Besides the legendary Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada boasts an array of neat places, sites and stuff for you to discover and they’re all free things to do.
3 Hotels near The Falls & Fun
-Blue Moon Motel, 3-Time TripAdvisor Award of Excellence Winner
-Country Inn & Suites Niagara Falls, TripAdvisor Award of Excellence Winner
-DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa, 85% Approval Rating
More ideas: Cheap Hotels & Places to Stay in Niagara Falls
The Horseshoe Falls
The first and foremost reason people visit Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada is to see the Falls which is, without a doubt, the most awesome free thing to do in Niagara Falls.
Stroll along the walkway that parallels the gorge and take in the never ending roar and thunder caused by over 2,800 cubic metres of water plunging 13 stories over the Falls every second. Wicked stuff.
Pause along the railing at the Falls’ edge and let the mist cool you down on a hot summer’s day.
Stand at the brink of the Falls and imagine the nerve the daredevils who risked life and limb going over the Falls in a barrel, must have possessed.
The Falls is just as spectacular at night when it is illuminated with a rainbow of spotlights. And every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from May to September, there’s one more free thing you can do—enjoy an incredible fireworks extravaganza exploding in the air above the Horseshoe Falls.
More Natural Wonders
The Falls isn’t the only natural wonder in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada that will leave you exhilarated. Half a mile south of the Falls you can check out Dufferin Islands, a park with a number of islands connected by footbridges. Admission is free.
Hikers will enjoy the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner.
At this free thing to do you can descend through forest down to the gorge and the Niagara River, where the shoreline is littered with boulders left behind thousands of years ago by the Falls during its eroding retreat.
While on your walk don’t be surprised to come across people, in full-on gear, rock climbing. Actually it’s called “bouldering“. Bouldering is a popular pastime in the Glen and for novice hikers happening across someone attempting to scale a rock face, it makes a great excuse to pause and watch while you catch your breath.
And don’t forget, before you begin your Niagara Glen foray, take in the complimentary view of the Niagara River Whirlpool, a natural phenomena where a right-angle turn in the river’s path forces the water of the Niagara River into a counter-clockwise spin.
The War of 1812
If you’re a history buff you’ll love this stuff. Between 1812 and 1814, the Niagara Region in Canada was the scene for some of the most hard-fought and bloody battles of the War of 1812.
America had declared war against Great Britain and believed they could capture the British territory of Canada with ease. As a result they began attacking the country at three strategic locations, one of those being the Niagara Frontier.
The first major battle took place at Queenston Heights. Despite being vastly outnumbered by the Americans, the British troops, led by General Sir Isaac Brock, defeated the Yankees.
Today, at Queenston Heights Park, his leadership is commemorated by the impressive, 185-foot tall Brock Monument, where Brock’s remains are interred. You can also climb up the tower for free and take in a breathtaking view of the Niagara River.
The Battle of Chippawa was one of the first confrontations of the War of 1812. Visit Chippawa Battlefield Park and you can relive the battle and step in the shoes of the troops by taking a free, self-guided tour of the battleground.
The Niagara Parks Garden Trail
Gardeners will gravitate towards this free thing to do—the Niagara Parks Garden Trail. Enjoy the bouquet of fragrances and spectacle of colours at all five points along the way.
Since 1950, the Floral Clock, one of the largest in the world at 40 feet in diameter, has been photographed almost as frequently as the Falls. Over 16,000 bedding plants are used to create the design.
The Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens is 99 acres of stunning gardens, including the world-famous rose garden which features over2,400 roses.
At the base of Clifton Hill you’ll find Oakes Garden Theatre. Enjoy the rock garden, lily pond, the view of the Falls and, quite often, a free concert.
Queen Victoria Park, a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice winner, runs parallel to the Niagara River and Gorge. The grounds feature lush, green lawns, beautifully-tailored gardens bursting with vivid colours and an excellent view of the Falls too.
Tropical plant aficionados will enjoy a visit to the Floral Showhouse. Here you’ll find a wide variety of tropical plants, including the tallest flower in the world, the Titan Arum. Be prepared to duck too—throughout the Showhouse tropical birds fly about.
The Niagara Parkway
Whether you choose to drive, bike or walk, The Niagara Parkway is a lovely route to wind along and enjoy the view and stuff along the way.
Stretching from Fort Erie, past the Falls to Niagara-On-the-Lake this 56 kilometre roadway was once referred to by Sir Winston Churchill as “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”.
You’ll pass by scenic settings, battlefields, the Peace Bridge to the U.S., the Falls, vineyards and more. Best of all it’s another free thing to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Bring a picnic!
A Couple of Curiosities
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada offers up some million dollar views, and it also has a million dollar jade stone. It stands 12 feet high and weighs 16 tons. It’s on display in the Niagara Falls Jade Museum located at the back of a Buddhist institution and it’s free to see.
Another attraction on a grand scale is the massive Welland Canal. Head to the Lock 3 observation area and watch gigantic tanker ships pass through the locks and gates of the Canal, bypassing Niagara Falls, so they can make their way from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, to the St. Lawrence Seaway and on to the Atlantic Ocean.
Be sure and visit the Museum at the Welland Canals Centre at Lock 3 too–it’s a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner as well.
In the mood to do a little window shopping (hey, that’s free!)?
Make your way to the Outlet Collection at Niagara.
The newest shopping destination in the Niagara area, just off the QEW highway, this mall features over 100 stores.
Here you’ll find some of the most popular fashion and lifestyle brands but because this is an outlet mall you can score some great deals.
Check Groupon for Deals on Niagara Falls Things to Do
Visit the Niagara Falls Groupon page and you’ll find savings of anywhere from 40-90% on attractions, tours, wine tours, show tickets, golf, events, dinner spots and accommodations.
The Groupon Niagara Falls page is a smart place to check out when you’re first planning your trip and even when you’re in the middle of your Niagara Falls visit because new deals get added weekly and even daily many times.
Get last minute tickets to a concert or game
A great, reliable source for last minute tickets is Stubhub.
Be thrifty and practical! This information was accurate when published, but can change without notice. We recommend you confirm all details with the provider in question before planning your excursion.