5 reasons to visit Niagara Falls in winter

5 reasons to visit Niagara Falls in winter

Don’t let the cold keep you away! Here are five reasons you should visit Niagara Falls in winter.

Any time is great to visit Niagara Falls, but winter may be the most magical time of all. Don’t let the chill in the air keep you from enjoying everything Niagara Falls–and even Toronto–has to offer. In addition to trendy restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and world-class entertainment, Niagara Falls welcomes winter with annual events and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for visitors on both sides of the border.

1. Niagara Falls itself

What would a visit to Niagara Falls be without seeing the falls themselves? In winter, the freezing temperatures turn the falls into ice sculptures that look like they belong on the set of Disney’s Frozen. Don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to belt out the theme song as you witness the winter wonderland that surrounds you.

Even in the winter, you can visit the observation platform and series of tunnels that make up the popular Journey Behind the Falls, an attraction is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

As the sun sets, the falls are illuminated with the colors of the rainbow from thousands of LED lights. Because the sun sets earlier in winter, you’ll have extra time to enjoy this magnificent display.

2. Winter Festival of Lights

It’s not only the falls that are lit up on winter nights. From the beginning of November to the end of January, the buildings and grounds of Niagara Parks are ablaze with color as part of the annual Winter Festival of Lights. Featured illuminations include nature-themed light displays on Dufferin Islands, a synchronized light show projected onto the Toronto Power Generating Station accompanied by holiday music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and, of course, a larger-than-life Christmas tree outside Queen Victoria Place.

This year, Hornblower Niagara Cruises is sponsoring an international fireworks competition as part of the Winter Festival of Lights. Over six nights in November,  teams from around the world will be presenting the best pyrotechnic displays their countries have to offer starting  at 9pm.

Here is a complete schedule of displays and events.

3. Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Concert

Niagara Falls really knows how to ring in the New Year! Billed as one of Canada’s longest-running New Year’s Eve events, the celebration starts at 8 p.m. in Queen Victoria Park and doesn’t end until the final firecracker lights up the night sky. Well-known Canadian bands perform throughout the night on the concert stage and a variety of food and beverage options are available from the on-site tents and nearby restaurants. Fireworks begin at 9pm and midnight.

4. Niagara Icewine Festival

The Scotiabank Convention Centre is home to Niagara Falls’ annual Icewine Festival. Every January, attendees have the opportunity to sample this unique wine made from frozen grapes as well as other award-winning varietals from area vintners. Ticket holders are also treated to live musical entertainment, amazing ice sculptures, and a collectible glass to mark the occasion. Local chefs are on hand to prepare food that pairs perfectly with the wine.

5. Winter Weddings

If you wanted to get married in Niagara Falls like The Office’s Jim and Pam, but couldn’t find a date, you might want to think about a winter wedding. You won’t be able to don the iconic yellow ponchos and say your vows on the Maid of the Mist, but there are plenty of wedding-worthy event venues with special winter pricing including five operated by Niagara Parks. It’s also easier to book blocks of hotel rooms and hire caterers, photographers, and florists at off-season rates.

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