Winter in Niagara Falls with kids

14 Amazing Ways to Spend Winter in Niagara Falls With Kids

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What is it about 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 is that it’s the home of the most powerful waterfall 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 during winter in Niagara Falls, the fun doesn’t have to stay indoors. If you’re looking at how to spend winter in Niagara Falls with kids, we’ve laid out the best of the best for you to experience Niagara Falls in it’s most beautiful season!

While we are focusing on Niagara Falls Canada here, you can read about our experience on both the Canadian and American side of Niagara Falls here.

Waterfall in the Niagara Falls Bird Kingdom Aviary during winter in Niagara Falls with kids

Our Favorite Activities For Winter in Niagara Falls With Kids

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 freeze 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 coloured waters is a treat for photographers and casual observers alike.

Frozen Niagara Falls in Winter

Our Favorite Activities For Winter in Niagara Falls With Kids

Niagara Falls 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. And 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.

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

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 begins 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 license

Journey Behind the Falls

Believe it or not, the Journey Behind the Falls Niagara Falls attraction still runs during the winter. And what a great way to get a unique perspective on one of the world’s 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, you will likely get wet. So if you’re doing the Journey Behind the Falls in Niagara with kids, make sure you have a change of clothes handy. Being cold and wet can make a great day in Niagara seem not so fun. The Journey Behind the Falls is another attraction covered by the Niagara Adventure Pass.

The Hornblower Cruise seen on the Journey Behind the Falls during winter in Niagara Falls

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 Niagara Falls is a perfect way to shake off the winter cold and experience a taste of summer. Walking through this gorgeous butterfly museum is like a trip through a magical flying garden. And it will be sure to delight parent’s 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.

Butterfly at the Niagara Butterly Conservatory during Winter in Niagara Falls with kids

Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls

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.

Amazing birds at the Niagara Bird Kingdom during winter in Niagara Falls with kids

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 circles the upper rim of the Floral Showhouse in Niagara.

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

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 need to even 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.

Waterslides at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark in Niagara Falls Ontario is a great way to spend winter in Niagara Falls with kids

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.

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

Niagara Falls Skywheel

Located right behind the Niagara Falls Midway off of Clifton Hill is the Niagara Falls Skywheel. The Niagara Skywheel is a wonderful way to spend winter in Niagara Falls with kids. Views from the Niagara Falls Ferris wheel are amazing. And it’s 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

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 all while surrounded by the beautiful Niagara escarpment outdoor scenery that kids will love.

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

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.

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 Casinos

While not for kids, Niagara Falls has two exciting casinos for adults visiting the city. Casino Niagara and the Fallsview Casino are both near the Falls. They feature regular shows, concerts, and of course slots and other table games.

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 metres (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.

Wander the Niagara Glen

The Niagara Glen is a series of hiking trails at the base of the Niagara gorge. The Niagara 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-metre (185 ft) statue and museum commemorating one of Canada’s most important military heroes from the war of 1812.

You may also like to read 33 Amazing Places to Visit in Canada.

Hotels in Niagara Falls, Ontario can book fast. You can check the prices and availability of Niagara Falls hotels here.

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Amazing ways to spend winter in Niagara Falls. From frozen waterfalls, aviary's, shows and waterparks. Niagara Falls in the winter is a great destination

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Kevin Wagar

Kevin Wagar is a creative designer and technology expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life.
With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that travelling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.
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15 Comments

  1. We visited Niagra Falls with our girls when they were young, but it was at the height of summer. To be honest, I didn’t even realise they could freeze over. The snow and ice in those photos is slightly unnerving. I also didn’t realise there was a waterpark right there, but maybe it hadn’t been built when we went? Looks like a fun time.

  2. Awesome! We’ve been to niagara in the fall with our little one but never in the winter. I didn’t realize their was a great wolf lodge nearby!

    Love the blog – I agree – traveling with kids is awesome!

  3. I used to live in Buffalo and work at the falls on the American side so we often visited the falls year-round. My favorite time to visit was the winter because it was so beautiful. We did a few of the things you mentioned with my stepkids and one of my favorites was the butterfly conservatory. All of these are great ideas for family travel.

  4. I’m so glad to read this becuase I am headed to Niagara twice in 2018! I will definitely take in that neon street, looks lke a lot of fun/ I’m taking my 25 year old daughter with me on one trip so I know she will want to do several fo these things. I will stop at the butterfly conservatory and drink plenty of ice wine, too. 😉

  5. wow–that photo of the falls frozen is amazing! I haven’t been to Niagara Falls in forever (the kids have never been)–this post is making me want to brave the cold and see it in winter!

  6. 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!

    1. 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 …

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