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Winter in Niagara Falls – 20 Ways To Experience Niagara Falls In Winter

Niagara Falls, Ontario, has amazing year-round activities for the whole family! Check out these amazing things to do during winter in Niagara Falls

Winter In Niagara Falls Journey Behind The Falls

What is it about Winter in Niagara Falls, Ontario, that captures the imagination of so many visitors? This magical town has become one of the honeymoon capitals of the world. Part of the reason for its popularity is that it’s the home of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

The majestic Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. But Niagara Falls, Canada, has so much more to offer visitors. Especially for those looking for family adventures. And for those visiting Niagara Falls during winter, the fun doesn’t have to stay indoors. If you’re looking at how to spend winter in Niagara Falls, we’ve laid out the best of the best for you to experience Niagara Falls in its most beautiful season!

This article adds some new attractions for Niagara Falls in winter that have been added as recently as 2020. And, while we are focusing on Niagara Falls Canada here, you can also read about our views of the Canadian Vs. The American side of Niagara Falls here.

Frozen Niagara Falls in wintertime

What Is There To Do During Winter in Niagara Falls?

Although Niagara Falls is often considered a summer destination, winter in Niagara Falls is one of my favorite times to visit. Even visiting Niagara Falls with kids is awesome during the winter. And we always make sure to do at least one trip each year.

The bustling summer crowds have died down to manageable levels. And the frosty air gives Niagara a magical glow that can’t be seen at other times of the year. But just because the city is quieter during the colder months doesn’t mean that there aren’t awesome things to do during winter in Niagara. Here are some of my favorites.

Witness Niagara Falls in it’s Frozen Glory

Having a chance to witness Niagara Falls on any day is incredible. But getting a chance to see A frozen Niagara Falls is something truly special. The Falls rarely freezes over completely. But it can happen if the right number of days in the low digits occurs. Witnessing the huge mounds of ice against the emerald-colored waters is a treat for photographers and casual observers alike. If you get lucky, you might even get the chance to see Niagara Falls completely frozen. It doesn’t happen often, but every few years this natural phenomenon takes place when the weather stays very cold for about a week.

Frozen Niagara Falls in Winter

Enjoy A Legendary Winter Niagara Falls Fireworks Shows

Light and Fireworks shows are famous in Niagara Falls. In addition to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, there are over 20 fireworks displays with the stunning Horseshoe Falls as the backdrop. Niagara Falls fireworks displays are done at the Ontario Power Generating facility just off the Niagara Parkway.

The winter fireworks in Niagara Falls begin at the same time as the Winter Niagara Falls Light Show. The fireworks run every Friday night at 9 pm. The fireworks are 4 minutes long. And from December 23-29, the Ontario Power Generation features the Niagara Falls fireworks shows every night.

Watching Fireworks over Niagara Falls Ontario is one of the best ways to spend winter in Niagara Falls Canada
Photograph by Samericnick. Used under creative commons licence

Get A Unique View On The Journey Behind the Falls

Believe it or not, the Journey Behind the Falls Niagara Falls attraction still runs during the winter. During winter in Niagara Falls, this is one of the best perspectives of one of the world’s most famous waterfalls.

This 30-45 minute tour includes a visit to the 13-story Niagara observation deck. Visitors to the Journey Behind the Falls in Niagara can also explore the series of 130-year-old tunnels directly behind the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara.

Just a warning, though, that you may get wet. Depending on the direction and strength of the wind, that spray can really blow. So, if you’re doing the Journey Behind the Falls in Niagara, make sure you have a change of clothes handy. Being cold and wet can make a great day during winter in Niagara seem not so fun. The Journey Behind the Falls is another attraction covered by the Niagara Adventure Pass.

Winter In Niagara Falls Journey Behind The Falls

Take In The History Of The Falls At The Niagara Power Generating Station

Visitors take in the Niagara FAlls Power Generating Station show "Currents"
Currents at Niagara Falls Power Generating Station

The newest experience on display in Niagara Falls is a year-round event at the newly-opened Niagara Power Generating Station. The station, which sits in one of the most regal buildings along the Niagara River just a 5-minute walk from Table Rock, generated electricity from the falls for over 100 years before shutting down in 1999.

The building sat unused for years until 2020, when Niagara Parks refurbished the property to use it as a chance for visitors to experience how important hydroelectricity was to shaping Niagara Falls and southwestern Ontario.

During the day, visitors can enter the building for guided tours of the station and learn how it tapped into the power of Niagara Falls to supply electricity to many regions of the province.

But it’s at night when the building truly comes to life.

The interactive light and sound experience called “Currents” is an event that no visitor to the city should miss. Especially if you’re visiting Niagara Falls with kids. The show takes you through the history of this Niagara waterfall from the ice age to modern times in a spectacular journey of color and story. You can save some money by combining the Currents show along with Journey Behind the Falls and daytime access to the power generating station in one ticket.

Catch A Glimpse Of Summer At The Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory

One of our favorite things to do in Niagara Falls in the winter is the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory. A walk through the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls is a perfect way to shake off the winter cold and get a reminder of what summer is like.

Walking through this gorgeous butterfly museum is like a trip through a magical flying garden. And it will be sure to delight parents and children alike. A visit to the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is also included in the Niagara Adventure Pass.

Make sure you dress in layers before visiting the Niagara Butterfly Garden though, they keep the temperature pretty warm in there, so your heavy winter clothes will make you sweat before too long.

Things To do in Niagara Falls with Kids Niagara Butterfly Conservatory

Warm Up With A View At The Bird Kingdom

The Niagara Falls Bird Kingdom is another great attraction covered by the Niagara Adventure Pass. The Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls is a fantastic, family-friendly Niagara Falls attraction. The Niagara Bird Aviary is three floors of fun that include up-close encounters with reptiles, bats, turtles, and more.

Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls also includes one of the most beautiful aviary attractions we’ve experienced. A Niagara Adventure Pass lets you experience waterfalls, rock walls, and beautiful foliage. And the whole experience is filled with thousands of birds flying all around. The Bird Kingdom is one of our favorite things to do in Niagara Falls in the winter.

Niagara Falls with kids Bird Kingdom Aviary

Get Your Garden Inspiration At The Niagara Falls Floral Showhouse

One of the nicest attractions of the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights is the Niagara Falls Floral Showhouse. This oasis across from the Ontario Power Generating plant is a highlight of the Niagara Falls Light Show. Not only is the building beautifully lit, but a visit inside the Florals Showhouse offers respite from the cold winter air.

The Floral Showhouse in Niagara Falls has a two-story waterfall surrounded by a beautiful collection of exotic plants. Those visiting Niagara Falls with kids will love the train that runs outside. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the many creative birdhouses as well.

Niagara Falls Floral Showhouse lit up for the Winter Festival of Lights on during winter in Niagara Falls Ontario

Get Slippery At The Niagara Falls Waterparks

Niagara Falls is home to two amazing Niagara waterparks. The Niagara Fallsview Waterpark is located just one block from the main viewing platform for Niagara Falls.

Niagara Fallsview Waterpark is connected directly to the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, as well as Casino Niagara. That means that you don’t even need to walk out in the cold air to visit if you’re staying in one of these great hotels.

Plus, both of these hotels offer excellent views of the famous Canadian falls. Check out prices and availability of Sheraton on the Falls here. And the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview here.

The other great Niagara Falls Waterpark is located further down the Niagara Parkway towards Niagara-on-the-lake at Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls. Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls isn’t just a Niagara Falls indoor waterpark. It’s is a full-fledged family theme park.

It features themed attractions, water parks, spas, and great restaurants. You can check out the prices and availability of Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls here.

Niagara Fallsview Waterpark with kids

Get Into The Winter Fun Of Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill Niagara Falls is where all the tack and wackiness of this city is in its full glory. Packed full of fun houses, mazes, restaurants, haunted houses, and more, Clifton Hill is a playground for people of all ages.

Some of the top Niagara Falls attractions on Clifton Hill are the Midway, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Movieland Wax Museum, and much, much more.

The street is the busiest spot in the city, even during the Niagara Falls winter. You may have a hard time finding parking on Clifton Hill directly. Check further up the hill or pay for parking at one of the hotels such as the Crowne Plaza or Sheridan.

Clifton Hill Niagara Falls Ontario is a fun place for winter in Niagara Falls

Take In The View From The Niagara Falls Skywheel

Located right behind the Niagara Falls Midway off of Clifton Hill is the Niagara Falls Skywheel. It is a wonderful way to spend winter in Niagara Falls. Views from the Niagara Falls Ferris wheel are amazing.

Its height makes for incredible panoramic views of the city, and especially the Falls. The Niagara Falls Skywheel is especially beautiful at night when the Festival of Lights illuminates the city.

Niagara Falls Skywheel on Clifton Hill to experience winter in Niagara Falls with kids

Enjoy A Snowshoeing Adventure At The Niagara Falls Whirlpool Golf Course

One of the newest winter attractions in Niagara Falls is the Niagara Parks snowshoeing experience at the Whirlpool Golf Course. This awesome experience lets you explore the grounds of the famous Whirlpool Golf Course when it’s covered in a deep layer of powder.

It’s not rare for the local deer to be wandering around the course, so keep your eye out. It can take between one and two hours to complete the loop of the Niagara snowshoe trails. Afterward, you can enjoy some comfort food at the excellent Whirlpool restaurant.

Whirlpool Golf Course Snowshoeing in Niagara Falls during winter

There’s no surprise as to why Niagara Falls, Ontario has made it onto our list of the 10 bucket list destinations in Canada. And winter in Niagara Falls is one of the best times of the year to experience this fun and exciting city. From the chance to see the Horseshoe and American Falls in all of their frozen glory to all the amazing Niagara Falls attractions, Niagara is a fantastic family getaway.

Winter Festivals In Niagara Falls

Just like any world-class city, Niagara Falls is full of incredible festivals and celebrations in winter. Just because it can be cold doesn’t mean that you need to hibernate. Get out and enjoy some of these incredible celebrations during winter in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls Winter Festival Of Lights

One of our favorite things to do during winter in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights. This popular Niagara Falls lights festival runs from mid-November through the end of January. The Winter Niagara Falls light show has been running since 1982.

It is now one of the largest winter light shows in Canada. All along the Niagara Parkway and throughout the city of Niagara Falls, Canada, you will find a mesmerizing display of over 2 million lights. The Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls is a perfect attraction for kids in Niagara.

It’s easy to explore, and the early nights of Canada’s winters mean that even young children can experience running through the winter light displays before bedtime. 

The Niagara Falls Festival of Lights winter festival runs from mid-November to mid-January. Displays take place throughout the city. They include Queen Victoria Park, Dufferin Island, Light displays along Niagara Parkway, Skylon Tower, near Fallsview Casino Resort, along Fallsview Boulevard and Stanley Avenue, and Murray Hill aka Snowflake Hill.

The Dufferin Island display is especially popular and often results in a long line of cars. If you don’t mind braving the cold, you can walk the Dufferin Island display as well. 

Niagara Falls Festival of Lights is one of the ways to spend winter in Niagara Falls, Ontario

New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Fireworks continue year-round. And that means that expectations for New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls have a really high bar to entice visitors. And year after year, the team at Niagara Parks blows away expectations with bigger and better New Year’s Eve displays.

Niagara Falls New Year celebrations include fireworks, live entertainment, light shows, and more. The celebrations begin at 8:00 pm on January 31 and run past midnight. Make sure to arrive early at Queen Victoria Park in order to get a decent spot. The New Year’s celebration is free of charge.

Niagara Icewine Festival

One of the perfect ways to spend a winter day is at the Niagara Icewine Festival in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake. While it may seem like an adults-only activity, the whole family can enjoy the Niagara Icewine Festival.

The Niagara Icewine Festival features amazing food, and the whole family will love the beautiful Niagara escarpment outdoor scenery. The Niagara Icewine Festival runs in mid-January every year.

You can read more about our experience at the Niagara Icewine Festival here.

Ice glass at the Niagara Icewine Festival in Ontario Canada during winter in Niagara Falls

Other Things to Do During Winter In Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara’s Fury

Niagara’s Fury is an immersive 4-D experience that relives the formation and changes of Niagara Falls in an encompassing 360-degree sensory experience. Discover the ancient story of Niagara Falls in 4D and re-live the exciting experience in this 360-degree multi-sensory theatre. The Niagara Parks Adventure Pass also includes the Niagara’s Fury experience.

Niagara Falls Skylon Tower

The Skylon Tower is an observation tower and restaurant that offers one of the best views of Niagara Falls. Skylon Tower buffet is a two-floor restaurant that sits 236 meters (775 ft) above the falls. The Skylon Tower Restaurant is a revolving restaurant. And every seat in the Skylon Tower restaurant offers excellent views of the Falls.

Explore the Niagara Glen

The Niagara Glen is a series of hiking trails at the base of the Niagara Gorge. The Niagara Glen can be slippery during wet and snowy weather, but the region is very beautiful. You can get right down to the raging rapids of the Niagara River and witness the power of the river up close.

Brock’s Monument in Queenston Heights

Just down the Niagara Parkway towards Niagara-on-the-Lake is Queenston Heights, a sprawling parkland with panoramic views of the Niagara River. At its center is Brock’s Monument, a 56-meter (185 ft) statue and museum commemorating one of Canada’s most important military heroes from the War of 1812. 

While you’re at Queenston Heights, you can also enjoy the incredible restaurant. They have one of the most impressive Sunday brunch buffets in the province.

Our Niagara Falls with Kids Video

Want to see more of Niagara Falls? I spent a day exploring the city with my son Dylan during the summer. This is everything that we got up to. Don’t miss the great restaurants with the best views of the waterfalls.

What Are The Best Restaurants In Niagara Falls, Ontario?

Niagara Falls, Ontario, wasn’t always a “foodie destination.” For truly unique creations (and amazing wine pairings) many people used to make the 20-minute drive to the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

But it’s amazing how things have changed in the past few years. If you are looking for some great dining at some of the best restaurants in Niagara Falls, Canada, you are now in luck. And there are great Niagara Falls restaurants for every interest. To help you choose where to eat in Niagara, I’ve laid out a few options based on what makes them stand out.

Restaurants With Great Views of Niagara Falls

Surprisingly, there are only a handful of restaurants overlooking Niagara Falls. For breakfast, check out the Fallsview Buffet Breakfast at the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel. It’s definitely pricey for what you get, but those morning views of Niagara Falls are breathtaking.

Queen Victoria Place Restaurant is directly opposite Niagara Falls. Its patio is probably the best in the city during the summer months. During the winter, the views can be a bit murky due to mist and weather, but it’s still very close and comfortable.

Lunch is decent at the Skylon Buffet, which we mentioned earlier. For dinner, the best views are from The Keg at the Fallsview Embassy Suites, is where you want to be. Here, you can watch the night show light up the falls from one of the best seats in the house. And pair it with steak!

My all-time favorite restaurant with a view of Niagara Falls though is the new Table Rock House Restaurant right at the Niagara Falls Visitors Centre. Not only does this Niagara Parks-run restaurant serve up some of the best food in the city, but it offers the closest and most uninterrupted view of Niagara Falls in its winter glory. You can reserve a table at Table Rock House here.

Table Rock House Restaurant Niagara Falls January

High-End Dining Restaurants In Niagara Falls, Canada

Cocktails at Flour Mill Restaurant Niagara Falls
Cocktails at Flour Mill Restaurant Niagara Falls

If you are looking for an intimate atmosphere and great Japanese food, head over to Taki on Victoria Ave. You can savor their contemporary Japanese Cuisine and pair it with sake or their great wine selection. You can find their hours on their website here.

For delicious locally sourced cuisine in a social atmosphere, check out AG Inspired Cuisine on Magdalene Ave. They often feature live music and have a great collection of local wines to pair your food with.

My favorite restaurant in Niagara Falls, however, is the Flour Mill Restaurant located in the Olde Stone Inn on Fallsview Blvd. The ambiance of rugged stone, warm woods, a natural burning fireplace, plush leather and velvet seating in one of Niagara Falls’ oldest buildings sets the perfect tone to the high-end cuisine and mixed drinks that are as eye-catching as the food.

Niagara Falls Casual Dining

Winter comfort food at the Whirlpool Restaurant in Niagara Falls Ontario

If you love some local beer with your Niagara Falls winter adventure, check out the Niagara Brewing Company near the base of Clifton Hill. This local brewhouse has two levels and serves up tasty traditional pub fare along with a great selection of brews. You can check out their menu here.

The Whirlpool Restaurant at the Whirlpool Golf Course serves up amazing comfort food. You’ll find stews, sweet-potato nachos, and delicious premium hot chocolate on the menu here.

You can also get your Mediterranean cuisine fixed at Kasbah on Dunn St. They have a unique take on farm-to-table cuisine that keeps things local but still transports your taste buds to the clear coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Disclosure: Some of these experiences were hosted by Niagara Parks. As always, our opinions remain our own. Wandering Wagars is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Winter in Niagara Falls

Marty Rogers

Monday 29th of January 2018

This is an amazing post, and that photograph with the rainbow is stunning!!!

Kevin Wagar

Monday 29th of January 2018

Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

Katie Diederichs

Tuesday 7th of November 2017

What a great comprehensive list you put together. Never thought of Niagara as a winter destination until now! That Icewine festival looks like fun :)


Monday 6th of November 2017

I would to see Niagara Falls frozen! That is crazy, but I bet it is really cold!

Kevin Wagar

Monday 6th of November 2017

It can get chilly for sure. But the views are worth it!

Eric Gamble

Monday 6th of November 2017

Great list Kevin even for those of us without kids, though Darcee would claim I am very childish! Ha

Anyways, You had me at wacky with Clifton Hill. I had never heard of that area. Plus with the Skywheel nearby that is bonus cause Darcee loves ferris wheels and we always ride one whereever we travel. I never thought about Niagara Falls freezing but I am sure it is amazing. I wonder if you take the Behind the Falls tour when its frozen can you touch or even break off a piece to eat?

By the way, love the pic of the baby and the bird!

Kevin Wagar

Monday 6th of November 2017

I, like you am a kid at heart! And Clifton Hill is a playground for all ages! I haven't tried to break off a piece of the ice ... but now that the idea is in my head ...


Monday 6th of November 2017

Truly an inspiring post! I want to go there with my family now! There seems to be so much to do. Gorgeous photos too! Thanks for sharing.