In this guide we are sharing a list with the best things to do in Niagara Falls in Winter. Our list includes a lot of pet-friendly and family- friendly activities to help plan your next adventure to this amazing landmark, Niagara Falls USA and Canada. When someone mentions the powerful Niagara Falls straddling the United States and Canada, the first image that pops into mind is a sea of blue ponchos embarking on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. However during the winter Niagara Falls turns into a spectacular icy wonderland.
In our experience the best time to visit Niagara Falls in the Winter is between the months of January and February, to avoid crowds and seeing the falls completely frozen. If you are interested in more sightseeing then the best months to visit Niagara Falls is during the shoulder season from March to April or October to November.
➳ Find all: Hotels in Niagara Falls
Top activities to do in Niagara Falls Travel Video
As the temperatures begin to fall each winter, the roaring currents of the waterfalls are no match for the icy conditions. While the falls do not come to a complete standstill, many sections of the waterfalls are frozen in time, making for beautiful wintertime photography.
➳ Read More: 13 Inspiring photos to visit Niagara Falls
What to do in Niagara Falls in the Winter (USA):
Besides the breathtaking landscapes, winter in Niagara Falls means lower costs for accommodations and a limited number of tourists. If you are up for the drive, it makes for a great several day getaway from Boston or NYC.
Enjoy panoramic views of the Niagara Falls
During the winter, several of the classic Niagara Falls attractions like the Maid of the Mist and the Crow’s Nest hike are closed due to the icy conditions of the falls and the river. However, there is still plenty to explore and enjoy in the Niagara Falls State Park on the United States side.
The Observation Tower has breathtaking views of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. It remains open year round, with free access during the winter. This is the best location in the United States to get panoramic views of all three falls in the Niagara Falls.
The base of Cave of the Winds offer stunning views as well, so make sure to stop by if you want to take some great photos of the falls.
Take advantage of the light pedestrian traffic as you walk up the Niagara River, to the bridge leading to Goat Island. The walking trails closest to the falls are closed during the winter for safety reasons, but you still get plenty of amazing views of Niagara Falls.
The State Park remains open until midnight, which means you can take advantage of the many trails for a late night stroll after dinner.
Make a quick stop at the famous Platter’s Chocolate Factory
After taking some fantastic photos of the fall, warm up at one of the most famous chocolate factories in the area, the Platter’s Chocolate Factory. At the factory you can see how they make their delicious chocolate and learn more about their chocolate-making process while you warm up sipping at some hot choco. Platter’s Chocolate Factory is at the Wurlitzer Building in North Tonawanda.
Enjoy the colorful illumination show at night at the Falls
At night the waterfalls turn into another beautiful show, every night there is a colorful rainbow illumination display making the Niagara Falls even more unique and beautiful. It is definitely a show you cannot miss.
Visit the Aquarium
If you have some extra time, make a stop at the Aquarium of Niagara, where you will be able to see sharks, seals, penguins and so much more.
Top Activities to enjoy in Niagara Falls in the Winter (CANADA)
The best way to get between the United States and Canada is by walking or driving across the Rainbow Bridge. During times with snow, the walking path on the bridge is not always completely clear. If you plan on visiting both sides of Niagara Falls, make sure you bring your passport and proper visa, if required.
If you chose to drive to the Canadian side, park at the Table Rock Centre for $10 CAD, adjacent to the Horseshoe Falls. Take a walk along the Niagara River Recreation Trail of the endless viewpoints over the falls. Make sure to walk all the way down to the Grand View Marketplace to get a complete panoramic view of the falls.
Every evening, lights are shown from Canada, illuminating all three falls in Niagara Falls. You can see the colorful rainbow that the waterfalls become from either side, but Canada makes for better photos. The city of Niagara Falls in Canada has many more restaurants and additional attractions open throughout the winter to enjoy.
Visit the Journey Behind the Falls
Since the Cave of the Winds is closed during the winter, another option is to go to the Journey Behind the Falls to get a behind the scene views of the Canadian Falls, also known as the Horseshoe Falls. The good thing about the Journey Behind the Falls is that it is primarily indoor, so you won’t get as cold.
You will be able to explore a series of tunnels that provide a peek at the Canadian Falls from underneath and you will also have access to go outside and view the Horseshoe Falls from very close up.
See the Niagara Falls from above
For a better experience, you can book an unforgettable light aircraft ride. To be honest, I do not think there is a better way to witness the Niagara Falls than from above in a helicopter. If you are not sure about making a reservation, no worries the tour operate on a first-come-first-served basis and aim to keep the wait at less than 15 minutes. The ride takes about 10-15 minutes and from there you can see the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, the Bridal Veils Falls, the Whirlpool Rapids, Rainbow Bridge and Queen Victoria Park.
Enjoy some breathtaking views from the Skylon Tower
No matter the time of year you can enjoy beautiful views over the falls and city from the Skylon Tower. This observation tower rises 775 feet above the Falls and it takes only 52 seconds to get to the top of the tower in the glass-enclosed. Either purchase a ticket for the observation deck alone or enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants on the top. The food is a bit pricey, but the views are absolutely priceless and the meal includes a visit to the observation deck.
What is the Winter Weather in Niagara Falls
Throughout winter the weather in Niagara Falls hovers around freezing, you can expect temperatures ranging from the 36° to 17° F. However, temperatures can easily swing higher or lower, so make sure to bring plenty of layers to keep warm. You can encounter rain or snow and a good chance the mist from the waterfalls will reach you on the Canadian side.
The sections of the trails that remain open throughout the winter are plowed and salted. But remember proper footwear is a must for any snow, ice or puddle encounters.
Charge your camera and get ready for the winter wonderland of Niagara Falls!
Activities that are close during the Winter:
- The full Cave of the Winds experience
- The Niagara Falls Boat Tours
- White Water Walk
- Whirlpool Aerocar
- The Whirlpool Jetboat
Save this article for later ⇟