Travel Tips

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Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls (Monthly Events by a Local!)

Find the perfect time to visit Niagara Falls with our local's guide on monthly events and weather tips, ensuring a memorable trip for all travelers.

Tobi Miles
July 22, 2022
Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls (Monthly Events by a Local!)

Niagara Falls is the perfect destination for any group with its awe-inspiring sights, mouthwatering dining options, and constant events. Whether you’re hoping for a fun family vacation or romantic getaway, these falls have much more to offer than water.

Before booking your perfect trip, however, take time to research local events, cost of travel, and local events.

Between late August and early September is the best time to visit Niagara Falls. Days average 75 degrees in the height of the afternoon, with lows in the 60s. Hotel prices fall between 20% and 30% after the passing of the busy season, making it easy on the budget. Though crowds are smaller, every popular summertime exhibit should remain open.

Worst Time to Visit Niagara Falls

These falls remain gorgeous all year round, but it may be best to avoid a winter trip. In particular, January can be a brutal month. As the coldest month of the year, January will likely see daily snow and temperatures below freezing. The average high of this month is a chilly 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lows can drop to 15 degrees.

Though this month is one of the cheapest to visit, this comes at another cost. Most of the outdoor exhibits close for the winter, meaning there will be far less to enjoy. The state park is open year-round, but the Maid of the Mist and popular Cave of the Winds close until spring.

What’s more, many of the open exhibits may be difficult to enjoy due to the biting winds and snow!

Bottom line: January may be best on the budget, but it is worst for the experience. Only venture during this month if you are looking for an intimate getaway and cozy, relaxing vacation indoors.

Cheapest Time to Visit Niagra Falls

Niagara Falls is an ideal vacation spot for anyone hoping to make the most of their money. The average cost of a hotel room for two ranges between $115 and $135 per night. Food options come in a huge variety, meaning it could be easy to look for dining options that fit your budget year-round.

Though hotel costs stay around the same throughout the year, they see a slight rise around the busy season from May to July. The cheapest time to visit Niagara Falls is either in early spring or fall.

In particular, September allows a lower budget while also allowing travelers to take advantage of the best sights and weather.

Related Read: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Niagara Falls?

Best Time to Visit Niagra Falls: Month by Month

January: Winter of Lights

A tradition dating back over thirty-five years, the Winter Festival of Lights is widely viewed as Niagara’s most enchanting winter tradition. This free festival includes over three million lights, gorgeous displays, and regular weekend events.

Because these lights spread over the city, visitors can feel free to enjoy the view from their hotel, car, or on foot. Bundle up and take a walk through the park. Fun for a romantic night out or a family getaway, this festival has something for everyone!

Though this display lasts from November to February, you won’t want to miss out on what January has to offer.

January may be Niagara’s coldest month, but it also is the month that sees the most snowfall. By planning this event around January, you can make the most of this winter wonderland. Enjoy seeing the lights bounce off the snow during this awe-inspiring tradition!

  • Old Fort Niagara
  • The Seneca Niagara Casino
  • Dinner at the Rainforest Cafe

February: Love in the City of Romance

Looking for a creative place to celebrate your love this Valentine’s day? Look no further than the delicious, romantic restaurant options available at Niagara Falls!

Touted as the number one restaurant in Niagara Falls, Bakery Restaurant and Bar has been serving steaks and seafood since 1969. With meals averaging around 20 dollars per person, it makes for the ideal, medium-range date night.

For a more upscale environment, check out Savor. Equally delicious but with a touch of elegance, this restaurant is run by a nearby culinary school. Take advantage of innovative meal options at a fraction of the price!

As both a tourist town and famed sight of natural wonder, Niagara Falls has much to offer in the realm of food. Relax and enjoy the view with the one you love as you savor every bite of a well-prepared meal.

  • Weinkeller
  • Carpaccio Restaurant and Wine Bar
  • Casa Mia Ristorante
  • Prime Steakhouse Niagara Falls

Related Read: New York City to Niagara falls Road trip!

March: Hiking Hangs with the Family

By March, the weather is officially warming up to springtime. The average day sees a high of around 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and snow becomes rarer. This makes this month the ideal time to visit some of the best local parks!

Take advantage of the small crowd sizes and warming weather to become one with nature on one of the hiking trails. Consider starting your adventure at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center. From here, you will have easy access to a variety of trails, both easy and challenging.

Because guided tours are just opening back up, feel free to reach out to the experts for help! They’ll have no problem telling you which route is the best option for you and your family.

  • Niagara Glen Nature Centre
  • Upper Whirlpool Trails
  • Devil’s Hole State Park
  • The Niagara River Recreational Trail

April: April Showers

It’s true what they say: April showers do bring May flowers. Though snowfall is finally reaching its end, it comes with heavier rainfall in April. Don’t let rainy days pull you away from the fun. Take this time to tour some of Niagara Falls’s amazing museums!

The Niagara Falls History Museum is more than just a few exhibits; it is an experience. Great for couples, singles, or the whole family, this museum is a true hidden gem. It offers cemetery tours, film nights, family scavenger hunts, and an ever-changing range of fascinating displays. Plan your trip around this fun and educational source!

For a fun and memorable trip, don’t miss out on Louis Tussaud’s waxworks. These eerily realistic works of art make for a perfect photo opportunity you won’t want to forget!

  • The Butterfly Conservatory
  • Queen Victoria Park
  • Famous Maid of the Mist
  • The Niagara Falls Observation Tower

Related Read: 15 Best Waterfalls Near Ithaca, New York

May: Journey Behind the Falls

By May, the weather has officially warmed up to the hottest of the spring season, with an average daily high of sixty-eight degrees. With the busy season quickly approaching, this is the best time to make the most of Niagara’s most exciting attraction: the Journey behind the Falls.

This journey starts as visitors wrap up in their protective ponchos, theirs to keep after the tour. From here, they descend 125 feet by elevator, where they are led to a series of observation decks at the foot of the falls.

Don’t forget your waterproof camera for this one! Stand in awe as one-fifth of the world’s freshwater descends from above in a display that has captured the world’s attention for centuries. Take in all the natural beauty, and read the surrounding informational displays to learn more about this one-of-a-kind view.

  • Bike tours with Niagra Bike Rentals
  • A walk down Old Falls Street

June: Summertime Fireworks

By June, the busy season is officially in full swing, and all of Niagara Falls is ready to celebrate summer. With an average temperature falling between fifty-six and seventy-six degrees, this warm month is the ideal time to watch the summer fireworks.

Though Niagara Falls has a tradition of shooting fireworks throughout the summer, the Niagara Falls After Dark reaches its peak in June. Every single night, weekdays included, visitors can take the spectacular view as fireworks light up the sky for six full minutes.

Break out a picnic blanket, grab a friend, and watch the stunning display! For an even better view, take advantage of the range of boat tours that carry you as close to the show as possible.

  • A ride on the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours
  • A baseball game at Sal Maglie Stadium
  • A picnic at Niagara Falls State Park

July: A Summer of Music

In July, summer reaches its peak with the hottest month of the year. Temperatures reach a sunny eighty-one degrees Fahrenheit each day. After a full day of fun in the sun, wind things down with an evening of music!

Free to all, Niagara Falls brings a yearly arrangement of various artists to play every Thursday at Oakes Garden Theater. Enjoy the local culture with an exciting array of musical artists! The changing rotation provides plenty of variety, offering something for everyone to enjoy all month long.

  • A hand-scooped ice cream cone from famous De Dee’s Dairy
  • The Niagara Fiesta Extravaganza festival
  • A trip to the rapids at White Water Walk

August: Niagara On-the-Lake

Take advantage of the second warmest month of the year with the year’s sweetest festival: the annual peach festival in Niagara On-the-Lake!

Celebrate the year’s peach harvest with delicious desserts, live music, thrilling events, and vendors from all over the falls. While in Queen St, spend the day walking the city and taking in the beautiful sights and sounds.

Last but not least, load up on farm-fresh peaches, jams, and pastries, the perfect souvenir from this special event.

  • Ziplining with WildPlay Niagara Zipline to the Falls
  • A horse carriage ride through Niagra Falls Botanical Gardens

September: Grape and Wine Festival

By the time September rolls around, summer is officially over in the Falls. As the busy-season winds to a close, temperatures once again begin to drop, and the locals prepare for autumn. What better time to curl up with your loved ones and enjoy a delicious glass of wine?

This tradition dates back well over fifty years, making its mark as the oldest and largest wine festival in Niagara’s history. Every year, tourists and locals alike gather in historic Montebello Park. Here, they join in the Fall’s most memorable harvest celebration, sampling over 100 wines as well as pairings from local restaurants.

Best of all, this event spans two separate weekends. No matter how busy your schedule, you’ll have no problem fitting in time for this fascinating and engaging event!

  • A family visit to The Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium
  • Feeding the ducks at Dufferin Islands Park
  • Paddling at Niagara River

October: Halloween on the Falls

If you’re looking for a fun, unusual way to spend this Halloween season, don’t miss out on all that Niagara Falls has to offer! Between the Paranormal Walks in Lockport and Haunted Lantern tours on the Erie Canal, you’ll have more than enough to pack your schedule.

On the annual Paranormal Walks in Lockport, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this area’s eerie past. Rain and shine, tour guides lead groups all over the city, sharing spooky stories and rarely-heard historical events.

For an even more chilling evening, consider the Haunted Lantern Cave tours. This traditional walk has been a crowd favorite for over forty years. Tour guides lead groups across the edge of the Erie Canal, lit only by lanterns as they share traditional ghost stories from the area. From here, they continue underground in an unforgettable tour of Lockport’s forbidden tunnels.

  • Frightmare in the Falls
  • The interactive Horror Festival in North America
  • A spooky show at the Greg Frewin Theatre
  • The Nightmare’s Fear Factory

November: Annual Poinsettia Show

November sees the first snowfall of the year, and with it, the approach of the holiday season.

By this time, the winter chill has fully set in with an average high of only forty-eight degrees and lows in the thirties.

It is officially time to put away the summertime hiking boots and prepare for a cozy time indoors with family!

There is no better way to open your arms to the holidays than with Niagara Falls’ Annual Poinsettia Show. Just a short walk from the stunning Falls, the Niagara Falls Floral Showcase is proud to display over 1000 poinsettias in this traditional show.

Take the whole family for a tour through the spectacular greenhouses in the most gorgeous, classy way to kick off this holiday season!

  • Our Lady of Fatima Festival of Lights
  • The Saint Gregory Holiday Craft Show
  • The opening of the Niagra Christmas Market

December: Castle by Candlelight

By December, the majority of the crowds have fully cleared out, snow may be piling up, and the temperatures hover around freezing.

This being said, Niagara Falls still has plenty to offer! For those willing to brave the cold, Niagara Falls is the ideal winter wonderland.

Of all the events Niagara offers each winter, none is quite as stunning as the Castle by Candlelight.

  • A shopping trip at Fashion Outlets in Niagara
  • A meal at the world-famous Anchor Bar
  • The Aquarium of Niagara

When to Avoid the Crowds at Niagra Falls

Winter is considered the “off-season” of Niagara Falls, meaning visitors will face the smallest possible crowd sizes. If your main goal is solely to observe the falls without being bogged down by crowds, this is the ideal season for you.

However, this benefit comes at a loss. While the parks remain open, many of their most popular attractions close during the off-season.

To take advantage of all the best sights while still avoiding crowds, plan a trip around the early Spring months. During March and April, the weather will be just warm enough to truly take advantage of all Niagara Falls has to offer without the heavy crowds.

What is the Best Time for a Spa Day in Niagara Falls?

Though there is no bad time of year for a relaxing spa day, there’s no better time than the chilly winter months.

From November to February, tourism in Niagara Falls reaches an all-time low. With so little competition for spaces, visitors can enjoy space, quiet, and relaxation as they soak in a steaming thermal pool.

The contrast between the chilling temperature and hot water serves as a shock to the system, helping melt away stress. Guests can enjoy taking in the natural elements as they detox, alleviate chronic pain, and flush out toxins.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, no amount of travel stress can’t be cured by a spa day.

Related Read: 25 BEST Romantic Cabin Getaways in New York

What is the Best Time to Visit Niagara for Hiking?

There is a reason that June and July are considered the busy season. If you are looking for the warmest possible weather for hiking, these peak summer months are the ideal time to break out your boots.

During the busy season, every possible trail and experience is open and ready for business.  Less experienced hikers can take advantage of guided tours to safely tackle complicated trailheads. Those looking for a challenge can always find it in the Devil’s Hole Rapids or Great Gorge.

For those looking to avoid the crowds, however, there is no better time to hike than late spring.

For a quieter, more tranquil experience, check out the trails around March and April. By this point, every trail should be fully open, and the temperatures hover around a steady warmth. Bring a jacket to avoid the spring chill, and take in the sights without having to battle the crowds.

What is the Best Way to Spend a Rainy Day in Niagara Falls?

When the rain comes down in Niagara Falls, guests have two options: seek indoor fun or embrace the water!

Many of Niagara Falls’ most popular attractions take guests up close and personal to the falls. As such, guests can expect to finish their trip drenched and exhilarated. Why not take advantage of the weather to see the natural beauty in a whole new way?

The famous Maid of the Mist boat tour and Hornblower Niagara Cruise both bring guests as close as possible to the natural spray. Avoid the crowds and make the most of every minute of your vacation, rainy day or otherwise!

Hoping to stay inside? Visit the Skylon Tower for a dining experience with the best view around. Rising 775 feet above sea level, the rotating dining room offers the chance to view the natural wonder within safe, indoor coziness.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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