Like many people, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save money. Whether we’re traveling abroad or exploring our own backyard, it’s important to keep costs down so that we are able to afford the things that really matter.
While Niagara Falls is known the world over as an inexpensive, family friendly vacation destination, it’s always nice to be aware of activities and sights that will fit into any budget. Free activities can be especially beneficial to families or large groups who need to be mindful of their spending.
We’ve crafted a list of five of our favorite things to do in Niagara, all of which are free. Take a look and decide which activity you’ll try on your next visit to the Niagara area.
Niagara Falls History Museum
While there is an admission charge at the Niagara Falls History Museum the majority of the time, those in-the-know visit the museum on Thursdays from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., when admission is free. Get up-close with the fascinating history of the Niagara region in general and Niagara Falls in particular. If possible, check their calendar in advance, as some Thursday nights the museum offers free movies, dancing and other activities.
The Floral Clock
Located on the Niagara Parkway, the Floral Clock is one of the most iconic sights in Niagara and is photographed almost as often as the falls themselves. Created by planting up to 16,000 plants that vary by season, this large clock offers a burst of bright color and classic chimes that signal each quarter hour.
The clock, its flowers, and the grounds around it are maintained by the parks departments, and their horticulturists are responsible for the selection of the colorful flowers that make up the clock’s face.
Bursting with charm and local history, the McFarland House offers visitors a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of life as it was many years ago. The McFarland House was the residence of the McFarland family, who were Scottish emigrants. However, the house was also used a hospital during the War of 1812 and was the site of various battles, and some of the objects used during that time are still on display.
Guided tours of the house are available during the summer months, and guests are able to explore the large gardens, as well.
We most enjoy spending our spring outside amongst the flowers. Luckily for us, the Niagara Parks Commissions Botanical Gardens is one of the best in the world. This 99-acre garden offers seasonal displays that begin with tulips and other flowers in the spring, then move on to annuals in the summer, and wind things down with chrysanthemums in the fall. At any time of year this garden is a spectacular place to relax and take in the beauty of nature.
Niagara Glen Nature Area
Just a short distance away from Niagara proper is Niagara Glen Nature Area. Outdoor activities abound at this park and include hiking, cycling, bird watching and views of Niagara Gorge. The sport known as bouldering has become very popular here, as has the tech-centric scavenger hunt called geocaching. Spend a few hours, or an entire day, at Niagara Glen and enjoy all of the natural beauty this area has to offer.
Whether you’re here for just a few days, or you plan to explore the Niagara area for a few weeks, take advantage of a few of the free activities we have to offer. What’s your favorite free activity in Niagara?