animal shows all day long. From reptiles and primates to hippos and big cats, here are some of the shows you and your family can take in during a typical day:

  • Hippo and Giraffe Encounter
  • Big Cat Tour
  • Wonders of Flight
  • Reptile Presentation
  • And more!

The Action

There’s actually a lot more to do at Safari Niagara than just look at the animals, and all of it’s a blast. From flying kites to skittering about the place in paddle boats, here are some of the other fun activities you and your family can enjoy:

  • A Children’s Play Area
  • A Ropes Course
  • A Splash Pad
  • A Tram Tour
  • Pedal Bike Go Karts
  • And more!

The Conservation

image003It’s becoming increasingly important that people from all walks of life learn about and engage in conservation efforts, which is why the conservation work undertaken by Safari Niagara is such an important part of their mission. Many of the animals given a home at Safari Niagara are threatened or endangered, and your trip to Safari Niagara will not only educate you and your children about their needs, but the money you spend at the park will aid their ongoing efforts.

The Events

Some of the most enjoyable surprises about Safari Niagara are the numerous events they host each season. From their summer concert series to their trick or treat event that takes place throughout the park, there’s always something out of the ordinary and exciting going on at Safari Niagara.

So, bring the little ones to Niagara, and let their thirst for adventure find a natural outlet. From parrots to pythons, Safari Niagara is fun that will thrill the whole family.

The Artistic Vacation: Classes at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre

image001For most people embarking on a family vacation, learning and the improvement of skill sets isn’t at the top of their itinerary’s to-do list, which is a shame, since the change in location and schedule coupled with the availability of new opportunities actually makes vacation an ideal time to undertake a new skill or brush up on one that’s been allowed to languish. For the former artist or the still-hoping-to-become an artist on vacation to Niagara, the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre provides a number of excellent and easy opportunities to satisfy your creative urges while on vacation.

The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre

A non-profit organization, the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre works to engage the surrounding Niagara communities through educational outreach, programs, exhibitions, and events that either make or celebrate the visual arts. The organization offers year-round classes, workshops, and events that all showcase a wide variety of different media. Located on the banks of the beautiful Niagara River, the Arts Centre is housed in a stunning Victorian building that was built in 1891, and until 1983, housed the pumps and filtration tanks that supplied water to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Today, the building has been renovated to serve the needs of the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.

Programs

There are a number of classes, workshops, and drop-ins that take place throughout the calendar year, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit one or two into your family’s vacation schedule for one of you, some of you, or even all of you. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the upcoming opportunities you’ll have to further your artistic ambitions at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre:

  • image003Family Drop-In. Two more opportunities are available for the family who wants to share in a family-friendly art studio experience. Dress to get messy if you need to and spend a couple hours painting, sculpting, or drawing in the Arts Centre’s studio. The two remaining family drop-in’s take place July 26 and August 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A suggested donation of $2 per participant is recommended.
  • Abstract Impressions. For fans of Rothko, Newman, and Still, this abstract expressionist workshop for adults of all levels (although a basic understanding of some color theory would greatly benefit an attendee) occurs over two evenings a week apart, and includes a study of the artists’ work as well as instruction in their techniques and philosophies. Classes will be held Tuesday, July 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Tuesday, July 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The workshop fee is $80.
  • Full-Day or Half-Day Summer Art Camps for Kids, 5 – 12. Do you have a budding artist in your midst? Sign him up for art camp when you visit Niagara. Attendees will learn how to use art tools and supplies to make different works of art. The full-day camp, which runs July 20 through the 24, costs $190, and the half-day camp, which runs July 13 through the 17, costs $95.

Get creative with your vacation this summer by taking an art class or two at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre.

The Summer Concert Series at the Niagara Falls History Museum

image001Roughly 1/4 of all overnight visitors traveling to Ontario spend time in a museum, which makes sense when you learn that 44 percent of all North American travelers do so in order to take in the arts and culture of a new place. The Niagara Falls History Museum is one of the crown jewels among the museums in the Niagara region, with an impressive permanent collection and fascinating exhibits that include everything from artifacts and objects from the War of 1812 to a community gallery that allows visitors to interactively experience what it would be like to become a Niagara Falls daredevil.

All in all, the Niagara Falls History Museum tells the ways in which the past impacts the area’s present and perceived future, which, for anyone taking in the region’s lush offerings, is bound to be fascinating.

image003But one of the greatest things about the museum is that it routinely holds events that extend beyond the scope of Niagara history as part of the museum’s broader mission to engage the people of Niagara and its visitors. From classes and forums to a variety of entertainment, surprising fun can be had. One particularly enriching option is the museum’s Summer Concert Series that showcases area bands every other Thursday night at 7 p.m. in July and August. Here is a closer look at the four concerts — two in July and two in August — that make up this year’s Summer Concert Series at the Niagara Falls History Museum.

July 9 – Rod Standish

The first concert in the series features Rod Standish, a Canadian musician known for some impressive guitar feats, including being the Guinness world record holder in Guitar Marathon — a title he won after playing for 58.5 hours straight. Rod will be performing along with his wife, Ashlee, who plays keyboard. Singer-songwriter Katey Gatta will also perform that night.

July 23 – James Underwood

The third Thursday of the month brings rock and roller, James Underwood, to the Niagara Falls History Museum along with Anthony Botting’s band, A Book for Wanderers. The two singers have routinely collaborated, but the night will showcase each of them as individuals as well. For fans of roots music that combines folk sensibilities with a heavy rock impulse, James Underwood and A Book for Wanderers shouldn’t be missed.

August 6 – Sharla Dawn Ross

Sharla Dawn Ross is a young musician who hails from a musical family. Specializing in the Americana and country music traditions of North American, her sound is both bluesy and soulful. Eli & The Strawman will also perform, a popular local band filled with many of the area’s finest musicians and fronted by Eli Maiuri.

August 20 – Serena Pryne and Nick Riot

The last concert in the Summer Concert Series features Serena Pryne and Nick Riot, a musical duo that has existed in numerous incarnations over the last 15, the latest of which is The Mandevilles, area specialists in no-holds-barred rock and roll. They’ll be joined by The Kerouacs, an active area rock and roll favorite — a great night for lovers of independent rock.

Take in the local music scene when you visit Niagara Falls, by spending a Thursday night at the Niagara Falls History Museum’s Summer Concert Series.

2 Unbelievable Niagara Falls Museums Kids Will Love

image001When you think of fun things to do with your children, the word “museum” isn’t often at the top of the list, and while your little ones might believe the only true fun that can be had in Niagara Falls is at indoor waterparks or arcades, the city is actually home to two different museums that are especially popular among children.

Whether you’re hoping to sneak some learning in on the sly during your family vacation or you just know how much your children love weird and fascinating facts and stories, here are two Niagara Falls museums your kids will love.

The Guinness Museum

Based on all the wacky, bizarre, and mind-blowing information found in the Guinness Book of World Records, the Guinness Museum showcases amazing and record-breaking facts in sections as diverse as Sports, Structures, and Animals. Watch footage from the world’s longest toppling of dominoes. Stand amazed at the amount of food extreme eaters can put away. See video of record-setting space adventures and exploration. Get your photo taken next to life-size models of some of the world’s most amazing people, like the world’s most tattooed woman and the tallest man in the world, Robert Wadlow, who stood almost nine feet tall. From interactive displays to fun games and trivia, the Guinness World Record Museum has plenty of galleries, photos, and facts to amaze you and your children.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

image003Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a place unlike any other — even other Ripley’s Believe It or Not!s since every one features its own collection. Open 365 days a year this attraction is one of the most unique “museums” you’ll come across.

Home to over 800 strange exhibits, optical illusions, one-of-a-kind artifacts and other curiosities, you’ll marvel over what’s here, from the world’s rarest egg to genuine shrunken heads, and the Niagara Falls Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is more than just a museum of eccentricities as it actually includes three different attractions:

  • The Odditorium. The museum proper — it’s here at The Odditorium that you’ll find the dazzling collection of strange and fascinating artifacts. Since 1964, Ripley’s has been searching the world for items to add to its increasingly outlandish collection, and today, The Odditorium boasts over 10,000 square feet and 13 themed galleries.
  • Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks. Over 100 life-like wax figures can be found in Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, including many stars and starlets of yesteryear and today. Set inside a beautiful English Tudor-style building, the 16 galleries inside the wax museum make for plenty of hilarious photo opportunities for you and your children. From the casts of The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter to movie stars like Daniel Craig and Robert Downey, Jr., you’ll be amazed at how alive they all seem.

So, bring the kids to Niagara Falls for your next family vacation, and be sure to take in these two kid-friendly museums.

4 Fun Shows to Take the Kids to in Niagara Falls

image001Whether you love family vacations with your children or you rue them, the reality is that if you take them at all, you’ll need to schedule in happenings that will entertain your spawn or everyone in your party is guaranteed to have a miserable time. Thankfully, taking a family vacation to the Niagara Falls region is bound to keep everyone happy and engaged, and not just because of our famous waterfalls. Niagara Falls is actually a great place for kids to be kids, and some of the best fun can be had at these four shows.

1. “Oh Canada Eh?”

This seven-time winner of the coveted Niagara Falls Attraction of the Year award is now in its 21st season, and it’s the perfect way for young people and their parents to enjoy an evening together, because it’s one of those rare attractions that will appeal to your whole family. A true dinner theater experience, the musical is accompanied by a five-course meal served family-style by the very performers wowing you and making you laugh while on-stage. Canadian music and Canadian characters abound, as the Hockey Player, the Mountie, Anne of Green Gables, and other favorites sing everything from pop songs and rock and roll to maritime folk tunes.

2. Greg Frewin

One of the most celebrated magicians in the world, Greg Frewin has been named Magician of the Year at the World Magic Awards and is ranked the International Grand Champion of Magic. An illusionist whose show will have you and your kids open-mouthed and wide-eyed from beginning to end, his act incorporates some of the larger scale illusions made popular by magicians like David Copperfield — he does have tigers, a lion, and dancers, after all — but he also routinely makes use of members of the audience and smaller scale, defter tricks for a show that’s as much about surprise and amazement as it is about spectacle. He performs five nights a week at the Greg Frewin Theatre.

3. Whatever’s Playing at the 4-D Motion Theatre

Located in Falls Avenue Resort, the Iwerks 4-D Motion Theatre thrills kids with a movie that isn’t just seen and heard, as with more traditional film experiences. No, with the 4-D Motion Theater, the movie is also felt. Step inside the simulator for a 3-D movie experience that features stadium seating, seat belts, plenty of motion, actual water jets, and blasts of air for an interactive experience that will make your kids feel as though they’re actually inside the movie instead of just observing the story from the outside.

4. Niagara’s Fury

image003Another amazing 4-D experience is Niagara’s Fury. You and your kids will pull on ponchos to withstand the simulated experience of being as up close and personal with Niagara Falls as any of the daredevils who have braved it over the years. The temperature will drop 20 degrees; water and snow will fall; the floor beneath your feet will rattle and shake as you all learn about and witness the formation of the Falls.

Take a family vacation to Niagara Falls. From the shows to the waterfalls themselves, it will be an experience your kids will never forget.

What’s in Store for You at 2015’s Niagara Integrated Film Festival

image001Founded by Bill Marshall, the man behind the Toronto Film Festival, the Niagara Integrated Film Festival is a celebration of wine, food, and film that will take place for the second time June 18 to 21 throughout the Niagara region. Last year’s inaugural event included over 60 hand-selected films from Canada and around the world, over 8,000 people, and over 100 volunteers, who banded together to ensure the festival came off without a hitch. And this year promises to be even grander. Here are just some of the highlights of what you have to look forward to if you visit Niagara Falls for the NIFF.

Opening Night

The NIFF kicks off on Thursday, June 18, at Peller Estates Winery, a world-renowned Niagara-on-the-Lake winery that also happened to be the area’s 2014 Winery of the Year. Starting at 7 p.m., Opening Night attendees will sit down to a locally sourced, seated dinner paired with Peller Estates wines. Following dinner, wine service will continue through a feature film presentation.

Filmalicious

A riff on the classic dinner-and-a-movie, Filmalicious takes place at four different wineries: Redstone Winery, Henry of Pelham Family Estates, Southbrook Vineyards, and Peller Estates Winery. Four different films are screened on Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20, at each winery at 7 p.m. outside amidst the beauty of the vineyards and the Niagara landscape.

The evening kicks off with an excellent dinner paired with specially selected and award-winning wines from each winery. Seating for the film follows at 8:45 p.m. Some of these dinner-and-a-movie events also include a celebrity guest speaker. It’s a dining and film experience you can only get in Niagara during the Niagara Integrated Film Festival.

Film Feast

image003Join a midday guided bus tour to three of Niagara’s finest wineries, where you’ll sample wine flights and dine on appetizers before settling in to watch a selection of short films from among the Canadian shorts presented at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Film Feast begins with registration at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21, and each day features a tour of either three Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries, including PondView Estate Winery, Konzelmann Estate Winery, and Pillitteri Estates Winery, or three 20 Valley wineries, including Angels Gate Winery, Tawse Winery, and Calamus Estate Winery.

Spotlight Series

The Spotlight Series screens films from two different programming angles: Niagara Rises and Mondo Wacko, and each one features some of the finest films from the Canadian and international film scenes. With Niagara Rises, you’ll find local filmmakers’ work on display throughout the weekend, while the Mondo Wacko films include the unexpected from all-over, whether comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, or the truly uncategorizable. The Spotlight Series can be experienced at Landmark Cinemas in St. Catharines and at Seneca Queen Theatre in Niagara Falls. As a bonus, both theaters serve traditional cinema food and drink, while the Seneca Queen also offers wine and beer.

There’s much more film, fun, wine, and food to be had at the NIFF, so bring your love of the cinema and your love of wine and food to Niagara the weekend of June 18 to 21, 2015, for a film experience unlike any other.

What You’ll Find at the 2015 Niagara Falls Comic Con

image001Comic conventions take place all over the world for pop culture enthusiasts and entertainment lovers of all kinds. Once the domain of hardcore comic fans, today’s comic conventions are a sure delight for anyone who has watched a television, browsed the Internet, taken in a movie, or looked at a magazine during the course of the last 50 years.

Modeled after the original Comic-Con International that’s held each year in San Diego, California, Niagara Falls’ annual Comic Con is once again about to get underway. Held the first weekend in June, this year’s event boasts big names, lots of exhibitors, and plenty of fun. If you’re looking for a reason to vacation in Niagara Falls June 5 to 7, look no further than what’s happening at Comic Con.

Attractions and Events

What if the talking car you dreamt of riding in and communicating with as a child were to one day show up at the ScotiaBank Convention Centre? What about the Batcycle from the original “Batman and Robin” TV series? What if you could spend an afternoon in a 1980s arcade? This year’s Comic Con hosts so many nostalgic heroes and relics of the pop culture past, you’ll never want it to end. Top attractions include:

  • The Falls Horror Fest
  • K.I.T.T. from “Knight Rider”
  • The Original 1966 Batcopter
  • The General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard”
  • A 1966 Batcycle
  • Sci-Fi Speed Dating
  • And more!

Games

Gaming is another popular aspect of comic conventions with large-scale games taking place all weekend. Spend all day or even all weekend playing any number of popular games in the Table Top Gaming Room, but the real gaming highlights for this year include:

  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Pokemon
  • Cardfight! Vanguard

Guests

image003Another primary feature of a comic convention is the large number of high-profile guests and celebrities who make appearances, go on panels, talk with fans, and sign autographs. Over the years, mainstays of sci-fi television shows, popular comic book illustrators and writers, and even film actors and directors have made it a point to attend a convention or two, and the Niagara Falls Comic Con is no exception. Here are just some of the great guests slated to appear at this year’s event:

  • Billy Dee Williams
  • David Hasselhoff
  • Linda Blair from “The Exorcist”
  • Jason Priestly
  • Sean Astin from “The Goonies” and “Lord of the Rings”
  • Catherine Bach who played Daisy Duke in “The Dukes of Hazzard”
  • Alfonso Ribeiro from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
  • And more!

The fun doesn’t just stop and start with the attractions, games, and guests either. Hundreds of exhibitors participate in Comic Con every year to draw attention to their business, publishing house, organization, art, comic book collections, and more. Participants and attendees often dress up as their favorite characters, which means people watching at Comic Con is always exceptional.

If you’ve always wanted to mingle with your favorite TV, movie, and comic book characters, there’s no better place to do it than at 2015’s Niagara Falls Comic Con.

Fun Niagara Falls Facts to Consider When Going Down Fallsview Waterpark’s Slides

image001Fallsview Indoor Waterpark boasts some of the best indoor water slides in all of North America, and they’re a true treat for kids of all ages. Whether you’re racing your best friend or your daughter down the Extreme Racing Slide, or you’re spinning your way down The Canadian Plunge, getting from top to bottom is fast, furious, fun, and wet, and it’s a rare individual who doesn’t want to immediately go again.

Every now and then, however, the waterpark attracts someone who is genuinely squeamish about waterslides. Whether due to a fear of heights or a fear of speed, overcoming the nervousness that keeps some wet feet planted firmly on the ground can take strategy and willpower. If you’re about to land in Niagara Falls for vacation, and you’re not sure you can handle the waterslides, here are some fun facts about things that have gone over Niagara Falls that will keep your mind occupied while you’re waiting to barrel down the waterslides at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.

One of the most fascinating realities about the three waterfalls known collectively as Niagara Falls is that it isn’t just water that has tumbled over them. From people to pets and water vessels, here are some of the most fascinating things and creatures that have ever gone over Niagara Falls.

People

More than 20 people are known to have gone over the Falls, although it’s possible the number is higher. Some of them attempted the feat in a barrel. Some in a rubber ball. Still others tackled the waters in a kayak or a jet ski. A couple of times, individuals have gone over the Falls in nothing more than the clothes on their backs, and a few of them even lived to tell about it.

image003Fish

Fish go over the Falls every day, but not all of them survive the plunge.

Birds

Especially in foggy weather, water birds can get disoriented and go over the Falls.

A Cat

In 1901, a cat was placed in a barrel and sent over Niagara Falls. She survived.

A Turtle

A turtle believed to be around 150 years old went over the Falls in a barrel with his owner back in 1930 and survived.

A Schooner

A schooner is a type of boat with fore and aft sails on at least two masts, and one named Superior accidentally went over the Falls in 1829. Originally intended to coincide with Sam Patch’s famous jump, the schooner got caught up in some whirlpools before coming to rest in shallow water for about a month. Rising waters finally carried it over the Falls.

A Steamer

In 1837 during the Upper Canada Rebellion, the steamer Caroline was set on fire and sent over Niagara Falls after being seized during the Caroline Affair.

So, get your gumption up and head for the waterslides with your head full of these fun facts. After all, joining the forces of gravity and water is a Niagara tradition.

Geocaching in Niagara

image001Geocaching is a form of high-tech treasure hunting that takes place all over the world. Armed with little more than a smartphone or GPS device, good shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, and the GPS coordinates that will get you to a specific cache, geocaching is an activity that almost anyone can participate in, and for visitors enjoying the Niagara area, it’s one more unique way to experience the region.

Canada ranks third out of the hundreds of countries and millions of people participating in geocaching around the world, so you may even run into fellow geocachers when you’re out and about hunting for a cache.

How to Play

To get involved, all you need to do is register for a free geocaching account at geocaching.com. A premium membership will afford you more features and opportunities, but a free account will suffice. (There are also a few other sites where you can find out about caches, including opencaching.com and Earthcache.org.)

Then, head to the Hide and Find a Cache page, or download a geocache app to your tablet or smartphone to seek out a cache to hunt in the Niagara Falls area. Select any cache listed and click on its name. Either enter the cache’s coordinates into your GPS device or locate the cache on your app’s map.

Follow the map or GPS device to the general vicinity where the cache is hidden. Using the clues provided by the person who hid the cache and others who have found it and left comments, find the hidden cache.

Once you find it, sign the logbook that’s provided, and be careful to return the geocache to its original location. After you’re through, share your experience and photos online with the rest of the geocaching community.

Tips For Play

image003In many ways, geocaching is a very straightforward bit of fun, but there are still some tips that may enable you and whomever you’re geocaching with to have a better time. When you’re hunting a cache, keep in mind the following:

  • Geocaches can be hard to find. Some hiders take great pride in making a cache hard to spot. If you’re having trouble finding a cache, don’t give up! Read through comments for clues and be creative about looking. GPS coordinates generally get you within at least 30 feet of a cache, so some will really require you to give some noble effort.
  • There’s lingo. From muggles to crazy acronyms like BYOP (Bring your own pencil.) and TNLNSL (Took nothing. Left nothing. Signed logbook.), you’ll need to brush up on the language used by geocachers in order to decipher their online hints and clues. Here’s a glossary to help out.
  • Sometimes there’s a trade involved. Some of the geocaches are large enough to include items to trade in and out, so be sure to bring along a few worthy items to trade out and leave for others to find after you’ve returned the cache.

Geocaching can provide a wealth of fun anywhere in the world, but set against the backdrop of Niagara Falls, it’s especially exciting. For a vacation activity that will give you a unique experience of the Niagara Peninsula, plan an afternoon around the coordinates on a GPS device, and go treasure hunting in Niagara.