Winter Holiday Fun in Niagara Falls

For many Ontarians, Niagara Falls is one of those places that you’ve likely had the opportunity to travel to more than once. Us included. However, having been a few years since our last trip to this great natural wonder, we decided to make the trip again, as newlyweds. Because we’ve already done the whole Clifton Hill adventures, we wanted to check out what else was available. Don’t get us wrong – the Clifton Hill attractions are GREAT! But when you already know what the haunted houses, the Wax museum, the ferris wheel and Ripley’s museum have to offer, we felt that we could make an alternate use of our limited time in the area. We visited from December 28th to the 30th, and crammed in as many escapades (see what I did there? …escapades? Because of our blog  …nevermind) as we could while we were there.

We stayed in the lovely Hilton Niagara Falls with a clear view of the American falls, Fallsview Casino, and the top of the Canadian falls.

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After our check-in and getting settled in our room, we decided to venture out and check out our hotel, and the neighbouring Fallsview Hotel, as they are connected by a glass-covered walkway over Fallsview Boulevard. Before leaving home, we made sure to book reservations for restaurants that we wanted to experience ahead of time, so as to not be disappointed if they were busy when we arrived. Our first night, we dined at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse, conveniently connected to our hotel. This place was AWESOME. If you’ve never been, its a must-try…if you eat meat. You can check out their menu here.

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After dinner, we decided to make the trip down the hill to check out the winter wonderland and the recently updated illumination of the lights over the falls. The views were spectacular!

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Over the holidays, there is a fireworks display held over the falls each night at 9pm. During the regular seasons, fireworks are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. You can check out specifics here. We made it down the hill with 15 minutes to spare, which ensured we got a spot right next to the protective barrier. Mind you, the view likely isn’t bad where ever you’re standing, so as long as you get there by 9, you should be good! Pro tip: the closer you get to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls at night, the more the mist takes OVER. Be prepared to get wet if you don’t have an umbrella!

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Our next day in the Niagara began with a trip to the other side of the falls! Pro tip: bring your passport with you if you have one – you’ll be able to cross the border into New York state to get a different viewpoint of the falls! We didn’t venture too far from the border, but we did wander around in the Niagara Falls State Park. It was beautiful in the winter, so we could only imagine how it would look when everything is lush and green in the summer! There was a lovely paved trail through the park, some bridges to cross the Niagara river to Goat Island, and even a statue of Nikola Tesla representing the fact that he created the first hydroelectric power plant there.

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We had previously made reservations for the Skylon Tower back on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, so we headed there for noon. We actually wrote a review for the Tower, so if you want to see some photos and videos of our experience there, click here!

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After that we did some shopping and exploring in Fallsview Hotel and tried our hand at the casino – spoiler: we didn’t win anything! It was a trap! But a lot of fun – we had a couple of good laughs.

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For our last night in Niagara Falls, we had made reservations for The Watermark restaurant, located on the top floor of our hotel, with an impeccable view, and even better food!

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The night we went, they had a fixed menu option, where you could order any three items for $55 – a great deal for the quality of the food. We got a starter, entree and dessert, with a delicious wine pairing!

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All in all, this trip to the falls was great. There is definitely lots to do without having to go to Clifton Hill for your entertainment. Be sure to check out the restaurants available to you in your hotel! We had a package where we received a complimentary breakfast each morning, and others had packages that included a meal at the other Hilton restaurants! Exploring your surroundings will likely result in great discoveries!

Want to see a video of some highlights? Check it out:

–The Calkins’

(Hey, still reading? If you want to keep up with our escapades, feel free to follow any or all of our social media accounts if you haven’t already! Click on the links below!)

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