Outdoor winter activities: what Niagara has to offer

Photo Credit: Elijah Hail on Unsplash

Photo Credit: Elijah Hail on Unsplash

When you are finished binge watching your favourite shows and catching up on a few Z’s after those late night study sessions, check out some of the great winter activities Niagara has to offer.

Outdoor Ice Rinks

Growing up here in Niagara my favourite winter activity was skating, but not at an arena. An outdoor rink adds to the experience. Welland has had outdoor rinks for as long as I can remember. My two favourites were Chippawa Park and Woodlawn Park. Check out the website for their outdoor rinks, welland.ca/RecCulture/publicskating.asp.

As reported here at The Brock Press, St. Catharines started a pilot project in order to bring volunteer outdoor rinks to the city. The City of St. Catharines will have the first outdoor skating rink this winter run by the Fitzgerald Neighbours. Check out the new rink this winter.

“Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor ice rink at St. Patrick’s Park (St. Patrick’s Ward), located at 64 Catharine St.,” said Kaylea Cassano, operations planner for the City of St. Catharines.

Winter Hiking

Personally, winter is my favourite time of year to hike. Why? No bugs and no snakes. Dress in layers and enjoy the cooler temperatures in one of the many trails Niagara has. Close to Brock there is Short Hills Provincial Park which is a quick drive. There are numerous trails off Brock’s parking lots and behind the university and if you are willing to explore, these trails connect to other trails that form what some call the loop. For other trial options go to niagararegion.ca/exploring/trails.aspx.

If you have transportation available to you, my personal favorite spot to hike is at Rockway Conservation Area. There are two waterfalls on this hike to enjoy. Check out the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for more information on Rockway and other areas to explore: npca.ca/parks/rockway/.

Tobogganing

Whether on big or little hills tobogganing is always fun but a little scary. My two favourite spots to toboggan in Niagara are the little hills at Jaycee Park off Ontario street and if you want to travel a little further, Charles Daley Park off the QEW in Jordan is a little more adventurous. Warning, these hills take a little more effort to climb and end at the lake for added danger.

For those that are not interested in physical activities, Niagara Falls has their Winter Fireworks Series running until January.  This series is put on by Winter Festival of Lights and is completely free. The fireworks start at 9:00 p.m.

The event schedule according to the website runs Fridays: December 6, 13, 20, 27, January 3 and 10, 2020. Nightly from Dec. 21 to Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 to 5. On New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31 at 9:00 p.m. and midnight. The final days to experience these performances will be Jan. 10, 11 and 12, 2020.

Check the website for any changes to the program: wfol.com/niagara-falls-fireworks/.

If you want to stick around your own place there is always the go-to snowball fights or building snow creations like forts, sculptures, people and animals.  But of course that requires snow.

Get out and enjoy the winter and the time off while experiencing the Niagara Region.

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