Niagara Falls in the Winter

Who decides to go to Niagara Falls in the Winter? This girl! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I booked this trip. I was only thinking that it was my mother and sister’s birthday and I wanted to take them on a trip to Niagara Falls. This is one place my mom has always wanted to see and I thought taking her there for a few nights with her daughters would be a perfect present.

We weren’t sure what to expect for this time of year. I did some research and I was seeing where the falls could freeze over. I had to take the chance. I’m glad I did.

We took the train to Chicago at 3:00 AM so we could catch our flight on time. We were exited we could barely sleep on the ride. We then caught the plane to Buffalo. We flew into Buffalo, New York to get to Niagara Falls. We can see from the air, there was snow. This should make a fun and cold weekend. If you have a passport book, I would recommend to fly into Toronto. It would be cheaper to get to Niagara Falls from there. When you fly into Buffalo, the taxi has to pay a fee to go over the international line, so you pay more.

We got to our hotel, Oakes Hotel, after an hour drive from the airport. We get out from the taxi and can hear the waterfall. Sounded so peaceful. We walked in and I asked if they had anything special for two birthday girls. They ended up giving us a suite with the best view of the waterfall. We couldn’t ask for anything better.

Our view on Day 1

We cleaned up after a long haul and went down to eat. We got in kind of late, so we didn’t do anything else on our first night. We were pooped after a long day of traveling. We just stared out our window at the view.

A view after dinner

We were ready to head out and see the Falls up closer and try and stay warm. We drank some coffee and enjoyed the view for awhile from our suite. It was still frozen, but had thawed out a little more from day before.

Our view the next morning

Our hotel was right there by the Falls Incline Railway that can take you down to the Falls. They have different passes if you like. There is one way, round trip, or an all day pass. It was much warmer than walking down.

On our way down to the Falls
View from the Incline
View from the bottom
About to head to the Falls

We were so excited to see what was next. We couldn’t wait to see the Falls up close. We walked through the Welcome Center and opened the doors and saw one of the most spectacular views ever. I think we forgot just how cold it was, because we were so memorized by the view. Some areas were still iced, but it didn’t make it less beautiful. There was three inch thick ice on the rails. It made the waterfall even more beautiful to see at this time of year.

We went back inside and decided to have lunch at The Element. We watched the water fall while enjoying each others company. We tried the Ice Wine. It was really good. It went down so smooth. It should for the price. I went with the strawberry margarita next. Had to warm up my body some before going outside.

We went outside to enjoy the view some more before going to purchase tickets to go below. We ended up doing a package ticket where you did Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara Fury, Butterfly Conservation, and unlimited WEGO transportation. We were not able to do the Maid of the Mist, since that is closed during the Winter.

The Jourey Behind the Falls was pretty cool. We were only able to go so far out in one area since it was dangerous. You still could get wet where we went and see the water up close. They had pictures everywhere throughout the tunnels of different stories and facts about the famous falls and also the famous people that have visited the falls.

Journey Behind the Falls
You should be able to see flowing water, but some of the falls were still frozen

It was time to see what else was in Niagara Falls. We headed off to Clifton Hills. We wanted to ride the sky wheel for sure. We tried to time it perfectly that we would be at the top when the lights went on at the Falls, but we were a few minutes off. The turned on when it was about time to get off. It was still a beautiful view and the pods were heated so you didn’t freeze.

Before we went on the sky wheel, we walked around to see the many things to see and do at Clifton Hills. This is a family oriented place. They had shopping, museums, wax museums, candy stores, and restaurants. You had many places to pick from. This is where we did our souvenir shopping too.

Just a taste what is at Clifton Hill
Sky Wheel

We started to walk towards the bus stop so we could go back to our hotel and walk to the restaurant we chose for the night. We were walking on back and noticed a light show on the building of our hotel. It was a nice little surprise.

It was time to get some sleep after a long day of site seeing. We just enjoyed the view from our room for the rest of the night.

Today was our last full day to see all we could. When I woke up and saw the Falls, you couldn’t even tell it was ever frozen. I couldn’t believe how much it changed in just a few days.

We hopped on the bus and it took us north and we got to see Niagara Falls State Park. We didn’t get off the bus, but it was nice to see and know where it was if we ever came back. He headed back towards the Falls, so we got off there. You just couldn’t see this place enough. I’m not sure what it is about the waterfalls, but they are so calming. I can stay at one all day.

We did the Niagara Fury while we were here. I can’t remember what it was about. All I remember is you wear ponchos and get a little wet.

We got a little wet

After that, we headed back onto the bus to the butterfly Conservation. My mother loves butterflies, so this was a must. There are butterflies flying everywhere. Some will just land wherever they want. They run the show here. I would recommend this place if you have the time.

One landed on my sister

After our visit here, the bus brought us back into town. We had the bus drop us off by Clifton Hill. We walked through some of the stores and enjoyed sometime at Hershey’s Store. I love me some chocolate. We picked us up some snacks and went back to the hotel.

Tonight was our last night and one of the things I wanted to do was go to Rainbow Bridge and stand on the international line. We made sure we were bundled up and got onto the bus to the stop closest to the bridge. Make sure if you plan on doing this, you have your passport. We went through security and since it was not busy and the only one’s in there, I asked if my passport could be stamped since they don’t usually stamp United States passports. We walked to the middle of the bridge and got to the line. We stayed here for some time for pictures. Some of the water was still frozen, but it looked beautiful.

Both Falls from international line
Stuck between two countries

After leaving here, we headed back towards the Falls. We wanted to go down to the falls while the lights were on before we left. It was a bit of a walk, but we walked all the way back to the Falls. The lights on the water is breathtaking.

It was getting cold and late so we decided to head back to hotel. We had a long day ahead of us the next day. We had enough time to get breakfast and that is about it. Thankfully our view made the morning and nights easier to be in our hotel.

One day I want to go back and do the Maide of the Mist and the Voyage to the Falls in the Summer sometime. I’m glad I went at this time. It was great to see the Falls at a frozen and unfrozen state. I had a great time with my mom and sister. It is a vacation that my mother says will always be her favorite.

I hope you enjoyed this read. Please let me know if there is something I miss and need to add the next time I go.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda Stepek says:

    The whole vacation was amazing!! Spending alone time with my daughters made it Extra special because they were with me to see my dream of seeing the Falls

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tinastepek says:

      It was a great vacation for sure


  2. Naomi (Inching Forwards) says:

    It sounds like you had an amazing trip, and what a wonderful, thoughtful idea for a present. Although I’d like to go some day, being UK-based I’ve never seriously looked into it yet, so I had no idea there was so much to do in the area. And winter, especially, sounds magical. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tinastepek says:

      You’re welcome. I didn’t expect as much either. If I had more time, they had a winery that has the ice wine.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 73parkavenue says:

    It looks spectacular at winter – we don’t blame you for going! We just might ourselves now… Thank you for sharing this with us and keep up the great content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tinastepek says:

      You’re welcome. Thank you for the kind words. It wasn’t that crowded either, which was nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Veronica Hendrickson says:


    Liked by 1 person

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