4 Reasons to Attend the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition

image001The Niagara region is host to some pretty spectacular events. There’s the Peach Festival each August that brings its wealth of entertainment, delicious food, and endless peach-centered treats. Every June brings another round of RibFest where piles of smoked meats, delectable barbecue sauces, and friendly competition are par for the course, and each January brings back the Icewine Festival as the region celebrates another bountiful harvest of frozen grapes with which to make a bounty of sweet, delicious wine.

September’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, however, is in a class of entertainment all its own. If you’re looking for a unique experience to couple with your Niagara vacation, head to the region September 25 through the 27.

What Is Steampunk?

Steampunk originated as a subgenre of science fiction, and it’s marked by a blend of fantastic, technological, and Victorian-era elements. Far from being just a literary genre, however, steampunk has taken on a life of its own in film, design, music, fashion, and even video games. For lovers of the Victorian Age who also happen to love technology, it’s the best of both worlds.

For the visitor to Niagara who’s looking to experience a unique subculture in one of the world’s most beautiful locations, the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition can’t be beat. Here are four reasons, among many, to attend.

1. Professor Wick’s Mind Bender Alley

Professor Wick’s specialty is amazing and mystifying the human mind with everything from psychic phenomena and kinetic sculptures to illusions and brain teasers. Levitate. Have your body cut into two pieces. Let a world of mystical technology keep you alive while your head is separated from your body. In Professor Wick’s Mind Bender Alley, almost any amazing feat is possible — at least from a photographic standpoint.

2. Mental Floss Sideshow

image003Similar in theme, tone, and presentation to the sideshows of old that used to accompany carnivals and circuses, the Mental Floss Sideshow features feats of physical dexterity, tall tales, snake oil peddling, ancient and mythical artifacts, and much more. A fascinating duo that performs under the names Dr. Charlotte Tan and Professor Archibald Floss, the Mental Floss Sideshow has been traveling the land for 10 years. Their show is fun, fascinating, and wholly unlike anything you’ll see at the exposition or anywhere else for that matter.

3. Iluminaire Entertainment

Toronto-based aerialists Miranda Tempest and Taliya Cohen perform a stunningly beautiful aerialist show that’s part trapeze-like whimsy and part Cirque du Soleil. A combination of extreme technical skill and theater, the two aerialists are teachers and performers who have traveled the world with their act, delighting and amazing everyone who sees their show.

4. Mike Petersen’s Good Old-Fashioned Punch & Judy Show

Mike Petersen brings a rare treat to the exposition: one of the most revered and historical puppet show traditions in the world. It’s 350 years old! Kids and adults will love this show with its cast of colorful characters. Petersen is a seasoned theater actor and puppeteer whose abilities easily keep everyone engaged and entertained.

So whether you’re on a lovers’ getaway or bringing the whole family, head to the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, where entertainment is both out of this world and from days gone by.

What You’ll Find at the Marshville Heritage Festival

image001Niagara Falls has long been a family-friendly destination. From the giant, indoor water park to the bevy of miniature golf courses, kids of all ages can find plenty to do and enjoy. While any time is a great time to take a family vacation to Niagara Falls, the first weekend in September is especially ideal, because Labour Day weekend is always when the Marshville Heritage Festival takes place.

Now in its 27th year, the Marshville Heritage Festival exists to showcase what life was like for a typical Wainfleet farm family back in the late 19th century. To accomplish that goal, over 400 volunteers band together — the vast majority of them in period costumes — to recreate the activities of daily life and work as it would have been experienced over 120 years ago. If you ever wanted a reason to be thankful for today’s modern conveniences, while simultaneously feeling nostalgic for a past that’s long gone, the Marshville Heritage Festival is an ideal destination. Here is a closer look at some of what you can expect to find at this year’s festival.

  • Hands-on demonstrations. Throughout each of the festival’s three days, ongoing demonstrations about everything from blacksmithing to musket loading will take place on the grounds and in the buildings.
  • Restored heritage buildings. 15 restored period buildings can be toured on the festival grounds, and they each have different displays and activities in them to shed further light on life in the 19th century.
  • Delicious food. Like all festivals, the Marshville Heritage Festival does a great job of feeding guests, but unlike most festivals, this one has a pig on a spit, apple butter, and soup cooked over an open fire.
  • image003Worship. Attend an old-time worship service on Sunday.
  • A juried craft show. Over 100 makers, crafters, and artisans will be on-site selling their wares.
  • Entertainment. Each day will have a slew of entertainment from live music to horse and wagon rides.
  • Raffles. There will be at least two raffles that take place over the weekend: one for a genuine Amish quilt, and the other for a canoe that will be built on-site over the course of the weekend.
  • Real trades. There will be a working sawmill and a fully operational blacksmith shop on the festival grounds, and both will be running during the weekend.
  • Car Show. While they hail from the 20th century and not the 19th, the festival car show is always a big hit. On Saturday, it will feature cars made before 1950. On Sunday, the cars featured are from 1950 to 1974.

Located in Wainfleet Village, the Marshville Heritage Festival takes place over the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Labour Day Weekend every September. It runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Tickets are $6, and children under 10 get in free. If you’re interested in a Niagara vacation that’s educational, fun, and totally unforgettable, be sure to spend at least a day in the charming village of Wainfleet at the Heritage Festival.

Free Niagara Fun Nobody Knows About

image001Family vacations aren’t cheap, and while traveling in the off-season, packing daily lunches, hitting matinee shows, and putting other cost-saving measures to work can help you spend a little less, your best bet is to travel somewhere that’s more affordable than your average family vacation destination spot.

Well lucky for you, the Niagara region is such a place thanks to the wide variety of free fun that’s readily available, and while some of it is well-known — the fireworks that take place over the waterfalls each night during the summer and the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens to name a couple — there are some lesser-known freebies that are just as fun. From wandering among the delicious offerings at the weekly farmers’ market to taking a lakeside carousel ride, here are some fabulous and free activities.

Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market

Open every Saturday from 6 a.m. until noon all year long, the Niagara Falls Farmers’ Market has been taking place for over 50 years. During the long growing season, you can find everything from peaches and plums to tomatoes and kale — perfect fare for a picnic in one of the city’s parks. You can also often find local cheeses, meat — including a butcher — and wine. While the warmer months do mean more of a selection, even if you’re visiting Niagara in the dead of winter, the farmers’ market will be open, and there will be something there you and your brood will want to see and eat.

Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary and Animal Farm

image003Located in St. Catharines, this 15-acre municipal park sits along the shore of Lake Ontario and is home to some of the most interesting animals, birds, and plants in the entire region. The animal farm has a petting zone that includes rabbits, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, llamas, goats, and more. Native birds, ducks, and geese all make their home in and around the sanctuary’s pond, and migratory birds and waterfowl also pass though. The park is home to one of Canada’s largest and most exotic flowering rhododendron collections, as well as evergreens, willows, and other plants. It’s a great place for marveling at the natural world.

Great Mountain Ginseng Farms

This Niagara-on-the-Lake attraction is a Chinese owned and operated commercial ginseng farm — one of the largest in Canada. Whether or not you and your family are fans of ginseng, a visit to the farm will still give you all an insider’s view into how it’s grown and harvested, and if you’re looking for a sweet treat, they make an amazingly tasty ginseng candy.

Lakeside Park Carousel

Another St. Catharines’ treasure, the Lakeside Park Carousel isn’t exactly free, but at $0.05 a ride, it might as well be. Located in quaint Port Dalhousie, the carousel is great to ride after a walk or picnic or as part of a family scavenger hunt. Be sure to hit it on the weekend, however; it’s only open Fridays from 4pm to 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Head to Niagara for the family vacation of your dreams, and enjoy plenty of fun that’s free and off the beaten path.

The Best Toy Stores in Niagara

image001That Niagara is a great place to go shopping probably comes as no surprise. After all, the region caters to millions of tourists every year, and just about every type of entertainment imaginable is available. Whether you’re looking for a bottle of rare Ontario wine or a snow globe of the city skyline, you can probably find it somewhere within the Niagara Peninsula.

However, shopping for toys isn’t your everyday shopping excursion, regardless of whether you’re a child or a grown-up, and a good toy store promises to be its own worthwhile experience. Whether you’re traveling to the Niagara region with your children on a family vacation or you just want to be sure to get some amazing presents to take back home to them, the Niagara Falls area is home to a decent variety of pretty stellar toy stores. Here are some of the finest — each one sure to have something your little one or little ones will love.

Turtle Pond Toys

Located at 6380 Fallsview Boulevard, Turtle Pond Toys is both a great toy store and a fantastic hobby and game shop. Find your favorite monument or building in the Lego Architecture line, or pick up some 3D puzzles to keep you and the kids occupied on an upcoming rainy day. They also have a wide array of games, stuffed animals, and action figures. Especially if you and your children enjoy goal-oriented toys, Turtle Pond Toys shouldn’t be missed, and because it’s in such a central location, it’s easy to find and get to when you’re out and about.

Big B Comics

A comic book store of epic proportions, Big B Comics is where alternate universes and parallel universes are taken as seriously as the one in which we all currently reside. The third location in the Big B family, the Niagara Falls location opened in 2012, and they’ve been a hit since day one. Find rare gems from the Marvel universe, or pick up that graphic novel your teenage daughter has been dying to get. The store is a veritable feast for readers of comics, but they also have specialty toys and clothing — most of it comic or graphic novel related.

Learning Express Toys of Niagara Falls

image003Located just over the border in Niagara Falls, New York, Learning Express Toys is a classic
neighborhood toy store. The workers are knowledgeable — they call themselves “toy experts” — and many of the toys and games can be handled and played with ahead of purchase, as they pride themselves on providing an interactive experience. Games are routinely demonstrated, and they have an excellent selection of toys, games, skill builders, and more from all over the world. If you’re looking for a unique gift, this store is a great choice.

Toys R Us Express

While it’s smaller in size than your standard Toys R Us, the Express version still has plenty of toys, games, stuffed animals, and more. While you won’t find one-of-a-kind items at this toy store, if you’re in a time crunch but still want to find the perfect gift, Toys R Us Express can be trusted to have a selection that most kids will love.

Just because you’re in Niagara doesn’t mean you have to forget the toys. Head to one of these four excellent shops for games, toys, puzzles, and more, whether you need a gift or a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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.