Category Archives: Heritage

6 things to do in Niagara Falls over March Break

 

March Break is fast approaching, and while the kids are excited to sleep in and leave the homework behind, parents may be looking for ideas to keep them entertained on their week-long break from school. For a fun-filled getaway close to home, Niagara Parks offers attractions for all ages. Whether you’re exploring the area as a day trip or want to stay for a night or two, here are 6 exciting things to do in Niagara Falls over March Break.

 

1. Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara’s Fury, and the Butterfly Conservatory

If you have yet to take the kids to these classic Niagara Falls attractions, March Break is the perfect time to do it. The Wonder Pass makes it easy, providing admission into the three attractions plus two days of WEGO transportation (the hop-on hop-off bus system) and $100 in bonus coupons. The Wonder Pass provides great value, saving you over 55% on the attractions, making them affordable for families. Explore the tunnels behind the Horseshoe Falls, discover the story of the Falls with a 4D experience and moving platform, and visit the 2,000 beautiful butterflies in the indoor rainforest to shake off the cold.

 

2. We Are The Insects at the Butterfly Conservatory

Trade the cold weather for a visit to the magical rainforest at the Butterfly Conservatory. Until March 28, visitors to Niagara Parks can see the We Are The Insects exhibit in the Butterfly Conservatory – it’s included with regular admission or the Wonder Pass. This travelling exhibition is brought to Niagara by the Montreal Insectarium. Visitors can spot insects like the praying mantis, flower beetles, cockroaches, and scorpions plus learn why insects are important to our eco-system and how they adapt and thrive in different environments. For the science lover, there are hands-on workshops for adults and kids!

 

3. Spring Show at the Floral Showhouse

While you’re visiting the area, stop by the Floral Showhouse for a gorgeous display of orchids, succulents, and exotic tropical plants.  Spot tropical songbirds, meander the paths, and relax in the serene Artists Garden.  With eight shows per year, the Spring Show runs until Easter and may be a nice, peaceful stop for the nature-lovers in your family before continuing on to more lively Niagara Parks attractions.

 

4. St. Patrick’s Day Dining at Elements on the Falls

If you thought simply having a break from school was lucky, spend Thursday March 17 in Niagara Parks and make your March Break vacation even more exciting. Mom and Dad can indulge in the three course prix fixe menu at Elements on the Falls for $35 per person while the kids enjoy a bite and marvel at the view of the Horseshoe Falls. (The special menu includes shamrock salad, Guinness-braised corned beef brisket, and Irish Cream bundt cake!) For an added bonus, visit after dark to see the Falls illuminated green for Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” campaign on St. Patrick’s Day!

 

5. Matinees inside a National Historic Site

Ever imagine enjoying a movie where battles were once fought? Niagara Parks is presenting films inside Old Fort Erie for just $5 per person. Enjoy one of these kid-friendly favourites:

March 14 – Happy Feet, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.

March 15 – SpongeBob SquarePants, 10 a.m.

March 15 – The Sandlot, 1 p.m.

March 16 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 10 a.m.

March 16 – The LEGO Movie, 1 p.m.

March 17 – Shaun the Sheep, 10 a.m.

March 17 – How to Train Your Dragon,1 p.m.

March 18 – Ice Age, 10 a.m.

March 18 – Ice Age: The Meltdown, 1 p.m.

 

6. Nature

Discover the beauty of nature during your March Break in Niagara Falls. Hiking is a fun way to get your exercise in and spend time with the family. From 4km of paths at the Niagara Glen to the 50km of trails from Old Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake, there are so many opportunities to get outside and feel refreshed. Visit the Botanical Gardens to admire the beautifully maintained gardens or Oakes Garden Theatre for a panoramic view of the Falls. For a bit of history mixed in with nature, Queenston Heights is home to Brock and Laura Secord Monuments plus tennis courts and a playground. Don’t miss Queen Victoria Park, the main greenspace beside the Falls, steps from Clifton Hill.

 

Remember, children under 5 years old are free at all Niagara Parks attractions! No matter how you choose to spend your March Break in Niagara Falls, the important part is that you’re spending quality time with your family (and maybe you’ll have a little bit of time left over for studies).

 

Amanda Stancati is a travel blogger at tripcentral.ca, a Canadian travel agency with more than 100 travel agents who specialize in the destinations you’re interesting in visiting. They can help you find Niagara hotels and day trips as well as vacation packages, cruises, tours, flights, and more.

 

American Victory at Battle of Chippawa

Battle-of-Chippawa-Grey-Coats-Gun-Blast

THE BATTLE Ends! Be sure to read Part 1 posted June 18 and Part 2 posted June 24th.

How could the Americans win after all those losses?

battle-of-chippawa-redcoats-shootingWell, they had learned a thing or two, after all those failures and it would be the British side underestimating the abilities of their enemy in the final year of the war. The American forces had good young commanders, well trained troops, skilled artillery gunners, aggressive cavalry, large numbers of Native allies and a few tricks up their sleeves. They then used all of their different forces simultaneously to defeat the Redcoats. These were the same tactics the British had used against them for over two years.

The Reenactment Begins

Yes, it’s true, the Americans won a few battles during the War of 1812. On July 5th, local veterans, citizens and volunteers from local museums and historic sites will gather at the Battlefield of Chippawa. This event, started by veterans of more recent wars, has been an annual event for decades. The gathering always takes place on the field, on the day and at the time the battle was coming to a close on July 5th 1814. The commemoration honours the Canadian, British, Native forces, and our American cousins, who fought and died on that summer’s day 200 years ago.

For detailed times please visit the Weekend Event Itinerary.

This will be a much larger reenactment to commemorate its 200 Year Anniversary so don’t miss this historic battle at Niagara Parks!

 

Map to Reenactment Location

Map of Chippawa Reenactment site

Six Nations Involvement in the Battle of Chippawa

Battle of Chippawa - Native Warrior

THE BATTLE CONTINUES! Be sure to read Part 1  posted June 18.

Six Nations in Battle of Chippawa

Preparations for the Battle of Chippawa 200th anniversary continue.

You are invited to experience the Battle of Chippawa reenactment to take place July 5th and July 6th, 2014 on the actual historic site, located at the corner of The Niagara Parkway and Edgeworth Road in Niagara Falls, Ontario (see map below).  Shuttle service will be available.

Six Nations Responds

It may come as a surprise to Canadians that large numbers of Native warriors served alongside the Americans at the Battle of Chippawa.

There were a number of reasons the New York Iroquois chose to serve with U.S. forces. Six Nations villages were destroyed the previous winter by British troops and their Native Allies. This action contravened an agreement between the nations that only allowed warriors to operate on their own side of the river in defense of communities.  The Grand River Iroquois would argue that their New York relatives had broken the promise when some young warriors assisted U.S. troops in Niagara in 1813. The destruction of these villages demanded a response.

New York militia general Peter Porter had worked to provide resources and supplies for Native warriors to encourage assistance and this work paid off in 1814.   Battle of Chippawa - British SoldiersNative leaders were also aware that if they did not assist their American neighbours, they might be forced to move further west. For the 1814 Campaign, Porter’s Third Brigade would include 500 Senecas and Tuscaroras.   Their presence encouraged the quick British surrender at Fort Erie, and at Chippawa they countered the psychological impact Native warriors provided the British forces in earlier battles.

Sadly, on July 5th, in the woods on the western edge of the battlefield, warrior was fighting warrior. After the American victory at Chippawa, almost all the New York Iroquois returned home. They had fought hard and avenged the destruction of their homes but they politely told American commanders they were not interested in continuing a fight with their own brothers.

Three things contributed to the American victory at Chippawa.

  1. The disciplined infantry of Winfield Scott’s First Brigade held the Redcoats.
  2. Scott used his cannons more effectively than his British counterpart Riall.
  3. Native allies protected the American flank preventing the British line from deploying properly.

On July 5th and 6th come experience the history of the Battle of Chippawa as over 700 re-enactors relive this historic battle at Niagara Parks.

For detailed times please visit the Weekend Event Itinerary.

THE BATTLE CONTINUES! Be sure to read Part 3 posted June 30th.

Map to Reenactment Location

Map of Chippawa Reenactment site