13+ Best Things to do in Niagara Falls, ON

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Updated September 3, 2021

Niagara Falls is so much more than just an impressive amount of rushing water flowing over a cliff’s edge. Prompting people from all around the globe to come and visit, it is a natural wonder of the world that has left people in awe, even before it became a popular tourist destination. 

With its variety of attractions, entertainment, accommodations and experiences, Niagara Falls offers something for every kind of traveller. Whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, a family unit or a nature lover, it is a sure-fire destination for anyone who’d like to have a great adventure on a reasonable budget.

Historically significant attractions

1. Laura Secord Homestead

Credit: Niagara Parks

  • Cost: $9.73 for Adults (13+ years) and $6.42 for Children (6-12 years)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other sites to visit: 
    • Niagara Falls History Museum
    • Niagara Military Museum

Step onto this historical site and be transported back into time. Explore the house and the history of Laura Secord who became a Canadian heroine for her efforts in the war of 1812. Learn about her 32km journey through the wild to warn the Canadian troops about the invading Americans. Entertaining, dedicated and well-informed, the tour guides at the homestead will undoubtedly make you feel like you’re experiencing a blast from the past.

Once you’ve gotten your historical hit from the informative tour, take the time to roam the rest of the property, and stop by the gift shop and cafe for refreshments, or a little sweet treat. It wouldn’t be a Laura Secord home without some ice cream available!

2. Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum

Credit: Jansin Ozkur
  • Cost: $6.42 for Adults and $4.42 for Children
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other sites to visit: 
    • McFarland House
    • St. Catharines Museum
    • The Iron Scow

In this ever-growing digital age, step into the restored home of William Lyon Mackenzie, and home to some of the very first newspapers in Ontario. Walk throughout the printing press on your own, or follow a guided tour to learn more about the 500 years of printing history. In this tactile museum, you’ll even be able to participate in a live demonstration, learn of the numerous presses and create some great souvenirs to take home with you.

The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum houses one of the few remaining wooden presses, in addition to being one of the oldest in Canada and the world. Located a short walking distance away from the Laura Secord Homestead, the Printery and Museum can be easily added to your historical sites to see as you explore the quaint community of Queenston Heights.

3. Fort George

Credit: Visit Niagara
  • Cost:  $10.20 to $11.90 for Adults and FREE for Youth (6-17 years)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other sites to visit: 
    • Old Fort Erie
    • Brock’s Monument
    • Chippawa Battlefield Park

One of Canada’s National Historic Sites, Fort George was once the headquarters of British soldiers in the early 1800’s. Overtaken by American troops in 1813, Fort George, as well as the town of Niagara, was the turning point in a war that could have drastically changed the composition not only of the country, but also of all of North America. The British army retook the fort and eventually left it at the end of the war, having fulfilled its purpose.

Fort George was repaired and restored in 1930, and had been open to tourists and historical enthusiasts alike. The impeccable grounds are open to the public to roam and explore, and are home to reenacted battles put on by the staff. Head to Fort George to discover a little bit more of Canada’s thrilling history. 

Things to do for thrill seekers

4. Whirlpool Jet Boat Rides

  • Cost: $72.95 for Adults and $44.95 for Children (12 and under)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Whirlpool Adventure Course
    • Niagara Helicopters
    • Mistrider Zipline to the Falls

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours is a unique and surely memorable way of getting out on the water and closer to the falls. For those thrill-seekers amongst you, this immersive and fast-paced tour will certainly get your adrenaline going. Cruising up the river and manoeuvering through the multiple rapids, the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours will let you see some amazing sites while the wind and the water both blow in your face. 

Though being one of the slightly pricier tours available in the city, it is worth every penny! The tour guides are well-experienced and make sure that no customer steps onto the boat without feeling safe and secure. The facilities provide you with life-jackets, ponchos and even water shoes, though there is little chance for you to stay dry. Be prepared to bring an extra change of clothes because it will be worth it. 

Each tour is documented with pictures and videos which can be purchased upon your return to dry land. It’s a nice personal touch you can get to keep as a souvenir of the time you braved the rapids of the Falls. 

5. Nightmares Fear Factory

  • Cost: $14.95 for Adults and $11.27 for Children
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4
  • Other similar attractions to visit: 
    • House of Frankenstein
    • The Haunted House
    • Upside Down House
    • Zombie Attack

WARNING! This attraction is not for the faint-hearted. Though you can easily find funny pictures of people who are scared and surprised online just by Googling the haunted house’s name (like the one above), just know that if you even make it to that point where the pictures are taken, you’ll definitely be joining the ranks of “scared survivors”.

The legend states that the building was an old coffin factory and its owner, who was tormented by young people, was crushed to death by coffins when he tried confronting them. It is said that he still walks the halls to this day, but you can easily enter Nightmares Fear Factory for yourself and find out.

With more than 160,000 people who have chickened out since its opening, customers are given a safety word before entering the haunted house and are instructed to stick together. If you’re still tempted to test your courage, this could be the very attraction for you. Just make sure not to scream “Nightmare” or something might just come and get you.

6. Fallsview Casino Resort

  • Cost: Varies per customer (Passes available with hotel and travel packages)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4
  • Others to visit: 
    • Casino Niagara
    • Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino
    • Falls Avenue Resort

Located in the heart of Niagara Falls’ attractions, Fallsview Casino Resort bolsters impressive architecture and service. With a variety of games, machines and slots to choose from, this should be a definite stop on your itinerary. 

If you’re not one to gamble but would still like to have a good time, there are also 320 shows to choose from each year as well as luxury rooms, a spa and fine dining. Fallsview Casino Resort is your one-stop-shop for all of your relaxation needs in Niagara Falls.

Things to do for families

7. Niagara SkyWheel

  • Cost: $12.99
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Niagara Speedway
    • Niagara IMAX Theatre
    • Mystery Maze

Still unsure about what to do first once in Niagara Falls? The best way is to start with the Niagara SkyWheel. At the top of the famous Clifton Hill, you are able to see amazing natural landmarks, the numerous other attractions, and of course, the Falls themselves. Hop on the wheel during the day to pick out where to go next, or venture out at night and see the Falls light up in a breathtaking array of colours. 

The SkyWheel is the perfect activity for the whole family; to either start your day or to end it. Either way, it will offer you memorable views that will have you soon planning your next trip to Niagara Falls.

8. Clifton Hill

Credit: Clifton Hill

  • Cost: $19.95 for Adults and $14.95 for Children
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4
  • Some attractions to visit: 
    • Niagara SkyWheel
    • Dinosaur Golf or Wizard’s Gold
    • Zombie Attack 6D Theatre Ride
    • Movieland Wax Museum
    • Wild West Coaster 6D Theatre Ride
    • Ghost Blasters Dark Ride

Clifton Hill is the main strip in Niagara Falls for all of your favourite tourist attractions. With the Clifton Hill Fun Pass, you pay one low price to have access to 3 of the main attractions. Split up your attractions into multiple days, or spend one jam-packed day visiting all of them. Clifton Hill is definitely a great way to see many amazing attractions at once; especially if you’re on a budget. 

The best part? These fan favourites are also family favourites which means that everyone will have a thrill on Clifton Hill. 

9. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

  • Cost: $12.99 to $18.99
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks
    • Ripley’s Moving Theatre 4D
    • The Fun House
    • Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars
    • Guinness World Records Museum

The Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum is a collection of oddities from around the world. With an interactive and immersive exhibit, you are sure to be fascinated with some of the things that have graced the world with their existence. Some may be amazing and others a little more cringe-worthy, but they are all fascinating. Should you not get your fix with one museum of oddities, feel free to visit them all since Niagara Falls, and especially Clifton Hill has a few to offer, all in one convenient location.

Tickets are sold individually for the Ripleys Believe It or Not museum or can be bundled together along with the Louis Tussaud Wax Museum and the Ripley’s Moving 4D Theatre. 

Natural wonders

10. Hornblower Niagara Cruises

  • Cost: $30.50 for adults and $20.50 for children (5-12 years), infants free
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 5
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Niagara’s Fury
    • WildPlay MistRider Zipline to the Falls
    • Skylon Tower

The Hornblower Niagara Cruise is the Canadian version of the well known Maid of the Mist. You can purchase your ticket for a 20 minute tour that brings you up close and personal with the natural wonder.

Offering an immersive experience, you can stay dry on the inside and learn about the natural and historical facts of the Falls, or head out onto the deck and allow your poncho to provide you with minimum coverage from the promised mist of Niagara Falls. It’ll be easy to see from the boat wow why so many people journey to Niagara to see the Falls. 

11. Journey Behind the Falls

  • Cost: $15 for Adults and $10 for Children (6-12 years)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Whirlpool Aero Car
    • Whirlpool Adventure Course
    • White Water Walk

If getting a birdseye view of the Falls from the SkyWheel, or seeing them up close by a boat is not your forte, then you’re in luck with this alternative view. Take the walk through other exhibits and make your way to two outdoor observation points that are linked by a tunnel directly behind the falls. Both the Cataract Portal and the Great Falls Portal allow you to see the Falls in a new way. This self-guided walk takes about half the time than that of the Hornblower cruise, and it allows you to keep your feet on solid ground.

You’ll still receive your complimentary poncho because the mist of the Falls reaches far. Though this attraction is still open in winter, the prime time to see the Falls at their best is during the Spring and the Summer. 

12. Butterfly Conservatory

Credit: Niagara Parks
  • Cost: $16.50 for Adults and $10.75 for Children (6-12 years)
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Niagara Glen Nature Centre
    • Niagara Glen
    • Queenston Heights

Home to over 2 000 butterflies, the conservatory is located on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens which makes it easy to see the beauty of the paired attractions. Follow the multiple pathways inside the conservatory and make your way to the Emergence window for the most stunning view, as the butterflies leave their cocoons and spread their new colourful wings. 

This self-guided tour is open year-round and is a little slice of peace for the whole family. Should the exotic species within the conservatory not be enough for you, make your way to the outdoor butterfly garden during the warmer months and see the species native to Ontario.

13. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

  • Cost: Free admission
  • Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5
  • Other attractions to visit: 
    • Floral Showhouse
    • Dufferin Islands
    • Floral Clock
    • Centennial Lilac Garden

This 99 acre Botanical Garden is home to many beautiful natural exhibits including the Butterfly Conservatory, the School of Horticulture as well as the world-famous rose garden that features more than 2 400 roses. 

Explore the grounds on foot or hop on a horse & carriage tour during the summer months for 25$ +tax. Either way, the Botanical Gardens provide you with the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the world, and allows you to return to your roots!

But wait, there’s more!

With so many great attractions and sights to see, it can be a little overwhelming to try to fit it all in. That’s why organizations such as Niagara Tourism, Niagara Parks, and even Clifton Hill all offer a variety of packages and passes. You can pick a package that best suits you. Whether you’re travelling on your own, with your partner or even with your whole family, you can choose from the variety on hand and save when you bundle. 

Certain hotels even offer special packages by partnering up with local attractions, entertainment and even restaurants. The more you save, the more you can experience. 

Lastly, with so many attractions all packed together in one location, getting around on foot is often the more practical means of transportation. However, the local bus line WEGO offers reasonable prices and easy to read routes that bring you around the city, and also to those few attractions that remain a little further out. WEGO also has packages and passes that suit all kinds of tourists and travellers.

As a destination that welcomes scores of tourists every year, it’s no wonder why so many keep coming back, and not just for the Falls either. 

Get started

To start planning your trip, check out these following sites for some great ideas. You never know what wonders you may discover!

Over to you

We’re interested to know – when are you planning to visit? What attractions are you planning to go to? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About the author

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Kyla Heyming
K.P. Heyming is a bilingual Canadian writer with deep roots, a full heart, and a yearning to set her soul in ink and paper. Fiercely driven to ensnare all of life's little moments, she works tirelessly for her passion so that she may someday lead others to find their own meaning in her words. Follow her on social media @kpheyming for more of her writing. Read more

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