Free things to do in Niagara Falls Canada

Free things to do in Niagara Falls Canada

One of my favourite places in the world to visit is just a few hours drive from me. Niagara Falls Canada is world class destination millions of people travel to. Often us Canadians forget how lucky we are to have this world wonder right here in our own backyard. Having a big family it is not always affordable to travel and explore, so we result to day trips. Pack up a picnic and explore what many locals never take the time to see. You may think Niagara Falls is a pricey getaway, but you would be surprised how much there is to do for free or very little. Often the cost of parking will be your only expenses.

If you are traveling from elsewhere you can add these things to your to do list to save while visiting. Check out the area during off season (early spring/late fall) to save on accommodation as well. Summer is a busy time for Niagara Falls but this fun city is hopping and open for business all year long.

Once in Niagara you can literally spend hours walking along the walkway looking down at the beautiful view of the Falls. Other than parking this is free. If you are staying in the area you can always walk down or take a bus. The area is very pedestrian friendly and many people will be walking around, even late into the evening.

Niagara Falls Canada

Lakeside Park Carousel

The Lakeside Park Carousel is a century old tradition that you can still get for 5 cents a ride. The carousel is a timeless tradition of Port Dalhousie, a quaint section of St. Catharines that is right on the lake and has Marina facilities and a charming district to go for a walk. The carousel runs from Victoria Day Weekend to Thanksgiving weekend. The carousel runs Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 8pm and Friday’s from 4pm to 8pm. The park is also home to the Canada Day Firework displays in St Catharines

The Welland Canal Lock 3

The largest canal observation deck in Niagara, it’s the best view of ships using the Welland Canal. Also home to the Lock 3 Museum, and the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame. There is a small admission fee to the Museum and Hall of Fame visits, but the rest of the Centre, including parking, observation platform and the indoor Lock View Lounge on the 2nd floor are 100% free. Outside, enjoy picnic area, playground and Discovery Park with great information about the canal.

I remember as a young girl visiting the canal and museum with my school.

Happy Rolf’s bird Sanctuary in the City of St. Catharines

A 15.06-acre municipal park on the shores of Lake Ontario, Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary boasts one of Canadas most exotic collections of flowering rhododendrons. Open daily at 7AM

The Floral Clock

Niagara’s Floral Clock is just 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) north of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. Built in 1950, the clock is one of the largest in the world at 12.2 metres (40 feet) in diameter. The “floral face” of the clock is changed twice a season. Violas are planted to provide a colourful design to welcome in the spring season.

Queenston Heights Park

Nestled high atop the Niagara Escarpment, this is the birthplace of Niagara Falls – garden and nature lovers, hikers and picnickers have used this park for generations.

Concerts at the Falls

There are free concerts hosted by Niagara Parks at the Falls in June on Saturdays. See their calendar for details

Jade Temple

If you are looking to relax and get back to basics then this is the place for you. The Jade Temple museum is home of a 12 foot rare Jade stone, tended to by Buddhist Monks. This institute also offers free mediation courses that are held by Buddhist Monks from Thailand. Parking here is also free.

The Botanical gardens down by the butterfly conservatory

Established in 1936, you’ll enjoy 40 hectares (99 acres) of beautifully maintained gardens. Enjoy perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, formal parterre garden, shade, herb and vegetable plantings, as well as our world-famous rose garden featuring over 2,400 roses.

Parking is $5 and admission to the Butterfly conservatory is not free.

Dufferin Islands

Dufferin Islands is a 10 acres of secluded park containing several small islands connected by small bridges and footpaths. Located just south of the Falls on the Niagara Parkway. With their birdhouses and catch and release fishing this area is a family fave and great for the nature lover. A nice spot to enjoy a prepacked lunch.

McFarland House

This is Niagara Parks’ Oldest Property Grounds. For more than two centuries McFarland House has stood as a monument to the impeccable manners, good taste and gracious living that epitomizes Niagara-on-the-Lake. Interpreters in full costume for the time provide guided tours of this historic home throughout the day. Located near a baseball diamond, playground and trail with picnic pavilions, making this a fabulous spot for large family get-togethers.

Niagara Falls Farmers Market

The best way to experience an area is to meet the locals and talk. You will be amazed by their knowledge and stories of the area. The market is a fun place to do this while checking out everything else the area has to offer as far as produce and crafts.

The Niagara Falls Farmers Market is open year round – Saturdays, 6 AM – 12 Noon. The 50+ old Farmers’ Market is open year-round on Sat mornings. There is currently a small building that hosts 4 indoor vendors i.e. butcher etc. and pending the season up to 15 vendors outside.

Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill is free to visit but you pay for the attractions. However there is lots to see while walking around in the area including the odd street performer.

Down town Niagara Falls

Checking out Niagara Parks attractions? Children under 5 years of age are always free with an adult.

The Falls at night is also a great spot to see magical light displays all year long. Often throughout the summer you can also see fireworks on the weekends there.

My family enjoys walking from the Falls up Clifton Hill to Victoria Ave. You can enjoy hearing Karaoke from one restaurant/bar, while enjoying interactive free  displays outside of many of the attractions on the street. Niagara Falls is a fun place to sit back and watch your surroundings. The scenery and the people are always entertaining and you will not be disappointed.

Take a short drive to wine country at Niagara on the Lake for even more beautiful and fun free things to do!

For more information on these attractions and other free or low cost things to do (even full rate attractions) Check out Niagara Falls Tourism and Niagara Parks

Have you been to Niagara Falls lately? What do you like to do that is fairly inexpensive?


  1. Susan Patterson says

    I would love to go to Niagara Falls. It looks so beautiful! Thanks so much for all the free things to do there!

  2. I did not know that we could do all those free things. I have never been to Niagara Falls and would love to pay it a visit soon
    My recent post Comment on How to Buy the Absolute Perfect Baby Stroller by Jeanine

  3. 1heart1family says

    I have been to Niagara falls so many times, but never realized these free treasures existed! I would love to visit and do all of them! So much culture!
    My recent post (Not So) Wordless Wednesday ~ Breast Cancer Awareness #SupportHER

  4. Great post and great tips! Niagra Falls is on my bucket list. There are always great cheap or free things to do in tourist spots but sometimes it is hard to find them unless you are a local. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a great post, I never would have thought there were so many free gems in Niagra Falls. I assumed it would cost an arm and a leg! Thank you 🙂

  6. I haven't been to Niagara Falls in a few years, I think my boys are old enough to enjoy it now! Thanks for the tips!

  7. julielaura1 says

    We have never been to Dufferin Islands, will have to check it out next time we are down that way!

  8. Laurie P says

    I'm now living minutes away from the Falls….always something to do. My current favorite is Canal Lock 3!

    Also we've gone to find Captains John Seafood boat docked for scrap…..a lot of memories of sitting by that boat in T.O!

  9. Laurie P says

    I'm now living minutes away from the Falls….always something to do. My current favorite is Canal Lock 3!

Speak Your Mind