11 Amazing Things To Do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 
11 Amazing Things To Do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 

11 Amazing Things To Do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 

As the cool spray rises from the mighty Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls I am reminded of childhood driving trips with my family to Niagara Falls from my home in Toronto. Niagara Falls can easily be seen in a short day trip, but with so much to see in the area, it is best to spend at least a couple of days. During a midweek 2-night getaway in March, ahead of the busy summer tourist season, there were no crowds or line ups for attractions and hotel rates were lower. Here are some of the many amazing things to see, do, explore, and experience in Niagara Falls, Ontario:

Judi and Lawrence on the viewing platform after walking through the tunnel – Photo Judi Cohen

1. Take a Boat Tour to the Falls with Niagara City Cruises

One of the most iconic experiences starting from the Canadian side of the falls is the Voyage to the Falls boat tour with Niagara City Cruises. Be sure to wear the pink poncho provided to protect phones, cameras, and anything else you don’t want to get wet on the 20-minute boat tour. The boat takes you passed the Niagara Gorge, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls before reaching the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. 

Niagara City Cruises heading towards the Horseshoe Falls – Photo Niagara Falls Tourism

2. Plan to walk in the Fallsview area with a panoramic view of the falls during the day and at night. 

My favourite place to watch the water as it pours over the brink and crashes down is in front of the Table Rock Visitor Center. You may have to wait a few minutes to find a spot along the railing, but it is definitely worth the wait! When the sun is shining brightly, watch as colourful rainbows appear in the mist over the falls. I enjoyed a delicious light pasta dinner at the Table Rock House Restaurant with a magnificent sunset view of the falls.

View of Horseshoe Falls from inside the Table Rock House Restaurant – Photo Judi Cohen
Horseshoe Falls with rainbow seen from the walkway at Table Rock – Photo – Judi Cohen

3. Take a Journey Behind the Falls

If you want to get up close for a view of Niagara Falls from below and behind, head to the Table Rock Centre to enter Journey Behind the Falls. Travel down 125 ft by elevator through the bedrock to the 130-year-old tunnels leading to the Cataract Portal and the Great Falls Portal. Feel the power as one-fifth of the world’s freshwater thunders over the brink crashing into the basin below you. You can get pretty wet down there, but they give you a rain poncho to help keep dry.

Journey Behind the Falls under Table Rock Center – Photo Judi Cohen

4. Explore the Niagara Parks Power Station and Tunnel  

Near the Table Rock Centre, the Niagara Parks Power Station and Tunnel is the first major power plant on the Canadian side of the Niagara River to open its doors to visitors. Admission includes a tour of the historical generating hall and access to the tunnel formerly used to expel spent water used in the power station back into the Niagara River at the base of the falls. Ride a glass elevator down 180 feet to the tunnel portal and the 2,200 foot tunnel leading to a viewing platform at the base of the falls.

Niagara Parks Power Station and The Tunnel entrance -Photo Judi Cohen
Viewing Platform at the end of the Power Station Tunnel – Photo Judi Cohen

5. Up and away in a Helicopter

For an overhead view of Niagara Falls without the need for the thrill of a zipline, you can book a helicopter ride at Niagara Helicopters. We did the most popular 12-minute (around $160 CDN per person) ride with aerial views of the Botanical Gardens, Fallsview area, Whirlpool Gorge, American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and the Niagara River. Because the operation of the helicopters is weather-dependent, it’s best to check the weather before heading over to the helicopter base and book your flight. You can book your ride in advance which I’d recommend during the peak season. I recently took a helicopter over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and found the flight over Niagara Falls equally thrilling.

Staff thumbs up for our sightseeing tour with Niagara Helicopters – Photo Judi Cohen
View of Niagara Falls from helicopter – Photo Judi Cohen

6. Connect with nature at the Butterfly Conservatory

One of the most fascinating (and educational) places we visited was the Butterfly Sanctuary in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Thousands of colourful butterflies surround you while you walk along the paths in the humid glass enclosure with a tropical rainforest including waterfalls, enormous plants, and ponds. If you stay still, they even land on your head and in your hands, which thrilled the children who were visiting. As you enter, there is a movie with the curator of the conservatory explaining the life cycle of butterflies and the various species present in the sanctuary. You might also enjoy a walk around the Botanical Gardens surrounding the Butterfly Conservatory and enjoy the colourful blooms in the spring and summer months.

Inside the Tropical Gardens at the Butterfly Conservatory – Photo Judi Cohen
Judi inside the Butterfly Conservatory – Photo Butterfly Conservatory

7. Fun for the whole family at Clifton Hill  

For a bit of a throwback and a dose of kitsch, walk along the streets in Clifton Hill, with the wax museums like Legends of Rock, haunted houses including Dracula’s Castle, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, and of course candy shops with taffy apples and all flavours of fudge! Clifton Hill is classic fun for all ages and stages.

Clifton Hill Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium – Photo Judi Cohen

8. Rise above it all on the Niagara Skywheel on the Great Canadian Midway

Located in the heart of Clifton Hill in the Great Canadian Midway, you can’t miss the Niagara Skywheel. For yet another awesome sightseeing view of the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, the Niagara River, the casinos and hotels and other landmarks, we rode the Niagara Skywheel taking us 150-feet above Niagara Falls. We appreciated the fully enclosed gondola being heated since the weather in March was brisk. The gondolas are also air conditioned if you visit in the summertime.

Niagara SkyWheel on the Great Canadian Midway – Photo Judi Cohen

9. Get high at the Skylon Tower

For yet another spectacular view of Niagara Falls, the 764-foot-high Skylon Tower has an indoor/outdoor observation area, along with two restaurants, including the Skylon Tower Revolving Dining Room. After riding the Yellow Bug glass-enclosed elevators up and down, head over to the amusement area at the base of the tower and grab a snack in the food court.

Sklyon Tower at night – Photo Niagara Falls Tourism

10. If Lady Luck is calling you can visit Fallsview Casino Resort

You don’t need to be a gambler to enjoy the Fallsview Casino Resort, the largest gaming resort in Canada. We stopped by Bar Barista for a cocktail and light snack. The creative mixologist fixed us some wonderful cocktails made with fresh local ingredients, and then we did some window-shopping as we walked through the mall. Check the casino calendar for shows and concerts at the OLG Stage ahead of your visit or go to the box office. We plan to return to see a concert soon since there were no shows happening when we visited.

Bar Barista in the Fallsview Casino Resort – Photo Judi Cohen

11. Dine at the Keg overlooking the Niagara Falls Illumination  

We chose to have a delicious steak dinner at the Keg restaurant in the Embassy Suites Fallsview Hotel enjoying a breathtaking view of the Niagara Falls Illumination. All three waterfalls were illuminated with glowing colours moving dramatically against the dark sky from the American Falls to the Canadian Falls. Niagara Falls is illuminated every night of the year and can also be seen perfectly from Illumination Cruises, at Table Rock or from other Fallsview hotel rooms.

Illumination of Niagara Falls during dinner at The Keg Steakhouse Embassy Suites Fallsview – Photo Judi Cohen

Whether you take a day trip or visit for a few days, Niagara Falls will not disappoint. There are so many attractions, with some that change by the season, so you will want to come back again and again.

Niagara Falls Never Gets Old!

Tips and Advice:

Be sure to check out the packages available for tickets to all the attractions through Niagara Tourism.

If you’re coming from Toronto you can drive, take the Megabus from Union Station, and on weekends taking a GO Train from Union Station is a great option.  

Buy a bus pass with WeGo, to get around to all the Niagara Falls attractions and hotels.

Stay at one of the Fallsview hotels that are close to many of the attractions.

Bring a waterproof bag for your camera and phone and other personal items that can’t get wet.

If time permits visit the Niagara Wineries and Niagara on the Lake, just a 20-minute drive or a ride on WeGo from Niagara Falls.

Most of the experiences, including the helicopter ride, Skylon Tower, boat cruise, Power Station and Tunnel, the Butterfly Conservatory and Journey Behind the Falls, are accessible.