How to rock a Niagara Falls getaway: 3 different trip types

While the awe-inspiring sight of Horseshoe Falls is what draws most visitors to Niagara Falls, Ontario, the attractions surrounding this natural phenomenon makes this city the type of destination that has something for everyone.

While best known as a popular vacation spot for families (especially in the height of summer), the dining, spas, nightlife and nearby wineries also make this a great escape for the adults-only crowd.

From girls’ trips to family vacays to adrenaline-fuelled adventures, here’s how to rock a Niagara Falls getaway three different ways.

The view of Horseshoe Falls from Table Rock Centre

The view of Horseshoe Falls from Table Rock Centre

This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for with each click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Niagara Falls activities for a family vacation

Niagara Falls is the ultimate spot for a fun family getaway, with countless activities for all ages.

While most centre around exploring the falls themselves, the amusement-park-like Clifton Hill area boasts a mini golf course complete with a volcano and giant T-Rex, North America’s largest elevated go-kart track, and a bowling alley–just to name a few.

Clifton Hill at night

Clifton Hill at night

Hit the links at one of the nearby golf courses, and over at the Butterfly Conservatory guests can enjoy a respite from the crowds while wandering through the winding pathways lined with lush vegetation, where 2,000 of the beautiful creatures flutter around freely.

The SkyWheel at night

The SkyWheel at night

One of the best things to do in Niagara Falls is completely free: walking along the parkway, admiring the iconic view of the falls from in front of Table Rock Centre.

Feel the spray of the water and feel the force as it cascades 156 metres down into the gorge, which is particularly stunning in the evening when the falls are illuminated in different colours.

Niagara Parks Power Station

The Niagara Parks Power Station is one of Niagara’s newest attractions, an immersive experience into what was once the first major power plant on the Canadian side of the river.

Niagara Parks Power Station

The engineering marvel was originally built in 1905 and decommissioned in 2006, and eventually reopened as an interactive museum with artifacts and exhibits highlighting the history of the building and power generation.

A highlight is taking the glass elevator 180 feet down to the half-mile long Tunnel, which was excavated using only rudimentary dynamite, shovels and pickaxes. It leads to a new observation deck with a sweeping, unobstructed view of the falls and the boats sailing by.

Niagara Parks Power Station the Tunnel

Families looking for things to do in Niagara Falls with kids at night will want to return for the evening light show. Currents: Niagara’s Power Transformed takes place in the heart of the power station, and feels like the machinery is reawakening to the backdrop of a musical score.

Book with GetYourGuide:

 

 

 

Niagara Parks Power Station

Journey Behind the Falls

An unforgettable way to soak in the Canadian view of Niagara Falls is heading down to Journey Behind the Falls, to hear the thunderous roar and feel the spray of the falls from right next to them.

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls

The experience starts with a 125 foot elevator ride from Table Rock Centre down into a short tunnel, which leads to portals cut straight through the bedrock where visitors can see the freshwater crashing down right in front of them.

There are also two outdoor observation decks, with magnificent views of Horseshoe Falls. Be sure to wear the complimentary poncho–you’ll definitely get wet!

Book with GetYourGuide:

 

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls

Niagara City Cruises

Perhaps the most iconic way to visit Niagara Falls is hopping onboard Niagara City Cruises for a Voyage to the Falls.

This 20-minute trip sails right into the Niagara Great Gorge, offering close-up views of the Rainbow Bridge, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Then, the iconic moment: drifting straight towards Horseshoe Falls, as churning waves swirl around the boat.

The view from the observation deck

Whirlpool Aero Car

See the magnificent swirling Class 6 rapids and turquoise water from above, with a ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car.

This historic cable car ride soars 3,500 feet across the Niagara Gorge, with photo-ops all along the way. You might be lucky enough to see one of the jet boats do a high-octane maneuver, and the car technically crosses between Canada and the USA four times during the trip during what just might be the world’s easiest border crossing–no passport needed! Click here to book

A Niagara Falls getaway for thrill seekers

Look for fun, adventure and a bit of excitement? Niagara Falls has all sorts of activities that are perfect for adrenaline junkies, and guaranteed to get your heart racing.

Whirlpool Jet Boat

An exhilarating ride on the Whirlpool Jet Boat is one of the most thrilling things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada, and definitely one of my favourite ways to experience the power of the falls.

The Whirlpool Jet Boat

This is the only company with a commercial license to operate in these Class IV and V rapids north of the Whirlpool, and it’s incredible to see the 1500 horsepower, three turbo diesel engines in action as they navigate these wild waters.

Guests buckle into lifejackets and pile into the boat following a safety demonstration, then head about six miles down the Niagara River to get wet and wild as the captain faces the waves head-on and even spins through the rapids.

Since you’re guaranteed to get absolutely drenched, this 45 minute adventure is also one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls on a rainy day. Click here to book

Globe Guide tip: Not into the idea of soaked? Book a ride on the Freedom Jet Boat for similar thrills and views without the bath.

The Whirlpool Jet Boat

The Whirlpool Jet Boat

Helicopter tours

One of the most exciting ways to enjoy the Niagara Falls view is by heading sky-high during a helicopter tour.

Niagara Helicopters is only a 15 minute drive from Table Rock Centre, and in no time at all you’ll find yourself soaring above the Niagara River and the wild Whirlpool Rapids.

READ MORE: Niagara Falls views: 10 unique ways to see them on the Canada side

The pilot ensures both sides of the chopper get a great view while hovering 457 metres above the falls, and other highlights include passing over the Rainbow Bridge as you head toward the American side of the falls, and some also head out to wine country.

Niagara Helicopters operates year round, and flightseeing tours are weather dependent so be sure to call ahead before heading over. Flights are on a first come, first served basis. Click here to book

Book with Viator:

 

 

WildPlay Zipline

One of the most unique things to do in Niagara Falls is riding on the WildPlay Zipline, which runs parallel to the falls.

Visitors head up the ledge which is 67 metres high, strap into a harness, then glide down one of four ziplines during the minute-long ride. Enjoy a panoramic view of the falls ahead and the American side to the left, as you look down at all the people on the parkway below.

The WildPlay Zipline

A girls’ getaway or couples Niagara Falls trip

Leave the kids at home during this Niagara Falls getaway, focused on adults-only experiences that will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.

White Water Walk

A great way to start the day is a leisurely stroll along the White Water Walk, where a wooden boardwalk edges the banks of the river through the narrow Niagara Gorge.

Featuring rock layers more than 400 million years old, witness the phenomenon of this stretch of whitewater up close where there are standing waves up to five metres high– the largest in North America.

White Water Walk

White Water Walk

White Water Walk

White Water Walk

There are a couple of observation areas along the 300 metre pathway, as well as interpretive signs with fun facts about the gorge.

Admire the water’s gem-toned hue, created by the power of the estimated 60 tonnes of dissolved minerals which are swept over the falls and through the limestone bed every minute. Click here to book

Things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

White Water Walk

Niagara-on-the-Lake

A perfect way to spend the afternoon is heading out to Niagara-on-the-Lake, which is one of Canada’s prettiest towns. Located 20 minutes north of the falls past perfectly-kept stately homes, its quaint Heritage District is lined with boutiques and cafes.

There are also a handful of spas here, including the serene OSpa at the Oban Inn, 100 Fountain Spa at Pillar and Post which has a fireplace lounge, hot tub and three pools, and The Spa at Q which hosts a hydrotherapy circuit and Canada’s only snow room.

Things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Wine tasting

This is also one of the country’s top wine regions, which makes it an extremely popular spot for wine tasting tours:

 

Standout spots include the award-winning Two Sisters Vineyards which has an elegant tasting room and a fantastic restaurant overlooking the vineyards, and Peller Estates which is home to the so-called “coolest” place in Niagara: the 10Below Icewine Lounge.

Guests bundle up in a parka, and head into the ice bar to lounge on fur-covered benches while sampling Niagara’s finest bevies and snap subzero selfies.

Things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

For major wow-factor, arrive in style by booking this private helicopter winery tour which starts with a 20 minute flight over the falls, and ends by landing in one of the vineyards to enjoy a wine tasting.

Two Sisters Vineyards

Niagara Falls restaurants

In the evening, dine at one of the restaurants with the best Niagara Falls views.

Table Rock House Restaurant is perched right on the edge of Horseshoe Falls, and Queen Victoria Place Restaurant is also in the heart of the action along the Niagara River Parkway (Princess Diana, William and Harry once dined here).

Table Rock House Restaurant

Table Rock House Restaurant

The Watermark on the 33rd floor of the Hilton Hotel & Suites overlooks the falls (reserve this package which includes a three-course meal), and the Skylon Tower offers some of the best views of Niagara Falls from above.

The view from Skylon Tower

Boasting an outdoor observation deck and rotating restaurant with vantage points from 775 feet above the falls, it serves up panoramic vistas in all directions.

Visitors can buy a ticket to ride the glass-enclosed elevator to the top, or book into the Revolving Dining Room which rotates 360-degrees to take in the scene from every angle (admission is free with reservations).

The observation deck at Skylon Tower

The observation deck at Skylon Tower

 

Fireworks show

Cap off the day with the spectacular fireworks show, which lights up the sky for five minutes every night (weather dependent) at 10 PM.

The best places to see it are from along the waterfront, the Skylon Tower, the evening fireworks cruise or hopping on the Niagara SkyWheel which is Canada’s largest observation wheel at 53 metres high (make sure to queue up so you’re on the ride right at 10 pm).

Book with GetYourGuide:

 

 

Tips for visiting Niagara Falls

With so many Niagara Falls attractions, it’s a tall order to try and squeeze them all into one trip. Fortunately most are within walking distance of the falls, so it’s easy to get to each activity throughout the day or hop on the convenient WEGO bus system which connects local hotels and attractions.

Lineups can sometimes be long, so families with young kids may only want to plan two to three activities a day to avoid meltdowns.

Niagara Falls is only about two hours from Toronto, so it’s possible to visit as a day trip by booking with a local company like Queen Tour Niagara Falls Tours which offers pickup right from downtown.

To save money, pick up a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass; there are three options available which include admission to:

Adventure Pass Classic: $59

  • Journey Behind the Falls
  • White Water Walk
  • Niagara’s Fury
  • 2-day WEGO

Niagara Falls Pass: $79

  • Journey Behind the Falls
  • Niagara Parks Power Station + The Tunnel
  • White Water Walk
  • Whirlpool Aero Car
  • Niagara’s Fury
  • 2-day Falls Incline Railway
  • 2-day WEGO

Adventure Pass Plus: $99

  • Journey Behind the Falls
  • Niagara Parks Power Station + The Tunnel
  • White Water Walk
  • Whirlpool Aero Car
  • Butterfly Conservatory
  • Niagara’s Fury
  • 2-day Falls Incline Railway
  • 2-day WEGO
  • Floral Showhouse
  • 4 Historic Heritage Sites
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake Shuttle

Another option is the Clifton Hill pass which discounts six attractions: the Niagara SkyWheel, Zombie Attack, Movieland Wax Museum, Dinosaur Adventure Golf or Wizards Golf, Ghostblaster’s Dark Ride and the Cosmic Coaster 4D Theatre.

Things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO PIN:

2 Responses

  1. Elina says:

    The article is just amazing! Now I definitely want to go on this amazing journey and enjoy it. Thanks a lot for the inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *