If you feel there's something magical about the presence of a single butterfly, imagine having 2000 of them flying about! Thanks to tropical foliage and flowers, a waterfall and an added dose of humidity, the experience becomes downright exotic. Visitors wander the facility's pathways, watching the creatures light on flowers, flutter through the air and create a show of color and fragility. More than 65 species inhabit the space; outside, native counterparts can be found in the butterfly garden. A cafe is available and staff members present butterfly-related programs regularly.
Melaina's expert tip: This is the perfect park to visit on a rainy day, as the indoor tropical park showcases a plethora of butterflies flying high above.
Built on the site of a destroyed hotel (and incorporating portions of the ruins), this garden was completed in 1937. Remaining faithful to the lay of the land, it takes the shape of an amphitheater, and the stage, engagingly, employs the Falls as a backdrop. Formal in nature, the garden features limestone hard-scaping, iron gates, a curved pergola and geometric beds. Water features and rock gardens add character as well, a fact which is not lost on wedding planners and concert promoters.
Melaina's expert tip: If you're here for your wedding, this is the perfect spot to take some photos in front of the various rock gardens and waterfalls.
This somewhat futuristic-looking glass structure, dating to 1945, shelters a host of beautiful, delicate plants. Within its walls, visitors find specimens from all over the world, including orchids, lilies, cyclamen and succulents. Plants used for outdoor displays are also started in the greenhouse and seasonal flower shows are presented. As a special treat, tropical birds add extra color. Outside of the greenhouse are several beautifully kept beds, including one that caters to visually impaired visitors.
Melaina's expert tip: Venture on to this park to take in the beauty of the flowers. Visit during the early summer months as this is the best time to see all the flowers in bloom!
Initially established in 1936, these botanical gardens attract nearly a million visitors each year. In fact, folks can't seem to get enough of NPBG's 100 acres of manicured beds and plantings, which are maintained by a select group of students from the Park's horticultural school. The arboretum features a wealth of specimen shrubs and trees, including flowering cherry trees. Other specialty gardens include those devoted to roses, herbs and vegetables. You'll also see rhododendrons, irises and a wide variety of perennials.
Melaina's expert tip: Visit the specialty gardens during the spring and summer months as the roses, herbs and vegetables are in bloom then!
The beauty of Burgoyne Woods Park is not just the fact that you can let your dog roam free in the 'dog park' area, but it's the fact that you can get the family together for a day filled with barbeques, sports and full on enjoying the company of one another. This park, located in St. Catharines is the perfect oasis for those looking to hop onto the beaten path and take in the beauty of nature, all the while cooling off in the wading pool or sitting under a tree and enjoying the simplicity of park life. Enjoy a day here any time of year.
Melaina's expert tip: If you've decided to venture here for a picnic than be sure to get a spot under the sheltered area so you can take some time out of the sun all the while still enjoying the day.
Niagara on the Lake is certainly known for its wines and perfect outdoor festivals, but if you make the trek on down here, one of the very best spots to go is to The Queen's Royal Park. Not only does it offer up a perfect spot to lay out a picnic, go for a walk, or just take in the sun, but the gazebo is the perfect spot to take the loveliest family photo. This park offers up lovely views of historic Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York to the east as well as Lake Ontario. And the very best thing about the location of this park is that it's just seconds away from the downtown core, so grab a coffee or sandwich from any restaurant and pull out the blanket, you're perfect picnic awaits.
Melaina's expert tip: On a clear day you can see Old Fort Niagara, and The USA just across the way, so be sure to bring your camera for your afternoon at Queen's Royal Park.
Charles Daley Park is the most splendid place to spend the day during those hot summer months. With 22.5 acres of waterfront views, the park is open all year round and offers a plethora of green space and sand to dig your toes in. There are two beaches located on the park, well maintained grasses and a bandshell where many performances occur during the summer months which are mostly free. The Fifteen and Sixteen Mile Creeks both flow into Lake Ontario at Charles Daley Park, providing excellent opportunities for canoeists and hikers. This park truly is the perfect spot for those who love all things about nature.
Melaina's expert tip: The perfect time to stop off at this park is at peak sun time, where you can go out for a canoe ride, have a picnic, than watch as the sunsets, truly a beautiful sight.
This park is certainly a beautifully manicured park frequented by picnickers and locals alike in pursuit of a whole slew of activities. As the birthplace of Canada, this park is certainly home to not only a bunch of activities (baseball field, splash pad, facilities, soccer fields, picnic benches, playground and barbeques) but boasts a historical monument, The Brock Monument. The monument was created to remember Major-General Isaac Brock and Laura Secord, two figures during the War of 1812. Walk up the monument or take some photos in front of it, either or you'll enjoy the beauty of this sight all the while enjoying all of the green space this park offers.
Melaina's expert tip: This is a great spot to bring the whole family along, play a game or two of soccer and have a barbeque. So venture off to the nearest grocery store, grab a whole bunch of food, and get ready for a day of fun.
Located in North St. Catharines this park has it all and so much more. With two lighted soccer fields and lighted tennis courts, games are going on all day and night. There are always local soccer teams either in tournaments or playing regular games so this is a great spot if you're interested in watching a game or two. There is a full-out amazingly designed playground and splash-pad for kids and 11.7 hectares of space to roam freely.
Melaina's expert tip: If you're interested in setting up your own soccer game try to set it up for sometime during the week as there most likely won't be any soccer teams on the field.
Montebello Park is a lovely green space located in busy downtown St. Catharines. The park itself is 2.49 hectares, hosts events and festivals throughout the year and is certainly the perfect spot to enjoy a day outside with family and friends. The park was designed way back in 1887, by Frederick Law Olmstead, a founding father of landscape architecture in the USA. The park is infamous for its yearly Grape and Wine Festival shenanigans. The pavilion and band shell are available to rent for special occasions. The park has washroom facilities, a playground and is surrounded by metered parking.
Melaina's expert tip: Visit Montebello Park every Sunday during June to September for an outdoor concert located at the pavilion and band shell, truly a perfect day.