Niagara Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder that draws millions of visitors every year, and it’s not hard to see why. The sheer power and beauty of the falls are awe-inspiring, and it’s a sight that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. While the summer months are the most popular time to visit, there’s something truly magical about seeing the falls in the winter, particularly in December. The mist from the falls creates a beautiful icy landscape, and the holiday lights and decorations add to the festive atmosphere. If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable winter getaway, a trip to Niagara Falls in December is the perfect choice. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to plan your trip, from where to stay to what to do while you’re there. So, grab a hot cocoa and get ready to explore the wonder of Niagara Falls in December.
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Weather conditions in Niagara Falls during December
December is a great time to visit Niagara Falls for many reasons, but the weather is not one of them. The average temperature during the day is around 0°C, but it can feel much colder due to the wind chill factor. It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather, with warm layers, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Waterproof boots are also essential, as the mist from the falls creates a lot of slippery ice on the ground.
Despite the cold, the winter weather adds a whole new dimension to the falls, with the mist and spray from the water creating a beautiful icy landscape. The trees and rocks around the falls are covered in a layer of frost, making for some incredible photo opportunities. Just make sure to bring a camera that can handle the cold temperatures.
If you’re lucky, you may even get to see the falls partially frozen. While it’s a rare occurrence, it’s a truly stunning sight that’s worth braving the cold to witness.
Festivals and events in Niagara Falls during December
Niagara Falls is known for its festivals and events, and December is no exception. The Winter Festival of Lights is a must-see event, with over three million sparkling lights illuminating the falls, trees, and buildings along the Niagara Parkway. The festival runs from mid-November to mid-January and includes a variety of events, including fireworks, laser light shows, and a holiday market.
The Niagara Icewine Festival is another popular event, taking place in January. However, some wineries start their celebrations in December. This festival celebrates the region’s famous icewine, with tastings, tours, and food pairings. It’s a great opportunity to try some unique and delicious wines and learn about the winemaking process.
If you’re looking for something a little more active, check out the Niagara Falls Santa Run. This annual event sees thousands of runners dressed in Santa suits, running a 5k or 1k race through the streets of Niagara Falls. It’s a fun and festive way to get some exercise and enjoy the holiday season.
Things to do in Niagara Falls during December
While the falls themselves are the main attraction, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Niagara Falls during December. The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is a great place to escape the cold and see some beautiful tropical butterflies. The conservatory is home to over 2,000 butterflies, as well as a variety of birds and plants.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel. This 175-foot tall Ferris wheel offers stunning views of the falls and the surrounding area. The enclosed gondolas are heated, so you can enjoy the view without freezing.
Another popular attraction is the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, which features over 3,000 slot machines, gaming tables, and a variety of restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to warm up and try your luck at the casino.
For a more laid-back activity, check out the Niagara Glen Nature Centre. This nature centre offers guided hikes through the Niagara Glen, a beautiful nature reserve with hiking trails, waterfalls, and stunning views of the Niagara River.
Planning your trip to Niagara Falls in December
If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls in December, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure to book your accommodations well in advance, as hotels can fill up quickly during the holiday season. Look for hotels that are close to the falls, so you don’t have to travel far in the cold weather.
When packing for your trip, make sure to bring warm layers, waterproof boots, and a camera that can handle the cold temperatures. It’s also a good idea to bring a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and some disinfectant wipes, as COVID-19 is still a concern.
If you’re driving to Niagara Falls, be prepared for winter driving conditions. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, and always check the weather and road conditions before setting out.
Where to stay in Niagara Falls during December
There are plenty of great hotels to choose from in Niagara Falls, but if you’re visiting in December, you’ll want to stay somewhere close to the falls and the winter festival events. The Sheraton on the Falls is a popular choice, with stunning views of the falls and easy access to the Niagara Parkway. The Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa is another great option, with luxurious accommodations and a full-service spa.
For a more budget-friendly option, check out the Clifton Victoria Inn at the Falls. This hotel is located just steps away from the falls and features comfortable rooms and a complimentary breakfast.
Best restaurants to try in Niagara Falls during December
Niagara Falls is home to a variety of restaurants, ranging from casual diners to fine dining establishments. If you’re looking for a cozy spot to warm up and enjoy some comfort food, check out The Keg Steakhouse + Bar. This restaurant features a warm and inviting atmosphere, with delicious steaks, seafood, and cocktails.
For a more upscale dining experience, head to the Watermark Restaurant, located on the 33rd floor of the Hilton Niagara Falls. This restaurant offers stunning views of the falls and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, check out Sweet Jesus. This ice cream shop offers a variety of unique and delicious ice cream flavors, as well as decadent milkshakes and hot chocolate.
Tips for visiting Niagara Falls in December
- Dress warmly and wear waterproof boots.
- Check the weather and road conditions before setting out.
- Book your accommodations well in advance.
- Bring a camera that can handle the cold temperatures.
- Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
- Visit the falls at night to see the Winter Festival of Lights.
- Consider purchasing a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass, which includes admission to several attractions and activities.
Photography tips for capturing the beauty of Niagara Falls in December
If you’re a photography enthusiast, Niagara Falls in December is a goldmine for stunning winter landscape shots. To capture the beauty of the falls, try using a tripod to keep your camera steady and a wide-angle lens to capture the entire scene. To capture the mist and spray from the falls, use a slower shutter speed and a higher aperture. This will create a beautiful blurry effect that adds to the winter wonderland feel.
If you’re interested in capturing some unique perspectives of the falls, consider taking a helicopter tour. This will give you an aerial view of the falls and the surrounding area, which can make for some incredible photos.
Niagara Falls is a natural wonder that should be on everyone’s bucket list. While the summer months are the most popular time to visit, December offers a unique and unforgettable winter experience. From the Winter Festival of Lights to the Niagara Icewine Festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With the right preparations and a sense of adventure, a trip to Niagara Falls in December is sure to be a winter getaway you’ll never forget.