Ok, so I don’t need to go on and on about why Niagara Falls is a great destination right? Everyone has heard about the legendary Niagara Falls. Maybe you know someone who has gotten married or honeymooned there? But perhaps you haven’t heard much about visiting Niagara in the winter.
Niagara Falls in Winter
When you hear “Niagara Falls” a few things might come to mind. Nature, Romance…. or maybe…. Crowds..? Well, not in winter.
The best thing about visiting Niagara Falls in winter is hands down the lack of crowds. We were able to get up close and personal with the falls. We didn’t have to wait in lines, and best of all… we were able to get photographs of the area without having to wait for people to get out of the shot!
And what is one thing that Niagara Falls in the winter has, that Niagara Falls in the winter will never have?
Icy Niagara Falls! (Although there was no icy on the falls when we visited, but we would totally go back for that spectacular sight!)
What to do in Niagara Falls in the winter – The Wonder Pass
One down side to Niagara Falls in the winter is that some of the attractions will be closed. Hopefully you don’t have your heart too set on The Maid of the Mist, because that does not run in the winter. But the Journey behind the Falls will still be open, and believe me, you can get wet enough on that!
The best attractions that are open in this season are all offered in a convenient pass – The Wonder Pass. Buying this pass is really the only way to go when visiting Niagara Falls in the winter. Firstly, it is 55% saving over purchasing individual tickets to the attractions. On top of this you also receive two days of free transport on the WeGo bus network which connects all the attractions with the main shopping and hotel districts. It also come with vouchers on some of the other attractions and gift shops in town. Awesome right?
So what do you get to see with the Wonder pass?
Niagara’s Fury : Niagara’s Fury is a 4D movie. The film takes you through the history of how the falls were formed. But what is the 4th D you ask? I’ll give you a hint. They gave us ponchos when we entered. Just let me say that you will be impressed. This isn’t just some little attractions where a little bit of water gets spouted at you, or your chair moves a bit. This will take you back to the creation of the falls. Oh, and kids will LOVE it.
Journey Behind The Falls: The view from the top of the falls is amazing. You see the water rushing down along the river, and then plummeting and crashing down below. Spray flies up and rainbows appear. But there is no way you can fully appreciate the magnitude of the falls until you experience it from below. In the summer you can experience it from river level with one of the boat tours available, but in winter those boats no longer operate. To really experience the power of the falls you need to journey behind the falls. You start within the visitor center and take an elevator down, down, down. There you are given yet another poncho. The elevator takes you down 150 ft. into the bedrock, and a tunnel takes you to a viewing point where you see the falls come down from above. Warning: you will get wet. There are other tunnels as well with take you to viewing portals that are literally right behind the falls. You will get less wet there.
Butterfly Conservatory: We all love butterflies right? Ok well I like them from afar. (Once things get into my hair, believe me, they are not coming out again). But for those of us who don’t have spider webs for hair – this place is amazing. This is the only place I have seen in my travels where you can experience a multitude of beautiful butterflies, flying around freely in a warm, beautiful, tropical environment. You can get just as close to these butterflies as you can to the ones with pins through the middle of them – but these ones have the benefit of being alive. Everyone we were with were delighted with this attraction. Butterflies landed on the camera gear, fluttered past wide eyed children’s heads, and stopped for a rest of people’s shoulders. Everyone was delighted but me. I was terrified they would get stuck in my hair. But Dan had an awesome time taking macro photographs of the butterflies.
WEGO bus services: The WEGO network services all of the attractions and most of the hotels and shopping/dining districts in Niagara. With the Wonder Pass you get two days of complimentary passes to the bus network. If you are driving to Niagara (as we were), we recommend parking at the Butterfly Conservatory (where the paid parking is $5 instead of $15 at Niagara Falls), and then use WEGO to get between the attractions.
Thanks to Niagara Parks for providing us with the Wonder Passes we used to have a great two days at Niagara Falls