As August draws to a close, you may be wondering what there is to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake come fall.

In fact, fall is a wonderful time to visit. The summer crowds have dispersed. The weather is ideal for cycling, walking or running along our numerous off-road paved trails. The Shaw Festival continues on through October. Farmers’ markets sprout up throughout the region. Food and wine festivals and winery tours at Peller Estates Winery, Trius Winery at Hillebrand, Ravine Winery and a multitude of others are in full swing. Restaurants, such as the Old Winery, the Stone Road Grille, The Cannery at the Pillar and Post Hotel and the delightful Ravine Winery Bistro, feature fresh local produce on their seasonally inspired menus. And by mid-September, fall colours begin to erupt along the Niagara Parkway and the Niagara Escarpment where golfers can find a number of championship courses to play. And of course there’s always time for a spa treatment, such as those offered at any of the three Vintage Hotel properties in town, Q124 on Queen Street and, my particular favourite, OSpa at the Oban Inn.

Fall is a celebration of food and wine in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Fall is a celebration of food and wine in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Here are some dates to keep in mind when planning your fall getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake:

Bravo Niagara, September 5, from 8 to 11 p.m. at Chateau des Charmes Winery
Set amidst the picturesque backdrop of this award-winning vineyard, enjoy the sounds of the Ehnes Quartet featuring nine-time Juno award-winning violinist James Ehnes, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, violist Richard O’Neill and cellist Robert deMaine.

Polo Niagara, September 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Niagara Common
Join The Toronto Polo Club for two four-chukker games plus a half-time show on the Commons. General admission is $10 per person.

Spend an entertaining afternoon watching polo and taking in half-time entertainment on September 6 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Spend an entertaining afternoon watching polo and taking in half-time entertainment on September 6 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, September 12 & 13, from 7 to 11 p.m., Fort George
This festival of epic proportions promises to entertain, astonish and delight all ages over a two-day event. The exhibition will feature entertainment from Steam-Powered Giraffe, Professor Elemental and Abney Park, along with other headliner musical guests. Tickets range from $25/adult for the Friday Evening Pass and welcome concert to $120/adult for the Weekend Pass plus Gala Saturday evening concert.

Willowbank Stone Festival, September 12 & 13, from 12 noon to 12 midnight, 14487 Niagara Parkway, Queenston
This celebration of stone, art and craft, environment and community includes workshops, demonstrations, lectures, live music and children’s activities.

Niagara Wine Festival, September 13–28:
If you have not booked your bed and breakfast, inn or hotel accommodation in Niagara-on-the-Lake yet for this popular annual event, hesitate no longer.

Wine Country Fare, September 13, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Peller Estates Winery
Party in the vineyard with a boot-stomping country DJ and Juno award-winning country artist Brett Kissel. More than eight food trucks and beautiful harvest wine will keep you satisfied. There’ll even be a mechanical bull on site for those who want to kick it up a notch. Tickets are $39 per person plus taxes and food and wine purchases.

Join Juno award-winning Brett Kissel at the Wine Country Fare at Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake on September 13.

Join Juno award-winning Brett Kissel at the Wine Country Fare at Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake on September 13.

First Annual 5K Race for Alzheimer’s Research, Saturday, October 4, 4 to 8 p.m., Simcoe Park
There are two race options: the 1K fun run begins at 4:45 p.m.; the 5K chip timed run starts at 5:15 p.m. Registration takes place at Simcoe Park in Niagara on the Lake by the band shell between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Or call Andrea Brock at 905-582-2131 or email andrea@liferunningseries.com. You can also register online at www.liferunningseries.com.

Museum Faire, October 5, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., Agora-on-the-Common
Come experience Parks Canada Agora, a new unique structure that has been under construction for almost two years. Vote for the “celebrity” panelist you think is telling the truth about an unusual object to win a fabulous prize. There’ll also be a fabulous selection of gourmet delights prepared by some Niagara’s best chefs (one glass of wine is included in the ticket price). There will also be a huge silent auction, musical entertainment and more. Tickets are $50 each.

Taste the Season, Friday-Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 7 to 30
“Taste the Season” passports allow you to sample wine and food pairings at each of the 28 wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake throughout the month of November.

Fabulicious, November 13 to 20
Here’s your opportunity to dine at 17 of the finest restaurants in Niagara-on-the-Lake featuring special three-course prices. Participating restaurants include the Cannery Restaurant at Pillar & Post Hotel, The Epicurean, Peller Estates Winery Restaurant, Ravine Vineyard Bistro, the Stone Road Grille, Trius Winery at Hillebrand, among others.

There are so many more highlights I could list, but I think you get the picture. With so much happening, now’s the time to book your favourite bed and breakfast, inn or hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Posted by Donna Vieira, owner of Globetrotters Bed & Breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake