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ship sailing toward large blue waterfall things to do in niagara falls canada

Looking For Things To Do In Niagara Falls, Canada? Let’s Go!

Let’s cut right to the chase here, shall we? Niagara Falls is one of the top attractions in all of Canada (and the world) – so if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re looking for things to do in Niagara Falls in 2019. And whether you’re travelling as a couple, as a family with kids, or as a solo adventurer, there is no shortage of both touristy and non-touristy things to do and see!

We had the best time exploring Niagara Falls (the Canadian Side) recently. It was Lisa’s first time and she loved spending time by the falls themselves. That said, Niagara Falls (the Canadian city) can be overwhelming at times – and finding unique things to do seems difficult with all the top attractions right in your face.

So, we’ve pulled together this guide on basically everything there is to do – even if you’re exploring Niagara Falls at night or in the winter! We also cover the best time to visit and finding Niagara Falls hotels because having a “Fallsview” hotel is a priority for many visitors! Ready? Let’s explore the Canadian Side of Niagara Falls!

Also, if you are exploring the Niagara Region and/or are travelling to Niagara Falls from Toronto, here are a few more helpful posts to check out:

Things to Consider When Visiting Niagara Falls

If you’re planning a visit to Niagara Falls, there are a few things you should know about the layout of the area, the waterfalls, and the borders. From getting around to determining when you should visit and where to stay, here’s some information to help you plan the perfect trip!

General Information About Niagara Falls

viewfinder in sidewalk beside niagara falls in canada
Have a look – you’ll see water!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, Niagara Falls is a city in Ontario, Canada. Across the border/river, there is also a Niagara Falls, New York in the US – just to make things confusing. The grouping of waterfalls at that point is ALSO called Niagara Falls – and there are three waterfalls (Canadian Falls “Horseshoe Falls”, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls) which we will outline later in this post. 

Niagara Falls, Ontario is part of the greater Niagara Region which also includes an area to the south of Lake Ontario called Niagara on the Lake. This region is special due to its climate and geography – thus making it a top wine-growing region in Canada – and known globally, as well. If you’re into wine, check out some of our favourite Niagara on the Lake wineries.

Back to Niagara Fall, you can cross the border into the US (on Rainbow Bridge) to see their side of the river but you will need a passport or form of formal ID. Also, while you are in Niagara Falls, Canada, you should expect to use Canadian money. Cards are also widely accepted. However, given the proximity to the US border, many retail places in Niagara Falls, Canada will accept US Dollars – but don’t bank on that as a hard rule (pun intended).

Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls

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The early summer was perfect – not too busy and beautiful sunshine!

As for the best time to visit Niagara Falls – it really depends on what you expect to do and see. The summer months in Ontario are hot and humid making them prime tourist season. Niagara Falls is VERY BUSY from Mid-June to the end of August. Depending on how hot September is, it might still be busy then, too. 

If you want the warmer weather, we’d suggest going in May/June or September/October. These are known as the shoulder seasons that avoid the middle of summer and dead of winter. That said, we have never been but have heard (and seen photos) that Niagara Falls is beautiful in the winter time. The ice forms from the mist of the Falls and it makes for great photos. 

Niagara Falls also does a big New Years Bash with fireworks which is pretty popular. Point is: Niagara Falls doesn’t shut down in the wintertime since there are many indoor activities and most of the outdoor ones don’t even close down!

Getting Around Niagara Falls

colourful wego bus driving on road with green trees behind in niagara falls
The WEGO buses are EVERYWHERE…..

If you’re staying in downtown Niagara Falls, you will be able to walk basically everywhere. This is where many of the top attractions are located – and we focus on these in this post. That said, there are some attractions which require renting a car or taking a bus to get to (we cover these attractions further down in the post).

If you do have a car and are driving in for the day or want to park near the Falls, there are lots of parking lots very close to Horseshoe Falls. It won’t be cheap – but it’ll be convenient!

If you are without a car, Niagara Falls has a bus transit system which you can certainly use – but they also have an amazing tourist-specific bus system called the WEGO. WEGO runs three coloured lines with routes that cover: all over downtown to top attractions, along the river north to more attractions (the Floral Clock), along Lundy’s Lane (a historic and popular district to visit), and even an extension shuttle service from April to October into Niagara on the Lake (where the wine country is).

The three lines meet around the Table Rock Visitor Centre at Horseshoe Falls. You can learn more about the routes and prices here. Don’t forget about Niagara Falls taxis if you want a quick way to get across town to an attraction but don’t have a car on hand.

Just so you know, there’s also an Incline Railway that goes from the Fallsview downtown area to close to Horseshoe Falls behind the Table Rock Welcome Centre. The walk from downtown to the walkway beside the Falls is actually quite hilly so this is useful for those with mobility impairments, lots of kids, elderly guests, or just tired legs from all the exploring! You can learn more about the Incline Railway here.

Where to Stay in Niagara Falls

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The Sheraton overlooks the American Falls…

We’ve actually written a whole guide on great hotels and accommodations in Niagara Falls. That said, we’ll cover the basics here in case you are looking for a place to stay in Niagara Falls. Basically, there are a TON of hotels, a handful of motels, and quite a few bed and breakfasts. Many people stay in or near downtown so that they are close to top attractions – and many choose to stay in a hotel where they can see the waterfalls. 

If you know you want a hotel in Niagara Falls, you can check here for hotels in Niagara Falls. If you want to stay in an accommodation where you are very close to Clifton Hill attractions and see the American Falls from your hotel, these are amazing hotel options on the Canadian side:

hotel buildings popping through green trees overlooking niagara falls things to do
These hotels have views of Horseshoe Falls – the most known waterfall!

If you are looking for a hotel that overlooks the Canadian Falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls), then check out the following “Fallsview” hotels:

colourful house with green gardens in front and blue sky bed and breakfast niagara falls
We loved out stay at this wild looking old house!

If you want a more cozy stay, there are plenty of great bread and breakfasts scattered around the quieter neighbourhoods and along the Niagara River/Gorge. These generally more historic houses that have a lot of character and friendly hosts who whip together a mean breakfast! You can check here for bed and breakfasts in Niagara Falls

We stayed in A Moment in Time B&B when we visited Niagara Falls. We loved our stay: the hosts were friendly, the large bed was comfortable, the breakfast was filling and fresh, and the property was only 15 minutes to downtown walking (which we enjoyed). We’d recommend staying here for sure!

*Friendly Disclaimer: We paid for this stay with our own money. This is not a sponsored promotion in any way.

Top Things To Do In Niagara Falls, Canada

Alright – so now that you’re here, let’s dive into this list of things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada. Of course, this isn’t everything there is to do and see and we only briefly cover the American Side of the Falls. However, we think it’s a well-rounded list of the top attractions people come for as well as things to do that are connected to exploring the natural beauty of the Niagara Region!

If you’re already sure you want to book an activity like the famous Hornblower Cruise or the Journey Behind the Falls, then you can check below for great activities, tours, and attractions in Niagara Falls!

 

Admire Niagara Falls

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All THREE waterfalls showing off their beauty…

You don’t need to justify coming to Niagara Falls. There’s a good chance people already know what you want to see when you get there – the waterfalls! Luckily for you, there are three waterfalls to keep and your adventurous soul busy!

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The one, the only – Horseshoe Falls aka Canadian Falls!

As we mentioned above, Niagara Falls is a term used to describe the set of three waterfalls at the one site where the Niagara River cuts away at the Niagara Gorge. The waterfalls are as follows:

  • Horseshoe Falls or Canadian Falls (shown above) is the one you are probably thinking of when you think of “Niagara Falls”. This is the waterfall that is attributed to the Canadian side. It’s the one with the distinct “U” shape!
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The American Falls and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls to the right!
  • The American Falls (shown above and below) is the waterfall that is totally on the US side of the river. It’s very flat in profile with many rocks at the base.  
  • Finally, there is the Bridal Veil Falls (shown above and below) which is the very small waterfall to the right of the larger American Falls.

Now, if you are on the Canadian side, you can see all three waterfalls perfectly – which is why some claim the Canadian side of the river is the best to visit. However, the US side has many green parks and similar boat ride attractions so it’s definitely also worth checking out for a different perspective.

The thing about the Canadian side is that there is a massive walkway that follows the river – giving you great vantage points for all the Falls. Close to Horseshoe Falls, you’ll find the Table Rock Welcome Centre. We’ll cover it in more detail but there are restaurants and many attractions actually start here. You can go behind Horseshoe Falls with the attraction “Journey Behind the Falls” and walk on those lower paths to get really close while you wear the rain ponchos!

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You can see the wooden walkways to the right of the Falls…

Now, if you are exploring the US side of the river, you can see the Falls from Niagara Falls State Park. Like the Canadian side, there are upper walkways that allow you up-close views of the Falls. There are also lower walkways to get really close to the American Falls. These wooden walkways are called the Cave of the Winds. 

This post is about attractions on the Canadian side only, but if you are interested in Falls attractions on the US side, then check out this ultimate USA Half Day Falls Tour to see all the Falls from various angles and attractions (like Cave of the Winds and the famous Maid of the Mist boat tour). 

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The pathway extends along the Niagara River at Niagara Falls and beyond!

In any case, there are so many unique ways to experience the actual waterfalls at Niagara Falls. We list many of them below – but you can even combine many of the top ways to see the Falls into one awesome ticket or tour.

If you want to experience the Falls lit up at night, then check out this Niagara Falls Night Cruise with Dinner.

If you are short for time and want to experience everything – and on both sides of the river – then that is also possible. Check out this Ultimate Tour with the Maid of the Mist US Cruise and then Skylon Tower on the Canadian side! This tour starts in the US but you can be picked up on either side. Don’t forget your passport!

Niagara Hornblower Cruise

ship sailing toward large blue waterfall things to do in niagara falls canada
There’s the Hornblower approaching the Falls!

One of the most popular attractions (if not THE most popular) on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is the Hornblower Cruise – also known as “Voyage to the Falls”! To clarify: you might be familiar with the “Maid of the Mist” boat tour that takes you to the Falls, too. This is the boat tour from the American side of the River. It does the exact same thing as the Hornblower – but you can check out the Maid of the Mist boat tour here.

If you know you want to hop on the Hornblower Cruise on the Canadian side, you can buy your skip-the-line Hornblower tickets in advance here

metal sign for niagara falls hornblower attraction
You cannot miss the sign!

You can buy tickets onsite through the self-serve kiosks but given the visitor numbers in the summer season, we’d suggest buying in advance to ensure your date and time. Plus, this skip the line Hornblower ticket means you can head right down to the funicular to get on your cruise!

To get down to the boats, you can actually take a funicular ride. The Niagara Hornblower Funicular ride is an attraction in itself which we cover right below this one!

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All aboard the Hornblower – there’s another one coming up from down the river!

Once you are down there, you dawn a red poncho (to distinguish yourself from the blue ponchos from the American Maid of the Mist tour) and off you go towards Horseshoe Falls! These boats have an upper deck where you get exposed to all the elements but they also have lower-level viewing with seats. 

two boats passing in blue niagara river things to do niagara falls
There goes the Maid of the Mist and the Hornblower!

So, to summarize – you can check out tickets to take the Hornblower Cruise from the Canadian Side here. If you wanted to do the Maid of the Mist on the American side (and visit the Cave of the Winds), you can find those cruise tickets here.

Address: 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

Niagara Hornblower Funicular + Riverside Patio 

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You can ride the Funicular for great views, too!

If getting a different perspective of the Falls is what you’re after but you want to keep things on the budget side, you might want to just ride the Hornblower Funicular. While the Funicular is meant to take people down for a boat cruise (and is included in the cruise ticket price), you can take it for the cheap ride and the unique views as you glide down unto the Gorge.

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The Hornblower Funicular with the Riverside Patio below!

The Funicular was originally built back in 1894 and was rebuilt carefully to preserve the delicate walls and plants of the Niagara Gorge. The cable cars offer amazing views as you descent – and they even have audio commentary!

Once at the bottom, there’s a large Riverside Patio where you can enjoy a bite to eat, a drink, or just a snack as you enjoy the views of the Falls and watch the cruisers head off on their adventure! 

Address: 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

Journey Behind the Falls

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Check out the Table Rock Welcome Centre to get you started!

If heading behind Horseshoe Falls is something you’re looking to do, then you should definitely do the Journey Behind the Falls! Once you head down 125 feet, you can walk through tunnels that snake behind the thundering waterfalls. From there, you can emerge onto the lower platforms at Horseshoe Falls (with rain poncho on, of course) to get up close to the action.

The start of this adventure is located within the Table Rock Welcome Centre – which is right beside the brink of Horseshoe Falls (shown in the photo above). This is a top experience at Niagara Falls and it’s usually packed together with the Hornblower Cruise for an ultimate day!

Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

WildPlay MistRider Ziplining

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Have a ride with amazing views!

Ever wanted to go zip-lining? Have you been before? In any case, why not go zip-lining as you head straight towards Horseshoe Falls!? WildPlay (the outdoor adventure company) brings you this 670 metre long zip line starting from an elevated platform above where you get Hornblower tickets! You can check out MistRider zip-line tickets here.

If you want to monkey around some more, you can also check out their adventure course near the Niagara Whirlpool. You can find prices, directions, and hours for that course here.

Address for Zip-lining: 5920 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

Clifton Hill Attractions

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Clifton Hill is…… overwhelming!

No stop to Niagara Falls Canada is complete without a stop at Clifton Hill – known as “The Street of Fun at the Falls!” Even if you aren’t travelling with kids, you need to walk up and down Clifton just once. This very touristy area is absolutely packed with attractions, museums, shops, eateries, sweet treats, and more! You have to see it with your own eyes.

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Eric wanted to play Dinosaur Adventure Golf but it was going to rain! 🙁

There are some attractions that are more well-known than others – like Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, Dinosaur Adventure Golf, The House of Frankenstein, the Great Canadian Midway, Guinness World of Records, Louis Tussauds Wax Museum, Escape Rooms, bowling, and more. We had one pass through and stopped into a few sweet shops to check out the chocolate, fudge, and candy options. 

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There’s no shortage of things to check out, eat, or buy at Clifton!

You can even do more like go Go Karting at the Niagara Speedway – which is located at the top of the hill. The hill itself overlooks the American Falls with the Sheraton Hotel standing at the base of all the attractions. There are plenty of places to eat on the Hill but do check the reviews and the menus because some places have horrible service and have really high prices for the tourists.

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Go for a rip at Niagara Speedway!

Overall, Clifton Hill (and the surrounding downtown area along Victoria Avenue) are kind of like sensory overload – great for kids, though and something you definitely have to experience once. If you plan on visiting a few attractions, you might consider a Clifton Hill Fun Pass which essentially gets you admission into 6 top attractions like the Niagara Skywheel, Dino Adventure Golf, and more!

Address: Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara SkyWheel

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The SkyWheel is another great way to get amazing views!

Speaking of the Niagara SkyWheel – while you’re exploring the Clifton Hill area, it’s hard to miss the Niagara SkyWheel. Opened in 2006 and standing at 53 metres tall, this ferris wheel is another great way to see the Falls from a unique perspective. It’s also located right above the Dinosaur Adventure Golf so there’s no shortage of fun when you get off! If you want to go for a loop, you can buy your SkyWheel tickets in advance here.

Address: 4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4, Canada

Skylon Tower

tan tower with observation deck and parking lot below skylon tower niagara falls things to do
The Skylon is yet ANOTHER amazing way to get views – and food!

If heights are for you, then a trip up the Skylon Tower is for you! Opened back in 1965, the tower is located right downtown – you cannot miss it wherever you are. You get to take the “Yellow Bug Elevators” to the top where you get 360-degree views of the Falls and the surrounding area!

You can get your Skylon tickets here for the observation deck – but you can even head up there for a meal if you are hungry at their famous Revolving Dining Room Restaurant and or their Summit Suite Buffet. Either way, you get to eat about 236 metres above the Falls! You can learn more about the Skylon menu and more here.

Address: 5200 Robinson St, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 2A3, Canada

Niagara Helicopter Tour

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Care for a helicopter ride? It’s certainly worth the experience!

If you want a bird’s eye view of the waterfalls and the surrounding area, a helicopter tour might be for you. A ride with Niagara Helicopter Tours is a memorable experience that’ll stick with you for a long time! 

Departing from the heliport north of downtown, you’ll head over the Niagara Gorge/River back towards to main Falls area. You can even see as far as the Toronto skyline on clear days on this 12-minute flight!

Eric did a helicopter tour with his dad in the Canadian Rocky Mountains so a trip over Niagara Falls is definitely next on the list! If you’re interested in memorable Niagara experiences, you might want to check out the ultimate Niagara Falls day tour where you can combine a helicopter tour with a boat ride, a trek behind the Falls, and a meal in the Skylon Tower to see ALL angles of Niagara Falls!

Address: 3731 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6V5, Canada

Queen Victoria Park

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The landscaping was beautiful when we visited!

Situated along the upper walkway along the Niagara Parkway (the road that drives along the Gorge beside the river), you’ll find a lovely green space called Queen Victoria Park. This large park kind of separates the whole downtown areas near the American Falls and the Canadian Falls. We had a wander through and it was a lovely space away from all the noise and people!

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Lisa taking in all the beauty!

There’s actually this old looking house – it’s currently the headquarters of the Niagara Parks Police. There are many statues and historical sites scattered throughout the park area. The flowers were also beautiful when we visited – and Niagara Parks makes a big deal about their well-maintained flowers!

Address: 6345 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X8, Canada

Niagara Falls Nightly Fireworks + Illumination of the Falls

If you’re into fireworks, then you should really head to Niagara Falls in the summertime. Each summer – from June to September with additional weekends after – there is a fireworks display at 10:00 pm over Niagara Falls!

The fireworks can be seen from many vantage points – so you don’t have to be right at the river’s edge to see them. Many people can see them from their hotel windows, balconies, and some other places around downtown!

As for the Falls themselves, they light up, too! Each evening – whatever the season – special lights create the effect of illuminating Horseshoe Falls. These lights follow calendar dates and are a sight to see for sure! If you want the ultimate experience, you should hop on a Firework Night Cruise to the Falls to see the fireworks and Illumination up close.

Fallsview Casino Resort

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Fallsview is a massive casino/resort/entertainment complex!

One of the largest attractions at Niagara Falls are the casinos – and Fallsview Casino Resort is the main one. Located right downtown on Fallsview Boulevard, this massive complex is a hotel and casino and includes restaurants and a live entertainment venue for shows, musical performances, and more. You can learn more at the official website.

Address: 6380 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7X5, Canada

Rainbow Bridge

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The Rainbow Bridge looking mighty fine in the sunshine

For some of the best views of the Falls, a nice walk, a cool breeze, and the chance to “stand in two countries at once”, check out Rainbow Bridge! Originally built in back in the 1940s, this arch bridge is also a main international border between the US and Canada. There are customs checkpoints at each end because the line and the flags in the middle mark where the border is! 

If you want to explore the US side of the Falls, this is the way to go. Just be sure to have your passports/appropriate visas with you! The bridge is good for car traffic as well as having a safe pedestrian-only walkway. There’s also a toll to cross which is more for cars than just people walking. If you want to walk from Canada to go and take photos on the bridge but NOT enter the US, this is also possible.

Either way, you have to pay four quarters (US quarters OR Canadian quarters) as foot traffic leaving Canada. Be sure to have change before you go because there IS a change machine onsite but it can break and the lines can be long! After you snap a few photos with your feet on each side of the border line, you’ll have to re-enter Canada through customs – but this shouldn’t be a problem since you just came from there!

Address: 5702 Falls Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3K7, Canada

IMAX Niagara Falls

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The IMAX Theatre offers a unique experience to “see” Niagara Falls!

If you’ve had enough of the outdoors for one day and want to be entertained but also comfortable, why not check out the Niagara IMAX theatre? Located right downtown – close to the hotels like the Hilton – you cannot miss the massive pyramid building. Inside, the IMAX experience is like none other. 

The show all about the Falls – Miracles, Myths, an Magic – teaches you about the history of the Falls and the people who have challenged the Falls and lived to tell the tales! There are also audio guides available for the movie to be experienced in multiple languages. You can get your IMAX ticket here.

Address: 6170 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7T8, Canada

Niagara Falls History Museum

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Stop into the museum to learn all about the rich history of the area!

If you’re interested in Niagara Falls – the region – and not just the waterfalls, then check out the Niagara Falls History Museum. Opened in its current version in 2010, this museum is dedicated to telling the rich history of the region.

From what the river/nature looked like back in the day to the wars fought between the British and the Americans in the bloody battles of 1812, this museum is packed with things to check out and even try on! The museum is located close to downtown but you can take the WEGO as it heads down Lundy’s Lane.

This area is also packed with military history – like the Drummond Hill Cemetery and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane – so it’s a great place to dive into history if that’s your interest! You can learn more about the museum and plan your visit here.

Address: 5810 Ferry St, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 1S9, Canada

Bird Kingdom

yellow building with large windows and green trees in front
You cannot miss the signs – or the Bird Kingdom building!

It’s easy to get close to wildlife if you’re in Niagara Falls – just head to Bird Kingdom! Located just a minute walk from the American Falls (and under the Rainbow Bridge), this massive glass building is actually the largest free-flying aviary in the world! This means that the birds get to fly about in their natural habitat – which is maintained indoors all year round.

Bird Kingdom specializes in tropical bird species (the ones that are pretty colours). It’s great because there are also many different areas to explore – in some of them you can hold some of the birds and learn about them from the staff and guides. If you want to visit Bird Kingdom, you can check out the official website for hours and prices!

Address: 5651 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 7M7, Canada

The Botanical Gardens + Butterfly Conservatory

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It’s hard to miss the road signs for the Gardens!

The farther you move from downtown Niagara Falls, the quieter and more natural the scenery gets. If this is calling to you, then head for the Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory. Located about a 10-minute drive north on Niagara Parkway from downtown, this 99 acre complex founded in 1936 is maintained by Niagara Parks.

These days, visitors can wander the grounds, check out the beautiful displays and gardens – and the world-famous rose gardens known for having over 2,400 roses! You can learn more about the Botanical Gardens here.

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The grounds at the Conservatory are full of greenery!

Onsite with the Botanical Gardens is another unique Niagara attraction – the Butterfly Conservatory! You get to walk through a lush tropical climate with waterfalls and plants to check out over 2,000 butterflies! The giant glass greenhouse full of plants and animals is a highlight of the experience – and you even get a short informational video to start off.

If you want them to land on you, move slowly and wear light, bright colours. Your visit is a self-guided tour so you can walk through at your own pace. You can get your entrance ticket for the Butterfly Conservatory here.

Address: 2565 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2S7, Canada

The White Water Walk

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You can start the walk from the top of the Gorge!

If you want to get up close to the rushing river – but not in the actual river like on a boat cruise – then the White Water Walk might be for you. After you head down into the Niagara Gorge about 70 metres by elevator, you get about 400 metres of boardwalk to do a self-guided tour. There’s tons to learn about – like the 410 million-year-old rock layers and the plant and animal life. 

The boardwalk even features viewing platforms at the edge of the river so that you can get closer to the famous Whirlpool Rapids. This is something we didn’t do but drove by and DEFINITELY want to check out next time we visit. You can learn all about the White Water Walk here.

Address: 4330 River Rd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 6T2, Canada

Niagara Glen + Nature Centre

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Niagara Parks does a great job of preserving and maintaining the area!

Sticking to the theme of natural attraction north of downtown, check out the Nature Glen. You get to head down stairways that take you along 4 kilometres of pathways deep within the Niagara Gorge. The area is known for its unique Carolinian Forest, many fossils, rock formations, and more.

The Glen area looks out over the Niagara River Whirlpool which is always fascinating to see from different vantage points! There are guided hiking tours and you can even go bouldering at the Niagara Glen! If you want to learn more, check it out here.

Once you are done hiking – or before you begin – you can also check out the Niagara Glen Nature Centre. This Centre that overlooks the river offers you beverages and souvenirs. They also sell bouldering permits if you want to climb around on the rocks in the Glen. You can learn more about stopping in at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre here.

Address: 3050 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

Whirlpool Aero Car

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There’s the Aero Car returning to this side!

One of the most extreme ways to discover the Niagara Whirlpool (besides a jet boat, see below) is to soar over top of it! To do this, you can take the Whirlpool Aero Car. Built back in 1916 by Spanish engineers, a one-way 10-minute ride takes passengers over 500 metres between two points on Canadian soil passing over the churning waters of the whirlpool almost 80 metres below. 

You actually cross into the US while in the air but you don’t need any ID or clearance for this since you go from Canada to Canada! We stopped through driving along the Parkway but ran out of time to do the Aero Car.

It’s definitely something that we want to do in the future! If this interests you, check out this combo ticket for the Whirlpool Aero Car AND the Journey Behind the Falls adventure!

Address: 3850 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8, Canada

Niagara Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours

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The check-in location at the Floral Clock – the shuttle is free to the jet boat in Queenston.

It’s one thing to look at the Niagara River from above – it’s another thing to ride on it. With the Niagara Whirlpool Jet Boat tour, that’s exactly what you can expect! Choosing either a wet tour (and you WILL get wet) or a dry dome boat, these hour-long guided tours of the Niagara River are definitely something to be experienced. Oh, and you reach speeds of almost 100 km/hr!

The jet boat actually leaves from three locations, with the main dock in the small town of Queenston (north of downtown Niagara Falls) being the most central.

If you are going on the jet boat, you can make your way using the WEGO shuttle to the Floral Clock and then get a free shuttle to the boat from there (shown above). Of course, you can also just go right to the dock but it’s not as straightforward if you don’t have a rental car.

blue and white churning water of niagara river whirlpool things to do
There’s the famous “whirlpool” in the Niagara River!

The jet boats then take you up the river, passing through the Niagara Gorge and many historical points along the way. You pass through the Whirlpool and other sets of white water rapids, too!

Of course, the staff walk you through all the safety procedures beforehand. Oh, and if you ride on an open-top boat, be sure to bring a full change of clothes! If you’re keen for some adventure, you can book your spot on the whirlpool jet boat tour here.

Address of Floral Clock Pick-up: 14004 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6K2, Canada

Whirlpool Golf Course

If golfing is your thing, then you don’t have to stop your game when you’re in Niagara Falls. North of downtown Niagara – located right beside the famous Niagara River Whirlpool – is the Whirlpool Golf Course.

This top-rated public course is on a piece of pristine Ontario land just off of the Niagara Parkway. This means that players have easy parking and easy access to playing a round. The course also has a beautiful club house for having a bite to eat at the restaurant or a drink afterward. You can learn more about booking a tee time at Whirlpool Golf Course here.

Address: Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada (close to the Nature Glen Centre)

Floral Clock

colourful clock made of flowers by niagara parks things to do in niagara falls
Need the time? Take a drive to the Floral Clock!

The Floral Clock is one of those things that you don’t really think of as significant until you realize the size of it and the effort that goes into creating it! Located north of the Botanical Gardens (close to Queenston Heights Park below), the Floral Clock is a monument that actually functions as a working clock. 

The clock face is covered in around 16,000 small flowers (known as carpet bedding plants) and create a colourful design. The clock mechanisms are run by Ontario Hydro – who also run the massive hydro dam nearby. The clock chimes every 15 minutes and the back door to the clock might be open for you to see the clock mechanisms and old photos from previous clocks!

This location (as we mentioned above) is also the meeting point for the Whirlpool Jet Boat shuttle. There’s loads of parking and we even saw people having picnics since there’s a green space and tables here, too. If nothing else, it’s a nice stop for some quiet time away from downtown Niagara Falls – or check it out on the way up to Niagara on the Lake! You can learn more about the Floral Clock here.

Address: 14004 Niagara Pkwy, Queenston, ON L0S 1L0, Canada

Queenston Heights Park

Another great place to check out is Queenston Heights Park. Located just a minute or two north of the Floral Clock (and thus far from downtown Niagara Falls), this massive green space is loaded with things to check out. The entrance is around a roundabout – something you don’t see too often in Ontario!

We had a stop in and had a walkabout. Notably, the park is the home of two monuments: the Brock Monument and Laura Secord Monument. We actually walk to the base of Brock Monument and had a look out over the Niagara on the Lake region and the river. The park’s location high on the Niagara Escarpment means that you get really, really great views.

There’s also loads of space for a nice picnic in the park as well as a beautiful old looking dining experience at Queenston Heights Restaurant. We found lots of space for parking and there are even washrooms onsite should you be wondering. You can learn more about the park here.

Address: 14184 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada

Take a Niagara on the Lake Wine Tour

white wine tasting room at ravine winery things to do niagara falls canada
You should do a wine tour – we ended up at Ravine and loved it!

If you want to get away from downtown Niagara Falls for a half-day, consider a trip up to Niagara on the Lake (the town) and do a wine tour around the region. We actually did a half-day winery tour experience and had a blast trying wine while being driven around.

Exploring wineries like Ravine, Inniskillin, and Reif Estates and more was well worth it! The best part is that this premiere wine region is only 20 minutes north of Niagara Falls! We also wrote a whole post on our Niagara on the Lake winery experience here!

And there you have it – some of the greatest things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada! There is just so much to see besides the waterfalls themselves and we feel like sometimes people forget that! Be sure to explore the whole area as much as you can to really get the most out of your Niagara Falls experience!

As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
-L&E

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