Niagara Falls is a dreamy getaway anytime of the year – yes, even in winter! When the temperatures drop and the crowds thin out, Niagara Falls becomes even more magical. The frozen falls and snowy trees only adds to its allure. Even though the city is quieter during this time, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any fun activities and things to do in Niagara Falls in winter. So bundle up and get ready to experience the magic!
1. See the ‘frozen’ falls
Spoiler alert: Niagara Falls rarely freezes over. But, it can happen given the right combination of factors, such as consistently low temperatures over the course of a few days. Seeing a completely frozen Niagara Falls in winter is a treat for both visitors and photographers alike! It will take a bit of luck, since it doesn’t happen very often. Only every few years or so does this natural phenomenon take place! Still, even if Niagara Falls doesn’t completely freeze over, the sight of it in winter is still incredibly beautiful.
2. Go behind the falls
The Journey Behind the Falls takes place in winter too! This 30 to 45-minute tour will take you right into the heart of Niagara Falls. You’ll explore 130-year-old tunnels through the bedrock and truly feel the thunderous vibration of the falls. You will also see the observation deck at the foot of the 13-storey-tall wonder, and probably get a little wet! Don’t forget to bring along a set of extra clothes, since being cold and wet isn’t exactly fun in wintertime. And if you’re thinking of doing other activities in Niagara Falls, it’s worth looking into their deals and packages which includes admission for the Journey Behind the Falls tour.
3. Visit the Niagara Parks Power Station
Uncover fascinating stories within the historic Niagara Parks Power Station, the newest landmark attraction in Niagara Falls. Through immersive exhibits, restored artifacts and interactive storytelling you will get to know the major power plant, and how it harnessed the energy of the Horseshoe Falls and turned it into a source of energy for 100 years. Now, years after its turbines came to a halt, the engineering marvel has a new lease of life giving visitors an entertaining and educational experience.
4. See the Winter Festival of Lights
The Winter Festival of Lights is an annual event and Canada’s largest lights festival. Experience the spectacular displays with three million lights along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and across Niagara Falls. This year, the festival will be held from 13 Nov 2021 to 21 Feb 2022. Wide-open park spaces make for easy physical distancing, and visitors can also enjoy the view from one of the many hotels throughout the city. Best of all, the festival is completely free!
5. Take the kids to the Niagara Falls Bird Kingdom
If you have young ones, then a trip to the Niagara Falls Bird Kingdom is one of the best family-friendly activities. It is also the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary, consisting of three floors of fun and up-close encounters with parrots, lorikeet birds and more. You’ll see thousands of birds flying all around as you explore the pathways of the indoor rainforest, along with waterfalls, rock walls, and beautiful green foliage. An adventure fun for all ages!
6. Try some Niagara Icewine
Touted as Canada’s “liquid gold”, Icewine is a dessert wine renowned for its intense flavours, rich bouquet and unsurpassed smoothness. It is made from grapes left on the vine after the fall harvest. When temperatures dip to -8ºC or lower, the frozen grapes are harvested and pressed immediately to release a thick, rich, yellow-gold liquid, highly concentrated in natural sugars and acidity. Icewine commands a high price, as out of all the wine-producing regions in the world, only Canada has a winter climate sufficiently cold to ensure an Icewine crop every year. It goes without saying that trying some Icewine is a must as part of your Niagara itinerary!
7. Go snowshoeing
Enjoy the crisp winter air and admire the beauty of the season snowshoeing on Niagara Parks’ three winter trails at Whirlpool Golf Course. There is a short, medium and long trail. Try one (or all) of them and enjoy the spectacular winter sights at your own pace. All three trails are self-guided and feature moderate elevation changes and scenic vantage points. It can take between one to two hours to complete the trails. Afterward, dig into some comfort food at the excellent Whirlpool Restaurant!