Written by: Sandy Howe
First of all…Welcome (back) to Brock!
When you stop and take a look around campus this week, one word comes to mind every time: NEW. New students. A new year. New construction. New ideas. New experiences. New friends. New goals. I remember being new to Niagara four years ago, and let’s face it, sometimes being new has it’s “ups”, but it can also come with its fair share of awkwardness! Things like, where do I go to eat and drink good stuff? What are some highlights of the area? What is there to do? I need a new cool hang out spot! The list goes on and on…
To help answer these, and to pump some cool things my friends and I have found over the years, I’ll aim to post at least one thing here each week that you can do in Niagara! I hereby challenge you to create a “Niagara Bucket List” for the next 8 months (and beyond! If you stay for the summer, Niagara is one of the greatest places in Ontario to be, in my opinion!) and get out to see what this region has to offer, both near the campus and in the greater area.
This is an article that helped me when I first arrived and might help you with your bucket list. If you’re trying not to read too much while you’re resting up for all those text books, let me help you break it down:
- Did you know that Niagara has a drive-in movie theatre?
- Is home to a carousel that came to St. Catharines almost 100 years ago that you can still ride for only 5 cents?
- Over 75 wineries and six great craft breweries?
- A boat excursion that takes you (in a poncho of course!) right up to one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world?
- More than enough street food and food trucks to keep you from being hungry for a very long time?
Niagara also has amazing farms and fresh produce that you can find at local farmer’s markets all around the region, amazing views from the escarpment, the beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and of course, over 1000km of Bruce Trails that you can take advantage of starting right on our campus!
Aside from these, plenty happens in the area every week. Coming up this week are:
- Niagara Food Festival – Friday–Sunday, September 5-7 (a quick walk from the Welland bus terminal). The Niagara Food Festival offers fantastic food from local restaurants (Niagara has some good eats!), celebrity chefs including Chuck Hughes and Anna Olson, great live music featuring David Wilcox this year and much, much more.
- Yoga in Montebello Park with Moksha Yoga – Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm through September 10th (arrive a bit early to get a spot!). Pay just a $5 drop in fee to join in on what many described last summer as “attending a 60 minute yoga retreat right in our own backyard”. Bring your own mat!
- Niagara Greek Festival – Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 11am-11pm, St. Catharines. This festival features great Greek food and treats, live music and dancing, and a small market of vendors.
Farmer’s markets are still happening every week and fresh, local produce is awesome this time of year:
- Brock University – Fridays 11:30am-1:30pm in Jubilee Court until September 12th. Find food and wine, fresh produce, desserts and artisans all to the sound of great live music right on our campus.
- St. Catharines Farmer’s Market – Thursday and Saturday 6am-3pm, and Tuesdays noon-8pm (the evening market will include the regular farmers’ market vendors, plus wineries, food trucks, craft breweries and entertainment).
If transportation is what’s holding you back, don’t let that stop you! Google maps can help with the bus schedule if you simply put in your start and end locations and click on the bus icon to find out which bus routes get you to these spots!
Have a great weekend getting settled in and I hope you also get a chance to explore Niagara. Share your highlights as well by tweeting #ExploreNiagara.
Enjoy this great region!