When you tell someone you’re taking a winter vacation to Niagara Falls most people might look at you like you’re crazy. It’s winter! Why not somewhere warm like Florida, Hawaii, or the Caribbean?
The fact is that winter is one of the best times to visit Niagara Falls. Not only is the entire area a sparkly, winter wonderland but because it’s off-season you’ll save money on everything, including your Niagara Falls hotel, and that also means fewer crowds at your favorite attractions.
If you like the idea of saving money and a vacation the whole family will love, these are five winter activities that you kids will love, and parents are going to have a great time too.
1. Journey Behind the Falls
Another year-round attraction that might even be better in the winter is the Journey Behind the Falls tour. This tour gives you opportunity to see the falls from behind and below and prices are reduced during the winter because the lower observation deck is too icy.
However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy the view of from the upper deck. In some cases the falls themselves might freeze and seeing that from this unique vantage point is an experience you won’t soon forget. Just don’t forget to bundle up and wear sturdy boots, and a waterproof camera might be a good idea as well.
2. The Butterfly Conservatory
Another incredible Niagara attraction that is open all year is the world famous Butterfly Conservatory. Part of the Niagara Parks system, the conservatory is home to over 2,000 butterflies in a special, indoor, climate-controlled environment.
Several paths wind through the conservatory and you’re free to wander amongst the tropical plants and flowers that the butterflies call home. Be sure to bring your camera because you won’t want to miss it when one of these colorful creatures decides to land on your child’s head or hand. But do remember to remind your children that touching the butterflies can injure them and is strictly against the rules.
3. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Just because it’s snowy and icy outside doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy a day of fun in the water. The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is open all year and offers slides, pools, and other activities for kids of all ages and swimming abilities.
A cafe is onsite for drinks and snacks and there’s even a hot tub for the adults. So when your naysayer friends ask again why you’re going to Niagara during the winter just remind them that you’ve packed a swimsuit for your day at the indoor waterpark.
4. The Winter Festival of Lights
One of the most extensive and beautiful light displays anywhere in the world, the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights takes place from November 19, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Eight kilometers of tracks and trails are illuminated with sparkly lights in the trees and light displays such as the largest illuminated Canadian/American flag in the world.
Fireworks displays take place weekly and you can check the dates here. The falls themselves are illuminated as is the Toronto Power Generating Station which also includes a sound and light show. This is one of Niagara’s most popular winter attractions and you don’t want to miss it.
5. Clifton Hill
While Clifton Hill and its attractions are definitely more popular in the spring and summer months, many people don’t know that most of the complex is indoors. In fact, the only attraction that is outdoors is the Dinosaur mini golf. So you can let your kids play all the arcade games they want without even having to wear a jacket. The famous Sky Wheel even heats the booths during the winter so you can get a bird’s eye view of Niagara Falls and still stay toasty warm.
The Clifton Hill Fun Pass is the best way to maximize your time and save money. It includes two Sky Wheel Rides, a round of mini golf on the Wizard course, entry to the wax museum, a 4D theater experience, and more. Clifton Hill is a great place to stay warm and have fun with the whole family.
Winter vacations don’t always have to be about beaches and sunshine. Sometimes a wintery destination is not only going to save you money but also be incredibly fun and exciting. So pack up your kids and your swimsuits for a winter trip to Niagara Falls that you’ll never forget.