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Things to do in Niagara Falls this WinterNovember 23, 2017

Niagara Falls looks good dressed in its winter coat. Above the falls, with its year-round presence of mist from the whirlpool below the branches are shimmering with icicles in the sun. 

Things really brighten up at night when the magical colours of the Winter Festival of Lights illuminate the trees and displays, augmented by the falls themselves which are lit up most nights year-round. Rather than surrender to the cold of winter, this city offers a lengthy menu of fun events that are geared specifically toward the season.

Where to start? Well, for years the Winter Festival of Lights has attracted visitors by the millions who enjoy driving through the Fallsview area, along the Niagara Parkway at the top of the falls.

Running through to January 31, the nightly show illuminates settings such as the Zimmerman Fountain, the 3D animal displays around Dufferin Islands, a Noah’s Ark creation, an Inukshuk, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the trees themselves. 

Beautifully bathed in bright Christmas colours, there is no admission charged to drive the route that also includes laser light shows and weekly fireworks over the falls. 

The calendar is dotted with other winter events in the Falls. The Floral Showhouse Christmas display runs from December 1 through to January 1. Tended by the expert gardeners of the Niagara Parks Commission, the show highlights poinsettias, paperwhite Narcissus, Christmas cactus and other flowers of the holiday season.

The showhouse is at 7145 Niagara Parkway. Visit www.NiagaraParks.com for more information.

For anyone who wants to stay warm while being close to ice, there is the Christmas On Ice figure skating show in the Avalon Ballroom inside the Niagara Fallsview Casino. For the performances, which run until December 3, the stage area has been converted to an indoor rink.

The show features singers, national-class skaters and music and costumes festive enough to put anyone in the Christmas spirit. Most days, there are two shows per day. Visit www.FallsviewCasinoResort.com/entertainment to learn more.

A longtime favourite for tourists coming to Niagara Falls is the Oh Canada Eh? dinner theatre at 8585 Lundy’s Lane. This year, the presentation is Crazy For Christmas, a rollicking musical comedy about an old couple who have their own very different ways of marking Christmas, and the meal is served by the cast. Visit www.OhCanadaEh.com.

For a more intimate night out, the Niagara Falls History Museum offers its Holiday Jazz Concert on December 21 featuring singer Ashley St. Pierre and pianist Adrean Farrugia. Learn more at www.NiagaraFallsMuseums.ca/events.

As well, for the second year the Niagara Parks Commission is hosting its Grand View Winter Marketplace. It features unique offerings from crafters as well as food and beverages locally supplied. The marketplace runs from November 23 to 26. Visit www.NiagaraParks.com/events to learn more.

To top it all off, while you’re in the city be sure to drive by the Horseshoe Falls at the end of your day. Each night the falls will be spectacularly illuminated to present an entirely new viewpoint for the world-famous landmark.

Photo credit:  Chris Empey

Winter Festival of Lights

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