Can you believe this? The Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls event is entering its 38th year! And I honestly didn’t know anything about this until I was researching for places to watch free light shows! This event, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Niagara Falls Tourism, runs from November 14, 2020 – January 10, 2021.
Based on the official website, it says, “The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights was founded 37 years ago in 1982. Today we are proud to be Canada’s largest illumination festival and the premiere illumination festival in North America, attracting over 1.8 million visitors and 450 motor coaches annually.”
With just about an hour and 15 minutes from the Toronto GTA, we have arrived at the Niagara Falls. This is a HUGE light show with many displays along the Niagara Falls. We started parking at a cheap parking lot up the Clifton Hill, took a nice 10 minute walk from the top of the Clifton Hill down to the lower part of the Clifton Hill. Along the way, we grabbed hot coffee from StarBucks to ensure we stayed as warm as we can.
It’s amazing how many interactive entertainment along the street with the RainForest Cafe, Ferris Wheel, Haunted House, etc. We decided to take our time and walk and explore all the light displays. Trust me, there are tons of photogenic displays to take amazing photographs.
Also, since we were here, may as well take some photos and check out the Niagara Falls. I must say, the falls look amazing when you see the snow, ice being formed along the water ways. It’s truly remarkable with winter vibes.
The light displays stretch at least a few kilometres over to the Dufferin Island. My recommendation for you is that……after you have taken a stroll along the light displays at the bottom of the Clifton Hill and along the Niagara Falls, go get your car and do the drive by. You will have a different perspectives walking and driving and seeing the same set of lights. Moreover, you can drive further down to check out the lights at the Dufferin Island. Personally, we felt that the driving experience at the Dufferin Island wasn’t that great as there was a long lineup of vehicles, bumper-to-bumper, waiting around the loop at the Dufferin Island. It’s not that fun when you felt like you are stuck in traffic.
I really enjoyed the walking around the lights near the Clifton Hill more, but again, if you have time and prefer to drive around, then the Dufferin Hill is still a cool experience.
Overall, it was an amazing experience, checking out the Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls. We got to enjoyed the falls itself along with the lights. Also, it’s not crowded and many peeps wear their masks outside the open space and people are being respectful and mindful while maintaining physical distancing.
I still can’t believe I have never heard about this free events after all these years, but as the old saying goes, “It’s better late than never!”.
MoVernie TIP: In case you have time, there is a Christmas Market near by that is only about 10 minutes drive away that you can shop for holiday gifts and supporting the local at the same time. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to check it out. Perhaps another time.
Winter Festival of Lights – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Address: Lights along Clifton Hill, stretching along the Niagara Falls and all the way to Dufferin Islands.
Also follow Niagara Falls Tourism @NiagaraFallsTourismCanada.