Niagara Falls Canada

Niagara Falls Festivals To Experience

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Ontario is well known for its many attractions such as viewing the thunderous Horseshoe Falls from several vantage points, enjoying multiple entertainment options on Clifton Hill and exploring the beautiful surrounding areas. If you plan your trip accordingly, you can visit these world renowned attractions while also taking part in one of many festivals that Niagara Falls Ontario has to offer.

niagara falls festivals

With over 30 million tourists visiting Niagara Falls annually, the region has become well known for hosting world class festivals and events year round. Whether you would like to taste delicious Niagara region wines or listen to live music by the falls, Niagara Falls has a festival for you. Below you will find a description of Niagara Falls Ontario’s top festivals with information regarding when to come, what to expect and what not to miss.

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Going strong since 1983, the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights is an illumination festival in Niagara Falls that shouldn’t be missed. Being Canada’s biggest illumination festival, the Winter Festival of Lights has been recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 winter festivals and one of North America’s top 100 events. It takes place every year from late November all the way through to the end of January. The event is free of charge, however, a $5-$10 donation per car is suggested to support the continuation of this spectacular festival. The festival

What to expect

The Winter Festival of Lights is a spectacular display of colourful lights that span a 5 kilometre stretch of road through the beautiful Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland, Dufferin Islands and nearby tourist districts. With millions of colourful lights illuminating the streets you will be blown away by the artistic displays that have been created.

festival of lights

Throughout the duration of the Winter Festival of Lights there are several events worth checking out to make the event even more exhilarating:

  • Spirit of Niagara Sound and Light Show - Immerse yourself in Niagara’s culture, entertainment and arts displayed through the use of music, impressive lighting and projections using the facade of The Oakes Hotel as a giant screen. This show last 15 minutes long and takes place every hour from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m.
  • Fireworks Over the Falls - Experience an impressive fireworks display over the illuminated Horseshoe Falls, with the shimmering lights from the festival as a backdrop. This impressive display happens every friday evening at 9:00 p.m. throughout the duration of the festival, and daily during Christmas week.

What not to miss

Come to Niagara Parks on New Years Eve to celebrate right by the Horseshoe Falls at a live concert with popular bands playing all night long and two spectacular fireworks shows taking place over the falls to ring in the new year. The party starts at 8:00 p.m and goes until just after midnight with delicious food and a licensed area for alcohol. Don’t forget to dress warmly for this one!

Niagara Falls Wine Festivals

With over 40 wineries participating in Niagara Falls Wine Festivals, this is a great place for any wine enthusiast to taste some world class wines and visit the wineries they come from. The Niagara region is home to several different types of wines, the most popular being the world renowned Niagara Icewine which can be tasted at all 3 wine festivals.

wine cellar tours

What to expect

Whether you can only go to one wine festival, or all three, you will have a fantastic time going on wine tours to taste the delicious Niagara region wines, learning how to cook gourmet meals at several cooking classes and listening to great live music. Each wine festival does, however, have some unique features to them giving you the option to choose one that suits you well.

  • Niagara Icewine Festival - Ice wines from the Niagara Region are known to be some of the best ice wines in the world. During the Niagara Icewine Festival you will have the opportunity to taste top quality VQA ice wines from over 20 of the best wineries the region has to offer. Pair this with delicious meals from Niagara’s tops chefs, live music from the region’s most popular bands and a beautifully designed outdoor winter wonderland full of magnificent ice sculptures and a fully stocked ice bar. This festival takes place over 3 weekends in January.
  • Vintage Wine Festival - Taking place during mid June for 9 days, the Niagara Vintage Wine Festival is a great way to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. Award winning vineyards open their cellar doors for visitors to get a true feel of what goes into making the delicious wines of Niagara Region.
  • Niagara Wine Festival - The Niagara Wine Festival is definitely the largest celebration of the three. Taking place during harvest season and lasting over 2 weeks long, the Niagara Wine Festival has over 100 events for people to enjoy. Some of these events include live concerts by local talent, fresh local food prepared by some of the regions top chefs, wine cellar tours, street parades and of course the opportunity to taste some of Niagara Region’s best wines.

What not to miss

All three wine festivals in the Niagara Region are a great place to not only sample some of Niagara Regions best wines but also to get up close and personal with the award winning winemakers by taking part in vineyard tours. Each festival has several package options that will give you an unforgettable experience for a great price. A great example of this is the discovery pass which gives you the opportunity to take part in 8 winery experiences from any participating winery where you can taste delicious wines or try some savoury cuisine. Each individual winery experience costs $10 but with the discovery pass you get 8 experiences all for the low price of $40.

Things To Do In Niagara Falls Ontario

Niagara Skywheel

Niagara Falls is a popular tourist destination located on the border of Ontario and New York state. It brings in millions of visitors per year who come mainly to see the magnificent beauty and power of Niagara falls through several tours including up close boat tours, several observation decks and even private helicopter tours. The sheer size and power of the falls will take your breath away, but what else can you do in the city after visiting the falls?

Niagara Falls

Aside from the stunning natural beauty and enormous power of Niagara Falls, the city of Niagara Falls Ontario has a lot to offer. Visitors can take a tour of the hydro power stations which provide electricity to millions of US and Canadian residents, enjoy multiple entertainment options, visit the historic town of Niagara on the lake or even have a relaxing day tasting wine at one of Niagara region’s vineyards.

Visit the Hydro Power Stations

Having one of the highest water flow rates in the world makes the Niagara River one of the greatest sources for hydro electric power generation. The river stretches 58 kms from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, dropping a total of 99 meters in elevation along the way. As a result of this ideal location for hydro electric power, there have been several hydro power stations built near Niagara falls where the largest drop occurs.

On the Canadian side, there are a total of 3 large generating stations; Sir Adam Beck Generating Station number 1 and 2, and a nearby pumping generating station. Across the river on the American side there is another large generating station named the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. Together these stations generate 4.4 million kilowatts of electricity, enough to provide supply one quarter of all the power used in Ontario and New York State. These generating stations have been popular Niagara Falls tourist attractions for years.

Enjoy Multiple Entertainment Options

When it comes to entertainment in Niagara Falls Ontario, you will have more than enough options to choose from. Most of the entertainment in Niagara Falls is located on and around a street known as Clifton Hill. No matter what age you are, there is something for everyone here including:

The Niagara SkyWheel

Hop on this 175 foot tall ferris wheel with 42 fully enclosed passenger cars to choose from, to get an unforgettable view of the falls and the surrounding city scape. The passenger car each fit 8 people and are climate controlled so they can be comfortably enjoyed year round.

Niagara Skywheel

Haunted Houses

If you think haunted houses are only for children, think again. There are several options to choose from that will scare you out of your pants. The most notoriously scary ones are Screamers and Nightmares, both of which have had thousands of people chicken out over the years.

Bustling Nightlife

Planning a bachelor party, birthday party or just want to have a crazy night out on the town? With several bars and clubs to choose from in a lively downtown core, Niagara Falls Ontario is an amazing place to let loose and party

Casinos

If partying the night away is not your thing, try your luck at one of Niagara Falls casinos. There are two casinos in Niagara Falls Ontario, Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino, both of which are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year, and have plenty of table games or slot machines to choose from.

Visit Historic Niagara on the Lake

Located just outside of Niagara Falls Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario is a small historic town called Niagara on the Lake. In the late 1700’s it was a British military base where many pro-British loyalists fled to after the American Revolution. In 1792 Niagara on the Lake became the first capital of Ontario, known then as Upper Canada.

niagara on the lake

Many visitors come here to enjoy the the charm of British colonial life in Canada. The old world British colonial architecture combined with horse driven carriages riding around town make it feel like you’ve gone back in time.

Go to a Vineyard for a Wine Tour

With over 50 wineries to choose from in the Niagara Region, it is easy to find the perfect tour for you. Some of the activities in these wine tours can include wine tasting, vineyard tour, culinary classes and live music. There are many different types of wine to available at these vineyards, the most popular choice being the world renowned Niagara Icewine.

The ice wine harvest occurs once temperatures have reached temperatures of minus 13 degrees celsius, which give the grapes an optimal sugar level for this delicious treat. During the winter months, shortly after harvest, there is a winter ice wine festival where you can try the best of these wines. If you haven’t tried it before, Niagara Falls is one of the best places in the world to indulge in this sweet icy goodness.

Best Way to Observe Niagara Falls

observation deck

Niagara Falls is a world renowned tourist attraction which attracts over 20 million visitors per year, most of them visiting during the summer months. The falls themselves are actually a collection of three waterfalls named Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, flowing from the Niagara River to the Niagara Gorge below. The combination […]

Continue reading...

Daredevils of Niagara Falls

barrel plunging

Niagara Falls refers to three waterfalls, in close proximity to one another, which are located on the southern end of Niagara Gorge, on the border of Ontario and New York. From smallest to largest, these three falls are named Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. The combination of these three falls has the […]

Continue reading...

10 Things You Don’t Know About Niagara Falls

1969 American Falls Closure

Introduction To introduce Niagara Falls to any person living in Canada is absurd as it is one of the greatest places to visit. However, many people who visit Canada from abroad do not know much about Niagara Falls and this article will give you some secrets that even most Canadians are not aware of. We […]

Continue reading...

Two Unlucky Boaters in Niagara Falls Get Lucky

niagara-falls-rescue-august-2014

On 25 August 2014, two boaters went out down the Niagara river but their boat ran into technical issues and drifted down the river into the restricted zone where boats or motor vehicles are prohibited! Their boat was not working and they had no way out.  They managed to anchor themselves somehow so the boat […]

Continue reading...

6 Attractions To See While Touring Niagara Falls

clifton hill niagara toronto

Clifton Hill Clifton hill is the place to go if you are on a date, with friends, or are entertaining the little ones. There are endless attractions for kids and adults alike. Captain Jack’s Pirate Cove located on Clifton Hill offers Lazer Tag, Mini Putt, Lazer Maze, Time Freak and Cannon Blasters. A bonus for […]

Continue reading...