As a popular vacation destination, Canada’s Niagara Falls, its guest rooms, and countless tourist attractions welcome year-round visitors. This always open and picturesque area is ideal for holiday getaways. Discover what to expect before you arrive for various 2018 special occasions.
Civic Holiday Aug. 6
Join Ontario residents celebrating August’s first Monday as their provincial Civic Holiday. Niagara Falls festivities include live concerts, wine tastings, vivid fireworks in Queen Victoria Park at 10 p.m., and much more.
Labour Day Sept. 3
Couples and families can relish many entertaining events and attractions on September’s first Monday. Visit parks, enjoy concerts and watch the dazzling fireworks over the waterfalls.
Canadian Thanksgiving Oct. 8
An early harvest puts Canada’s Thanksgiving on October’s second Monday, coinciding with America’s Columbus Day. Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Niagara Falls. Glorious sights and tastes will make your trip memorable. Niagara Parkway’s fall leaves display spectacular splashes of rich reds and brilliant yellows in refreshingly cool weather. Wear light jackets or sweaters at waterfall attractions. Sample local drinks and fall harvest eats at the area’s fabulous wineries and restaurants. Try turkey with a maple-bacon glaze, rice dressing and butter tarts.
Halloween Oct. 31
These Niagara Falls sites deliver creepy adventures:
Haunt Manor Hayrides and Haunted Houses: A theatrical event includes seven themed dwellings, spooky characters and a corn maze.
Nightmares Fear Factory: The hosts promise to scare thrill-seekers entering the ultra-dark space. Beware as you follow the red-light trail to the exit.
Drummond Hill Cemetery Tours: Costumed guides lead you around the eerie grounds. Historical theatrical performances provide glimpses into departed citizens’ lives.
Old Fort Erie’s All Hallow’s Eve Tours: Can you imagine combining frightening fun with refreshments? Relive the old stone fort’s ghastly tales from lingering spirits’ perspectives. Witness the annual effigy burning that commemorates rebel Guy Fawkes’ failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot.
Oh Canada, Eh?: This lingerie-clad theater group presents “Rocky Horror Show” in its 14th annual thrilling, chilling live retelling.
Winter Festival of Lights Nov. 3-Jan. 31
Festive multi-colored illuminations depict the holiday season’s magic nightly 5 p.m.-midnight. Brilliant shows combine illuminated waterfalls and displays with a multitude of glittering lights. The Nov. 3 Winter Festival of Lights opening ceremony in Queen Victoria Park turns on the event’s lights and launches the first fireworks show. Spectacles spread beyond Niagara Parks to nearby tourist districts including Fallsview and Niagara Parkway from Clifton Hill to Dufferin Islands.
Marvel at the Canadian-American Flag, 15 native wildlife representations, Noah’s ark, two-story Zimmerman Fountain and Skylon Tower. Catch the Power Generating Station’s light show, Niagara Parks’ Police Building’s 3-D angels and Clifton Hill’s laser light show. The festival features 19 fireworks presentations after the opener. They occur at 9 p.m. every Friday and each evening Dec. 23-29 plus 9 p.m. and midnight on New Year’s Eve. Rather than charging admission fees, this event accepts donations ($5-10 for each car; $1 for each bus passenger). All proceeds enhance this three-month celebration’s displays.
American Thanksgiving Nov. 29 and Black Friday Nov. 30
Niagara Falls joins in its American friends’ feasting and shopping routines. Even in Canada, you can get your Thursday fill of traditional roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing and creamy pumpkin pie. On Black Friday, watch your dollar go much farther as you scoop up amazing deals, holiday gifts and unique souvenirs.
Christmas Dec. 25
Crisp winter air, snow-covered waterfalls’ glistening majesty, and merry decorations create a festive vacation setting. Many restaurants including the revolving Skylon Tower offer holiday dining. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and Clifton Hill will delight all generations while the casinos provide adult gaming. The only tourism area that closes for Christmas Day is Niagara Parks.
New Year’s Eve Dec. 31
Welcome 2019 with free live entertainment, music, and sparkling fireworks over the illuminated falls. Celebrations include an 8 p.m. all-Canadian outdoor concert at Queen Victoria Park with various food and drink services. Watch the midnight fireworks launch from Niagara Gorge. Wear a thick coat, hat, scarf, and gloves since winter temperatures can drop by the Niagara River. Warm up at Queen Victoria Place Restaurant and Gift Shop across the street.
Marriott on the Falls makes Niagara Falls holidays special. This recently renovated hotel closest to the falls offers multiple well-appointed guest room, suite and economical package options. Book your reservations online today.