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Family Skate n' Wine at Ravine Vineyard (NOTL, Ontario)
1st entry for Circus Living's special feature 'The Hidden Gems of Niagara'
Ravine Vineyard located in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
Ravine Vineyard, however, is a winery which attempts to cater to families as well as adults. For the winter season, they have constructed an outside ice skating rink for anyone to use for free. It is located right on their winery's property so if you fancy some wine tasting afterwards or simply want to head indoors to warm up, their tasting room offers a variety of wines ready for your tastebuds complete with a cozy rolling fire burning in the hearth.
We headed there with Papa (great grandpa) a couple of weekends ago because Ronan and Kiarra wanted to go skating. We stumbled across the skating rink in our search to find a rink that would accommodate skating aids. Most if not all indoor arenas simply do not permit it in the Niagara Region. I am not sure as to why but I imagine it is because the arenas would be concerned about them taking up too much space.
Ronan learning how to skate at Ravine Vineyard
Skating with papa and dad at Ravine Vineyard's skating rink
We visited on a Sunday morning around 10:30 AM and we had the skating rink all to ourselves. Most people who were visiting were there for the ice wine tasting - we visited during the Ice Wine festival. When I posted about the outside skating rink on a Niagara family group online, I found numerous members of the group were not aware of the skating rink - a hidden gem so to speak.
If you are planning to visit the outside rink, I would ensure to really bundle up since we found that it was breezy at times. A Niagara mom asked me if they offered skate rentals and for anyone else wondering the same thing, the answer is no. The outside rink is an informal makeshift rink made available for visitors to use for free. And what I mean by informal is you will need to bring your own skates and helmet - there is no equipment rental available here folks. There are a few used skates shops in the Niagara region selling skates for $15+ so if you or your kids need skates and are concerned about costs (yes, skates can get quite expensive!), I would start there. They sell helmets in the used skate shops as well.
The rink at Ravine Vineyard
Papa taking a breather at Ravine Vineyard
1) For pizza lovers, they have an outdoor pizza oven located in their own backyard! Their pizza oven opens on the Victoria Day weekend (May 16-18, 2015)
So there you have it, a hidden gem we gleefully discovered in the Niagara Region. So, if you are interested in some free ice skating plus some wine tasting and a meal to top it off while it is still cold outdoors, what are you waiting for? Ravine Vineyard is just the ticket.
The view at Ravine Vineyard
To find out the next Niagara family-based attraction we will be featuring in our 2nd installment of the 'The Hidden Gems of Niagara' feature, make sure to stay tuned by liking our page on facebook!