Top 10 Free Things to do this Summer in Niagara Falls
Viewing the Falls
There are 3 official ‘Falls’ that make up Niagara Falls. The American and Bridal Veil falls along with the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. They flow 24/7 and are free to watch. They are ever changing from day to night, and season to season.
Dufferin Islands consists of 4 small islands and waterways. The tilting of a rock shelf on the top of the Canadian Horseshoe falls directly replenishes the parks waterways daily. The area is maintained by the Niagara Parks Commission and is free to enjoy. It is home to many native birds, ducks and geese. Lush green grass and trees make this the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.
Image Source: Mapio.net
This year fireworks are scheduled to run Monday to Friday plus holiday weekends. Long weekend celebrations include Mondays on the Canada day weekend, 4th of July and Labour day weekend. Fireworks typically start at 10 pm and are subject to weather conditions, meaning if its too windy they cannot run. You can view the fireworks from many locations, along the Niagara Parkway, from the Skylon Tower, from many of the hotel rooms that face in that direction and are high enough. There are many restaurants that have views of the fireworks as well. If you’re looking for a completely free experience, then take a blanket and find your perfect spot on the grass near the Table Rock Welcome Centre.
Perfectly timed to entertain you will live music prior to the Fireworks displays. The Niagara Parks Commission has a bandstand near the Canadian Horseshoe Falls where musicians play live. Genre’s range from country, to jazz, to pop. Shows run Monday to Friday, and holidays until August 31st. Bands perform from 8 – 10 pm.
A designated nature reserve since 1992, the Niagara Glen offers a great hike down to the Niagara Gorge where you can venture down to view the level 6 rapids at the Niagara River Whirlpool. You’ll burn some calories as you follow the winding paths through the natural vegetation, the Carolinian forest, and boulders. Geocaching and birdwatching are free activities however you can sign up for paid activities such as bouldering is established in this area and there are various activities such as bouldering that they do charge for.
The huge Floral Clock is maintained by Niagara Parks but is kept running by Ontario Hydro, the organization that originally built it. 16,000 bedding plants make up the clock, the plants are swapped out twice a year.
Image Source: Niagara Parks
10 minutes north of Niagara Falls you’ll enjoy 99 acres of beautifully maintained gardens. Famous for it’s Magnolia and Flowering Cherry trees late spring, and its Rose gardens and perennials in the summer. You’ll love exploring the grounds and seeing the beautiful gardens. There’s also a free app that can help you navigate and identify what’s been planted as you stroll around the gardens.
Image Source: Niagara Parks
Sarina Stupa Temple
Also known as the Ten Thousand Buddha’s, is a spacious and completely authentic temple. Free to explore, meditate, and burn incense, a place for a donation is readily accessible. The temple is open on Saturdays during the summer. If you plan on going during the week you are still able to explore the building and the amazing architecture.
Image Source: Wikepeida
Old Fort Erie Battle Re-enactments
If you’re a ‘history buff’ then this 20-minute drive to Old Fort Erie will be worth it to see the battle re-enactments.
June 11-12th are the Fenian Raids, the re-enactments take place Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 with a ceremony preceding the Saturday battle.
July 5th is the Battle of Chippawa that starts at 6pm. All re-enactments take place with original battle uniforms complete with muskets.
Image Source: WNY Papers
Celebrate the end of the summer this 2 week long free light and sounds how is a must do when visiting from August 25th to September 4th. With 3 nightly shows happening at 8:15, 9:15 and 10:15 pm that features a large fountain that tells a story to choreographed music and light.
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Abraham Mortimer, curator of Nightmares in the Clifton Hill district of Niagara Falls.
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