Staycation: Rooftop Fireworks

Rooftop fireworks. Martinis. 24/7 kitchen. Modern. Views.

There’s a new staycation in town and it may not be where you would first think of one. It’s the Hyatt Place in Niagara Falls, NY and it’s perfectly located within steps of the Seneca Casino, Old Falls St., and the Canadian border.

We packed up for an overnight stay, dropped Chloe off with the grandparents, and rushed on up to the new Hyatt. Already impressed with its location, we were surprised again once we stepped inside and noticed the modern décor: large sphere lights, wood panel walls, a hand-drawn map of downtown Niagara Falls, and wood with metal detail tables that made us wonder if we could sneak one in to the car and take it home.

Greeted by smiling people, we found our room filled with a charcuterie board, fruits, chocolate-covered strawberries, and Prosecco. (Ooo, who are we right now?!) Our room overlooked the mist of the Falls and peered in to Canada. It made us reminisce of our old Clifton Hill days (amiright?!). We spent time at the bar downstairs, noshing on tacos, sliders, and cheesecake while having a breather to finally just be together again. That’s the point of a staycation for two, after all.

Every Saturday they have live music up on their rooftop that overlooks Niagara Falls State Park. Being a little rainy, it was moved to the lower level where people gathered to just chill and enjoy the music. 90s tunes while we had some drinks? Living our best live in our thirties. At 9:45pm, we went up to the rooftop to get cozy for the fireworks. Each Friday and Saturday night, fireworks roar over the Falls and the Hyatt rooftop is the perfect location to watch! The fire lit up the sky and with the city lights as the backdrop and a wave of new appreciation for this part of WNY rushed over us. Low-key, modern, fun…this was everything the Hyatt was bringing to this night.

We took advantage of the location and stopped by the Casino where we ran in to people we knew, had some drinks, danced in the aisles, downed some coffee, and basically broke even on what we spent at Blackjack. Beau is decent at it and I am like a little old lady hitting up the old-school penny slots. Heading back to the Hyatt, we were once again greeted by smiling faces who asked if we were hungry and if there was anything they could get us. Heck ya! A quesadilla and flatbread were ready in under 20 minutes and we relaxed back in our room, this time enjoying the lights across the way.

There we were, 1:30am and way past our bedtime. Parents night out. Oh, it’s a real thing and we thought our friends made it up. Nope. Somewhere between Planet of the Apes, chugging water, and the last flatbread- we fell asleep and slept in until 8am. Oh em gee, 8 fricken in the morning. Is that as late as our bodies would let us? We’ll take it.

Breakfast was light and fresh- French toast, greek yogurt and granola bar, eggs, juice, coffee…the hotel was bumpin’ and we were glad to see it filled with all types of people visiting the area. We got in a workout at the on-site gym and went for swim at the pool which made for a nice morning.

As we packed up, we said goodbye to the GM Stacey at the Hyatt who was so glad to hear our stay was above and beyond our expectations. The service we encountered was wonderful and the view from the roof was what changed our thoughts on having Niagara Falls as a staycation. While we missed Chloe, it was so awesome getting away together for a night and pretending we were boyfriend and girlfriend again. We all need that…us married folk, that is. Think outside the box…go somewhere you normally wouldn’t…uncover new adventures…eat a quesadilla in bed at 2am…reminisce…watch the fireworks from the rooftop. See what happens.

Hyatt Place Niagara Falls // 310 Rainbow Blvd. S Niagara Falls, NY 14303

716.285.5000 // Facebook page // Instagram

Location: minutes to the Seneca Casino, around the corned from Old Falls St., walking distance to Niagara Falls State Park, right at the Canadian border

Breakfast included, contemporary rooms, rooftop

Perfect for: staycations, telling your family and friends where to stay while visiting the falls, event space

Father’s Day Gift Guide at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls

We love shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Beau gets a lot of his wardrobe there and we love that there are 200 shops to peruse through. So of course we were excited to team up with the Fashion Outlets again and go on the hunt to show you some really great Father’s Day gift ideas. The outlets always have every day prices that are up to 75% off- can’t beat that!

They’re not far at all- only a short drive from downtown Buffalo and are really accessible from anywhere in WNY. Here is what we found for gift ideas this Father’s Day at any budget:

Some things about Dads: they usually always need help in the fashion department, they never can have enough grilling tools, and sometimes you just need to get them beef jerky. Beau spotted a wall of jerky at the Beef Jerky Outlet and I had to pry him out the shop before buying the whole store.

Over at Puma they had a buy one get 1/2 off T-shirt sale which is perfect since Beau is the super athletic dad.

Michael Kors has everything for the traveling business guy from shiny watches and matching business travel bag for those on the go.

Raise your hand if your dad has old holey underwear. Yup. We found deals on boxers at Banana Republic that seems like it was too good to be true always fun colorful print.

With stores like J.A. Zwilling Henckels you can stock the shed and garage with grilling tools perfect just in time for the summer. Find all the fun Buffalo goodies at the BFLO shop where you can hook him up with a grilling apron, a Bills koozie, and a South Buffalo shot glass when he’s outside making those burgers. And just in time for Father’s Day Old Navy is opening Saturday, June 16. Doesn’t Dad need some new shorts??

It’s not just clothes at the Fashion Outlets! You can find a gift for literally anybody on your list especially dad Father’s Day. He might even be super proud of you that you saved a lot of money and found the deals without tapping him for some cash.

DETAILS:

Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls / 1900 Military Rd. Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Directory List of Stores

*the list also shows what deals are going on at each store!

Holiday Looks from the Fashion Outlets Of Niagara Falls

We have a secret: all of our great finds happen at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Seriously. Beau gets all of his workout gear from Puma, Chloe gets her fancy pants from Janie and Jack, and I get tons of business attire from J. Crew and Banana Republic. Just to name a few.

We teamed up with the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls- they dared us to find a holiday look without breaking our bank. BRING IT. We were so in. There are tons of stores that have incredible deals, especially in December- each day there is up to 75% off pricing and then on top of those deals you can find the holiday pricing too! It’s so easy to find a handful of different party looks…because you can’t be rockin’ the same outfit at every event.

Don’t believe us? That’s ok- this list here shows you all the deals happening in December. See for yourself. The best part of the Outlets is that they are not that far away. REPEAT: they’re dang close. When we lived in downtown Buffalo, it took us 20 minutes and in Orchard Park it takes us 35 minutes. It’s a nice drive with coffee in hand. Take the 190N for a pretty view of the water if you come from the south. And once you get there, you’ll have plenty of shops in and around the outlets plus a lot of options for refueling with food.

Bring the kiddos because Santa is visiting through 12/24 and the fur babies can hang out with him for photos through 12/21. Check here for details. Chloe held on pretty well for her first shot!

Ok ok, so on to our finds for our next casual holiday party!

Chloe: Janie and Jackhat, shorts, tights
Beau: J.Crew- sweater // Express- pants // Michael Kors- watch
Beau: Puma- sneakers // Chloe: Gap- sweatshirt
Chloe: Janie and Jack- hat, top, jacket
Lindsay: J. Crew- top, skirt // Express- earrings // Banana Republic- tights // bare + BEAUTY- bareMinerals lipstick

Check out the most updated list of stores at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. We think you’ll be surprised. Challenge yourself to check out some unique stores like Sarar for men’s suits, Beef Jerky Outlet for the carnivore in your family, Helly Hansen for outdoor ski wear, Le Creuset for cast iron cookware, Just Cozy has all the holiday leggings for Christmas morning, and DAVIDsTEA has the tea-lover needs. The online site has an easy-to-read map so you can plan out where to park (we like coming in through Saks) and which way you’re headed. Oh and our biggest must-do? You MUST check out the Donut Ninja, a little kiosk in the center of the mall. They’re fryin’ up donuts, they’re local, and we’re obsessed.

Thank you, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, for always helping us find what we need! We’ll see you again real soon.

Chocolate Date for the New Generation: Platter’s Chocolates


We love chocolate. Lots of it. So when we were invited to go hang out at Platter’s and experience their place, there really was no question on if we should go or not.

We noticed Platter’s Chocolates new digs up on Niagara Falls Boulevard in November of 2016 when they opened their new shop. Located in the old Wurlitzer building, they’re more than just a spot to grab some candy- it’s become a full-on destination filled with a modern industrial design and cozy hangout areas for anyone to chill at. Platter’s started with a husband and wife team in 1938 who created their chocolate in their home. After retiring in the late 60’s, a former neighborhood kid bought it in 1972 and kept the tradition while growing at the same time. The family continues on with making it bigger and better!


Saturday afternoon we headed up to North Tonawanda with BabyLovebird Chloe in tow, expecting to peruse shelves full of chocolate. But hold the phone- this place is WAY more than we thought it would be. We were greeted by bright and bubbly Nicole, one of the managers and also part of the owner’s family. Their new location has coffee, lattes, teas, Perry’s ice cream, sundaes, candy, sponge, smoothies, chocolate…it’s a complete surprise when you walk in!

we’re suckers for some good plants

 

 


The space is huge and has nook areas with seating, fireplaces, tv’s, and large windows that look in to their candy and chocolate factory. (of course there are still shelves filled with chocolates and gifts to grab) We both opted for coffee- one iced with Toasted Marshmallow and another hot with orange chocolate- and Beau HAD to get the orange sponge sundae.

 

 

Poor Chloe!! Sorry, baby, you can’t have any yet!The place was bustling; filled with kids and families…a mom and her two college-aged daughters…an older gentleman sitting and reading the paper with his coffee…it’s a new generation of chocolate shops.

While there is no sponge production to watch right now (since it’s humid in the summer!), the machines and operations were all quiet. But come fall, the place will be making and baking like crazy. You will be quite surprised how large their 24,000 square-foot space is and the various types of machinery they use (some even from Germany!).

You can see inside their production room!


Now you can’t pass by Platter’s- you have to go see for yourself! (psstt! It’s only minutes away from the Boulevard Mall) It is too charming not to go again and again and again. We are looking forward to visiting soon to watch the Platter’s and the Chocolate Factory work their magic come sponge season!

Details

  • Platter’s Chocolates / The Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Blvd. / North Tonawanda, NY 14120
  • 716-693-5391
  • M-F 7am-10pm…Saturday 8am-10pm…Sunday 10am-10pm (they’re open late!!)
  • grab chocolate gifts, watch them making sweet treats
  • perfect for family, kids, solo, casual first date, dessert, coffee date
  • Platter’s Chocolates Facebook

 

  • The Orange Chocolate custard with Orange Chocolate Fudge and Orange Chocolate Sponge! Whoa. So damn good!


    they even have teamed up with the new events space inside the Wurlitzer building to have their Chocolate and Sponge at weddings held there!

Local Getaway: Barton Hill Hotel & Jaguar at the Bistro **JAGUAR IS NOW CLOSED- CHECK OUT THEIR OTHER SITE AT CASA AZUL IN DOWNTOWN BUFFALO

One way we like to surprise one another and keep our newly-married life exciting is planning spontaneous getaways. Well, maybe not ‘us’…it’s all guy bird and I take no credit.

‘Good morning, beautiful! I brought you coffee.’

This in itself always starts the weekend off right and adds up brownie points.

‘Pack your bag, we are going on a local getaway.’

Brownie points off the charts.

It is one of the easiest ways to plan time together and keep that butterfly feeling you have when you are first dating. Where were we heading? Lewiston, NY.

Thirty minutes from downtown Buffalo, Lewiston is no stranger to us. Both hailing from Niagara County, it is a childhood staple. Additionally, we’ve celebrated the 4th there a couple times, spent our first summer of dating meeting up at Artpark’s Tuesday events, and had our first date on the river there. A beautiful town with live music, local businesses, and tons of history. Here is a way to make Lewiston a local getaway at any given time:

 

Our pick on where to stay:

Barton Hill Hotel & Spa

 

barton hill hotel & spa site

Built not so long ago, the hotel stands on the land where America planned its invasion in to Canada in 1812. Designed to look as if the building has been there for centuries, Barton Hill has river view rooms, spa services, and is great for weddings. Being very quiet due to the off-season, it felt as if we had the hotel to ourselves. Our Frederick Retreat room was lit by the fire and looked out over the river. The staff was very friendly and accomodating. After settling in, we prepped for date night- dinner at Jaguar at the Bistro.

 

Our pick on where to eat:

Jaguar at the Bistro

Having been on our list for quite some time, watching Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez and his sister Sous Chef Diana Parra at the Nickel City Chef Competition last week really made us stop putting off dinner reservations. Their restaurant, Jaguar at the Bistro, is in Youngstown- just north of Lewiston- tucked away inside the village. We went straight for the Tasting Menu which gives you the opportunity to have the chefs create what they want and truly gives you insight in to where their heart and soul lives. Always go for the chefs menu, anywhere!

It was a quiet Saturday evening, with an old inn feel and a pianist filling the air. Do not let the ambiance confuse you- the cuisine is a twist on Mexican cuisine and specifies pieces from the chefs childhood home of Acalpulco and their travels. Our server, Jessica, was joyful and attentive as we were led through the courses. There is nothing more exciting to us than not knowing what will be put in front of us!

First course: pork bone broth with corn


Second course: we have never had octopus as tender as this…


Third course: pork belly with mole, cactus, cotija…


Fourth course: 

Three parts to the dessert course! The first part…we ate. Sorry, guys! It was atole ice cream, made by Chef Victor Parra earlier that day. Atole is a warm drink made of corn, vanilla, and cinnamon. We could have eaten an entire pint. Part two: chocolate macarons with chocolate ganache and blood orange. Sous Chef Diana is the one who reigns over the desserts and it shows. We are suckers for beautifully plated food and flavor pairings you would never imagine would work.


Third part: flan with warm berries. It is safe to officialy say we will never want flan anywhere else. We learned that goat milk is the trick in making this so incredibly creamy.

Having the chefs sit down with us and tell us about the passion behind their food and where their inspiration stems from was a memorable and exhilarating experience. We love when the people behind the plates share their souls. You learn the story, you connect through food.

It has been a while since we were last blown away by a food date night and Jaguar at the Bistro nailed it. They are opening a location on the West Side in Buffalo this spring and we could not be more excited. So what does this mean for you right now?

Scope out their website here and plan your date night by calling for a reservation and get the Tasting Menu. Let them know ahead of time so the chefs can gather what is needed. You may be in quaint Youngstown but dress it up. You’re not gonna see a burrito on this menu (break out of that stereotypical Mexican cuisine mind), so get ready for an incredible experience.

We have towns and villages within minutes of Buffalo- or wherever you may be living right now. Venture out somewhere you usually would not and turn it in to a local getaway. It will allow you to reconnect with each other and rediscover what is in your own backyard.

Check out Part 2: Waking Up in Lewiston

 

entry in Barton Hill Hotel

 

jaguar at the bistro, youngstown, ny

 

inside jaguar at the bistro

 

Buffalovebirds’ Resource Guide: Things-to-Do In Buffalo

Sometimes your brain is just DONE come Friday at 5:01pm. You want to relax and have fun, but sometimes you just can’t think of what to do. We often find ourselves with this dilemma, especially after a long week, and make sure to touch base with our favorite resources online to figure out a date night. We compiled our top ones for you to check out and save on your bookmarks via computer or smartphone:

photo: stepoutbuffalo.com

stepoutbuffalo.com

We love this crew! If you want numerous ideas on things to do in and around the city, this is a great site to scroll through. Everything from food & drink, music, the arts, a city guide…there is bound to be several events and places in here that any couple would LOVE to venture out to. The site is extremely user-friendly and perfect for a last minute decision.

Follow Step Out Buffalo on: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

photo: buffalorising.com

buffalorising.com

Set this as your homepage so you always know what is happening around here. From new construction to local events, music to art, politics to cleanups- Newell’s site is what keeps you up-to-date with the area. You can also navigate the tabs for city, food, lifestyle, and more to make sure you know all about the latest restaurant opening or underground event to attend.

Follow Buffalo Rising on: Twitter // Facebook

photo: visitbuffaloniagara.com

visitbuffaloniagara.com

It’s been fun to see sites, like Step Out Buffalo, really beef up their websites the past couple of years since our city resurgence has taken flight. (we will get there, one day!) Another kick-butt site is Visit Buffalo Niagara. The ultimate go-to site (and visitor center- located across the street from the Hotel Lafayette) for the entire region of Western New York. It breaks down everything from history to Niagara Falls, neighborhoods to itineraries, food and drink, and where to stay in the area. Excellent for out-of-towners and locals alike. I mean, just look at the website. We are obsessed.

Follow Visit Buffalo Niagara on: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

photo: wutsupbuffalo.com

wutsupbuffalo.com

Wuts Up Buffalo was started by ‘a group of distinguished gentlemen’ over ‘many cases of beer’, ‘breakups’, and something about a zebra in order to bring you a calendar list of events happening in Buffalo. Literally our favorite part on this site is the calendar- you can view by month or day and each event listing links to everything you need to know. We often peruse this on those Saturday evenings where we go, ‘ehhh, what do ya wanna do?’ WutsUpBuffalo has never failed us.

Follow Wuts Up Buffalo on: Twitter // Facebook

Now you have no excuses that there is ‘nothing to do’ or you ‘can’t find anything’ out there! These are four of our favorite resources to use and there are a great many more out there to discover! Happy dating 🙂 Where will you go this weekend?