Whatever your travel style, be it wanting to spend time outdoors, challenging yourself with new adventures or plain having fun (or a mixture of all these), Niagara has got something for you. From our plentiful nature trails to the crazy Clifton Hill, you won’t ever run out of things to do during your vacation here.

The Active Traveler

Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

Niagara is full of amazing places to get outside and explore, especially on foot (or, well, at least with something strapped to your foot) We are lucky to have conservation areas filled with walkways and wildlife, scenic skiing trails, and tons of paths that snake and meander through some of the best scenery this province has to offer.  Your best bet is probably to bring your own equipment if possible, but if not, check out Ski Pro Shop in St .Catharines (skiproshop.com) for information on rentals. There are daily, weekend, monthly and seasonal
rentals available.

Where to Go:

Bruce Trail
Good for: Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

This is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, and the Niagara portion of it stretches from Queenston to Beamsville. Planned hikes are available on pre determined days, or you can hike solo whenever you want. Badges are given if you register and then complete the entire Niagara section of the trail. If you are extremely ambitious, you can sign up to hike the entire trail from end to end. To put it in perspective, if you hiked for eight hours a day, it would take approximately 30 days to finish the entire trail. There is no set time limit for doing an end-to-end hike, you could take thirty days or thirty years, and either way, you still get the coveted badge at the end. Maps are available online from the Bruce
Trail Conservancy.

Short Hills Provincial Park
Good for: Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Short Hills is a huge 735-acre natural environment park, which covers parts of St. Catharines, Pelham and Thorold.  It’s a great place for winter activities, and trails are marked according to which activity is permitted on the trail. This is an area where it is extremely important to stay on the marked path, as it’s very easy to get lost in Short Hills (I speak from experience; I have had to be rescued not once, but twice from Short Hills. I didn’t even knowingly leave the marked path, so fellow directionally challenged people beware) Parking is available off Pelham, Roland and Wiley Roads.

Ball’s Falls
Good for: Snowshoeing

This beautiful area set in Twenty Valley got its name from the family that originally lived there. In addition to being able to see the original home, restored church, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a black smith shop and carriage shed, there is also a recently opened Centre for Conservation, which has many interactive exhibits and programs. Several trails run through the area, and maps are available online, which will lead you to the various points of interest, as well as the upper and lower falls.

Niagara River Parkway Trail
Good for: Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

This is a beautiful 56-kilometre bike path that links Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie. It’s fairly straight and it runs parallel to the Niagara River, and passes some beautiful sights along the way, including numerous points of interest for tourists, such as the Floral Clock, Fort George and the Butterfly Conservatory.

Friendship Trail
Good for: Snowshoeing

This path runs sixteen kilometres across Fort Erie, and winds through farmland, villages, watersheds and residential areas. Parking is available on Ridge Road, Crescent Road, and Lakeshore Road.

Waterfront Trail
Good for: Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Quebec, following the shores of Lake Ontario. The Niagara portion begins in Niagara-on-the-Lake and goes through St. Catharines, Lincoln and Grimsby. The trail varies between off road paths and streets in residential neighbourhoods. It is a multi use trail and is good for various winter activities. Trail maps are available online from the Waterfront Trail
official website.

Greater Niagara Circle Route
Good for: Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

This multi-use, paved trail makes its way through Niagara, linking Lakes Erie and Ontario, as well as the Welland Canal with the Niagara River. It passes through historic Port Colborne, where in addition to historic sites, you will pass various shops, attractions
and restaurants.

The Strategist

Escape Rooms

The popularity of escape rooms in Niagara only continues to grow, and luckily for us here in Niagara (and those visiting), we are home to some pretty great escape ones. These games are real life interactive puzzles that you and your team work to solve so you can escape the room in under an hour. Each room usually has a story or a theme involved as you work your way through the game in stages.

Escape Room Niagara Falls 

This place has a fairly constant rotation of different games. They are located in Downtown Niagara Falls. Some of their past games have included:” The Attic”, “Backstage”, “The Bunker”, and “The Castle”. There are not any scary elements in this game and they are suitable for children as well, ages 8 and up. Visit their website escaperoom.ca

Adventure Rooms

This place is also located in Downtown Niagara Falls. It is the same basic premise: solve puzzles, escape the room, but with a different story. Their current game is called “The Missing Finger”. This group has a 20% escape rate and is suitable for ages 8 to 77. It doesn’t contain any horror elements, and like the other games, it is designed to make you think, and challenge you. Check out their website
at adventurerooms.ca

The Hour

This is the only escape room in St. Catharines and is located in downtown St. Catharines. They have four different games going on, all with very different themes and stories. Currently, the games are: Emma’s Disappearance, Jailbreak, Mutiny At the Hour and The Lost Ones. More info at
the hourstcatharines.com 

 

Fun Seeker

Niagara Falls Fun Zone

Their Galaxy Guest Laser Tag arena is a 2000 square foot space with a space battle theme. It allows for a great way to have fun with friends or family when you are on vacation. More info at niagarafallsfunzone.com

Clifton Hill

If it’s fun you are looking for, then look no further than Niagara Fall’s “Street of Fun”, Clifton Hill! The carnival like atmosphere appeals to the kid in all of us, and it is full of arcades, rides, fun houses, haunted houses, mini golf, gift shops, restaurants, bars and more. If it’s late night entertainment and dancing you seek, you’ll find somewhere on Clifton Hill to party all night.  A Clifton Hill Fun Pass is available for purchase on cliftonhill.com and you can receive a discount by purchasing the tickets online in advance.

Laser Tag

If you want to feel like a kid again (or if you have kids you need to entertain), why not sign up for a exciting game of laser tag? It’s not just about running around the room, shooting people with lasers, it’s about defending your base and coming up with a strategy to win. You can form alliances, you can play with a team, but the main objective: be the last man or team standing.

Zap Zone Niagara

This place is located in downtown Niagara Falls, and is played in a 2500 square foot arena. It’s dark, smoke swirls, lights flash, and music plays. It’s some of the most fun you’ll have on your vacation. Visit their website at zapzoneniagara.com.