Skip to Content

The Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, Canada’s Largest Light Festival, is Always Worth the Trip!

The Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights recently wrapped up their 41st year. They had 51 nights of twinkling lights and 26 nights of spectacular fireworks. It’s the perfect excuse to head to Niagara Falls in the colder months, and to take in a show like no other.

OPG Winter Festival of Lights
There will be no shortage of colour at this year’s Winter Festival of Lights. Photo Credit: Niagara Falls Tourism

This iconic festival has become a beloved tradition in the Niagara region, with over 3 million lights and 75+ spectacular displays providing colourful visuals which ultimately transform the city and surrounding region into a twinkling winter wonderland, especially along the Niagara Parkway to the Dufferin Islands.

Picture this — Throughout Niagara Parks locations, Queen Victoria Park, and other scenic spots, visitors are treated to a magical experience as trees, archways, and sculptures come alive with vibrant illumination.

The iconic Niagara Falls itself is often bathed in colourful lights, contributing to the festival’s ever alluring ambiance. Beyond the captivating light displays, the event offers a range of entertainment for all ages, including live performances, concerts, fireworks, and interactive activities.

Not to mention, the winter wonderland created by the festival, combined with seasonal attractions like holiday markets and visits from Santa Claus, makes it a picturesque and festive destination for families and individuals seeking to enjoy the beauty of Niagara Falls in a different season.

This is one of the best ways to spend winter in Ontario. Surrounded by magical twinkling lights, great food, and amazing activities.

What Exactly Can You Do at the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara?

Did we mention it was Canada’s largest outdoor light festival? Photo Credit: Niagara Falls Tourism

There’s plenty to do for folks who are visiting Niagara. You may also want to check out the Niagara Parks Power Station or dine at the Table Rock House Restaurant while you’re there!

Explore the Festival via Walking Routes

Visitors can drive through to see all the displays or bundle up to explore three suggested walking routes:

  1. Family Fun Route – 3 km stroller-friendly enchanting route of new displays and annual favourites
  2. Date Night Route – a night under the stars walking this 3 km route exploring larger than life displays combined with spectacular views of the Falls
  3. Nature Lover’s Route – exploring architectural heritage and magnificent large animal displays in natural settings

Visitors can access the new tools and check out the displays at to plan a memorable visit. You can find a festival map there as well, both in the form of a printable PDF and interactive festival map.

Check Out the Impressive Displays at Your Own Pace

Displays are listed on the website to help visitors plan their experience and take photos at their favourite spots including Snow Cave, JOY and LOVE, Moose Family, Light Tunnel, Path of Trees, Polar Bears, and many more totaling over 75+ illuminated displays.

We really suggest bundling up and taking it all in. The light displays are very impressive, and Bri and I found it a rather romantic outing, perfect for couples!

The Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls
Chris & Bri appreciating the Light Tunnel at the Winter Festival of Lights. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

Kick-Off Celebration in Queen Victoria Park

To mark the official launch of the festival in Niagara Parks, a free outdoor celebration often takes place in late November (the exact date was November 18th this previous year), inviting guests to gather and witness the transformation of Queen Victoria Park into an illuminated winter wonderland for the first time this year. Throughout the evening, there’s often some live music of a DJ accompaniment to make checking out the lights that much more fun.

It’s also worth noting that at kick-off events like thsi, Niagara Parks often provides a free hop-on, hop-off shuttle throughout the evening (usually around 6-10pm), connecting guests to featured illumination displays at Table Rock Centre, Grand View and Queen Victoria Place.  

Annual Poinsettia Display at the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse

This iconic floral show featuring the quintessential holiday flower, the poinsettia, includes traditional holiday landscapes with modern touches of brilliant colours and lights that make the warmth and magic of the holiday season come to life. The annual Poinsettia Show invites guests to take a break from the frosty temperatures outside and enjoy a warm, floral paradise within the historic Floral Showhouse.

One thing that’s fun? During the Winter Festival of Lights, the Floral Showhouse often extends its operating hours into the evening (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

We feel that the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse does not get the full credit it deserves around this time. It is absolutely beautiful, and a must-stop during the Winter Festival of Lights.

The Floral Showhouse during the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls
Bri appreciating the Poinsettia Display at the Floral Showhouse During the Winter Festival of Lights. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

Hot Chocolate Trail

Throughout the Winter Festival of Lights, the self-guided Hot Chocolate Trail leads guests to delicious stops of chocolatey concoctions created by chocolatiers, chefs and mixologists at some of the Niagara’s top restaurants and bake shops, including Niagara Parks’ Table Rock House Restaurant.

Table Rock House Restaurant will be served a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with Wayne Gretzky’s Salted Caramel Cream Whiskey, Whipped Cream and Hazelnut Praline (non-alcoholic option also available) this past year. We’re curious to see what’s on the docket next year!

Currents at the Niagara Parks Power Station

A natural complement to the illuminated displays of the Winter Festival of Lights, Currents is an epic sight and sound night show inside the heart of Niagara Parks’ newest must-see attraction, the Niagara Parks Power Station.

The one-of-a-kind sensory experience reawakens the machinery of this iconic power plant through imagery, colour, lights, sound, and a breathtaking musical score. We’ve been a number of times now, and would say that it’s quite the show!

Currents at the Niagara Parks Power Station
Currents at the Niagara Parks Power Station. Photo Credit: Christopher Mitchell

Santa Claus is Coming to the Falls

Even Santa wants to keep coming back to see the wonder of Niagara Falls, an he comes to the Winter Festival of Lights in order to help families capture lasting memories.

At Ultimate Ontario, we love that the Winter Festival of Lights provides FREE photos with Santa. This past year, these photos took place at the Floral Showhouse compliments of Ontario Power Generation.

Meet the Misty Kids

Flurry, Flake, Crystal Bunny, Cool Cat & Chilly Dog, also known as the Misty Kids were back to greet and delight visitors.

In fact, they were back each weekend and throughout the week. They too were at the Floral Showhouse to meet guests and take photos. Our favourite part of this was the art element where kids had the chance to show off  their art skills with a Misty Kids colouring contest, with the winner getting a prize!

Live programming at the Winter Festival of Lights
There’s no shortage of live programming at the Winter Festival of Lights. Photo Credit: Niagara Falls Tourism

Getting to and From the Winter Festival of Lights

We recently put together an entire article devoted to taking the trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls. This covers all aspects of your options, to ensure that you’re finding the right way to get here. Of course, this presumes that you’re based in Toronto, but these options let you know what’s available regardless of your location.

Encompassing a breathtaking eight-kilometre route along the Niagara Parkway, this renowned festival casts a enchanting enchantment, embellishing trees, scenery, and even the Falls with countless shimmering, multi-hued lights. Immerse yourself in the allure of dazzling exhibits as you wander along lit pathways, crafted with eco-friendly LED technology and inspired by the beauty of nature.

If you appreciated this article, you’ll love our newsletter, as well as our Facebook group! Feel free to join, all are welcome.

Linda Vella

Sunday 24th of March 2024

I'm planning a bus trip to Niagara Falls and need more info on the festival of lights.Dates , prices for whole bus or individual person .contact person Thanks

Christopher Mitchell

Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

Hey Linda! The Festival of Lights only runs in the winter months!