Old Fort Niagara offers a variety of special programs and activities for the holiday season. Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, the fort will present two days of family fun. On Nov. 25-26 (Black Friday and Small Business Saturday), historical interpreters will lead visitors in period games like bat and trap, blind man’s bluff, stilts, fox and geese, shut the box and draughts (checkers). Visitors will also have the opportunity to join the guard and experience the life of an 18th century soldier. On Saturday, the fort will present 18th century cooking demonstrations in addition to games and guard mount.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, the fort will celebrate the Feast Day of St. Barbara, the patron saint of artillerists. This program will feature a special tour of the fort’s artillery collections finished off with an artillery firing demonstration.
The popular “Castle by Candlelight” returns on Saturday nights, Dec. 10 and 17. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance by visiting Old Fort Niagara’s website at www.oldfortniagara.org. “Castle by Candlelight” features the 1726 French Castle, lit entirely by candles. The Youngstown Garden Club will decorate the building for the holidays, using traditional materials. Visitors will meet historical characters who share their experiences during the 18th century. Twice each night, the fort garrison will perform the “feu de Joie” a firing of joy, involving a rolling fire of muskets and cannons.
The fort will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but will be open daily the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.