While family vacations are filled with fun and memory making, they can also get expensive, especially when you are on a budget. Never fear, there are lots of activities in and around Niagara Falls for families to enjoy and the best part is they are FREE! Yes, that’s right, planning a trip to visit the world-renowned falls for your family’s vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. There is much to do around Niagara Falls, that won’t cost you anything except the cost of getting there! Let’s explore all the fun, free family activities awaiting you and your family.
On both sides of the Falls, in the U.S. or Canada, visiting the observation points, enjoying the breath-taking views, hiking, and picnicking are all free to enjoy. In the U.S. this includes Niagara Falls State Park and in Canada, Queen Victoria Park. At Queen Victoria Park, you’ll find not only incredible views of the falls, but in the summertime young and young-at-heart family members will delight in the dazzling lights and fireworks displays. In the park, which features the Niagara Escarpment, Gorge and River, you and your family can enjoy international and local flora featured in stone gardens and carpet beds, plus a lovely rose garden, all the perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic.
For a more active adventure, consider a hike at Niagara Glen, where natural trails and rock climbing are the order of the day. With access to the Niagara River, Niagara Glen is a favourite for exploring the rugged innate splendour of the area. Visitors will enjoy exploring the terrain filled with unique rock formations and native flora, and visiting Foster’s Flats, Wintergreen, Wilson Terrace, the Lockport Limestone Rock, and the Niagara Whirlpool.
Kids of all ages will enjoy exploring the secluded Dufferin Islands paradise which feature beautiful tiny islands joined by footpaths and bridges. The park is home to fish, birds, and local plants, and feature bird feeding stations as well as a “catch and release” fishing program. It’s the perfect place for a quiet afternoon of exploration, bird feeding, fishing, or picnicking.
The Niagara Parkway
For the family that loves activity and adventure, biking the Niagara Parkway delivers! The 54K Niagara River Recreation Trail traverses along the Niagara River beginning at Fort Erie and ending at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Biking along the trail you’ll see beautiful gardens, learn about the history and heritage of the area, plus have ample opportunities for added fun like – bouldering, hiking, sightseeing, and more!
Around Niagara Falls, the community boasts a number of Splash Pads, designed for family fun. Splash Pads are open, weather permitting, on June 1st. You’ll have fun cooling off with your kids at one of these locations: E.E. Mitchelson Park, FH Leslie Park, Kingsbridge Park MacBain Community Centre, Niagara Falls Lions Park, Patrick Cummings Memorial Sports Complex, Prince Charles Park, and Queenston Heights Park.
While all the activities and attractions in Clifton Hill aren’t free, there is plenty to explore along “The World-Famous Street of Fun by the Falls.” Essentially the downtown region of Niagara Falls, Clifton Hill boasts restaurants, entertainment, and attractions for all. Clifton Hill is only a block from the Horseshoe Falls, beside Queen Victoria Park, which makes simply exploring the area lots of fun. With life-size wax figures adorning shop windows, live music on the patios, fireworks shows, and more, your family may decide to spend their vacation “allowance” here on a game of mini-golf, the Niagara SkyWheel, or a race on the Niagara Speedway.
Whatever your family enjoys together, there is lots to do, both fun and free in and around Niagara Falls during your visit!