Updated for 2017: Niagara Falls Canada ~ Festival of Lights ~ Nov 18/17 to Jan 31/18
Millions of people from all over the world flock in droves to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada each and every year; we are no different, although living about 30 minutes away we never get board visiting Niagara Falls.
As long as I can remember Niagara Falls has always held a special place in my heart, I am not sure why, it can be crowded and noisy and difficult to get around with the clusters of tourists every which way you turn but there is a certain allure to the falls that keep me and my family coming back time and time again.
Niagara Falls is beautiful throughout the seasons with the beautiful landscaped and manicured lawns and gardens but it comes alive with a unique life of its own at Christmastime and a must visit spot for any visitors coming to Canada.
We like taking the scenic route starting at Niagara-on-the-Lake a beautiful little hidden gem situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and at the mouth of the Niagara River and probably the most beautiful and picturesque little town in all of Canada with rich history and culture. It boasts world class restaurants and hotels; The Prince of Wales for one and as well as world class entertainment at the Shaw Festival. It is also home to some of the finest wineries and restaurants in Canada. As you stroll down the main street in town; Queen Street you'll be taken back to a simpler place in time. At Christmas time the town is dotted with lights and decorations, if you're lucky you might spy Santa, Christmas carolers or take a moment to indulge in a horse and buggy ride.
Follow Queen Street through town you'll enjoy a wonderful scenic drive along the Niagara River bordering Lewiston NY past Queenston Heights and onto Niagara Falls. A leisurely drives takes approximately 20 minutes and well worth the drive to see the Festival of Lights where the beautiful Christmas lights have been twinkling for 33 years.
Niagara Falls is breathtaking in December and January and is a bustling and active place with excellent restaurants, entertainment, casinos and shows but by far we enjoy the Festival of Lights that runs from November 18, 2017 to January 31, 2018 this year with some 2 million lights twinkling for your enjoyment. They have it all with motion lights, trees wrapped in lights and so much more. The drive through to Dufferin Island is well worth it as you creep slowly in your car to view all of Canada's prized wildlife light sculptures as you exit Dufferin Island you can make a small donation to keep the tradition going if you wish and start the drive back to the Falls to see it all again.
Niagara Parks spent a fortune this year replacing the lights that illuminate the falls; they switched to LED lighting making the falls even more impressive at night which they illuminate nightly from 5PM to midnight.
If you want to be dazzled stick around until 9PM nightly from Dec 23 to Dec 30 and at midnight for the Annual New Year's Eve concert (Fridays at 9 PM for the month of Jan 2017) in the park where you'll witness the most beautiful fireworks display illuminating the sky over the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. I swear the key to enjoying the fireworks; that is if you don't mind dressing extremely warm and getting cold sprayed by the mist of the falls you have to stand as close to where they blast off and explode overhead, with the thunder of the fireworks and the roaring thunder of the falls you're in for one amazing experience.
Enjoy this short little video for a taste of what the Festival of Lights has to offer!